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.

Photos of Jeremy, Nicole, Paula, Joe, and Maria by Eva Urbanska Photography. Photo of Tracey by Aydin Odyakmaz. Photos of Sam and Noriko by Alexis McKeown Portrait.

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.

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.

Sandy McCaig

Vice President

Sandy has a strong commitment to lifelong learning, having been involved in community education, coordinating adult continuing education programs and developing community based family education. She has served on numerous community boards and committees and volunteered in a variety of community services. Sandy's professional career spanned 40 years within the education system as an advocate for inclusive practices for children and youth; Speech/Language clinician, Director of Student Services, University instructor, program and staff developer, guest lecturer and program consultant.

Jennifer d’Entremont


Jennifer is a maker and promoter of the arts in Canmore. She was born and spent her childhood and early adulthood in New Brunswick. She moved to Fort McMurray, Alberta in 2005, where she completed a two year Visual Art Diploma program at Keyano College. In 2012, she made her home in Canmore, further studying and completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2015. She actively participates in various print calls, exhibitions and exchanges nationally and internationally. She shares studio space with two accomplished artists, and teaches printmaking at artsPlace.

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.

Bellanne Meltzer Toren

Past President

Bellanne (“Belle”) Meltzer Toren, B.A.S, J.D., ICD.D, has more than 30 years of experience in the international petroleum industry in over 21 countries. In July 2017, she obtained her ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. Since 2009, she maintains her own practice as an international petroleum consultant in Canmore. She holds a J.D. with High Honors from Duke University School of Law and a B.A.S. with High Honors from Guilford College. In the mid-1970’s, Belle lived on Kibbutz Gevulot. Her acrylics canvases and silk screens were exhibited throughout Israel and she was elected to membership to the Israel Painters and Sculptures Association and Kibbutz Artzi Artists Union.

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.

Patricia Johnston


Patricia has Bachelor of Science, Master of Clinical Science and MBA degrees and was an owner/operator of a thriving non hospital surgical and medical center prior to retiring to Canmore. Through her training and experience, she honed her expertise in business development, strategic planning, asset management (tangible, intangible and intellectual), human resource development, financial planning and analysis, marketing, public relations and networking on an international, national and local level. She has pursued her passion for healthy, thriving communities through her philanthropic endeavors with a variety of organizations including the Phoenix Theatre, the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Lois Hole Foundation, Compassion House, the Bukavu Foundation, Eighteen Bridges, Doctors Without Borders and Amnesty International.

Stephen Legault


Stephen Legault is an author, photographer, strategy and communications consultant and political organizer who lives in Canmore. The author of fifteen books, Stephen was honoured with the Mayors Spotlight on the Arts in 2019. He writes extensively about nature and wilderness, political issues and energy and conservation matters for the Globe and Mail, the Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal, and publishes books of photography, essays on landscape and culture and mystery novels with Rocky Mountain Books and Touchwood Editions. His consulting practices includes advising governments, political parties and non-profit organizations on communications, energy transition, organizational development and conservation matters.

Darcey-Lynn MacArthur


With a lifelong passion for volunteering and giving back to the community, Darcey-Lynn is delighted to join the artsPlace Board of Directors. Since the mid 90's, she has spent significant time in the Bow Valley enjoying swooshing down the ski hills and as a program developer and facilitator at the Banff Centre, a volunteer with the Canmore Folk Festival, the Highland Games and most recently as a committee member on the artsPlace Fundraising Committee. With a background in the behavioral sciences and business, Darcey-Lynn has worked in the mental health field, and led teams who worked with individuals with autism. Following an insight about the impact of her leadership on the delivery of outcomes for clients, she changed direction and developed a consulting practice in organizational development and culture.

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.

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.

Jeff Hilstad

Director - Town of Canmore Council Representative

Born and raised in Canmore, Jeff if happily married to his beautiful wife Megan, and has three children; Josephine, Brayden & Paul. He is the Master Installer of G. Hilstad Roofing of Canmore and a proud member of the Canmore Golf and Curling Club. His interests include spending time with his family, politics, and playing sports, especially hockey and golf. Jeff was a Founding Member and Executive Member of Canmore Collegiate High School Student Council (2006/07) and served as President & Vice-President of the Blakiston Condo Board Corporation from 2011-2015.

Chris Bartolomie

Town of Canmore Arts & Events Liaison

Chris Bartolomie started working for the Town of Canmore in 1999. She is now the Supervisor of Arts & Events there. Her department manages the public art program, community art, temporary art installations and larger art commissions like Big Head, Touchstone and Altered Group. She and her team also oversee Three Sisters Gallery, host Pecha Kucha nights, organize National Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Mayor’s Spotlight on the Arts, the New Year’s Eve celebrations, Winter Carnival, the Canada Day Parade and the Wild Festival. Chris is originally from Black Creek, Ontario. She lives in Canmore with her partner Steve and their three kids.

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.