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MEET OUR CONFERENCE PANELLISTS

AND MODERATORS

Katherine Nicholls is a New York based business executive with over 30 years experience in company leadership, operations and marketing. Nicholls currently serves on New York State Tourism Advisory Council, The New York State Council on the Arts, and the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence New York Leadership Council.  She was appointed to the New York State Council on the Arts by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2015 and confirmed as Chair in 2017.  Katherine was born and raised in Midland, Ontario, attended Midland Secondary School and is a graduate of the University of Guelph.

KEY NOTE SPEAKER

November 3 - 7 p.m.    

Keynote Speaker Katherine Nicholls

Fred Hacker is a retired lawyer (he describes himself as a “recovering” lawyer). He served as Founding Chair of the Culture Alliance in the Heart of Georgian Bay, the organization hosting this Conference. He was the Founding Chair and President of the Midland Cultural Centre (MCC), a spectacular arts and culture centre in Midland. He is now Chair Emeritus of the MCC. He hosts and produces a mainstay MCC program, A Day in the Life, featuring conversations with famous Canadians.  He also chairs Life4Kids Canada, a charity that supports a home for 25 orphaned or abandoned boys in Nairobi, Kenya.

MODERATOR

Anne Sutherland is a marketer, strategist, facilitator and thinking coach who helps teams think better together. The focus of her consultancy new thinking and the thinkingU studio is to help leadership teams become more innovative, productive, and effective. Anne shared her expertise teaching innovation and design thinking for 13 years at OCAD University. She is the co-author of Kidfluence: why kids today mean business, which examined the importance and impact of Generation Y and was published in Canada, US and China. Anne lives in Toronto with her son and golden retriever and looks forward to travelling again post COVID.

PANELLIST

November 5 - 7 p.m.   

Getting Starting on the Path to Success

Sean George is an artist, art educator, and cultural worker. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, and has lived in Trinidad and Tobago, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Toronto. He is interested in the intersection between community, art, identity, and transformation. He believes culture can raise awareness of most topics, whilst it can be alienating. In the pursuit of art George harnesses dialogue, research, experience, and aesthetics, to create work that enables him to build his understanding of the world he inhabits.

PANELLIST

Don BourneAs an experienced small business owner, Don Bourne understands what it takes to launch, manage and grow a business. He is a mentor and client service manager at the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Center. Don is also a business consultant for the South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Center, managing the Starter and Summer Company programs. His volunteer work includes mentoring for Futurepreneur and regional accelerators to support local economic growth. Don delivers workshops that help entrepreneurs build strong foundations. He believes in “turning on the headlights” through strategic planning, identifying the challenges and opportunities that lead to successful ventures.

PANELLIST

Cher Cunningham is a Councillor with the Town of Midland, member of the Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe and Culture Alliance committee, and long-time Toastmaster.

She is passionate about communications and collaboration, especially in support of our small business community. She strives to connect entrepreneurs to resources and support businesses in communicating clearly and with confidence.

MODERATOR

Gavin Reynolds has spent his career in Marketing and Advertising for some of Canada’s largest Telecommunication and Technology companies. His career began at Shaw Media where he was responsible for creating original and innovative 360 advertising campaigns, leveraging Shaw Media’s diverse portfolio across Broadcast, Digital and Mobile. In 2015 he joined Facebook Canada, supporting the Marketing and Advertising needs of Canada’s largest Packaged Goods advertisers. His current role is Operations & Enablement Lead for Canada, where he serves as a key strategic partner to the leadership team, helping meet the ever-changing needs of Facebook’s Global Business Group.

PANELLIST

November 10 - 7 p.m.  

The Obstacles and Opportunities in Creating Marketing and Audiences

Alison Durtnall has over 25 years of marketing and advertising experience leading teams across North America. Her wide range of expertise includes strategic planning, research, product development, creative strategy, digital and social media, and experiential marketing. She is currently a Professor at Georgian College in Barrie teaching marketing, as well as managing the TreeFort Marketing Agency, a learning lab for marketing students to work with small businesses and non-profits on their marketing challenges. Alison has been a Rotarian for over 20 years, serving as a district director for numerous programs. She also has served on many local boards and committees. 

PANELLIST

Michael Adams joined the Stratford Festival as Senior Director of Marketing and Audience Development in January. He came to the Festival from Brisbane Festival where he served as the Marketing and Communications Director, and before that he served as the Director of Marketing, Communication and Innovation for the Auckland Theatre Company. Michael introduced a number of branding, audience development and on-site experience initiatives that supported the success of these organizations.  Michael is passionate about theatre, having trained as a director and dramaturg. He has channeled that enthusiasm into a career as an arts marketer.

PANELLIST

Will Baird is the General Manager of Huronia Historical Parks. Will brings an innovative and award-winning operations management, marketing & events background and has successfully executed many major national and international events. From 2006 to 2012, Baird was also a Professor at St. Lawrence College, where he designed and taught the Special Event Management Program, and contributed to Hospitality, Heritage & Cultural Tourism programs. Since joining HHP in March of 2015, Will has championed multiple new initiatives and special events. This rejuvenated business model supported increases of 42% in attendance and 35% in revenue over a two year period.

MODERATOR

Monika Hakala has a background in arts advocacy and education that eventually branched into sponsorship and fundraising during her time at Business / Arts where she manages the Toronto artsvest program. In her spare time, Monika volunteers as a violinist with both the Oakville Symphony Orchestra and the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, is a board member of the Chamber Music Society of Mississauga, and volunteers with a fundraising group that has raised over $2.5 million for various charities.

PANELLIST

November 12 - 7 p.m. 

Solving the Money Problem: Accessing Sources of Financial Support

David Barnard David Barnard has worked as a Senior Program Advisor for the Canada  Arts Presentation Fund and Creative Export Envelope at Department of Canadian Heritage (Ontario Region) for the past 12 years. Prior to joining the Department, he owned and managed an event planning and production company, was a producer at CBC Radio, was a programmer at various arts and culture organisations, and volunteered as a Director for a number of not-for-profit corporations. Originally from Newmarket, Ontario and later Moonstone, he lives in Toronto with his family.

PANELLIST

Avril Helbig is a development specialist with over 30 years experience creating and launching initiatives for private, not for profit, and charitable organizations. Avril has experience with integrated sponsorship campaigns that combine bank, government, and private corporate sponsorships. She works with all levels of government both within and outside of the arts and culture space.

PANELLIST

Chantale Gagnon is a Regional Development Advisor for the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries where she delivers community & economic development initiatives. She’s held various positions in the cultural sector, such as the principal of a design firm, as production manager for TV, as Vice-President, Canada Media Fund where she ran programs & policy nation-wide, and as a producer for events such as the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Toronto International Festival of Authors. She’s studied political science, interior design, business, and music production. She’s the winner of several major industry awards, including the Jeanne Sauvé Convergence Program Award.

MODERATOR

Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe artist, writer, curator and community organizer from Beausoleil First Nation. She is the inaugural curator of Indigenous art and co-lead of the Indigenous + Canadian Art department at Art Gallery of Ontario. She has innovated in permanent collection exhibitions in the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art and Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971 -1989. She has a Masters of Visual Studies from University of Toronto where she has taught graduate courses. On top of many catalogue essays Nanibush has published widely on Indigenous art, politics, history and feminism and sexuality.

PANELLIST

November 17 - 7 p.m.  

Traditions: Obstacles or Opportunities? How do we transition to Paths to Success?

Fr. Michael Knox is a Jesuit priest involved in a variety of ministries that include pastoral care to youth, seminary formation, television, lecturing in history and Jesuit spirituality, writing, and Sacramental ministry. Jean de Brébeuf and his companions have always held a central place in his religious life and he has been Director for Martyrs’ Shrine since 2016 and Superior of a newly established community of Jesuits in Huronia since 2017. In addition, he sits as a Board member of Guest House, Chaplain to the Northern Zone of the Knights of Columbus, and supports a breadth of initiatives in Simcoe County.

PANELLIST

Joëlle Roy. Originally from Temiskaming Shores, after a BA in Theatre and Education, Joëlle Roy received her PhD in Francophone Studies in 2009 from the University of Louisiana. Her thesis was published as a novel portraying French culture in Huronia and was nominated for a Trillium Award. She has released four albums and wrote, produced and starred in Ontario’s only French language blues opera. As director of Lafontaine’s Festival du Loup for the past 9 years, Joëlle’s unique brand of creativity and resilience has helped foster and grow the festival into the regional and provincial success it has become.

PANELLIST

Allan J. Manitowabi (Bear Clan) of Beausoleil First Nation is originally from Wikwemikong First Nation, Manitoulin Island. He has served his community in various capacities in Culture, Recreation, Health and is currently the Fire Chief. He has volunteered for more than three decades and advocates in fire prevention and education for First Nations and across Ontario, receiving many awards and commendations.  Allan has been on the powwow trail for over 50 years as an Emcee, Singer, Fancy Dancer, and Arena Director. He shares many stories of song and dance with respect and honour, and brings a wealth of knowledge to our conference.

MODERATOR

John Hartman is from Midland, and studied Fine Art. He established a reputation, starting with “Painting the Bay” at the McMichael in 1993, for large-scale works that combine landscape and narrative. He received national exposure with the exhibition and book “Big North.” In 2003 he began to paint aerial views of cities, examining the intimate relationship between people and place. These paintings made up the book and exhibition “Cities.” Hartman most recently painted a series of portraits of Canadian authors in the landscapes or cityscapes that they love. The resulting exhibition, “Many Lives Mark This Place,” is now on tour across Canada.

PANELLIST

November 19 - 7 p.m.    

Sharing the Path with Others: Collaboration, Partnership and Mentoring

John French is the Artistic Director of Brookside Music Association, which he founded in 2010.  Brookside presents world class musicians in concerts throughout the year and the summer Festival of the Bay.  Brookside also undertakes community outreach and education projects which have ranged from the presentation of workshops to large scale touring projects. These projects have required partnering with other organizations including schools, choirs, galleries, museums, and historic sites to bring them to life.  Most recently, John has embraced the virtual world in a song writing project that has further expanded the type of partnerships Brookside embraces to fulfil its mandate.

PANELLIST

Fred Hacker is a retired lawyer (he describes himself as a “recovering” lawyer). He served as Founding Chair of the Culture Alliance in the Heart of Georgian Bay, the organization hosting this Conference. He was the Founding Chair and President of the Midland Cultural Centre (MCC), a spectacular arts and culture centre in Midland. He is now Chair Emeritus of the MCC. He hosts and produces a mainstay MCC program, A Day in the Life, featuring conversations with famous Canadians.  He also chairs Life4Kids Canada, a charity that supports a home for 25 orphaned or abandoned boys in Nairobi, Kenya.

PANELLIST

Jamie Hunter has been involved in archaeology and museum management in Huronia for over 50 years.  He has worked for the Ministry of Culture, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, and Huronia Museum.  Jamie established an endowment fund for Huronia Museum and expanded its business from a seasonal operation to a sustainable fulltime operation. Jamie holds a BSc. in archaeology from Trent University and a Masters in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto.  He lives with his wife Rosemary, in rural Tay Township, and while enjoying retirement he continues to publish and preserve the heritage of historic Huronia.

MODERATOR

Inga Petri started managing website builds and interactive media in 1997. She founded Strategic Moves, an insight-driven consultancy at the crossroads of research, strategy and marketing in 2007.  Since 2011, Inga has been putting digital conversations in the performing arts on the agenda, when she led the seminal Value of Presenting: A Study of Performing Arts Presentation in Canada (© 2013, CAPACOA). She’s been speaking on Digitizing the Performing Arts and co-wrote Digitizing the Performing Arts: An Assessment of Issues, Opportunities and Challenges (© 2017). Today Inga works on a dozen national and regional digital initiatives, from her home in Whitehorse, Yukon.

PANELLIST

November 24  - 7 p.m. 

Turning the Technological Obstacles into Technological Opportunities

Tammy Lee is a career arts manager who has 30 years experience working with leading national and international arts organizations in dance, theatre and contemporary art. Today, as an entrepreneur and CEO of a company called Culture Creates, she and her team are dedicated to taking on ambitious projects to help the arts thrive.  Culture Creates specializes in semantic technology for the arts.

PANELLIST

Bryce Weinert is the Operations Manager for Museum Hack and the Creative Operations Manager for Museum Hack's sister organization, Teambuilding.  She is passionate about bringing new experiences and an appreciation for art and storytelling to clients all over the world. She has spoken at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference and at the American Alliances of Museums and led workshops for the Museum of South Texas History, Perez Art Museum Miami, and Columbia University. She received her bachelor's degree from Montana State University and her masters from Columbia University. For information on either of her companies, visit www.museumhack.com and www.teambuilding.com  

PANELLIST

Kevin Kelly has over twenty-five years of experience in the television broadcasting industry.  In 1995 Kevin moved to Toronto and began working at TSN, becoming the first Associate Producer of “Off the Record with Michael Landsberg”.  Kevin would go on to help lead a team in launching the NHL Network, The Fight Network and in 2008 becoming Head of Production for the World Fishing Network.  For the past five years, Kevin has held the position of Station Manager for five Simcoe County Rogers Community Television channels.  Kevin lives in Oro Medonte with his wife Jennifer and two sons Reid and Owen.

MODERATOR

CONTACT CULTURE ALLIANCE
IN THE HEART OF GEORGIAN BAY

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c/o Town of Midland 575 Dominion Avenue

Midland, ON L4R 1R2

705-526-4275 ext. 2200

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