Staff & Consultants Learn more about the team at Calgary Arts Development Board of Directors Find out more about our board All Office of the President & CEO Community Investment & Impact Communications & Engagement Spaces Sophia Lebessis | Photo: Samuel Obadero Sophia Lebessis Owner Transformation Fine Art Originally, I hail from Nunavut on my mother’s side and Greece on my father’s side. I was raised in my family’s Arctic art co-operative and our galleries in Lake Louise, Banff, and Victoria. My passion is rooted in contributing to my family’s lineage of art producers, and raconteurs who have paved the way for Inuit art to thrive in Canada. The role arts play in my life is rooted in connection to land, and history. As an art dealer and adult educator, my inspiration and optimism come from combining education opportunities through the arts. I’ve called Calgary home since 2002, and in my time here I’ve dedicated myself to the Indigenous arts community and earned my Blackfoot name, Sinnopaki (Fox Woman). I love nothing more than to share my lived experience in the arts with other likeminded individuals, especially with emerging Treaty 7 artists who need mentorship in navigating their art careers. In 2019 I joined the Calgary Arts Development board following my membership with their Original Peoples Investment Program advisory committee, a tailored arts granting stream for Treaty 7 based Indigenous artists. It was through this initiative that I began to understand what Calgary Arts Development means to Calgarians. I identified with their meaningful approach to engagement, and a shared vision of supporting Indigenous artists. I couldn’t imagine what Calgary’s arts DNA would be without Indigenous arts. For me, equity, diversity, and inclusion start with knowing our history. Treaty 7 art history will build upon a solid foundation of knowledge of who we are and where we come from, in order to direct our city’s artistic vision.