welcome - Edmonton Arts Council


Kyra Lee Brown 

Born and raised in Edmonton, the heart of Treaty No. 6 territory, Kyra Brown appreciates her Cree/Portuguese mixed bloodline.

Her career is dedicated to nurturing meaningful relationships that support stronger healthier communities. Kyra is a passionate supporter of initiatives that promote opportunities for marginalized groups, Indigenous populations, and women through her extensive volunteerism and work.

Kyra's background in Indigenous child and family development, is complemented by certifications in various wellness therapies. A life-long learner, her educational path focuses on nurturing growth and leadership in herself and others. She believes in healing and wellness through self-exploration, which includes Indigenous cultural teachings and practice wherein she feels a deep sense of comfort.

The ‘rippling pebble' theory is central to Kyra's life and work. She believes that one's energy and actions affect those around them; healthy, creative and positive personal growth naturally communicates its powerful uplifting energy to others because we are all related.

Jamie Chapelsky

Jamie Chapelsky 

Jamie Chapelsky graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a minor in Art & Design, and from MacEwan University with a Bachelor of Communications. Along her journey to the EAC, she worked in communications roles for both the Downtown Business Association of Edmonton and the Government of Alberta. As a supporter of Edmonton’s music scene, Jamie also served as a board member (Media Coordinator) of the Up+Downtown Music Festival. When not busy working, she enjoys catching some live music or theatre, playing soccer, travelling, and drinking copious amounts of caffeine.



David Cheoros 

David Cheoros studied theatre and management at the University of Waterloo, and directing at the University of Victoria.

In Edmonton, he has worked with Fringe Theatre Adventures, the Comedy Arts Festival, the Film and Video Arts Society - Alberta, Theatre Network, LitFest and Metro Cinema.

He is also a playwright and producer whose work focuses on original stories from Alberta history.

Shirley Combden 

Shirley Combden joined the Edmonton Arts Council in 2006 as the Financial Officer. Prior to that she spent many years in public practice. In addition to her work at the EAC, she also works for other not-for-profit organizations including the Edmonton Heritage Council since its inception in 2010. 

Shirley enjoys the rewards of working in the not-for-profit sector so much that she can often be found volunteering at her church, her kids' school or in the multiple births community... when she isn’t too busy driving her kids to soccer! 


Robert Harpin 

Robert Harpin graduated with a degree in Drawing from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2006. Since then he has been involved with the Edmonton Arts community working for three years at the Works Art and Design Festival and then as the programming officer at Latitude 53.

In his spare time Robert Harpin creates installations and collage based pop art (sort of). These works have appeared in various locations throughout the city including an art garage sale, an office cubicle in the river valley, and a bizarre child’s bedroom in a mostly abandoned apartment. Robert Harpin also loves cats and techno (much to the detriment of his wife).


Melanie Haynes 

An Alberta native, Melanie left Calgary as a teen and spent formative years in many locations including San Diego, Las Vegas, and Ukraine before landing in Toronto. There, she worked in a HR capacity within non-profit organizations before leaving the big city behind and returning to Edmonton in 2017.

Initially Melanie tested out the Edmonton HR scene within different sectors, but returned to the non-profit world in 2018 when she joined the EAC as the HR Specialist. She's happy to finally proclaim an end to her travels and call Edmonton home with her children, her dogs, and her hedgehogs.


Sally Kim

Sally Kim

Sally Kim started with the Edmonton Arts Council in 2007 as Grants Officer. Prior to that, she worked as the producer/general manager at The Works Art & Design Festival. In 2005, she managed a sculpture competition in Southern Alberta. While working to promote the Festival City brand for Edmonton Tourism, she coordinated events for Alberta Scene at the National Arts Centre and ancillary events to the Folklife Festival at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. She donates her time to various organizations, mostly working casinos.


 Anastasia Maywood

Anastasia Maywood

Anastasia Maywood is from Treaty 6 territory in Amiskwacîwâskahikan and joined the Edmonton Arts Council in 2022. She holds a BA Honors (Drama) from University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB) and an MFA in Choreography from York University (Toronto, ON). Prior to joining the EAC, Anastasia worked in post-secondary education for over 10 years in various positions, most recently at MacEwan University as a Program Manager for School of Continuing Education, International.

Anastasia has worked as an independent choreographer, dancer and producer, was the recipient of the 2015 Good Women Dance Collective's New Dance Award and has presented her work in Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary. She is an active volunteer and advocate for the Edmonton's arts community, recently concluding her role as President for both the Good Women Dance Collective and Common Ground Arts Society's boards.

She still choreographers and performs, with her work mainly focusing on clown/physical comedy and contemporary dance.

 Erin McDonald

Erin McDonald

Erin McDonald (they/she) is a highly educated professional in the Edmonton arts, culture, and heritage sector, with over fifteen years of experience in leadership roles, including as Manager, Art Collections with the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and most recently managing a team, public facilities, retail operations, and education programs through Visitor Services at the Alberta Legislature. Erin holds a BA (Hon) in English (University of Toronto), a post-graduate certificate in Museum Management and Curatorship (Fleming College), and a Master of Cultural Heritage (Deakin University). Currently completing a part-time MBA (Australian Institute of Business), Erin's academic focus is on bringing entrepreneurial expertise to the arts.

As a leader, Erin has demonstrated a talent for being results-based, driving innovation and team-oriented success. They have spearheaded successful initiatives, from large-scale programming and exhibitions at (now) Telus Spark and the new Democracy Discovery Centre at the Legislature to smaller, community- and capacity-building projects such as the AFA Fellowship for Emerging Curators. Their leadership has helped organizations grow and thrive, increasing their impact and reach, all while empowering and mentoring professional staff.

Victoria Modine 

Victoria joined the Edmonton Arts Council in summer 2019 as the Customer Service Lead at TIX on the Square.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta, majoring in Classical Studies.

Following graduation, Victoria worked for a small gallery in London, England before returning to Edmonton where she has worked for the Art Gallery of Alberta and Edmonton Opera.

After hours, you can find Victoria on the soccer field, watching BritBox, or lounging with her beloved cat Neville.


Bob Rasko

Bob Rasko

Since August 2011, EAC Churchill Square Happenings programmer, Bob Rasko, has produced a diverse schedule of offerings open to the public including: Sunday Swing 'n Skate, Live at Lunch, CypherWild and Zumba on the Square.

Danny Ross

Daniel Ross 

Prior to joining the Edmonton Arts Council in 2019, Daniel studied Math and Economics at the University of Alberta and Interior Design at Parsons in New York. As an advocate for the local design and manufacturing community, Daniel has previously worked with the City of Edmonton to develop the Edmonton Made program and has also consulted for various Edmonton-based industrial and interior design firms.

Outside of the office, Daniel is highly passionate about international travel, house plants, small dogs, and Japanese pottery.

Sanjay Shahani - Executive Director

Sanjay Shahani is an arts professional who has worked in the arts for more than 25 years. He has produced  documentaries such as Don't Pity Me, Jaromír Skrivánek, and the series Different, Yet the Same: A Look at Canadian Cultures Today. He has also produced theatre and is especially pleased to have contributed to Twisted Metal and Mermaids Tears, a community-engaged, professional theatre work that represented the plurality of South Riverdale in Toronto. Sanjay has also contributed to the growth and development of arts organizations in South Asia and North America, and continues to act as volunteer advisor to culturally diverse performing arts organizations. He is particularly proud of his stint as the founding Chair of the Prismatic Arts Festival in Halifax. Prismatic is multidisciplinary arts festival that is dedicated to advancing the work of artists and arts organizations of colour and of Indigenous descent.   

Most recently, Sanjay was the Strategy Lead for Arts and Culture at the Ontario Trillium Foundation, designing the foundation’s arts and culture investment strategy. Before being appointed to lead the foundation’s strategy, he oversaw province-wide granting to the sector. Prior to joining the foundation, Sanjay was a Theatre Officer at the Canada Council for the Arts and Community and Multidisciplinary Arts Officer at the Ontario Arts Council where he worked with colleagues to develop the Extended Projects Program and the Multi-Arts Projects Program as a response to the growing intercultural creative expression of artists and arts organizations from culturally diverse and Aboriginal backgrounds.

Besides his artistic work, Sanjay has done scholarly work in education and cultural anthropology. As an educator, he has taught at post-secondary institutions in North America.

 Jenika Sobolewska

Jenika Sobolewska 

Staff bio coming soon. 

Bobbie Todd 

Staff bio coming soon. 

David Turnbull

David Turnbull 

David has been with the EAC since 2009. He holds a Master of Art Conservation degree from Queen's University, and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. As an art student he became more interested in other artists' creative processes and materials than he was in being an artist himself. The most rewarding part of his job is meeting artists and understanding the work they do, while thinking about how artists can build communities and bring people together.

Jenna Turner 

Jenna Turner has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a French minor, from the University of Alberta. Before coming to the Edmonton Arts Council, she held positions in not-for-profit, market research, and government communications. One of her more interesting gigs took her to folk festivals across Canada as a festival liaison for a beer company. Jenna volunteers her talents to various Edmonton festivals and musical organizations. In her spare time, she plays experimental music, dabbles in silversmithing, and goes on long nature walks with her family. 

Stephen Williams


Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams joined the Edmonton Arts Council in 2010 after holding positions with the Government of Alberta and the Canada Council for the Arts. Before moving into those roles he was an active trumpet player, stage manager, community band conductor and music educator in Northern Alberta. Stephen holds a music Diploma from Grant MacEwan College, a Bachelor of Music degree from the U of A, and a Masters degree in Public Administration from Dalhousie University. He lives in Edmonton with his family, including the cats Mary and Pippin.

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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