Astrid Ho, Board Chair
Garry Neil, Treasurer
Patty Jarvis, Secretary
Joan Pierre, Member-at-Large
Nicole Hamilton, Member-at-Large
Ilene Sova, Member-at-Large
Sojun Chin, Member-at-Large
Rick Halpern, Member-at-Large
Paulina Rousseau, Member-at-Large
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), was mentored at Harbourfront Centre, and organized the exhibition’s Artist Talks at Open Studio.
Astrid is an artist member and was a staff member (2004-18) 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.
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.
A leader in program development, implementation and advocacy for arts education and audience enhancement opportunities for more than 30 years. Collaborating to support and improve access to and engagement in the arts for all.
Throughout Ms. Pierre’s multi-faceted career, her common thread has always been her commitment to client satisfaction. Joan has 30+ years of experience in event planning, project management, marketing, arts and administration, sponsorship, public relations and production management. Joan’s career has enabled her to work throughout Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. Joan has developed a keen understanding of the needs and goals of her clients, which complements her professional and personal one on one style.
Nicole Hamilton (AWCCA, DMC, DMA) is the founder, and Artistic Director of Inica Dance Industries. A certified dance educator, and member of Dance Masters of Canada and Dance Masters of America, Hamilton has served as a faculty member, master workshop leader, mentor, and guest teacher at institutes across Canada, and the U.S.A, including George Brown College, University of Toronto, and Royal Academy of Dance.
Hamilton serves as a reporter for Dance Channel Television, is a contributing Host on The Career Buzz Show, and a Producer with Turn Out Radio broadcasting on CIUT 89.5 FM.
As a mental health counsellor, she has served as a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, and works as an active Board of Director with Healthy Dancer Canada. She is a regular speaker at national dance conferences on initiatives which support the health, and wellness of dance artists.
Ilene Sova is an artist, educator with black mixed race, indigenous and settler ancestry who lives with a disability. As such, she passionately identifies with the tenants of intersectional feminisms and has dedicated her career to “art-activism”. She is the founder of both the Feminist Art Conference and Blank Canvases and teaches in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University. She has an honours BFA from the University of Ottawa in Painting and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Windsor. With extensive solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad, Sova’s work has most notably been shown at MOCCA, the Department of Canadian Heritage, and at Mutuo Centro de Arte in Barcelona. Passionate about social justice issues, her exhibit the Missing Women Project garnered much attention around issues of violence against women in our local communities. Sova’s work has been featured in a variety of television, Internet and print media including features in the Metro, Toronto Star, CBC Radio, CTV Canada AM and The Toronto Standard. Sova’s work was internationally featured in the Nigerian Arts Journal, Tabula and the Italian feminist journal. Woman’O’Clock. A passionate public speaker, Sova was also chosen to speak at the first TEDx Women event in Toronto where she gave a critical analysis of the Missing Women Project and Southern University New York where she gave an all University Lecture on Art and Social Change.
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.
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.
Paulina Rousseau is a librarian who has worked for the University of Toronto since 2008, supporting the Arts, Culture, and Media, as well as Historical and Cultural studies. In addition to this, she has worked in roles ranging from fundraising and grant writing, to sponsor engagement, to event planning for small non-for-profit organizations, including Keep6 Contemporary Exhibits based in Kensington Market. She has also worked for the Art Gallery of Ontario in a range of capacities, including archives and visitor services. Additionally, she initiated the Digital Pedagogy Institute, in 2014, a conference that is now an annual event co-sponsored by numerous academic institutions including the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, Brock University, and Guelph University. Her research interests lie in the area of Toronto history, digital pedagogy, and open source online publishing. She is currently completing a Masters of Professional Communications at Ryerson University