BOARD OF DIRECTORS (2016-2017)
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 and on the BC Task Force for Culture Days.
Jessica Schneider joined the Massey Theatre as executive director in August of 2006. Prior to that she spent eight years as general manager of Vancouver’s award winning Firehall Arts Centre. Jessica has served on the boards of a broad array of national and regional artistic organizations including; PACT, battery opera performance, GVPTA and Royal City Musical Theatre. She was, for five years, a faculty instructor in the Arts and Entertainment Management Department at Capilano University teaching Financial Management in the Arts. Jessica’s devotion to the performing arts blossomed at an early age studying dance, drama and voice. The daughter of two professional actors and granddaughter of Gwen Pharis Ringwood, an early Canadian playwright, theatre is very much the family business. Her professional path emerged early as a teacher of dance and an entrepreneur founding a school of dance and companion dance company.
Secretary & Treasurer
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.
Bonnie Allan possesses a broad range of experience and expertise in marketing, sales, communications and public relations in the arts and entertainment and business sector. She has organized special events, and fundraising projects, achieving success in developing Marketing and Public Relations Campaigns, Sponsorships, Event Management, and Community Relations.
Bonnie was a partner at Bridge Communications for 15 years and made a mark in the public relations world. Respected by both media and clients, Bonnie has the nose of a reporter and the heart of a publicist. She will leave no stone unturned ensuring the clients accomplish their communications and marketing objectives. In 2015 she stepped out on her own creating Bonnie Allan PR, and continues to work in marketing and public relations with a variety of arts organizations.
Not new to the theatre world, Bonnie trained as a classical ballet dancer, resided in New York City and performed in a number of Broadway musicals and toured throughout the United States and Canada. Bonnie continued her education at California State University, Northridge in business and the arts which led her into the advertising business working with companies such as Proctor and Gamble, and agencies as Ayer, Jorgensen, MacDonald, and Grey Advertising.
She has served as a board member on the boards of Park Royal Mall, the West Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance and on the board of Vancouver TheatreSports League. In 2014 Bonnie received a Jessie Award - the Mary Phillips Prize for Behind-the-Scenes Achievement, for her contribution to the theatre community.
Jill Baird has been curator of education and public programs at the UBC Museum of Anthropology since 1997. She led the development of innovative education and public programming collaborating with a range of Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and communities, including Indigenous weavers and Kwakwaka'wakw Potlatch Chiefs. Her doctoral research focused on collaborating with Haida and non-Haida museum colleagues at the Haida Gwaii Museum at Ḵay Llnagaay, Skidegate, British Columbia. Dr. Baird was the project lead for MOA's Partnership of Peoples' major CFI Innovation grant and $54M Renewal Project from 2000 to 2007. She was the coordinating curator of a major contemporary art exhibition Safar/Voyage: Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art. Dr. Baird teaches in the Master of Museum Education program in the UBC Faculty of Education. She was one of the co-developers of the program launched in 2011.
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 City of Vancouver’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.
Rohit Chokhani is an award-winning mid-career arts producer and cultural leader. He is currently the 2015/16 producer-in-residence at the National Arts Centre – English Theatre and is artistic producer for South Asian Arts and Diwali Fest based in Vancouver/Surrey, BC. 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. Previously, he worked as a general manager for Vancouver’s Touchstone Theatre and Urban Ink Productions. His credits include: Nirbhaya (Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award), The Romeo Initiative (four Jessie nominations), Night, The Concessions (three Jessie nominations), 2014 Lawyer show – Legally Blonde: The Musical, Hirsch and Late Company (four Jessie nominations), Mrs. Singh & Me (2015 Pick of the Fringe Award winner), Sal Capone (five Meta Award nominations), Siddhartha: the Journey Home (2011 Talk of the Fringe Award) and Women In Fish at Katzie Nation. Rohit has been involved in partnerships with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Chutzpah! Festival, DOXA Festival and Music on Main and helped deliver an award-winning season at Touchstone Theatre that featured more than 50% of its programming through women playwrights. Rohit grew up in Bombay (Mumbai), home to Bollywood, the centre of the Indian subcontinent’s vibrant performing arts industry. He is highly passionate about making performing arts equitable and sustainable.
Dani Fecko is founder and president of Fascinator Management, an agency, production house, and consultancy based in Vancouver, BC. Fascinator is driven by the values of community connection, rigorous art making and creative place-making, and currently represents Company 605, The Chop Theatre, Delinquent Theatre, Hong Kong Exile, Ivan Coyote, Neworld Theatre, and Theatre Replacement. Dani has a long history working in contemporary theatre in Vancouver. She was managing producer of Boca del Lupo and spent four years as associate curator at PuSh Festival. Dani trained as a stage manager, working for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Playhouse locally, and Theatre Replacement, Neworld Theatre, and more across Canada and Europe. She has managed tours across North America, Mexico, and Europe with Rimini Protokoll. Dani has sat on theatre boards in Vancouver, was on the Vancouver planning committee for the Western Arts Alliance, and is a proud member of the development committee of the International Society of the Performing Arts (ISPA). She is part of the 2016-2018 Leadership Fellows Program through APAP. Dani is a graduate of Studio 58 and lives in Vancouver with her husband and their pet fish, Dot.
Darrin Morrison is the director/curator of West Vancouver Museum. For over 25 years Darrin 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, and received a certificate in Leadership Development from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
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 + 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.