John Ryerson, Board Chair
Sheniz Janmohamed, Board Treasurer
Alicia Rose, Member-at-Large
Astrid Ho, Member-at-Large
Perry Voulgaris, Member-at-Large
Sojun Chin, Member-at-Large
Garry Neil, Member-at-Large
Rick Halpern, Member-at-Large
Paulina Rousseau, Member-at-Large
Over the past 30+ years working in the cultural sector, John remained committed to breaking barriers, expanding participation in culture and integrating culture into the fabric of our economic, social and health care systems. Culture has the power to make a difference when it is integrated into our society and it focuses on excellence.
Through the Ontario Culture Ministry he provided cultural capital funding across Ontario then became their Cultural Agency Liaison to eight cultural agencies including TVO, AGO and ROM. Next, working at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, he brought in bring significant investment to the gallery and was the gallery project manager for the acclaimed Carr, O’Keeffe, Kahlo exhibition. Leaving McMichael as its Chief Operating Officer John became Director of the Varley Gallery in Markham.
As the first Director of Culture for Markham, he created its first 10-year cultural policy and plan and public art policy. Volunteer activity includes Arts and Letters Club programming, Board of Toronto Children’s Aid, community theatre stage management, , mentoring through ArtsVest program of Business in the Arts and Artsbuild/Work in Culture Arts Facilities Mentoring Network, and a wide range of arts and social justice advocacy work.
Astrid Ho is a Toronto-based, Hong Kong-born, visual artist focusing on printmaking, and print installations. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University and studied in Florence, Italy under the OCAD Study-Abroad Program. In her professional career, Astrid co-founded the Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts (1996), and was affiliated with AWOL Gallery and Studios (2000); taught at Centre3, the McMichael, Latcham Gallery and Open Studio; received an Ontario Arts Council Access and Career Development Project Grant (2009). The Ontario Association of Art Galleries selected Astrid as a mentee for the Leadership and Cultural Pluralism Project (2014-15), mentored by Pat Macaulay at Harbourfront Centre; co-curated Past Stories, Present Sense at Harbourfront Centre with artist and curator Suzanne Morrissette; organized the exhibition’s Artist Talks at Open
Astrid is a staff and artist member of Open Studio, having organized and curated over 100 in-gallery and 18 off-site art exhibitions and events including their booths at The Interior Design Show (2007-2012), Art Toronto (2011-2015), and /edition Toronto Art Book Fair (2016, 2017); exhibitions including the Toronto Pearson International Airport (2007, 2012), Toronto Design Offsite Festival (2016-17), and Canadian Decorators’ Association (2016-17). As a professional artist, Astrid has had various exhibitions including Birch Contemporary (ON), Harbourfront Centre (ON), Olive Branch Press (NY) and Open Studio (ON). Her work is represented in various corporate and private collections including the Bank of Montreal, The Canada Council Art Bank, Global Affairs Canada, National Bank of Canada, and The Law Society of Upper Canada.
30 years experience in media, arts and entertainment, leading organizations in the creation and delivery of compelling content initiatives, developing new partnerships, driving revenue opportunities, and building new audiences. 20 years Board experience volunteering with nonprofits, committees, collectives, movements and community organizations. Proven senior leadership, driving performance, winning support and building relationships.
Sojin has an MA in Communications and Culture, York University, Toronto, Canada, BAA in Radio and Television Arts, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada and s Certificate in Photography, Maine Digital Workshops, Maine, USA. Sojin is a prolific artist with screenings in various venues. Sojin has also received grants for her work from the Ontario Arts Council: Access and Career Development , Canada Council for the Arts: Travel Assistance to Media Artists (Santiago, Chile), Canada Council for the Arts: Travel Assistance to Media Artists (Berlin & Paris), Ontario Arts Council: Exhibition Assistance to Visual Artists Award for Top 10 Projects – XIX Biennale of Visual Arts in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Toronto Arts Council: Media Artist Grant – Mid Career, Canada Council for the Arts: Travel Assistance to Media Artists, Ontario Arts Council: National and International Residencies Letters from the Sky – Experimental Video Art Festival: Green Conscience Award, and Canada Council for the Arts: Travel Assistance to Media Artists.
A graduate of the University of Toronto, Garry Neil has worked for 40 years in arts and cultural policy, in Canada and internationally, as a consultant to governments, firms and associations. He has extensive experience in policies for film, television, new media and the Internet, publishing, performing arts, visual arts and music, as well organizational management. He has been associated with many cultural organizations in his career, including ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists), CSARN (Canadian Senior Artists Resource Network), the Association of Canadian Publishers and the Dancer Transition Resource Centre.
Mr. Neil is a global expert on culture and trade, and status of the artist issues. As Executive Director of the International Network for Cultural Diversity, Mr. Neil was at the forefront of the global campaign which led to the adoption of the UNESCO Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions. He is a member of the Convention’s Panel of Experts. In 2010 and 2015, he completed reports for UNESCO on the current state of implementation of the Recommendation concerning the status of the artist globally.
Rick Halpern is an historian who writes about race, labour, and social justice. His current work explores issues of race and class in 20th century photography. He has long worked to bring historical understandings of social movements and political mobilizations to a wide public audience. His own practice as a photographer seeks to capture visual truths about streets, markets, and urban spaces.