The Thunder Bay Art Gallery Board of Directors has 17 members. 13 are elected from the membership, 2 positions are filled by Indigenous Elders, and 2 are appointed by organizations in our community. The Board works to uphold the mandate, implement the Strategic Plan, and make the vision of the Gallery a reality. The Board of Directors meets monthly at the gallery.
Christine joined the Art Gallery Board in 2018. Christine served in senior leadership positions until retiring in 2015 from Confederation College where she was Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Organizational Development. Christine brings her passion for excellence in leadership to the Board and her expertise in organizational planning will help guide the Gallery in the coming years.
CO VICE CHAIR
Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Lesley returned to the city in 2012 after a successful career as a public library administrator in Southern Ontario. Lesley’s most recent position was as CEO of the Belleville Public Library and John M. Parrott Art Gallery. Before Belleville, she had a 20 year career in the Toronto Public Library system, where she managed programs, collections and services at the Toronto Reference Library. Lesley is an active community volunteer with longstanding membership on the TVOntario Regional Councillors Advisory Board, the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Northwestern Grant Review Team and Thunder Bay Community Foundation.
CO VICE CHAIR
Tammy Squitti joined the Art Gallery Board in 2021. Tammy worked in the field of human services for over 30 years as well as 16 years with various boards, restorative justice healing circles, Indigenous organizations, and leadership activities. She is currently working with the Thunder Bay Police Service coordinating mental health and disability management and with the First Nations and Inuit Branch of Indigenous Services Canada providing mental health counselling.
Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Gavin is a member in good standing of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario. He has spent the past 15 years in private practice and is currently President of Halstone Corporate Services, a firm specializing in providing financial reporting services to publicly-traded and private enterprises. Gavin is currently Chair of the Board for Northern Hearts, and a past Board member/Treasurer of the Brain Injury Association of Thunder Bay, and Port Arthur Rotary Club. Gavin’s primary interest these days lies in spending time with his young family and enjoying the cultural and recreational beauty that abounds in this terrific city.
Brenda Mason’s Anishinabe name is Imprint Hanging Standing Woman. She belongs to the Red Sucker–Fish Clan is Oji/Cree and speaks her language. Brenda is a proud grandmother and belongs to a large family. Her home today is in Thunder Bay, and she feels she belongs to this community. Brenda has been working in the Mental Health field for 30 years providing Traditional Culture and Spiritual Services with the Mental Health Outpatient Program at St. Joseph’s Health Centre.
Dr. John Akweniiostha Hodson (York University) is of Mohawk descent, turtle clan, and director of the Maamaawisiiwin Education Research Centre in Thunder Bay. For more than 20 years, Dr. Hodson has worked in Indigenous education and has published widely on the subject. Dr. Hodson is also an accomplished Indigenous artist working in various media, including birch bark, porcupine quills, leather and bead work.
Patricia Lang is a nationally recognized post-secondary education leader who has worked in progressively responsible positions for forty years at five colleges in Quebec and Ontario. As a creative, innovative and visionary leader committed to student success, academic quality and integrity she has a strong track record of building community capacity and deepening an understanding of Canadian/Aboriginal relationships. She has expertise in policy governance, strategic planning and advocacy. Pat retired in 2011 after eleven years as President of Confederation College.
Mitchell brings 12 years’ experience in civil engineering and infrastructure development to the Gallery Board. Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Mitchell has spent his career focusing on civil design, construction, and maintenance. Mitchell is passionate about the outdoors, Northern Ontario, and our community. He is excited to be involved with the New Waterfront Gallery project and looks forward to the positive impact the project will have on city residents.
A board member at the Art Gallery since 2015, Martin has participated in the arts in Thunder Bay in many capacities. He is the president of the North of Superior Film Association. Almost always carrying a camera, Martin is a regular contributor to The Walleye. Martin was the Communications Officer at Fort William Historical Park until his retirement in 2015. He received a Certificate of Appreciation in 2010 from the Ontario Public Service and a Thunder Bay Achievement Award for outstanding community service.
Mark has enjoyed a rich career in the visual arts as an educator and artist. He served as Chair of the Department of Visual Arts at Lakehead University until his retirement in 2015. He helped to develop the vibrant visual arts program that now attracts more than half its students from outside Thunder Bay. A talented printmaker who earned his MFA from the prestigious Pratt Institute in New York, Mark has participated in dozens of group and solo exhibitions.
As a former development professional in the arts and cultural sector (opera, symphony and visual arts) and a post-secondary instructor and program director of arts management in several universities and colleges, Shelley brings a wealth of experience and passion to her volunteer work as board member and capital campaign chair at the gallery. She is the current president of the Port Arthur Rotary club where she devotes time to community projects that support local charitable organizations.
Beverly Sabourin has had a distinguished professional, entrepreneurial, and volunteer career that has spanned more than 50 years and included time as a human rights advocate, professional counsellor, senior educational administrator, and more. Raised by her mother and grandparents in the Ojibwe community of Pic Mobert, Beverly later went on to acquire degrees in sociology (Lakehead University) and social work (McGill University), and a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (University of Windsor). She has made many outstanding contributions to the social, cultural, and educational advancement of her people and to the communities in which she has lived.
Kevin Cleghorn is a lifelong resident of Thunder Bay who currently is engaged in a general family law and mediation/adjudication practice. Kevin is a Lecturer in Lakehead University’s Faculty of Law and is very active in the community as a volunteer board member and sports enthusiast.
Dr. Larry Watral is a general dentist and has been practicing in Thunder Bay for over 33 years. He is an active member of the Professional Staff, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and is a part time Oral Health Demonstrator in the Dental Hygiene and Assistants program at Confederation College. He has extensive leadership and board governance experience with the Thunder Bay and Ontario Dental Association and was awarded the Ontario Volunteer Service Award for 25 years of community service in 2013. Dr. Watral joined the Art Gallery Board in 2021.
Bruce is the Indigenous Language Professor at Confederation College. A member of the Muskrat Dam First Nation, Bruce is bilingual in English and Anishininiimowin (Severn Ojibwe). Bruce is committed to the revitalization of his native language and what it can contribute to strengthening the values of Anishinaabe culture. Before joining the College, he was the Coordinator for Aboriginal Education in the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University. He is also an alumni of Lakehead University. As the appointed representative from Confederation College, Bruce holds traditional knowledge which enriches the cross-cultural connections within the Art Gallery Board.
Sam Shahsahabi was born in Iran. He obtained his BFA from Azad University in Tehran in public painting. In the mid-1990s, Sam’s satirical cartoons were exhibited in the prestigious international caricature exhibitions such as Nasredin Hodja and Yumiyury Shimbun. He also worked as a freelance graphic designer and cartoonist for numerous Iranian Magazines. After completing an MFA at York University (Toronto) in 2002, he moved to Elliot Lake, Ontario to teach at White Mountain Academy Of The Arts. Meanwhile he also served as the Director and Curator of the James K. Bartleman Art Gallery at White Mountain Academy. Sam is currently an associate professor at Lakehead University where he has taught painting and creative drawing since 2009. Shahsahabi also specializes in public art, interactive assemblage, kinetic and upcycled mechanical installation.
Honourary Presidents – John & Annette Augustine
Mark Clara 2018-19
Heidi Uhlig 2010-18
Heather Decker 2008-10
Christine Bates 2006-08
Laurie Hill 2004-06
Dorothy Piccinin 2002-04
Bruce Stonehouse 2000-02
Gloria Cyr 1997-2000
C. “Butch” Petrone 1996-97
Margaret R. Page 1993-96
Lil Bergamo 1991-92
Christopher Morden 1990-91
Pauline P.A. Tomlinson 1988-90
Marie Clarke 1986-88
John R. Bick 1984-86
Annette H. Augustine 1983-84
Roy H. Piovesana 1979-83
David Delgaty 1978-79
Kenneth Morrison 1976-78
John R. Augustine 1975-76