Cat MacKeigan, PhD

General Info

Additional Expertise

Areas of Consultation

More About Cat

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.

Krista Keough

General Info

Artistic Discipline(s)

Areas of Consultation

Additional Expertise

More About Krista

Krista Keough is a multi-talented, multi-faceted contributor to the creative industries. As a marketing and communications professional, she collaborates with artists, entrepreneurs, non-profits, and for-profit organizations to deliver compelling content that connects with their audiences. Over the past decade of her professional career, she has worked as an artist manager and publicist, on film and television productions, and as an advertising executive, fundraiser, writer, and teacher.

A longtime member of the music industry, Krista spent five years at the venerable artist management company Jones & Co. working with their core roster of east coast talent. The skills she honed transferred well to independent contracts for artist and business development, strategic planning, grant writing, and marketing projects. Krista is the past artist manager of best-selling pop star Ria Mae and multiple ECMA award-winners In-Flight Safety, and she was the festival manager for the 2018 Halifax Jazz Festival.

Krista has worked in and out of the film industry for as long as she’s been involved with music, primarily with casting agent Erin Hennessey. As a faculty member at NSCC Ivany campus for six years, Krista taught multiple courses in the School of IT & Creative Industries and the School of Business.

Gillian Reid

General Info

Artistic Discipline(s)

Areas of Consultation

Additional Expertise

More About Gillian

Gillian has worked in the performing arts sector for over a decade, building tours for her curated client roster to perform across Canada and Internationally. She is a member of the CAPACOA International Market Development Committee.

Gillian has been a registered service provider with Strategic Arts Management since 2009. Along with providing specific marketing and managerial services, she is developing a standard for touring support for SAM clients. Previously, Gillian represented SAM’s touring roster at regional, national and international contact events.

In 2002 Gillian moved back to Canada from the US with her husband and settled on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Through her position on the board of the Chester Playhouse, Gillian worked with both SAM and Judy Harquail in 2009 to establish an audience development plan for the 176-soft seat venue. Gillian met Artistic Director/Choreographer bboy Crazy Smooth (aka Yvon Soglo) in 2010, at a three-day intensive touring workshop in Toronto organized by Judy. Gillian has served as tour manager for Crazy Smooth and his dance company, Bboyizm, ever since, and in 2013, the company received the Atlantic Presenters Association’s Touring Artist of the Year Award.

Gillian has worked with a number of SAM clients directly, including Sageev Oore, Mocean Dance, Maria Osende, Lisa Phinney-Langely and PHIN.

Gillian’s professional background includes two and a half years working as a management consultant at the University of California at San Francisco and five years prior to that working for a large performance marketing firm in Toronto (with a year-long stint in Chicago). Her client list included GM Canada, VW Canada, BP Oil and Westbury Life Insurance. Gillian also gained event production experience working as a full-time production assistant for a freelance producer in Toronto. Projects included The Cancun Jazz Festival, Volkswagen Trade Show and EuroVan Launch; as well as the Black and White Polo Ball, which raised over $35,000 for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Gillian has a degree in administrative and commercial studies from the University of Western Ontario.

Gillian is currently on the board of the Chester Playhouse and Vice Commodore of the Chester Yacht Club.

Karen Gross

General Info

Areas of Consultation

Arts BAckground

More About Karen

Based in K’jipuktuk, Karen Gross works as a theatre producer. She is the Creative Producer for the Accidental Mechanics Group (Let’s Not Beat Each Other To Death, The Unfamiliar Everything) and serves as chair of the board of Eastern Front Theatre. Karen has previously worked with 2b theatre company, Keep Good (Theatre) Company, Zuppa Theatre Co., Live Art Dance, Strategic Arts Management, and the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. 

Karen has experience writing grant applications at the municipal, provincial, and federal level. She has assembled proposals for small and mid-sized organizations as well as individual artists; with experience writing operating grants, project grants, travel grants, touring grants, professional development grants, and more. She has taught grant writing and budgeting workshops (StART Festival, 2b theatre company, and the Halifax Fringe) and has also served as a peer juror. She aims to help make arts funding more accessible.

Margot Aldrich

General Info

Artistic Discipline(S)

Areas of Consultation

Additional Expertise

More About Margot

Margot Aldrich has been a professional violist for 25 years, 17 of them in Nova Scotia.  She has been a member of Symphony Nova Scotia and The Blue Engine String Quartet and has also been featured in many Nova Scotian artists’ recordings including Sanctuary, MIR, Mary Jane Lamond, Gordie Sampson, Suzie LeBlanc and others.   She has also had a private teaching studio and gives select workshops in the HRSB school system.  Margot has been on the executive board of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra since 2011 and is devoted to this organization for its excellence and commitment to giving young people a deep musical education. 

Before arriving in Nova Scotia in 1996, Margot lived and worked in Montreal dividing her time between l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal (including 6 international tours and several recordings), l’Orchestre des Grand Ballets de Montreal (including 300 performances of The Nutcracker), l’Opera de Montreal, the McGill Chamber Orchestra and Les Boreades de Montreal Baroque Ensemble.   She also played with Le Quatuor Claudel, giving hundreds of performances and recording works by Prokofiev and Dvorak. Margot’s training was received at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, UK and she later received a Concours Premier Prix at Le Conservatoire de Quebec a Montreal. 

In 1992 Margot had the first of her three children and as such has experience as an early childhood educator, events coordinator, domestic, culinary and financial manager, negotiator and conflict mediator as well as care giver. In 2010 Margot started her own business as a professional Realtor and currently runs every aspect of the business from office management, computer program skills, document management, project coordinator, client management, crisis management, negotiation and consultant on myriad subjects pertaining to Real Estate. 

Margot has acted as spokesperson on local media for both Arts and Real Estate issues. 

In her infrequent spare time, Margot enjoys creative writing, sewing and Ukranian egg decorating.

Gay Hauser

General Info

Artistic Discipline(s)

Areas of Consultation

Additional Expertise

More About Gay

Gay Hauser has worked as an actor, director, designer and general manager administrator in non-profit arts sector for 35 years. Currently a consultant for Strategic Arts Management, Gay has worked as the general manager of Live Art Dance Productions and as a founding member of Eastern Front Theatre and Mulgrave Road Theatre Co. Gay continues to perform annually in Symphony Nova Scotia’s The Nutcracker and currently serves as the managing producer of the annual event.

Gay has experience in theatre and dance presenting general management including audience development, board development, strategic planning, production budgeting, global budgeting, and multi-year budgeting, financial reporting, audit preparation, bookkeeping, grant writing, CTA contracting, payroll, including T4 and T4A preparation, charitable tax returns, sponsorship relations, special event coordination, donor relations, volunteer relations, customer relations and box office management.