Members of Council
Todd Babiak is an entrepreneur and best-selling author. He is co-founder of Story Engine, a strategy company based in Edmonton and Vancouver, and sits on the boards of
Alliance Française and Startup Edmonton. Todd's interests include projects that build community and link business and the arts.
Grant Berg has been in the broadcast industry for 26 years. Based in the Grande Prairie area for the past 23 years Grant is also a sculptor juried into the
Alberta Society of Artists and a member of the former Premier's Council on Arts and Culture. He was chairman of the board of the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie from 2010-2012
and currently sits on the board of the Sexsmith Museum Society and the Sexsmith Municipal Historical Advisory Board. Grant's areas of cultural interest range from the arts,
heritage, music and Métis culture to sport and recreation.
Helen Calahasen is CEO of the Dreamspeakers Festival Society and is based out of Sherwood Park. Helen has extensive interest and experience in the arts,
nonprofit sectors, fundraising, Aboriginal and Métis cultures and women's issues.
Tom Cox is the president of SEVEN24 Films, based out of Calgary. He is also a board member of the Canadian Media Production Association, the Alberta Media
Production Industries Association, Calgary's Theatre Junction and a member of the Alberta Film Advisory Council. His interests span cultural and creative industries and
the film and television sector in Alberta in particular.
Christopher Davis is a Calgary lawyer, with a specialization in municipal and land development issues. He is very active within the culture of his
community through current participation in such organizations as the Urban Development Institute (Calgary), the Bridge Attainable Housing Society, the Western Sky Land
Trust, the Glencoe Club and the Calgary West Rotary Club. He is a current sponsor of both One Yellow Rabbit's High Performance Rodeo and of the Calgary Critics' Awards.
His past arts associations have included board membership on both the Calgary Region Arts Foundation and the Lunchbox Theatre Society. He is an avid visual art collector.
Daniel Doz is the President and CEO of the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary. He also serves on the boards of the Calgary Arts Development
Authority and the Calgary International Film Festival. Daniel is interested in elements of accessibility, entrepreneurship and leadership within culture.
Casey Edmunds is a multidisciplinary artist (dance, vocal) from Edmonton. He sings with Pro Coro Canada and dances with Vinok Worldance Co. He is also the current president
of the RAFA (Alberta's Francophone Arts association). He is interested in issues affecting Alberta's Francophone community, the nonprofit sector and youth within culture.
Michael Feehan is a founder and director of The Creative Clubhouse, a nonprofit Edmonton arts organization, as well as an artist who writes and performs music. Michael's
current areas of interest include accessibility and entrepreneurialism within culture and partnership building between different cultural groups, such as corporate and youth.
Barry Finkelman is Executive Director of the Medicine Hat Clay Industries National Historic District (Historic Clay District), which includes the Medalta Potteries National
Historic Site and he is currently President of the Alberta Museums Association. His interests include cultural policy, entrepreneurialism, heritage resources and the arts.
Sam Jenkins is a software development entrepreneur and a co-founder of Startup Edmonton. He is currently president and chair of the board for Fringe Theatre Adventures, the
presenter of the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, a board member of the University of Alberta School of Business Alumni Association, as well as a past board member for artsScene
Edmonton and TEDxEdmonton. Sam is particularly interested in access to culture for Albertans and innovative partnership opportunities between cultural organizations and the corporate sector.
W.R. (Bob) McPhee, C.M. is the General Director and CEO of Calgary Opera. He has been an active participant on a number of arts related and nonprofit boards. He is a past board member of
Edmonton Economic Development, past founding Director of Calgary Arts Development Authority and currently a member of the Board of Directors for Opera America, the association of opera companies
throughout Canada and the U.S.A. With over 25 years in the sector, Bob has expertise in artistic and administrative leadership, and major arts organization management.
Jean-Claude Munyezamu has been involved with a number of Calgary community, nonprofit and volunteer organizations, including Inn from the Cold and the Mustard Seed Street
Ministry, and is the founder of Soccer Without Boundaries. He has a passion for identifying ways to help new Albertans become active members of their community, and working with multicultural
youth groups in particular. In 2012 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for community involvement.
Russell Thomas is Director of Communications and Community Impact with the United Way of Fort McMurray. He recently completed a one-year secondment from Keyano College to
Arts Council Wood Buffalo. A former regional councillor in Wood Buffalo, Russell is a visual artist, actor, blogger and freelance writer. He has a passion for community building, promoting
the arts and developing new models of partnerships for social profit organizations. Russell is also a partner with his wife Heather in Birdsong Connections Inc.
Jason Valleau is a musician, member of the Polyjesters and owner of the Café Radio in Carstairs as well as venue manager, producer and director of the Mountain View Music
Fest and Carstairs City Limits concert series. He is also an active band clinician at school band camps. Jason has a particular interest in cultural community building in a rural setting, working
on projects such as Carstairs 20/20. Jason was also a member of the former Premier's Council on Arts and Culture.
Katherine van Kooy Kooy is the President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations. She is a strong advocate for the nonprofit sector and helped to establish
the Alberta Nonprofit/Voluntary Sector Initiative and the Alberta Nonprofit Workforce Council. She has provided
leadership in addressing issues important to the sector at provincial, national and municipal levels.
Linda Weigl is President of Weigl Publishers Group, a group of companies that create inspired learning materials, both print and digital for Kindergarten to grade 8, teachers
and students. She is passionate about promoting literacy both in Alberta and internationally. Linda's interests and expertise include the creative and cultural industries sector, partnership
building and entrepreneurship.
Ex officio council members
Frederick Bradley, Board Chair, Alberta Historical Resources Foundation
Fred Bradley is Board Chair of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation. Mr. Bradley served as a member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly from 1975 to 1993. During that time he held a number of posts including Minister of Environment, Chair of the Alberta Research Council and represented Alberta’s equity interest on the Syncrude Canada Board of Directors. After leaving elected office, Mr. Bradley has been engaged as an international democracy and governance consultant in the former Soviet Union and pursued other private business interests. Mr. Bradley resides in the Crowsnest Pass, where he has been active in many community and heritage organizations, including Crowsnest Historical Society, Municipal Historic Resources Board, and Community Futures Crowsnest Pass.
Last reviewed/revised: November 26, 2015
Joan Udell, Board Chair, Alberta Foundation for the Arts
Ms. Udell is Chair of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and joins the Premier’s Council as an ex-officio member. Joan Udell is a retired high school teacher, experienced volunteer and a staple in Hinton’s arts community. Ms. Udell has served on the Alberta Foundation for the Arts’ Board of Directors since 2009, performing admirably as the Chair of the Grants Committee in the ongoing grant stream program review. Ms. Udell’s commitment to her community and the arts is evident in her volunteering history in the Rotary Club of Hinton and the Yellowhead Rotary Arts Festival, as well as her service on the Hinton Council for Arts and Culture.