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MEET OUR TEAM!

The Chester Art Centre wouldn't be what is is today without the support of its committed staff and board members. Meet the team that dedicates their time to bringing life, colour and vibrancy to our community through art.

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Kelvin Browne

Executive Director

Kelvin Browne joins the Chester Art Centre after being the Executive Director of the Gardiner Museum in Toronto for nine years.  Prior to this, he  was Vice President of the Royal Ontario Museum. Kelvin began at the ROM as the Director of the Institute of Contemporary Culture. He has an M.Arch from the University of Toronto. Kelvin is a well known writer having been a columnist for The Globe and Mail, National Post and as well as a feature writer for many national publications. Kelvin is currently a regular contributor to the Literary Review of Canada.

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Alanna Skogstad

Programming Lead

Alanna Skogstad is passionate about immersing herself in community art making both as an artist and facilitator. Born in Churchill Manitoba, she grew up in La Ronge, Saskatchewan where she completed her Bachelor of Arts at NORTEP/NORPAC before studying Art Instruction and Early Childhood Education in Sundre Alberta. Alanna taught play school for several years before moving to Blandford, Nova Scotia. She is thrilled to be working at the Chester Art Centre as Program Lead, where she is able to contribute to the art scene in this vibrant community by teaching afterschool programs, facilitating gallery openings and building relationships with the community.

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Bronwyn MacFair

Marketing Lead

Bronwyn (she/her) brings over a decade of experience in design and marketing where she has focused on helping non-profits, artists and small businesses reach their communities through strong visual storytelling and cohesive brand and identity design. A strong and robust marketing strategy starts with listening and learning so that trusted community can be built through shared experience. Bronwyn brings her own perspective as a neurodivergent and queer person and thrives at the intersection of community, the arts, and technology. She finds her purpose using her creative skills to help make the world better—one personal connection at a time.

OUR BOARD

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Gordon Shupe, Chair

Gordon C. Shupe is the President of Coastal Door & Frame Inc. in Halifax. He graduated from Dalhousie University with his BComm and obtained his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation in 1987. He was previously Chair of the NSCC Foundation Board, Chairman of the Maritime Lumber Bureau, Chairman for the Atlantic Canada Chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and sat on the Executive committee of the Canadian Wood Council and on Boards of many other community organizations. Gordon developed a passion for Art in the early 80’s while working on an Art Gallery in Nova Scotia providing financial counselling. The Chester Art Centre passion and voice grabbed my attention and my interest with its fantastic line-up of courses and exhibitions. The artistic talent that exists within our communities here in NS is highlighted at our Centre and I am very fortunate to be part of its wonderful history and story.

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Hugh Goodday, Vice Chair

Hugh joined the Board in Spring 2021 shortly after putting down roots in Chester with his lovely wife, Sarah. Hugh is honoured to work with the other Board Members, executive team and volunteers to make Chester a destination for creatives from far and wide. Having lived and worked in a variety of countries and continents, Hugh is convinced that the South Shore is paradise on Earth—its natural beauty, charm and history deserving of a vibrant arts scene. Hugh is Chief Growth Officer at Halifax-based VIDA and previously practiced corporate law with Blakes and Slaughter and May in London and Toronto.

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Susan Chandler, Secretary

Raised in Mader’s Cove, Lunenburg County, Susan is a graduate of Dalhousie University, obtaining B.Ed(Int.) and M.A. degrees there before going on to post graduate studies at Boston College, where she earned an M.Ed. She returned to Halifax and taught the blind and partially sighted at Halifax School for the Blind, now APSEA and, upon moving to Chester, she taught with the South Shore Regional Centre for Education before retirement. Susan and her husband, John, are long-time Chester residents. They have four children and six grandchildren. Susan is passionate about the power of education and the importance of art for everyone and she joined the board in 2018 to help promote and facilitate creative expression across all mediums.

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Elizabeth Sawicki, Treasurer

Having grown up in Chester, the village has always held a special place in Liz’s heart.  She worked in the hospital as a Lab Technologist for several years.  She then left Nova Scotia and pivoted her career into the business world, upon her return she continued that path.  Liz is a proud mother of two, whom she has enjoyed taking various art classes with at the Chester Art Centre.  She was excited when the opportunity came up to be a part of the vibrant art community in her hometown. 

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Janet Creaser, Board Member

Janet joined the Board at the outset, Russel Perry asked her to come on and gave all the Board members an art kit which she was so excited about but never opened! She is not an artist but loves the varied course selection at the Art Centre. The best part for her is being around such creative artistic board members. She focuses her efforts on event planning and fundraising.

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Bunch Fraser, Board Member

Bunch joined the Art Centre in 2010 because Janet asked her and it sounded like a good way to get into community affairs. It has been that and more!  She is a small "a" artist, residential designer/draughtsman, ex super yacht crew, ex architect, ex biology major. Bunch's focus at the Art Centre is keeping the building and grounds running–with the help of many volunteers & staff.

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Victoria McGregor, Board Member

Victoria spent her informative years working in the film and television industry.  A life long lover of the arts she now spends her time dabbling in photography, mucking about with tiny textiles and painting rather poorly.  She can be seen most days being dragged around Chester by her two rescued potcake dogs Missy and Max.

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Annika Junger, Board Member

Junger first came to Chester at the young age of six. After living in Dublin and Ottawa for thirty years, she came back to Chester for good around 2007. She is involved with the Chester Drama Society , as an actor and assistant, and has served as secretary on the CAC Board for many years. “I can’t quite remember how i got involved with the CAC, but have been volunteering since the early days. I think Janet asked me to join.” Annika Junger, June 2021

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Chris Luedecke, Board Member

After childhood in Toronto, university in Montreal(McGill) and time woodshedding and falling in love in Dawson City, Yukon, Chris Luedecke moved to Robinsons Corner with artist Teresa Bergen where they were married in 2005. From here he has built a life as a touring and JUNO winning songwriter Old Man Luedecke. A global pandemic and reduced activities on the road have enabled him to join the CAC and learn about and hopefully contribute more to the special community that is Chester and its arts centre.

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Trudi Curley, Board Member

After graduating from NSCAD in 1999 where she majored in painting but explored other mediums, Trudi commented to her husband artist Donald Curley that she’d had so much fun but still did not know what she wanted to be when she grew up. He told her she was a “Project Junkie”. That shoe seems to fit as she loves, adventure, learning new things and being immersed in something creative. Her favourite jobs have been, working as a Fashion Coordinator for Eaton’s, Montreal, where she grew up and owning and sailing the schooner “Atlantica” as a charter boat with her late husband Tony Mather out of Grenada W.I. After moving to Chester she worked at Bonny Lea Farm for years, a job she adored and counts her friends there as family. Working as Destination Coordinator for Bluenose Coast she employed her love for Nova Scotia. She is a Founding Member of the Chester Art Centre and believes that artists can change the world.

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Audrey Nicoll, Board Member

Audrey Nicoll grew up in Vancouver and moved to the South Shore in 2000 with her artist husband, Bill Marshall. Audrey is a NSCAD and UBC Fine Arts graduate, and her studio practice consists of large scale mixed media drawings focused on environmental issues, which she has shown throughout the Maritimes. She has taught art in the public school system for thirty years starting in Vancouver and recently retiring as the IB Art teacher at Park View Education Centre. Retirement gave Audrey the time to join the Board and bring her experience of art making and teaching to the Chester Art Centre. Audrey has twenty-five years of experience on the boards of various artist-run centres, and provincial arts organizations in both Vancouver and Nova Scotia. The opportunity to help the Chester Art Centre flourish and continue to provide access to an engaging art experience is an essential reason Audrey chose to join the CAC Board.

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Mark Raynes Roberts, Board Member

Born in England, Mark graduated from the Birmingham School of Jewellery with honours in 1981, before emigrating to Toronto and starting Raynes Art & Design Ltd in 1984. Over a 40 year career as a professional crystal artist and designer, he has established an international reputation and is a Fellow of the Guild of Glass Engravers in London, England. His art works reside in corporate and private collections around the world, with his most recent RESTORATION collection of crystal and paintings being exhibited at the Jardins de Metis, in Quebec. 

Mark has sat on various charitable boards including the Canadian Centre for Diversity, (formerly the CCCJ) the the Women’s Brain Health Initiative, and was named a Champion Mentor of DAREarts Children’s Foundation. He and his wife, author Sarah Hampson, (the former Globe & Mail journalist) now reside in Chester, and are looking forward to supporting the arts and culture in the community.

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