The Foster Festival Board of Directors
The Foster Festival is honoured to be supported by highly qualified and engaged Board of Directors – and we thank each of them for their commitment to bringing humour to the heart of Niagara!
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Board Officers | 2018 Season
Chair | Glen McCann
Glen McCann is a Lawyer and Partner at Sullivan Mahoney LLP. Glen practices out of the Niagara Falls office. Glen’s practice specialties are corporate and commercial law and taxation. He has extensive experience in advising clients on planning and implementing complex transactions, including estate and tax plans. He also represents clients in dealings with Canada Revenue Agency and in tax matters in the courts. Glen teaches at Brock University and is a regular lecturer to professionals in his areas of expertise. In his private life, Glen is a frequent actor in local stage productions.
Co-Vice-Chair | Janis Barlow
Established in 1981, Janis A. Barlow & Associates is one of North America’s most respected arts consulting firms. Janis established her arts consulting practice in Ontario in 1981 after a decade of work in Ontario theatres. Her post-secondary education includes honours degrees in drama and sociology and studies in architectural technology. Throughout the 1980s, she was best known as the Ontario Government's project manager for the $30 million rehabilitation of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres in Toronto.
Since 1990, she has undertaken feasibility studies and management plans for dozens of projects throughout the United States and Canada. She was one of the first arts consultants in Canada to adapt successful corporate strategic planning workshop methods to the distinctive needs of non-profit art organizations. She has facilitated hundreds of planning workshops for artist-run organizations, emerging community arts boards, arts councils, professional theatres and associations.
Janis has served on the board of the Toronto Theatre Alliance, the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre (an international UNESCO project), Carousel Players (a Niagara-based theatre for young audiences) and the League of Historic American Theatres. She has lectured in Arts Administration at Brock University and is a founding member of Those Women: Consultants to the Arts and Arts Consultants Canada.
Treasurer | Lisa Matheson
Lisa Matheson is a partner in CMSIntelligence Inc., a digital marketing consulting agency with a game-changing website management software (Tymbrel.com). Lisa brings over 25 years of organizational consulting expertise to the Foster Festival, layered with experience on multiple not-for-profit boards, including as past president of the Niagara Artists Center, and neXt Company Theatre.
Secretary | Deborah Slade
Deborah is the former director of the Brock University Centre for the Arts. Deborah joined the Centre for the Arts in 1984 and became its director in 1987. Deborah turned the Centre for the Arts into a cultural institution after she replaced former director John Noland in 1987. The season expanded from mostly Brock theatre shows to concerts, ballet and comedy shows. Emerging Canadian artists like Sarah McLachlan, Jann Arden and Natalie MacMaster were booked. Over the years, Deborah programmed more than 1,400 shows for an estimated one million patrons.
For Deborah, booking Anne Murray was a personal highlight, and recalls the chill she felt watching one of her icons perform an intimate show at Brock in 2002.
Past Chair | Rosemary Drage Hale
After serving as Dean of the Faculty of Humanities from 2000-2010 and as Director of the Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies (2012-2015), Rosemary continues to be a dedicated arts advocate and remains a true believer in the building of a dynamic St. Catharines and Niagara. Rosemary and her partner, Nancy Sigafoos, recently moved downtown, into a century home with a real history, to be up close and personal with all the extraordinary changes happening downtown. Great neighbourhood; great neighbours. They enjoy walking to the market, to a wonderful array of cafes and restaurants, bookstores and shops, and now, to events at the new First Ontario Performing Arts Centre. Along with her volunteer work, Rosemary is a writer. She is currently working on a historical fiction novel that takes place in the medieval German city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber in 1348, a time of plagues and famine throughout Europe.