Virginia Stephen has 35 years of experience as an arts educator, museum educator and senior arts administrator. She was Deputy Director (Head of Programs – Exhibitions Education and Public Programs) and Curator of Education at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Executive Director of the Edmonton Art Gallery and Executive Director of Liberal Studies (Visual Art, Residential Interiors, Writing, Humanities), Faculty Of Extension at the University of Alberta. She taught in the Arts and Cultural Management Program at MacEwan University. She is a creativity facilitator for the Leadership Development Program at The Banff Centre.
As a consultant in art museum and collection development, curatorship, and program development, Virginia Stephen’s clients have included the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Alberta Education, Varley Art Gallery, and University of Alberta Museums. Virginia is committed to helping museums, heritage organizations, arts organizations as well as other no for profits and government agencies reach their greatest potential through developing good governance foundations and practice, policy development, organizational development and finding effective means for staff and board members to work effectively. Using visual facilitation and arts based action, her visioning, planning and team development workshops engage participants to push the creative and innovation potential of individuals, teams and organization. Clients include not for profit, government, and corporate groups. Virginia is certified to use the Foursight® Breakthrough Thinking Profile a powerful tool for helping individuals and groups understand their dynamics and style for creative and innovative problem solving, and has trained as a visual facilitator.
Virginia is a committed volunteer, having served as Chair of the Edmonton Arts Council, founder, chair and executive member of the Edmonton Heritage Council, chair of the Museums Strategies Committee, appointed to the Alberta Premier’s Council of Culture, on the board of several artist run galleries and community theatre groups, on the Board of the Canadian Museums Association and Canadian Art Gallery Educators. These experiences combined with her work experience give her a deep understanding of both operations and governance and, volunteer and staff concerns.
Virginia Stephen has an MA in Visual and Performing Arts Education (University of British Columbia) and undergraduate degrees in both Art History and Arts Education (Queen’s University) and is a graduate of the Getty Museum Leadership Institute.
Virginia has worked and presented across Canada and has been a guest speaker at education, museum, healthcare, creativity, and leadership conferences and symposia in the United States and Europe.