New Board Members

New Board Members

Calgary Arts Development appoints four new board members including new chair

On June 25, 2019, Brian Frank was appointed the new chair of the Calgary Arts Development board of directors, alongside three other new directors: Sophia Lebessis, Kathleen McNally-Leitch, and Chima Nkemdirim. Caitlyn Ducasse recently joined the board in April 2019.

“We want to thank our outgoing board chair Dean Prodan, and outgoing board members Katherine Wagner and Tim Mah for their dedication and service to Calgary Arts Development over the past six years,” says Calgary Arts Development board member and chair of the selection committee Stacy Petriuk. “We were very pleased with the calibre and number of possible candidates for the open positions on our board. This is a time of growth for Calgary Arts Development, with increased investment by City Council, and we welcome the new chair and directors during a very dynamic time for the arts in Calgary.”

“Our board is instrumental in raising the value of the arts in our city,” says Calgary Arts Development President and CEO Patti Pon. “They set our strategic priorities, govern the organization, and actively helped attain the recent increase in municipal support for the arts sector for the benefit of all Calgarians. We thank those leaving the board, those continuing to serve, and welcome those who are just coming on.”

Brian Frank (chair) is former President and CEO of TimberWest Forest Corp. and BP Canada Energy Company, and has held senior executive positions in the energy sector nationally and internationally. He is an experienced community volunteer, a practicing musician, and is actively involved in both the Calgary and Canmore music scenes. He brings extensive corporate governance experience and is keen to guide Calgary Arts Development through the next three years of community impact.

Caitlyn Ducasse (treasurer) was pleased to join the board after being a member of Calgary Arts Development’s finance and audit committee since September 2018. A Certified Professional Accountant, Caitlyn has 10 years of professional experience and is currently the VP Finance at PK Sound. She has volunteered with arts organizations such as the Calgary and Edmonton Folk Festivals, and Sled Island. Her goal is to see artists succeed.

Sophia Lebessis (director) is the owner of Transformation Fine Art—Canada’s first Inuk owned Inuit art gallery. She has worked as a consultant or staff member with a number of organizations including Calgary Board of Education, Calgary Urban Aboriginal Initiative, Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society, Calgary Economic Development, and Glenbow Museum. She was a member of Calgary Arts Development’s Original Peoples Investment Program Advisory.

Kathleen McNally-Leitch (director) has an M.A. in Art History from Johns Hopkins University and was a sessional instructor in Art History at University of Calgary. She was founder and manager of the University Lecture Series at Big Rock Brewery and has been a director at Big Rock since 1996, and vice chair since 2012. Kathleen was on the U of C Senate and has served on boards such as the Calgary Art Gallery Foundation and the Canadian Paraplegic Association.

Chima Nkemdirim, Q.C. (director) is currently Vice President, Government Relations at Shaw Communications. He is perhaps best known for his seven years as Chief of Staff to the Mayor, City of Calgary. Chima is an arts champion with a strong record of volunteer board activity with organizations such as Arts Commons, Alberta Theatre Projects, Sage Theatre, Calgary Foundation, and The Walrus.

Calgary Arts Development board members can serve on the board for a maximum of six years.

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