Board of Directors


Nichola Reddington, City of Victoria, BC

Nichola is the Senior Cultural Planner at the City of Victoria.  A graduate of Queen’s University and Grant MacEwan’s Arts & Cultural Management program, Nichola’s passion for arts stems from her experience working behind the scenes at various film and theatre productions including the Grand Theatre in Kingston and Citadel Theatre in Edmonton.  Prior to her position at the City of Victoria, Nichola worked for The Works Art & Design Festival and the Art and Design in Public Places Program in Edmonton, Public Dreams Society in Vancouver and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby. Facilitating cultural projects and building capacity within the local arts community has been the focus of her work over the last several years.  This includes managing the City’s revitalized Spirit Square, coordinating public art projects, liaison with the Poet Laureate position and facilitating the completion of the cultural mapping project Victoria Arts Scan.  Working with the arts community, developing audiences, and engaging people in participating in cultural activities is what continues to inspire her.



Elena Bird, City of Toronto, ON

Elena Bird is dedicated to enhancing the cultural and creative life of the city. She is passionate about maps and involved in developing municipal cultural mapping as it relates to municipal cultural planning best practices and strategies. Elena works as a Senior Policy Advisor, Economic Development & Culture, City of Toronto. Elena has worked for the City of Toronto since 2002 on cultural planning and cultural mapping projects including the Culture Plan for the Creative City, the follow-up Progress Report I and II and the Creative City Planning Framework and Placing Creativity, a partnership that explores mapping and the intersection of culture, economy and place. Elena completed her M.A. in Cultural Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Before this she studied Economics at Ryerson University and Arts Management at the University of Toronto. Currently she is President of the board of the Creative City Network of Canada (CCNC), and advisor to the UBC Centre for Cultural Planning and Development program. In the past she chaired the Municipal Cultural Planning Incorporated (MCPI) Municipal Cultural Mapping Guidelines Working Group, and served on the board of an artist-run organization YYZ Artists’ Outlet, a centre for contemporary visual art, and Pleasure Dome a collective dedicated to the presentation of experimental film and video in Toronto.



Kelly Jerrott, City of St. Albert, AB

Kelly is the Director of Cultural Services for the City of St. Albert, where she works with a dynamic team to manage the operation of Arden Theatre and deliver performing and visual arts programs including the Northern Alberta International Children’s Festival and St. Albert Children’s Theatre. Kelly holds a Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University and a BA in Recreation from Acadia University. Kelly joined the city in 2010 and was instrumental in the development of the Cultural Master Plan approved in January 2012. The Cultural Services team has taken significant steps in the implementation of the plan including launching a St. Albert Live YouTube Channel to highlight and celebrate culture in community; hosting Cultural Cafes to encourage collaboration and communication among culture stakeholders; and launching an interactive site using GIS technology to view the City's Art in Public Places collection. Before joining the City, Kelly served as the Executive Director of Edmonton's Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Executive Director of Music Alberta, and General Manager of the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay, NS. Kelly is active in the arts community and is currently a member of the Advisory Committee for the Arts and Cultural Administration Program at Grant MacEwan University. She has also served as a board member of the Western Canadian Music Alliance, Prairie Music Alliance, and as a host committee member for the JUNO Awards and Western Canadian Music Awards.


Alice Sabourin, City of Hamilton, ON

Alice is a senior project manager for the Love Your City project at the City of Hamilton. Alice is leading the development of a city-wide cultural planning initiative which includes identifying and mapping cultural resources, engaging citizens and stakeholders in the development of a Cultural Policy and Plan and embedding a cultural lens into all City business. Alice has an MBA in Innovation from McMaster University and is a certified enterprise architect and marketing research professional. Alice's previous experience has included positions in the public and private sector in planning and quality management, marketing and marketing research, and total customer experience. 




Emily Trottier, City of Greater Sudbury, ON

Originally from Sudbury, Ontario, Emily Trottier returned to her hometown after living, studying and working in Tuscany, Italy for five years. With over a decade of experience working with not-for-profit organizations, she has applied her background in business administration (MBA) during their start up, development and expansion phases. Since 2012, Emily has been the municipal staff lead for arts and culture in her role as Business Development Officer and Film Liaison with the City of Greater Sudbury. During this time she has worked to develop processes and policies that support the booming film industry - over the past three years alone Sudbury has hosted over 30 films and six television series - as well as manage funding programs dedicated towards innovation, creativity and economic impact of local arts and culture initiatives. With a solid appreciation for community engagement and collaboration on both international and homegrown levels, Emily has built strong stakeholder networks. Sudbury’s cultural offerings have been growing and a renewed Cultural Plan was unanimously endorsed by City Council this spring.




Robin Armistead, City of London, ON

Robin has worked for the City of London in various departments and capacities for 25 years.  Robin has lead the City of London Culture Office for 8 years and has been responsible for the City of London’s Public Art Program since 2005. She currently reports to the Director of Corporate Investments and Partnerships of the Finance Department.  Robin works closely with the City of London's Investment and Economic Prosperity Standing Committee of Council and its associated Creative City Committee.  Robin has an educational background of an honours Bachelor of Urban Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Social Work in Policy and Community Development from Wilfred Laurier University.  Robin is a passionate advocate for arts, heritage, diversity, creativity and culture.


Sarah Douglas-Murray, Town of Oakville, ON

Sarah Douglas-Murray is the senior manager of Cultural Services for the Town of Oakville. In her role as senior manager, she oversees the cultural services division which includes cultural planning and outreach, special events, and the direct operation of the town’s cultural facilities — the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts, Oakville Museum and Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre. Sarah’s cultural services team is working to implement the town’s 2009 Cultural Plan – Culture Lives Here: Enabling Culture to Thrive in Oakville and has been successful in exponentially growing cultural programs, outreach, and the capacity of cultural groups within the community. Prior to her role with the Town of Oakville, Sarah worked at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto as the Marketing Manager and at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts in numerous roles including events, marketing, media relations and development. Sarah is a graduate from the University of Toronto with a degree in Art History, Anthropology and Sociology, is a graduate of the Cultural Careers Council of Ontario’s Income Managers Program, and has a Certificate in Cultural Planning from the University of British Columbia.

Karen Hasselfelt, City of Vancouver, BC

Passionate about the value of arts and culture to our society, Karen has extensive experience in the field through a variety of positions in non-profit organizations, the private sector and government. Since 2001, as a Cultural Planner at the City of Vancouver, Karen has been responsible for the major exhibiting institutions and civic collections, as well as building relationships with over 70 other museums, visual arts and music non-profit organizations in the city. Karen worked on the Steering Committee for the department’s cultural grants program review, which led to new cultural grants policies and programs. Karen was also part of the staff team that hosted the inaugural CCNC conference in Vancouver with Burke Taylor and Nancy Duxbury. Previous to her position at the City of Vancouver, Karen led the Surrey Art Gallery through transformative change to become a leader in community cultural engagement, was instrumental in founding the Art Gallery of Calgary, created the BC government’s visual arts program during EXPO 86, and worked for the former Ministry of Culture in Ontario. Karen has a post-graduate certificate in Museology from the École du Louvre in Paris and an Honours BA in Art History from York University, Toronto. 


Lisa Hickey-Besserer, City of Calgary, AB

For almost 20 years, Lisa Hickey-Besserer has worked in the arts and cultural sectors through her positions with municipal government, commercial galleries and not for profit organizations.  Her professional experiences include the management of performance and visual arts festivals, cultural programming, community engagement, volunteer management, strategic program development, arts education and project management. She obtained her Honours BA specialist degree in Arts Management with a major in Fine Art History from the University of Toronto. In 2014 she completed the University of British Columbia’s Certificate in Cultural Planning. Lisa has been with the City of Calgary’s Culture division since 2007, when she joined the Public Art Program as a coordinator. In this position she has been responsible for implementing and managing over 25 public art projects, and has been the lead on the development of a number of program initiatives including the creation of an arts education portfolio and the launch of Calgary’s first city-wide public art map. Prior to her career in public art, Lisa held positions with the University of Toronto, Arts Etobicoke, the Glenbow Museum and the Lonsdale Gallery. She has also consulted for several commercial galleries in Calgary, Alberta and Invermere, British Columbia. 

Jennifer Fitzpatrick, City of Humboldt, SK

Jennifer is passionately involved in the arts, culture and heritage in Humboldt as the Director of Cultural Services for the City of Humboldt.  Jennifer manages the civic museum in a 1912 national historic site, the city’s new public art gallery which opened in 2014, the Original Humboldt site, which is an 80 acre parcel of land with public archaeology and art installations to depict its history, and the Humboldt Public Art Program.  Jennifer has a degree in Anthropology from the University of Saskatchewan and a Diploma in Cultural Resource Management from the University of Victoria.  Jennifer was part of the municipal team who created the “Our Humboldt Culture-Led Growth Plan” which continues to guide the creative life of the city.  Jennifer also is a member of the Humboldt Area Arts Council, bringing in visual and performing arts to the gallery, and is part of the Humboldt Downtown Business Improvement District who are working on new initiatives for the historic downtown core. 


Sheila McKinnon, City of Surrey, BC

A career in the arts was destined when she began creating puppets and performing with them in an elementary school touring program. Then she expressed herself through choir, drama and a love of dance. Sheila McKinnon graduated with an Honours Arts degree from York University and has worked in municipal government for over 30 years. As the Manager of Arts Services for the City of Surrey her career highlights include: establishing a Public Art Program, the Surrey Children's Festival, hosting the BC Festival of the Arts, the 2008 Cultural Capitals of Canada designation for the City of Surrey and participating in the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Sheila is the Chair of the Vancouver Region – Cultural Development Advisory Committee and was nominated Business Person of the Year for 2008 by the Surrey Board of Trade for their annual Business Excellence Awards. She enjoys the many benefits of community cultural development and working with creative people.


Geraldine Parent, City of Burnaby, BC

Geraldine Parent is currently the Arts Services Manager for the City of Burnaby. This role involves managing the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, administering the Festivals Burnaby Grant Program, overseeing the City of Burnaby Film Office, coordinating special projects in the Cultural Services Division and liaising with external groups like the Burnaby Arts Council. In the 19 years since her arrival to BC from Ontario, she has held positions as Director of Programming at Arts Umbrella, Vancouver; Art History Lecturer at Okanagan University College, Kelowna; and Director/Curator of the Art Gallery of the South Okanagan in Penticton. In addition, she has worked as a consultant and independent curator and has participated on many boards and committees including the British Columbia Museums Association, The Western Front Society, Vancouver and the Alternator Gallery, Kelowna as well as the Public Art Advisory Committee for the City of Penticton. Geraldine holds an MA in the History of Art from York University, Toronto and a BA in Visual Arts from Brock University, St. Catharines.


Elizabeth Taylor, Halifax Regional Municipality, NS

Elizabeth joined the Halifax Regional Municipality in 2012 as the Manager of Events and Cultural Initiatives. Elizabeth has an extensive career working in senior management roles in municipal government in both Canada and Europe. As an innovative leader she is skilled in developing and delivering strategic Marketing and PR plans within corporate, non -for -profit, government agencies, and retail sectors. Elizabeth is committed to her philosophy that municipal bureaucracy and process should not thwart innovative thinking and creative action. Elizabeth is developing an new event granting policy to further entrench Halifax as a national and international destination for large scale events as well as creating the environment of equity and access for community events. Elizabeth is also delivering the Halifax’ first funding program for professional arts in a strategy that will be fulfilled with the city’s first Municipal Arts Council. Elizabeth also manages the Municipal Conservation project that is reviewing for the first time the cultural artifact collection to ensure it is preserved and accessible to the public. Elizabeth manages the Special Events Task Force, the Public Art Collection, Film, and serves on strategic committees for municipal economic development as well as sponsorship. Elizabeth is originally from Toronto where she worked for the AGO and has spent the past 12 years in Dublin, Ireland working on the creation and delivery of a events and culture strategy for the Docklands.



Background Photo Credit:
Brant Studio Tour, Brantford, ON