Meet the Board: Martine Durier-Copp

Martine Durier-Copp | SAM Board Chair

Dr. Martine Durier-Copp is multi-lingual academic administrator currently serving as the Acting Vice President, Academic and Research at NSCAD University. She also serves as a member of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council. Martine is a passionate arts champion and practitioner. She is the Artistic Director of Flamenco en Rouge (a long-time SAM Client). We are so lucky and thankful to have Martine’s brilliance, enthusiasm, and kindness at our Board table.

How did you come to be connected with SAM?

Prior to joining the board, I had heard of the wonderful work being done by SAM, of course. So when I was invited by then Chair, Nancy Morgan, to join the board, I couldn’t refuse! I am so fortunate to be current Chair, inspired by a very dynamic and committed Board and a staff powerhouse!

What has been your favourite arts/culture experience?

As artistic director/dancer/choreographer of Flamenco en Rouge, my favourite arts/culture experience has been my annual (until 2021!) trip to Southern Spain (Jerez de la Frontera – the capital of flamenco!) to completely immerse myself in the flamenco culture for a month every year. These four weeks are a totally immersive experience of daily classes, practice sessions, attendance at performances, both formal (in theatres and tablaos – flamenco taverns) and informal (at peñas, or flamenco clubs, or at local flamencos’ homes), as well as research at the Centro andaluz del flamenco ( the most complete flamenco library and videography centre in the world).

I have been making this annual trip for close to twenty years, and it is truly restorative from a creative, spiritual, mental and physical health perspective, as I walk the beautiful streets and beaches of Andalucía, breathing in the beauty, history and culture!

You can catch Martine and the rest of the members of Flamenco en Rouge at Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 this coming December!

What is your favourite SAM memory?

One of my favourite SAM memories was the consultation project we undertook as a Board this past fall – reaching out to our clients and consultants – and learning about their experiences under Covid and how SAM had helped them navigate through troubled and complex waters.

Why do you feel the arts are important to society? A self-taken image of Martine wearing a voluminous blue velvet scarf with water and some small boats in the background.

The arts are the lifeline of society – how society sees and expresses itself –  they also constitute a critical socio-economic component of our culture – through the creative economy.  I have had the good fortune of having had a culturally and artistically rich and diverse life since childhood, as my Mother was a painter, and I grew up surrounded by her passionate canvases,   through my studies of music and musicology, attendance at concerts and performances, and through my own dance practice. The arts have nourished me and sustained me!!

What are your hopes for SAM’s future?

My vision for SAM involves it playing an essential role in the reconstruction of the arts post-COVID, in providing artists with skills, know-how and resources to rebuild their practices, audiences, and regain the confidence and momentum to move forward.

Want to meet more of the fabulous folks behind SAM? 

Subscribe to our monthly SAM Roundup to get Board Member Spotlights directly in your inbox!