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Board of Directors



Executive Committee


Noel Xavier - Chair

With over 20 years of resource development and senior management experience in the not-for-profit sector, Noel has worked with social services, immigration, health and arts and culture organizations. In addition to management positions at Edmonton Opera and the Art Gallery of Alberta, Noel has served on the Board of Directors of the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts and Opera NUOVA as well as the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) - Edmonton & Area Chapter.

As an Advisor with Edmonton Community Foundation, Noel works with individual donors, families and local charities to build endowment funds and legacy plans that create strategic, sustainable philanthropic support in our community. For the past five years, Noel has worked actively with local arts organizations participating in the Canada Cultural Investment Fund initiatives of Canadian Heritage, a matching funds opportunity for professional performing arts groups.

Since 2016, Noel has shared his fund development experience and personal interest in arts and culture with students as a sessional instructor in the Arts & Cultural Management Program at MacEwan University. Noel is thrilled to work with people who share his interest in making Edmonton a vibrant community. 


Debbie Houle - Vice Chair

Debbie Houle is Métis from the Elizabeth Métis Settlement in Northeast Alberta. She has been working in Edmonton’s Indigenous community for over 27 years. In 2011 she was elected to the Board and served for four years as President of Aksis, Edmonton’s Aboriginal Business and Professional Association. In her fulltime role as a Liaison Officer with Alberta Indigenous Relations she works with First Nation Chief and Councils in Alberta managing the First Nation Development Fund for economic, social and community projects. As one of five founding members of Asani she has been composing, arranging and performing original compositions in English and Cree since 1997. Asani has recorded two compacts discs entitled “Rattle and Drum” and “Listen”. They continue to perform and collaborate with other artists on new projects that share the rich culture of First Nations and Métis people. Debbie is passionate about improving the opportunities for other artists and recently created the Alberta Network of Indigenous Artists aimed at connecting artists in all disciplines with opportunities to present, perform and share their work.


Vivianne Favreau-Sparrow - Treasurer

Vivianne Favreau-Sparrow is an independent contract accountant and violinist who believes art is to be celebrated and embraced and has a desire to support the Edmonton arts community with her financial expertise. Peace of mind is at the forefront of Vivianne’s objectives when providing support to business owners, board of directors and finance teams. For the past 12 years, her services have included financial accounting process review and assessment, financial statement analysis and preparation, corporate tax, hiring of key personnel and employee mentorship. Vivianne earned her CMA, CPA designation while working in public practice and has experience in various private industry sectors.

A violinist since the age of three, she currently plays first violin with Orchestra Borealis, formerly known as Concordia Symphony Orchestra. In addition to life as an accountant, musician and Mom of two, Vivianne volunteers her time to various community, school and sport organizations.


Pat Darbasie - Secretary

A graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program, Pat has been an active member of the Edmonton theatre community for over 20 years, and is a two-time Sterling award winner. In 2001 Pat started writing plays; Carnival Magic, a play based on West Indian culture, toured Edmonton area schools with Concrete Theatre. Ribbon, about black settlers in Amber Valley, is a one-woman show she wrote and performed for her MFA thesis in Directing at the University of Alberta.

Upon completion of her MFA, Pat studied Voice and Speech at York University, where her thesis was The Syringa Tree which she directed using voice and movement techniques from her year of study. Pat has taught as a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta and Concordia University College, and continues as a freelance artist with her fingers in many creative pies!


Members at Large


Ida Beltran-Lucila

Ida Beltran-Lucila was a principal dancer of Ballet Philippines at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. She moved on to teaching and re-staging ballets and was Associate Artistic Director for several dance companies. In Canada, she was Artistic Director of the Edmonton Festival Ballet and Chameleon Dance Edmonton, and she was a freelance dance teacher and guest ballet master for Shumka Dancers. Ida is the Program Director of the Edmonton Filipino Fiesta and the Founder and Executive Director of the Philippine Arts Council Alberta. She was a 2017 Hiyas awardee from the Karilagan Dance Society and a recipient of the 2017 Edmonton Artist Trust Fund award from the Edmonton Arts Council. Ida continues to teach dance, lead artistic projects, and is a columnist on art and culture with the Alberta Filipino Journal.

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Christopher Filipowicz

A resident of Alberta since the early 1980s, Christopher experienced personal and professional journeys through three continents. That took him from tutoring and stocking shelves while at university to teaching architectural design in his native Poland, building technology in Nigeria, working briefly as a janitor in Calgary, and setting commercial displays for major home furnishings and decor chains in Edmonton. Along the way, Chris met people who helped him to realize his dream and goal of returning to his chosen profession and becoming a Registered Architect in Alberta. Now Chris returns such generous gestures to those who could benefit from advice, opinion, support, and engagement, contributing through professional associations and as one of the directors at HFKS Architects.

As a former Council Member of the Alberta Association of Architects and a former Chair of AAA Complaint Review Committee, Chris volunteered time and energy, and gained experience in governance of a profession that regulates the practices of Architecture and Licensed Interior Design in the province of Alberta. Since 2012, Chris has been an active member of the Procurement and Contracts Committee for the Consulting Architects of Alberta. 

Being immersed in an environment where various professionals can more easily collaborate and exchange ideas to better serve client and community needs deepened his understanding of merging various creative activities within an expanding sphere of civic interactions. Chris remains professionally entrenched and active in practice of the public and institutional architecture across Alberta. One of his advisory roles has been to participate in pre-selection of artists and implementation of art commissions for several municipal projects.


Jean-Pierre Fournier

Jean-Pierre Fournier is an actor, fight director, director, and teacher. A graduate of the University of Alberta Drama program, he was Coordinator of Performance (acting) with the Theatre department at Mount Royal University from 1998 to 2013. He received a Sterling Lifetime Achievement award from the Edmonton Theatre community in 2014 and a Betty Mitchell Theatre award for Fight Direction in 2004. The Jean-Pierre Fournier Fellowship Award for promising young Fight Directors and Teachers has been set-up with Fight Directors Canada. Jean-Pierre taught workshops in Europe, the USA, and across Canada, has lectured at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, and consulted on the historical aspects of swordplay for ballets, operas, theatre, and film. He continues to teach at universities, schools, and community theatres across Canada and works as a fight director and stunt coordinator for stage, film, and television. He works with high schools in Edmonton and Calgary on a variety of projects.


Cindy Gaudet

Dr. Janice Cindy Gaudet is a Métis researcher and educator from Saskatchewan. She recently joined the University of Alberta as an Associate Professor at Campus Saint-Jean. Among her work, she has conducted community-engaged research to advance Indigenous research methodologies; lead and co-authored manuscripts with community members to promote collaborative knowledge-sharing and production; conducted culturally-relevant wellness and creative arts-based methods that highlight, preserve, and promote Indigenous women's knowledge and epistemology; support existing community-led initiatives in reciprocal learning to advance best practices in community and academic research and advance intergenerational knowledge transfer, community healing practices, and community knowledge dissemination. She co-authored a children's book, developed a set of language-learning playing cards tool, and collaborated in a storytelling video project about the stories of Métis women.


Rayanne Haines

Rayanne Haines is a writer and arts administrator. She served as Executive Director of the Edmonton Poetry Festival for seven years. She is an award-winning fiction author and poet and co-host of the poetry podcast "Let's Get Lit." Her work has been published in Canada, the USA, and the UK and she has mentored authors as a writer-in-residence. Rayanne has an extensive background with non-profit boards, marketing, fundraising, organizational leadership, accounting and financial leadership, mentoring, and change management.


Michael Hamm

Michael has been producing and creating films in Edmonton for 37 years and has mentored dozens of Albertans who continue to work in the industry - many of whom have moved to larger film centres such as Vancouver, Toronto and Los Angeles. He has also volunteered his time to create promotional videos and commercials for not-for-profits and ‘pitch' videos for charities such as iHuman and Wellspring. Michael is currently on the Board of the Edmonton International Film Festival.

Aasttha Khajuria

Aasttha Khajuria is standing for a second term on the EAC Board of Directors. She is an artist, entrepreneur, businesswoman, and community builder. Born and raised in India, she developed a strong love and passion for dancing. She brought that love with her to Canada where she professionally trained in a North Indian classical dance form known as Kathak. She is the owner of Root-School of Kathak in Edmonton, and co-owner of Baat Cheet Films, a creative film production house. She is the recipient of an Edmonton Arts Council 2011 Cultural Diversity in the Arts Award.

 Morgan McClelland

Morgan McClelland

Morgan McClelland was born and raised in Edmonton. She is a practising lawyer, and an enthusiastic amateur theatre performer who wholeheartedly believes that art brings communities together. Her previous Board experience has been in service of a number of legal organizations, including the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association and the Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Alberta. Having previously been involved in fundraising for the arts, she is delighted to contribute to Edmonton's diverse and dynamic arts scenes in a new way.

Mireille Rijavec

As a mezzo-soprano soloist, Mireille has been heard many times on the CBC and has appeared with the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, the Richard Eaton Singers, Pro Coro Canada, the Edmonton Metropolitan Orchestra, Concordia University Chorus and Orchestra, Opera Breve Vancouver, Western Concert Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, and in productions supported by Edmonton Opera. Mireille and pianist Roxanne Classen have been performing cabaret together in the Edmonton area and beyond since their 2007 Edmonton Fringe debut Brie, Baguette, and a Broad. Mireille was Music Faculty at the University of Alberta's Campus Saint-Jean from 1999 to 2012 and was on staff at Concordia University of Edmonton from 2006 to 2016 as a voice instructor, Manager and Program Coordinator of Concordia's School of Music. Mireille served as Pro Coro Canada's Executive Director until October 2019 after serving as General Manager since September 2016. She had sung with the professional choir since 2001, and joined the board as a singer's representative from 2003 to 2014. Mireille is a member of ARMTA (Alberta Registered Music Teachers Association), ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists and NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing).

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Don Ross

Don Ross

Clarinetist Don Ross plays some 150 shows a year, split between classical, jazz, world and experimental music. He plays regularly with such groups as Saint Crispin's Chamber Ensemble, the Gadjo Collective gypsy band, New Music Edmonton, the Alberta Symphony, Crescendo Orchestra, Opera Nuova, The Billie Zizi Swing Band, Mile Zero Dance and many others. He teaches clarinet at the University of Alberta, MacEwan, King's, Concordia and MusiCamp Alberta. His work as a composer and project leader have won multiple grants from the Canada Council, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Edmonton Arts Council. Previous board experience was with the Alberta Band Association, the Alberta Media Arts Alliance Society (amaas) and fifteen years as president of the Boreal Electroacoustic Music Society (BEAMS). He holds music degrees from the Universities of Alberta and Toronto and from Northwestern in Chicago.


Scott Shpeley

Scott is a teacher, actor, and multi-instrumentalist. He holds a Bachelor of Education from Concordia University of Edmonton and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Alberta. He currently teaches Drama, Musical Theatre, Technical Theatre, and Graphic Arts at Percy Page High School. As a professional actor, Scott has been part of many Canadian premieres of new work, toured across Canada, performed in London, England, and performed Off-Broadway with Catalyst Theatre's Nevermore. His awards include a Betty Mitchell Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy and a City of Edmonton Arts and Cultural Performance Award for his performance of Edgar Allan Poe in Catalyst Theatre's Nevermore. Scott is honoured to be part of this board and looks forwarding to contributing to the excellent community of artists in Edmonton. 


Standing Board Members

Erica Hummel – EEDC representative
Susan Coward – City of Edmonton representative

In addition to the EAC Board, the EAC has three standing, two advisory and three ad-hoc committees of the Board. For more information about the EAC committees, click here

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Edmonton Arts Council • Prince of Wales Armoury, 2nd Floor, 10440 108 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5H 3Z9 • info@edmontonarts.ca • p. 780.424.2787 | f. 780.425.7620