The KAC is actively recruiting for its Board of Directors. If you’re interested, please get in touch with Kirsi Hunnakko, Executive Director at email@example.com.
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.
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 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 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 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.
Currently the associate director of the Kingston Canadian Film Festival, Megan Sirett has a strong background in cultural management working for organizations in both Kingston and Toronto including the Kingston Arts Council, the Kingston Symphony, Cantabile Choirs, and Soundstreams. She studied communications and culture at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo and graphic design at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. In addition to arts administration, Megan worked as a freelance designer and event planner and ran a bespoke floral boutique before realizing it’s not as nearly as charming as it sounds. She spends her free time meditating, trying to like gardening, and chasing after the perfect cup of coffee.
Mariah Horner is a theatre creator and producer based in Kingston, Ontario. Selected credits include: directing Hana Hashimoto: Sixth Violin (Thousand Islands Playhouse), assistant directing Behaviour (GCTC), assistant directing Butcher (Theatre Kingston 2018); assistant directing The Revolutions (SpiderWebShow 2017); and directing girls!girls!girls! (
Barb Danielewski is a social artist and facilitator who is committed to supporting community through mentorships, peer to peer learning, and group coaching. She has designed and led over 170 experiences for community partners such as the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, H’art School, Boys and Girls Club, Peacequest, Providence Care, KFL&A Public Health, OPIRG, Kingston Immigration Partnership, and the City of Kingston. From 2013-2019 she received an OAC Artist in Residence grant to implement collaborative inquiry projects with intermediate students at the Limestone District School Board. Her studies since 2014 with Partners for Youth Empowerment have led her to receive a certificate in the Art of Facilitation, a mentorship grant from the Ontario Arts Council in Community Arts, and training in co-facilitation from her mentor Nadia Chaney. Her screenprinted activist neckties, clothing, and patches have been shown in artisan stores and gallery shops from Vancouver to Halifax. In her secret life as a mechanic and tradesperson, she has repaired bikes, designed sustainability and conservation workshops, including for Kingston Utilities, and worked as a farmhand.
Elizabeth Hesp is a self-taught, professional visual artist, and a fine art photographer since 2012. Originally from India, she has been a resident of Kingston for 23 years. She is committed to supporting arts entrepreneurship and cross-cultural collaborations in the community. As the owner of Elizabeth Hesp Fine Art, she created her Art for Business service, to provide interior art for design projects. She was a recipient of Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grants in 2014 and 2018. Focused on arts education, she engages students and the public with tours and talks at her solo exhibitions. Her first artist project, Visual Rhythms, Architecture Dance Music (2013 – 2018), was a collaboration with youth performance artists from Queen’s University and Kingston. The exhibition was hosted by Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. Her book Finding Rhythm in the City is being released later in 2019. As a member of the Professional Development Working Group, she contributed to the research and survey included in the report to the City’s Arts Advisory Committee. As a mentor and a trained Professional Coach she supports those who wish to create a positive change in their lives. She is a mindfulness practitioner and mother of two creative teenagers who inspire her to be her best.