Elected as Directors by Dance Victoria Society members at the Annual General Meeting on Nov 5, 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 Independent Consultant for 7 Consulting Inc. 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.
Kristen Kitchen is a Lease Manager with the Real Properties Division of the Ministry of Citizens' Services where she helps to manage the province's portfolio of leased commercial real estate. Kristen has always been interested in giving back to the community in which she lives and conducts business and has been 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 has been instrumental in growing Dance Victoria's Night Moves program. Kristen looks forward to continuing to contribute to Victoria's vibrant dance scene as a board member of Dance Victoria.
Heather Lejeune is Facilitator with Watershed Partners, where she works with organizations to help them navigate through complexity using collaborative design practices. Before she worked as a Facilitator Heather was an event manager, putting together some of Victoria's largest public celebrations and cultural festivals after she completed her education in Arts and Cultural Management.
At a young age Heather's parents placed her in dance classes, and while she took to stomping with abandon for many years in her tap classes, she eventually realized that this would not be a professional career path for her. Instead, she saw an opportunity to apply her creativity and organizational skills to support others in pursuing their artistic endeavours. Always a big believer in bringing people together to share a common experience, Heather still enjoys the thrill of a good event and the satisfaction of seeing people enjoy themselves through artistic mediums.
Heather is leading the committee for Dance Victoria's Night Moves program and is looking forward to getting more young audience members involved in dance.
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.
Andrew Newcombe is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria. He previously worked in Vancouver practising commercial law and in Paris practising international arbitration. Andrew has both commercial law and corporate governance knowledge and skills and has worked with non-profits on policy and governance issues. Andrew takes adult dance classes and brings to the Board a passion for contributing to the local dance community.
As vice-president, advisory services, Colin is responsible for the financial performance and overall strategic direction of banking and wealth operations in the Island Savings region. Colin has 25 years of financial services experience and 20 years of senior management experience in Canada and the United Kingdom. He brings expertise in wealth management, commercial and retail banking, risk management, marketing, acquisition and retention, service quality and compliance.
Colin’s prior roles include general manager, insurance and financial planning at Island Savings, as well as leadership roles at CIBC and Royal Bank of Scotland. He has a strong background in strategic business planning, budgeting, relationship building, leadership, research and analysis, process engineering, business development, coaching and change management. Colin is a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and holds his postgraduate diploma in marketing from Edinburgh Napier University as well as his Professional Financial Planners Course from the Canadian Securities Institute.
Colin is married to Justin and they both enjoy living in the beautiful city of Victoria.
Kirsty is the owner and principal Financial Advisor for Willow Wealth Management.
Originally from Toronto, Kirsty earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario. In 1988, after extensive travelling around the world, Kirsty began her career in the financial services industry. With a diverse background in trading, financial and wealth management, Kirsty has a well-rounded appreciation of the industry. She is committed to professional development and is currently working towards her Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.
Since Kirsty believes in giving back to the community, she is very active in philanthropic endeavours. Among other recent philanthropic activities, she spearheaded last year's very successful fundraiser at Oak Bay Beach Hotel for Victoria Women in Transition and Dance Victoria, an effort which raised almost $40,000.
Her free time is spent enjoying her family, music, theatre, reading, keeping fit, and fireside chats.
Emily is Senior Accountant at KPMG LLP, a full-service accounting firm in Victoria, BC, where she provides accounting and auditing services for NPOs, local government, and private businesses in various industries. In addition to her Chartered Professional Accountant designation, Emily has earned her Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Professional Accounting.
Emily has developed a strong passion in dance and the arts from many years of dance and painting classes she took growing up. She is excited for the opportunity to contribute as a board member for Dance Victoria.