Invited Contributors | Contributeurs invités

Joel Bernbaum – Artistic Director, Sum Theatre

Joel is a theatre artist, journalist, educator and the founding artistic director of Sum Theatre in Saskatoon. This past season Joel was grateful to be the Urjo Kareda Resident at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre. This season Joel’s verbatim play Home Is a Beautiful Word will receive revival productions in Ottawa and Saskatoon. Joel is proud to serve of the board of the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance.

Rohit Chokhani – Artistic Director, Diwali in BC

Rohit is the Artistic Director for Diwali in BC. Prior he was Apprentice Director at Bard on the Beach 2016, Producer in Residence at the National Arts Centre – English Theatre 2015/16, General Manager for Touchstone Theatre 2013/14 and for urban ink production 2012/2013. He recently launched a sector development initiative called Project SAT (South Asian Theatre project) to create a network for developing, touring, producing and presenting national and international South Asian themed theatre projects in Canada.  Rohit grew up in Bombay (Mumbai), home to Bollywood, the centre of the Indian subcontinent’s vibrant performing arts industry.

Susan Crocker – Board Chair, Toronto Arts Council

Susan Crocker is a director and community volunteer involved in the Toronto cultural community, the education sector and both local and global economic development.  Susan is Chair of the Toronto Arts Council, recent Past Chair of the Toronto Arts Foundation, Board member of the Gardiner Museum, recent Co-Chair of the Board of the Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), and is a past Trustee of the Museum. She is a past Chair of the Canadian Stage Company, and Past Chair and Board member of the Board of Management of St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.  She currently serves as Chancellor of St Francis Xavier University.

Jeff Erbach – Executive Director, Art Gallery of Grande Prairie

Jeff’s background is as an educator and outreach specialist for performing and media arts in Winnipeg.  He served as a juror, lecturer, Board member, teacher and advisor to arts councils, post secondary institutions, non profit organizations and cultural agencies. He was an independent filmmaker for 15 years, creating a nationally recognized body of work of short and feature films. He served as the Creative Manager for Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and most recently as the Manager, Community & Cultural Development with the City of Regina. In that role he lead the policy and planning initiatives, as well as the strategic partnerships, related to Cultural Development, Community Capacity Building and Social Inclusion for Saskatchewan’s capital. Currently Jeff is the Executive Director for the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, one of the largest square footage Art Museums in Alberta.

Aria Evans – Artist, The Go To Company

Aria Evans is an interdisciplinary artist working in film, dance creation and performance. She draws on her experiences as a woman of mixed race as well as her BFA to capture meaningful social and cultural themes through her interactive art. Aria is artistic director of the Go To Company and co-artistic director of hub14. Her works have been presented in both North America and Europe with SummerWorks – Dance Series, the Toronto Fringe, U of T Scarborough, the Gardiner Museum, Galerie Amarrage, La Maison Bleue, the Harbourfront Centre’s Next Step Series, Series 808 and Dance Ontario, Long Winter, Labspace Studio, and many more.

Jessica Lea Fleming – Operations Manager, Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts

Jessica Lea Fleming is of Métis (Wendat, Anishinaabe and French) and Scottish descent, from Penetanguishene, Ontario. She is a writer, dramaturge, producer, director and arts manager based in Toronto and Hamilton. Jessica currently works as the Operations Manager for the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, as the Georgian Bay Community Liaison for the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, and as a Producer for Factory Media Centre’s Traditional Recipes: Food and Filmmaking project. Jessica recently completed post-production on her first short film Scales, and hopes to premiere it at festivals this year!

Monica Gattinger – Professor, University of Ottawa

Professor Monica Gattinger is Director of the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy, and Associate Professor at Ottawa’s School of Political Studies. She has published and engaged widely on Canadian federal and provincial arts and cultural policy and Canadian energy policy in comparative perspective. In 2017, she is publishing a history of the Canada Council for the Arts in its sixtieth anniversary year with McGill-Queen’s University Press. Monica sits on the Editorial Boards of the University of Ottawa Press and the journal Canadian Public Administration. She holds a PhD in public policy from Carleton University.

Felicia Gay-McCallum – Curator, Wanuskewin Heritage Park

Felicia Gay (Swampy Cree, Scot) from Cumberland House, Saskatchewan. Currently Felicia is Curator at Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon. Felicia is former Director and co- founder of Red Shift Gallery: contemporary Aboriginal art Space (2006-2010). In 2006 Felicia was awarded the Canada Council for the Arts- Aboriginal Curatorial Residency with AKA Gallery. Felicia worked as an independent curator and cultural worker with various arts organizations since 2003; and lectured at the University of Saskatchewan and FNUC from 2008-2015. Gay has a MA in Art History and a BA(Honours), Art History with a focus on Indigenous contemporary art and curatorial praxis.

Blanche Israël – Manager of External Relations, National Youth Orchestra of Canada

Montreal-native Blanche Israël is a multilingual performing arts administrator, and a 2017 Canadian Arts Summit’s Next Gen Leader. Now based in Toronto, Blanche is a trained cellist, a French translator, and a university lecturer who has incorporated her varied interests into arts management work at the Canadian Opera Company, Tafelmusik, Jeunesses Musicales Canada, the Association of Quebec Youth Orchestras, and Tapestry Opera. She teaches in the University of Toronto Arts Management program, her alma mater, and is the Manager of External Relations at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, where she liaises with government officials, program participants, audiences, and media.

Benjamin Jain – National Co-Chair, artsScene

Benjamin Jain serves as National Co-Chair of Business for the Arts’ artsScene program. He is a member of Steering Committees for both the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGONext) and Soulpepper Theatre Company and is a young patron of the National Ballet of Canada, TIFF, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He is from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Alex Karolyi – Artistic Director, Shadowpath

Alex founded Shadowpath, a charitable theatre company in 2002 as a professional outlet for local performers in York Region.  She developed the site-specific theatre series; Plays in Cafes, Readings In Wineries and Hotel Solstice, transforming everyday spaces into creative places for suburban audiences. She is training the next generation of female creative leaders with a paid apprenticeship program and has received innovation awards from Newmarket’s Chamber of the Commerce Business Excellence Award, Richmond Hill’s Creativity Symposium Award for Best Innovation for Shadowpath’s Cafe Cruise project and is currently nominated for Not-For-Profit of the Year by Vaughan’s Chamber of Commerce.

Grazyna Krupa – Executive in Charge of Programming, Factual Entertainment at CBC Television

Grazyna Krupa is an Executive in Charge of Arts Programming with CBC TV Factual Entertainment. She oversees a myriad of programs and concepts in various stages of development and is a key member of the development and programming team.

Keira Loughran – Associate Producer, The Forum & Laboratory, Stratford Festival

Originally from Toronto, Keira has been pushing the boundaries of Canadian theatre for over 20 years as a producer, director, actor, dramaturg and playwright with companies across the country. She currently serves as Associate Producer for the Forum and Laboratory at the Stratford Festival, spearheading organizational change through these initiatives, under Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino. Prior to Stratford, she was Artistic Producer of the SummerWorks Festival from 2005-2007. Her company K’Now Theatre produced two shows which garnered seven Dora nominations, including two for her: Outstanding New Play for Little Dragon, and Outstanding Direction for Pu-Erh.

Emmanuel Madan – National Director, Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA)

Digital artist. Cultural worker, organizer and advocate. Musician, composer, sound artist, installation artist. Co-creator of Member of [The User]. Co-founder of, an artist-run production facility in Montréal. National director of IMAA – the Independent Media Arts Alliance.

Kenji Maeda – Program Manager, Business for the Arts – Arts Consultant

Kenji is the artsVest BC Program Manager for Business for the Arts, Executive Director of the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance, and the CEO of Production Heads Network and Vancouver Actor’s Guide. For five years he was the Executive Director of DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Western Canada’s largest documentary festival. Kenji has worked in film, TV and theatre as a performer and producer, and has been active on various boards and committees such as the Society to Bridge Arts and Community, Alliance for Arts and Culture, Documentary Media Society, 110 Arts Cooperative, and the City of Vancouver Arts and Culture Policy Council Outreach Subcommittee.

Judith Marcuse – Artist in Residence, Adjunct Professor, Simon Fraser University

Judith Marcuse’s career spans over 50 years of professional work as a dancer, choreographer, director, producer, teacher, writer, consultant and lecturer in Canada and abroad. She has created over 100 original works for live performance by dance, theatre and opera companies as well as for film and television and has produced seven large-scale, international arts festivals. Her repertory contemporary dance company toured extensively in Canada and abroad for 15 years, while also producing community residencies and youth programs. Founder/Co-Director of the International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC), she has created Canada’s first graduate program in the field. She is a Senior Fellow of Ashoka International and, among many honours, has received Canada’s major choreographic awards and an honorary doctorate. She is an Adjunct Professor and Artist in Residence at Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University and leads the five-year ASC! research project.

Jennifer Matotek – Director/Curator, Dunlop Art Gallery

Jennifer Matotek has held curatorial and administrative positions at a variety of institutions including the Toronto International Film Festival, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Hamilton. She has curated numerous exhibitions for galleries and artist-run centres across Canada and is a practicing video artist whose work has been shown internationally. Her writing has been published by YYZ Artist’ Outlet, Gallery 44, Vtape, Momus and Magenta, among other publications. She holds an MA in Art History from York University and a Diploma in Curatorial Studies. She completed an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University in 2011, with a specialization in Arts and Cultural Management. Matotek is the Director/Curator of Dunlop Art Gallery.

Sean O’Neill – Director, Public Programs & Cultural Partnerships, Art Gallery of Ontario

Sean O’Neill is the Director, Public Programs & Cultural Partnerships at the Art Gallery of Ontario. At the AGO, Sean leads the development and implementation of talks, screenings, performances, concerts, artist residencies and special events for adult, youth and family audiences. He also oversees special projects and major partnerships between the AGO and other cultural organizations. He was the founding programmer of AGO First Thursdays and led the development of Creative Minds, a bi-annual series of events co-presented by the AGO, Massey Hall, CBC and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. He also is the host of the CBC’s art-focused primetime television show Crash Gallery.

Cate Proctor – Managing Director, Ottawa Little Theatre

Cate Proctor, MBA, is an experienced producer, consultant and senior manager in the arts sector since 1990.  She facilitates opportunity for both artists and their creative output to connect through networks, processes, and holistic planning, focusing on sustainable, creative, and economic prospects for all participants. Her journey in the arts sector reflects opportunity, risk and a passion to contribute, currently influencing Ottawa Little Theatre as its Managing Director. She focuses on win-win results, incorporating evidence-based research, business knowledge and experience from the grass roots level, working in collaboration with artists, arts organizations, or independently.

Jill Robinson – CEO, TRG Arts

CEO of TRG Arts, Jill Robinson is a true believer in the power of arts and culture to transform individuals and communities. She also holds the belief that financial success enables organizations to do more of the vibrant, creative work they were designed to do. TRG’s insight, tools, teaching, and hands-on support help clients achieve their biggest goals, and the firm has served more than 1,200 clients of all genres throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and now the United Kingdom. TRG’s new team in the UK also provides support for the arts sector by facilitating major cross-industry conferences and providing subsidized support services to the UK’s leading campaigning body for public funding of culture, the National Campaign for the Arts.

Jennie Robinson Faber – Executive Director, Dames Making Games

Jennie is a creative technologist focused on empowering collaborative arts and culture communities. She helps organizations that centre diverse identities develop sustainable technical infrastructure – so that everyone can create freely and focus on the good work they do for a more just, equitable future. She’s the executive director of Dames Making Games, a feminist video game arts organization; on the board of the Toronto Media Arts Centre, a new purpose-built media arts facility and cinema providing a permanent home for five Toronto non-profits; and founder of Gamma Space Collaborative Studio.

Andrew Shaver – Artistic Director, SideMart Theatrical Grocery

Andrew Shaver is a bilingual performer and director based primarily between Toronto and Montreal. He was the Canadian Artistic Director of the International touring ensemble SaBooge Theatre from 2000-07, and is currently the Artistic Director of SideMart Theatrical Grocery ( His french language production of Grease for Juste Pour Rire has sold over 100,000 tickets and continues to tour.

Ryhna Thompson – President, Envision Management & Production

Ryhna Thompson is an entrepreneur, artist manager and producer who has been working in the cultural and creative industries for 15 years. Under the banner of her company Envision Management & Production, she has worked with internationally acclaimed, award-winning musical artists such as Kid Koala, Amon Tobin, Bell Orchestre, Esmerine among others. She has produced films in numerous formats such as animated shorts (Basin Street Blues), live stop motion features (Nufonia Must Fall), and worked on documentaries (Foley Room). Over the years, she has planned and executed dozens of live tours through the Americas, Europe, Australia and Asia and produced numerous projects straddling different disciplines such as music, film, theatre, animation, interactive and literature. Ryhna continues to serve on the Board of Music Managers Forum Canada after acting as President of the organization from 2010-2014.

Susanna Uchatius – Artistic Director, Theatre Terrific

With 30 years theatre experience, since 2005, Susanna has been the Artistic Director of Theatre Terrific, an all inclusive theatre company.  The company does not seek to inspire, but rather to tackle subjects that deeply questions universal human issues, relevant to all of society.  Casting consists of artists who may or may not have physical, mental health, cognitive, gender or cultural differences and who would normally never have the opportunity to collaboratively create ensemble theatre productions. Respect, rigor, and challenge to risk are her guiding mantras in over twenty productions she has collaboratively written and directed for the company.

Ari Weinberg – Artistic Director, Winnipeg Jewish Theatre

Ari is in his second year as Winnipeg Jewish Theatre’s Artistic Director and is part of the Music Theatre Performance faculty at Sheridan College, his alma mater, as Internship Advisor. As an arts administrator, Ari has held various positions including Fundraising and Events Coordinator for Lakeshore Arts, Discovery Coordinator for Markham Theatre, and Metcalf Foundation Intern Artistic Director for Acting Up Stage Company. As an actor and teaching artist, he has performed and taught all over Canada and the United States. Ari has produced several cabarets to support initiatives for LGBTQ youth.