board of directors
Introducing the Board of Directors for CulturePEI
board members click each name to view bio
Film & Television
A Gemini and Emmy award-winning writer and producer of children’s television, Cheryl Wagner’s career in children’s entertainment began in theatre as a puppeteer and clown here in PEI back in the 1970’s. Her long career includes working as a tv puppeteer on Fraggle Rock and Mr. Dressup. Her writing and producing credits include the tv series THE BIG COMFY COUCH on YTV and PBS , POKO, and BO on the GO both for CBC-Kids and the preschool webseries BUNNYBOP! Cheryl is President of Charlottetown’s Periscope Pictures and is a member of the Writer’s Guild of Canada, IMAC, Women in Film and Television-Atlantic and the Island Film Factory. Cheryl coordinated the 2013 Island Media Arts Festival – ‘the little film festival of big dreams’.
Jesse Cousins, Secretary
Jesse works in New Dominion, where he runs hourglass, a flameworking hot glass studio. He’s a graduate of Sheridan College and Sir Sandford Fleming College. Jesse also works as a substitute teacher. He’s worked at Firehorse Stained Glass Studio on PEI, the Confederation Centre of the Arts Gallery and as an exhibition preparator in Toronto.
Music & Sound Recording
Catherine O'Brien is the Artistic Director of the Summer Festival at Harbourfront Theatre and the Artistic Producer of Young at Heart Musical Theatre for Seniors. She has worked as a professional actor for over 20 years, performing in theatres all across Canada, and has been directing and producing theatre on PEI for over 8 years. Recently, she directed The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom, Nunsense and Forever Plaid for Harbourfront Theatre, and Dr. Magnificent’s Travelling Musical Medicine Show for Young at Heart Theatre.
Museums & Heritage
Paula Kenny is the site director at Eptek Art & Culture Centre, a site of the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage foundation, where she develops and mounts local and travelling exhibitions usually featuring art, fine craft, and history. Paula holds a BBA and DipPA (UPEI) and a post-graduate diploma in Cultural Resource Management as well as an MPA (University of Victoria). She also studied textile crafts at the Holland College School of Visual Arts many years ago.
Chris Sharpley, Treasurer
Chris is the co-founder of Yodoki Inc., a digital media company which has developed and published games for Apple’s Appstore and books for the iBookstore. He’s worked as a video game animator, artist and designer. Chris currently teaches video game art and animation at Holland College.
Susan owns and operates Studio 4, as a visual artist and graphic designer. She also has ownership in Stanley Bridge Country Resort and Sutherland's Restaurant. She's been a self-employed entrepreneur since 1986. She is a painter, printmaker, designer and illustrator. Her work has been shown locally and internationally. She's written for Arts Atlantic Magazine and participated in Canada Council projects through the Printmakers' Council of PEI. She operated her own Art Gallery in Cavendish for three years. This past year she received funding from 2014 Inc. to create the Frank Ledwell Literary Legacy Project.
Bing is the Director of the Asian/Chinese Cultural Artistic Group of PEI, and a teacher in dance, costume design and technical design. She is a member of the Asian Heritage Society of PEI and President of the Chinese/Cantonese Association of PEI.
Writing & Publishing
Best known on the Island as an actor and director, Laurel Smyth had an early career in children’s theatre, which helped to develop her skills as a writer of plays, poetry, television scripts and short fiction. Her work has been published in several anthologies and magazines, performed on Island stages and CBC Radio, and produced for children’s television networks. Laurel has been the grateful recipient of grants from the PEI Council of the Arts in support of her work in writing and theatre. She has also been honoured with prizes from the Island Literary Awards, Theatre PEI Playwriting Competition and the PEI Theatre Festival. During her studies at UPEI, she was awarded both the Henry Havelock MacFarlane Bursary for Academic Excellence and the Reshard Gool Award for Creative Writing.
Greg Magirescu, Chair
Member at Large
Over the past 30-plus years, Greg has done just about everything there is to do within the arts, culture and heritage sectors across Canada and around the world… Starting as a weekly teen columnist (“The Youth Viewpoint”) for the Toronto Sun at the age of 17, to acting on stage, television and film in his early 20’s, to producing festivals and special events at Harbourfront in Toronto, his cross-sectoral background is eclectic and diverse.
Greg has pioneered innovative public programs for the Royal Ontario Museum, pairing public accessibility with curatorial accuracy. He has served the 150-member Toronto Theatre Alliance as director of marketing and promotions, developing cooperative marketing ventures for small-to-mid-sized arts organizations as well as co-producing the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. He has been the general manager of several mid-sized non-profit performing arts organizations, and has, as an executive producer, brought shows such as the award-winning “The Legend of the Dumbbells” to the Winter Garden Theatre and “Anne of Green Gables” (starring Gordon Pinsent) to the Elgin Theatre in Toronto. He has served on various cultural facilities building project teams and steering committees including the Ice House (Toronto), Rotary Centre for the Arts (Kelowna, BC), and Anvil Centre (New Westminster, BC) as well as pioneered a global music project involving ex-prison inmates in 42 different countries. His experience with large-scale high profile events includes artistic direction of World Youth Day 2002 (which attracted over 375,000 youth from around the world) and manager of the highly-acclaimed Cultural Olympiad in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games. Greg has created cultural policies, arts and cultural strategies, public art master plans, funding strategies and integrated community sustainability plans for municipal governments, including the City of New Westminster and City of Mississauga. With a passion for continuing education and skills development, he spearheaded the “Survivor 101” series for Metro Vancouver, which provides professional development for community arts organizations in the areas of board development, fundraising, marketing and sustainable best practices.
Greg currently resides in Charlottetown, where he is the Chief Executive Officer of CULTURALstrategies.ca – a full service consulting firm specializing in the arts, culture and heritage sectors – which develops feasibility studies, engages in vision planning, creates achievable strategic plans and drafts sustainable implementation protocols for public and private sector organizations.
Member at Large
Peggy Reddin is Director of Arts Education at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, PEI. She is the program coordinator and instructor for the Dance Performance and Theatre Performance programs in the Holland College School of Performing Arts, a partnership with Confederation Centre. Ms. Reddin co-founded dance umbrella (now part of the Youth Education Program of Confederation Centre) in 1988 with Julia Sauvé and has served as its Director since 1996. She is a graduate of the National Ballet School Teacher Training Program and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) degree from U.P.E.I.
Ms. Reddin has taught with Charlottetown Ballet Theatre, DancEast, and Charlottetown Festival Young Company, and has directed and choreographed numerous events on the Island. She was also the project founder for Dance with D.A.W.N., an innovative dance program for women with disabilities.
In addition to her work in arts education, Ms. Reddin is very involved in the local arts community. She has worked in collaboration with Theatre P.E.I., the P.E.I. Symphony Orchestra, and the U.P.E.I. Music Department, among others. She served on the board of the PEI Council of the Arts and as a juror for the New Brunswick Arts Board and the PEI Council of the Arts.
Becka Viau, Vice Chair
Becka Viau is a Canadian artist from Charlottetown Prince Edward Island. She received her BFA, 2008 and MFA, 2013 from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and has exhibited in many galleries throughout the Maritimes and the United Kingdom. She was long listed for the Sobey Art Award in 2011 and 2014 and recently completed a three month creative/research artist residency in NFLD. She has worked as a curator, educator and coordinator of arts collectives and arts festivals. Much of her artistic activity engages with questions relating to the institutions, dissemination and social networks of power, art and culture.