(In Order of Presentation Schedule)
Rebecca Cann, Cultural Planning Supervisor, City of St. Catharines, ON
Rebecca Cann is Cultural Planning Supervisor for the City of St. Catharines, a position she initiated for the municipality in September 2000. Her work includes community relations, policy development, partnership and project development along with communications, cultural research and management of pubic art, cultural investment and the City's art collection. Ms. Cann hails from Toronto where she spent 15 years working in the professional theatre field, with companies such as the Canadian Stage Company, Factory Theatre and the Bathurst Street Theatre. She operated her own theatre company, Jewel Productions, and has directed over twenty stage productions. Ms. Cann has a range of experience in professional theatre as producer, director and administrator, and has worked internationally with arts consulting firm Janis A. Barlow and Associates. Ms. Cann is a graduate of the theatre program at York University, Toronto. In 2008 she was recognized for her contributions to the arts community of Niagara with the Niagara Artists Centre's Laura Sabia Award and the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Arts and Culture.
Steve Solski, Executive Director, Performing Arts Centre, City of St. Catharines, ON
Steve began working in theatre as a part-time lighting technician while still in high school. In 1989 he became the Assistant Theatre Manager for the Brampton Theatre Office, and then Theatre Manager three years later. Steve played a major role in the conception and design of the Rose Theatre Brampton which opened in September 2006. As founding General Manager his leadership contributed to the success the Rose Theatre has obtained to date. The Rose Theatre boasts over 700 annual events, 390 public performances and an annual attendance of 190,000. In 2005 he became the General Manager of Arts, Culture & Theatres for the City of Brampton and his responsibilities included strategic cultural and creative city planning, facility planning, overseeing all programming events at the Rose Theatre, and ensuring the success of community celebrations, such as the City’s official Canada Day and New Years Eve festivities. In August 2011 Steve started a new phase of his career as he became the founding Executive Director of the new St Catharines Performing Arts Centre that is being developed and is scheduled to open in 2015.
Trish Neufeld, Superintend Event Services, The City of Calgary
Twelve years at the City between three departments has proven to be just the right kind of diverse experience needed to develop the strategy and work plan required for the job as Superintend at Event Services. After completing a Project Management position leading The Cities support to the international trades and technology competition called Worldskills Calgary 2009, the task of implementing the new Festival and Event Policy, required a similar project management approach. In February of 2010 Council approved the community developed Festival and Event Policy declaring the Cities support to festivals and events as core business. From learning about and being part of organizational transformation, to discussing assessment with home owners, negotiating property acquisition, process development, project management and working with city departments, community groups and planning department around securing property for municipal needs came the essential understanding on how festivals and events contribute to creating whole communities and the overall vibrancy of the city.
Kate Hagerman, Cultural Heritage Specialist, Region of Waterloo, ON
Kate Hagerman, Cultural Heritage Specialist at the Region of Waterloo, works collaboratively with municipal partners and community stakeholders to support local cultural development and to conserve cultural heritage resources throughout the Region. Over the past eight years, her professional work as a cultural heritage planner has focused on strategic planning and policy development, cultural mapping, public art promotion, heritage bridge recognition, scenic road preservation,
identification of regionally significant heritage resources, cultural heritage landscape conservation, and protection of archaeological resources. Kate has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Science in Rural Planning from University of Guelph, and worked previously in the non-profit sector promoting heritage appreciation and education.
Sheila McKinnon, Manager, Arts Services, 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.
Renata Mills, Executive Director, Festivals Kelowna, Kelowna, BC
Renata Mills is the Executive Director of Festivals Kelowna, a non-profit organization that produces community focused, arts-based festivals and events, such as the popular Parks Alive! program, the Celebrate Canada Day – Kelowna festival, Arts Alive!, and the Kelowna Buskers Program. Ms. Mills’ experience in the local events community stems from over 14 years involvement including seven years as Coordinator of Parks Alive! from 1998 to 2005, producing over sixty-five arts-based events annually, and seven years with Festivals Kelowna, which was responsible for the former Life & Arts Festival, and the current Canada Day celebrations. Before moving to Kelowna from Vancouver, she worked for a professional industry association in the film and television industry where part of her responsibilities included organizing monthly networking and professional development workshops, receptions, award juries, golf tournaments, and training sessions. Prior to that she was a scheduling assistant to a Federal Cabinet Minister, responsible for organizing the daily activity schedule for the Minister.
John Ariyo, City of Mississauga, ON
John Ariyo is the supervisor for cultural research and projects at the City of Mississauga. He was part of the City’s separate project teams that completed the new 40-year Strategic Plan and the 5-year Culture Master Plan. He most recently led the Mississauga Cultural Resource Mapping project and has shared the project’s best practices at a number of conferences. The success of the project was evident in winning the 2012 Ontario MISA Award for Excellence in Municipal Systems – Service to Citizens and featured in the Globe and Mail, Public Sector Digest magazine and other media channels. John is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies.
Jane Fernyhough, City of Richmond, BC
Jane Fernyhough is the Director, Arts, Culture and Heritage Services for the City of Richmond. In this role Jane is responsible for arts and heritage planning and policy, public art, and the development and operation of arts facilities and heritage sites. Collaborating with other municipal departments to embed culture in all aspects of civic activity is of particular interest. She is a founding director and a past president of Creative City Network of Canada.
Eric Fiss, City of Richmond, BC
Eric Fiss brings 30 years of experience in architecture, planning, and art management to his role as Public Art Planner for the City of Richmond. In addition to an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Antioch College, he holds degrees in architecture from Dalhousie University and Columbia University, and is a registered architect in British Columbia as well as a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners. He has worked in the municipal planning environment for over 14 years, with a focus on urban design and sustainable development.
Michael Hill, City of Victoria, BC
Michael Hill is the Downtown Community Development Coordinator for the City of Victoria. Over his eight years with the City, he has been responsible for championing downtown beautification and animation initiatives, such an overhead light installation in Chinatown and replica heritage lanterns in Old Town. Mike believes that innovation starts at home and led the team developing an award-winning custom urinal design in response to late night issues in the entertainment district. He is the liaison with the business community and, in addition to downtown vitality, he dedicates much time to tackling social disorder and public space use issues. Prior to his position in Victoria, he served as economic development officer in a small community in northern Canada. Michael also volunteers with the municipality in which he resides and is an avid outdoor enthusiast.
Darb Erickson, City of Victoria, BC
Darb Erickson is the Downtown Programs Liaison for the City of Victoria. He recently began his work in Victoria in which he is responsible for coordinating a Graffiti Management Program. This involves the formation of partnerships to take a comprehensive and creative approach to a complex issue. Darb also coordinates the Late Night Great Night initiative with the intention of highlighting the positive aspects of late night activities in the downtown while mitigating some of the impacts on the community. He did similar work for the City of Edmonton playing a key role in the development of the Old Strathcona live music district on Whyte Avenue. Prior to working with the municipalities, he served ten years as a director for Young Life in Edmonton with a focus on developing mentoring programs for teenagers. Darb is the father of three children and he enjoys many recreational pursuits such as climbing, biking and skateboarding.
Lori Phillips, City/District of North Vancouver, BC
With over twenty years experience in the field of Arts Administration, Lori has developed expertise in a broad range of cultural areas including: cultural policy development, administration of grant programs, community capacity building and arts advocacy. She holds a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and is currently the Public Art Coordinator, for the Arts Office in North Vancouver, managing a unique bi-municipal public art program delivered through three distinct program streams: Civic, Community and Developer Public Art. Understanding the need for information sharing between administrators in the emerging field of public art, Lori initiated the creation of the BC Public Art Network (BC PAN), in 2008.
Robyn Spencer, City of Powell River, BC
Robyn Spencer is a planner and community economic development practitioner with experience in urban and rural communities throughout British Columbia and Alberta and with private, public and non-profit agencies. She has worked internationally on economic development and strategic planning with UN-HABITAT and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). Robyn’s recent applied work includes tourism planning, regional growth and governance strategies, social enterprise development, treaty implementation support and First Nation comprehensive community planning. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies from McGill University and is completing a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Community Economic Development at Cape Breton University.
Debbie Dee, City of Powell River, BC
Deborah Dee is a Councillor for the City of Powell River. She holds the portfolio of Arts and Culture as well as Economic Development and Airport. This is her second term in office. She has previously presented at the Creative Cities Summit in London Ontario on the legacy of the Cultural Capital Designation. Deborah also works as the Executive Director of the Powell River Brain Injury Society. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Music Therapy and is a Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery. Deborah is currently working on several initiatives in Powell River related to Arts and Culture as Economic Drivers. She sits on several boards and committees and in her spare time enjoys riding her Harley Davidson.
Patricia Huntsman, Project Consultant, Making Culture Count, Town of Qualicum Beach, BC
As a growing field of professional practice in North America, Patricia Huntsman is committed to being at the forefront of arts management and cultural planning. Her British Columbia-based consultancy offers a full roster of management, communication and planning services tailored specifically to the creative sector. Patricia is a sought-after voice by regional media and municipalities on cultural policy and planning. Prior to establishing her independent consultancy in 2010, she worked internationally and nationally in senior management roles in the creative field. Her client base includes visual and performing arts organizations (from community-based to professional), museums, developers, foundations and government. She holds a special interest in museum planning and is a member of the Canadian Museums Association, the British Columbia Museums Association, and European-based Arts Management Network.
Terry Nicholson, City of Toronto, ON
Currently, Acting Director of Toronto Cultural Services and with three decades of professional life in the cultural sector, Terry Nicholson has been Manager of Cultural Affairs in City of Toronto Culture since April 2000. Cultural Affairs has responsibility for the City’s cultural asset management including capital projects; cultural development projects for the adaptive reuse of major heritage structures; cultural policy, research and strategic partnerships (including grants of $6 million to Major Cultural Organizations) and the City’s public art collection. Terry joined the Metro Cultural Affairs Division in 1990 where he was responsible for major public art projects after having served for 10 years as the Director of the Gallery and Media Centre at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus. Among his academic achievements are an MBA in Arts Administration from York University and an MA in History from the University of Toronto.
Rose Zack, Halifax, NS
Rose Zack is a passionate arts administrator, with nearly 15 of experience through her various roles with cultural organizations across Canada. Currently, Rose is the Chair (2010-2012) and a founding board member of the one-night Halifax arts festival, Nocturne: Art at Night, which has created increased opportunities for Nova Scotian artists at all stages of their practice and has grown in attendance from 4,000 to over 20,000 in just four years. Since 2007, Rose has been with the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, Nova Scotia, most recently managing regional outreach and youth-based film activities of the festival. Prior to 2007, Rose worked in Public Programming for nearly ten years at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta and was lead programmer for a number of arts, culture and history exhibits, and developed numerous successful programming partnerships with community and cultural groups throughout the city. Rose attended the Alberta College of Art + Design (Printmaking) and has been an active volunteer in both Calgary and Halifax with various festivals, arts and cultural organizations.
Johanna Rowe, Town of Wawa, ON
Johanna is a life time resident of the tiny Northern Ontario town of Wawa. Her background includes 10 years in provincial tourism and visitor services, 5 years as a travel agent, and 15 years in human resources. Her employment experiences and her passion for research in Wawa's rich natural and cultural heritage made her the ideal candidate to complete Wawa's Cultural Map with some surprising outcomes. As a self-published author, Johanna also produced a Cultural Mapping Best Practices Manual to help small rural communities and neighborhoods rediscover their unique stories.
Inga Petri, Strategic Moves, Ottawa, ON
Inga Petri, principal of Strategic Moves, has designed and implemented strategies for organizations throughout the private, not-for-profit and public sectors over the last 20 years. Inga’s work thrives on the crossroads of research, strategy and marketing / audience development. Applying creative, collaborative approaches, she rallies teams around common objectives and inspires action, leveraging her experience on both the client and agency sides of strategy and marketing practice. Since founding Strategic Moves in 2007, Inga has made sustained contributions to audience development in all disciplines at the National Arts Centre (NAC) and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. She has been leading the Value of Presenting: A Study of Arts Presentation in Canada since May 2011 conducting extensive research into the value, benefits and impact of performing arts presentation and facilitating workshops across Canada to illuminate the current and future challenges and opportunities in the performing arts presenting field. A Certified Marketing Research Professional (CMRP) and President of the MRIA Ottawa Chapter in 2012/13, Inga presents at national research and marketing conferences and writes about and gives presentations on the rapidly evolving contemporary marketing practice and actionable research.
Denis Nokony, City of Burnaby, BC
Denis Nokony entered public arts and culture administration in 1977 working with the Government of Saskatchewan in Regina. Nine years later he joined the city of Saskatoon as an arts/culture consultant and then joined Burnaby in 1988 as the city’s first arts development officer. Currently, as assistant director of cultural services, he oversees the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby Village Museum and city-wide festivals, events, programs and services. Denis is a past member of the board of the Creative City Network of Canada. He is a practicing professional visual artist. He remains committed to increasing access to the work of creative artists and their necessary audiences through public policy and facility development and the pursuit of best practices in cultural affairs management in Canada.
Joy Bailey Bryant, Principle Consultant, Lord Cultural Resources, Toronto, ON
A cultural planner, certified interpretive planner, facilitator and outreach specialist, Joy works with city officials, institutional leaders, developers, artists, architects and arts organizations to bring life—people—to public institutions. Places as large as the City of Chicago and small as Decatur, Georgia, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the King Abdul-Aziz Center for World Culture in Saudi Arabia. Inspired by the philosophy of "meeting people where they are,” Joy has led successful consultation processes across the globe—holding meetings at conferences, festivals, churches, community centers, schools, restaurants and bars. Joy has spoken on numerous international and national panels. Her articles on cultural planning include, “Planning for Community Needs,” a section in the most recent, Manual of Museum Planning, to empower staff at cultural institutions to reach beyond their “typical” audience. She has worked at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), National Geographic, and the Department of State. A member of the North Manhattan Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Joy completed her M.A. in Arts Management from American University, and B.S. in Public Relations from Florida A&M University.
Leah Bayly, Supervisor, Cultural Services & Events
City of Thunder Bay
Leah Bayly is the City of Thunder Bay's first Supervisor of Cultural Services & Events. After obtaining her Honours BA in Archaeology and Museum Management from Trent University/Sir Sandford Flemming College, she discovered Ontario's municipal cultural planning movement as Project Coordinator for the Ontario Municipal Cultural Planning Partnership’s Provincial Forums. With that inspiration, and following a 2-year placement with the Province of Ontario, Leah was keen to take on the challenge of developing Thunder Bay's new Cultural Services area. Five years later, Thunder Bay has seen exponential growth and development in its Public Art Program; implemented a revised funding model that provides over $1.7mil annually in project, operating and sustaining grants to artists and cultural organizations; created and adopted the Inspire Thunder Bay Culture Plan; and opened a brand new multi-disciplinary arts centre. Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Leah is happy to be home to raise her young family, and to be playing a leading role in positioning culture as a driving force in her community.
Sherry Shaw-Froggatt, Airdrie, AB
Sherry Shaw-Froggatt is the founder and vice chair of the Creative Airdrie Society. She was instrumental in the start up of three major public art installations in the city, the city’s first arts gala and is also the chair and visionary of the ARTember Festival which started in 2011. She was recognized in 2011 by the Airdrie Echo newspaper as the Most Influential Person of the Year. Sherry is owner and publisher of airdrielife magazine in Airdrie Alberta.
Kevin Kitchen, Manager, Community Initiatives Section, Community Development Branch, City of Saskatoon
Kevin Kitchen is Community Initiatives Manager, Community Services Department at the City of Saskatoon. He has worked in recreation and culture at the municipal level since 1988, working for four different cities in two provinces. Kevin was the project lead for the development, promotion and implementation of the first ever Culture Plan for the City of Saskatoon.
Frances Westlund, Arts & Grants Consultant, Community Development Branch, City of Saskatoon
Frances Westlund is Arts & Grants Consultant for the City of Saskatoon, a position she had held since 2005. She is responsible for granting programs that support increased participation in sports, culture and recreation. Her work also includes implementation of Saskatoon’s municipal culture plan. Frances has worked in a variety of cultural fields including libraries, archives and museums.