Program & Speakers


Click here for the Conference Program (pdf).


Registration Desk
Black Rock Lobby, 4:00 pm onwards

    • Conference Registration
    • Annual General Meeting Registration
    • Yoga/Beach Walk Registration
    • Plus-Ones for Membership Appreciation Night
    • Plus-Ones for Finding Common Ground

Thursday Night Welcoming Reception 
Black Rock Oceanfront Resort Lobby and Float Lounge, 7:00 pm onwards
Welcome to The Wave Forward! Mix and mingle with old and new friends, peers and colleagues from across the province. Cozy up to the fireplace in the lobby of Black Rock while sampling tastings from the Tofino Brewery and local wineries.  Enjoy an exhibition of local art and check out the Float Lounge for Arts BC specials on food and drink.


Registration Desk 
Ucluelet Community Centre Lobby, 8:00 am – 10:30 am

    • Conference Registration
    • Annual General Meeting Registration
    • Yoga/Beach Walk Registration
    • Plus-Ones for Membership Appreciation Night
    • Plus-Ones for Finding Common Ground

Arts BC is Here to Help: Troubleshoot with the Insight Team
Arts BC is backed by a team of experts who have been powering the arts for decades. We’ve arranged 4 Insight-Team Sessions with experts who have walked in your shoes and know the challenges that community arts and culture leaders face. Bring your questions, troubles and ideas to the Insight Room and let us help! 

    • Have a question about grants? Troubleshoot with Krista Patterson. 
    • Got a curve ball? Insight Team Leader Bill Usher’s been there, done that and has the practical advice you need.
    • Organizational challenges? Dr. Sharon McCoubrey knows the steps to make your organization thrive. 
    • Questions about navigating local government? Ken Blackburn has wisdom to share.

Governance: A Visual Facilitation
Kathryn Molloy & Carolyn Bell 
Drawing from your experience in the arts, you will explore optimum engagement as board members. You will deepen your knowledge of key fiduciary and judiciary elements utilizing curiosity-based rigor to identify a board’s challenges and to focus on solutions (paints, musical instruments, and some props provided). There may be a musical in here somewhere. 
9:00 am – 10:15 am, UCC Activity Room 1

Have fun. Work hard. Create value. Become indispensable.
Bill Usher
Dig deep to explore your leadership practice. Harnessing the power of the Wave Forward is only possible when we understand how to make our organizations stable, dependable, and ultimately, indispensable to our community. 
Insight Artistic Director for Creative Thinking & Team Leader 
9:00 am – 10:15 am, UCC Activity Room 2

How can heritage be a part of the Truth and Reconciliation process? 
Julia Hulbert, Simon Fraser University
The Truth and Reconciliation process begins with creating space for shared knowledge. History, stories and truths are integral to this. This talk will include a discussion of how heritage can be employed as a tool of the Truth and Reconciliation process and enact the Calls to Action; what steps local government can take to recognize, safeguard, and promote First Nations heritage; and how intangible heritage can be represented within heritage policies and plans.
9:00 am – 10:15 am, UCC Theatre

Stone Soup
Nazanin Shoja, BC Culture Days Manager & Pete Clarkson, Artist
In partnership with Arts BC and Pacific Rim Arts Society, BC Culture Days presents: Stone Soup, a free creative networking and collaboration event open to local community members and Arts BC conference participants. This event will give participants the chance to connect with other potential Culture Days event registrants to expand their local network, find new collaborators, share resources, and brainstorm ideas for creative projects together. The event will also feature a presentation by local artist, Pete Clarkson, on “The Art in Beachcombing.”
9:00 am – 10:15 am, Black Rock Ballroom


Cultural Tourism 
John Rae, Manager, Cultural Planning & Development Resort Municipality of Whistler
Join John Rae, Manager, Cultural Planning & Development for the Resort Municipality of Whistler for an engaging presentation on the outcomes of Whistler’s recent cultural planning process and the resport municipalitie’s Festivals & Events program. As the Manager of Cultural Planning & Development, John is currently implementating the recommendations from the Community Cultural Plan and advancing cultural tourism. 
10:45 am – 11:45 am, UCC Activity Room 1 

Volunteers: Gotta Luv ‘Em!
Sandra Thomson, Development Consultant
Are your volunteers telling you they are burnt out? Are you having trouble recruiting new volunteers? Are you finding managing volunteers frustrating? This workshop will give step by step instructions on how to revamp your volunteer program so that you have the people power you need to achieve your goals. 
Insight Team Member 
10:45 am – 11:45 am, UCC Activity Room 2

10 Strategies to Revitalize your Arts Organization 
Dr. Sharon McCoubrey, Associate Professor Emeritus, UBC Okanagan
Arts and Culture organizations must maintain vitality; they must be innovative and fresh if they are going to be effective because we exist within communities that have many competing needs and demands.  How can we ensure that our Arts and Culture groups are empowered, and have an impact in our communities?  Sharon will cover 10 Revitalizing Strategies—some inspired by intriguing projects and approaches, others include reviewing the most recent research findings and recommendations for effective leadership and programming.  
Insight Team Member
10:45 am – 11:45 am, UCC Theatre

Innovation From the Edges
Carla Stephenson
This workshop will examine the arts as a catalyst for community development. We will look at the value that arts-based programming brings to small communities, identify principles that are being used and find ways to scale them to any project rural or urban.
10:45 am – 12:00, Black Rock Ballroom



Grant Writing for Arts Organizations 101
Michelle Benjamin & Kathryn Molloy
Work with experienced non-profit grant writers and administrators to increase your knowledge of the grant-writing process, identify arts-specific granting agencies, review funding information to determine alignment with your organization’s needs and goals, create a long-term funding plan for your organization, and understand the top-ten rules for successful grant writing.
1:45 pm – 3:30 pm, UCC Activity Room 1 
Insight Team Members

Financial Strategies: Engaging Boards, Staff and Volunteers
Judy Oberlander
In times of fiscal restraint, an organization’s financial wellbeing and its resiliency are key challenges for its leadership. This session will focus on building the team—board members, staff and volunteers—as they lead cultural organizations today and tomorrow, including Roles and Responsibilities for Financial Resources; Setting Expectations: Six Steps to Monitor and Evaluate Fundraising and Strategies to Widen the Circle of Support for Your Organization.
1:45 pm – 3:30 pm, UCC Activity Room 2

Working with Local Government Panel
Panelists: John Rae, Doti Niedermayer, Bill Usher and Ken Blackburn. Moderated by Nichola Reddington.
Local Government is an arts organization’s most important donor and partner. How often has your community group had a good idea, but been unsure of how to work with your local government, or even whom to contact about municipal support? How often have you wanted to develop closer relations with your municipal councillor staff person, and wondered how to be included in the planning the future of the community together? Hear from a panel of experts on how to navigate these relationships and build partnerships.  
1:45 pm – 3:30 pm, UCC Theatre

The Leadership Leap: Going from Good Manager to Great Leader
Maureen (Mo) Douglas, Arts Whistler
Great leaders inspire, mentor and motivate the people around then. Great leaders give time, focus and commitment to their team’s needs while still achieving their personal work objectives. And they move their organizations forward with the support of teams that give their best.


  1.  The powerful impact of leading by example.
  2. How leaders effectively engage and communicate with their teams.
  3. How great managers can provide leadership up, down and across an organization.
  4. How to ingrain best practices into daily team leadership.
    3:30 pm – 5:00 pm, UCC Main Hall

ED Roundtable Event
Join your fellow cultural leaders—Executive Directors and Senior Managers—for a facilitated discussion in the breathtaking oceanfront wine cellar.
5:15 pm – 6:15 pm, Black Rock Wine Cellar

Table Talk
Meet with peer organizations, funders, consultants and more in this informal networking session. Got questions? Get answers! Arts BC’s Insight Team, BC Arts Council, BC Association of Charitable Gaming, First Peoples’ Cultural Council, Culture Days, Shaw Sabey Insurance and more.
5:00 pm – 6:15 pm, Black Rock Ballroom

Friday Night Art Walk 
Take a 20-minute stroll to downtown Ucluelet and visit select galleries and restaurants. Mark Penney Gallery, Huu-Mees Ma-As Cedar House Gallery, Reflecting Spirit Gallery open until 8 PM, downtown Ucluelet.

Membership Appreciation Night 
Ucluelet Aquarium, 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Enjoy an evening with arts and culture leaders from across the province. Drinks and snacks provided. Performance by Vancouver Island Music Award’s 2016 Artist of the Year, Lance Lapointe. Continuous shuttles between Black Rock Resort and the Ucluelet Aquarium between 7:45 pm – 11:15 pm


Creating Effective Boards
Sandra Thomson, Development Consultant 
This workshop will give step by step instructions on how to kick start the board development process and create an effective, self-renewing board. Topics will include: barriers to effective boards, roles and responsibilities, recruitment and nomination, committee structures and board self-evaluation.
Insight Team Member 
10:45 am – 12:00 pm, UCC Activity Room 1 

Measuring Cultural Impacts: 360° Impact Assessment
Chad Rickaby, Research Analyst, Nordicity 
In the face of growing pressure to justify the importance of—and investments in—culture, there is growing momentum behind the 360° Impact Assessment Model, aimed at capturing the full benefits of cultural engagement. This model aims to help organizations “tell the whole story” in compelling, yet replicable ways. By optimizing the power of data, a 360° approach makes it easier to assess and report impact, as well as demonstrate the many ways in which audiences and communities benefit from a dynamic culture sector. Attendees will gain a stronger understanding of:
a) Current trends in measuring and communicating the social and economic impacts of culture. 
b) Simple tools and tips for tracking and gathering data;
c) Ways to translate data into meaningful insights for both the organization and its funders.
10:45 am – 12:00 pm, UCC Activity Room 2

Indigenous Artists and Community Engagement Panel
Moderated by Cathi Charles Wherry, First Peoples’ Cultural Council
Panelist: Marika Swan, Tla-o-qui-aht artist; Kelly Poirier, Tseshaht artist
Hear from a panel of Indigenous artists and arts activators who have collaborated, and otherwise worked with a variety of organizations. These local artists demonstrate a spectrum of the work going on in the communities. Local arts leaders will share their experiences of working with Indigenous artists. 
10:45 am – 12:00 pm, UCC Theatre 

Insurance for Not-for-Profits 101
Jeffery McCann, Vice President, Digital Strategy & Jamie Saunders, Account Manager, Shaw Sabey Insurance & Associates Ltd.
Are you covered? Is your organization at risk? When was the last time anyone on your team dusted off the insurance policy and read it? New initiatives that cover cyber breaches, legal issues, directors’ liability insurance and more explained in plain English! 
10:45 am – 12:00 pm, Black Rock Ballroom


Advice on Grant Writing and Update on BCAC Programs 
Monique Lacerte, Program Officer, BC Arts Council
Hear from the BC Arts Council on the new format of the Operating Program and the Council’s efforts to further the Truth & Reconciliation Report’s Calls to Action.
12:30 pm- 1:15 pm, UCC Main Hall

Social Enterprise: The Next Frontier
Joylnn Green, Community Futures Central Island
The current landscape for nonprofit is shifting and as traditional sources of revenue become harder to find organizations are looking for new ways to finance their mission. Terms like social economy, social nonprofit landscape. What does it take to transform and build the creative economy? What types of investment are need for entrepreneurial training, mentoring, marketing and commercialization? How does social procurement impact the industry? You are invited to explore the future of social and creative economies and learn the impacts these may have to your organization.
1:15 pm – 2:45 pm, UCC Activity Room 2

Be the Brand: Communications Workshop
Patricia Huntsman, Insight Team Member and Julia Hulbert
Join Patricia Huntsman, Principle of an in-demand communications and cultural planning consultancy and Associate, Julia Hulbert, for an interactive workshop on the value of branding for arts organizations. 
1:15 pm – 2:45 pm, UCC Theatre

BC Community Gaming Grant Program 
David Sheath, Executive Director, BC Association of Charitable Gaming 
An exciting education and networking opportunity for any not-for-profit organization interested in applying for a community gaming grant. Join David’s workshop and learn about the recently updated program guidelines; how to properly prepare and submit a grant application; and hear from past grant recipients about their experience with the program. 
1:15 pm – 2:45 pm, Black Rock Ballroom

Festival Strategy Panel 
Panelist: Carla Stephenson, Julie Fowler and Michelle Benjamin. Moderated by Nichola Reddington
We’ve brought together a panel of cultural leaders to share their wisdom on how to create a successful and sustainable festival. Hint! You don’t need to live in a big city to do big things! 

    • Carla Stephenson, Executive Director, Tiny Lights Festival. The Tiny Lights Festival presents a diverse selection of cultural events, bringing the Ymir, BC community together to celebrate performing and practical arts, as well as supporting the sustainability of the region. By bringing music, art, theatre and dance to the Ymir community, Tiny Lights Festival strives to enhance the cultural and economic development within the region. 
    • Julie Fowler, Executive & Artistic Director of ArtsWells Festival Of All Things Art. The ArtsWells Festival began in 2004 and is now the largest arts event in the Cariboo with over 2500 people converging in Wells and Barkerville on the August Long Weekend each year. Taking over the entire town, ArtsWells features music, theatre, dance, film, performance, visual arts and workshops on 12 venues over four days.
    • Michelle Benjamin, Executive Director of the Gabriola Arts Council. Michelle is committed to making a meaningful contribution to the Gabriola community, not only through her work with GAC but also through collaborating with and supporting the programs and services of other community-based organizations
      3:00 pm – 4:30 pm, UCC Main Hall 

Tofino Night
Bus to Tofino leaves Black Rock at 5:30 pm with a 30-minute stop at Wickaninnish Beach and the Kwisitis Visitor Centre in the Pacific Rim National Park.

Tofino Artist Walk
Take in select galleries and restaurants. Mark Hobson Gallery, Roy Henry Vickers Gallery, House of Himwitsa open until 9:00 pm downtown Tofino.
If you plan to make dinner reservations in Tofino and are taking the shuttle, please book your table from 6:45 pm onwards. Rendezvous at drop-off spot for return shuttle by 9:45 pm. Bus leaves for Black Rock Resort at 10:00 pm. 


Finding Common Ground
10:00 am bus departs Black Rock for Best Western Tin Wis Resort, Tofino

Abundability for Our Grandchildren
Joe Martin, Tla-o-qui-aht Master Carver
Joe was born in Tofino and began carving canoes in the forest under the guidance of his father and grandfather. Recognized internationally as a master carver, Joe Martin shares his knowledge of traditional canoe building and experience as cultural leader with a wide audience. Joe encourages people to embrace the concept of managing lands and waters for “abundability” rather than “sustainability.” 
11:00 am – 11:30 am, Tin Wis Resort, Tofino

Indigenous Resilience!
Melody Charlie, First Nation Photographer
Join Melody Charlie for an engaging Aritst Talk and Slide Show on Indigenous Resilience. We are strong, resilient, spiritual & vibrant, First Nations people who continue to crave decolonization, heal holistically & shine through our strengths. This reflects the love we have for our culture, our traditional teachings, our ceremonies, our traditional foods & our first voices (traditional language).”
11:30 am – 12:00 pm, Tin Wis Resort, Tofino

Blessing by Levi Martin, Elder, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations

Lunch and Learn with Reconciliation Canada 
Lead by Shelley Joseph, Public Outreach Lead and Cultural Advisor
This Session is an opportunity to begin the dialogue on reconciliation. This session brings delegates and local hosts together to, over lunch, discuss reconciliation for Indigenous peoples and all Canadians. This hour-long session is designed to introduce the topic of reconciliation to a group and begin of the process of individual and collective reflection on reconciliation. Lunch and Learn will cover: Our Shared History, The Meaning of Reconciliation and Moving Forward Together (how to incorporate the Calls to Action in your daily life).
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, Tin Wis Resort, Tofino

Closing Ceremonies
Performance by the Le-La-La Dancers 
The Le-La-La Dancers are a traditional Kwakwaka’wakw dance company who present First Nations culture of Northern Vancouver Island. The group has shared their culture by entertaining and educating throughout the world for over 25 years under the direction of George Me’las Taylor. They provide an engaging exhibition of their aboriginal culture in song and dance through the beat of the drums. Their high energy demonstrations bring the ancient legends of their people alive through vibrant regalia featuring carved cedar masks, button blankets and headdresses. They have performed across Canada, the United States, Mexico, China, Taiwan, New Zealand and Europe. 
1:30 pm – 2:00 pm, Tin Wis Resort, Tofino


Maureen (Mo) Douglas, Arts Whistler
Maureen “Mo” Douglas helps people embrace a positive mind-set and work collaboratively for greater success. With humour, insight and infectious enthusiasm, Mo offers practical and tactical ideas that deliver game-changing outcomes in public, workplace and leadership engagement. With more than 25-years experience as a values-based leader, compelling communicator and engaging facilitator, Mo is exceptional at helping groups build trust, resolve conflict, foster confidence, advance actions and achieve bold outcomes. Mo’s approach has delivered successful results for local governments, Olympic organizing committees, major events, tourism and associations. 

Sandra Thomson, Development Consultant, Insight Team Member 
Sandra Thomson is an experienced workshop leader and development consultant who has worked with a wide range of non-profit organizations throughout BC.  Sandra has worked in the performing arts industry for over thirty years specializing in marketing, fundraising, strategic planning and organizational development. She was President of the Canadian Arts Presenters Association (CAPACOA), President of the Mount Benson Seniors Housing Society and Treasurer of the Made in BC Dance On Tour Society. Sandra currently serves on the Board of Arts Consultants Canada Assoc. In April 2011, she received the BC Touring Council’s Performing Arts Touring Award of Excellence. In May 2011 Sandra received the City of Nanaimo’s Honour in Culture Award. 

Dr. Sharon McCoubrey, Associate Professor Emeritus, UBC Okanagan, Insight Team Member
Sharon has succeeded in integrating two passions: education and community arts. She recently retired from a 43-year career in academia, with a specialization in art education, and is now UBC Professor Emeritus. Sharon completed research in the areas of art education, art and well-being, intergenerational learning, aboriginal learning and public art.  She has written art education resource books, and has been acknowledged for her work in art education and community arts through a number of awards. Sharon’s work in community arts currently includes serving as Chair of the Lake Country Public Art Commission, working with the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan and the Okanagan Arts Awards, Chair of the Lake Country ArtWalk Festival, President of the Lake Country Art Gallery Society and Chair of the Central Okanagan Foundation.  

Michelle Benjamin, Insight Team Member 
Michelle developed her grant-writing skills through twenty years in book publishing, including ten years owning and operating a small literary press. As Executive Director of the Gabriola Arts Council, she is committed to making a meaningful contribution to the Gabriola community, not only through her work with GAC but also through collaborating with and supporting the programs and services of other community-based organizations. Along with writing applications for program, event, and project grants, she has just completed a three-year capital campaign, raising funds to renovate and upgrade a small heritage building that was donated to the Gabriola Arts Council in 2014. She has experience in writing grants for corporate, government/public, and private sources. 

Kathryn Molloy, Insight Team Member 
Kathryn has been in leadership roles in the non-profit and co-op sector for over 25 years, including as Executive Director for Heritage BC, for the social service non-profit People for a Healthy Community, for Sierra Club BC, and for City Green Solutions. She was also founding Manager of the Victoria Car Share Coop (now Modo Coop). She was Project Manager for The International Children’s Conference on the Environment in collaboration with UNEP, The Leading Edge Conference, BC Environmental Network Conference, and two Alzheimer’s BC Annual Conferences. She owns and manages Gallery 401, an internationally successful art business primarily supporting the art of her late husband, Jeff Molloy. Kathryn has committed her professional career and volunteer efforts to social change, working passionately for environmental protection; social justice and inclusion; and mentoring emerging professionals and volunteers.

Carolyn Bell 
A painter, musician, and editor, Carolyn has enjoyed serving on the boards of The Society for Disabilities, Arts and Culture (S4DAC) and CCEC Credit Union in Vancouver, and currently is a Board Director for Lulu Performing Arts Society on Gabriola Island. A graduate of the Masters Program in Leadership from Royal Roads University, she enjoys working with others to facilitate confidence and exploration in all the expressive arts. 

Judy Oberlander 
As the principal of Judy Oberlander and Associates Inc., Judy specializes in the design and delivery of community engagement programs, fundraising strategies, mid-career professional development workshops and board retreats for non-profit & charitable organizations, foundations and government agencies. She was the founding Director of The City Program at Simon Fraser University. For thirteen years she led a team which created award-winning mid-career education programs and a nationally recognized Certificate in Urban Design. She established the $1.5 million City Program Endowment Fund and raised over $500,000 through grants and sponsorships to support curricula, bursaries and free public lectures.

Cathi Charles Wherry 
Cathi Charles Wherry is Aanishnaabekwe, and a member of the Rama Mnjikaning First Nation, where her Father was born. Her Mother’s ancestors came across the sea five generations ago. In 1979 she left Ontario and has since lived on beautiful Coast Salish territory on Vancouver Island, BC. A graduate of the Visual Arts Program at Camosun College, she also holds a BFA with Honours in Studio Arts from the University of Victoria. In all her work, she enjoys the challenge of realizing a balanced expression of this training and her ever-growing understanding of the Aanishnaabe sensibility that resides in her memory and bones. In addition to her work as a visual artist and arts administrator, Cathi is an arts educator and emerging writer. Her curatorial projects include earthly gestures, WSANEC raising up, Charles Elliott Salish Artist, and Transporters. Since 1996, she has worked as Art Programs Coordinator for the First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Council, a First Nations-directed province wide organization that supports languages, arts and culture. For more than 20 years Cathi has supported Aboriginal and First Nations artists and cultural workers through development and delivery of arts funding, provision of resources and training, and advocacy on a regional and national level. 

Doti Niedermayer 
After thirteen years with the Whistler Arts Council, Doti now works for the District of West Vancouver’s Parks, Culture & Community Services Division next month as Senior Manager of Cultural Development. In this role, she leads the development and implementation of the district’s Arts and Culture Strategic Action Plan, which will shape arts and culture services, delivery, and facilities in the District of West Vancouver for the next five years. As executive director of the WAC, Doti’s leadership created numerous changes, including WAC’s growth from a staff of only herself to 20 permanent employees. In 2010, when the Winter Olympics came to Whistler, the WAC took over operations of the municipally-owned Maury Young Arts Centre (formerly called Millennium Place). Doti served as the steering committee executive for the Whistler Cultural Tourism Development Strategy in 2011 and Whistler’s Community Cultural Plan in 2013. Doti has put her name forward to join Arts BC’s Board of Directors this year in order to put her time and talents to work for the membership.

Julia Hulbert
Julia Hulbert is an Urban Studies Master’s student at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. She has worked in the arts and cultures sector for the past 10 years in Victoria and Vancouver. Her personal interests concern connecting people to place through curatorial projects and community engagement activities. Julia completed her Bachelor of Arts, Honours, at the University of Victoria in Art History in 2010. She is active within the heritage community in Vancouver, serving as Heritage Commissioner to the City of Vancouver and a member of the Heritage Advisory Panel to the Vancouver School Board. 

Kathy Ramsey, President of Arts BC 
Until her relocation to her home island of Salt Spring in January of 2015, Kathy Ramsey was the owner-operator of the Gabriola Artworks gallery on Gabriola Island, establish in 1996. Founding member and board member of the Gabriola Arts Council in 1997, founder of the Gabriola Studio Tour in 1997, President of the Gabriola Arts Council from 2005-2013, during which time she was the chair of the inaugural Gabriola Theatre Festival and the chair of the inaugural Isle of the Arts Festival. Thanks to a generous bequest, Ramsey was also the champion of the Kitty J. Heller Healing Power of the Arts program – an art, music and drama therapy program based on the belief that the creative process and self-expression can help people develop insight into their situations —mental, emotional and physical. In 2012, Ramsey was recognized as a Community Art Champion for BC. 

Patricia Huntsman
As a member of a growing field of cultural management professionals in North America, Patricia Huntsman is a sought-after and respected voice at the forefront of culture-led economic and community development in Canada. With more than 20 years’ experience in leadership and senior management roles in the creative field, Patricia is recognized for her intuitive, engaging and dedicated client-centred approach. Patricia’s talent is finding the place where culture, community and commerce can meet and flourish. Her clients include local, provincial and federal governments, visual and performing arts organizations (from community-based to professional), museums, developers and foundations. 

Krista Patterson
Since earning her BFA at NSCAD, Krista has designed, created and marketed a jewellery line, worked as a production metalsmith and participated in Marker of Change – The Women’s Monument project. She has developed a teaching career with over 16 years in post-secondary curriculum development and delivery. Concurrently Krista has 14 years of experience in a management role in the non-profit sector. As administrator of an arts, cultural and heritage funding stream, Krista has attended over 25 adjudication meetings, reviewed thousands of applications, delivered numerous grant writing workshops, and she knows her way around a financial statement. She has received a SCOPE (Standing Committee on Professional Excellence) award from the Selkirk College Faculty Assn., as well as funding, scholarship and professional development awards in continued support of her inquisitive nature. 

Bill Usher, Executive Director of Kicking Horse Culture, Insight Team Leader and Arts BC’s Artistic Director for Artistic Thinking.  
Musician, actor, writer, producer, arts in education and touring performing artist along with working for and serving on provincial arts councils and boards. Bill is currently the Executive Director of Kicking Horse Culture, Team Leader for Arts BC and Arts BC’s Artistic Director for Artistic Thinking.  

Ken Blackburn, Director, Campbell River Arts Council 
Ken is chair of the Campbell River Public Art Committee, the Director of the Campbell River Arts Council, Public Programmer for the Campbell River Museum and a working artist. 

Julie Fowler, Arts BC Board Member
Currently working as Executive Director of the Island Mountain Arts Society in Wells, BC, Julie has been studying, working and organizing in the arts for the last eighteen years. Passionate about finding ways to celebrate and promote artists, she has helped to create two award-winning festivals, both featuring a range of artistic mediums from performance to visual arts: the Art Matters Festival at Concordia University in Montreal (where she also received her BFA in Art History in 2001), which is now going into its 15th season; and the ArtsWells Festival Of All Things Art, which began in 2004 and is now the largest arts event in the Cariboo with over 2000 people converging in Wells on the August Long Weekend each year. Julie graduated with an Interdisciplinary MFA from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan in 2013 and her thesis project, a creative non-fiction novel called the Grande Dames of the Cariboo, was published by Caitlin Press that same year. Julie is proud to sit on the board of directors for ArtsBC and Folk Music Canada.

Nichola Reddington, President of Creative City Network of Canada
Nichola is the Senior Cultural Planner 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.

Marika Swan
Marika is a Tla-o-qui-aht woodcut printer, carver and community arts organizer. As an emerging contemporary artist, her creative voice explores Nuu-chah-nulth teachings and stories, from a woman’s perspective. For 7 years Marika was the manager of Redwire Native Youth Media Society in East Vancouver, a youth led and managed collective. Returning to her traditional homelands in 2010, she has contributed to various community-led projects such as coordinating Pass It On Girls Mentorship Program; language revitalization projects, as the Literacy Coordinator for the Coastal Family Coalition and artistic contributions to various local festivals. For the past several years Marika has been a contributing artist, coordinator, and curator with the Carving on the Edge Festival. Her contributions to the festival include the development of the Nuu-chah-nulth Living Archive, which bridges community access and responses to collections featuring Nuu-chah-nulth ancestral material worldwide in an effort to stimulate discussion and cultural renewal.  

Kelly Poirier, Tseshaht Artist and Consultant  
Kelly holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver. Kelly has an in-depth understanding of First Nations’ arts and culture, having grown up on Tseshaht territory and attended Haa-huu-payak School. She learned song, dance and language studies from elders Carrie Little and Cathy Robinson. Throughout her studies, Kelly also obtained unique job skillsets, working in various part-time positions – always linking herself to the arts or First Nations organizations. Kelly has demonstrated leadership, organization, creative problem solving, and research skills, as well as a strong communication and teamwork background having served as a marketing and publicity coordinator for several non-profit arts and cultural organizations. Kelly continues to develop her understanding of Nuu-chah-nulth and West Coast First Nations’ culture, organization and politics, which unearths further knowledge of protocol and cultural appropriateness. Kelly also understands the application of public relations and fundraising. Kelly’s vision is to bridge the gaps between disparate interest groups, and economic and cultural sectors within communities.

Joe Martin, Tla-o-qui-aht Master Carver
Joe Martin grew up in the village of Opitsaht on Meares Island, directly across from Tofino. He now lives at Echachis and is a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, which is a tribe of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth First Nations. The name Clayoquot is an Anglicisation of the word Tla-o-qui-aht, which means ‘people who are different than they used to be’. Recognized internationally as a master carver, Joe Martin shares his knowledge of traditional canoe building and experience as cultural leader with a wide audience. Joe encourages people to embrace the concept of managing lands and waters for “abundability” rather than “sustainability.” 

Melody Charlie, Photographer
Years of photo passion: 23 what inspires you? Humility, Wayne Dyer, fit beings & kindness. Summer or winter? Winter, I love warming by the woodstove on stormy days, feasting on slow cooked meals, running in the rain when everyone else is trying to cover from it & snuggling up to human planet. What is your prized possession? My camera of course. What is the meaning of life? Everything is spirit & everything has purpose. If you weren’t a photographer? Wellness worker. One word that describes you best? Earthy. Color or b/w images? Hands down, b/w, they’ve always felt original to me, even in the days of film. 

The Le-La-La Dancers 
The Le-La-La Dancers are a traditional Kwakwaka’wakw dance company who present First Nations culture of Northern Vancouver Island. The group has shared their culture by entertaining and educating throughout the world for over 25 years under the direction of George Me’las Taylor. They provide an engaging exhibition of their aboriginal culture in song and dance through the beat of the drums. Their high energy demonstrations bring the ancient legends of their people alive through vibrant regalia featuring carved cedar masks, button blankets and headdresses. They have performed across Canada, the United States, Mexico, China, Taiwan, New Zealand and Europe. 

Shelley Joseph, Public Outreach Lead and Cultural Advisor, Reconciliation Canada
Daughter of Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Shelley has over 25 years of experience paired with education covering spiritual, physical, mental and emotional well-being for families and communities. She is passionate about supporting First Nations people to take an active role in healing and growth utilizing a holistic approach to well-being. She is highly involved in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women initiatives and is a Board member of the Circle of Eagles Lodge Society. Shelley is one of the lead facilitators of the Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops and an inspiring public speaker.

BC Association of Charitable Gaming 
BCACG represents charities and community groups, promoting access to gaming revenues that are licensed and regulated by the Province of British Columbia. The Association supports community groups with grant and license applications; represents community groups’ interests with gambling stakeholders in British Columbia; and works with the Province to increase funding and expand the impact of gaming revenues on community services. The Community Gaming Grants program is one of the largest grant programs in the province. Each year, it distributes $135 million to approximately 5,000 not-for-profit organizations throughout BC. 

John Rae, Manager, Cultural Planning & Development Resort Municipality of Whistler
In 1999, after 15 years of increasingly senior roles in Toronto’s marketing and advertising community, John moved to Whistler. In 2003, John joined the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) where, over the next 12 year, he led the process for Whistler’s designation as the 2009 Cultural Capital of Canada; was Executive Producer of Whistler Live, 28 days of programming during the 2010 Olympics & Paralympics; chaired advisory group for the development of Whistler’s Community Cultural Plan; and led the planning process for Whistler’s Festivals & Events program. Earlier this year, John was appointed the RMOW’s Manager, Cultural Planning & Development and is currently leading the process of implementing the recommendations from Whistler’s Community Cultural Plan and advancing cultural tourism. 

Jeffery McCann, Vice President, Digital Strategy, Shaw Sabey Insurance & Associates Ltd.
Jeff McCann has worked with hundreds of nonprofits and structured the Spark insurance program to make it easier and more affordable for nonprofits and charities to access insurance. His focus is primarily on marketing, outreach, and educational content development for the sector. Jeff works closely with associations like ArtsBC to support them in providing a member benefit that engages the community in all aspects of risk management, insurance, and board operations. 

Jamie Saunders, Account Manager, Shaw Sabey Insurance & Associates Ltd.
Jamie Saunders graduated UBC with a commerce degree and spent several years as Shaw Sabey’s Claims Coordinator. He developed a deep understanding of the claims process, advocating for clients interests and working closely by their side from start to finish. This experience provided a great foundation of industry and technical insurance knowledge, before moving on to his next role, managing several provincial non-profit insurance programs. Jamie has been managing ArtsBC’s insurance program since 2014 with a continued focus on making insurance as easy, informative, and affordable as possible for its members.

BC Culture Days
Culture Days is a collaborative, Canada-wide volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation, and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. Now in its eighth year, Culture Days is the country’s largest public participation campaign in the arts. This year’s celebrations will take place from September 29 to October 1, inviting the public behind the scenes to discover the world of creative people in their community. In 2016, 658 Culture Days activities were offered in 60 communities across B.C.

Monique Lacerte, BC Arts Council & Sessional Instructor, UVic School of Public Administration  
Monique Lacerte is the Community Arts Development & Partnerships Officer at the Province’s arts-funding Agency, BC Arts Council (BCAC). She began her work with BCAC in 2005 with ten years “in the field” as the E.D. of the Campbell River Community Arts Council. It was there that she honed her skills in grantmanship, budgeting, building partnerships and Aboriginal ways of knowing. She was president of the Pacific Region Arts Council, and later, of the Assembly of BC Arts Council until 2005. In 2014, she achieved her Master of Arts Community Development designation from UVic’s School of Public Administration. She continues her passionate work fostering BC communities to grow their arts and cultural capacities through her day job, and builds new leaders as a sessional instructor to Graduate level students teaching Leadership and Organizational Development for UVic’s MACD program. 

Carla Stephenson, Executive Director, Tiny Lights Festival
Carla’s passion is building community through facilitating others to excel at their passions. After many years of running a music venue at the Artswells Festival, Carla and her partner Shawn co-founded the Tiny Lights Festival. Last year this 3 day festival of Music, Art, Theatre and Dance presented over 80 performances in 6 venues. Its success served to revitalize interest in civic participation in this tiny town and region. The enthusiasm that the town felt in being able to host this festival has inspired people to take on new and more amazing projects from a youth leadership program building skills in community planning, broadcast and media skills and event management. Carla has served on several boards including Paula Ross Dance Society, The West Kootenay M.S. Society, and the Salmo Arts Council.

Nordicity is a leading policy, strategy, economic evaluation and feasibility consulting firm with offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and the UK. Over the last decade, Nordicity has been at the forefront of developing and refining impact measurement tools and methodologies for the creative and cultural sectors, measuring both the economic and social impacts. Nordicity has conducted economic impact studies at the national, provincial and municipal levels and developed customized impact assessment methodologies for organizations and events both large and small.  

Carla Stephenson, Executive Director of Tiny Lights Festival
Carla’s passion is building community through facilitating others to excel at their passions. After many years of working with the Artswells Festival, Carla and her partner Shawn co-founded the Tiny Lights Festival, a three-day multidisciplinary arts festival in a tiny town of 350 people. Its success served to revitalize interest in civic participation and community economic development in this tiny town and region. Last year the festival hosted over 130 artists and presented over 100 performance in 7 historic venues. Carla is the Executive director of Renascence Arts and Sustainability Society and serves on the board of Island Mountain Arts. Carla studied Community Economic Development at SFU, and has worked for over a decade in rural communities using the arts as pillar for economic and social development.

Pete Clarkson, Artist
Pete is a mid-career professional artist widely recognized for his marine debris sculptures, installations and assemblages, which he’s been creating since 2000. He’s been featured in two Canadian documentaries – ‘Lost and Found’, which follows the return of lost items from the 2011 Tohuku Tsunami, and ‘Debris’, a National Film Board documentary about the Tohoku Tsunami Memorial he created using beachcombed material from the disaster. His art is on permanent exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium, Ucluelet Aquarium, and Tofino Botanical Gardens, and has been featured at the Globe Conference 2016, International Summit of Marine Debris 2016 (Japan), and the Maritime Museum of BC (2014). For more info please visit:



Eventbrite - The Wave Forward Conference: New Fundamentals for Arts and Culture Leaders




The 2017 Cultural Summit is a one day conference designed to bring together creative and cultural...

Author: ArtsBC
Posted: November 3, 2017, 3:50 am