About the Alliance for Arts and Culture

Founded in 1986, the Alliance for Arts and Culture represents over 350 member organizations and individuals from across the artistic disciplines.

We advocate for our sector by monitoring public policy, synthesizing issues for our members, and representing the interests of artists. We also offer a range of services that allow artists to publicize their events, network, and access affordable and relevant professional development opportunities.


Executive Director Rob Gloor is a leading cultural manager with twenty years’ experience garnered in organizations across Canada.  His education includes a Bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Western Ontario, an MBA from Queen’s University, and specialized training in arts marketing, development, and strategic planning through the Centre for Cultural Management and the Banff Centre.

Rob has held positions with the Edmonton Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Orchestra London, the London Youth Symphony, and Opera Hamilton, and he taught strategic planning in UWO’s Arts Management diploma program.  Since moving to Vancouver, he has provided general management services to several music organizations through his company, GSI Management, and he has served as Managing Director of Pacific Cinémathèque.  Rob has been active in cultural advancement and advocacy throughout his career, serving on arts councils, national awards juries, peer assessment committees, municipal task forces, and community boards.


BOARD MEMBERS - 2014–2015

The Alliance for Arts and Culture is governed by an elected board of directors.


President Paul Gravett studied piano in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, receiving a degree in piano performance from the University of Manitoba, after which he worked as a freelance accompanist and vocal coach in Toronto. The desire for a stable income eventually took over and Paul shifted careers to artists’ management. After another move and shift in career, Paul became a facility manager and concert presenter, first at ArtSpring on Salt Spring Island (2000-2005) and then at West Vancouver’s Kay Meek Centre (2005-2011). Paul is currently executive director of the Vancouver Recital Society.

In addition to sitting on the Alliance board, Paul is treasurer for CAPACOA and past chair of the BC Touring Council.

Paul was honoured to receive two awards in 2008: the Business Citizen of the Year Award by the West Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, and the Unity in Diversity Award from the West Vancouver Bahá’í community.

Vice President Tammy Isaacson has worked as an arts administrator for fifteen years and is the owner of Canopy Arts, providing administration services for non-profit organizations. She has experience working in theatre, dance, opera and festivals.

She has worked as a director, producer, administrator and stage manager for a variety of organizations including the Belfry Theatre, Pacific Opera of Victoria, Theatreworks, Vancouver Civic Theatres, the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Alberta Opera and Northern Light Theatre. She has been the general manager of the Creative City Network of Canada, general manager of Pi Theatre, artistic director of Intrepid Theatre, producer of the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival, as well as co-producer of the See Seven Performing Arts Society.

Tammy is passionate about contributing to community and the value of the arts to society. 

Treasurer Jon-Paul Walden has been the executive director of the Evergreen Arts Centre in Coquitlam for the past three years and previously held the position of general manager / artistic director of Keyano Theatre Arts Centre in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Prior to Keyano, Jon-Paul was the general manager of the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver for five years.

He has performed around the United States in theatre and film, residing in New York City for five years after his undergraduate degree, and throughout Canada as a stage performer, with most recent performances for the Arts Club at the Stanley Theatre. Jon-Paul holds a BA from UBC and an MBA from York University.

Secretary Cory Philley is a writer, performer, producer, director and for over twenty years has worked at every aspect of theatre performance and production, from actor to stage manager and from publicist to performer.

Cory was one of the founding members of La Luna Productions (1999-2007) where she served as co-artistic director and general manager from 2000-2007. She was the production manager for the Jessie nominated “Love Bites” and “Pillar Clock”  and wrote and performed for La Luna’s “Shaking the Tree”  and Small World, “da big womb, Faith & Two Lip Tango”.

Cory’s one-woman show, “Contrary”, premiered as part of La Luna’s commissioned performance series “Stripped”  at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in November 2006. For the third installment of the series in April 2007, “Stripped (3)”, she directed “Hurted”, a new work by Adrienne Wong. Cory has worked as a freelance theatre publicist and production manager for such Vancouver-based companies as Ruby Slippers, NeWorld Theatre and Boca del Lupo.

She is currently the facility and events services coordinator at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby, where she programs the theatre season and supervises the festivals and special events. She is a graduate of the Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts.


Darrin Morrison is the director/curator of West Vancouver Museum. For over 25 years Darrin Morrison has worked as a senior museum/gallery professional in Canada. He possesses extensive administrative, curatorial and collections experience with an in-depth understanding of all aspects of managing and operating large and small cultural institutions. He was exhibition coordinator at the Art Gallery of Mississauga before undertaking a professional development internship at the Museum of Anthropology at University of British Columbia where he then worked as a project manager in design and conservation for fifteen years. In his role with the West Vancouver Museum Darrin has led the Museum through a process of renewal, implementing a broader mandate and program emphasizing art and architecture and is currently working with a Board on the development of a new facility. He sits on the advisory committee of the University of British Columbia’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. He is an Associate of the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University), completed courses in Museum studies at the University of British Columbia and, in 2012, received a certificate in Leadership Development from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Lindy Sisson was the executive and artistic director of the Vancouver International Children's Festival from 2000 to 2009 and produced both the Edmonton International Children's Festival and the Teen Festival of the Arts from 1988 to 1991. Other positions she has held include executive director for the ARC Arts Council for the Tri-Cities, general manager for the Playwrights Theatre Centre, tour manager for the Judith Marcuse Dance Company, publicist for the Citadel Theatre, and administrator and promotions coordinator for the University of Alberta Students Union Theatre and Dinwoodie Lounge.

Lindy has a BA in Theatre and Anthropology from the University of Alberta and also studied dance at Grant MacEwan College. Volunteer positions she has held most recently include: Board President for Dancing on the Edge in Vancouver,  the Canada Council InterArts Advisory Committee, Canadian Professional Festivals Advocacy Group, Canadian Children’s Festival Association Chair and Canadian representative to the Asian Pacific Presenters Association (APPN).

In her current position as executive director for The ACT Arts Centre and Theatre, and Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Arts Council, Lindy’s mandate is to continue connecting community with the performing and visual arts in significant ways; offer interactive arts education opportunities; and enable performing artists to stage their work and engage with new audiences. With respect to performing arts programming she looks forward to building on her diverse experience in presenting theatre, dance and music and work that resonates with regional audiences of all ages.

Paul Sontz is Tourism Vancouver’s manager of cultural tourism and Tickets Tonight, where he oversees communications, works with event promoters, creates new partnerships, builds customer relations and markets Tickets Tonight. Paul launched Tickets Tonight—Vancouver’s community box office and the only same-day half-price ticket outlet—ten years ago as a joint venture between Tourism Vancouver and the Alliance for Arts and Culture. As manager of cultural tourism, Paul works to build a stronger relationship between Vancouver’s arts and culture scene and its tourism industry. Paul’s prior experience includes working for Northwest Airlines, First Night Edmonton and The Works: A Visual Arts Festival. 

He currently serves on the Culture Days Task Force and was recently a part of the Metro Vancouver Regional Culture Committee. Paul is a member of INTIX, the International ticketing association, where he is a jurist on the awards committee and has led sessions at annual conferences. Paul has held various box office positions at the Shaw Festival and BASS Ticketing. He served on Playwright’s Theatre Centre’s board and the Edmonton Professional Arts Council board. Paul holds a BFA from Brock University in Drama and a MFA from the University of Calgary in Theatre Directing.

Joel Klein is the Executive Director of Made in BC - Dance on Tour. Born on a wheat farm near Fox Valley Saskatchewan, Joel began artistic studies in Calgary and moved to Vancouver to complete a degree at UBC School of Music (Opera). 

He continued for some years to tour the province and the country as a professional operatic baritone, singing roles for, among others, Vancouver Opera, Edmonton Opera, and City Opera Vancouver. He continues to sing professionally as an orchestral soloist, concert artist, and occasional fabulous drag superstar.

Switching his primary endeavours to arts administration in 2009, he acted as Arts Umbrella’s Registrar and Manager of Student Services, and as credit counsellor and student advisor for the Vancouver Community College / Arts Umbrella Dance Diploma program from 2009-2011. Joel has been Executive Director of Made in BC – Dance on Tour since March 2011, during which time he has continued its successful touring program and more than doubled the scope of its community-engagement, residency and professional development programming.

Astrid Heyerdahl is the Executive Director of The Gordon and Marion Smith Foundation for Young Artists and Curator of the Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art. Ms. Heyerdahl’s educational background is in Visual Arts with an M.A. in Art History and an M.Ed. in Gallery Pedagogy.

She has worked as the Visual Arts Manager of Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam directing and curating the Art Gallery at Evergreen and off-site City Centre Library and managing public and school programs. Ms. Heyerdahl has held several educational and curatorial roles in institutions such as the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation in Venice, Italy and the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Ontario. She is engaged in the local arts community and is on several committees and boards.

Barbara Chirinos has had a varied and successful career in the arts. Prior to joining the Granville Island Cultural Society, as its Executive Director, she was the Gala Producer, Events and Facility Manager for the Vancouver International Film Festival and Film Centre. Barbara served as Managing Director of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival; producing three successful festivals; the Founding Festival Coordinator for the first HomeGround Festival for the homeless and under-housed of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside; produced the entertainment for both the Opening of the Golden Ears Bridge and the BC Federation of Labour’s 50th Anniversary show at the Orpheum Theatre. Barbara also directed the simulcast of the closing ceremonies of the 2004 Torino Olympic Games with VANOC’s  “Olympic Games are Coming” Street Party in Library Square; and managed staff and volunteers for the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Barbara serves on the executive of the Granville Island Business and Community Association and the CoV’s Planning Committee for the Launch to Black History Month. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Haida Gwaii Film Festival and Working Spark Theatre Company.

Kirsten Schrader has been the Manager of the Arts and Culture Division at the Cowichan Valley Regional District since spring 2010. Her main duties are to manage the Cowichan Theatre and help nurture and develop the arts and culture community in the region.

She moved to the Cowichan Valley from Vancouver where she was the Arts Coordinator for the City of Richmond. There she managed the city's Cultural Arts Centre, and helped plan many city festivals such as the Children's Arts Festival, New Asia Film Festival, Culture Days, Mayor's Arts Awards, Doors Open, and the Richmond Cultural Olympiad for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Prior to that she held a position in the Public Programming department at the Vancouver Art Gallery and was the Executive Director of the Vancouver International Fringe Festival.

Originally from Victoria, Kirsten has a post graduate degree in Art History with a minor in Languages and has lived and studied internationally. She currently shares her time between Victoria, the Cowichan Valley and Calgary with her husband and two step daughters. Kirsten also serves as the Vancouver Island representative on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Arts and Culture and on the BC Task Force for Culture Days.