Region of Waterloo Arts Fund

Make Art Happen

The Board of Directors

The Region of Waterloo Arts Fund is managed by a 14 person board, representing a broad spectrum of involvement in the arts. It serves the three cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo and the four townships of Wilmot, Woolwich, North Dumfries and Wellesley that make up the Region.

Members of the board are elected; a director may serve a maximum of six years (up to two three-year terms consecutively), after which he/she must be off the board for a minimum of three years (one full term) before being eligible for reappointment.

Board members volunteer their time and expertise, and reflect the diversity found in the arts community at large.

Membership

Directors' biographies

Eric Bolton

 Eric Bolton has been musically involved his whole life; however the love of music did not begin until his teen years when he picked up a guitar. As he became more proficient, he chose to pursue the guitar in greater depth and made it a career in 2009. Since then he has founded E-Bolt Music, a small school in Galt, and has also played a role in various recording projects. E-Bolt Music has now grown to a faculty of 6 teachers and has also developed a sponsorship program to assist children from the community in pursuing musical education. E-Bolt Music is also introducing a new and unique guitar to the Canadian market which is made by hand from recycled materials in South Africa. Community involvement is a major priority for Eric and he is actively involved in organizing and executing various music and art projects in Cambridge. Along with teaching guitar, he also writes music, performs vocally around Ontario and predominantly in Waterloo Region, and is currently recording his first full-length album.

Adele Dobkowski

Adele began her career in the creative nonprofit sector with the Stratford Chefs School, where, as its founding Executive Director, she helped establish the School as Canada's premiere destination for chef training. Subsequently, as executive staff and through her consulting firm PSI, she has worked with numerous organizations and agencies including ArtsBuild Ontario, Culture for Kids in the Arts, Oakville Galleries, Stratford Festival, TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), CESO (Canadian Executive Service Organization), CUSO (Canadian University Students Overseas), University of Guelph and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Raised in New York City, Adele received a BA in English Literature from the University of Chicago. After service in the Peace Corps, she moved to Canada and has lived here since. Adele was in the inaugural class of the University of Toronto's Executive MBA program and is a member and former board director of Arts Consultants Canada. CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) designated since 1999, she is an active community volunteer and a dual citizen of Canada and the United States.

Michele Hopkins

Michele Hopkins, BA HON, ABT, CDTA, CADA, is a local dance artist who has been dancing, teaching, choreographing and directing for over 25 years. Michele has performed extensively throughout her career in both classical and contemporary formats across Ontario and US. She is involved in numerous Arts and Culture organizations and committees and regularly attends workshops and training in Toronto and NYC. She engages both her students and community in dance in her many and varied dance projects and performances.

She was the 2007 Artist in Residence at the Cambridge Centre for the Arts, and has collaborated for 10 years with the Cambridge Symphony in an annual Nutcracker performance. She also organizes an annual zombie walk/dance in Cambridge. She collaborates with the City of Cambridge in Unsilent Night performances, Youth Arts and the Mayor's Celebration of the Arts. Michele has been recognized with a Mayor's Cultural Award, Bernice Adams Award and as a YWCA Woman of Distinction.

She has completed training in the teacher training program at the National Ballet School in Toronto and ABT ballet curriculum in NYC. A certified Pilates instructor and certified in Dancing with Parkinson's, she is currently training in Movement for Trauma and Somatic Movement Studies. As a recipient of an Arts Fund grant, she and her collaborators, a composer and a poet, are creating an original dance piece called River Flow. Michele is passionate about her art genre and hopes to engage and inspire the community in the beauty of dance and movement that is accessible to all.

Betty Anne Keller

A lifelong resident of Waterloo Region, Betty Anne has pursued various professions inspired by her passion for the value of human creativity - most recently as the manager of Arts, Culture, Festivals and Events for the City of Waterloo - from 1999 until her retirement in 2013. In 2013 the City of Waterloo Council approved a ten year Culture Plan. From 2007 to 2012, she served on the Board of the Directors of the Creative City Network of Canada, a national peer to peer network organization for municipal culture workers. Her board tenure included 3 years as President. From 2005 to 2008 Betty Anne participated in the 'Municipal Cultural Planning Partnership' initiative with the Province of Ontario. In addition to her service on the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund Board, she is also a member of the Region of Waterloo's Advisory Committee for Public Art.

Pamela Mulloy

Pamela Mulloy is a writer and the Editor of 'The New Quarterly', an award winning national publication, considered to be one of Canada's most prestigious literary journals. She is also the creative director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival. She has a Master in Studies in Fiction  from the University of East Anglia (UK) and during her time in England she launched an arts and culture magazine. Her short fiction has been published in the UK and Canada. She was awarded the Waterloo Regional Arts Council award for fiction and was a recipient of an Arts Award Waterloo Region in the category of literature. She has contributed to 'Polish(ed)', an Anthology of Polish Canadian Writing (Guernica Editions, 2017) and her novel, 'The Deserters' will be published in early 2018 (Vehicule Press).She has lived in Poland, England, the United States, and currently resides in Kitchener with her husband and daughter.

Rick Nixon

Rick Nixon (Canada, 1956) is a sculptor/multidisciplinary artist. He received his MFA from the University of Waterloo in 2006 and his Masters in Art History from York University. As a recipient of the Keith and Winifred Shantz Internship he apprenticed with internationally renowned sculptor David Mach in Scotland. He has exhibited his work nationally and has recently exhibited at Cambridge Galleries and the MacLaren Art Centre. He is a recipient of a Research in the Americas Grant from York University and numerous Ontario Arts Council grants. He currently lives and works in Waterloo, Ontario.

Karen Redman

Karen Redman was elected to Regional Council as a Kitchener representative on October 27, 2014.

Karen has attained a Master's Degree in Political Science, as well as an Honours Bachelor Degree in English. A lifelong resident of Kitchener, Karen has extensive experience in the political world, having served her community in multiple capacities for 20 years at both the municipal and federal level. Karen was first elected to Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre in 1997, and then subsequently re-elected in 2000, 2004, and 2006.

Karen has also served as a City of Kitchener Councillor and Regional Councillor from 1994 to 1997. She was a member of the Waterloo Region District School Board from 1988 to 1994. At the local level, Karen currently serves as the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region and Chair of the Independent Living Centre Board. She serves as an Elder at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, and Member of the Board Waterloo Lutheran Seminary.

Marilyn Scott

Marilyn Scott is General Manager of Impresa Communications Limited of Cambridge, a consulting company to the publishing industry and not-for-profit and cultural sectors. She was manager for the Waterloo Regional Arts Council's last two print editions of the Cultural Directory; she was the first registrar for the Waterloo Region Integrated Arts Program at Eastwood Collegiate in Kitchener.

Marilyn also volunteers for and advocates on behalf of arts and culture organizations: Cambridge Galleries (now Idea Exchange); Board of Trustees Chair, Cambridge Libraries and Galleries; founding member of Cambridge Arts and Culture Advisory Committee (CACAC); Chair of CACAC subcommittee responsible for a) national competition to commission public art for new City Hall Civic Square; b) City of Cambridge's adoption of its Public Art Policy; Committee member and Chair, Drayton Entertainment Site Selection and Feasibility Committee. In 2007, Marilyn received the YWCA Women of Distinction Arts and Culture award; and was an Open Award nominee for a KW Arts Award; in 2010, she was the recipient of The City of Cambridge's Bernice Adams Special Trustees Award.

Ken Seiling

Ken Seiling is a lifelong resident of Elmira. Ken was first elected as the Regional Chair in 1985 after serving as Mayor and Councillor in Woolwich Township. 

He is now serving his 10th term as Regional Chair. Prior to becoming Regional Chair, Ken was a museum director and high school teacher. He is a history buff and church musician. 

The creation of the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund came about because of his vision and determination.

Kathleen Sheehy

Kathleen Sheehy hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she trained with the Arden Theatre Company and the Walnut Street Theatre. She moved to Kitchener in 1992 and joined Theatre & Company where she served for 12 years as an actor, stage manager, subscriber relations manager, props mistress, and teacher. During her tenure there, the company made its home in various adapted performance spaces until, in 2001, the company moved into its new purpose built home, the King Street Theatre Centre (now the Conrad Centre). The very first performance in that space, 'Queen Milli of Galt' by local playwright Gary Kirkham, took place there on September 11, 2001.

In 2004, Kathleen and 5 colleagues established Lost & Found Theatre with the performance of an original play created by the ensemble, 'Radio Leacock'. As of 2016, Lost & Found has developed and premiered five plays by regional playwrights, and forty-five other full productions, staged readings, and Young Company productions. Kathleen continues to serve in the capacities of actor, grant writer, and all around "cook and bottle washer".

Rob Waldeck

As a filmmaker, Rob's work has been screened at international venues such as the Not Still Art Film Festival (Brooklyn, NY), Cincy Fringe Festival (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Videoholica (Varna, Bulgaria), O Five TV (Paris, France), FIFA International Film Festival (Montreal, Quebec), and the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (New York, NY). He has received awards for Best Documentary - Local Focus Film Festival, Best Experimental - Great Lakes Independent Film Festival, and the Columbus Film/Video Consortium. Rob also co-directed Better Day: The Sarah J. Felker Story, which premiered on OutTV Canada.j

As a visual artist, he has exhibited at galleries internationally and regionally such as the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (Canada), the Robert Langen Gallery (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada), LOOP Gallery (Toronto), the Limner Gallery (New York City), the Museum of Fine Arts (Florida State University), Crossing Art (Flushing, NY), 1650 Gallery (Los Angeles), and Galeria SPP (Bratislava, Slovakia). Rob's photo documentary series, Sideswiped Tomorrows, was exhibited in the Nitra Gallery's Bunker Space (Nitra, Slovakia). He also presented at the Multipoint International Painting Symposium (Nitra, Slovakia).

In addition to degrees from the University of Western Ontario and McMaster University, Rob holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo. He has taught at Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Waterloo, McMaster University, Centennial College, Toronto School of Art, and currently teaches media at Forest Heights Collegiate Institute.

Jisca Wichers

Jisca Wichers, since completing a bachelor degree in Piano Performance at Wilfrid Laurier, has been involved in music in various capacities. She worked as a rehearsal pianist for opera programs in London and Amsterdam, and then was hired to accompany Opera Laurier. Recently, Jisca has begun to explore the role of music in her local community. In 2014, she created a music program at the ROH residential youth addiction centre, using popular music styles as a tool for therapy. She also facilitates a beginner guitar/drum circle at the Ray of Hope Community Center. Besides teaching, performing, and accompanying, Jisca is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Music Therapy at Wilfrid Laurier University.



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