Please find below a list of 2016 Summit delegates who submitted their head shots and bios during registration.

Amirali Alibhai

Head of Performing Arts, Aga Khan Museum

Amirali Alibhai earned his BSc in Microbiology (1985), BFA Visual Arts (1989) and MA Art Education (2000) from the University of British Columbia.

Currently the Head of Performing Arts at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, his professional experience includes roles as a curator/ educator/administrator within the fields of visual, performance and community-based arts. He has worked with diverse artists and organizations, representing multiple disciplines and cultural traditions (1989-present). He has been actively exhibiting and making art for over 25 years._ Amir was founding president of the Rungh Cultural Society, publishing Rungh, a magazine of contemporary diasporic South Asian Culture (1992-1997); he was part of the team that established the innovative Roundhouse Community Arts Centre in Vancouver (1996-2008), where he developed artists-in-communities projects, cross-cultural partnerships and special events programs.

He has worked in the cities of Richmond, BC (Richmond Art Gallery 1989-1996), Surrey, BC (Surrey Art Gallery 1994-1996), and the District and City of North Vancouver, BC (Cultural Planner 2008). He was Executive Director of the Greater Vancouver Alliance for Arts and Culture (2009-2012). Amir has volunteered on various boards and public committees, including the Board of ArtStarts in Schools (2002-2005), the Board of the Canada Council for the Arts (2005-2008) and the Board of the Canadian Conference of the Arts (2010-2012) and served on the Provincial and Territorial Advisory Committee of the national Cultural Human Resource Council (2010-2012).

Nichole Anderson

President and CEO, Business for the Arts

Nichole Anderson, President and CEO of Business for the Arts, holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations and a Masters degree in Art History from the University of Toronto. She joined the organization in 2006 and launched a number of new programs to stimulate business volunteerism and investment in the arts that have since grown in scale and impact across the country. Prior to her role at Business for the Arts, Nichole managed the corporate art collection at Hbc and helped develop museum programming and exhibits for the company’s new museum sites and community events across Canada. Nichole holds a number of volunteer positions, including Member of the Toronto TELUS Community Board; Board Member of the Arts of Time Ensemble; Member of the Steering Committee for the City of Toronto’s Creative Capital initiative; Vice President of the Health Arts Society Ontario. She is also a trained violinist and plays informally with a quartet from time to time.

Jeffrey Anderson

Executive Director Arts Branch, AB Culture & Tourism, Govt of AB / AFA

Since 2004 Jeffrey Anderson has been the Executive Director of the Arts Branch for Alberta Culture and Tourism and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Alberta’s arts funding agency. From 2008-10 he was seconded to Alberta’s Cultural Policy Initiative to establish the Premier’s Council on Culture and to begin implementation of The Spirit of Alberta, Alberta’s cultural policy. Jeffrey is also Past Chair of the Canadian Public Arts Funders.

Before moving to Edmonton, Jeffrey spent twenty-two years as an arts administrator, performer and post-secondary instructor, working at Keyano College, Medicine Hat College and the University of Lethbridge. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of Victoria, a Master of Music from Yale University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Colorado.

In his spare time, Jeffrey enjoys attending arts events, playing trumpet, and valiantly trying to master his golf swing!

Christine Armstrong

Impact Specialist, Calgary Arts Development

Christine Armstrong is Calgary Arts Development’s Impact Specialist. She joined the organization in 2013 and has since been instrumental in the drafting, implementation, and impact measurement of Living A Creative Life: An Arts Development Strategy for Calgary. For more details on the strategy, please visit

Upkar Arora

Chair, Board of Trustees, McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Upkar Arora is CEO of Illumina Partners, an independent boutique advisory firm which he co-founded in 2002. He is a seasoned organizational leader who can effectively navigate complex, multi-stakeholder environments and a proven track record of delivering results at the board or C-Suite level. He has 30 years of experience working domestically and internationally (Canada, the US, Mexico and Europe) with public and private companies, on operations, capital markets transactions, acquisitions, dispositions, turnarounds and financings, as a senior executive, advisor or principal. Upkar has previously served on the CAS Steering Committee for three years, including as Chair, has been Chair of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection for the past six years, serves as a director on the boards of Institute for Canadian Citizenship, Metrolinx and the Advisory Council of the University of Waterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance, where he also teaches. In 2014, he founded Illumina Social Impact Partners to help NFP’s, charities and social entrepreneurs enhance their social impact and generate positive, scalable and sustainable change. Upkar is a CPA, CA and holds the ICD.D designation.

Gideon Arthurs

CEO, National Theatre School of Canada

Gideon Arthurs is the CEO of the National Theatre School of Canada (NTS), the only institution in the country entirely devoted to providing professional training in all of the theatre crafts, in both official languages. He is currently the President of the Board of La Serre/OFFTA, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Canada Arts Summit. He recently served as a juror for the 2015 Siminovitch Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Theatre. Before joining NTS, Gideon Arthurs served as General Manager of Tarragon Theatre in Toronto for close to three years, where he led several important projects including improvements of the theatre’s equipment and facilities, as well as a major audience engagement program. Before that, he was the Executive Director of the Toronto Fringe Festival during a period that saw the development of a second festival presented by the organization, significant growth of the flagship festival, and the creation of a subsidized rehearsal space for independent artists.

Raji Aujla

National Marketing and Program Strategist, Business for the Arts

Raji Aujla is the National Marketing and Program Strategist at BftA as well as Partner at R+D Agency. She was previously the Cultural Director at the Spoke Club and Chase Producer at Al Jazeera Plus. In her mind, Raji is a diplomatic attachée, an acclaimed food critic and a reincarnation of Gabrielle Coco Chanel.

Aida Aydinyan

Vice President, Business for the Arts

Currently the Vice President of Business for the Arts, Aida has been instrumental in the National expansion of the artsVest program since 2011. Building on a cultural management career that encompasses more than 25 years across three countries (US, Armenia and Canada), Aida has been regarded by her colleagues as a visionary and thought leader. Prior to joining BftA in 2011, she was the Executive Director of the Barthelmes Conservatory of Music in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she transformed an organization on the verge of collapse into the most prestigious Music Conservatory of its kind in the region by instituting and implementing a new strategic vision and operational model of two distinct and vital divisions with over 860 students and 35 faculty members. The school is currently considered a “Junior Julliard” in the region and impacts hundreds of young musicians and their families. Aida is a passionate advocate of increased awareness and funding for the arts.

Rachel Berdan

CMO, VP Sales, Ellipsis Digital, a division of rTraction Canada, Inc.

Rachel Berdan is Ellipsis Digital’s CMO and VP of Sales. She has spent her career dancing along the line where sales and marketing meet. A creative at heart, Rachel loves a good story, whether she’s reading it, watching it, listening to it, or helping to tell it.

David Binet

Chair, The National Ballet of Canada

David Binet is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Woodbridge Company Limited, the principal investment holding company for Canada’s Thomson family. Woodbridge’s largest asset is its 57% stake in Thomson Reuters Corporation, listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges, and it has numerous other investments.

David is Deputy Chairman of Thomson Reuters, and also serves on the board of directors of Woodbridge, The Globe and Mail (Canada’s national newspaper), and a number of other companies in which Woodbridge has invested. David is Chairman of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, a London-based charity dedicated to journalism training and promoting the rule of law. David is also Chairman of the Board of The National Ballet of Canada and on the board of directors of Canada’s National Ballet School and Business for the Arts.

Natasha Bood

Executive Director, Toronto Summer Music Festival

Natasha Bood is the Executive Director of the Toronto Summer Music Festival and Academy. Previously, Bood was the executive director of the Regina Symphony Orchestra and marketing manager of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
She holds a bachelor of arts in music from the University of Regina and a post-graduate diploma in arts administration and cultural management from Humber College in Toronto.

Marah Braye

Chief Executive Officer, Harbourfront Centre

Marah Braye has been Harbourfront Centre’s Chief Executive Officer since August 5, 2014. She was previously Chief Executive Officer of the Biennale of Sydney (2006-14). The Beinnale of Sydney is one of the world’s leading festivals of international contemporary art. Ms. Braye has an extensive background in arts and cultural management and, prior to her role at the Biennale, was General Manager of Sherman Galleries, one of Australia’s leading contemporary galleries. Before this, she worked in publishing for anumber of years, including the roles of Managing Editor, Fine Art Publishing, and Publishing Manager, HarperCollinsPublishers.

Jane Brindley

Adjunct Professor, UBC

Jane is a clinical psychologist who teaches at UBC. She is a member of the Board of Vancouver’s PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and chairs its Fundraising Strategy Committee. In the past, she has served on the Arts Club Theatre Company and Phoenix Theatre Boards. She is past President of the Art Gallery of Windsor and former member of the Ontario Arts Council where she also served on its Governance and Public Affairs committees. She was the founding President of the Sudbury Fringe Theatre Festival and an International Governor of the Shaw Festival. In 2006, Jane received the “spirit of philanthropy” award from the Association of Fund-Raising Professionals in recognition of her volunteer and fundraising achievements on behalf of the arts and education. In 2009, the Art Gallery of Windsor honoured her with the “Jane E. Brindley Creative Space” in recognition of her leadership and volunteer contributions to the gallery.

Lorna Brown

Assoc. Director/Curator, Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery, UBC

Lorna Brown is Associate Director/Curator at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and a visual artist, writer, educator and editor. She has exhibited her work internationally since 1984. Brown was the Director/Curator of Artspeak Gallery from 1999 to 2004 and is a founding member of Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, a collective of artists, architects and curators presenting projects that consider the varying conditions of public places and public life. She has taught at Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Simon Fraser University. Her recent curatorial projects include Digital Natives and Institutions by Artists. Brown received an honorary doctorate of letters from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2015, the Vancouver Institute for the Visual Arts Award (1996) and the Canada Council Paris Studio Award (2000). Her work is in the collections of the Belkin, the National Gallery of Canada, the BC Arts Council, the Surrey Art Gallery and the Canada Council Art Bank.

Timothy Burt

Chair, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Tim has served as WSO board chair and president since 2012. He is also on the board of the Banff Centre Foundation. He is also President and CEO of Cardinal Capital Management,Inc. in Winnipeg. He has both B.S. and M.S. degrees in Finance from the University of Illinois.He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst(CFA).

Peter Cathie White

Executive Director, Arts Club Theatre Company

Peter holds a BA in Musical Theatre from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Immigrating to Canada, and wanting to take advantage of his knowledge and passion for theatre combined with his experience in sales and marketing, budgeting and business planning, communications, campaign management, and evaluating and implementing promotional opportunities, Peter found his ideal match at the Arts Club Theatre Company. In his ten years as Director of Marketing, the company saw subscription revenue growth of 240% and now has one of the largest audience of any not-for-profit theatre company in Canada. In November 2014, Peter became the Executive Director of the Arts Club Theatre Company and has since overseen the opening of the BMO Theatre Centre in conjunction with Bard on the Beach, as well as the opening of the Arts Club brand new 250-seat theatre, the Goldcorp Stage.

Jasmine Catudal

Codirector, LA SERRE _arts vivants

Since 2003, Jasmine has worked as a set designer for theatre, dance, opera, and circus performances. She has worked with several well-known directors, including Robert Lepage in an Ex Machina–Metropolitan Opera co-production of The Tempest by composer Thomas Ades.

In 2007, she co-founded the OFFTA, Montréal live arts festival that she still directs.

From 2012 to 2015, she was artistic co-director at Usine C in Montréal, where she directed the Canadien programming. She also sat on the board of directors at the Conseil des Arts de Montréal as president of multidisciplinary presenting and new artistic practices from 2012 to 2015, and has sat on many juries, conferences and symposiums on topics related to live arts, new management models and interdisciplinary work. For the occasion of the Mons 2015 European Capital of Culture, she was appointed curator of a Montreal/Québec event in Belgium, which presented over 80 Québec artists across many artistic disciplines. In 2015, she co-founded LA SERRE_arts vivants, a structuring incubator for emerging artists. Her experiences have given her a unique global view of artistic creation.

Martha Cooley

Executive Director, Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative

Martha Cooley is a filmmaker and arts administrator based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Martha’s career in the film and television industry began as Content Coordinator for the Independent Film Channel. She is currently the Executive Director of the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative, a non-profit resource center for independent filmmakers. Martha is a recipient of the 2011 Canadian Progress Club Women of Excellence Award in the Arts and Culture Division.

Kate Cornell

Executive Director, Canadian Dance Assembly

Kate Cornell is proud to be the Executive Director of the CDA and the Co-Chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition/ la Coalition canadienne des arts. She has collaborated with the local, provincial, and national dance community for more than twenty years. Kate has worked in arts administration for a range of organizations including: the Canada Dance Festival, Toronto Dance Theatre, Dance Ontario, the CanAsian International Dance Festival, Canadian Society for Dance Studies/La société canadienne d’études en danse, DanceWorks and many more. With a PhD in Communication and Culture, her graduate research focused on Canadian cultural policy on dance at the federal level.

Pip Day

Director/Curator, SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art

Pip Day (b. UK; lives in Montréal)
As Director/Curator at SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art in Montréal since 2012, Pip has collaborated with numerous practitioners across disciplines to re-conceive the institution, generating a program of exhibitions, actions, events and pedagogical platforms that confront the seemingly entrenched parameters of political life and colonial legacies. The transformative potential of creative action lies at the heart of SBC’s work over the past four years on the topics of Sovereignty and Água Viva.

Prior to coming to Montréal, Pip worked as an independent curator, writer and educator in the arts primarily in Mexico City, New York and London. In 2003 she founded teratoma the first graduate level curatorial studies program in Latin America and RIM, an international residency program for curators, artists and critics in Mexico City. There she also established el instituto, an organization dedicated to culture, politics, activism and research, which generated exhibitions and events such as Spatial Practices in Revolution and Talk Show. This work was partly supported through Pip’s Andy Warhol Foundation Curatorial Research Fellowship which she received in 2011. She has published numerous texts on art and culture, has taught in curatorial Masters programs at Bard College and at Goldsmiths College, and has lectured widely in university and other cultural contexts. In the late 90s Pip worked as Curator at Artists Space in New York.

She obtained her B.A. in Art History from University of Toronto and her M.A. in Curatorial Studies from Bard College.

Pip is a member of the curatorial team for the SITElines biennial in Santa Fe, taking place in July 2016.

Graham Devlin

Cultural consultant

Graham Devlin CBE is a creative artist, senior arts manager and cultural strategist. He was a stage director and writer before becoming Deputy Secretary General and Acting Chief Executive of the Arts Council of England. He ran the successful new writing and music-theatre company, Major Road, for over 20 years whilst also working in dance and opera, directing and writing freelance for, amongst others, the National Theatre, Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne, Sydney Opera House and the Aldeburgh Festival. Overall, he has directed more than 90 theatre shows.

He has served on numerous Arts Council and Government committees and worked for many public agencies, including all four UK Arts Councils and a number of government departments in England, Scotland and Wales and local authorities such as London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. His international consultancy includes projects in the USA, Australia, India, Hong Kong and across Europe. Other clients include the British Council, IFACCA, The National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Edinburgh Festivals, the Royal Opera House, the London Symphony Orchestra, the V&A, The Science Museum and National Theatre of Scotland. He also lectures and has authored or co-authored a number of publications.

Mo Dhaliwal

Director of Strategy, Skyrocket Digital

Educated in business, Mo Dhaliwal began his career working in the technology sector, including software development and Internet marketing in Silicon Valley. As a patron of the arts and producer of cultural events, Mo has worked to shatter barriers between people and encourage cross-cultural understanding, most notably through the creation of the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society. Mo currently sits on the boards of the Vancouver Opera and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and as Director of Strategy for Skyrocket Digital, he continues to collaborate with creative minds across the country creating moving experiences for clients and community. Mo has been recognized for his contributions by Business for the Arts as the national recipient of the Arnold Edinborough Award, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and, most recently, a Mayor’s Arts Award for “Board Member of the Year”.

Sara Diamond

President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University

Dr. Diamond is the President of OCAD University. She holds a PhD in Computing, Information Technology and Engineering from the University of East London, a Masters in Digital Media theory from the University of Arts London and Honours Bachelors of Arts in History and Communications from Simon Fraser University. She is an appointee of the Order of Ontario and the Royal Canadian Society of Artists, and a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Media.

While retaining OCAD University’s traditional strengths in art and design, Diamond has guided the university in becoming a leader in digital media, design research and curriculum, new research in Inclusive Design, health and design, as well as in sustainable technologies. She also played a leading role in establishing the University’s Indigenous Visual Culture Program.

She is a data visualization, wearable technology and mobile media researcher, artist, designer and scientist. She holds funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council and and continues to write and lecture on the subjects of digital media history and practice, visual analytics, mobility and design strategy for peer-reviewed journals. Her artwork is held by collections such as the Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Canada.

Roxanne Duncan

Managing Director, PuSh Festival

Roxanne Duncan has been Managing Director of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival since June 2014. She is a key member of the organization’s senior management team, and played a leadership role in the creation of the Festival’s new co-located facility.

Prior to joining PuSh, Ms Duncan was Managing Director of The Theatre Centre, where she was a key member of the management team responsible for the creation of its $6.2 million live arts hub in Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood.

Her career began in Edinburgh in 2005 working with Aurora Nova and Paul Lucas Productions. She relocated to Toronto in 2007 where she worked with a range of remarkable Toronto-based companies including Volcano Theatre, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Dreamwalker Dance, Acting Upstage, Why Not Theatre, Company Theatre, and was a member of the Development Department at Soulpepper.

Andrew Dunn

Incoming Chair, McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Andrew W. Dunn is the Founder and Managing Partner of Canadian Shield Capital, a private equity investment and advisory firm focused on building great Canadian businesses with strong management teams.

Andrew began his career at Deloitte, where he spent 27 years, ultimately serving as Vice Chair of Deloitte Canada and Chair of its Client Cabinet, responsible for the firm’s largest client and government relationships. He played numerous roles on the firm’s Canadian and global executive teams, including Managing Partner of Tax in Canada. Andrew co-authored The Future of Productivity, research aimed at improving business productivity. Andrew has delivered expert testimony before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance and the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce. His love for business and entrepreneurial spirit lead him to co-found Altas Partners in 2012, serving initially as Chief Operating Officer and Co-Managing Partner.

Andrew serves on the boards of the Children’s Aid Foundation, the Upper Canada College Foundation, and a number of public and private companies, including Hatch, Canada’s largest private engineering company. He is a Chartered Accountant (FCPA, FCA) and holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Accounting from the University of Waterloo. Andrew and his wife, Christine, live in Toronto with their two sons, Charlie and Liam.

Adrian Ellis

Director, AEA Consulting

Adrian Ellis is the founding director of AEA Consulting ( and co-founder of the Global Cultural Districts Network (

AEA, established in 1990, is a leading cultural consultancy with offices in London and New York. Clients include foundations, government agencies and leading cultural organizations throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas including Barbican Arts Centre (London), the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation (New York), the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the League of American Orchestras (New York …and…the Banff Centre (Alberta).

Adrian returned to his AEA at the beginning of 2012, after serving as Executive Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center from 2007. Prior to founding AEA, he was Executive Director of The Conran Foundation (1986 – 1990), where he was responsible for planning the establishment of the Design Museum in London .

Adrian has served on the boards of the National Museum of Wales, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), and the Kaufman Center (New York). He was a Scholar in Residence at Teachers College, Columbia.v In 2012, he was named a “Jazz Hero of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Tenio Evangelista

President, Board of Directors, Harbourfront Centre

Tenio Evangelista is responsible for government relations at Borealis Infrastructure. He joined Borealis in September 2003 and is based in the Toronto head office.

Tenio has more than 13 years of government experience and was a senior advisor to two federal Cabinet Ministers and Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. He played a key government role in the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Project, the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid and various provincial infrastructure programs.

Graham Flack

Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

Graham Flack became Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage in July 2014, returning to the department where he started as a summer student.

In 1995 Graham joined the Privy Council Office to work on the Quebec referendum campaign, Secession Reference and Clarity Act and became its Director of Strategic and Legal Affairs. Following 9/11, he became Director of Operations responsible for developing and implementing the Canada-US Smart Borders Declaration and Action Plan and for developing Canada’s National Security Policy – Securing an Open Society.

In 2005, Graham joined Natural Resources Canada as Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of Energy Policy where he supported negotiations around the Mackenzie and Alaska pipelines and worked on files ranging from climate change to the response to the North American electricity blackout.

In 2006, he joined the Department of Finance as Assistant Deputy Minister, International Trade and Finance where he worked on international development, trade and finance issues including the G7 and G20 response to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

From 2010 to 2013, he was Associate Deputy Minister then Acting Deputy Minister at Public Safety Canada whose mandate is to build a safe and resilient Canada by addressing risks such as natural disasters, crime and terrorism.

In 2013 and 2014, Graham was Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Plans and Consultations and Intergovernmental Affairs) at the Privy Council Office.

Graham was the founding chair of the Deputy Minister Committee on Policy Innovation. He is also Deputy Minister Champion for the Federal Youth Network and for Dalhousie University.

He developed and coordinated a government-wide recruitment program which over the last 14 years has attracted hundreds of exceptional Canadians to the federal public service and is a recipient of the Public Service Award of Excellence.

Graham received degrees in political science and economics from Dalhousie and Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is a former law clerk of the Supreme Court of Canada and graduated with an LL.B. from Dalhousie University and an LL.M. from Harvard University.

Jim Fleck, C.C.

Chairman of the Board, Business for the Arts
Chairman, Canadian Museum of History

Dr. James D. Fleck, C.C., earned a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and a D.B.A. from Harvard, before returning to Canada to help found the Faculty of Administrative Studies at York University. He has had a distinguished career in the private and government sectors as well as academia, serving as Secretary of Cabinet for Premier William Davis in the Government of Ontario. He is the founder and former CEO of Fleck Manufacturing Co. and has served on many corporate boards. An emeritus professor and recipient of an Honorary Degree from the University of Toronto, he was the President of the Art Gallery of Ontario and is Vice Chair of the Museum of Civilization, founder of the Toronto Music Garden and the Power Plant, and Chairman of the Harbourfront Foundation. Dr. Fleck received the Edmund C. Bovey Award for Leadership Support of the Arts in 2003 and was honoured with the Angel Award for Philanthropy in the Arts by the International Society of Performing Arts in 2009. Jim also received the Governor General’s Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts in 2009.

Patrick Foran

Producer / General Manager, Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland

Patrick Foran is a St. John’s based actor, theatre creator and the producer and General Manager for Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland. For Artistic Fraud he has produced the revival of Under Wraps, a national tour of Oil and Water and the premiere of The Colony of Unrequited Dreams and its upcoming tour. As the regional representative for PACT (Professional Association of Canadian Theatres) he assembled the professional theatres in the province for the inaugural meeting of the Association of Professional Theatres of Newfoundland and Labrador (APTNL). Through PACT and APT-NL Patrick has facilitated professional development workshops and co-chaired an Arts Advocacy campaign directed at the City of St. John’s.
As an actor, Patrick is drawn to political theatre and used his 2015 production of Michael Healey’s PROUD to spark a public conversation about The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. His current project is a devised physical theatre piece based on Franz Kafka’s diaries and letters titled “I looked at her closely.”
Patrick is a graduate of Memorial University’s Faculty of Business and George Brown Theatre School.

Leadership requires imagination, vision, ingenuity and above all, generosity. In my books, to lead is to help those who’ve helped you and create opportunities for the next generation.

Barbara Frum

Executive Director, Sharing Spaces

Barbara Frum is a dance producer and agent from Toronto, Canada. She developed her education in arts administration through internship positions at organizations including: The Luminato Festival (Toronto), Pomegranate Arts (New York) and Batsheva Dance Company (Tel Aviv). In 2013 Barbara founded “Sharing Spaces”, a Toronto-based dance production and management agency. Sharing Spaces currently partners with The Joyce Theater (New York) and Sunny Artist Management (Toronto) to produce new commissions for worldwide touring — including projects by American Ballet Theater principal dancer Daniil Simkin, the iconic Wendy Whelan, and Malpaso Dance Company (Havana). Sharing Spaces also currently represents an all-male dance company called MADBOOTS DANCE and independent dance artist Bobbi Jene Smith. Barbara is also interim chairman of the board of the Fall for Dance North Festival in Toronto. She is grateful for her connection with a festival focused on presenting both international and national companies in her home city.

Anita Gaffney

Executive Director, Stratford Festival

As Executive Director, Anita Gaffney works alongside the Artistic Director in setting the strategic and operational direction for the Stratford Festival. With a budget of $58 million, the Festival earns 95% of its revenue through ticket sales as well as ancillary and fundraising activities, making it one of the most self-sufficient cultural organizations on the continent.

Ms Gaffney joined the Festival in 1991 and over the past 21 years has held a variety of positions including Director of Marketing during the theatre’s years of peak attendance. She designed the Festival’s customer relationship marketing system, which remains in use today and has been emulated by arts organizations around the world. In addition to her marketing expertise, Ms Gaffney is highly regarded for her skills in government relations, finance, change management and strategic planning, honed during her years as the Festival’s Administrative Director.

In 2008 Ms Gaffney was selected to participate in the Governor General’s Leadership Conference, and in 2006 she received a Business Excellence Award for Personal Achievement from the Stratford and District Chamber of Commerce. She has an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University and has continued her executive education through Harvard Business School. She resides in Stratford with her husband, Kevin.

Dennis Garnhum

Artistic Director, Theatre Calgary

Dennis Garnhum has been Artistic Director of Theatre Calgary since 2005, presiding over the growth of the theatre’s subscriber base and the expansion of its education and new play development programs. He has directed nearly two dozen productions for Theatre Calgary, including the world premieres of The Little Prince – The Musical, Lost – A Memoir, Beyond Eden, and Timothy Findley’s The Wars. Other recent projects include King Lear (co-production with Bard on the Beach), The Philadelphia Story (in partnership with the Shaw Festival), and Major Barbara (co-production with American Conservatory Theater). Aside from his work at Theatre Calgary, Dennis has directed plays, musicals, and operas at companies across the country, including the Shaw Festival, the Stratford Festival, Tarragon Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Bard on the Beach, Vancouver Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Belfry Theatre, Neptune Theatre, and Theatre New Brunswick. His co-adaptation (with author Cathy Ostlere) of Lost – A Memoir was nominated for a 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award. Dennis is a recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee and a Calgary Award for Community Achievement in Arts.

Cathryn Gregor

Executive Director, Canada’s National Ballet School

Cathryn Gregor joined NBS in early 2013, having most recently held a position at Opera Lyra, Ottawa in 2012. Previously, Gregor was the Arts Investment Fund Program Officer at the Ontario Arts Council. Before that, she was Chief Operating Officer of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Director of Transition Planning for the renovation of the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts, one of Toronto’s seven cultural renaissance capital projects. She worked for ten years at the Canadian Opera Company, first as Director of Music Administration, then as Administrative Director for the whole company. She has worked with Tapestry New Opera, Soundstreams Canada, the Textile Museum of Canada, Opera Atelier, the 1989 International Choral Festival, the 1985 Bach 300 Festival, and CentreStage Music. In a volunteer capacity, Gregor was Chair of Queen of Puddings Music Theatre for nine years and a board member of Orchestras Canada and the Regent Park School of Music Foundation. She was also the Treasurer on the Board of Directors for ArtsBuild Ontario, an organization supporting the health of Ontario’s arts organisations by creating and realizing long-term solutions for their facility challenges.

Melissa Gruber

Senior Consultant, Global Public Affairs

Melissa Gruber recently joined Global Public Affairs as a Senior Consultant in their Cultural Industries Practice. Prior to that, Melissa worked for nine years’ in the nonprofit arts sector. She was the Advocacy and Communications Director for the Canadian Artists’ Representation (CARFAC) where she led CARFAC’s government relations initiatives as well as member and media relations. She has also worked in arts promotion at the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ottawa Fringe Festival, Geordie Theatre Productions and was a member of the Canadian Arts Coalition’s steering committee from 2008 until 2016.

Melissa has participated in various committees such as the Creator’s Copyright Coalition, Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario, the Canadian Conference of the Arts Election Readiness committee and the Visual Arts Alliance.

Fluently bilingual, Melissa has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and Creative Writing from Concordia University, a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from Loyalist College in Belleville and is a part time candidate for Canada’s first and only Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Carleton University.

Meegan Guest

VP, Planning and Communications, Cleveland Clinic Canada

Meegan Guest is the Vice President of Communications and Planning at Cleveland Clinic Canada. As part of the clinic’s leadership team, she is responsible for brand awareness, patient education and growth for the organization.

Fueled with a passion for helping people live healthy, active lives, Ms. Guest has over 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry.

Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Canada, Ms. Guest championed the cancer cause as the Senior National Marketing Manager for the Canadian Cancer Society and the Brand Manager for Cancer Treatment Centers of America, a network of cancer hospitals based in the United States.

When she isn’t working in healthcare, Ms. Guest is actively involved with the McMichael Canadian Art Collection as a Director in Training for the Board of Trustees as well as a supporter of women in leadership through the Women’s Executive Network.

Ms. Guest graduated from DePauw University in Indiana with a degree in Anthropology.
After graduation, she completed a two year management training program with Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Wayne Hambly

Board Chair, Confederation Centre

H. Wayne Hambly is President of Hambly Enterprises Ltd. operating Hambly’s BrandSource Home Furnishings and PEI Home and RV Centre, as well as President of Hambly Rentals Ltd. operating residential apartment buildings and land lease communities.

Mr. Hambly is very active in the Charlottetown business and philanthropic communities and has served in a number of leadership positions on Prince Edward Island, including Chairman of the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust since 1993, President of the Atlantic Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association, President of Canadian Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada 2007, District Governor 1999-2000 District 7820 of Rotary International, Past President of The Rotary Club of Charlottetown, The Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce, The United Way of PEI and past Vice President Atlantic Canada of United Centraide Canada. In 2014, Mr. Hambly received the honour of being named to the Order of Prince Edward Island as well as being named a Member of the Order of Canada.

Mr. Hambly is married to Wilma and has three children – Laura Jayne, Julie Ann, Mathew and two grandchildren.

Mark Hammond

CEO and Director of Programming, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Starting his career in the arts as stage manager for the Royal Ballet, London, Mark Hammond became Director of Programming in 1999 for Canada’s largest theatre, the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. In 2014, Mark was appointed CEO and has been instrumental in revitalizing the reputation of Toronto’s historical and cultural landmark venue, re-establishing financial stability and securing strategic partnerships with local, national and international non-profit and for-profit arts and entertainment communities. He has collaborated with some of the world’s leading arts organisations, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Kodo Drummers of Japan, Kirov Ballet and Luminato Festival. His commitment to local and national artists is demonstrated through presentations including The Art of Time Ensemble, Compagnie Marie Chouinard and through investment in partnerships with initiatives such as Fall for Dance North and Breakin’ Convention. The breadth and depth of his experience as artist manager (Dancemakers, Necessary Angel Theatre, La La La Human Steps), dance promoter, festival producer (Holland In Canada, Close Up on Japan, Antwerp-Culture Capital of Europe, National Arts Centre’s Canada Dance Festival), and grant officer (Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council) has earned him an international reputation in arts programming and management circuits as a straight talker with street smarts.

Jeff Herd

Executive Director, Royal Winnipeg Ballet

A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jeff Herd has nearly 40 years of experience producing and managing stage productions and companies across Canada, the United States and in Europe. He began his career at age 15 as an apprentice at Rainbow Stage, which then led to four successful years of freelance lighting design, production and stage management at theatres throughout Manitoba. In 1973 Herd joined the RWB as production stage manager, a position he held until 1980.

In the 1980s Herd travelled throughout Canada working in the field of design and production at a variety of organizations including Alberta Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, the Expo 1986 World Festival, the RWB and The National Ballet of Canada. In the 90s Herd’s career led him back to the RWB as Production Manager.

In 1997 Herd accepted the position of company manager for Cirque du Soleil’s O production based in Las Vegas. Herd’s work there led to an opportunity in Belgium and in 2007 he left Cirque to become general director at Dragone.

Now back in Winnipeg with his wife and family, Jeff Herd is bringing his diverse experience and training to the position of Executive Director at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Peter Herrndorf

President and CEO, National Arts Centre Corporation

Peter Herrndorf is the President and CEO of the National Arts Centre (appointed in 1999). Previously, he worked for the CBC (1965–83) in various positions, including vice president and general manager of English language radio and television networks, was publisher of Toronto Life magazine (1983–99), and served as chairman and CEO of TVOntario (1992–99).

Mr. Herrndorf currently serves on the board of directors of Luminato, Toronto’s Festival of Arts and Creativity; the honorary committee of the Power of the Arts National Forum; and the honorary leaders council of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver. He is the founding president of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation and has served on the boards of numerous other cultural organizations, including the Banff Television Festival, the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now the Canadian Museum of History), the CBC, the Performing Arts Center Consortium (PACC), the Stratford Festival, the Canadian Stage Company, the Canadian Arts Summit, and the Toronto Arts Awards Foundation. He is a former member of the governing council of the University of Toronto and the board of the University of Ottawa.

Peter Herrndorf is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Member of the Order of Ontario. He is a National Champion of the Trans Canada Trail, and the recipient of the inaugural Peter Herrndorf Arts Leadership Award (2015) presented by the national Business for the Arts organization in Toronto. He holds a BA in political science and English from the University of Manitoba, a law degree from Dalhousie University, and an MBA from Harvard University.

CJ Hervey

Executive Producer, Secret Location

CJ is an Executive Producer with the emerging platform content studio Secret Location. He has produced numerous new media campaigns for broadcasters and brands that have been honoured by The Emmy Awards, The Webby’s, SxSW Interactive Awards, Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

His career includes years spent in advertising and broadcast production where he produced television commercials for some of North America’s largest brands including Verizon, Comcast, AB/ImBev, Hilton Hotels, GM and others.

CJ holds a degree in Economics with a minor in fine art from the University of Western Ontario. He is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s New Media Lab a father of two, a long suffering Leafs fan and a street art addict.

Camilla Holland

General Manager, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre

Camilla Holland is the General Manager of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Canada’s first regional theatre. Prior to MTC, Camilla was the General Manager at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre. Camilla has worked for a wide variety of professional theatres across Toronto, including large institutions (Canadian Stage Company), theatre for young audiences (Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People), new play developers (Factory Theatre), and smaller creation-based companies (Volcano Theatre). She produced the SummerWorks Theatre Festival (1997 and 1998) and numerous independent productions. She was the Theatre Officer at the Toronto Arts Council for two years and has worked in education and outreach, marketing and fundraising, production and touring.

Camilla is currently a Board member for the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres and chairs PACT’s Advocacy portfolio and committee. She’s on the Board of Manitobans for the Arts, the National Theatre School, and Dalnavert Museum, and on the Steering Committee for the Canadian Arts Coalition.

Claire Hopkinson

Director & CEO, Toronto Arts Council & Foundation

Claire Hopkinson is recognized across the arts sector for her notable leadership skills, her abilities to forge collaborations and consensus and her inspiring vision to connect communities to the arts across Toronto.

As Director & CEO of Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation since 2005, she has led these sister organizations into a phase of transformative growth in funding and impact, innovation in strategy and delivery, and has brought about a greater understanding of art and artists’ roles in Toronto. Under her leadership the Neighbourhood Arts Network grew from an idea to include over 1,500 community engaged arts members. Claire has developed partnerships with Toronto’s Library, School and Museum systems to further the reach of the arts into underserved neighbourhoods and is introducing Arts in The Parks in the summer of 2016 to 50 parks across Toronto. To foster leadership development, she initiated a pioneering partnership with the Banff Centre to launch the TAC Cultural Leaders Lab. Recent initiatives such as Arts Facts and Arts Stats, and the Creative Champions Network are helping board volunteers become more effective advocates.

Prior to TAC, Claire spent over 25 years commissioning, developing and producing works of opera and theatre while at the helm of leading edge arts organizations. No stranger to risk and experimentation, she cut her teeth as on such new works as R. Murray Schafer’s site specific, experiential, night long opera RA. Her volunteer roles included Founding Chair of, Vice Chair of Opera America, and co-founder and President of Creative Trust.

Claire is the recipient of the national M. Joan Chalmers Award for Arts Administration (2001) and Theatre Ontario’s Sandra Tulloch Award for Innovation in the Arts (2006). She is currently a Co-Chair of the Expo Canada 2025 Steering Committee, which is exploring a bid to bring a World Expo to Toronto.

Carol Horne

Chief Marketing Officer, Confederation Centre

A consummate communicator, Carol has been managing talented marketing teams over the past 20 years. At the Canadian Tourism Commission and Tourism Prince Edward Island she was responsible for online communications, developing and managing websites and social media programs. Under her guidance, her marketing team at Tourism PEI also produced numerous first-quality print publications and award-winning marketing campaigns. While with the CTC in Vancouver, Carol took charge of GoMedia 2008, an international media marketplace in Quebec City, and she enjoys the challenge of finding original story content and sharing it with key influencers in digital, print and broadcast channels. She has also led national partnerships with NBC, American Express and Condé Nast, where US teams produced digital advertising, social media content, micro-sites and sweepstakes, blogger influencer programs, out-of-home and mobile advertising and event management.

Since taking on the role of Chief Marketing Officer at Confederation Centre of the Arts in 2012, Carol has been able to merge her love of arts and culture with her expertise in marketing and communications. For the Centre’s 50th anniversary in 2014, Carol led on a special commemorative project publishing an impressive coffee-table style book. Last year she managed the national media buy for the cross-Canada Sir John A. Tour. Carol’s team is also in charge of members, sponsors and donors as well as guest services. She enjoys the collaborative process and thrives on projects with multiple moving parts.

Sue Hoyle

Director, Clore Leadership Programme

Sue Hoyle OBE is Director of the Clore Leadership Programme. Since 2004, the Programme has provided intensive leadership development for over 1,500 experienced and emerging cultural leaders from across the UK and internationally, and governance training for arts organisations, museums and libraries.
Since 2010 Sue has also been Programme Adviser to the Advanced Cultural Leadership Programme at Hong Kong University and Evaluator/Adviser for ARThinkSouthAsia, which delivers training in arts management and cultural policy across eight countries in South Asia.

Sue’s extensive experience in the arts has included leadership of The Place as its Executive Director. She was Director of Dance and subsequently Deputy Secretary-General for Arts Council England, where she had responsibility for national arts strategies, policy, research and planning.

She has been a Trustee of the British Council (2008 – 14) and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and chaired the Boards of DV8 Physical Theatre and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Theatre.

Sue is a Cultural Fellow of King’s College London and Honorary Fellow of Falmouth University. She is co-author of a comparative study on arts funding in the UK and France, and was made a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques in 2010, in recognition of her contribution to French culture.

Claudine Hubert

Co-General Director and Artistic Director, OBORO

Claudine Hubert is Co-General and Artistic Director of OBORO, an artist-run centre based in Montreal (Canada) that supports production and exhibition of artistic practices in visual art and new media. She has been active in the centre since 2007, where she has curated exhibitions, edited publications and developed residency and education programs. Claudine is active in the defence of artists’ rights and sits on the board of Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) and Viva! Art Action performance art biennale. In 2005, she contributed to the founding of Third Space Gallery, an artist-run centre in Saint John, New Brunswick. She hold a BA in art history and translation from University of Montreal and completed a Master’s in Translation Studies at Concordia University in 2004. Claudine lives in Montreal with her husband and two children.

Cheryl Hudson

Managing Partner, Strategic Philanthropy, Michael Vukets & Associates

An acknowledged expert in strategic philanthropy. Cheryl collaborates with clients in designing effective philanthropic strategies that shift from short-term, less meaningful charitable giving to sustained, focused and high impact philanthropy.

In addition to her role with the firm, Cheryl currently serves as the Executive Director of the Michael and Karen Vukets Family Foundation.

Cheryl is on the Board of Directors of Health Arts Society Ontario, ART of Time, and Media Voice Generation’s Context with Lorna Dueck.

Barry Hughson

Executive Director, The National Ballet of Canada

Barry Hughson has served the performing arts field for 23 years as a professional arts executive. In 2014, he joined The National Ballet of Canada as Executive Director.

Mr. Hughson was previously Executive Director of Boston Ballet. Under Mr. Hughson’s leadership, Boston Ballet achieved several key milestones, including the retirement of its long term debt, completing a multi-million dollar renovation of the ballet’s headquarters and international tours to Canada, Spain, Finland and the UK, as well as raising more than $60 million dollars in contributed revenue.

As an arts advocate, consultant and educator, Mr. Hughson has had teaching and speaking engagements in the USA, Europe and South America. He is the Vice Chair of Dance/USA, North America’s largest service organization for professional dance. He is a founding member of Dance/USA’s National Leadership Council for Dance and has served as a mentor to emerging arts executives through the Institute for Leadership Training. In January 2015, in partnership with Dance/USA, Mr. Hughson spearheaded the first ever meeting of North American and European dance leaders, bringing together 22 administrators from nine countries for two days of meetings at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London. In Canada, Mr. Hughson is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Dance Assembly and serves on the Steering Committee for the Canadian Arts Summit.

Mr. Hughson began his career as a dancer with The Washington (DC) Ballet, where he performed classical and contemporary repertoire at the Kennedy Center and on tour throughout the world.

Sarah Iley

Manager of Culture, The City of Calgary

Sarah Iley is currently the Manager of Culture for the City of Calgary.
An active advocate for the arts, Sarah co-founded the Canadian Arts Summit, which she continues to serve as Co-Chair of its Advocacy Committee. She also helped to create two other significant national arts associations and continues to serve them, as a member of the Steering Committee of the Canadian Arts Coalition and as Secretary-Treasurer of Culture Days.
As Manager of Culture for The City of Calgary Sarah is responsible for the City’s investments in culture including the renowned Public Art program, some 300 annual festivals and events and the capital infrastructure program.
From 2005-2012 Sarah was Vice-President, Programming, of The Banff Centre. In that role she was directly responsible for all of the Centre’s work in the performing, visual, literary and media arts, including commissions and co-productions. She was also responsible for the leadership development programs.
Prior to joining The Banff Centre, Sarah was President and CEO of Business for the Arts, for a decade. During that time she designed the Artsvest program. Before that, she was the founding administrator of the Ontario Arts Council Foundation (OAC) and Manager of Developmental Services at OAC.

Jessie Inman

Chief Executive Officer, Confederation Centre

Jessie Inman is the Chief Executive Officer of the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The Centre is a national institution founded in 1964 as Canada’s Memorial to the Fathers of Confederation. It is a dynamic, multi-functional heritage and arts institution leading in Canada’s cultural landscape. Previously, Jessie was President and CEO of CarbonPartners Limited, based in Calgary, Alberta, a company dedicated to mitigating the effects of climate change and increasing energy security. Prior to this, Jessie spent 5 years as Managing Director and CEO of Cool Energy Limited in Perth, Australia, developing new technologies to capture CO2 during natural gas processing.

Jessie has more than 25 years experience in international marketing, business development and foreign direct investment. She has built companies and markets through her expertise in strategic and systematic management skills. Through her earlier roles with Foreign Affairs & International Trade Canada and Industry Canada, Jessie has had extensive involvement in the growth and development of service and technology companies in Canada, United States, Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia. While living in Indonesia for 10 years, she held the position of Canada’s Investment Advisor to Indonesia and later as President Director of Palliser Indonesia, she led the establishment of a large and complex manufacturing organization with multiple partners in Central and East Java.

Jessie’s undergraduate studies were in commerce, international marketing and leadership and were followed with a Masters in Business Administration, majoring in banking and finance. She is a member of the Board of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, Discover Charlottetown Inc., an advisor to PEI 2014 Inc., and on the Selection Committee for the Manning Awards based in Calgary. Previously she was on the Board of the YWCA in Calgary and on the Boards of many other organizations in Indonesia and Australia before returning to Canada. She is a Certified Corporate Director through the Canadian Institute of Directors.

Nancy Jain

Board Member, Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

Nancy Jain has over 20 years of international work experience in strategic consulting and industry, and is co-founder and President of a Toronto-based real estate development company that specializes in revitalizing old buildings by using sustainable technologies and design. Inspired by her passion for the arts, philanthropy and socio-economic issues, Jain recently completed her dissertation, The Art of the Residency, for an MA in Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art (United Kingdom), which complements her previous education in Industrial Engineering from University of Toronto, and an MBA from INSEAD (France). Jain currently serves on several non-profit boards: Power Plant Contemporary, Canadian Opera Company Ensemble, INSEAD Canada.

Ravi Jain

Founding Artistic Director, Why Not Theatre

Ravi Jain is a multi-award-winning actor, director, international producer and Artistic Director of Why Not Theatre. Under his leadership Why Not Theatre has become synonymous with innovative theatrical experiences which have toured the world. In recent years their RISER project, a unique producing models, which supports artists to make money from their art, has had a significant impact on the Toronto independent community. In 9 years Why Not has created over 20 collaborations performing on 5 continents, including the smash hit A Brimful of Asha, which stars Ravi and his real life mother (non-actor). Collaborations Ravi has fostered with Why Not Theatre include festivals such as Harbourfront’s World Stage Festival, Luminato Festival and The Pan Am Games Toronto2015 and international companies like The Tricycle Theatre (UK), Complicite (UK) and The SITI company (USA). Ravi was the inaugural Artistic Director in Residence at The Theatre Centre, and is currently a member of the Artistic Director’s Council at Soulpepper Theatre, and is also on the roster of clowns for Cirque du Soliel. Ravi was the director of the multi Dora nominated Accidental Death of an Anarchist at Soulpepper Theatre. This year Ravi will be directing, We are Proud to Present a Presentation of the Herero of Namibia (Theatre Centre), Salt Water Moon (Factory Theatre), Lisa Codrington’s A Black Girl in Search of God (The Shaw Festival), Like Mother Like Daughter (Espace Libre/Complicite Creative Learning/Koffler Centre), and The 39 Steps at Soulpepper Theatre.

“Be truthful, gentle and fearless” -M.K Gandhi

Tim Jennings

Executive Director/CEO, Shaw Festival

A respected and awarded theatre manager in both Canada and the United States, Executive Director Tim Jennings is recognized for his creativity, financial acumen, leadership skills and energy.

Beginning his career in theatre production management, Mr. Jennings became managing director of Toronto’s Roseneath Theatre in 2000, working alongside Artistic Director David S. Craig. In 2008, he assumed the role of managing director for Seattle Children’s Theatre and in 2011 was recruited to join the Tony Award-winning Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis (CTC) – the world’s largest regional theatre for families – as it’s managing director.

In each of his roles, Mr. Jennings increased revenue, built the theatre’s endowment, created new business alliances to enhance the reputation and scope of the company, and supported the visionary work of his artistic partners. He currently sits as Treasurer of the Board of TCG, the association for the American Theatre.

In addition to his management accomplishments in the theatre, Mr. Jennings has also taught Theatre Production at Toronto’s Ryerson University and at Humber College.

Seema Jethalal

Managing Director, Daniels Spectrum, Artscape

Seema Jethalal has over a decade of experience working collaboratively with grassroots and large-scale arts organizations. She unifies disparate groups to achieve shared purpose, addressing challenges creatively and respectfully, and gracefully empowers teams to amplify Canadian talent, bolster civic pride and overcome systemic barriers. Seema joined Artscape five years ago as the inaugural Managing Director of Daniels Spectrum, Regent Park’s cultural hub – a multi-award winning 60,000 square foot, purpose-built platform for creative exchange and expression. She serves as a Board member for Manifesto Community Projects – a non-profit youth arts organization – where she previously served as Managing Director. Seema recently stepped down from the Toronto Arts Council (TAC) Board of Directors when she was selected as a fellow for the TAC Cultural Leaders Lab program (produced in partnership with the Banff Centre). She also serves on the Ryerson City-Building Institute Advisory Committee and an informal programming advisory committee at Roy Thompson Hall & Massey Hall. In 2012 Seema was recognized as a rising city-builder and selected to participate in CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellows program. She has also worked with organizations and artists including ArtReach Toronto, Lord Cultural Resources, Ninja Tune Records, Luminato Festival, The Ward Museum, and Juno-nominated singer Zaki Ibrahim.

Peter Jewett

Chair Designate, Shaw Festival Theatre

“Peter Jewett is Senior Counsel at Torys LLP in Toronto. He practises a wide range of corporate and securities law. He has particular expertise advising senior management and boards of directors of major corporations and several not-for-profit organizations on a broad range of topics, including current issues of corporate governance. Peter is experienced with national and international mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. He has taught securities regulation in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and is a frequent speaker and panelist at conferences on securities law, corporate law and legal opinions. Peter devotes a substantial part of his time to not-for-profit organizations including being the Chair Designate of the Shaw Festival, the Chair of the Accounting Standards Oversight Council and the Chair of the Governance Committee of CAIS, the accrediting body of Canada’s major independent schools. He is married to Robin Campbell and has two daughters in their twenties, both attending the University of Toronto.”

Matthew Jocelyn

Artistic & General Director, Canadian Stage Company

o Matthew Jocelyn has worked extensively as an arts administrator, producer and director of theatre, dance and opera, as an opera librettist, translator of plays and as an educator. He became very active in the performing arts parallel to his university studies in Canada, France and England where he completed his formal studies at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. From 1998-2008, Matthew was the Artistic and General Director of the Atelier du Rhin in Colmar, a national drama centre in France, where he established it as a major centre for the production of theatre, opera, contemporary dance, and also as one of Europe’s foremost training centres for opera. Matthew was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture in July 2008. He was named Artistic & General Director of Canadian Stage in 2009, and has transformed the company into a creative home for many of Canada’s principal contemporary theatre and dance practitioners, putting their work in an international context of performing arts. In recognition of his significant contribution to theatre in Canada and internationally, Matthew received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Mount Allison University in May, 2015.

Mélanie Joly

Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage

A lawyer by training, Mélanie Joly is passionate about her city of Montréal and the power of positive politics.

Mélanie worked at two major law firms in Montréal before making the leap into communications, as a managing partner of the Montréal office of the international communications firm Cohn & Wolfe. Founder of Le Vrai Changement pour Montréal party, Mélanie ran for mayor of Montréal in 2013.

A firm believer in the importance of community involvement, Mélanie has served on numerous boards of directors, including those of the Régie des rentes du Québec, Fondation du CHUM, and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. She has also served as a spokesperson for Logis Rose-Virginie and as an ambassador for Herstreet.

Mélanie’s hard work has been recognized on many occasions. She was selected by Elle Québec as the 2008 Woman of the Year in the “up and coming” category, and was later honoured as the first Quebecer to receive the Arnold Edinborough Award for her involvement in the cultural community.

Mélanie holds an Honours Bachelor of Law from Université de Montréal and a Magister Juris in European and Comparative law from the University of Oxford.

Frédéric Julien

Director, Research and Development, Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA)

Frédéric Julien has been active in the performing arts for several years as an artist, a cultural manager and a consultant. He holds a Master’s degree in music, as well as a graduate diploma in project management. Frédéric has worked in the field of performing arts presentation at the department of Canadian Heritage, at Réseau Ontario and at the Canadian Arts Presenting Association, where he currently manages research and arts promotion activities. Frédéric has a keen interest in partnership development and cross-sector collaboration. He is Co-Chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition and chairs its Research and Policy Committee. He also represents the performing arts sector at the Canadian Coalition for Public Health in the 21st century, and he serves on the board of the Arts Health Network Canada.

Anthony Kiendl

Executive Director & CEO, MacKenzie Art Gallery

Anthony Kiendl is Executive Director and CEO of the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Born on Long Island, New York, Kiendl grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba where he was Executive Director of Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) from 2006 to 2013. At Plug In Kiendl led a major capital development project and construction of a new facility for arts and education co-owned by Plug In ICA and the University of Winnipeg which opened in 2010. Previously he was Director of Visual Arts at The Banff Centre from 2002 until 2006, and was Curator of the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina from 1997 to 2002.
In 2011 Kiendl was appointed curator of Contour: Biennale of the Moving Image in Mechelen, Belgium. In 2007 he was Leverhulme Visiting Research Fellow at Middlesex University, London, UK.
Kiendl studied at Concordia University, Montreal and School of Visual Arts, New York. He has published and lectured internationally; and co-organized panel presentations for Tate Modern, Tate Britain, and Art Brussels among others.

Henry Kim

Director and CEO, Aga Khan Museum

Henry S. Kim is Director and CEO of the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, a new museum devoted to Islamic Art that opened in September 2014. An ancient historian and classical archaeologist by training, Mr. Kim joined the Aga Khan Museum from the University of Oxford where he taught, curated collections and managed capital projects at the Ashmolean Museum from 1994 to 2012. Educated at Harvard and Oxford, he served as curator of Greek coins and university lecturer in Greek numismatics at the university. From 2004 to 2011, he was the Project Director for the Ashmolean Redevelopment Project, a £70 million redevelopment and transformation of the museum. Most recently, he was Director of the University Engagement Programme, a three-year project sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, aimed at expanding the use of the museum’s collections in teaching across the University. His publications include a number of articles on early money, particularly regarding the development of small change in Greece, on the development of numismatics in the 17th century, on the use of classical coins as sources for Renaissance medals and on the development of museums today.

Paul Larocque

President & CEO, Arts Umbrella

Paul Larocque recently assumed his post as President & CEO of Arts Umbrella, Canada’s visual and performing arts institute for young people. Arts Umbrella began in 1979 with four classes and 45 children. It has since grown to reach more than 21,500 children a year – with two-thirds participating through free outreach, bursary, and scholarship programs. With this new appointment, Paul is returning to Arts Umbrella where he previously held senior management positions in the late nineties and early 2000s.

Prior to his return to Arts Umbrella, Paul held the position of Associate Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery for more than a decade where his portfolio included administration, fundraising, government relations, strategic planning, education, and the Gallery’s relocation efforts.

With over three decades of involvement in the cultural sector, Paul is committed to promoting the importance of the arts and art education in our communities. He is an active member of Vancouver’s cultural community and has participated on the boards of several organizations including Volumes Project, Chor Leoni Men’s Choir and Boca del Lupo.

Pierre Lassonde

Chair, Board of Directors, Canada Council for the Arts

Mr. Lassonde’s career spans more than 30 years. In 1982, Mr. Lassonde co-founded the Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation, the first publicly traded gold company, which was also recognized for its innovative business model. In 2002, the company merged with Newmont Mining Corp to become the world’s largest mining company. He led the start-up of both Metallica Resources and Enghouse Systems Ltd, for which he is a leading shareholder and Director of the company. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Lassonde also acted as Chairman of the World Gold Council. He is the author of The Gold Book: The Complete Investment Guide to Precious Metals, published in 1990 and was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in January 2013.

Mr. Lassonde is an active and engaged philanthropist in both Canada and the United States in the fields of Education, the Arts. He sat on the Board of Directors of Opera Colorado from 2003 to 2008 and is also currently Chairman of the Board of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) (since 2006). Over the years, he has generously donated to institutions such as the University of Toronto, College Marie-Clarac, the University of Utah, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Western Ontario, Ryerson and York University as well as the MNBAQ.

Mr. Lassonde has a B.A., University of Montreal 1967, a BSc Electrical Engineering from Polytechnique, Montreal 1971 and an MBA, University of Utah, 1973. He received his P.Eng. Ontario designation in 1976 and CFA designation from CFA Institute, 1984. He holds honorary Ph.D’s in Engineering from the Universities of Toronto, Montreal and Ryerson, Doctor of Business, University of Utah and received an Honorary Doctor of Law from York University, June 2014.

He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2002 and Officer of the Quebec Order in 2008.

Pierre Lassonde has been appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for the Arts for a five-year term effective July 28, 2015 to July 27, 2020.

Janelle Lassonde

JANELLE MUNTZ LASSONDE formerly served as Director of Credit Risk at UBS Warburg, based in London and Johannesburg, where she led the investment bank’s mining and sub-Saharan Africa portfolios. Today she is a freelance writer with articles appearing in Maclean’s, Motor Boat & Yachting and, and her blog French Lessons was highlighted in Vanity Fair. She is the current chair of microfinance organization Opportunity International’s Schools of Opportunity campaign; she is also an accomplished flutist and a foundation board member of The Walrus, Canada’s long-form journalism magazine. Lassonde holds a B.A. from Northwestern University, an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, and a Master’s in Economics from the London School of Economics. With her husband, 11-year-old daughter and puppy, she splits her home base between Toronto and Antibes (France).

Tammy Lee

Founder and CEO, Culture Creates

I believe that when we work together, incredible things can happen. We can change the world. No matter what industry or sector, our efforts ought to be focused on ideas that develop as many mutually beneficial initiatives for as many partners as possible. Let’s connect the dots.

It just happens that I am a career arts administrator and for more than 27 years I’ve had the chance to work with some pretty amazing people and have helped develop some outstanding companies, projects and events.

Today, I am testing the belief that the performing arts can learn a great deal from how start-ups pivot and innovate and I am on a mission to prepare the arts & culture sector, the best way I can, to embrace the economic models of the 21st century.
We can be resilient, even if only incrementally.

Marc Lemay

Direteur général, Politique des Arts – Patrimoine Canadien

Marc Lemay was appointed as the Director General of the Arts Policy Branch at the Department of Canadian Heritage in December 2012. In this role, he contributes to the development of Canadian cultural policy with a specific responsibility for the arts. Leading a team of over 40 staff, he is responsible for policy, programs, and selected legislation in support of federal government objectives to encourage excellence in creation, strengthen access to the arts, and foster an environment that strengthens the resilience of arts organizations. Federal programs administered by the Arts Policy Branch provide grants and contributions valued at over $100 million annually to arts and heritage organizations. These programs provide support for physical infrastructure improvements and specialized equipment purchases, professional presentation of festivals and arts series, matching endowment incentives and other strategic investments, as well as support for over three dozen institutions providing the highest calibre of arts training to the next generation of Canada’s artistic leaders.

Before joining the Arts Policy Branch, Marc was the Regional Executive Director for the Quebec region of the Department of Canadian Heritage since 2001 where he was one of the key players in the implementation of the Department’s mandate in the Quebec region. He has over 24 years of experience in the Public Service of Canada and has worked in different departments and central agencies.

Marc holds a Diplôme d’étude approfondies in public policy and administration from l’Institut d’études politiques de Paris. Mr. Lemay also holds a Masters and Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the Université de Montréal.

Leslie Lester

Executive Director, Soulpepper Theatre Company

This is Leslie’s 15th season with Soulpepper as Executive Director as well as the concurrent role of Managing Director for its multi venue home the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.

Soulpepper has an integrated mission which includes: industry-leading youth outreach initiatives; the Soulpepper Academy, Canada’s only multi-year paid professional training program for theatre artists of all disciplines; and a year-round diverse repertory season which is grounded in the classics and committed to the creation of new works, new forms, and innovative practices.

Leslie’s background includes producing for VideoCabaret (1991-98) Nightwood Theatre (1994-2001), as well as independent multi-disciplinary projects including the world premiere, national tour and television special of Beatrice Chancy: The Opera for The Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company.

She has also produced several Benefits for PEN Canada, participated in the peer jury process at the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts and has served on the Community Advisory Committee for the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre, Toronto which opened in Fall 2012.

Leslie received the Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for performing arts administrators from the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts in conjunction with the 2012 Dora Mavor Moore Awards.

Anika Lirette

Artist, Théâtre Alacenne

Freelance Artist. Bilingual Actress for theatre and television. Artistic Director for Theatre Alacenne and other events. Visionary. Documentary Researcher, Writer and Director. Passionate for First Nations spirituality. Event Organizer and Stage Manager. World traveler. Believe in mediation through arts. Values the environment. Host. Workshop Animator. Coordinator. Proud Acadian. Writer. Director. Creator. I have lived in places like Ukraine, Croatia, the Maskwacis First Nation reserve, Newfoundland and Labrador and participated in all kinds of workshops in the USA. I have been tour guide in New York and worked on events like the Canada Games or the IAAF World Junior Championship.

Artiste à la pige. Comédienne bilingue pour le théâtre et pour la télévision. Directrice artistique du Théâtre Alacenne et autres événements. Recherchiste, scénariste et réalisatrice de documentaires. Visionnaire. Passionnée pour la spiritualité des premières nations. Organisatrice et régisseur d’événementiel. Voyageuse dans l’âme. Médiatrice par l’entremise des arts. Valorise l’environnement. Animatrice. Animatrice d’ateliers. Coordinatrice. Acadienne fière. Écrivaine. Metteur en scène. Créatrice. J’ai vécu en Ukraine, en Croatie, sur la réserve de Maskwacis en Alberta, à Terre-neuve et Labrador et participé à plusieurs ateliers aux États-Unis. J’ai été guide touristique à New York et j’ai travaillé à l’organisation d’événements comme les Jeux du Canada ou les Championnats du monde juniors d’athlétisme.

Shannon Litzenberger

Project Manager, The Canadian Arts Summit

Shannon Litzenberger is Toronto-based contemporary dancer, choreographer, writer, director, arts advocate and consultant. Through the creative umbrella of her company Shannon Litzenberger Contemporary Dance, creates innovative multi-disciplinary productions that explore timely social issues using contemporary dance in concert with other mediums like storytelling, film, visual art and poetry. An imaginative creator, she often develops unique collaborations across art forms and communities, connecting people with artistic experiences through engagement in creative process. She has worked with some of Canada’s leading artists including Marie-Josée Chartier, David Earle, Lorna Crozier, Michael Greyeyes, Susie Burpee and David Pressault, among others.

As an advocate, volunteer and consultant, Shannon also works with many cultural organizations including Business for the Arts, the Canadian Arts Summit, Culture Days, the Laidlaw Foundation, Dance Umbrella of Ontario, the Canadian Arts Coalition, and others. In 2010 she was named the first-ever Metcalf Arts Policy Fellow. A thought leader in her field, she has published over 100 articles on arts policy through contributions to local, national and international publications including The Dance Current, Dance UK News, Culture Days: Culture 365, The Mark News, ArtsUSA’s ARTSblog, and The Arts Policy Diaries. Shannon was the 2012 recipient of the Jack McAllister Award for accomplishment in dance.

Donna Livingstone

President & CEO, Glenbow Museum

Donna Livingstone was appointed President and CEO of Glenbow in May 2013.

She came to Glenbow from the University of Calgary where she served as the new Director of Cultural and Community Programs with Libraries and Cultural Resources. In this position, she explored ways to showcase the rich digital resources of the new Taylor Family Digital Library, the Nickle Galleries, and the diverse collections of Libraries and Cultural Resources.

Donna joined the University of Calgary in 2008 as Director of the University of Calgary Press. Under her leadership, the Press initiated a new vision of “Making a difference. Making you think.” and is now playing a leading role in open access publishing. Under her leadership, the Press was named Alberta Book Publisher of the Year in 2012.

Donna has wide experience in change management in nonprofit organizations in western Canada. As Executive Director of the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and Planetarium in Vancouver for five years, she introduced new programming with an emphasis on sustainability – “putting the planet back into planetarium.”

Donna plays an active role in cultural planning in Alberta and has served on several regional and national boards and committees.

Christina Loewen

Executive Director, Arts Accelerator

In January 2015, Christina led the pilot program, Lean Arts, in partnership with the Performing Arts Alliance, The Working Group and MaRS, with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Based on its success, she co-founded the Arts Accelerator ( a new not-for-profit that supports innovation in the arts by equipping, empowering and activating cultural entrepreneurs with tools and strategies to build successful artistic enterprises based on validated audience feedback.

Christina also currently serves as Executive Director of, the association for opera in Canada where she has delivered change management programming for the sector along such themes as resilience and system thinking, capitalization, design thinking, and social innovation.

Her 18 year career in the performing arts has encompassed senior positions in opera, music, and dance. Before, she was Managing Director for Danny Grossman Dance, Director of Touring for Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Director of Marketing with Opera Ontario.

Chris Lorway

Director, Programming & Marketing, Massey Hall & Roy Thomson Hall

Chris Lorway is Director of Programming and Marketing at the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. Previously, Chris was the Executive Director of Soundstreams, a Canadian music presenter that commissions and showcases the work of contemporary composers. Prior to this, Chris spent five seasons as the founding Artistic Director of the Luminato Festival where he shaped and implemented the festival’s artistic vision and program.

Before Luminato, Chris was a Senior Consultant at AEA Consulting, where projects included a study for the Edinburgh Festivals on how to remain competitive in a global festival marketplace. Chris also worked on a number of international events including the Lincoln Center Festival, The New Yorker Festival and the Celtic Colours International Festival. Chris holds a MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University, and a BMusEd from Western University. He has lectured on cultural leadership for the Clore Duffield Leadership Programme in the UK and the Advanced Cultural Leadership Programme in Hong Kong

Josh MacFadden

Past Chair, MacKenzie Art Gallery

Josh MacFadden is currently serving as Past President of the MacKenzie Art Gallery Board of Trustees, furthering his commitment as an active volunteer in the Saskatchewan arts and culture sector. Josh is also Senior Legal Counsel for Brandt Group of Companies, focussing on legal matters ranging from corporate transactions to intellectual property protection. In addition, he has contributed to a number of provincial and national committees to advance public education and awareness of legal issues relating to social media, technology and intellectual property.

Michèle Maheux

Executive Director/COO, Toronto International Film Festival

Michèle Maheux is the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for TIFF and is celebrating her 25th year with the organization where she is responsible for all business operations of the $44 million cultural charity – including TIFF Bell Lightbox, the year-round home of TIFF.

Maheux has been a member of provincial, municipal, industry and arts organization committees, and has served as a juror at international film festivals and as a mentor within the industry. In December 2011 she was recognized by WXN among the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada and in September 2012 she was awarded, with Piers Handling, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She is Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of Ryerson University and is a Director of the Movie Theatre Association of Canada

Mitchell Marcus

Artistic & Managing Director, Acting Up Stage Company

Mitchell is the founder and Artistic & Managing Director of Acting Up Stage Company – Toronto’s leading not-for-profit musical theatre company. Under his leadership, Acting Up Stage Company has produced and executed an annual program for the last twelve years consisting of contemporary musicals, national tours, concerts, youth programming, and artist training, resulting in an annual attendance of over 10,000 people, 45 Dora Award nominations, 9 Dora Awards and 10 Toronto Theatre Critics’ Awards. Mitchell also conceived, managed and produced the 2014 and 2015 “Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize For Nonfiction” Gala at the Art Gallery of Ontario. For six years, he was the Associate Producer of Luminato, producing over 100 productions for one of the preeminent arts festivals in North America. Mitchell is also an educator of the next generation of arts administrators and artists through his role as the ACM Fellow in Arts Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, instructor at Ryerson University in the Theatre Production program and faculty member at the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. Mitchell is an adviser to the Metcalf Foundation’s Creative Strategies Incubator Program, Sheridan College and the Canadian Musical Theatre Writers Collective.

Jackie Maxwell

Artistic Director, Shaw Festival Theatre

Jackie Maxwell, celebrated director and dramaturge, is in her fourteenth and final season as Artistic Director. In 2016, Ms. Maxwell will direct Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and playwright Annie Baker’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Other highlights include her productions of The Divine, Ragtime, Come Back Little Sheba, Saint Joan, Age of Arousal, Major Barbara and Gypsy.

Born and educated in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Jackie Maxwell studied Drama at the University of Manchester. She acted in Ireland and England before coming to Canada in 1978. Throughout her varied career in Canada, Ms. Maxwell has worked extensively as a freelance director and been instrumental in programme creation at many theatre companies. She first worked in Canada for the National Arts Centre; in 1982, she became Associate Director at Factory Theatre and later became Artistic Director (1986 to 1994). While at Factory, Ms. Maxwell created, developed and produced works by some of Canada’s most respected and vital playwrights.

Ms. Maxwell is the recipient of numerous awards for her achievements in Canadian Theatre including the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Queen’s University, National Theatre School’s prestigious Gascon-Thomas Award (2005), honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities from the University of Windsor (2007), and in 2016 she was invested into the Order of Ontario for her “inspired, creative and imaginative leadership” of The Shaw.

Jim McLandress

Chair, Board of Trustees, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre

Jim is Chair of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s Board of Trustees. His love affair with theatre began at MTC (as it when was) in high school and has been nurtured by his long association with Artistic Director Steven Schipper and more recently GM Camilla Holland.

During the day Jim is General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at the Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc. []. He also works as an arbitrator through his company, Blairgowrie Consulting Ltd. []. He’s been in private and in-house practice for over 25 years, including ten years as a courtroom lawyer and eleven as General Counsel to the Canadian Wheat Board. Jim has extensive corporate governance experience having served over 15 years as a director or trustee in various boardroom settings and holds his “ICD.D” designation from the Canadian Institute of Corporate Directors. He’s currently an elected member of the legal profession’s governing body, Vice-Chair of Legal Aid Manitoba, Past-Chair of the ICD (Manitoba) and an Executive member of the Board of Directors of St. Mary’s Academy. Jim also teaches at the University of Manitoba Law School. Jim is lucky enough to share life in Winnipeg with his wife, two kids, two dogs and one lizard.

Alexia McKinnon

Indigenous Community Projects, Programs and Initiatives Lead, The Banff Centre

I am curious, passionate and kind. I enjoy meeting people, learning their stories and guiding them toward finding their gifts. I am dedicated to discovering paths toward integrating indigenous wisdom into our contemporary world. My other passion projects are to nurture and support processes to enhance creativity, imagination and play within nature based schools and to create cross cultural inclusion learning opportunities involving elders and youth.

Ameet Mehta

Co-Founder, The Arts Accelerator

Ameet Mehta is a serial entrepreneur, business coach and innovation catalyst. His recent focus has been on innovation and collaboration capabilities within teams, large organizations and systems.

Through his role as mentor for the Lean Performing Arts pilot and co-founder of the Arts Accelerator (, he is inspired by the potential benefits of cross-pollinating methods, ideas and networks from other sectors through experiential learning, mentorship and ecosystem development.

Ameet co-founded Rawlings Atlantic in 2001, a London/Toronto-based, global consultancy firm that provides C-level strategic and operational advisory services to large as well as emerging companies, focusing on business start-up and turnaround, strategic growth/business development, and transaction support.

He has worked or consulted with Deloitte, Bank of Montreal, Samsung, UK Trade and Investment, My Healthcare Innovation, MaRS (healthcare), Health Strategy Innovation Cell, Defcom Information Security Services, and Sun Microsystems on innovation-related projects. Ameet has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Bill Millerd

Artistic Director, Arts Club Theatre Company

Since 1972, Bill has been the Artistic Managing Director of the Arts Club Theatre Company. During his time with the company, Bill expanded operations to include year-round programming and regional tours. Bill oversaw the construction the Granville Island Stage (1979), the Revue Stage (1983), historic Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (1998) and the Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre (2015). During his tenure, 500+ plays have been produced, over 100 of which Bill has directed. Under Bill’s leadership, the theatre has staged over 120 Canadian works, including more than 85 premieres of new Canadian plays.

Bill is a Governor of the National Theatre School of Canada, has received both a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for Career Achievement and the Mayor’s Arts Award, and is a member of the Order of Canada. He has been awarded an Alumni Award of Distinction and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from UBC and was presented with a Tourism Vancouver Lifetime Achievement Award.

Emily Molnar

Artistic Director, Ballet BC

Emily Molnar, Artistic Director of Ballet BC since 2009, continues to steer the unique company of 17 dancers into an era of innovation and collaboration. Named The Globe and Mail’s 2013 “Dance Artist of the Year”. Molnar is a recipient of the 2015 BC Community Achievement Award and the 2015 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Art, Culture and Design. She is a graduate of the National Ballet School and a former member of the National Ballet of Canada, a soloist with the Frankfurt Ballet under director William Forsythe, and a principal dancer with Ballet BC. As an internationally respected and critically acclaimed dance artist and choreographer, Molnar has worked and toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. Molnar currently serves as a Director on the Board of the BC Arts Council and is a committee member of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies Arts Based Initiative. In addition to her work with Ballet BC, Molnar has recently been appointed sessional Artistic Director of Dance at The Banff Centre, a new position designed to guide and inform all Banff Centre dance initiatives throughout the year in collaboration with the Canadian and International dance community.

Heather Moore

Producer and Executive Director, Canada Scene, National Arts Centre Corporation

Heather Moore
Producer and Executive Director, Canada Scene

Heather joined the NAC in 1994 and has held a series of positions of increasing responsibility.
She is currently the Producer and Executive Director of Canada Scene, one of the National Arts Centre’s most important national artistic projects.

Heather holds a B.A. in Music (University of Toronto) and a Master’s in Arts (Carleton) where she did her thesis on the impact of corporate sponsorship on Canadian orchestras.

After working at the Montreal Symphony, the Canadian Film Institute and the Ottawa Arts Centre Foundation, Heather joined the NAC as a Marketing specialist for the NAC Orchestra, eventually becoming the NAC’s Director of Marketing. Under her leadership, the NAC attained its highest-ever subscription levels, with more than 35,000 subscribers in the 2002-2003 season.

In 2004, she was named Producer and Executive Director of Alberta Scene (2005), and subsequently produced Quebec Scene (2007), BC Scene (2009), Prairie Scene (2011), Northern Scene (2013) and Ontario Scene (2015).

As Producer for the Scene festivals, Heather has worked with hundreds of artistic partners to create one of Canada’s leading multi-disciplinary arts festivals, with a reputation for making a major impact on the careers of Canada’s most talented established and emerging artists.

In addition to her work as a member of the NAC’s artistic leadership team, Heather also co-chaired the development of the NAC’s new strategic plan. On a volunteer basis, she served as Co-Director for Special Events for the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships.

Valerie Morelli

Events Coordinator, Business for the Arts

Valerie Morelli earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Post-Degree Diploma in Arts Management from Western University. Since joining Business for the Arts in 2014 she has helped plan, promote and coordinate the annual Canadian Arts Summit and The Canadian Arts and Business Awards while working closely with national event stakeholders including sponsors, donors, patrons, and business members who support the arts.

Prior to joining Business for the Arts, Valerie held roles in fundraising and marketing departments at a number of Canadian arts organizations including Luminato Festival, Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage, and The Grand Theatre.

In addition to her passion for Arts Management, Valerie regularly attends theatre productions, galleries, recitals, and festivals. She also enjoys baking and casually painting.

Chad Newcombe

Chair, Theatre Calgary

Chadwick Newcombe is a third generation Calgarian, born in the same hospital as his father.
But for a few short stints as a child in Vancouver and Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Mr. Newcombe has lived in Calgary his entire life, and obtained his Bachelor of Arts (English) and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Calgary, before being admitted to the Alberta Bar in 2001. Since 2001, Mr. Newcombe has engaged in the practice of law as a ligation lawyer with a general civil advocacy practice.
Outside of the practice of law, Mr. Newcombe is a proud father of three, with a commitment to his community and the arts. In addition to various legal volunteer work, he has served as a volunteer usher for Theatre Calgary for more than 20 years, and has sat on Theatre Calgary’s Board of Directors since 2009. This year, he became the Chair of Theatre Calgary’s Board of Directors. He loves theatre, music and dance, and believes that an essential part of a thriving society is a varied and exciting arts sector.

William Norris

Managing Director, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir

After gaining an MA in European Cultural Policy and Administration at the University of Warwick in 2000, William worked at the London Philharmonic Orchestra, in various Marketing roles from 2001-2005, launching the Orchestra’s successful student scheme, NOISE, the first of its type in London.

In over ten years with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, latterly in the role of Communications and Creative Programming Director, he developed The Night Shift, a ground-breaking late-night series attracting new, younger audiences to the OAE’s work, as well as reshaping the Orchestra’s public image and presiding over a 150% increase in ticket sales. William took up the role of Managing Director of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in October 2015.

During 2012-2013 William completed the prestigious Devos Fellowship at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC, and was additionally a 2014 Fellow of the International Society of Performing Arts.

A regular public speaker and writer, William has given presentations for the Association of British Orchestras, Association of French Orchestras, Royal College of Music, Mitos 21 Theatre Network, British Council (London and Brazil), Classical:Next and the Arts Marketing Association, as well as contributing to debates and writing for the Guardian and Spectator online and appearing in interviews for media including the BBC, CBC and NPR.

Mark O’Neill

President and CEO, Canadian Museum of History

Mark O’Neill is President and CEO of the federal Crown Corporation that operates the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum, Canada’s national museums of human and military history. The corporation also operates the Canadian Children’s Museum, the Virtual Museum of New France and the Virtual Museum of Canada.

Mr. O’Neill has led the Museums since June 2011, when he was appointed President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. Under his leadership, the Museums have placed new emphasis on telling the comprehensive story of Canada and its people from ancient times to the present day.

A native of Toronto, Mr. O’Neill grew up in Ottawa and attended Carleton University, where he studied political science and Canadian studies. He is a community volunteer and was presented with the Mayor’s City Builder Award in 2013 for his outstanding community service and public advocacy leading to the implementation of the 911 emergency phone number, advanced-care paramedic system and the adoption of mandatory CPR training in local schools in Ottawa.

Sean O’Neill

Associate Director, Adult Programming & Partnerships | Art Gallery of Ontario; Host, Crash Gallery | CBC

Sean O’Neill is the Associate Director of Adult Programming and Partnerships at the Art Gallery of Ontario, where he oversees talks, screenings, performances, studio courses, cross-disciplinary programs and special events for adult audiences, along with special initiatives such as the Gallery’s Artist-in-Residence program and the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize. In 2012, Sean led the launch of the Gallery’s successful First Thursdays program, which has drawn thousands of new visitors to the AGO.

In 2015, Sean hosted Crash Gallery, a limited-run series on CBC that takes a fun, irreverent look at the creative process through challenges inspired by movements in art history. In 2011, Sean co-founded the performance collective Events in Real Time with artist Liz Peterson. The collective has created multiple performance-based projects, including Express Yourself, which was presented in Toronto and New York and won the SummerWorks Festival Jury Prize for Risk and Innovation. 

Sean sits on the board of Gallery TPW, and in 2014 was named one of the Canadian art community’s “Top 30 under 30” by ArtInfo. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto.

Kevin A Ormsby

Artistic Director | KasheDance; Program Manager | CPAMO

Artistic Director of KasheDance, choreographer, movement coach and Arts Marketing Consultant. The Toronto Arts Council’s Cultural Leaders Lab Fellow (2015) and The Canada Council for the Arts’ Victor Martyn Lynch – Staunton Award 2014 recipient for outstanding achievement by a mid career artist, he has many interests in the creative practice and administration in dance, and has honed his passion for dance, advocacy, writing and education while performing with various companies and projects in Canada, the Caribbean and the United States. Kevin is an adjunct artist with the Dance Exchange (Washington D.C), was a company member of Garth Fagan Dance (NY), the Assistant to the Artistic Director and Marketing / Outreach Coordinator for Ballet Creole, and performed in works by Marie Josee Chartier, Allison Cummings, Ron K. Brown, Menaka Thakkur, Mark Morris and Bill T. Jones. He sat on the Toronto Arts Council’s Dance Committee (2012-2015), the Community Arts Programs Committee (2009 -2012), was Co-chair Performing Arts Committee of the Jamaica 50th Celebrations Steering Committee and is a Board Member at Prologue to the Performing Arts, Nia Arts Center and is Co-Vice President, Chair of the Dance Companies National Standing Council and the Pluralism Advisory Committee at Canadian Dance Assembly.

Eric Overton

Graphic Designer and Web Developer, Business for the Arts

Eric Overton is a Toronto-based designer and illustrator. With over a decade of experience, his career focus has been on the arts and nonprofit sectors. Eric has helped individuals and organizations of all profiles and sizes, from Juno-nominated artists to national institutions, to tell their stories in a compelling visual way. Since 2013, Eric has been the Graphic Designer and Web Developer for Business for the Arts, creating educational and promotional material in print and on the web, documenting BftA’s work through video and photography, and collaborating with BftA’s program managers to create valuable resources for arts organizations across the country.

Alisa Palmer

Artistic Director of the English Section Director, National Theatre School of Canada

Alisa Palmer is an internationally trained award-winning theatre director, playwright, dramaturge and theatre producer. Her work crosses genres, including the classics, contemporary plays, creation projects, musicals and operas. Ms. Palmer’s work is characterized by vivid performances, a bold use of music, powerful visuals and a passionate commitment to the body politic. She is the recipient of numerous awards and has premiered and toured original and provocative theatre creations for over twenty years.

Ross Paul

Adjunct Professor, UBC

A resident of Vancouver since retiring as President of the University of Windsor in 2008, Dr. Paul is an Adjunct Professor at UBC and a regular consultant/writer on issues in post-secondary education. A graduate of Bishop’s, McGill and London universities, he was previously President of Laurentian University; Vice-President Academic at Athabasca University; and Academic Dean of Dawson College.

A former President of Montreal’s Island City Singers, he was co-composer of its Festival Folk Mass, and has written and performed in many satirical musical revues at fringe festivals and university conferences.. He was a founding member of the Summerfest Board which helped create the Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival. He served a decade as a National Governor of the Shaw Theatre Festival and was an inaugural member of the Advisory Committee to the Ontario Minister of Arts and Culture.

For his widespread community activities, he was awarded the Governor General’s Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation in 1992, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. He was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2010.

Robert Perry

President, MacKenzie Art Gallery

Robert Perry was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan. He graduated as a Chartered Professional Accountant in 1974, and has served as Chief Financial Officer and VP Finance for Kramer Ltd for the last 39 years. Robert was elected to the MacKenzie Art Gallery Board of Trustees in 1990, and again in 2011 before becoming Board Chair in 2015. In addition to his work with the MacKenzie, Robert has been a board member of the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation since 2013. He also served on the Board of Trustees for the National Gallery of Canada from 2003-2008.

Annemarie Petrov

Executive Director, Edmonton Symphony

As Executive Director of the Francis Winspear Centre for Music and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Annemarie Petrov is a firm believer in the transformative power of music and its ability to connect people to each other. She knows that music is essential to the well being of a community and that participating in music has the power to change lives. It was Annemarie’s dream of universal access to the arts that instigated the launch of the Youth Orchestra of Northern Alberta, a social program for underserved youth in Edmonton’s inner city, and the Tommy Banks Institute for Musical Creativity with the purpose of actively engaging all ages in musical arts programs. A native of Montréal, Annemarie’s career has taken her across Canada, working with Symphony New Brunswick, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra prior to joining the Winspear Centre in 2007. Today, she is proud to work with a flagship Canadian performing ensemble and one of the world’s great concert halls; the two organizations have an annual operating budget of $15 million under a unified Board of Directors. Annemarie’s vision for musicians and a world-class concert venue working together in a community was a catalyst in developing a progressive strategic plan focused on a sustainable and dynamic future. Ms. Petrov’s leadership has been recognized through the Rosza Innovation Award in Arts Management and the Betty Webster Award for sustained and significant contribution to the Canadian orchestral community. She currently serves on the Board of Orchestras Canada.

Jan-Fryderyk Pleszczynski

Président, Conseil des arts de Montréal

Jan-Fryderyk Pleszczynski est associé chez Digital Dimension où il occupe les postes de directeur général et vice-président, Affaires corporatives. Digital Dimension se spécialise dans la production d’effets visuels et l’animation pour l’industrie du film, de la télévision et du jeu vidéo. Avant de se joindre à Digital Dimension, il a travaillé comme avocat en droit des affaires chez Fasken Martineau, plus particulièrement en fusions-acquisitions, en financement et en droit du divertissement.

En plus de siéger au conseil d’administration de la Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain, il fait actuellement partie des conseils d’administration du Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, de la Clinique d’information juridique de McGill et de la troupe de théâtre documentaire Porte-Parole. Il a par ailleurs occupé le poste de président de la Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal pour le mandat 2005-2006 avant d’en devenir le président du conseil l’année suivante. Enfin, il est titulaire d’un baccalauréat en droit civil et d’un baccalauréat en common law de l’Université McGill et est membre des barreaux de la province de Québec et de l’État de New York depuis 2001.

Jill Price

Vice-Chair, Arts Umbrella

Jill Price is the Vice President of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, the leading think-tank on Canada’s relations with Asia. She joined the Foundation after serving as the Director of Philanthropy at BC Children’s Hospital Foundation where she established the corporate program and was responsible for a number of successful campaigns including the BC Children’s Mental Health Building. Ms. Price is a native Vancouverite and graduated from the UBC Sauder School of Business. She is an active volunteer, serving as government liaison for the World Junior Hockey Championships, on the editorial advisory board for Business in Vancouver, as a regular kitchen volunteer at the Union Gospel Mission and is the Vice Chair of Arts Umbrella.

Janice Price

President, The Banff Centre

Janice Price became President of The Banff Centre on March 16th, 2015. She most recently served as CEO of the Luminato Festival, Toronto’s Festival of Art and Creativity, an organization she led since its inception in 2006. As the Festival’s Founding CEO, Janice helped Luminato become one of the world’s largest and most respected annual multi- arts festivals. The Festival reaches over 800,000 audience members annually, and in its first eight seasons commissioned 75 new works. Previous to Luminato, Janice was the President and CEO of The Kimmel Centre for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia from 2002-2006, and prior to that position she was Vice President of Marketing and Communications and then Interim Executive Director at New York’s Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts.
Prior to her professional engagements in the United States, Janice held senior positions at a number of Toronto arts organizations, including the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and The Corporation of Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall. From 1992 – 1996, Janice was
the Director of Marketing and Special Projects for the Stratford Festival.
Ms. Price has served on numerous arts related Boards, and currently serves on the National Board of Culture Days, Business for the Arts, Govenor Generals Canadian Leadership Council, and the Council of Post-Secondary Presidents of Alberta.

Michael Prosserman

Founder & Executive Director, UNITY Charity

Michael Prosserman found his passion for break dancing at a very young age. By the time he was three, Michael was already standing on his head while watching Saturday morning cartoons. Since then, he has performed for over 300 audiences, has spoken at over 100 schools, and has taught hundreds of workshops all over the world from Canada to Italy to Asia to the Arctic. Michael has competed world-wide, placing first in over 22 competitions. Michael is the founder and Executive Director of UNITY Charity, an organization that uses the arts to empower youth with the confidence and skills for success in their communities through after school programs in break dancing, graffiti art, spoken word poetry and beat boxing. UNITY has reached over 100,000 young people across Canada. In the past year UNITY was featured in over 50 major media outlets in Canada including Maclean’s, Toronto Star, CBC, CTV, Citytv, and many more. Michael is a recent attendee of Harvard University’s Strategic Non-Profit Management Program and received the Bryden “One To Watch” alumni award from York University. UNITY teaches youth to use urban arts as a powerful outlet to relieve their stress and anger in a positive way. For more info on UNITY check: & @unitycharity on social media.

Irfhan Rawji

Principal, Totem Capital Corporation

Irfhan Rawji is a Principal with Totem Capital Corporation. Irfhan has significant experience as an investor (Birch Hill Equity Partners, Onex Corporation) consultant (McKinsey & Company, Accenture), and public company officer and senior executive (Parkland Fuel Corporation). Irfhan is committed to public service, having served on the boards of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Harbourfront Centre and Business for the Arts. He is currently on the boards of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, Glenbow Museum, imagiNation150, and the Harvard Business School Global Alumni board.
Irfhan has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia where he graduated with Honours as a Wesbrook Scholar and a Masters degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School where he graduated with High Honours as a Baker Scholar.

Penny Ritco

Executive Director, Citadel Theatre

Penny has been the Citadel Theatre’s Executive Director since 2003. A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, she worked for many years as a stage manager, production manager, tour coordinator and producer of theatre, dance and music productions, festivals and industrials, across Canada and the US. She later returned to NTS as Director of the English Production Section.
In the mid-80’s, Penny crossed over to film and television, producing several award-winning documentaries and dramas, with international coproduction partners, for the National Film Board, Great North Productions, and Alliance Atlantis.

Penny’s long and varied experience in the arts makes her a strong leader, able to appreciate and direct the many activities of a major arts organization and a large facility. She has received the Maclab Enterprises Award for Excellence in Arts Administration, the Rozsa Award for Innovation and was nominated for a Women of Vision Award.

Penny is a passionate participant in and advocate for the arts in all their forms and has served on numerous juries and committees. She is currently a member of the Executive Council for TRG Arts.

Joyce Rosario

Associate, Curator

Joyce Rosario has been active in the performing arts in Vancouver for the past 10 years and joins the team at PuSh after three years as Executive Director of New Works, an organization that produces several public performance series and provides management support to artists including Tara Cheyenne Performance, 605 Collective, Out Innerspace and the response.

Joyce curated and produced three editions of PushOFF in collaboration with Kris Nelson at Antonym as well as co-curated several iterations of 12 Minutes Max with Tanya Marquardt. She continues to serve on various boards and committees, including CanDance, Koerner Foundation and as a member of the Steering Committee of the Canada Council’s Dance Mapping Study. She has been involved in professional development initiatives such as the Emerging Arts Professional Network and CAPACOA’s The Succession Plan. During her tenure at New Works she developed a peer-mentorship program to support individuals both from the artistic and management side of performing arts.

From 2007 to 2010, Joyce was Executive Director for Made in BC – Dance on Tour, a regional dance presenter network dedicated to increasing audience reach and touring opportunities for contemporary dance in British Columbia. Previously, she worked with battery opera as company manager and administrator for the Dancing on the Edge Festival. She served a one-year term on the BC Arts Council board in 1998 through a provincial ‘Youth on Boards’ initiative. Joyce is a graduate of UBC Theatre Production/Design Program.

Alicia Rose

Managing Director, Framework

Alicia is an arts administrator, workshop facilitator and Managing Director of Framework. At Framework she leads a team in delivering Timeraiser events across Canada, which invests in the careers of emerging artists. She is passionate in developing methodologies of inclusion to engage the voices of the next generations to bolster the arts sector. Some of the organizations she has worked with include: Business for the Arts, Harbourfront Centre and National Arts Centre. She is currently on the fundraising committee for the School for Social Entrepreneurs Ontario and on the Board for Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario as well as Literature for Life. She is currently a 2015/2016 CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow.

Lisa Rubin

Artistic and Executive Director, Segal Centre

Lisa Rubin was officially named Artistic and Executive Director of the Segal Centre for Performing Arts in February, 2014. However, her involvement with the world of theatre and with the Segal Centre especially, from both on-stage and behind the scenes, began more than twenty years ago.

Lisa launched her professional acting career at the age of fifteen, performing within Canada and internationally, in several award-winning productions. She first came to the Segal Centre as an actor, performing in both English and Yiddish plays and musicals.
In addition to her theatre experience, Lisa spent three years working in television, as both host and researcher for the TV program “In Montreal.” She also spent years offering her skills as an actor, director and choreographer to non-professional shows, fundraisers and performances both within and outside of Montreal’s Jewish community.

A graduate of McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts in English Theatre, as well as a graduate degree in Public Relations, Lisa draws on both in her current position. Throughout her career, she has gained experience in every facet of theatre administration, having worked closely with Bryna Wasserman, former Artistic & Executive Director, and Manon Gauthier, former CEO at the Segal Centre.

Michael Rubinoff

Associate Dean, Visual and Performing Arts;
Producer, Theatre Sheridan and The Canadian Music Theatre Project, Sheridan College

Michael Rubinoff is a Toronto based theatre producer, lawyer and the Associate Dean of Visual and Performing Arts at Sheridan College. He is responsible for 7 academic programs and produces Theatre Sheridan’s 6 show season. In 2011 he launched the Canadian Music Theatre Project (CMTP), Canada’s largest incubator of new musicals. He has produced and developed 12 new musicals via the CMTP. He will make his Broadway producing debut when Come From Away opens in spring, 2017. He is a member of the Governor General’s 2015 Canadian Leadership Conference.

Devyani Saltzman

Director, Literary Arts, The Banff Centre

Devyani Saltzman is a Canadian writer, curator and journalist. She is the author of Shooting Water (Publishers Weekly, Library Journal starred reviews, ‘A poignant memoir’ The New York Times) and is the Director of Literary Arts at The Banff Centre as well as the Founding Curator, Literary Programming, at Luminato, Toronto’s Festival of Arts and Creativity. Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, National Post, The Atlantic and Tehelka, India’s weekly of arts and investigative journalism. She sits on the advisory committee for Project Bookmark Canada and has been a juror for the National Magazine Awards, Canada Council for the Arts and The Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. She is currently working on her first novel.

Anthony Sargent

CEO, Luminato Festival

After studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University Anthony spent 13 years in radio and TV production and presentation at the BBC, finally as Head of Planning for the BBC Proms and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. After working as Artistic Projects Director at London’s Southbank Centre (responsible for much of Southbank’s original programming) he become Head of Arts for Birmingham City Council, creating and leading the implementation of Birmingham’s first Arts Strategy and running major projects like the 10-year festival of the 20thC, Towards the Millennium (jointly with Sir Simon Rattle). After rejoining the BBC in the management of the nationwide radio & TV Millennium Music Live festival, in 2000 Anthony became founding General Director of Sage Gateshead (Norman Foster’s pioneering international centre for music and musical discovery), before moving to Canada in 2015 as CEO of Toronto’s Luminato Festival as it prepares to celebrate its 10th birthday in June 2016.

An awardee of the CBE, elected Chair of ISPA, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Hon Doctor of Music, in 2008 Anthony (jointly with UK football legend Sir Bobby Robson) was awarded the Hotspur Award for his outstanding contribution to the development of North East England.

Michael Serbinis

Founder, CEO, League Inc.

A rocket scientist who once developed jet propulsion systems at age 16, Michael is known as a serial entrepreneur who has built multiple transformative technology platforms across several industries, with over $1B of exits.

Michael Serbinis is the CEO and Founder of LEAGUE, a new digital health benefits platform that is set to disrupt the world of insurance. Prior to LEAGUE, Michael was the Founder and CEO of Kobo, a global leader in ebooks, and docSpace, a pioneer in cloud storage. Michael got his start building one of the first search engines, Zip2 at the start of the Internet boom.

A member of the Perimeter Institute’s Board of Directors, MaRS Discovery District Board of Directors, Board of Trustees at the Ontario Science Centre, a member of the Creative Destruction Lab Board and YPO. Michael is also a mentor & investor in new technology companies through his company Three Angels Capital.

Colleen Sexsmith

Chair, Canadian Opera Company

Ms. Colleen Sexsmith is the current Chair of the Canadian Opera Company Board of Directors. She is a member of Golden Circle, the COC’s high-end annual giving program, as well as a major supporter who has been involved through artist sponsorship, production underwriting, and young artist initiatives such as the Ensemble Studio training program and Centre Stage: Ensemble Studio Competition Gala. In the past she played a significant role in the building of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, making integral contributions to this transformational moment in the company’s history. She has also served as the Vice-chair of the COC Board of Directors, and has been the Former Chair of the President’s Council Committee at the COC. In her professional career, Ms. Sexsmith is the President of CAS Accounting for Insurance Inc., an administrative service organization established in 1993, handling regulatory reporting, accounting, and policy administration for the Canadian operations of foreign insurers. She is the Former Director of Long Range Planning and Past President of the Canadian Insurance Accountants Association, the professional body promoting the study, research and development of financial management and insurance accounting standards in Canada.

Ali Shivji

President, The Shivani Group

Thought leader, Agent of Change, Seniors Quality of Life Expert, Dementia Enthusiast, Recovering Barista

Ali is a partner with Optima Living, a boutique seniors living company focused on creating smaller more intimate seniors living communities that allow residents to be “Welcomed home”.

He is also the founder of the Shivani Group, a best practice consultancy in care, housing, design and programming for seniors, with clients across Canada.  He has previously worked with the NHS in the UK, McKinsey & Company, and AgeCare Seniors Communities.

Ali sits on numerous boards and committees focused on improving Seniors quality of life including the Dementia Journey task force for the Province of Alberta

Ali holds a BEng from McGill, an MBA from INSEAD, and a certificate in Value Based Health Care Delivery from Harvard Business School. Ali was named one of Calgary’s Youngest Top 40 under 40 in 2006.

Colleen Smith

Executive Director, Theatre Calgary

Colleen A. Smith was named the Executive Director of Theatre Calgary in January, 2015. Colleen was formerly the Director of Operations at The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall, a position she held for six years. Prior to her role with Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall, Colleen was the Managing Director with Factory Theatre (Toronto), Director of Finance and Education at Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, and the Program Manager for Learning Through the Arts® at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has also been a board member with the Toronto Arts Council, Downtown Yonge BIA, and the Toronto Alliance of the Performing Arts.

Gillian Smith

Vice President, Membership & Marketing, Toronto Region Board of Trade

Gillian is Vice President, Membership and Marketing at the Toronto Region Board of Trade. In this role, she is responsible for developing, leading and delivering the strategy, services and activities necessary to retain, engage and grow the Board’s membership and, in doing so, she has primary accountability for delivering 75% of the annual revenue line.

Prior to the Board, she served as Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, a national charity that promotes inclusion and citizenship. In this role, she built a national network of more than 1,200 partners to serve the integration needs of Canada’s new citizens in all aspects of Canadian life. Programs developed under her leadership have served hundreds of thousands of new citizens.

Gillian serves numerous organizations dedicated to the arts and civic life in Canada. She is Chair of the Toronto Public Library Foundation, Vice Chair of Community Food Centres Canada, a board director with Business for the Arts and Culture Days and serves on board committees of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Gillian is the proud mum of three year old twins, Aurélie and Clémentine, stepmother to Arnaud, and is married to Paul G. Smith.

Robin Sokoloski

Executive Director, Playwrights Guild of Canada

Robin Sokoloski has been the Executive Director of Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) since April 2010. Prior to becoming the Executive Director, her work included the creation and management of PGC’s national youth arts program, “Uth Ink: Playwrights in the Community.” As Executive Director, Ms. Sokoloski has eliminated PGC’s cumulative deficit, fostered a growing national awards program for playwrights, the Tom Hendry Awards, and led major changes within the organization. Robin directed PGC through a process that progressively redesigned PGC’s governance structure. This new configuration generates greater efficiencies and adheres to financial limitations.

Robin remains committed to Canada’s arts and culture scene by volunteering for various arts organization as a way of staying connected to the arts community and ensuring public access to artistic experiences. She currently Chairs Access Copyrights’ Membership Advisory Committee, sits on ArtReach Toronto’s Steering Committee, and East End Arts Advisory Committee.

Ryan Stec

Artistic Director, Artengine

Ryan Stec is an artist, producer and designer working in both research and production. Beginning his relationship to the moving image through documentary, his practice has slowly expanded off the edges of the screen, increasingly combining light, color, structure and material with deeper consideration of site and the city. As a producer he has developed creative methods to facilitate collaboration across disciplinary boundaries, and as a researcher is focused on how making could be understood as a research methodology. He has been heavily involved in the artist-run culture of Ottawa since 1998; is the Artistic Director of Artengine, a center for art, design and research in the Canada’s capital, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Architecture at Carleton University. His PhD research is focused on the transformative power of creative activities for public places.

Su Ying Strang

Director, The New Gallery

Su Ying Strang is an artist and cultural worker based in Calgary, Alberta. Hailing from the southern United States, Strang relocated to Canada in 2006 to pursue her BFA from the Alberta College of Art + Design. In addition to her studio practice, Strang is the Director of The New Gallery, and the President of the Alberta Association of Artist-Run Centres.

Mark Thompson

Past Chair, Theatre Calgary

Mark is the Chair of the Board of Directors for Theatre Calgary and heading into the second year of his two-year term. Mark has served on the board of Theatre Calgary for six years. He has sat on the Faculty of Management Board of Advisors for the past three years for the University of Lethbridge. Mark is also a member of the Technology Risk Executive Board of Canada.

Mark has over twenty years’ experience leading growth and change in the oil & gas, telecommunications, publishing, technology and education industries. Mark is currently the Vice-President, IT Enterprise Services at Enbridge Inc. His career at Enbridge has spanned ten years in various leadership roles in the Information Technology group.

Joan Udell

Board Chair, Alberta Foundation for the Arts

Joan Udell was appointed to the board of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts in 2009, serving on the grants committee before taking on the role of Chair in June 2014. She taught high school in Hinton, Alberta before taking early retirement to pursue other interests which included chairing the municipal arts council and initiating the Creative Campus, a regional organization for creation and delivery of arts programs and events. She has volunteered and worked in the arts in rural Alberta since the year 2000. Her pastimes include participation in visual arts and music, emceeing at local events, and hiking, cross-country skiing and cycling. Joan holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta.

Alicia Vandermeer

Chief Organization Office & Corporate Secretary, Art Gallery of Ontario

Alicia Vandermeer is the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Chief Organization Officer & Corporate Secretary. In this role, she has responsibility for Staff and Volunteer Resources, Visitor Experience and Board governance activities. Over her 15 year career at the AGO, she has held the positions of Chief, Visitor Experience and Exhibitions; Director, Visitor Experience; Director, Development; and Director, Annual Support. Having joined the AGO as Annual Support Director in 2000, Alicia was a senior leader during the Transformation AGO project, leading key internal teams as the AGO prepared to reopen to the public. In 2014-15, she played a lead role on the AGO’s strategic planning process for the Gallery’s 2015-18 Strategic Plan. Before joining the AGO, Alicia was a Senior Consultant with fundraising consultancy DVA Navion, where she worked on feasibility studies and was campaign director for a Toronto hospital capital campaign. Prior to that, she was Executive Director of the Canadian Hearing Society Foundation. Alicia holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto where she majored in Urban Studies. She received her MBA from Schulich School of Business at York University.

Robert Walker

Acting Board Chair, The Banff Centre

Robert Walker is CEO of Tangent Project Management Ltd., a project development consulting firm.

Robert has been involved in the design, development and construction industry for over 45 years.

He was a senior executive with the Ledcor Group of Companies for 18 years, retiring early 2015 in the position of Senior Vice President of Ledcor Construction in Alberta.

Robert joined Ledcor in 1997 after 16 years as owner of a western Canadian based project management company.
In his career, he has directed the design and construction of some of Alberta’s most high profile capital projects including Edmonton City Hall, Telus Baseball Stadium, the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Epcor Office Tower, and presently providing oversight of the construction of the Royal Alberta Museum and Kelly Ramsey Office Tower.

He is presently also on the University of Alberta Senate, the Epcor Community Essentials Committee, a board member of the Canadian Somali Women and Children Association and past Chairman of the Board for the Kids with Cancer Society.

Carolyn Warren

Vice President, Arts, The Banff Centre

Carolyn Warren is Vice-President of Arts at The Banff Centre, overseeing a unique range and diversity of programming for artists at all stages of their careers in Performing Arts, Literary Arts, Indigenous Arts, Visual/Digital Arts and interdisciplinary programs that cross disciplines and sectors. A strong advocate for the importance of technology both in contemporary artistic production and for dissemination, she also oversees The Banff Centre’s broadcast platforms. Warren was formerly Manager of Cultural Programs at CBC, based in Montreal, where she was responsible for a number of local and national talk and music programs for Radio One and Radio 2, innovative online initiatives for CBC Books and network TV programming featuring independent productions by Quebec filmmakers.

Jesse Wente

Director, Film Programmes, Toronto International Film Festival

Jesse Wente is Director of Film Programmes at TIFF, overseeing film programming at the Lightbox and Film Circuit. He is also a noted broadcaster and public speaker.

Russell Willis Taylor

Former President and CEO, National Arts Strategies

Russell Willis Taylor, President and CEO of National Arts Strategies from January 2001 to January 2015, has extensive senior experience in strategic business planning, financial analysis and planning, and all areas of operational management. Educated in England and America, she served as director of development for the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art before returning to England in 1984 at the invitation of the English National Opera (ENO) to establish the Company’s first fund-raising department. During this time, she also lectured extensively at graduate programs of arts and business management throughout Britain. From 1997 to 2001, she rejoined the ENO as executive director.

Stephen M Williams

Grants, Awards and Support Programs Director, Edmonton Arts Council

Stephen Williams joined the Edmonton Arts Council in 2010 after holding arts funding positions with the Government of Alberta and the Canada Council for the Arts. Before moving into those roles he was an active trumpet player, stage manager, community band conductor and music educator in Edmonton and Northern Alberta for ten years. Stephen holds a Music Diploma from Grant MacEwan College, a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Alberta, and recently completed a Masters degree in Public Administration from Dalhousie University. He lives in Edmonton with his family, including the cats Mary and Pippin.

Sheila Witwicky

Chair, Citadel Theatre

Sheila is a Partner at National Growth Partners – a management consulting firm specializing in strategy, and governance transformation. Sheila has over 10 years experience in management consulting, working in private, public and not-for-profit sectors. She is known for her candor, providing a high level of energy and commitment to her clients. Sheila excels in challenging environments where she is able to identify patterns quickly, allowing her to focus on specific, effective solutions.

Sheila’s passion is for large transformation projects that examine all elements of an organization including strategy, structure, process, competency, leadership style and culture. She loves working with Board’s and Executive teams to form shared goals and strategies and, through the process, helping them operate as high performing teams.

In addition to serving as the Board Chair for the Citadel Theatre, Sheila is also the Chair of NorQuest College’s One Thousand Women fundraising Initiative – a group of inspired women working to provide unorthodox financial support to students in need at Edmonton’s NorQuest College.

Erin Woods

Assistant to the Vice Presidents of Arts and Leadership, The Banff Centre

For the majority of her career, Erin Woods has been on small teams with large scopes, playing multiple roles. Her official jobs have included human resources, events, sales and marketing, and her current role as Assistant to the Vice Presidents of Arts and Leadership at The Banff Centre; unofficially she has been a writer and editor, problem solver, chef, designer and comic relief. While her background is in the service industry, her heart has always been in the arts. With a BA in theatre from Colorado College and an MS in communication from the University of Denver, she can imagine no better place than a premier arts institution in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.

James Wright

General Director, Vancouver Opera

James Wright has been General Director of Vancouver Opera since 1999, responsible for programming, artistic and administrative functions of the company.

During Wright’s tenure, VO has presented six company premieres, including the Canadian premiere of Nixon in China and the world premiere of Lillian Alling by John Estacio and John Murrell, as well as Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror of Soul, and in 2014 it premiered a new work, Stickboy, by spoken word artist Shayne Koyczan with music by Neil Weisensel. VO’s West Coast First Nations-inspired The Magic Flute garnered audience and critical acclaim for its innovation and inclusivity. The company has also commissioned operas for young people including Naomi’s Road.

Wright led the company’s efforts to develop an opera centre which contains rehearsal, production, administration, box office and meeting facilities. Currently he is leading the company’s bold move to a “festival +” opera season beginning in 2016/17.

Wright has served on the boards of OPERA America,, and Imagine Canada, and served as a panelist for the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Wright received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service.

John Young

President and CEO, Canadian Human Rights Museum

Dr. John Young began his role as President and CEO of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on August 17, 2015. Prior to accepting his position with the Museum, Dr. Young was an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), where he excelled as both an educator and administrator. During his time at UNBC, Dr. Young served as Interim Provost and Vice President Academic and prior to that was the Dean of the College of Arts, Social and Health Sciences. Recognized by UNBC for his teaching excellence, he has been a visiting professor in the United States and Japan and has lived and worked in Germany and Russia. Dr. Young has also worked with the Canadian Parliamentary Centre, as a director of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and on the CMHR Board of Trustees from 2012 to 2015.

Johann Zietsman

President & CEO, Arts Commons

Born in South Africa, Johann Zietsman grew up under the Apartheid regime. His involvement in high school band led to his led to his life-long passion for the arts.
After serving in the military, he graduated as an architect, and moved to Ithaca, NY, where he completed a Masters degree in music.

Returning to SA in 1982, Johann started a 20-year career of various executive arts management positions including two orchestras, an opera and musical theatre company, a community arts center, and a large multi-theater performing arts company.

He was actively involved in the political transformation of SA through pioneering work in the arts, resulting in recognition from Mr. Nelson Mandela’s Government. As a volunteer, he launched and directed two community youth initiatives, which currently serve about 4,000 at-risk kids in townships.

Johann and his family moved to New York City in 2002 where he ran the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA). They moved to Mesa in June 2007, where he served as Executive Director of the Mesa Arts Center, and Director of Arts and Culture for the city of Mesa, Arizona.

In 2009 Johann moved to Canada to become President & CEO of Arts Commons in Calgary.