Cat MacKeigan, PhD

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Cat MacKeigan is active behind the scenes in the arts and cultural sector and the 2SLGBTQ+ community in Nova Scotia. With over 15 years of experience working within and reporting on cultural policy, government-cultural relations, and innovations in economic development through the arts, Cat brings a novel perspective and queer voice to conversations around arts management, public policy, and institutional relations. Their cultural research and management practice bridges the gap between artistic practice and public policy interest. 

Cat regularly leads and collaborates on various research projects under the umbrellas of cultural, economic, and community development. These projects include strategic planning, program evaluation, governance reorganization, grants preparation, human resources management, communication plans, organizational review, change management, and economic impact analysis. Cat also works as an arts manager, teaches courses in technical theatre, cultural policy, and government policy towards business, and keeps active in their artistic practice through production management, technical theatre, live-streaming, and producing within the performing arts. Their practical experience in the arts is directly linked to their drive for capacity building in the cultural sector and across the Queer community through values-sharing, mutual understanding, and a shared experience base with other individuals.

Cat has multiple degrees including a Bachelor of Arts (honors) in Theatre (Bishop’s University, 2005), a Master of Public Administration (Dalhousie University, 2008), and an Interdisciplinary PhD with a focus on cultural policy (Dalhousie University, 2020). They have presented their research at regional, national, and international conferences. Select notable conference invitations include the BIA Conference in Campus Künzelsau, Germany (2019), the Creative City Conference in Halifax, NS (2017), TILT City in Vancouver, BC (2015), and Metropolis (2011) in Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal.

In their interdisciplinary doctoral study at Dalhousie University, Cat opened the field of public administration to investigate the institutional and organizational structures of arts support provided by the Nova Scotia Government and associated cross-sector relationships. They introduced a critical analysis of public policy administration and the consequences of this organization for how professional artists know and do their work. Through this institutional ethnographic research, Cat uncovered and examined policy consequences that contribute to an administrative skills deficit within the professional arts sector, high levels of burnout across arts administrators, and challenges experienced by artists, cultural organizations, and governing agencies when reporting on policy outcomes. Cat also identified policy and programming recommendations to effectively address these challenges that meet both the sector and the department’s interest.

Colleen MacIsaac (they/them)

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Colleen is a multi-disciplinary freelance artist based in Kjipuktuk/Halifax. Former Managing Director of 2b theatre company and Chair of the Board of the Bus Stop Theatre Co-op, Colleen is the current Artistic Producer of the Villains Theatre. Winner of the Bhayana Invisible Champion Award and the Halifax Mayor’s Award for Emerging Theatre Artist, Colleen’s work in comics has been nominated for national awards, their short animated films have featured in festivals on four continents, and they have worked as an illustrator and graphic designer for over a decade. A graduate of Emily Carr University, Colleen’s training in theatre has largely been acquired through trying things, making mistakes, and attempting to learn from those mistakes. 

David Oyler

Nancy Morgan

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David Oyler has been working in the charitable and non-profit sector since 2001. His most recent work has been with the Antigonish Culture Alive Association, FEED NOVA SCOTIA, the Colchester Residential Services Society, the Second Story Women’s Centre, the Support Services Group Co-operative, and in the continued delivery of sector presentations and workshops to over 400 organizations around the Maritimes. Other organizations he has worked with include the AC Group of Independent Accounting Firms, the Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre, Adsum House, the Artists’ Legal Information Society, the Association of Nova Scotia Museums, the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia, Athletics Nova Scotia, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Halifax Partnership, the Independent Living Nova Scotia Association, Make-A-Wish Atlantic Provinces, the Mennonite Central Committee Canada, the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, and the Nova Scotia Talent Trust. He also worked with the Community Sector Council Newfoundland and Labrador on their Compliant Fundraising Practices project (funded by Canada Revenue Agency’s Charity Partnership and Outreach Program).  

David is an active volunteer in the sector and the community. He was a presenter for the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia’s webinar series on dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, he launched the Atlantic Charities Initiative in 2016 to support and strengthen the charitable sector in Atlantic Canada, was a witness in the Senate of Canada’s Special Committee on the Charitable Sector (click here for submission), has been a presenter for the Canadian Charity Law Association webinar series and for the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Nova Scotia chapter’s education sessions, and contributes periodic articles and perspectives on issues facing the sector. He served as a volunteer on Imagine Canada’s National Engagement Strategy including membership on the Narrative Steering Committee, and served on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Nova Scotia Chapter as Secretary/Treasurer, Chair, Government Relations, and Chair, 2013 Maritime Fundraising Conference.  He is a Big Brother, a minor league basketball coach, and an active volunteer in the curling community. Other organizations David has volunteered with include FEED NOVA SCOTIA, Homebridge Youth Society, the Red Cross, CBCF – Run for the Cure, Nova Scotia Special Olympics, and various community and civic special events

Jess Smith

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Jess Smith is a non-binary person (identifying as genderqueer), they work as a legal coordinator in a large media company’s corporate office. They also assist small businesses, non-profits, and entertainers as a content creator to help their clients’ present their best selves online. In 2018, they began doing drag as Pat McCox, whose charming personality and slick style has won the titles of Mr. Fall Fest, Mx. Queer Halifax and 2019 Performance of the Year. They have previously set on the boards of both Halifax Pride and Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project. Jess currently sits on the board of Fierté Canada Pride as Atlantic Regional Director and acted as lead of the Governance Committee while the organization underwent a governance and policy restructure.

You can find them on social media platforms as @JessHFX.

Mhiran Faraday

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Mhiran has lived, worked, studied, and explored various regions across Canada. Though she started as a Statistics major in university, Mhiran quickly realized that her passion was to work in the arts – not as a performer or maker, but as someone that leads and supports others in their success: first in theatre production as an Equity Stage Manager, and eventually in music administration primarily with the Banff Centre, Symphony Nova Scotia, and as Executive Director of Debut Atlantic – a pan-Atlantic classical music touring network on the east coast of Canada as well as contracts with Gros Morne Summer Music, Gryphon Trio, grant writing, and organizational strategic planning & operations. Currently, she splits her time between the mountains and the ocean, having recently returned to work remotely for the Banff Centre to manage and produce the triennial Banff International String Quartet Competition and Laureate Career Development as well as the String Quartet Festival, which in 2020, pivoted to an online event with concerts organized across North America for streaming. A Canada Council Fellow with the International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA), Mhiran is part of a working group promoting and developing environmental sustainability practices for ISPA in a global context, but with a particular interest in the Canadian sector. She has been active as a peer assessor with Canada Council, juror with ECMA, on selection committees and led conversations for CAPACOA and the APA, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Arts Nova Scotia as Vice-Chair of the Board and as a member of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council.

Carol Dobson

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Carol Dobson has been an independent communications consultant for the past 27  years  She has worked on a number of significant public events including the Halifax-Dartmouth Canada Day Committee (18 years), building it to the largest July 1 celebration east of Ottawa. Other significant events she has guided include the 50th Anniversary of VE Day, the Halifax Garden Festival, Yorkshire 2000, and three International Gatherings of the Clans in Nova Scotia.  

She has also served as the PR advisor for Flamenco En Rouge, the Zonta Club of Halifax, and the Federation for Scottish Culture in Nova Scotia.  Carol spent 26 years as a contract writer for the Saltwire Network, with at least 10,000 articles published during this time.  As a storyteller, Carol has worked with a number of local tour companies writing and providing guided tours throughout the Atlantic Provinces.  With the COVID crisis, this important sector of the tourism industry has been crippled so Carol has been using her background in media and government relations to bring the issues faced by the ‘people movers’, including attracting the interest of the Financial Times of London.

Carol is a strategic thinker and problem solver who loves the challenge of helping organizations succeed.

Lorraine Albert

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Lorraine Albert is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, designer and freelancer whose work is rooted in conceptual ideation & problem-solving, specializing in brainstorming, branding and corporate identities. She is an attentive listener who has a knack for “pulling threads,” linking ideas, and making connections. Lorraine has a diploma in Graphic Design from Dawson College, a Bachelor of Fine Art from Concordia University and a Masters of Fine Art from NSCAD University. She has worked as a designer in Brisbane, AUS, as well as Vancouver, Montréal, and Halifax. 

Lorraine has been a panelist at the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD) conference in Halifax and presented a paper on alternative art pedagogies at the Universities Art Association of Canada (UAAC) conference in Banff, AB. She has co-facilitated a round-table addressing Land & Treaties at UAAC in Waterloo, ON. Lorraine has been a scholar at the Centre for Art Tapes (Halifax), and most recently participated in the Plug-In Institute of Contemporary Art Summer Session on Indigenous Architecture in Winnipeg, MB. Her work has appeared in festivals, venues, galleries, and at various sites in Canada and Australia, including “Steps Forward,” a permanent public art installation on the Skyline Trail in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. 

With a unique perspective in art and design, Lorraine has established herself in Halifax as a freelance Media Manager & Designer, working with local businesses and universities. She is currently a Social Media Coordinator & Design Researcher at Fathom Studio in Dartmouth, NS. 


Krista Tannahill

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Krista Tannahill is a social media and online marketing expert with a focus on helping artists, non-profits and entrepreneurs shine online. Whether you need support with your social media, online advertising or are just looking for new ways to be found online, Krista can help! 

I work with clients who want improve their online visibility. Whether you are looking for social media management support, Google My Business help, or online advertising services – I am here to help you.

Barbara Richman

Nancy Morgan
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Barbara Richman has worked for more than 30 years in the arts and heritage, assisting individuals, small and mid-sized companies, large organizations, and funding agencies.  During that time she has held executive management positions with Halifax Dance, Jest In Time Theatre, Symphony Nova Scotia, and Strategic Arts Management. She is known for her skills in crisis management, financial rebuilding, Board development, and Strategic Planning.  She has particular interest in organizational health, leadership development, and the building of infrastructure to support sustainability.  

Currently, Barbara works with clients across the country as free-lance consultant. An experienced educator, Barbara taught Arts Management at Dalhousie University for many years and continues to include training, mentoring and facilitation in her work with clients.  

 

Sarah Santos

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Sarah Santos is a marketing and communications professional with more than 15 years of experience helping organizations to achieve their goals and build a strong relationship with its costumers. Events, strategic planning, sponsorship and marketing are her specialties.

Sarah has worked for some of the most prestigious art organizations in her country, as the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra and the Modern Art Museum of Rio de Janeiro, helping to build their marketing, communication and sponsorship strategies. She also worked for O Globo, one of the main newspapers in South America, as responsible for the selection of cultural projects supported by the company, and for creating brand and sponsorship activation strategy.

Passionate for all forms of art, and recently moved to Nova Scotia, Sarah is willing to help local art organizations to build their communication, marketing and sponsorship strategies.