The KAC is actively recruiting for its Board of Directors. If you’re interested, please get in touch with Kirsi Hunnakko, Executive Director at kirsi@artskingston.ca.

Billyann Balay, Chair

Billyann Balay began her professional arts career in dance, performing with several chamber ballet companies in Ontario and later with the Toronto Dance Theatre. She was the Principal of The School of the Toronto Dance Theatre, the premier modern dance training institution in Canada, from 1981 to 1991.  She joined the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) as Associate Dance Officer in 1991, and became Dance Officer in August 1993.  She was promoted to Director of Granting Programs in the spring of 2001.

While at OAC, Billyann participated actively in the ongoing development of the arts community.  She was instrumental in the establishment of Arts 4 Change, which later became Creative Trust, a consortium of performing arts organizations in Toronto formed to work together to achieve positive organizational change and a secure financial future. She was also a constant champion of the needs and concerns of Aboriginal and culturally diverse artists and arts organizations.

When she retired in 2013, she and her husband Roelof (Ron) Peter Snippe, a dance and theatre lighting designer, were delighted to make Kingston their new home.

Greg Wanless, Treasurer

Greg performed in many regional theatres across the country from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia. He joined the Stratford Festival Company in 1976 and performed in over 20 productions over five seasons until 1980. As well as being an actor in the company, he was appointed assistant director to Robin Phillips for several productions in 1980. In 1981 he returned to Eastern Ontario and founded the Thousand Islands Playhouse in 1982. Since that time he has appeared in or directed over forty productions including MY FAIR LADY, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, LES MISERABLES, BLOOD BROTHERS, LEND ME A TENOR and the 2012 production of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. In October 2012 he stepped down as Artistic Director after 31 seasons. In May 2013 he returned to the Playhouse to direct SUDS!-the musical.

As well, Greg is a Professor in the Drama Department of Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and has been teaching there since 1982 where has also recently directed Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (2011) as well as BLOOD RELATIONS by Sharon Pollock (2013) Among other awards Greg is most proud of the 2003 ‘Her Majesty the Queen’s Jubilee Medal’.Greg is married to freelance director Kathryn MacKay and has two sons, Jeremy Wanless (27) and Marcus MacKay (24).

Hollie Stewart, Secretary

Hollie Stewart is a Kingston resident with deep roots in its artistic community. Now the Administrative Director of the nationally renowned Cantabile Choirs of Kingston, Hollie has worked in publicity and marketing for many local arts organizations as well as appearing on stage with Theatre Kingston, the Thousand Islands Playhouse, and many of the city’s flourishing community theatre companies. Hollie also sits on the board of Theatre Kingston, a position she has held for many years.

Stephen Elliott, Board Member

Stephen Elliott has recently retired after completing a six-year term as the Dean of Education at Queen’s University. A sampling of his administrative experience include: curriculum reform consultant with the Ministry of Education (Ontario), Dean of Education, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Vice President and President of the Canadian Society for Education through Art. As a tenured Professor with expertise in Art Education, Aesthetics, Curriculum Design and Educational Philosophy, Steve served for many years as Co-coordinator of the Artist in Community Education Program, working closely with fine artists, dancers, creative writers, musicians, and actors. He is a practising printmaker and painter currently working from his studio in Gananoque.

Julia Stroud, Board Member

Julia Stroud is the Department Manager at the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University. Previously, she worked in HR for the Faculty of Law at Queen’s and in Development for the Thousand Islands Playhouse. She has a Master’s degree in bass clarinet performance from the University of Toronto, a Postgraduate Diploma in solo bass clarinet performance from the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Queen’s University.

Katie Ross, Board Member

Katie Ross is a Business Development Officer at the Kingston Economic Development Corporation. Over the past 10+ years, her professional career has included working closely with new and existing businesses, entrepreneurs and youth operating small and medium enterprises. Her background includes extensive experience working at all levels of Employment Services where she acquired an in-depth knowledge of the training grants, hiring subsidies and other resources available to business owners in Ontario. Katie’s interest in the arts stems from her teenage daughter who is submerged in various forms of arts including music and painting, who also experienced her first gallery showing at the Wolfe Island Gallery in summer of 2018.  Katie has been fortunate to work with local artists in her current role at Kingston EcDev. by supporting them with the development of the business aspects of being self-employed. She currently volunteers as a Director at Large on the Board of Directors for the 1000 Islands Region Workforce Development Board and is a proud team member of 100+ Women Who Care Kingston.