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where senior artists are considered. connected. community.

We Care for Local Artists and Arts Workers

Our Mission

To provide seniors in the National Capital Region who work(ed) in the arts sector with affordable housing and personal support in a creative, caring community.

PAL Ottawa is a volunteer-driven, non-profit, charitable organization that provides affordable housing, personal services and programs to foster the well-being of artists and art workers in the National Capital Region.

We care for artists so they can sustainably create art that enriches all our lives.

Since October 2012, PAL Ottawa has assisted senior arts workers with housing, essential personal care services, transportation, and provided arts and seniors’ programming and links to the local arts scene. We facilitate social connections and daily living through our innovative Supporting Cast Program.

The Genesis of PAL Ottawa—to provide affordable housing and a support system to arts workers in need, aged 55 and over.

Artists’ work delights us! We respond with applause, purchases, and awards or honours. We may assume that notoriety equates to ‘success’ therefore bringing financial security. It does not! Very few artists and arts workers achieve financial security, even fewer hold any form of sector- based pension.

Our Vision

Seniors residing in the National Capital Region who work(ed) in the arts sector are assured access to affordable housing and personal support in a creative, caring community – so they can continue to live, create and inspire.

PAL Ottawa

1 of 7 chapters Canada-wide

PAL Ottawa is one of seven, independent PAL chapters located in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Stratford, Ottawa, Toronto, and Halifax. This national network began in the late 1980’s with the creation of affordable Performing Arts Lodges (PAL) in Toronto, Vancouver, and Stratford. In Ottawa (2025), we open our doors to ALL artists and arts workers with PAL Place.

In 1515 AD the 20 year old Francis the 1st, King of France, invited 64 year old Leonardo DaVinci to come to France and spend his golden years in comfort. I am so proud PAL Ottawa will provide senior members of the Ottawa arts community with access to comfortable and dignified living environments!

Michael Harrington - Canadian Narrative-based Painter

PAL Ottawa Board of Directors

  • Leah Cogan

    Leah has worked as an actor, musician, facilitator and program developer in Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax and Boston, creating and leading initiatives that bring together multiple stakeholders to create art, promote social equity and build community. Since graduating from Brown University, she has trained in asset-based community development with the Tamarack Institute, and Movement for Trauma with Jane Clapp, to further explore how communities empowered through story and knowledge sharing can do the hard work of collaborative leadership, and transform their neighbourhoods. For the last several years, Leah has worked in communications, engagement and outreach within the affordable housing space, designing opportunities for stakeholders to come together to scale and advocate for community-led innovative housing solutions.

    Why join PAL Ottawa?

    As PAL enters this new phase of project development and the vision becomes reality, the culture that is established within and around the community becomes that much more critical. I am proud of how PAL continues to care for, empower and celebrate the artists in our city. And by focusing that care on contributing to the long-term affordability of life for our artists, we hope to see their natural leadership guide us to an even more vibrant, sustainable, and connected city.

  • The position of Vice Chair is currently waiting to filled.

    Please, stay tuned!

  • Shormila Chatterjee

    Shormila is a professional engineer and has worked on large-scale public infrastructure projects for most of her career, including the Confederation Line Stage 1 LRT in Ottawa. She has a passion for giving back to her industry and community and serves on the Organizing Committee for the Women’s Infrastructure Network (WIN) Ottawa Chapter, as well as participating with the Engineers in Residence program – a program that partners engineers with schools to educate students about the various types and applications of engineering. She has always loved the arts, and in her spare time enjoys going to the various festivals and concerts the city has to offer. She leverages her expertise in complex project management to benefit the PAL Ottawa Board.

    Why join PAL Ottawa?

    The importance of the arts in a community was instilled in me at a young age, and PAL Ottawa’s vision of supporting senior artists is something that resonates with me.

  • Don Gibbons

    Don is the Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary of FreeBalance Inc., a global Government Resource Planning software solution provider – now active in over 25 countries. He has been responsible for the financial, tax, legal and risk management operations of the company for over 20 years. As a professional accountant, he has helped companies grow through acquisitions, restructuring and creative financing solutions, including 10 years in corporate banking with CIBC. Don was a Board member and Treasurer of CUSO-VSO Canada for 4 years, assisting in the merger of the two organizations.

    Why join PAL Ottawa?

    Securing affordable housing in Ottawa is a very significant challenge. PAL’s focus on helping senior arts workers find independent living arrangements is a worthy and much needed undertaking.

  • Stephen Arbuckle

    Stephen retired in 2017, after 10 years as Manager of Housing Services for the City of Ottawa and 20 years with the Royal Ottawa Hospital – initially as a psychiatric social worker, later as the Social Work Leader and, finally, as the Administrative Director of General Psychiatry and Intensive Assessment. Over the years, no matter what positions Stephen held, it was always essential to engage the sector, community and government partners in the planning and implementation of projects and programs for them to be successful. This is also vital for PAL Ottawa as it works to create affordable housing and a community for arts workers.

    Why join PAL Ottawa?

    I joined the PAL Board as I believe affordable housing is much needed in Ottawa and that PAL Ottawa will not only provide affordable housing it will add a vibrance to the community in which it is located.

  • David Caulfeild

    David is licensed as an Architect and a Professional Engineer and has spent his career devoted to project management in both public and private sectors. David left Public Works Canada in 1998 as Chief Architect to take on the new Ottawa International Airport Expansion Program as Project Director. David has been self-employed since 2004. David served as Project Advisor to the Great Canadian Theatre Company for their new facility beginning in 2004. David has been a member of Board of Governors at Ashbury College for two nine-year terms beginning in 1980, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Perley Rideau Veterans Health Centre Foundation for a seven-year term beginning in 1999. Since 2008, David has been involved with various Parliamentary Precinct projects, including renovations to the Wellington Building, dispute resolutions on the West Block project, and strategic planning for the Senate that led to the Government Conference Centre. Now David prefers the semi-retired lifestyle coupled with travel.

    Why join PAL Ottawa?

    I was drawn to PAL Ottawa’s critical mission of support to artists in need of affordable accommodation.

  • Sandy Mackay-Smith

    Sandy is a retired corporate entertainment lawyer and former President of Invicta Capital Canada, a film and TV financing company. Prior to that, he practised as an entertainment lawyer and served as a Vice President and General Counsel of Nelvana (purchased by Corus Entertainment). While living in Montreal, Sandy was a former Chairman of the Centaur Theatre Company. He is now actively involved as a family member of Juniper Farm in Wakefield, a certified organic vegetable farm with an online farm store with a large variety of organic products serving Gatineau and Ottawa food and restaurant outlets. Sandy has been a PAL Ottawa Board Member since 2018.

    Why join PAL Ottawa?

    I decided to join PAL Ottawa because of my own interest in the arts and my family’s involvement in the entertainment industry. I therefore have some first-hand knowledge of how difficult it can become financially for senior arts workers.

  • Anne Maheux

    Anne is a fine art conservator, specializing in the conservation treatment of works on paper, from old master prints to oversize contemporary drawings. Her studies include an Honours BA in Art History and Studio Practice at the University of Guelph, a Masters in Art Conservation (MAC) at Queen’s University in Kingston and an advanced certificate in paper conservation from the Straus Center for Conservation at Harvard University.  Research into artists’ materials and practices, both historic and contemporary, have taken her to the American Academy in Rome (FAAR 1996), and the Getty Museum (guest scholar, 2018).  She enjoys mentoring emerging paper conservators, and has been an adjunct professor in the Master’s program at Queens University, Kingston. Anne has served in many volunteer capacities on boards and committees for conservation organizations and maintains a private conservation practice in Ottawa.

    Why join PAL Ottawa?

    As an ardent supporter of the arts, the PAL mandate to support artists in need is a critical and worthwhile cause to support in any way that I can.

  • Danielle Tremblay

    Danielle is an award-winning marketer with experience across a broad range of industries. Her career path spans from Toronto’s vibrant music, film, television and comedy scenes to rural First Nations communities before continuing in roles with national non-profits in Toronto and Ottawa.
    She has produced successful events for Buffy Ste Marie, Candy Palmater & Don Kelly, Bramwell Tovey & Marion Newman, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Loreena McKennitt, the Mariposa Folk Festival, the Juno Awards and many, many others.
    Danielle works in Ottawa as the Communications Manager at the Canadian Public Health Association.

    Why join PAL Ottawa?

    "I've seen first-hand the success of a PAL building and how it creates a safe space and welcoming community. I'm excited for Ottawa to join other Canadian cities in this important quest for affordable housing for older arts workers."

  • Marisa Victor

    Marisa Victor is an Ottawa-based lawyer and adjudicator. Marisa was called to the bar in 2006 and has primarily practiced civil litigation and administrative law. She has appeared as counsel at every level of court in Canada. Since 2016 she has also been a Vice-Chair at Tribunals Ontario serving concurrently on numerous tribunals. She is currently a Vice Chair of the Fire Safety Commission and a member of the Condominium Authority Tribunal. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Marisa was a professional actor and maintains her membership with ACTRA. She completed a BFA in Theatre (Acting) at York University and then an MA in Text & Performance at the University of London /Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (UK). Marisa has served on several not-for-profit and charity boards including at Nelson House (an emergency women’s shelter) and the Ottawa Fringe Festival. Marisa is functionally trilingual (Eng/Fr/Sp) and identifies as a Latinx woman.

    Why join PAL Ottawa?

    I am passionate about the arts and Ottawa. I look forward to being able to contribute my skills and experience so PAL Ottawa can fulfill its goals to support senior artists in affordable housing here in Ottawa.

  • David Whiteley

    An actor, director, musician, playwright and theatrical producer, David Whiteley has been active in Ottawa’s theatre community since moving here in 1998. He has served as Artistic Director of two theatre companies, spanning two decades: Mutatis Mutandis (2000-2010) and Plosive Productions (2011-present), the latter a founding Resident Company of The Gladstone Theatre. He spearheaded The Gladstone’s formation as a shared venue for independent theatre companies, serving as its volunteer Coordinator from 2011 until it was able to incorporate in late 2016, at which time her served as its founding Theatre Manager. He has performed across Canada and the USA, and is the author of several original plays, translations, and adaptations, including rhymed verse adaptations of plays by Molière and Rostand. He also serves as the Director of Operations for the St. Leonard’s Society of Canada, a federally incorporated registered charity.

    Why join PAL Ottawa?

    I am constantly exposed to the struggles of my fellow artists to make ends meet, which often leads to addressing present concerns at the expense of making headway for later years or retirement. PAL Ottawa meets this need, both through affordable housing but also its Supporting Cast program. I wanted to do what I can to support those much-needed contributions.

Advisory Committee

Lewis Auerbach, James Bradford (Founding Chair), Harvey Glatt, L.A. (Sandy) Smallwood, Natalie Stern, Brian Toller, Peter Haworth

Campaign Cabinet Committee

James Bradford, Meriel Beament-Bradford, Susannah Dalfen, Natalie Stern, Brian Toller, Christopher Minnes, Karen Colby-Stothart, Vicki Henry, George Anderson, Don Gibbons, John Bouza, Sandy Mackay-Smith, Cate Proctor

Supporting Cast Committee

Anne Maheux, David Globerman, Julie Hodgson

Business and Finance Committee

Don Gibbons, Shormila Chatterjee, Leah Cogan, Anne Maheux, Sandy Mackay-Smith, Cate Proctor

Nominating Committee

David Whiteley, Victoria Steele, Jim McNabb

Project Coordination Committee

Stephen Arbuckle, David Caulfield, Shormila Chatterjee, Don Gibbons, Cate Proctor, Leah Cogan, Natalie Stern

Home Committee

Anne Maheux, Karen Watson, Gwen Mackay-Smith, David Globerman, Marisa Victor, Meriel Beament-Bradford, Leah Cogan, Lynne Markell, Patty Begin

Governance Committee

Leah Cogan, Marisa Victor, Jane Needles

Events Committee

Danielle Tremblay (Chair)

Behind the Scenes

AKA Operations

Maddy O’Regan

Communications Lead

PAL Ottawa acknowledges the immense privilege and gratitude we have as we build and foster a cultural arts community on the unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Omàmìwininìwag (Algonquin) people. Located at 305 Rochester Street, PAL Place will be situated on the traditional land of the Algonquin people, providing support and care to seniors and elders within the local arts communities.

PAL Ottawa believes that the arts have the capacity to contribute to the healing and decolonizing journey we all share, by reflecting the dignity, beauty and strength of each human being. PAL Place, by design, will encourage this reflection in its residents, and inspire works of justice in support of our Indigenous friends within the community, lending voice and visibility to their fight for the restoration of their lands and cultures.

Annual Reports

Board Documents