CAPACOA board and staff members at a retreat in Québec City, December 2022.
Director, Vancouver Civic Theatre (BC)
Natalie Lue is the Director of the Vancouver Civic Theatres (the Orpheum, a 2,672 seat historic concert hall, Canada’s largest stage, the 2,765 seat Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the 668 seat Vancouver Playhouse, and the flexible 191 seat black box Annex Theatre) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Until June 2019, she was the CEO of the Living Arts Centre (LAC), a multi-arts presentation centre in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Prior to the LAC, Natalie was the Vice President, Production and Visitor Experience for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) responsible for producing twelve of the annual September Festival. She was also on the build team responsible for the construction, opening and operating of TIFF Bell Lightbox. Prior to joining TIFF in 2005, Natalie held several senior positions at Harbourfront Centre, a ten acre performing arts complex in Toronto on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Event/Tour Producer, FeLIX Productions (NS)
Gillian brings over a decade of project management and special events production experience to her role as an Agent/Manager/Tour Producer. Wearing different hats for different clients on a variety of projects, she aims to support her artist clients in their quest to connect with audiences. She is located in Chester, NS.
Gillian’s professional background includes over a decade with a corporate performance marketing firm in Toronto where she designed and produced incentive programs for GM Canada, VW Canada, and BP Oil among others. Gillian also garnered experience as a production assistant with ShoCorp International on projects like The Cancun Jazz Festival, Volkswagen Trade Show and the EuroVan Launch. Gillian has a degree in Administrative and Commercial Studies from the University of Western Ontario.
She currently sits on both the CAPACOA International Market Development committee, and the Agents and Managers COVID committee. She was a board member of the Chester Playhouse from 2006-2012 and was Vice Commodore of the Chester Yacht Club from 2014 to 2015.
General Manager, Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre (AB)
Nicholas Beach has been General Manager of the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre for over 8 years. Responsibilities include curating the arts centre’s multi-disciplinary season of 35+ artists in 5 different series each year. The Lougheed Centre presents Canadian and international artists including theatre, dance, circus, and a large variety of music genres. In more than 20 year career in the arts, he has worked in theatres in 4 provinces which also included the National Arts Centre, E. A. Rawlinson Centre for the Arts and Keyano Theatre. Past related experience includes, member at large for the Arts Touring Alliance of Alberta, co-leader of the Canadian working group for contemporary circus with MICC and founding member of the Camrose Arts Council. Nicholas is also a very active member of the Prairie Regional Presenters Coalition.
The Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre opened in 2014 and is located on the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus in Camrose, Alberta. The Lougheed Centre is home to a 584 seat fly house and a 124 seat cabaret venue.
Artistic Director, MT Space / IMPACT Festival (ON)
Pam Patel performs with numerous Canadian companies, touring nationally and internationally. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University’s music program, Pam specialized in new music and improvisation, establishing a career as a multidisciplinary artist.
Pam is currently the Artistic Director of MT Space where she pursues her passion for centralizing racialized voices through theatre. Pam was formerly the President of local new music organization, NUMUS, and is currently the Chair of Arts Awards Waterloo Region. In line with efforts to advocate for the arts on a local level, Pam also sat on the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee for the City of Kitchener where she played an active role in voicing concerns on behalf of the larger arts community. In 2018, Pam was a recipient of Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellowship for Service Above Self in Arts and Culture, which was given at the Mayor of Waterloo’s State of the City Address. Most recently, Pam received the Emerging Leader in Performing Arts Award from CAPACOA, and is a recipient of Zonta’s 2021 Women of Achievement Award.
Evelyn R. Bradley (she/her) is the Community Impact and Diversity manager at The United Way of PEI and the owner and lead consultant of the diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting company Bradley Consulting. As a diversity and inclusion consultant, Evelyn provides workshop development, training, and facilitation services through her work with The Dandelion Initiative, HEIST, and The Confederation Center of the Arts. Evelyn believes that in order to create accountable artistic spaces we must expand our knowledge of our own biases and unpack our socialization as the first steps to fostering inclusive artistic spaces.
Executive Director, Imperial Theatre (NB)
Angela has over 18 years of experience in arts administration and professional fund development including coordination of large-scale events, donor development, organizational management, marketing & communications, human resources, artistic programming and curation, audience development, board governance, strategic planning and financial management.
Angela is the Executive Director of Imperial Theatre, one of Atlantic Canada’s largest and most active Performing Arts Centres. Her leadership style is rooted in creating a creative and collaborative and equitable work culture to build a strong organization. She has worked to expand the Theatre’s networks locally, nationally and internationally, affirming Imperial Theatre’s role as a leader in performing arts with a mission to create a space dedicated to diversity, inclusivity and equity, while fulfilling a commitment to support artists and connect them and their work with audiences. Angela has served on multiple local and regional boards and committees and spent 10-years on the Board of the Atlantic Presenters Association.
Community Programming Director, Yukon Arts Centre (YK)
Michele Emslie is currently the Community Programming Director at Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon. Ms Emslie is passionate about serving the needs of the Northern arts community and is currently working on developing a Northern Presenting Network. Over the past 20 years she has worked with a variety of performing and visual arts events and organizations including the Yukon International Storytelling Festival; Whitehorse Concerts and was a key organizer of the Pan-Northern contingent at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. She has also been involved with many ground-breaking initiatives for Northern artists and cultural workers alike including Co-Chair of the 2007 Canada Winter Games Cultural Festival, Chair of the 2011 BreakOut West Host and co-founded and is President of ArtsNet, Yukon’s arts alliance organization.
Executive Director, Small World Music (ON)
Umair Jaffar is the Executive Director of Small World Music, one of Toronto’s pioneering and most significant presenters of culturally-diverse music. Since arriving in Toronto in 2014, he has worked in curatorial and management roles at major cultural institutions including the Aga Khan Museum and Harbourfront Centre. Prior to immigrating, he was the CEO & Artistic Director for IPAC (Institute for Preservation of Art and Culture), a Pakistan-based non-profit social enterprise that focused on developing sustainable solutions for preserving and promoting indigenous and traditional performing arts. Umair also serves as a board member for several non-profit art organizations including North York Arts and Musiconnect Asia. He has an MBA from University of Adelaide, Australia and a MSc in Cultural Anthropology from University of Oxford, UK.
Executive Director, Arts Touring Alliance of Alberta (AB)
Kennedy Jenson, Executive Director for the Arts Touring Alliance of Alberta, has a background not only in arts association management and concert/festival production, but many years’ experience as a performer and recording artist. Her performance career covers just about every medium of the entertainment business, from stage to studio, radio to television host, to singer and dancer.
Since 2005 Kennedy has been working on the other side of the industry passing her knowledge onto budding performers and community arts councils through her work for arts organizations and festival production. In her seven years as Executive Director for the Alberta Music Industry Association, Kennedy was instrumental in establishing that organization as a go-to destination for professional music biz guidance. Jenson brings that same passion and hard work to the Arts Touring Alliance of Alberta dedicated to providing relevant programs and services and strengthening infrastructure.
Kennedy’s work as a volunteer in the arts and cultural sector has spanned as many years as her professional work. Currently she chairs a music historical society in Edmonton whose mandate is to document the entire music history of Edmonton going back to 1892. A partnership with the Edmonton Public library has resulted in a website specifically designed to house hundreds of profiles not only of artists, but venues, festivals, and industry workers.
Artistic Director, Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre Society (BC)
Erin Kennedy is the Artistic Director of the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre (VDPACS) located in Vernon British Columbia. For the past thirteen years, she has been programming a multidisciplinary 24-38 performance season. In 2022 Erin started the popular annual North Okanagan Children’s Festival. VDPACS delivers over 50 community engagement activities each season which help deepen the community’s connection to the artists’ work.
Erin is a member of the International Market for Contemporary Circus and is the co-chair of the working group Presenting Circus in Canada. In 2022 Erin won the BC Touring Council’s Presenter of the Year award.
Prior to her work at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre, Erin worked as a freelance theatre maker in design and management in Montreal, Vancouver and the interior of BC. Erin is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s Technical Production Program. The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre is located in the North Okanagan, in Vernon British Columbia. The Vernon and District Performing Arts centre has a 750 seat proscenium fly house and a 65 seat flexible studio space.
Artistic Director, Punctuate! Theatre (AB)
Canadian playwright Matthew MacKenzie is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta. Currently the Artistic Director of Punctuate! Theatre, Matt is also a proud member of the Pemmican Collective and an Artistic Associate of Pyretic Productions, a company which he founded.
In 2018, Matt’s play Bears won Toronto Dora Awards for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Production, was named a co-winner of the Toronto Theatre Critics Outstanding New Canadian Play Award and won the Playwright Guild of Canada’s Carol Bolt National Playwriting Award. In 2023, First Métis Man Of Odesa, which Matt co-wrote and performs in with his partner, Mariya Khomutova, toured to six Canadian cities and won Doras for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Production.
Working dramaturgically with both early career and established writers, Matt is passionate about Indigenous playwrights. Matt is equally passionate about building international partnerships and is currently involved in projects in Chile, Poland, Liberia and South Africa.
Creative Director, Sappyfest (NB)
Andrea Vincent is a professional artistic director and arts administrator with significant experience in artist relations and DIY events. Andrea’s career began in the early 2000s as a teen with a festival travel enterprise, and in 2011 following a formal education in Interdisciplinary Art, Andrea co-founded Lawnya Vawnya, an independent music festival in St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador with a group of friends. Since 2016, Andrea has served as the Executive Director of the Dawson City Music Festival Association in Dawson City, Yukon. In early 2022, Andrea headed home to the east coast to join Sappyfest as their new Creative Director.
Charlie Wu is a dedicated community builder in the arts and culture sector, bringing over 25 years of experience to his work. Currently, he holds key roles as the Managing Director of the Asian-Canadian Special Events Association and the General Manager of the Society of We Are Canadians Too in Vancouver. In these capacities, he oversees events including TAIWANfest and LunarFest in BC and ON, as well as the launch of the Jade Music Festival in 2022, with the aim of establishing Vancouver as the North American hub for Chinese-language music.
Charlie is recognized for his ability to foster partnerships between arts organizations and cultural communities, collaborating with institutions such as Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, the PuSh Festival, and the Museum of Vancouver. As a presenter, he advocates for underrepresented artists locally and internationally. Thanks to his extensive connections in Taiwan and other Asian countries, Charlie facilitates meaningful exchanges and partnerships between Canada and Asia, enhancing cultural connections and diversity in the arts and culture sector.