Jim Smith – Chairperson
CAPACOA Board Member
Agent, Presenter and Producer
DanceHouse, Eponymous and Vancouver New Music
Following studies in music and then commerce, Jim worked in tourism for the Government of Ontario. In 1990 he moved to Montreal and began working in the professional Canadian arts sector at La La La Human Steps. After a move to Vancouver, Jim co-founded Eponymous, an arts management and production agency. Under the aegis of Eponymous, Jim is currently associated with Company 605, Compagnie Vision Selective, Kidd Pivot, Les Productions Figlio, Wen Wei Dance, and Vancouver New Music. He also represents Veda Hille, Crystal Pite and Wen Wei Wang. In 2007 Jim co-founded and is the current Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse, a subscription series of large-scale dance presentations at the Vancouver Playhouse. Jim is a past President of the Canadian Dance Assembly, a founding member of Made In BC, and has sat on a number of other not for profit boards of directors. He is currently on the board of the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA) where he is chair of the International Development Committee.
Director, Indigenous Arts, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity Artistic Director, Akpik Theatre
Reneltta is an Inuvialuit, Dene and Cree from the Northwest Territories. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program and founder of Akpik Theatre, a professional Indigenous Theatre company in the NWT. Akpik Theatre focuses on establishing an authentic Northern Indigenous voice through theatre and storytelling. Raised by her grandparents on the trap-line until school age, this nomadic environment gave Reneltta the skills to become the multi-disciplined artist she is now. Reneltta has taken part in or initiated the creation of Indigenous Theatre across Canada and overseas. Under Akpik Theatre, Reneltta has written, produced, and performed various works focusing on decolonization and using theatre as a tool for reconciliation. This includes Pawâkan, a Plains Cree adaptation of Macbeth written by Arluk on Treaty 6 territory. Pawâkan Macbeth was inspired by working with youth and elders on the Frog Lake reserve. Reneltta is the first Inuk and first Indigenous woman to direct at The Stratford Festival. She was awarded the Tyrone Guthrie – Derek F. Mitchell Artistic Director’s Award for her direction of the The Breathing Hole. Reneltta is Director of Indigenous Arts at BANFF Centre for Arts and Creativity.
Theatre Artist and Presenter
Artistic Director, Native Earth Performing Arts
Keith Barker is a member of the Metis Nation of Ontario and was raised in Northwestern Ontario. He is the Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts. He is a graduate of the George Brown Theatre School and worked as a Theatre Program Officer at the Canada Council for the Arts. He is a recipient of a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, a SAT Award for Excellence in Playwriting, and a Yukon Arts Audience Award for Best Art for Social Change. His play This is How We Got Here was a 2018 Finalist for the Governor General Award for Drama. Keith is the Co-General Manager of his Arts League Hockey team, The Friendly Giants, and is a below average player.
From 2003 – 2019, Franco Boni served as Artistic Director of The Theatre Centre, leading the company in a $6M Capital Campaign and in the building of its new performance venue in Toronto. Franco is a recognized cultural innovator, facilitator and community builder.
Franco previously served as Artistic and Executive Director of the PuSh Festival, Festival Director of Rhubarb!, and Artistic Producer of the SummerWorks Festival. In 1999 he co-founded the Buddies In Bad Times Queer Youth Program, supporting intergenerational dialogue.
Franco is one of the founders and sits on the Steering Committee of Active 18, a local West Queen West community association, instrumental in advocating for good design and retaining the cultural fabric of the West Queen West neighbourhood.
He is the inaugural recipient of the Ken McDougall Award for emerging directors, and was awarded the Rita Davies Cultural Leadership Award, recognizing his outstanding leadership in the development of arts and culture in the City of Toronto. Most recently, Franco received the
George Luscombe Mentorship Award in Theatre.
Director of Programming, Place des Arts
Clothilde Cardinal is the Head of Programming Section at Place des Arts (Montréal, Canada) since 2014, a state society of the Government of Quebec. She has been active in the arts milieu for over the past 30 years in art managing and international artistic organizations like Danse Danse (2000-2015), Théâtre UBU and Festival TransAmériques (FTA). She sat on several Board of Directors in the culture and the social fields and participates frequently on consultative committees and conferences. She created in 1996 the still active professional annual meeting point “Fenêtres de la création théâtrale” at Théâtre de la Ville in Longueuil. She curated outdoor and indoor events including international regional focused events at Place des Arts. Clothilde was appointed « Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres » by the French Government in 2016.
Founder and Managing Director, Agence Station Bleue
A graduate from the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal, Annick-Patricia Carrière held the position of Communications and Marketing Director at Montreal’s Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM). She then founded the Agence Station Bleue with her business partner Gabriel Paré in the year 2000. Since the past 20 years, Annick-Patricia Carrière has been devoting hers and her team’s efforts into developing the national and international careers of the agency’s artists. She is also responsible of the company’s strategic planning and development via the selection of new artistic projects.
Dance Artist and Presenter
Executive and Artistic Director, Dancers of Damelahamid
and Coastal First Nations Dance Festival
Margaret Grenier is of Gitxsan and Cree ancestry. She is the Executive and Artistic Director for the Dancers of Damelahamid. She has produced the Coastal Dance Festival since 2008. She choreographed Setting the Path(2004) and Sharing the Spirit (2007), which toured to New Zealand (2008) and 2010 World Expo in Shanghai China, and Visitors Who Never Left (2009). Margaret choreographed the multimedia productions Spirit Transforming (2012), Flicker (2016), and Mînowin (2019). Flicker premiered at The Cultch and the Canada Dance Festival (2016). Flicker toured through La danse sur les routes du Québec (2017), was presented by Montréal, arts interculturels and Danse Danse (2017), Dance Victoria (2018), DanceWorks, Toronto (2018) and toured through Made in BC (2018). Mînowin premiered at the Mòshkamo Festival, National Arts Centre, Ottawa (2019) followed by a national tour and was presented at the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato, Mexico.
Margaret holds a M.A. from Simon Fraser University and a B.Sc. from McGill University. She directed the HR MacMillan Space Centre’s production Sky Stories. She was a sessional instructor for Simon Fraser’s course Foundations in Aboriginal Education, Language, and Culture (2007) and at the Banff Centre’s Indigenous Dance Residency (2013). Margaret presented at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education in Australia (2008), Peru (2011), Hawai’i (2014), and Toronto (2017). She received the Reveal Award in 2017. She serves on the board of the BC Alliance for Arts and Culture.
Starting his career in the arts as stage manager for the
Royal Ballet, London, Mark Hammond became Director
of Programming in 1999 for Canada’s largest theatre, the
Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. In 2014, Mark was
appointed interim CEO and was instrumental in
revitalizing Toronto’s historical and cultural landmark
venue and securing strategic partnerships with local,
national and international non-profit and for-profit arts and
entertainment communities. Since becoming an
independent performing arts presenter in 1979, he has
collaborated with some of the world’s leading arts
organizations while committed to local and national
artists; his career has provided a breadth and depth of
experience as artist manager, grants officer, dance
presenter and festival producer.
Artistic Director, Why Not Theatre
Toronto-based stage director Ravi Jain is a multi-award-winning artist known for making politically bold and accessible theatrical experiences in both small indie productions and large theatres. As the founding artistic director of Why Not Theatre, Ravi has established himself as an artistic leader for his inventive productions, international collaborations and innovative producing models which are aimed to better support emerging artists to make money from their art.
Ravi was twice shortlisted for the Siminovitch Prize (2016 and 2019) and won the Ken McDougal Award for Emerging Director, the 2012 Pauline McGibbon Award for Emerging Director and the 2016 Canada Council John Hirsch Prize for direction. He is a graduate of the two-year program at École Jacques Lecoq.
Presenter and Producer
Executive Director, Crow’s Theatre
Sherrie Johnson, began her tenure as Executive Director of Crow’s Theatre in February 2019, becoming Crow’s first Executive Director . Co-responsible for the leadership of Crow’s Theatre with Artistic Director Chris Abraham , Sherrie brings a wide ranging experience as an arts leader to her role at Crow’s Theatre: Since 2013, Sherrie was a member of the senior leadership team at Canadian Stage where she worked closely with Artistic and General Director, Matthew Jocelyn and Managing Director,
Su Hutchinson to program, produce, tour and present 18 productions per season across 4 venues. As the company underwent a major executive leadership transition through the 2017-2018 season, Sherrie lead Canadian Stage in all capacities as Interim Artistic Director, Managing Director and Executive Producer. Prior to joining Canadian Stage, Johnson’s three decade artistic career includes: serving as founding Artistic Director for Outside the Box, an ambitious multi-arts festival in Boston, acting as Senior Curator at the highly esteemed PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver, programming and producing the Six Stages Festival in Toronto, Prague, Berlin and Glasgow, producing for Germany’s internationally renowned Rimini Protokoll, and co-founding the indie company da da kamera with Daniel Macivor. Sherrie was the inaugural recipient of the John Hobday Award for outstanding achievement in the arts management from the Canada Council, and in 2019 was awarded The Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for Outstanding Leadership in Administration . She produced Stan Douglas’s first multimedia theater production, Helen Lawrence, which debut at The Arts Club Theatre Company, Vancouver, in March 2014 and was subsequently presented by the Munchner Kammerspiele , Munich ; Edinburgh International Festival; Canadian Stage , Toronto ; Brooklyn Academy of M usic, New York; deSingel , Antwerp ; and Center for the Art of Performance, University of California, Los Angeles (co-organized by Los Angeles County Museum of Art).
Executive Producer – Dance, National Arts Centre
Cathy Levy, Executive Producer of Dance at Canada’s National Arts Centre (NAC), has devoted her professional working life to the performing arts. Cathy joined the NAC in 2000, and has earned an enviable reputation throughout the Canadian and international dance communities. She presents a full season of national and international dance companies and artists, and has co-produced over 100 new works. Cathy has also developed an array of outreach and enhancement activities to support artists, students and audiences, such as the NAC-CGI Youth Commission for Dance (2003-2007), the Associate Dance Artists Program launched in 2007, and the Visiting Dance Artist Program launched in 2018, projects supported through partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts. Cathy was recently named a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of her dedication to the field.
The NAC is a bilingual, multi-disciplinary home and showcase for the performing arts that presents, creates, produces, and co-produces in various streams—the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety—and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada and abroad.
CAPACOA Board Member
Executive Director, Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance
Cynthia Lickers-Sage is a Mohawk, Turtle Clan visual artist from Six Nations and is currently the Executive Director of the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance. Following her graduation at the Ontario College of Art and Design she Co-Founded The Centre for Aboriginal Media, imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival and is the sole proprietor of Clickers Productions. She has spent the last 25 years working in the not-for-profit arts sector as the Executive Director at imagineNATIVE and ANDPVA and the General Manager at Kaha:wi Dance Theatre. She has also served as an arts officer at the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.
Cynthia serves on the board of directors for CAPACOA and Ontario Presents and has served on a variety of volunteer boards and commitees at arts organizations both Nationally and Internationally. Cynthia is the proud recipient of the Toronto Aboriginal Business Association’s – Aboriginal Business Women and the Year award and is a recent recipient of the Meritorious Service Cross from the Governor General of Canada.
CAPACOA Board Member
Director, Vancouver Civic Theatres
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.
Natalie has been a member of the Board of Directors for The Fringe Festival of Toronto, First Night Toronto, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), the Toronto Arts Council, the (Toronto) Entertainment District BIA, and Ontario Presents amongst others. She is currently a board member of CAPACOA (Canadian Arts Presenting Association). She has been an Ontario Arts Council grant recommender, a jury member for the Toronto Arts Council, the City of Toronto, the City of Mississauga, and Heritage Mississauga. Natalie has guest lectured at York University, the CI&VI Festivals de Catalunya in Barcelona, the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia, and MPI Toronto and the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) in Mumbai, India. Natalie is an inaugural Fellow of the Toronto Arts Council and The Banff Centre Cultural Leaders Lab programme.
Executive Director, The Cultch
Ms. Redfern is the Executive Director of The Vancouver East Cultural Centre (The Cultch) where she curates a program of over 20 different presentations each season. Before coming to “The Cultch”, she was the Executive Director of the Greater Vancouver Alliance for Arts and Culture and the Artistic Producer for Catalyst Theatre in Edmonton. Heather has sat on numerous boards including The Koerner Foundation, and The Edmonton Arts Council. She was the first Chair of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, an organization she helped to found.
Ms. Redfern has been honoured with the City of Edmonton, Business and the Arts Award for Excellence in Arts Management and the Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award for sustained, inspired, and creative leadership in Canadian Theatre. She continues to work on innovative ways to promote Canadian artists at home and abroad. In East Vancouver, she has overseen $30 million of refurbishment and construction first at The Cultch and then as a driving force behind the restoration of the historic York Theatre. Over the past twelve seasons she has built an international reputation for the Cultch through her innovative curation and impeccable leadership.
In June of 2019 Heather Redfern and the Cultch were awarded the Vancouver Now Representation and Inclusion Award, by the Jessies. This was for “working to deliberately curate and program shows that present the city that we live in onstage while also continuously working towards the inclusion of and visibility of a spectrum of minority and marginalized communities.”
CAPACOA Board Member
Agent and Producer, Felix Productions
Gillian brings over a decade of project management and special events production experience to her role as an Agent and Producer. Wearing different hats for different clients on a variety of projects, she aims to support the artists she works with in their quest to connect with audiences.
Gillian’s professional background includes over a decade with a corporate performance marketing firm in Toronto where she designed and produced incentive programs for the likes of GM Canada, VW Canada, and BP Oil. She has executed programs throughout North America and Europe. Gillian garnered experience as assistant producer with ShoCorp International on projects like The Cancun Jazz Festival, Volkswagen Trade Show and the EuroVan Launch.
Gillian is an active member of her local community in Nova Scotia and has held volunteer positions as a board member of the Chester Playhouse from 2006-2012 and Vice Commodore of the Chester Yacht Club from 2014 to 2015. FELIX Productions won a Merritt Award for Outstanding Production by a New or Emerging Company in 2018.
Presenter and Producer
Executive Director, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks
After attending DJD’s premiere production Body and Sole in 1984, Kathi Sundstrom became an instant supporter. In 1989 she joined the DJD board of directors and in 1992 became President of the board. In 1993, Kathi made a courageous career move when she took on the role of General Manager of DJD. Shifting from the corporate world to the non-profit arts sector offered Kathi a whole variety of new challenges, which she navigated with finesse. She originally promised to work with the company for two years and now, more than 30 years later, she is still at the helm. Kathi has been recognized for her arts management expertise with a number of awards including the 2005 Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management and the 2017 Calgary Award for Community Achievement in the Arts. In addition to those awards and other achievements, Kathi also led the major expansion of DJD with the completion and opening of the stunning $28 million DJD Dance Centre in April 2016.
Kathi graduated from SAIT with a major in Business Administration and Consumer Marketing and was listed on the President’s Honour Roll. She has served as Treasurer of the Canadian Dance Assembly (2007-2011), was co-chair of the Mayor’s Lunch for Business and the Arts (1999 and 2000) and was a member of the executive committee of the Calgary Professional Arts Alliance (1994-2000).
Executive Director, Fredericton Playhouse
Since 2000, Tim Yerxa has served as the Executive Director of the Fredericton Playhouse, a 709-seat performing arts venue located in New Brunswick’s provincial capital. Under his leadership, the organization has been the recipient of numerous local, regional, and national awards and recognitions from the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, the East Coast Music Association, and the Canadian Arts Presenting Association.
Mr. Yerxa was the first recipient of the New Brunswick Foundation for the Arts’ Arts and Cultural Management Award in 2009 and received the Atlantic Presenters Association’s Achievement Award in 2018. He has served on numerous boards and committees both within his sector and in his community — serving as president of the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA) and the Atlantic Presenters Association (APA) and chairing the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, and the East Coast Music Awards.
He is active in the community, serving in various leaderships roles in volunteer and professional organizations. Tim and his wife Jodie are raising their three children in his native Fredericton.
Sue Urquhart – Ex Officio
CAPACOA Executive Director
Judy Harquail – Ex Officio
CAPACOA International Market Development Consultant & Strategist
Norman Armour – Ex Officio