BOARD OF DIRECTORS (2019-2020)
Jessica Schneider has been Executive Director of the Massey Theatre Society since 2006. The Society operates and programs both the historic Massey Theatre and the new Anvil Centre Theatre in New Westminster. Prior to that Jessica 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 has informed Jessica throughout her life and work. Her early professional path emerged as a teacher of dance and operator of a school of dance.
Kirsten Schrader has been the manager of the Arts and Culture Division at the Cowichan Valley Regional District since spring 2010, where she manages and curates the presenting season at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, a 731 seat professional unionized theatre located in Duncan, BC. Kirsten also manages the cultural planning and development of the arts and culture sector in Cowichan- a region made of 13 small cities, towns and electoral areas. Although originally from Victoria, Kirsten 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, and Doors Open. Prior to Richmond, 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. Kirsten has a post-graduate degree in Art History with a minor in Languages and has lived and studied internationally. Kirsten is the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games Director of Ceremonies and Special Events, and a Past President of the Board of Directors of the Alliance. In 2018, she won the Presenter of the Year award from the BC Touring Council.
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.
Bryan Woo graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a concentration in Music Education. Prior to joining the Arts Club Theatre Company, Bryan was a researcher for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and facilitated trade missions for the National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program. Combining his background in music and experience in business, Bryan joined the Arts Club in 2005 and is the Director of Sales & Marketing. Over his tenure, Bryan has focused on data-driven segmentation strategies to increase audiences and patron loyalty and improve the intrinsic impact of the art for both patrons and artists. Bryan is currently the President of the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance and on the Tessitura Software conference planning committee.
Amanda Shatzko is an award-winning artist, director, and consultant. She facilitates projects and research on the impact of arts and creativity in society in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Amanda is the President of the Arts Council of the North Okanagan, Co-Vice President of the United Nations Association in Canada (Vancouver), and a board director for the BC Alliance for Arts and Culture. She has extensive experience in large-scale grants and public-engaged projects related to cultural diplomacy and sustainable development. Amanda is involved in advisory positions for municipal government Cultural Master Plans, and educational collaborations with schools, conferences, international organizations, and national authorities. She obtained her B.F.A. from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, certificates from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, MIT, and UC Berkley, and is finishing her M.A. in Intercultural and International Communication at Royal Roads University, specializing in creative and cultural intelligence.
Carly Frey is a specialist in the design and implementation of policy interventions for the growth and impact of the global creative economy. As Managing Director of Nordicity’s Vancouver office, she leads policy development, strategy and economic analysis across the creative industries for clients as diverse as UNESCO, the British Council, Canada’s Federal Creative Economy Working Group, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Danish Centre for Culture and Development (CKU), Music Canada Live, Arts BC, and the Governments of BC, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and England. Prior to Nordicity, Carly was Specialist Advisor to the British Council's global Creative Economy Unit (based in London, UK). As the program’s lead for Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, Carly assisted non-profits, governments and civic authorities in positioning the creative industries within wider policy and regulatory interventions, as well as promoting cultural infrastructure development and business skills capacities for entrepreneurs. From 2011-2015, Carly was one of UNESCO’s Technical Assistance Experts for Cultural Governance. A creative consultant with a proven track record of fostering strategic partnerships and knowledge exchange, Carly is a dedicated team leader with strong communication, analytical and interpersonal skills. Carly is also a violinist and singer and performs regularly with The Fugitives and Echo Nebraska.
Margaret Grenier is of Gitxsan and Cree ancestry. She is the Executive and Artistic Director for the Dancers of Damelahamid and is the producer and director of the annual Coastal First Nations Dance Festival, established in 2008. Margaret’s current works bridge conventional and contemporary dance expressions. She holds a Masters of Arts in Arts Education at Simon Fraser University. She received her B.Sc. from McGill University with a Geography major and Environmental Science minor. Margaret has worked with the Bill Reid Gallery on program development as well as at the HR MacMillan Space Centre where she developed and directed the planetarium production Sky Stories: a First Nations Journey. She has worked as a sessional instructor at Simon Fraser University in 2007 for the course Foundations in Aboriginal Education, Language, and Culture. In 2013 Margaret worked as faculty at the Banff Centre, Indigenous Dance Residency. She presented at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education on Aboriginal identity and dance in Australia in 2008, in Peru in 2011, Hawai’i in 2014, and Toronto in 2017. She currently serves on the executive board of directors for the Canadian Dance Assembly.
Nichola Reddington is the Senior Cultural Planner at the City of Victoria. A graduate of Queen’s University (Drama and Art History) and MacEwan University’s Arts & Cultural Management program, she has worked in the arts and cultural field for the past 19 years. Prior to her position at the City of Victoria, Nichola worked for The Works International Art & Design Society and the Art and Design in Public Places Program in Edmonton, Public Dreams Society in Vancouver and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts at the City of Burnaby. In her current role at the City of Victoria, Nichola is the project manager for the City’s first Arts and Culture Master Plan, and supports cultural planning, policy and cultural space development in the Capital City. Nichola is the Past President of the Creative City Network of Canada, a leading national organization that operates as a knowledge sharing, research, public education and professional development resource in the field of local cultural policy, planning and practice.
Sean Bickerton has dedicated his life to the performing arts as a musician, volunteer, entrepreneur and arts executive. A former Vice President of Columbia Artists Management Inc. in New York, and Executive Director of the Vancouver Recital Society, he is today the BC Director of the Canadian Music Centre. Sean is also co-founder of KultureShock.Net, a website service for performing artists, and has presented web and social media seminars for the Manhattan School of Music, Opera Magazine, the Van Cliburn Competition, and Chamber Music America.He has served on the City of Vancouver’s Arts & Culture Policy Council and on the boards of a number of arts and civic organizations in Vancouver including the Vancouver Recital Society and Langley Community Music School.
Naomi Cromwell (pronouns she/her/hers) is a woman of Afro-Caribbean and European descent born and currently residing on unceded Coast Salish territories (Vancouver). She is a facilitator, educator, social justice activist and performing artist who believes in the power of art to heal communities, affect social change and document history. As the founder of Euphony Works, Naomi brings her cross-sector experience in both urban and rural communities to help clients gain a deeper understanding of socio-political dynamics in order to effectively address issues of inequity. Throughout her professional career she has had the honour of developing and leading creative initiatives with organizations such as The National Music Centre, Selkirk College and BC Touring Council. Naomi continues to be an active advocate for community building and empowerment through the arts.
Winnie Tam has dedicated her career to leadership in arts and culture since 2000 and recently returned to Arts Umbrella in July 2018 as Manager of Program Operations where she manages visual arts and theatre programming for children and youth. Prior to re-joining Arts Umbrella, Winnie founded and directed Artspace, a Burnaby-based children's arts education centre through which she established a vibrant community hub that nurtured creative and artistic exploration in dance, visual arts and theatre. In addition to a BEd from University of British Columbia, Winnie holds a BA in Sociology with a focus on racial and gender equity and justice in relation to social planning. Driven by her interests in supporting emerging and underrepresented artists and arts and cultural organizations, Winnie serves on the board of Awkward Stage Productions and has previously been a board director for New Works. Winnie strives to lend her voice and work to transforming lives and building community through arts and culture, and contributing to the continuing evolution of the creative sector in Vancouver.
Terri Hadwin is the Executive Director of the Kamloops Arts Council, and brings a wealth of experience from various non-profit groups. She has experience working with various industries led by Board of Directors, endowing her with an appreciation for the different personalities, characteristics and talents of individuals that comprise a team. Having always been a resident of British Columbia, she has a good knowledge of BC, having lived in both highly populated areas such as Vancouver, Kelowna and Kamloops, as well as very rural communities like Savona and Ashcroft. Her dedication to Arts & Culture in both her community and the province is apparent in her work and the relationships she has built. She is pleased to be in a position to champion for all of our artists in each medium and skill set, whether they are emerging or established.
Ereca Hassell is the Director of Production & Artistic Administration at Pacific Opera Victoria, and has been with the company since 2011. Ereca provides strategic direction to, and oversees, the artistic planning process. She manages the creative and production budgets for a three show mainstage season at the 1400 seat Royal Theatre, and second stage programming in the 150 seat Wingate Studio at The Baumann Centre, Pacific Opera’s home in downtown Victoria. Ereca identifies and secures local and national artistic and business partnerships, including co-productions, community collaborations, and production rentals - most recently a three year, cross Canada, five company tour of La Traviata. Born and raised in Vancouver, Ereca enjoyed a successful twenty-two year career as a freelance lighting designer before making the shift to arts management. Ereca’s design work took her to the United States, England and Australia, and to theatres across Canada, including Shaw Festival, Stratford Festival, Citadel Theatre, Theatre Calgary, Vancouver Opera, and Belfry Theatre, amongst others. In addition to her work as a lighting designer, Ereca has served as a mentor to theatre students at Ryerson University, Sheridan College, University of Victoria, University of British Columbia and the National Theatre School.
Mary Blais is the founder and principal of Mary Blais Consulting, a boutique marketing and stakeholder engagement consultancy specializing in arts and culture. Mary’s work takes her across Canada to provide guidance to arts organizations on the subject of organizational strategy, capacity building, marketing and communications, fund and audience development. Prior to branching out on her own Mary held a number of executive positions in the arts, post-secondary education and healthcare sectors. Her multi-sectoral career brings a diverse perspective to the boardroom table. Mary serves as board secretary for B.C.’s ArtStarts in Schools Society and has previously been a board director for Banff Heritage Tourism in Alberta and The ARTS Project in Ontario. As a mentor with artsVest® (Business for the Arts national sponsorship program) Mary has shared her expertise with more than 200 small to mid-size arts organizations across British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia over the past three and a half years. Mary is passionate about working to address the systemic challenges arts organizations and artists face in regions and across the country; and continuing to support a future in which the arts sector in Canada can thrive.