Sean Gallagher has a Master's of Fine Art, studying at ACA in Calgary and the HdK in Berlin, and has shown his work internationally. He also has extensive business experience and a BCom in Finance and Marketing from the U of A. He is eager to help Nanaimo Arts Council deliver their range of programs, events and services aimed at promoting and supporting local artists and performers, and enriching the lives of Nanaimo residents and visitors.
Steven was the founder and CEO of a social and market research firm specializing in program evaluation, data management and custom research programs. He also taught research and program evaluation methods to graduate students at the University of Alberta. As a social scientist, he assisted governments, NFPs and businesses by mining data to measure performance and inform consumer engagement efforts. Among his clients were museums, galleries and arts organizations seeking to assess their community impact and discover alternative ways to engage their audiences. The Dennis family also supports the arts through a Community Foundation by awarding an annual scholarship to a high school graduate pursuing a career in the visual or performing arts. Steven and his wife, Sandra, retired in Nanaimo.
STEVEN DENNIS, PhD, MBA
Kam Sandhu, CPA, is a Partner and Business Advisor with MNP’s Assurance and Indigenous Services group based in Nanaimo. Kam works closely with First Nations across B.C., delivering a broad range of customized services and advice to support his clients in moving their communities and businesses forward.
With a keen understanding of the opportunities and challenges that First Nation communities face, Kam works with his clients on everything from policy development to project management. He also helps his clients with audits and other assurance services and provides management and external financial advisor solutions.
Kam earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from the University of the Fraser Valley in 2012. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), qualifying in 2016.
KAM SANDHU, CPA
Laurel Karjala is a visual artist and educator. She has BA in Arts Education from WWU and diplomas from the Victoria College of Art. Laurel has shown her work in solo and group exhibits and is a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. She is committed to a vibrant arts community, where all artists can thrive individually and collectively.
Chai Duncan is a visual artist, curator and art educator. He has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions, and curated the works of other artists in galleries across Canada and in the USA. With an MFA from the University of Saskatchewan, he has taught at post-secondary institutions in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and now teaches art in the Department of Art and Design at Vancouver Island University. He is excited to join the board of directors at the Nanaimo Arts Council where he hopes to help meet the goals of the NAC in bringing relevant and vital programming to the wider regional community, while at the same time supporting local artists from all disciplines.
Director at Large
Margie Johnson completed studies in piano and opera at the University of Toronto and obtained an applied arts degree from Ryerson University. She later went on to post graduate work in GIS at Fleming College in addition to a diploma in Non-Profit Community Leadership Development. Margie is a published writer and journalist. She was a pioneer in the field of computer-assisted music education while living in Sarasota, Florida and has championed children’s literacy while holding positions in both Ontario and Nanaimo. The power of the arts to enrich communities is central to her vision as is her belief in the accessibility to arts education to people of all ages.
Director at Large
Kamal is a writer of creative non-fiction and a published poet with many publications in Canada, India and the USA. She also has extensive experience as a volunteer presenter at the famous McMichael Art Gallery in Ontario. She was a manuscript evaluator for the Alberta Writers' Guild and is an Associate member of the League of Canadian poets, The Writers Union of Canada, Haiku Canada and an active member of the Federation of BC Writers. She feels that the Nanaimo Arts Council can play a pivotal role in supporting and promoting the arts in our community with respect to the Creative Word, and thus assist in bringing together the Writers and other artists that compose a greater part of our diverse community.
Director at Large
Audrey is a Mom of 5 and grandmother of 15. She raised her children while having a 30 year career as a Legal Secretary in Vancouver. Since moving to Parksville on the Island in 2000, she has run a bed and breakfast and helped her husband run several different businesses, including a fine furniture making business, a Recording Studio and Music School – all while also hosting International students – until 2016 when she retired and moved to Nanaimo. During her time in Parksville she sat on the Board of the Oceanside Arts Council for 3 years as Secretary. Audrey is also an artist, having begun her art journey in 2010.
Director at Large
Lena is a visual artist and has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions. She has been a member of the NAC for about 17 years. She is excited to join the Nanaimo Arts Council board. She supports the goals of the NAC to support local artists, festivals and events and to provide educational programming for the Nanaimo Community in a centrally located Arts Centre. There is a need for Nanaimo to have an Arts & Cultural and Educational space that has classrooms, an art gallery, a cafe and a black box theatre.
Director at Large
Newsletter Editor + Website
As a poet, printmaker, arts administrator, and art collector, the arts permeate all aspects of Aaramë's life. Originally from Texada and the upper Sunshine Coast, she has called Nanaimo home since 1999. She is grateful for the privilege to spend her life on Tla'amin, Snuneymuxw, and other Coast Salish territories.
Since 2008, she has operated a small home-based printmaking studio creating handmade serigraphs, intaglio etchings, and hand-bound books. She has taught printmaking workshops through Nanaimo Art Gallery, Vancouver Island University, Gabriola Isle of the Arts Festival, Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery, and private studio classes. She holds a Diploma of Visual Arts from Vancouver Island University (2013) and is an alumna of the Leadership Vancouver Island program, and is currently the Visitor Services Coordinator at the Nanaimo Art Gallery.
Aaramë has over 20 years administrative management experience, and has been a part of the Nanaimo arts community for over 10 years, having also worked for Crimson Coast Dance and Centre for the Arts Nanaimo. She is a strong advocate of the power of art to create bonds, build communities, and transform lives.