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Maya Choldin

Executive Director, Theatre Calgary
Committee Co-chair
Committee Co-chair
Executive Director, Theatre Calgary
Maya Choldin has been an executive leader for performing arts organizations for over a decade. She began her tenure at Theatre Calgary in November, 2020 during what she presumed would be the later portion of the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously she served as the Managing Director for the groundbreaking Pig Iron Theatre Company. During those seven years she produced eight world premieres on every conceivable scale, from 1100 seat concert venues to 40 seat cabarets. Maya has forged collaborations with partner organizations from art museums to rock bands, expanding what is possible in live performance and building a new generation of audiences. Prior to Pig Iron, she was the General Manager of Pennsylvania Ballet, where she managed the construction of their new artistic home and their first international tour.

At George Mason University’s Hylton Performing Arts Center, Maya supervised the final stages of the facility construction, its inauguration, and initial occupancy. She also created the framework for George Mason’s unique facility to serve its mission: presenting world class artists while simultaneously serving as a hub for community constituents. She spent six years at the Kimmel Center in varied production management roles, supervising events and labor contracts towards successful presentations. A former member of the Directors Guild of America, she has been an assistant director in film and television, working on set to bring major features and commercials to the screen. Maya has also managed productions and projects at Opera Philadelphia, the Mann Center, and FringeArts. An Alberta native, Maya attended Mount Allison University, Canada’s top undergraduate university and was awarded the Katherine Shaw Bigelow Award in recognition of her contributions to the theatre department. In the fall of 2019, Maya attended ArtEquity Facilitator Training to deepen her commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the arts. To stay close to her roots while in the States, Maya was an active member of the Bucks County Curling Club and currently curls at North Hill Curling Club.

Monica Esteves

Executive Director, Canadian Stage Company
Committee Co-chair
Committee Co-chair
Executive Director, Canadian Stage Company
Monica Esteves was appointed Executive Director of the Canadian Stage Company (Toronto) in the 2018-2019 season. In her 20+ year career in arts management, she has specialized in capacity and capital building, earned and contributed revenue growth and new business models. Prior to Canadian Stage, Monica was the Managing Director of Crow’s Theatre (2010-2019). Her co-leadership contributed to organizational transformation, the completion of the $12M new arts centre Streetcar Crowsnest, ten-fold growth of earned and contributed revenues, and the establishment of Crow’s as an anchor organization for its local and broader communities. Earlier in her career, Monica was the General Manager of Nightwood Theatre, and worked with a wide variety of theatres including Canadian Stage, Tarragon Theatre, Stratford Festival, Mirvish Productions, Theatre Passe Muraille, and various festivals and productions. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and has served on numerous industry boards and advisories.

Mark Wold

Dean of Arts and Leadership, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Committee Member
Committee Member
Dean of Arts and Leadership, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Mark is an experienced arts leader and administrator at Banff Centre with over 20 years’ experience in the arts, culture and not for profit sectors. He leads the overall planning process for arts programming at Banff Centre, including the performing arts (music, dance, theatre, and opera), Indigenous arts, and with direct oversight of the literary arts, visual arts, and cultural leadership programming areas. Mark regularly collaborates with leading artists, artistic directors, and curators from around the world, along with administrators, multi-disciplinary production teams, national arts and culture partners, provincial and federal government agencies, Indigenous artists and advisors, donors, and local audiences and community members. Mark has led several change management processes, has overseen numerous capital projects, including a major renovation of a recital hall and recording studios, and has been a negotiator through several collective agreement bargaining processes. He has served on several national arts juries, has attended leading multi-disciplinary arts festivals across North America, in Europe and in Africa, and has previously lived and worked overseas on a variety of community development projects.

Alisa Palmer

Artistic Director (English Section) and Director of the Acting and Residency Programs, the National Theatre School of Canada
Committee Member
Committee Member
Artistic Director (English Section) and Director of the Acting and Residency Programs, the National Theatre School of Canada
Alisa Palmer is the Artistic Director of the National Theatre School of Canada ( NTS), English Section, and is the Director of the Acting, Directing and Artistic Residency Programs. NTS is the only institution in the country entirely devoted to providing professional training in all theatre arts in both official languages. She is currently a member of the Comité d'évaluation de théâtre for the Conseil des Arts de Montréal, and is a member of the Steering Committee for the Canadian Arts Summit.

Ms Palmer is an internationally trained, award-winning theatre director, playwright, and theatre producer. Her work crosses genres, including the classics, contemporary plays, creation projects, musicals and operas. Ms. Palmer's work is characterized by vivid performances, a bold use of music, powerful visuals and a passionate commitment to the body politic. She is the recipient of numerous awards both in Canada and internationally, and has premiered and toured original and provocative theatre creations for over twenty years.

Ms. Palmer has taught in conservatories and universities across Canada. She was Artistic Director of Nightwood Theatre where she commissioned and produced landmark productions including Harlem Duet by Djanet Sears, and Smudge by Alex Bulmer, Canada’s first professional play by a visually impaired playwright. Ms Palmer was the Resident Director for the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings. She has directed productions in most theatres across Canada including eight seasons at the Shaw Festival and is now in her second season at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Ms. Palmer continues to explore new projects via Vita Brevis, a company with projects in development at theatres in Canada and the US. Ms Palmer has served on the Toronto Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, was a member of the Board of Directors of Toronto’s Theatre Centre and is a three-time finalist for the Siminovitch Prize for Directing and the recipient for Award of Excellence in the Arts from her home province of New Brunswick.

At NTS, Ms Palmer’s mandate is "to provide leadership that will create a vessel steady enough to hold the vagaries of personal and artistic growth, with teachers and guides who put the goals of the students first; where each artist is, above all, a person, unlimited by gender, physical ability, race or class. "

Anne Chafe

CEO, The Rooms
Committee Member
Committee Member
CEO, The Rooms
Anne Chafe has served as the CEO of The Rooms since 2019, where she previously served as Executive Director of Museums and Galleries. Ms. Chafe first started at The Rooms as the Director of the Provincial Museum Division in 2007. Prior to her return to her native St. John's, Ms. Chafe worked for 23 years in Ontario's museum and cultural field.

Ms. Chafe began her museum career at the former Newfoundland Museum in 1983. Following her completion of a Masters of Museum Studies degree from the University of Toronto in 1986, Ms. Chafe remained in Ontario where she held the positions of the Assistant Curator of the Joseph Schneider Haus Museum and Curator of the Seagram Museum before assuming the position of Manager of Heritage Resources for the City of Waterloo, which she held for nine years prior to returning to St. John's.

In Ontario, Ms. Chafe was involved in provincial professional organizations and served as the President of the Ontario Museum Association and as a Museums Committee member of the Ontario Historical Society. More recently, Ms. Chafe served as the President of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada and sat on the editorial board of the Canadian Museums Association's publication, MUSE. She was a member of the Virtual Museum of Canada's Advisory Committee as well as a member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) Canada's Board of Directors and the Selection Committee for the Province’s Public Service Award of Excellence.

Ms. Chafe's work has been recognized by the Governor General of Canada's History Alive program, the Canadian Museums Association, the Ontario Museum Association, the Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Historic Sites Association of NL. She is also a recipient of the Sally Thorsen Award for Professional Excellence from the Waterloo Regional Heritage Foundation.

Bruce Munro Wright

Board Member, Arts Umbrella
Committee Member
Committee Member
Board Member, Arts Umbrella
Bruce Munro Wright is a volunteer leader in the Canadian charitable sector for over 25 years as board chair, director, panellist, juror, adjudicator, fundraiser and philanthropist. Following retirement in 2018 from active legal practice, Bruce now spends full-time on charitable roles, much of which is focussed on the arts. In 2021 he was recognized as one of the 500 most influential business leaders in B.C. by Business in Vancouver for his arts contributions. He holds the ICD.D designation and degrees from Trinity College, U of Toronto (B.Comm), Osgoode Hall (LL.B) and London Business School in the U.K. (MBA). Bruce holds ARCT diplomas in piano and french horn from the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. He is based in Vancouver and Toronto.

Bruce is past Chair of the Vancouver Art Gallery where he chaired the architect selection for the new gallery building and now chairs its Foundation. He also currently serves as a director of the Museum of Contemporary Art (Toronto). He actively supports exhibitions by Canadian visual artists and is a past director of the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver). Bruce chairs the Vancouver Symphony’s 2022 Gala and is a past director of the Symphony. He is Treasurer for Opera in Canada Association and is a director of the Chor Leoni Foundation. He is a past Chair of Vancouver Opera and of its Foundation and was awarded the National Opera Director Emeritus Award at the Opera America awards in New York for service to the Canadian sector. He has also served as a director of Ballet B.C. and actively supports Early Music Vancouver as well as personally sponsoring many performances by Canadian artists.

Bruce is a director of Arts Umbrella in Vancouver, which provides arts education to more than 24,000 students annually. For the sixth time in its 40th Anniversary year, Bruce is co-chairing Vancouver’s philanthropic highlight the Splash Gala and Art Auction. For over a decade, Bruce continues to serve as the President of Health Arts Society (B.C.) which presents Concerts in Care - an ongoing program of paid professional level concerts to people in care. Bruce also serves on the boards of Concerts in Care sister charities throughout Canada which have cumulatively reached more than one million seniors with over 22,000 concerts. For a number of years he was President of the Ontario charity. Bruce also serves as President of Pride in Art Society in Vancouver which annually presents one of the world’s leading artist-run, multi-disciplinary queer arts festivals and runs the SUM gallery in Vancouver’s Chinatown, Canada’s only queer-mandated visual art gallery.

John G. Hampton

Executive Director & CEO, The MacKenzie Art Gallery
Committee Member
Committee Member
Executive Director & CEO, The MacKenzie Art Gallery
John G. Hampton (they/them or he/him) is a curator, artist, administrator, and current Executive Director and CEO of the MacKenzie Art Gallery. They hold a Masters of Visual Studies – Curatorial Studies from the University of Toronto, and a BA in Visual Arts from the University of Regina. John is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, the United States, and Canada, and grew up in Regina. They have previously held positions as Executive Director of the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Artistic Director of Trinity Square Video, and Curator at Neutral Ground Artist-Run Centre. In addition to their role at the MacKenzie, Hampton holds an adjunct curator appointment at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, an adjunct professorship at the University of Regina, and is a member of the Indigenous Curatorial Collective board of directors.

Paul Laroque

President & CEO, Arts Umbrella
Committee Member
Committee Member
President & CEO, Arts Umbrella
In 2016 Paul Larocque returned to Arts Umbrella to assume the role of President & CEO where he previously held senior management positions in the late nineties and early 2000s. Paul is thrilled to be leading the 40-year-old organization during a period of significant growth, which includes plans to repurpose the former Emily Carr University of Art + Design South Building to serve as Arts Umbrella’s new core facility (scheduled to open in fall 2020).

Prior to his return to Arts Umbrella, Paul held the position of Associate Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery for more than a decade where his portfolio included administration, fundraising, government relations, strategic planning, education, and the Gallery’s relocation efforts.

With over three decades of involvement in the cultural sector, Paul is committed to promoting the importance of arts education and the arts in our communities. He is an active member of Vancouver’s cultural community and is a member of Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, as well as the City of Vancouver Arts and Culture Advisory Committee and Granville Island Council. For several years, Paul has served as a Mentor and a Selection Committee Chair with the Loran Scholars Foundation.

Robert J. Foster

Board Chair, Business / Arts and T.O. Live
Committee Member
Committee Member
Board Chair, Business / Arts and T.O. Live
Robert J. Foster, B.A, M.A. (Economics), CFA, is Founder, President and CEO of Capital Canada Limited, an independent investment banking firm in Toronto.

Mr. Foster is currently Chair, Business / Arts, an organization which connects arts professionals to business patrons and volunteers across the country as well as TO Live, which is responsible for overseeing the business affairs and operation management of the Civic Theatres Toronto. He also serves on the board of the Harbourfront Foundation and previously served as the Co-chair of The Mayor’s Task Force- Arts & Theatre, Chair; Toronto Artscape, Co-Chair; The National Arts Centre – Ontario Scene, Board; Luminato. In 2011, Robert was Co-Chair for a year-long examination of Toronto’s cultural capacity and priorities, which resulted in the Creative Capital Gains Report, a report embraced by City Council and used as a guiding document for the city’s cultural funding and growth. In 2013, Robert was co-recipient of the Rita Davies and Margo Bindhardt Cultural Leader Award, presented biennially to an individual demonstrating cultural leadership in the development of arts and culture in Toronto. Over his lifetime, Robert Foster has generously donated his time, expertise and financial support to more than 30 city and country building initiatives and organizations.

Aubrey Reeves

President & CEO, Business / Arts
Committee Member
Committee Member
President & CEO, Business / Arts
In October 2020, Aubrey joined Business / Arts as CEO, a role that continues her mission to see the arts and culture industry move sustainably into the future. Previously, Aubrey held leadership roles at Culture Days since its inception in 2010. Aubrey was recruited to help launch the inaugural Culture Days Weekend in Ontario that year. She eventually became National Executive Director (2017-2020) and in that capacity, she provided leadership and spearheaded collaborations with provincial partners across the country, brokered key corporate, industry and media sponsorships and partnerships, and championed organizational goals and strategies to increase the reach, accessibility and impact of Culture Days.

Aubrey has also worked with the Ontario Arts Council, Trinity Square Video, Dance Current Magazine and has served on the Boards of the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto and Dreamwalker Dance Company.

A multi-disciplinary artist, Aubrey possesses a unique set of sensibilities that allow her to champion initiatives encompassing the perspectives of artists, audiences, cultural organizations and partners alike. Her artworks have been exhibited across Canada and internationally.

Jim Fleck, C.C.

Past Chair, Business / Arts
Ex Officio
Ex Officio
Past Chair, Business / Arts
Dr. James D. Fleck, C.C., earned a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and a D.B.A. from Harvard, before returning to Canada to help found the Faculty of Administrative Studies at York University. He has had a distinguished career in the private and government sectors as well as academia, serving as Secretary of Cabinet for Premier William Davis in the Government of Ontario. He is the founder and former CEO of Fleck Manufacturing Co. and has served on many corporate boards.

An emeritus professor and recipient of an Honorary Degree from the University of Toronto, he was the President of the Art Gallery of Ontario and is Vice-Chair of the Museum of Civilization, founder of the Toronto Music Garden and the Power Plant, and Chairman of the Harbourfront Foundation. Dr. Fleck received the Edmund C. Bovey Award in 2003 and was honoured with the Angel Award for Philanthropy in the Arts by the International Society of Performing Arts in 2009. Jim also received the Governor General’s Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts in 2009.