Our Team

Meet our Staff and Board of Directors

artsPlace is run by a small but passionate core team of administrators who strive each day to deliver meaningful arts and culture programming and transformative experiences to Bow Valley residents and visitors. We also work with hundreds of professional artists and more than 100 community partners each year.

Team pictures by Eva Urbanska Photography

Meet our Board of Directors

The Canadian Mountain Arts Foundation (CMAF) is a registered non-profit society under the Alberta Societies Act and is the governing body of artsPlace.

CMAF is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors. 11 Directors are elected by Members of the Society (CMAF Members) and one Director, a Town of Canmore Councillor, is appointed by Town of Canmore Council on an annual basis.

Kathi Irvine


Kathi Irvine is the founding partner of The Watershed Group, an organizational development consulting firm here in Canmore that works to engage people and transform organizations. Watershed partners with numerous organizations in Canada and the United States to support business sustainability and employee development. Kathi has been educated in Canada and the US, she has an undergrad in business, a graduate degree in organizational leadership, and a certificate in dialogue and negotiation. She is an advocate for community involvement and has been a board member of several not-for-profits before joining artsPlace; most recently with Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society of Southern Alberta.

Bruce Byford, CPA, CA, ICD.D


Bruce served as Vice President, Administration and Chief Financial Officer of Banff Centre from 2015 to 2020. Prior to Banff Centre, Bruce spent five years as CFO of a TSX listed public company in Calgary and 11 years as a partner at Grant Thornton LLP in both Calgary and Toronto where he held numerous senior leadership positions. Bruce has a long history of community involvement. Before moving to the Bow Valley, he served on the boards of Discovery House Family Violence Prevention Society in Calgary, Rotary Club of Calgary Heritage Park as Vice President, the Calgary Chapter of Financial Executives International and York Support Services Network (YSSN) in Ontario.

Heather Walter


Heather has been a lifelong advocate in combining education and the arts. As a freelance writer, filmmaker, environmental educator and presenter with the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, her belief is that creativity is available to us all. A longtime resident of Canmore, Heather has served on other arts boards in the Bow Valley including the Bow Valley Chorus (as founding President) and the Canmore Public Art Committee. Heather feels grateful to live, work and play in this beautiful Bow Valley with her life partner, Patrick McCloskey.

Sandy McCaig

Past President

Sandy's professional career spanned 40 years within the Winnipeg School Division, as a Speech Clinician, Service Director and Assistant Superintendent responsible for Student Services. She lectured in the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Education; and was a guest lecturer and program consultant nationally and internationally. She has a Master's degree in Education and has published several peer reviewed journal articles and is a contributing author of two books.

Juan Dominguez


It is a privilege and a great honour to live in the Bow Valley. Nature and the Arts are alive here, and both are a vital part of my life. As a resident of Canmore, I wish to give back to this wonderful community, to help build it further and to enrich others’ lives through the arts. As a member of the board of artsPlace I believe I can help make this possible.

Councillor Wade Graham

Town of Canmore Council Representative

Wade is a long time local. He’s gotten into trouble a few times. We elected him to Council. Man of the People. Lover of Art. Hunter. You could call him Canmore Bourgeoisie.

Leslie Keen


Leslie Keen, MBA, CMC, is a native Albertan who recently decided to semi-retire in Canmore, affectionately called her ‘happy place’. Her desire is to work with not-for-profit organizations, continue to enjoy mother nature, the arts, and strive to enrich the lives of others.

Leslie is former elementary school teacher specializing in music directing several bi-lingual school- wide musicals and choirs in various districts across Alberta, Saskatchewan and First Nations communities. She is currently a Leadership and Organizational Change consultant and business owner focused on enabling business transformation, strategic integration, and organizational learning.

Edward Kerwin


Throughout his 45-year career as a lawyer and securities commissioner, Ed has been engaged in the non-profit arts sector and has been a passionate supporter of the arts. Prior to retiring to live in Canmore in 2017, Ed lived and worked in Toronto and also in Calgary and London, U.K. He was a member of McCarthy Tétrault LLP from 1971 until 2010 and was a Commissioner of the Ontario Securities Commission from 2011 until 2017. Ed has served as a director and executive on the boards of the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, Canadian Stage Company, University of Toronto, a private charitable foundation and private and public corporations.

Simmi Latulippe


I have been blessed to call Canmore my home for the past 28 years, raising 2 lovely children in our fabulous mountain town.

I have been involved in the very early days of the arts/creative community as a member of CAG. As a local artist, I have a strong commitment to the arts/creative community while fostering personal relationships with many local artists. I hold a strong belief in communicating the benefits of artsPlace and the many activities artsPlace delivers to our community.

Patti Morris


Patti is a leader in the social profit sector who has been striving to bring best practices, innovative strategic thinking, and visionary leadership to positions for over three decades. She holds a Masters of Continuing Education Degree with a specialization in workplace learning, focused on creating and shaping learning environments that foster individual and organizational success.

Presently Executive Director of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, Patti has also held roles such as: Founding CEO of Wellspring Alberta, Executive Director of the Alberta Mentor Foundation for Youth, and Executive Director of the Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre of Calgary.

Kitty Thompson


Kitty Thompson is a cellist by night and by day, the Director of Employee Experience (HR) for CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures. After relocating from Toronto to Canmore 6 years ago, Kitty found her home in the Bow Valley music community. She quickly became immersed in artsPlace programs and is excited to champion the arts by serving on the Canadian Mountain Arts Foundation Board. Kitty’s approach to both art and profession are defined by a passion for experiences, and a deeply held belief in human equality, dignity, and right to opportunity. Kitty holds a CHRP designation, received her Bachelor of Music (Cello) from Wilfrid Laurier University, Masters in Adult Education from the University of Calgary, and a Post Degree Certificate in Organizational Coaching from the University of British Columbia.

Sandra Stevens


On the tail end of a long career in law and leadership, Sandra Stevens, a believer in continuous learning, diversity and accessibility, is honoured to support the Bow Valley arts community as a director of CMAF.

During a span of over 30 years, Sandra practised law with a large Calgary law firm and later was Vice-President of Operations Legal and senior management at a major Canadian energy company. She led a large functionally diverse team and portfolio accountable for legal, governance and business matters, including strategic planning, major transactions, risk management, regulatory and operations related issues.

About our Board of Directors

The Canadian Mountain Arts Foundation (CMAF) is the artsPlace governing body. Established in 1996, CMAF is a volunteer-run, registered Canadian charity with a mandate to increase and broaden the opportunities for the residents of the Bow Valley to enjoy and participate in the arts.

Neither CMAF nor artsPlace would be possible without our volunteers — from the individuals who devote many, many hours year-round to sit on the Board of Directors and its committees to all the Bow Valley residents who contribute a few seasonal hours each year to The Canmore Festival of Art and Creativity, the Vic Lewis Band Festival, and numerous other arts events hosted throughout the year.

We especially acknowledge the volunteers who have helped shape and launch artsPlace in 2014 and 2015.

Elections to the volunteer Board of Directors are held annually. The board welcomes interest from all involved in the arts as well as arts lovers who wish to share their skills, as well as representation from Canmore’s various arts and culture organizations.

Please contact [email protected] for more information on volunteering on the board.

About a Membership in the Canadian Mountain Arts Foundation

The Canadian Mountain Arts Foundation (CMAF) is a registered non-profit society under the Alberta Societies Act.

In accordance with CMAF Bylaws, A CMAF membership provides for greater involvement in CMAF’s governance structure with the opportunity to vote on motions brought forward at Annual General Meetings and Special Meetings, including but not limited to the election of Board Members and amendments to CMAF Bylaws. It represents membership in the registered society in accordance with CMAF Bylaws.

Membership Requirements:

  • Minimum of 18 years of age 
  • Payment of an annual, none tax-receitable membership fee of $25 
  • Agreement to abide by CMAF bylaws 
  • Provide CMAF with your full legal name, Bow Valley address, and a valid e-mail address and phone number 

Note: Purchasing an “artsPlace Membership” does not entitle you to CMAF Society Membership voting rights. A “CMAF Membership” must be purchased separately. CMAF Memberships must be purchased a minimum of 45 days in advance of the AGM or Special Meetings in order to receive voting rights at the respective meetings.

Click here to become a CMAF Member

  • Your CMAF membership is non-transferable 
  • You will receive e-emails of the Annual General Meeting and Special Meetings as they arise 
  • Votes may be made by Proxy through a designated Board Member

CMAF Membership Policy



The Canadian Mountain Arts Foundation (CMAF), a registered society under the Alberta Societies Act, is the governing body of artsPlace.


There are two types of memberships:

• An artsPlace Program Membership: entitles the member to benefits related to artsPlace programs and events.

• A CMAF Membership: represents membership in the registered society in accordance with CMAF Bylaws. It provides the opportunity for greater involvement in CMAF’s governance structure with the opportunity to vote on motions brought forward at Annual General Meetings and Special Meetings.

These are 2 different memberships and are mutually exclusive. Having a CMAF membership does not preclude having an artsPlace membership and vice versa.


Annual membership in CMAF is open to any individual over 18 years of age who:

1. Agrees to abide by the CMAF Bylaws in effect;

2. Pays an annual membership fee of $25;

3. Provides to CMAF the following information for the purposes of communicating CMAF Membership information: Name / Mailing Address / Email Address​

CMAF will keep and use personal information with respect to members in accordance with applicable privacy laws, including the Alberta Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and the Societies Act.

CMAF will maintain a Register of Members as required by the Societies Act, Section 36. It shall contain information pertaining to each current member, including the name, mailing address, contact email, date when membership commenced, and date when membership ceased.

The annual membership expires one year from the day before the membership was purchased in the prior year. (eg. If the membership was purchased on December 1, 2020, it expires on November 30, 2021). Membership is effective as of the date the annual fee is paid.

A current membership may only be terminated upon the resignation of the member in writing or upon the removal of the member in accordance with CMAF Bylaws. A member whose membership is terminated during a membership year is not entitled to reimbursement of any paid membership fee.

Members shall receive notice of Special Meetings and Annual General Meetings in accordance with CMAF Bylaws.