BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa benefits from the professional skills, expertise and associations, and oversight of its board members. Appointments are for two years and meetings are monthly. If you wish to be considered for membership on the Board of Directors, please send an expression of interest and your credentials to admin@spao.ca.

 
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Terry blake: Interim President, Treasurer

Terry is a retired finance professional now involved in various governance, education and leadership mentoring initiatives. Terry spent 20 years as a chief financial officer for subsidiaries of multinational financial services companies in Canada, the United States and Asia, often starting up subsidiary operations and turning around businesses in crisis. Terry now volunteers on Ottawa-based NPO boards, having served as board president for The Mens’ Project/1in6 Canada, a board, audit and governance committee member for Ashbury College, and a board, audit committee and governance committee member at the Shepherds of Good Hope. Terry has been involved in many philanthropic projects throughout his career, including the restoration of the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, and the building of rural schools in Thailand.

 
 
 
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Glen bloom: director

Glen was a lawyer practicing intellectual property law and litigation with the firm of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and its predecessor in Ottawa for more than 36 years, and retired at the end of 2016. He has supported the visual arts for many years, has served as chair of the Ottawa School of Art, vice chair of the Ottawa Arts Court Foundation, chair of the Ottawa Art Gallery, and member of the advisory board of the Carleton University Art Gallery. He is currently vice chair of the advisory board of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen's University and a member of the board of directors of the Hnatysyn Foundation, and since 2013 has been a member of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.

 
 
 
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Johanna Mizgala: Director

Johanna is curator of the House of Commons heritage collection. She is a curator, educator and art critic who has lectured and published extensively on contemporary and photo-based art, and is committed to dialogue and interpretation of art and photography to a wide diversity of audiences. Johanna has more than 25 years experience in arts, heritage and culture advocacy, and substantial experience in building relationships with artists, art dealers, curators, collectors and donors, through programming, exhibitions and research for artist-run centres, museums and archives.

 
 
 

Peter Simpson: Director

Peter has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist, including 15 years as the Ottawa Citizen’s arts editor and visual arts critic. He was founder and curator of the annual fundraiser Portraits of Bluesfest, and cofounder of Men Who Care Ottawa. He recently served as the 2016 Irving Chair of Journalism at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, N.B., and is an investor in and marketing director for Flora Hall Brewing in Ottawa. He lives downtown with his wife, the journalist Jennifer Campbell, their two cats, Dief and Baker, and more than 100 pieces by artists from across Canada.

 
 
 
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Joanne Rycaj Guillemette: Director

Joanne has worked in the private and public arts and cultural sectors, including the CMCP, Ottawa Art Gallery and Gallery 101, providing administrative and strategic support and guidance and artistic direction. She has worked in photography conservation for Library and Archives Canada, most recently as curator and photography archivist, and currently as Indigenous portfolio archivist in private archives acquisitions. Joanne stewarded the steering committee for the Ottawa 2017 Arts, Culture and Heritage Investment Program.

She received her MA degree in photographic preservation and collections management, and her studies include a BFA, specialization in photography and arts administration. More than 20 years of experience in the photographic field include her artistic practice, exhibitions and curation, workshops and commercial work. Joanne is a volunteer and advocate for the artistic and cultural community, and currently sits as chair of the Ottawa Arts Council’s arts awards.

 
 
 
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sandra leduc: director

Sandra is Senior Counsel with the Department of Justice Canada, where she has worked on human rights, Aboriginal and constitutional law since 2002. She has been a member of multiple Canadian delegations to negotiate international instruments relating to Indigenous issues. She has also worked abroad for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in India, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Netherlands, the Canadian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, and the Canadian Representative Office to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, the West Bank. Having lived on four continents, Sandra is passionate about photography, flying and climbing. She is the third Canadian woman to have summited both versions of the Seven Summits – the highest mountain on every continent, including Mount Everest in 2012. She previously served on the board of directors of the Ottawa Flying Club.

 
 
 
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Erin koenig: Secretary and director

A Canadian diplomat, Erin has lived and worked in Latin America, Europe and Africa, most recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Before joining the Foreign Service, she served as a consultant with UNESCO’s Human Rights Section in Paris, an international electoral observer in Mexico and El Salvador, a peace and reconciliation educator in the Republic of Ireland, and an exhibit researcher with Museums & Collections Services at the University of Alberta. Erin has been published in several national publications, as well as on behalf of Amnesty International, Global Affairs Canada, CBC and the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees. She is an amateur photographer and been recognized for her photographic work by the University of London and the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers. She lives in Ottawa with her husband, Will, and their two young children.

 
 
 
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jonathan hobin: creative director, ex-officio

Jonathan is an award-winning and internationally noted photo-based artist from Canada. His work draws from iconic literary, cinematic and historical references and popular culture to explore the darker aspects of childhood, storytelling and politics. Considered a controversial figure and “one of Canada’s most polarizing visual artists” (CBC’s Q), Hobin’s work is exhibited internationally and has been the subject of lectures at prestigious institutions, including the National Photography Museum of Finland, and Oxford University. Features on Jonathan’s work have appeared on CNN, BBC and CBC, in in art publications including Art Das Kunstmagazin (Germany), Beaux Arts (France), and the Photographers Companion (China).