Meet the PAL Ottawa Board of Directors

Peter Haworth (Chair)

Peter has been an actor, director, teacher, and dramaturge for over forty years. He has acted in theatres across the country, as well as in film and television. Peter was the project manager for a theatre in Toronto called ShakespeareWorks, working with RH Thompson, Rosemary Dunsmore and Christopher Newton. He has also served as Artistic Producer for the Actors Repertory Company.

Why PAL Ottawa?

Living in Toronto, I had friends living in PAL Toronto, and saw the great value it brought to artists’ lives. I look forward to seeing this dream come true in Ottawa. I am honoured to be serving as Chair to this extraordinary team of talented and experienced board members who are dedicated to the lives of senior arts workers.

Leah Cogan (Vice Chair)

Over the last decade, Leah has worked as a contract facilitator and program developer in Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax and Boston, creating and leading initiatives that have used private and public sector partnerships with multiple stakeholders to create art, promote social equity and build community. Her local work includes MAX Ottawa, Centretown United Church, and the Ottawa Children’s Theatre. Since graduating from Brown University, she has trained in asset-based community development with the Tamarack Institute to further explore how communities empowered through relationship, knowledge sharing and innovative partnership can do the hard work of reconciliation, succeed in collaborative leadership, and develop on the neighborhood as well as municipal level. In her performance coaching practice she works with individuals and small groups to hone these same foundational skills, exploring how embodied communication and collaborative leadership can bring about more authentic connection and change. Leah also works as an actor, musician, arts administrator and producer, and mother of three beautiful humans.

Why PAL Ottawa?

As PAL enters this next exciting phase, the culture that is established around the community and organization becomes ever more important, as we strive to hold on to the founding vision of genuine care, empowerment and celebration of our local artists. As an artist myself I know how critical it is that this communal effort succeed, and how transformative this place of respite and gesture of appreciation will be for our artists; a space where they can continue to contribute in meaningful ways to the arts, to their communities, and to this city that values them.

Shormila Chatterjee (Secretary)

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. 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 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 (Treasurer)

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 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

Retired in 2017 after 10 years as the Manager of Housing Services for the City of Ottawa and 20 years with the Royal Ottawa Hospital in a variety of roles, – 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 in order 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 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 PAL Ottawa?

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

Hali Krawchuk

Music has always played an important role in Hali Krawchuk’s life from her early roots in the Ukrainian choral community in Winnipeg to her current job as Coordinator of Cultural Activities at the School of Music, University of Ottawa, where she has worked for over twenty years.  She enjoys immersing herself in the local music scene, attending many concerts, festivals and other music-related and arts events. At the uOttawa School of Music, she publicizes and coordinates the logistics of all public events, along with managing the recruitment and community outreach activities of the School.  Hali first obtained a BA in French Language and Linguistics from the University of Manitoba.  Not long after moving to Ottawa, she returned to university in the early 1990s, where she earned an Honours BA in music and an arts administration certificate at the University of Ottawa.

Why PAL Ottawa?

Recognizing the important contribution of the arts in my life and the lives of others, I enjoy my ‘day-job’ at uOttawa of supporting the education of emerging musical artists and am similarly passionate as a volunteer to make a difference in the lives of aging and in-need arts workers through the important work of PAL Ottawa.

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 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.

Anne Maheux

Anne Maheux 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 Masters 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 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.

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 enterainment 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 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 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.

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 in a position 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 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.