Elected as Directors by Dance Victoria Society members at the Annual General Meeting on Jan 15, 2017, the Board is actively involved in ensuring the organization maintains its position in the community as an innovative and financially sound contributor to the local, regional and national dance milieu.
Susan is Development Director at Victoria Women’s Transition House, an emergency shelter with support programs for women and children leaving abusive family situations. Trained as a classical ballet dancer at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, she turned her passion for performance to non-profit income development. Susan has more than 20 years non-profit leadership experience in communities across Canada in fund and community development, marketing, communications and board and executive management. A graduate of SFU with a degree in business and liberal studies, Susan has a deep passion and love of the arts, particularly dance, and is honoured to serve on the Board of Dance Victoria.
René Peloquin is Senior Consultant at Queenswood Consulting and is a member of the Bar of British Columbia. His experience lies in assisting and guiding government agencies and community-based agencies through times of significant structural and strategic change. He has provided legal advice and strategic analysis to quasi-judicial bodies and government, and has a strong track record of preparing plain-language reports to government and community-based agencies. René was also a Cool Aid Board member from 2009 to 2011 and rejoined in 2013.
Susan Porter is a Chartered Professional Accountant who began her career with Thorne Riddell (now KPMG). She honed her skills in the private and public sectors before launching her management services practice in 1997. Susan has worked extensively with non-profits and is an alumnus of the Institute of Corporate Directors’ Not-For-Profit Governance Essentials program. Volunteerism has been a constant throughout her 30 year career; she has served on boards and committees for various organizations including the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, the Capital Mental Health Association, School District No. 62 (Sooke), and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC.
Nikki Sieben is an Associate Partner and BC Public Sector Leader for IBM Canada. Her experience ranges from leading a variety of high-profile system change and IT initiatives, to policy advice and support to central government agencies and ministries. Nikki’s major strengths lie in her extensive experience in portfolio project management, communications, media and stakeholder relations, policy development and change management. She is particularly passionate about her role as a leader, executive member, and mentor, and believes that strong leadership is core to a successful career and a positive environment. She is a lover of dance and the arts and is excited for the opportunity to contribute as a board member for Dance Victoria.
Mariann Burka has had an extensive career in the public service including senior positions of Executive Director and Assistant Deputy Minister. She has advocated for social justice, human rights and the revitalization of Canada’s indigenous and immigrant cultures. She is respected in both the public and not-for-profit sectors for her leadership in policy development, collaborative community relations, strategic planning, mediation and respectful management style. Mariann has long been a supporter of the arts and has always had a passion for dance. She served as choreographer and artistic director of an award-winning amateur dance group in Winnipeg before pursuing her law degree. Victoria resident for 25 years, recently retired, and having served on a number of boards, Mariann is honoured to contribute her enthusiasm, skills and experience to Dance Victoria.
Kristen Kitchen is the Leasing & Marketing Manager at Fort Properties Ltd where she manages tenant relationships and oversees marketing initiatives in support of the company’s goal of promoting community well-being through designing and creating healthy and vibrant places. Kristen has always been interested in giving back to the community in which she lives and conducts business and is active with several community organizations including the Urban Development Institute, the Chamber of Commerce and Junior Achievement.
Kristen has had a passion for dance since her parents enrolled her in her first ballet class at three years of age. Growing up, she studied several different disciplines and danced professionally for a few years after completing her Bachelor of Commerce Degree at the University of Calgary. She has remained active in the dance community and now looks forward to contributing as a board member of Dance Victoria while continuing on Dance Victoria’s Night Moves committee.
Kari McLay is the CEO Owner of Tulipe Noire Clothing on Oak Bay Avenue. Prior to opening her lifestyle boutique, Kari enjoyed a lengthy career as a clinical hospital Social Worker, Family Therapist and Parent Educator. Kari was born and raised in Victoria. She reflects fondly on growing up taking many years of classes in ballet, tap, and musical theatre. Raised in an alternative household surrounded by artists and musicians, Kari developed an appreciation for the arts and culture from a very young age. She attended McGill University in Montreal where she obtained her MSW while immersing herself in a multicultural city that further developed her appreciation for the arts. This included dance classes at Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal and studies in Art History. As a small business owner, Kari is committed to supporting various organizations and charities in the community and she is particularly inspired by fundraising. She describes herself as hard working and resourceful which extends to supporting and mentoring others. Kari is pleased to be elected to the Board of Directors of Dance Victoria.
Lynda Raino has been a member of Victoria’s dance community for 35 years now. She is well known as a performer, a choreographer, and a teacher. The school she founded, Lynda Raino Dance, now Raino Dance, is Victoria’s only dance centre just for adults. Her company, Big Dance, just for large people was groundbreaking work that reached International acclaim. She was on Dance Victoria’s first board, and held that position for its first 10 years. Now retired, she is active in projects that thrill her, focusing more on voice and theatre. For her, the fat lady has not sung yet.