Board of Directors

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Taliaferro Jones

Chair: Toronto, Ontario

California born, Toronto based, Taliaferro holds a BA and BFA in photography, glass and mixed-media sculpture from Tufts University and the Museum School, Boston, followed by Sheridan College. She is currently pursuing her masters in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University. She has traveled the world exploring, making and exhibiting art and craft internationally as well as delivering cultural capital as an executive director, manager and board member of various organizations. Her work is published and in can be seen in various collections including the Canadiana Fund collection at Rideau Hall in Canada and El Museo de Vidrio in Spain. Most recently she is the former executive director of the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition and currently sits on the board of Craft Ontario as well as helping to develop a new foundation/Museum for contemporary art in Spain.

Sandra Dupret

Past-Chair: Haliburton, Ontario

As the principal of the Haliburton Campus of Fleming College, Sandra is immersed in and responsible for one of the leading arts education institutions in Canada. With a history of more than 40 years, the Haliburton School of The Arts has established a reputation for excellence through innovative delivery formats and diverse programming. With a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts (Printmaking and Sculpture), she is an exhibiting artist, educator, curator and administrator. Prior to joining Fleming College, Sandra was responsible for nine academic programs delivered at two campus locations in her role as Chair of the School of Media, Art and Design at St. Clair College in Windsor. Sandra has taught in the areas of papermaking, sculpture, and lithography, as well as providing mentorship for graduate students studying visual arts.

Michael Prokopow

First Vice-Chair: Toronto, Ontario

Associate Professor - Michael Prokopow holds a PhD in history from Harvard. His areas of specialty include North American material culture, architectural and design history, critical theory and aesthetics. Currently he is a faculty member at OCAD University teaching in the Liberal Studies Department, an adjunct professor at the York-Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communication and Culture. Between 2003 and 2007 he served as the curator at the Design Exchange, Canada’s only museum dedicated to the documentation, conservation and study of post-1945 Canadian industrial design.

Kim McBrien Evans

Second Vice-Chair: Haliburton, Ontario 

Kim is a lifelong textile artist, working in contemporary basketry, surface design, knitting, spinning and embroidery, completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at York University in 1992. She has since held positions with many arts and not-for-profit organizations working for the Laidlaw Foundation, the Arts Network for Children and Youth, the Arts Council of Haliburton Highlands and as the Executive Director for both the Nathaniel Dett Chorale and Visual Art Ontario. From 2010-2013 she taught marketing and portfolio presentation at Haliburton School of the Arts – Fleming College before launching her own business, Indigodragonfly, a textile arts retailer. Now she continues to teach and produces knitwear designs and hand dyed yarn known for rich, multifaceted colours and humourous names.

James A. (Jay) Richardson 

Treasurer: Toronto, Ontario

Jay is a Canadian Chartered Accountant (1970), a Singapore Certified Public Accountant (1986) and a Fellow of the Insolvency Practitioners' Association of the United Kingdom. He has practiced as a Partner of Clarkson Gordon Arthur Young (now Ernst & Young, Canada and Singapore) and a Partner of KPMG (UK) prior to establishing his own practice as a company doctor in Toronto in 1993. Specializing in interim management in troubled situations, he has served as the CEO or Chairman of listed public companies on five occasions and in many other CFO and private company situations. He has extensive public company governance experience from over a dozen Board memberships including presently serving as Interim Chairman of the Argus Corporation. In his very extensive charitable and community activities he is most commonly associated with the visual arts, having served among others as the Chairman of the Royal Canadian Academy Foundation.

Kathleen Morris

Secretary: Toronto, Ontario

Kathleen Morris is a designer/maker and educator working in the field of textiles. She holds a Bachelor of Design OCAD University, and is currently completing her Master's work at OISE with a concentration in craft pedagogy and practice in a 21st century context. Kathleen is a sessional instructor at OCAD University in the department of Material Art and Design as well as an artist-educator in the Toronto District School Board.

DIRECTORS AT LARGE

John Arnold

Guelph, Ontario

John Arnold is a graduate of Trinity College, University of Toronto and Clarkson, Gordon & Co. (now Ernst Young). He has been a founding member of a number of successful companies primarily in the natural resource sector over the past 40 years. He is the past non-executive chairman of a well-known University of Toronto affiliated research based advanced reproductive technology clinic in Toronto. He has served on a variety of not-for-profit boards including as Governor, St. Margaret's Girls School (Elora); Governor, St. John's Kilmarnock School; Director, Windermere Golf & Country Club; and Director, Riverbrink Art Museum.

Heidi Earnshaw 

Toronto, Ontario

Heidi is a furniture designer/maker living and working in downtown Toronto. She received her art education at the University of Toronto, graduating with High Distinction in 1993. After several years working in diverse studio environments, she returned to school to study design at Sheridan College where she is a part-time faculty member in the furniture studio. Grounded in woodworking and characterized by clean lines and authentic detailing, Heidiʼs work is inspired by Japanese and Scandinavian architecture, Shaker furniture, mid century modernism and traditional craftsmanship. Re-imagining historical and archetypal forms within the context of contemporary design, she aims to create simple, useful and timeless pieces that enhance our daily rituals and add comfort and beauty to the spaces we inhabit. A proponent of "slow design", Heidi's work is designed and made with a multigenerational lifespan in mind using responsibly harvested and enduring materials. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and has been recognized through the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts council and the Canada Council for the Arts.  In 2014 she was awarded a Fellowship Residency from the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado.

Katarina Germani

Toronto, Ontario

Katarina Germani is a lawyer at the Toronto office of Clyde & Co LLP, a UK-based global law firm. Her professional experience includes roles at Canadian Artists’ Representation and the Canadian Olympic Committee. Katarina is a member of the executive of the Entertainment, Media and Communications Law Section and the Privacy and Access Information Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association. A passionate supporter of the arts, Katarina holds a B.A. in Anthropology and East Asian Cultural Studies from McGill University and law degree from the University of Ottawa. Katarina speaks English, French and Italian.

Cliff Ledwos 

Toronto, Ontario

Cliff has over 20 years of experience in senior and executive management as well as governance roles in the non-profit sector.  With increasing levels of responsibility he has worked and supported the achievement of high performance standards in the community based primary health and community services environment.  His leadership in the sector includes multiple site locations, developing and implementing innovative programs, services and special projects, community and primary care initiatives and capacity building, human resources, research, facilitation, multiple source fundraising, resource development and allocation and partnership building.  Cliff is a former board member of two Community Health Centres as well as Open Studio Contemporary Printmaking Centre. Cliff brings excellent skills in communication, leadership, coaching/mentoring, innovative, strategic and analytical thinking/planning, systems (re)design combined with sensitivity, determination and motivation.  Cliff has an MA in Canadian Art History and is an enthusiastic collector of Canadian studio ceramics - historical and contemporary - and related documentation material.

Norma Menguzzi Spall

Toronto, Ontario

Norma Meneguzzi Spall has a solid background as a consultant in public relations, event development, and non-profit management working with many diverse organizations in the corporate, health, and not-for-profit areas.  She has undertaken major campaigns for such organizations as Women’s College Hospital, Kids Help Phone, The Learning Partnership and mounted the first-ever Matinée Fashion Ready-to-Wear, the precursor to the current Toronto Fashion Week, on behalf of Designers Ontario.  She was also the Director of Marketing and Development at the Design Exchange. In addition to her work as a public relations and event specialist, Norma has acted as an Executive Director for Designers Ontario and the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada.  She pursues her passion for oil painting in her spare time.

Christine Platt

Toronto, Ontario

Christine is an arts professional with a dynamic set of skills and experience, including academic research, curatorial projects, writing, editing, collection development and innovative outreach projects. Her subject expertise is contemporary art and craft with an emphasis on Canadian, Chinese and Inuit makers. Christine utilizes her global network of arts contacts to oversee international collaborations on a regular basis for both public institutions and private, commercial endeavours. She advocates for artists and the field through all her work, particularly through the actions of her company, artVentures, in its social media activity, fundraising and contract projects.

Stuart Reid

St. Catherines, Ontario

Stuart Reid studied art and art history at York University in Toronto (BFA 1986.) From 1990 - 1992, Reid was an Associate Curator at The Craft Gallery of the Ontario Crafts Council in Toronto. From 1992 - 2001, Reid was Curator at the Art Gallery of Mississauga. In 1997, he was a guest of the British Council on a study tour of contemporary art in Northern Ireland. From 2001 - 2009, he was Director and Curator of the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery in Owen Sound. Reid is an alumnus of the J. Paul Getty Trust’s Museum Leadership Institute (MLI 2002) at the University of California at Berkeley. From 2009 - 2011, he was the Executive Director of the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Regina. In January 2012, Reid returned to Ontario and took up the post of Director/Curator at Rodman Hall Art Centre/Brock University. Currently, Reid is former President of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries. He is an elected member of IKT International Curators of Contemporary Art Network, Luxembourg.

Amir Sheikhvand

Toronto, Ontario

Amir Sheikhvand was born in Tehran, and currently lives and works in Toronto. He finished his academic studies in biology and graphic design before continuing his study in Jewellery, and graduated from Tehran’s Gold Institute in 1994. While in Iran he was a pioneer in educating women in jewellery making. Sheikhvand resumed his practice in Canada in 1999 after several solo exhibits in Iranian galleries. He uses traditional skills and modern techniques in his contemporary practice, and his multidisciplinary approach within a conceptual framework sets his work apart. Sheikhvand’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in both juried and invitational exhibitions, in galleries such as the McMaster museum of art, Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Arta Gallery, Tehran contemporary museum of Art and Harbourfront Centre.

Brandon Sousa

Toronto, Ontario

Brandon Sousa is a writer, communications professional, and social media specialist. He holds a wealth of industry experience from financial services, telecommunications, media, start-ups, and non-profits, complemented with international experience in South East Asia. Brandon is a Travel Writer for Metroland Media Toronto and a Communications Associate in Wealth Management at CIBC. Abroad, he worked in Luang Prabang, Laos as a Social Media Consultant for Ock Pop Tok, a social enterprise in textiles, handicrafts and design. An active volunteer, Brandon is a Director on the St. Michael’s College School Alumni Association and an advisor to Toronto City Councillor Norm Kelly's election campaigns. Formerly, he held the position of Communications Advisor to Inspire North for five years.

 

 

Who We Are

Formerly the Ontario Crafts Council, Craft Ontario is a not-for-profit service organization that works to have craft recognized as a valuable part of life. We promote and celebrate professional craft through providing member opportunities, and advocate for craft practice by educating and empowering diverse audiences.