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we bring art to everyday life

who we are

Staff at the Edmonton Arts Council are experts in the arts in Edmonton and want to help your artistic endeavors succeed. We are always happy to discuss your latest projects and plans, answer questions, or address concerns. Read on for a directory of all staff, or reach out to info@​edmontonarts.​ca or 7804242787 for general inquiries.

Sanjay Shahani (he/​him) — Executive Director

sshahani@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8300

Since joining the EAC as Executive Director in 2016, Sanjay Shahani has led the EAC through an exciting period of growth and transformation. In partnership with the City of Edmonton, Arts Habitat and Edmonton Heritage Council, Sanjay oversaw the creation of Connections & Exchanges: A 10-Year Plan To Transform Arts and Heritage In Edmonton. Unanimously approved by Edmonton City Council, and endorsed by Administration, this award-winning plan outlines a deliberate, collaborative, and adaptable strategy to advance city-building goals through a community-driven vision for cultural development, linking directly to the City of Edmonton’s own strategic visions.

Sally Kim (she/​her) — Associate Executive Director, Programs, Services and Access
skim@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8310

Sally Kim joined the EAC in 2006 and is the Associate Executive Director leading the Arts Development, Investments, Public Art and Access Division. Her division is responsible for the EAC’s outward-facing programs and services. Teams within this division advance the development of artistic and cultural practices through financial investment, retail and professional services, inclusive community programming, implementation of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access framework, and the commissioning and care of public art.

Shirley Combden (she/​her) — Associate Executive Director, Finance, Organizational Effectiveness and Engagement
scombden@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8330

Shirley Combden has been with the EAC since 2006 and is the Associate Executive Director of Finance, Organizational Effectiveness, and Engagement. This division is responsible for organizational capacity and culture, communications, and corporate performance. It exercises oversight over finances and risk management, the development and recruitment of talent, operational policies, business processes and performance measurement. 

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA)

The IDEA portfolio is all about developing relationships with individuals and organizations from equity-seeking and Indigenous communities. The team ensures that the EAC’s IDEA framework is prioritized and integrated into all aspects of the EAC. Reach out to these team members if you are an equity-seeking or Indigenous artist or organization and would like to discuss opportunities for access.

Odion Welch (she/​her) — Manager, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA)
owelch@​edmontonarts.​ca
/780 – 508-8319

Equity and Inclusion Advisor

Vacant

Kyra Brown (she/​her) — Indigenous Relations Advisor
kbrown@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8312 

Policy, Planning and Performance

Policy, Planning and Performance provides leadership support and reviews and improves governance and operational policies, planning processes and decision-making. The team ensures efficient and effective implementation of Board-generated strategic directions, operational priorities and the delivery of programs, services, initiatives and projects.

Stephen Williams (he/​him) — Director, Policy, Planning and Performance
swilliams@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8320

Public Art

Public art integrates art, design and creative ideas into everyday life. Following the principles of public visibility and accessibility, diversity and inclusion, public art appreciation, and city-wide impact, the Public Art team manages our internationally-recognized Public Art Collection – from the initiation of public art projects through to the maintenance and conservation of artworks once they are in the public realm. Contact members of this team for questions about how to get involved in public art, open calls to artists, or to learn more about art in the public realm.

David Turnbull (he/​him) — Director, Public Art
dturnbull@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8315

Robert Harpin (he/​him) — Project Advisor 
rharpin@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8316

Jenika Sobolewska (she/​her) — Collections Management Lead 
jsobolewska@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8301

David Simmonds (he/​him) — Collections Technician
dsimmonds@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8302

Mitra Saeedi (she/​her) — Conservator

msaeedi@​edmontonarts.​ca

Research, Measurement Analytics and Reporting

The Research, Measurement Analytics and Reporting team tracks and analyzes progress in the implementation of Connections & Exchanges. The team works in collaboration with teams in the Organizational Effectiveness division to support operational planning, evidence-informed decision-making and the timely reporting of progress measures to the EAC Board, staff and Edmontonians.

Abby Burbank (she/​her) — Research Analyst
aburbank@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8303

Jonathan Lai (he/​him) — Research Analyst
jlai@​edmontonarts.​ca
/7805088325

Arts Development and Investment

Actively engaged in the local arts community, this team provides advisory services and manages investments in artists, collectives and organizations. Forming relationships within the community, the members of this team support local artists and organizations to build capacity, seed innovation and create a resilient ecology. Reach out to this team if you are an artist or representative of an organization or collective and you are interested in funding opportunities, capacity building and professional development.

Erin McDonald (they/​she) — Director, Investments, Services and Partnerships
emcdonald@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8320

David Cheoros (he/​him) — Program Advisor
dcheoros@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8322

Anastasia Maywood (she/​her) — Program Advisor
amaywood@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8323

Misha Marie Nelson (she/​her) — Program Advisor
mnelson@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8321

People and Culture

Ensuring the EAC has a healthy organizational culture that plays to each team member’s unique strengths drives the People and Culture Team. The team’s strategies in recruitment, retention, and performance management keep the EAC operating smoothly. The team is home to the EAC’s administrative staff and allocates human resources for the timely and effective delivery of programs, services, initiatives, and projects organization wide.

Melanie Haynes (she/​her) — Manager, People and Culture
mhaynes@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8311

Donelle Briscoe (she/​her) — Administrative Coordinator
dbriscoe@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8313

Kendra Litwin (she/​her) — Administrative Coordinator
klitwin@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 424-2787

Shop & Services (formerly TIX on the Square)

The Edmonton Arts Council provides retail and management services to support Edmonton’s diverse makers, presenters, and audiences. By creating an inclusive and welcoming retail experience, providing secure box office services and other professional support systems, this award-winning team amplifies the work of Edmonton’s creative community. Reach out to the Shop & Services team members to inquire about selling your artistic products or tickets to local events, or with other ideas about how to get involved in this vital community space.

Danny Ross (he/​him) — Manager, Arts and Retail Services
dross@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 420-6510

Victoria Modine (she/​her) — Arts and Retail Associate Lead
vmodine@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-0027

Shelby Johnson (she/​her) — Arts and Retail Associate
sjohnson@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 420-1757 

Betty Thomson (she/​her) — Arts and Retail Associate
bthomson@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 420-1757

Stephanie McKnight (she/​her) — Arts and Retail Associate

smcknight@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 420-1757

Emma Rockwell (she/​they) — Arts and Retail Associate
erockwell@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 420-1757

Communications and Engagement

Passionate about telling the story of the EAC and the arts in Edmonton, the EAC’s award-winning Communications and Engagement team works with every area of the organization to write, edit, design and disseminate information to amplify the success of our programs, services, and projects. We strive to build greater awareness of the arts in Edmonton through the promotion and celebration of local artists and arts organizations – reach out to us to share news about your events or projects, ask questions about marketing your artistic endeavors, or for more information about the EAC in general.

Jenna Turner (she/​her) — Director, Communications and Engagement
jturner@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8305

Jamie Chapelsky (she/​her) — Content Lead 
jchapelsky@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8307

Jessica Telford (she/​her) — Content Lead 
jtelford@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8306 

Community Animation and Creative Partnerships

This team brings art and people together in celebration, experience and connection. Visionary programming, inspiring productions and community partnerships result in the creation of opportunities for artists to directly connect with Edmonton’s neighbourhoods and people. Reach out to the team to plan an activation in your community, inquire about performance opportunities, or with any other ideas about how to bring Edmonton’s streets to life with arts and culture.

Bob Rasko (he/​him) — Manager, Activations and Connections
brasko@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8333

Adam Blocka (he/​him) — Program Associate, Activations and Connections
ablocka@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8332

Aleysha Sarinn — Program Associate, Activations and Connections
Rebecca Starr — Program Associate, Activations and Connections

Finance and Risk Management

This portfolio manages the EAC’s public and private funds to ensure accountability, audit compliance and enable the Board to oversee our finances and budgets. The Finance and Risk Management Portfolio does the financial planning and budgeting for the organization, and tracks and reports on investments in the community. It is also responsible for contract review and oversight, organizational risk assessments and analysis, procurement of capital assets and information technology services.

Rebecca Baxter (she/​her) — Manager, Finance and Risk
rbaxter@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8314

Bobbie Todd (she/​her) — Programs and Projects Lead
btodd@​edmontonarts.​ca/780 – 508-8331

The Edmonton Arts Council is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Representation on the Board includes artists, arts administrators, and community members with specific skills and knowledge in finance and governance. Representatives from Explore Edmonton, the City of Edmonton, and Edmonton City Council serve as advisors.

Executive Committee

Christopher Filipowicz — Chair

Don Ross — Vice Chair

Mary Ann Dobson — Secretary

Cynthia Stiksma — Treasurer

Advisors

Vacant, Explore Edmonton Representative

Nicole Poirier, City of Edmonton Representative

Councillor Ashley Salvador, Edmonton City Council

Councillor Karen Principe, Edmonton City Council


Members at Large

Ainsley Hillyard

Allan Gilliland

Clinton Carew

Debbie Houle

Jean-Pierre Fournier

Karen Brown Fournell

Mireille Rijavec

Suzanne Thomas

Tyler Sherard