Board of Directors

Meet our Team

President and CEO

Nichole Anderson, President and CEO of Business for the Arts, holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations and a Masters degree in Art History from the University of Toronto. She joined Business for the Arts in 2006 and has worked with an ever-growing team of volunteers, Board Members and colleagues to develop programs and events of national scale that stimulate business volunteerism and investment in the arts.

Prior to her role at Business for the Arts, Nichole managed the corporate art collection at Hbc, which included Ken Thomson’s beautiful Canadian Art collection, and helped develop museum programming and exhibits for the company’s new museum sites and community events across Canada.

Nichole holds a number of volunteer positions, including Board Member of the Arts Access Fund, which gives full-year scholarships for children and youth from underserved communities to take lessons in the arts discipline of their choice. She is a Member of the Canada 150 Advisory Committee for the City of Toronto, and an active volunteer in the community.

She is a past Member of the Toronto TELUS Community Board (4 years); Board Member of the Art of Time Ensemble (6 years); Member of the Steering Committee for the City of Toronto’s Creative Capital initiative (3 years); and Vice President of the Health Arts Society Ontario (5 years). She studied music seriously from the age of three, with a focus on the violin, and plays informally now with family and friends.

Brittney Cathcart

Director of Development and Operations

Maggie Fairs

Senior Communications Adviser
Senior Communications Adviser

Maggie is the program director for the Canadian Arts Summit and a senior strategic adviser for Business/Arts. Having worked in the U.K, the U.S. and Canada, most recently as an SVP, client leader with global communications firm Weber Shandwick, (in New York, Minneapolis and Toronto), Maggie brings extensive global communications and project management experience. Her greatest strength is her ability to build strong relationships and to problem solve, a skill she has honed through her agency work as well as in-house experience in the not-for-profit sector, where being resourceful was a necessary asset. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Maggie worked at Kraft Foods in the U.K as well as a UK government-run charity and at National PR in Toronto.

During her tenure in communications, Maggie has led awarding-winning campaigns for public awareness and reputation management that have garnered awards from the industry establishments including IABC, SABRES and the Holmes Report.

A theatre geek and lifelong supporter of the arts, Maggie has volunteered on a number of arts boards including, Crow’s Theatre and the Art of Time in Toronto, and the Alliance of Resident Theatre Companies in New York.

Karran Sahadeo

Creative Director
Creative Director

Born in Guyana, got a tan in the Bahamas, learned about life in New Jersey, drank a cup of tea in England, now cycling through Toronto. When I am not pushing out exceptional designs, I can be found taking photographs, cooking, and drinking craft brews… often at the same time. Instagram

Candace Elder

National Program Director, artsvest
National Program Director, artsvest

With over fifteen years of professional experience, I am dedicated to making space for creative, critical, visionary thinking in support of the arts and their fundamental contribution to our society. Born in Calgary, raised in southern Ontario, rebounded west to Banff, Calgary, Edmonton and now landed in Toronto, I have an affection for both east and west. When I am not building capacity in the arts & cultural sectors through our artsvest program, I can be found at arts events around the city or curled in a chair listening to records, reading a book, or stringing words together in a notebook or cocktail napkin. I chose this line of work because as one of my hero’s Patti Smith said “Make your interactions with people transformational, not just transactional” and I believe the arts can do that better than anything.

Jessica Vellenga

Associate National Program Director, artsvest
Associate National Program Director, artsvest

I am an artist, arts advocate and administrator working in the cultural sector for 20 years focusing on community engagement, collaboration, pluralism, inclusivity and accessibility. I chose this career path because I believe that creativity is a vital part of our lives, allowing us to learn, grow, share and communicate. I’ve been fortunate to live in all across Canada from Whitehorse to Toronto, Huntsville to Montreal and in the UK. When I’m not working, you can find me developing my art practice, using craft to connect with others, telling our personal and collective stories with a needle and thread. www.jessicavellenga.com

Alyssa Giddings

Events Coordinator
Events Coordinator

The arts have been a constant thread throughout my life, and every time I try to run away, they pull me back in. The arts are messy, colourful, raw and grounded in bringing people together. They are a necessity in our world and I am proud to be part of the force that keeps them alive. When I’m not working, I’m usually out doing something active, drinking wine and eating food with friends, or dreaming up the next adventure.

From the words of my friend and artist, Suzanne Northcott, “it’s simple, spend your life doing the things that you like doing, with the people you like doing it with”.

Senior Accountant

I joined Business for the Arts in the summer of 2012. I have ten years of experience working in accounting in both small and medium companies and various industries including retail, constructions, and not for profit. When I am not crunching numbers, I enjoy going on long drives equipped with an exhaustive playlist of 90s Tamil songs, and exploring and tasting various mouthwatering cuisines.

Junior Accountant

When I’m not working, you can typically find me at the library. If I were stuck on a desert island, I’d bring the following three things. A boat, water and food. One thing not many people know about me that I play piano. One quote that really resonates with me. “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe” – Anatole France. A book that has really influenced me is Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In.

Mireille Couture

Program Manager, artsvest Montreal

Monika Hakala

Program Manager, artsvest Toronto
Program Manager, artsvest Toronto

Violinist, pianist, all-around supernerd, and lifelong advocate for the arts. I have a background in music and education, and was fortunate enough to live in China researching those subjects. When I’m not working I’m probably playing in an orchestra, practicing music for fun, or volunteering with a charity video game marathon.

Kenji Maeda

Program Manager, artsvest B.C.
Program Manager, artsvest B.C.

Growing up I wanted to be a teacher. I have a healthy balance of both arts and business in my life – I grew up with entrepreneurs as parents, and they encouraged me to be an artist and participate in many arts and culture activities. I chose this line of work because I believe that the visible and invisible work that artists produce impacts our lives. I now have the privilege of working with dozens of arts organizations across the province that make our communities more vibrant and liveable.