Board of Directors
PRESIDENT Ian Forsyth, City of North Vancouver, British Columbia
Ian Forsyth was born and raised in Vancouver, graduating from UBC with a BFA in Theatre. From 1986 to 1990 Ian ran the Vancouver TheatreSports League and in 1992, after working with the Arts Club, New Play Centre, Carousel Theatre and Pi Theatre, Ian accepted an opportunity to open and run the North Peace Cultural Centre in Fort St. John. Moving to Kelowna in August of 1998, he became the city's 1st Cultural Services Manager, working to develop Kelowna's Cultural District and Cultural Tourism Initiative. In November of 2001, Ian moved to Burnaby to become the Arts Services Manager for the City, leaving in 2007 to become North Vancouver's first Director of Cultural Affairs. Ian is currently the Past President of the Alliance for Arts and Culture, a board member for the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, Theatre Under the Stars, President of the 605 Dance Collective, and President for the Creative City Network, and is the former Vice President of both the Magnetic North Theatre Festival and Capacoa, the Canadian Arts Presenter's association.
VICE-PRESIDENT Elena Bird, City of Toronto, Ontario
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 a member of the board of the Creative City Network of Canada (CCNC), and chair of the Municipal Cultural Planning Incorporated (MCPI) Municipal Cultural Mapping Guidelines Working Group. In the past she has served on the board of artist-run organizations 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.
SECRETARY Sheila McKinnon, City of Surrey, British Columbia
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.
TREASURER Rebecca Cann, City of St. Catharines, Ontario
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.
PAST-PRESIDENT Angela Watson, City of Fredericton, New Brunswick
Angela Watson has been cultural development officer for the City of Fredericton since 2005 when the position was created. Prior to that she was employed in the City's Tourism Division where she worked with many local cultural attractions and festivals. She was both challenged and rewarded by the task of developing this new position and credits the Creative City Network of Canada. "The Network allowed me to connect with colleagues across the county and tap into a tremendous amount of resources to establish projects and programs that fit my community." When Fredericton was designated a 2009 Cultural Capital of Canada, Angela was thrilled to oversee many of the cultural celebrations and legacy projects throughout the year. Although not artistically creative herself, Angela participates in the arts, and enjoys inspiring others to also experience the joys of arts and culture. Angela has attended each CCNC Conference and Summit since Trois-Rivières and has been on the CCNC Board since 2007.
John Ariyo, City of Mississauga, Ontario
John Ariyo is the Supervisor, Cultural Research & Projects at the City of Mississauga. A social scientist by training, his focus on Mississauga cultural development involves applying research methods, project management and program evaluation to lead or support various cultural projects and initiatives. He led the award-winning Mississauga Cultural Resource Mapping project. He was also a part of two separate project teams that completed the City’s 40-year Strategic Plan and the 5-year Culture Master Plan. He holds a Master’s degree in International Development Studies and a Project Management Professional (PMP) credential.
Robin Armistead, City of London, Ontario
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. 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.
Carol Beatty, City of Medicine Hat, Alberta
Carol Beatty has been the Manager of Cultural Development for the City of Medicine Hat since 1998 and project managed the building of the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre which opened in the fall of 2005. She manages Cultural Development for the city and Esplanade, with responsibility for other city owned cultural facilities. She has lived and worked in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Alberta where she was Director of Continuing Education for the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and worked in museums and art galleries in various capacities in Alberta and Ontario since 1980.
Onalee Groves, City of Barrie, Ontario
Onalee Groves is currently the Culture Officer of Development in the City of Barrie. Onnie began her career with the city twenty years ago as a Recreation Programmer in the Leisure, Transit and Facilities branch. She worked in the area of older adults for approximately thirteen years when she advanced from the Programmer job to the position of Co-ordinator of Seniors and Cultural Services. During this time Onnie worked at developing and implementing a ten year Cultural Plan for the City of Barrie and became Culture Officer when the department was officially formed in the spring of 2008. Onnie possesses a diploma in Social Services, a undergraduate degree in Gerontology and a Masters Degree of Integrated Studies in the main stream of Cultural Studies. Onnie has extensive personal, as well as professional experience in the arts, as prior to her work with the City of Barrie Onnie taught piano lessons for over ten years. Onnie has a passion for the arts and continues to play several instruments, as well as volunteering her spare time to several local arts organizations.
Andrew MacGregor, Town of Amherst, Nova Scotia
My current position, which I started in September 2010, is Arts, Culture & Heritage Coordinator for the Town of Amherst. The position is new for the Town and I am responsible to putting an "Arts, Culture & Heritage Strategy" into action and developing the Town of Amherst as an Arts, Culture and Heritage hub for Cumberland County. This includes working with individuals and groups involved in arts, culture and heritage to make sure that their needs are being met, concerns being addressed and that their achievements are recognized. My work history includes a background in the arts and culture industry as well as work as an individual musician and artist. I have worked for record labels, broadcast media, and freelanced as well as owned my own record store. My record store, Blackball Records was located in Nanaimo, BC and played host to and promoted many art openings, readings and other events. As a musician, I toured Europe and North America twice and also have releases on international labels.
Caroline Obeid, City of Ottawa, Ontario
Caroline Obeid is the Portfolio Manager for the newly opened Shenkman Arts Centre, a local multidisciplinary arts centre in the east end of Ottawa. Previously, Caroline worked for the City of Ottawa Cultural Services Branch as the Project Coordinator working on cultural facility development, budget preparation and policy reports. Caroline holds a Masters in Arts Administration from Drexel University, Philadelphia. As an Ottawa native, Caroline is committed to facilitating local arts development.
Nichola Reddington, City of Victoria, British Columbia
Nichola is the Coordinator for Arts & Culture 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.
Alice Sabourin, City of Hamilton, Ontario
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.
Alison Turner, City of Edmonton, Alberta
Alison is the Communications Director for the Edmonton Arts Council. A graduate of Grant MacEwan's Arts & Cultural Management Program, Alison also has a BA in Philosophy from the University of Alberta and BAA in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson University. Before joining the EAC, Alison was the Executive Director of the Film & Video Arts Society – Alberta. Alison is interested in cultural policy and the role it plays in shaping communities as well as the lives of the people who make their living in the arts. She has volunteered on several arts boards and committees over the last ten years and is currently teaching the Arts Advocacy and Lobbying course in the Arts and Cultural Management program at Grant MacEwan University.
Frances Westlund, City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Frances is the Arts and Grants Consultant with the City of Saskatoon, responsible for the implementation of the Civic Arts Policy and providing funding to the community. She has worked in a variety of cultural fields including libraries and museums. Presently Frances is part of the team developing a new Culture Plan for the City of Saskatoon.