CAS 19 Speakers
Upkar has previously served on the CAS Steering Committee for three years, including as Chair, has been Chair of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection for the past six years, serves as a director on the boards of Institute for Canadian Citizenship, Metrolinx and the Advisory Council of the University of Waterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance, where he also teaches. In 2014, he founded Illumina Social Impact Partners to help NFP’s, charities and social entrepreneurs enhance their social impact and generate positive, scalable and sustainable change. Upkar is a CPA, CA and holds the ICD.D designation.
Prior to joining PuSh, Ms Duncan was Managing Director of The Theatre Centre, where she was a key member of the management team responsible for the creation of its $6.2 million live arts hub in Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood.
Her career began in Edinburgh in 2005 working with Aurora Nova and Paul Lucas Productions. She relocated to Toronto in 2007 where she worked with a range of remarkable Toronto-based companies including Volcano Theatre, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Dreamwalker Dance, Acting Upstage, Why Not Theatre, Company Theatre, and was a member of the Development Department at Soulpepper.
AEA, established in 1990, is a leading cultural consultancy with offices in London and New York. Clients include foundations, government agencies and leading cultural organizations throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas including Barbican Arts Centre (London), the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation (New York), the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the League of American Orchestras (New York …and…the Banff Centre (Alberta).
Adrian returned to his AEA at the beginning of 2012, after serving as Executive Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center from 2007. Prior to founding AEA, he was Executive Director of The Conran Foundation (1986 – 1990), where he was responsible for planning the establishment of the Design Museum in London .
Adrian has served on the boards of the National Museum of Wales, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), and the Kaufman Center (New York). He was a Scholar in Residence at Teachers College, Columbia.v In 2012, he was named a “Jazz Hero of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association.
Adrian Ellis est le directeur fondateur d’AEA Consulting et le cofondateur du Réseau global et culturel des districts.
Ms Gaffney joined the Festival in 1991 and over the past 21 years has held a variety of positions including Director of Marketing during the theatre’s years of peak attendance. She designed the Festival’s customer relationship marketing system, which remains in use today and has been emulated by arts organizations around the world. In addition to her marketing expertise, Ms Gaffney is highly regarded for her skills in government relations, finance, change management and strategic planning, honed during her years as the Festival’s Administrative Director.
In 2008 Ms Gaffney was selected to participate in the Governor General’s Leadership Conference, and in 2006 she received a Business Excellence Award for Personal Achievement from the Stratford and District Chamber of Commerce. She has an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University and has continued her executive education through Harvard Business School. She resides in Stratford with her husband, Kevin.
His career includes years spent in advertising and broadcast production where he produced television commercials for some of North America’s largest brands including Verizon, Comcast, AB/ImBev, Hilton Hotels, GM and others.
CJ holds a degree in Economics with a minor in fine art from the University of Western Ontario. He is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s New Media Lab a father of two, a long suffering Leafs fan and a street art addict.
Sue’s early career included managing a touring dance company, setting up the education department of English National Ballet and teaching English at the Université de Paris X. Sue was Director of Dance and subsequently Deputy Secretary General for Arts Council England, where she had responsibility for arts strategies, policy, research and planning. She has been Head of Arts for the British Council in France and Executive Director of The Place centre for contemporary dance, where she led a capital development and change programme.
Sue is co-author of a comparative study on funding for culture in France and Britain. In 2010, she was made a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques for her contribution to French culture.
She was formerly a Trustee of the British Council and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and chaired the Boards of DV8 Physical Theatre and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Theatre. She is Programme Adviser to the Advanced Cultural Leadership Programme at Hong Kong University and an Honorary Fellow of Falmouth University.
Mélanie worked at two major law firms in Montréal before making the leap into communications, as a managing partner of the Montréal office of the international communications firm Cohn & Wolfe. Founder of Le Vrai Changement pour Montréal party, Mélanie ran for mayor of Montréal in 2013.
A firm believer in the importance of community involvement, Mélanie has served on numerous boards of directors, including those of the Régie des rentes du Québec, Fondation du CHUM, and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. She has also served as a spokesperson for Logis Rose-Virginie and as an ambassador for Herstreet.
Mélanie’s hard work has been recognized on many occasions. She was selected by Elle Québec as the 2008 Woman of the Year in the “up and coming” category, and was later honoured as the first Quebecer to receive the Arnold Edinborough Award for her involvement in the cultural community.
Mélanie holds an Honours Bachelor of Law from Université de Montréal and a Magister Juris in European and Comparative law from the University of Oxford.
CMMr. Lassonde’s career spans more than 30 years. In 1982, Mr. Lassonde co-founded the Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation, the first publicly traded gold company, which was also recognized for its innovative business model. In 2002, the company merged with Newmont Mining Corp to become the world’s largest mining company. He led the start-up of both Metallica Resources and Enghouse Systems Ltd, for which he is a leading shareholder and Director of the company. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Lassonde also acted as Chairman of the World Gold Council. He is the author of The Gold Book: The Complete Investment Guide to Precious Metals, published in 1990 and was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in January 2013.
Mr. Lassonde is an active and engaged philanthropist in both Canada and the United States in the fields of Education, the Arts. He was the Chairman of Opera Colorado’s Board of Directors from 2003 to 2008 and is also currently Chairman of the Board of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) (since 2006). Over the years, he has generously donated to institutions such as the University of Toronto, College Marie-Clarac, the University of Utah, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Western Ontario, Ryerson and York University as well as the MNBAQ.
Mr. Lassonde has a B.A., University of Montreal 1967, a BSc Electrical Engineering from Polytechnique, Montreal 1971 and an MBA, University of Utah, 1973. He received his P.Eng. Ontario designation in 1976 and CFA designation from CFA Institute, 1984. He holds honorary Ph.D’s in Engineering from the Universities of Toronto, Montreal and Ryerson, Doctor of Business, University of Utah and received an Honorary Doctor of Law from York University, June 2014.
He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2002 and Officer of the Quebec Order in 2008.
Pierre Lassonde has been appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for the Arts for a five-year term effective July 28, 2015 to July 27, 2020.
My years of experience have culminated into a singular entrepreneurial goal of building Culture Creates, Canada’s first socially innovative and financially viable tech start-up for the non-profit performing arts sector. We can be resilient, even if only incrementally.
Christina also currently serves as Executive Director of Opera.ca, the association for opera in Canada where she has delivered change management programming for the sector along such themes as resilience and system thinking, capitalization, design thinking, and social innovation. Her 18 year career in the performing arts has encompassed senior positions in opera, music, and dance. Before Opera.ca, she was Managing Director for Danny Grossman Dance, Director of Touring for Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Director of Marketing with Opera Ontario.
Through his role as mentor for the Lean Performing Arts pilot and co-founder of the Arts Accelerator (artxl.org), he is inspired by the potential benefits of cross-pollinating methods, ideas and networks from other sectors through experiential learning, mentorship and ecosystem development.
Ameet co-founded Rawlings Atlantic in 2001, a London/Toronto-based, global consultancy firm that provides C-level strategic and operational advisory services to large as well as emerging companies, focusing on business start-up and turnaround, strategic growth/business development, and transaction support.
He has worked or consulted with Deloitte, Bank of Montreal, Samsung, UK Trade and Investment, My Healthcare Innovation, MaRS (healthcare), Health Strategy Innovation Cell, Defcom Information Security Services, and Sun Microsystems on innovation-related projects. Ameet has an MBA from Harvard Business School.
In 2015, Sean hosted Crash Gallery, a limited-run series on CBC that takes a fun, irreverent look at the creative process through challenges inspired by movements in art history. In 2011, Sean co-founded the performance collective Events in Real Time with artist Liz Peterson. The collective has created multiple performance-based projects, including Express Yourself, which was presented in Toronto and New York and won the SummerWorks Festival Jury Prize for Risk and Innovation.
thousands of new visitors to the AGO. In 2015, Sean hosted Crash Gallery, a limited-run series on CBC that takes a fun, irreverent look at the creative process through challenges inspired by movements in art history. In 2011, Sean co-founded the performance collective Events in Real Time with artist Liz Peterson. The collective has created multiple performance-based projects, including Express Yourself, which was presented in Toronto and New York and won the SummerWorks Festival Jury Prize for Risk and Innovation. Sean sits on the board of Gallery TPW, and in 2014 was named one of the Canadian art community’s “Top 30 under 30” by ArtInfo. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto.
Prior to her professional engagements in the United States, Janice held senior positions at a number of Toronto arts organizations, including the Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts and The Corporation of Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall. From 1992 – 1996, Janice was the Director of Marketing and Special Projects for the Stratford Festival.
Janice Price also served as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Festivals and Major Events (FAME) coalition of large Canadian festivals, and as a member of the board of Festivals and Events Ontario where she served on the advocacy and education committees. She is also a member of the National Board of Culture Days.
Ms. Price has served on numerous arts related Boards, and currently serves on the National Board of Culture Days, Business for the Arts, Govenor Generals Canadian Leadership Council, and the Council of PostSecondary Presidents of Alberta.
In the mid-80’s, Penny crossed over to film and television, producing several award-winning documentaries and dramas, with international coproduction partners, for the National Film Board, Great North Productions, and Alliance Atlantis.
Penny’s long and varied experience in the arts makes her a strong leader, able to appreciate and direct the many activities of a major arts organization and a large facility. She has received the Maclab Enterprises Award for Excellence in Arts Administration, the Rozsa Award for Innovation and was nominated for a Women of Vision Award.
Penny is a passionate participant in and advocate for the arts in all their forms and has served on numerous juries and committees. She is currently a member of the Executive Council for TRG Arts.
Michael Serbinis is the CEO and Founder of LEAGUE, a new digital health benefits platform that is set to disrupt the world of insurance. Prior to LEAGUE, Michael was the Founder and CEO of Kobo, a global leader in ebooks, and docSpace, a pioneer in cloud storage. Michael got his start building one of the first search engines, Zip2 at the start of the Internet boom.
A member of the Perimeter Institute’s Board of Directors, MaRS Discovery District Board of Directors, Board of Trustees at the Ontario Science Centre, a member of the Creative Destruction Lab Board and YPO. Michael is also a mentor & investor in new technology companies through his company Three Angels Capital.
Russell has held a wide range of managerial and Board posts in the commercial and nonprofit sectors. She received the Garrett Award for an outstanding contribution to the arts in Britain, the only American to be recognized in this way. Russell currently serves on the boards of the Salzburg Global Seminar, the Arts Management program at American University, the British Council’s Arts & Creative Economy Advisory Group, Fractured Atlas, The Charlottesville Albemarle Community Foundation and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2013, Russell was honored with the International Citation of Merit by the International Society for the Performing Arts, presented in recognition of her lifetime achievement and her distinguished service to the performing arts.
Prior to his appointment as Director of Film Programmes, Wente served as one of the Canadian features programmers for the Toronto International Film Festival, and also programmed for the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Festival. Well known as a film critic and broadcaster in Toronto and across Canada, he is a weekly contributor to CBC Radio’s Metro Morning and has covered film and pop culture for 20 other local CBC Radio programs. He has also been a regular guest on CBC Newsworld’s News Morning and Weekend Edition, as well as Q. Wente is the former president of Native Earth Performing Arts, Canada’s oldest Indigenous Performing Arts Company.
Recent roles include Program Supervisor and Exhibition Manager for Nuit Blanche Toronto (2014 & 2015); Producer for the Luminato Festival (2014) and four seasons as Rhubarb Festival Director for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (2010-2014). From 2008-2010, for Harbourfront Centre, she was Curator and Coordinator for HATCH residency and mentorship program, Artistic Associate for World Stage and Producer of The Culture Congress, an annual arts and culture forum.
Her performance and installation work has been presented across North America, the UK and Europe, including 7a*11d Festival of Performance Art (Toronto), Galapagos Art Space (NY) and London International Festival of Theatre (London). Laura also actively mentors and provides consultation for emerging producers, curators and organizations across the globe. www.laurananni.com