Meet our Team
One of my favourite quotes is, “Art is not meant to answer questions. It’s meant to demonstrate possibilities.” I am a passionate arts champion who over the past 15 years has cultivated relationships in Calgary’s arts community through marketing, fundraising and the creation of programming that supports local artists. I’ve enjoyed working on the teams of Glenbow Museum, Theatre Calgary, Alberta Theatre Projects, Downtown Calgary and previously volunteered with B/A’s artsScene Calgary and boardLink. Always representing a blend of business and the arts, I hold a Bachelors of Commerce Honours Degree from the Queen’s University with a minor in Art History. Currently I’m also the Wonder Woman behind the scenes directing the Parade of Wonders for the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. When not working I can be found attending local drag performances, sharing my love of Iceland or travelling internationally. I’m honoured through artsvest to now champion the incredible arts organizations across the province of Alberta.
Born and raised on the Saskatchewan prairie, I live in the small community of Shaunavon (less than 2000 people!) with my husband and two teenagers. When I’m not working you can find me on the curling ice (in the winter, at least!). One book that has influenced me is The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin, where he challenges readers to treat their work as a form of art. A perfect day for me consists of sipping tea in the summer sunshine while my cat naps on my lap, going for a walk, reading a book, baking some treats and enjoying a relaxing dinner with my family (which I DID NOT cook!)
Robert J. Foster, B.A, M.A. (Economics), CFA, is Founder, President and CEO of Capital Canada Ltd., an independent investment banking firm. Mr. Foster has provided years of successful support to Canadian companies and entrepreneurs in the aviation, sports and entertainment industries. As rewarding as his professional career has been in helping to finance Toronto’s Sky Dome, a Rolling Stones tour, or a small Canadian east coast helicopter company which grew into the largest helicopter company in the world, Mr. Foster’s passionate avocation has always been his volunteer work in Toronto’s arts and cultural community. Mr. Foster is currently Chair of Artscape, which in 2012 opened the extraordinary Daniels Spectrum, a 60,000 square foot cultural centre in Regent Park. He serves on the boards of the Harbourfront Foundation, Luminato, The Mayor’s Task Force – Arts & Theatre, The National Arts Centre – Ontario Scene and The Toronto Theatres Working Group. In 2011, Mr. Foster was the lead Co-Chair for a year-long examination of Toronto’s cultural capacity and priorities, which resulted in the Creative Capital Report for the City of Toronto. This has been embraced by City Council and is a guiding document for the city’s cultural funding and growth moving forward. Robert Foster was named co-recipient of the Rita Davies and Margo Bindhardt Cultural Leader Award at the Mayor’s Lunch on June 27, 2013. This award is presented biennially to an individual who has demonstrated 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. He is proud of his wife Julia Foster and four grown children, who all also contribute to the enrichment of our community.
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 for Leadership Support of the Arts 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.
Hon. Henry N.R. Jackman, O.C., has a distinguished record of support and involvement with the arts and served as Chair of CBAC from 1996-1998. During his term as Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, he created and funded the Lieutenant-Governor’s Awards for the Arts, the largest annual cash awards for the arts in Canada, providing $300,000 in prize money to Ontario arts organizations each year. He is the Honorary Chairman of the Empire Life Insurance Company, former Chairman of the Ontario Arts Council and has served as President of the Canadian Opera Company and the Ballet Opera House Corporation, as well as on the boards of many other arts and charitable organizations. He received the Philanthropist of the Year Award in 1995 from the National Society of Fund Raising Executives (now the Association of Fundraising Professionals).
Donald K. Johnson, O.C., LL.D, is Chairman Emeritus of Business for the Arts. He is currently a Member, Advisory Board, BMO Capital Markets, after serving as Vice Chairman of BMO Nesbitt Burns and President of Burns Fry. When Chairing a Capital Campaign for the National Ballet Company in the 1990’s, he began a 12-year campaign to convince the federal government to eliminate the capital gains tax on charitable gifts of listed securities. The government removed the tax in its 2006 budget and since that time, charities have received over $1 billion each year in gifts of stock. He has received a number of awards, including the 2007 Edmund C. Bovey Award for leadership support of the arts, and Honorary Doctor of Laws Degrees from the University of Western Ontario and the University of Manitoba. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2004, an Office of the Order of Canada in 2009 and was named Nation Builder of the Year for 2007 by the Globe and Mail. He serves as a volunteer board member of five not-for-profit organizations and is Chairman of a public Company, easyhome Limited.
Anthony R. Graham, LL.D., is President of Wittington Investments, Limited and is also a director of several corporations including George Weston Limited, Graymont Ltd., Grupo Calidra, Loblaw Companies Limited, Power Corporation of Canada, Power Financial Corporation, Selfridges & Co., Ltd., De Bijenkorf B.V., Holt, Renfrew & Co. Limited, Brown Thomas & Co. Limited and Victoria Square Ventures Inc. Anthony is active in the art and business community as a Board Member of the Ontario Arts Foundation, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, St. Michael’s Hospital and Luminato. He is former Chairman of both Branksome Hall School and the Shaw Festival, and is presently Chairman of each of their foundations. He is also a Member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the World Presidents’ Organization (WPO). He is also the Honorary Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Canada. In 1995, Anthony was recognized by The Financial Post as one of “Canada’s Top 40 Under 40” and in 1998 he was awarded the Government of Ontario Volunteer Service Award. In June 2007, he was awarded an Honourary Doctorate of Laws Degree from Brock University.
Robert S. Weiss, F.C.A., is Treasurer of CBAC. Until his retirement in September 2000, he was the Managing Partner of Arthur Andersen for Toronto and partner-in-charge of the Ontario practice. He was recognized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario as a Fellow in 1994. A graduate of the University of Toronto in Political Science and Economics, Robert now serves as a member of the Governing Council and the Business Board of U of T and is Past Chair of the Audit Committee. Past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, he served as Chair of the Canadian Arts Summit Steering Committee in 2001-2002.
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.
Hon. Roy MacLaren, P.C., is a graduate of the Universities of British Columbia, Cambridge and Toronto. He was a Canadian diplomat from 1957 to 1970, a businessman from 1970, and a federal Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister from 1979 to 1996 when he became High Commissioner for Canada in the U.K. Upon completion of his London appointment, he joined several boards in Britain and Canada and resumed his earlier membership on the board of the Canadian Opera Company. He is also a director of the Royal Ontario Museum Foundation.
Nina Kaiden Wright has been a fundraising consultant in Canada and the United States since 1959. She founded Arts & Communications Counselors, a firm that employs a unique blend of marketing and strategic philanthropy to create meaningful private sector-public sector partnerships, primarily in the arts and cultural arena. Shet has worked with the boards of large institutions, and independently, to access many millions of dollars across North America. Lauded for her tenacity, creativity and visionary leadership in the field, Nina has established a new standard of excellence in the arena of corporate arts philanthropy in Canada.