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.
LeBlanc, proud mother of three, has been active in the Municipality of Chester for some 15 years now, a Dal and CSNN graduate, her passion for well being drives her volunteer and vocational endeavours. Her creativity squeezes its way in to daily life whether it be through culinary exploration or facilitating exhibits. Sue leans on the Board, volunteers and staff to inform our programming and exhibitions. That said, she has proven her expertise in securing grants, community organizing and being a part-time curator for the CAC. From ‘Kids Make Art Committee’ Board Member, to Executive Director, she is thrilled to do all she can to support the Chester Art Centre and share her passion for creativity, community and beyond. She continues to work toward a better school food future, as a member of the RootED Board also. "With her open and genuinely delightful nature [...] has done an incredible job of bringing the public and art together in a way that is fun and meaningful." - Municipal Insight, July/August 2022.
Trudi Curley, Acting Chair & Founding 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.
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 work at Boston College, where she earned an M.Ed. She returned to Halifax to teach the Blind and Partially Sighted at the Halifax School for the Blind, and recently retired from a teaching career at the South Shore Regional Board. Susan and her husband, John, are long-time Chester residents. They have four children and five grandchildren. Susan is passionate about education and the arts and joined the Board in 2018 to promote creative expression in our Village and surrounding area.
Gordon Shupe, Treasurer
Gordon C. Shupe is the President of Coastal Door & Frame Inc. He graduated from Dalhousie University with his BComm and obtained his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation in 1987. Gordon currently sits on the Construction Association of Nova Scotia Board. 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 opportunity to assist the Chester Art Centre in its’ efforts to provide a focal point to our community could not be passed up.
A long time passionate founding member of the Chester Art Centre, Board Member and sitting on various committees, Beverley lives full time in Chester. Involved with her family, the Studio Singers, Tuesday Painters and her garden, she spends a great deal of time in her Studio creating ‘Rustworks’… mixed media sculptures. These rust, metal and found object sculptures are about seeing something beautiful in the discarded, worth in what has been deemed worthless and giving new life to what has been broken and cast out.
Board Member & Founding 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.
Board Member & Event Committee Chair
Joined the Art Centre in 2010 because Janet asked and it sounded like a good way to get into community affairs. It has been incredibly interesting to see how the Centre has grown since then - and as it continues grow, exploding with new ideas, goals and programming for everyone. I am a small "a" artist, residential designer/draughtsman, ex super yacht cook and crew, ex architect, ex biology major. Been around for awhile. My focus at the Art Centre is keeping the building and grounds running - with the help of many , and particularly the Executive Director.
Board Member & Building Committee Chair
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Chester 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 Living and previously practiced corporate law with Blakes and Slaughter and May in London and Toronto.