Board Members

Ed Chwyl, Honorary Governor (non-voting), has over forty years of business experience, primarily in the energy industry in Calgary and currently serves on the Board of three companies. The Chwyl family have been residents of Victoria since 2001 when Ed retired after a long career in the Calgary oil patch. Their two children have benefited from music lessons, theory and history, and the Collegium program at the Conservatory. Ed previously served as a Vice-President of the Board (2005/06) and is a graduate engineer (University of Alberta, MSc 1968). Ed has served as Chairman of the Calgary YMCA, Chairman of the Petroleum Society, plus various other volunteer positions with Not for Profit organizations in western Canada.

Hon. Roy Cullen, Honorary Governor (non-voting), earned his B.A. in Business Administration, and a Master of Public Administration. He qualified as a Canadian Chartered Accountant in 1972. Initially elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa in a by-election in 1996, he was re-elected in the 1997, 2000, 2004, and the 2006 general elections. He retired from the Canadian House of Commons in 2008. As a member of the Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s government, and later under Prime Minister Paul Martin, Mr. Cullen served as chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, as parliamentary secretary to the minister of finance, as parliamentary secretary to the deputy prime minister and the minister for public safety and emergency preparedness; and as chair of the Ontario Liberal caucus. In 2006 he was sworn-in as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada.

Gary Karr, Honorary Governor (non-voting), is acclaimed as “the world’s leading solo bassist” (Time Magazine) and the first solo doublebassist in history to make that pursuit a full-time career. Since his debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in 1962, Karr has performed as soloist on six continents with orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and with all the major orchestras of Australia. One of Karr’s proudest achievements is the Bronze Medal he received from the Rosa Ponselle Foundation which recognizes him as an outstanding lyrical musician. Gary is the proud holder of the 1997 Artist/Teacher of the Year Award from the American String Teacher’s Association (ASTA). He also holds the Distinguished Achievement Award (1995) from the International Society of Bassists (ISB).

Shannon von Kaldenberg, Chair, is a highly respected and regarded advancement professional with extensive experience in fundraising, strategic planning and people management. She has twenty five years of senior management experience, successfully leading small and large staff and volunteer teams.  Her diverse career incorporates the education, social service, health care, consulting and the corporate sectors.  Shannon has been Chief Philanthropy Officer at the Heart and Stroke Foundation since 2010, and previous roles include Associate Vice-President Alumni and Development and Chief Development Officer, UVic, Assistant Dean External Relations, UBC Sauder School of Business, University Director of Development, UBC, President of the Vancouver Hospital Foundation and Vice President of Development and Communications, United Way of the Lower Mainland. She is a frequent speaker and lecturer with the Association of Fundraising Professionals where she also served on the Board and as Chair, and was a VCM Board member and Chair of the Development Committee from 2008-2010.

Gareth Dickson, Vice Chair, was born and raised in BC, and has lived, worked, and gone to school within the Victoria community for most of his life.  With just enough travel abroad and living elsewhere in Canada to reinforce his love of Victoria and his desire to stay here, he served Victoria for 10 years as the owner and operator of a successful construction contracting business.  Gareth is now an Investment Advisor and Associate Portfolio Manager with BC-based investment firm Odlum Brown Limited and holds the Certified Financial Planner designation.  Gareth focuses on planning for sustainability in his work with individual, corporate, and foundation clients to safeguard their financial futures.

Shelley Williams, Secretary, is a retired lawyer and advancement professional. After practicing law for 17 years she retired to raise her family, returning to work in in the advancement department of an independent school in West Vancouver. Before moving to Victoria, Shelley sat on the boards of the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation, BC Diving, North Shore Dolphins Dive Club and Collingwood School, and was a volunteer with numerous charities. She brings to the VCM over 30 years of experience in not for profit fundraising campaigns and events, alumni relations, and communications and marketing. A life-long music lover, she studied piano and violin for many years and played in a university orchestra.

Brock Campbell is a Partner at The Graphite Group Chartered Professional Accountants. With over 15 years of experience in public accounting, he focuses on tax preparation and planning for individuals, estates and corporations in addition to assurance services and financial statement preparation. A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Brock was a professional classical musician holding Principal Tuba positions with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony (USA) and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. An advocate of life-long education, he has degrees in music from the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta. He was an instructor of accounting at Camosun College and is a taxation technical reviewer for pre-certification programs at the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. In his spare time Brock enjoys golfing and is training to obtain his private pilot license.

Richard Fisher is Owner and Planning Director of Trapeze Communications. His skills as Agency Director, chief strategist and concerned listener make him a popular guy. Over his career, Richard has successfully guided brands in many categories including government/public sector, travel and tourism, education, high tech, and manufacturing. He has a genuine passion for all things marketing and keeps Clients abreast of trends to help their businesses stay competitive and current. Richard is also an experienced market research facilitator, and skillfully draws out the nuggets of insight Clients need to know about their brand and customers.

Geraldine Hinton‘s focus, following graduation in 1961 as a nurse clinician, was geriatric practice, and the teaching and mentoring of nursing students in the care of older persons. As a volunteer with St John Ambulance, in 1976, she developed a revolutionary health care program for seniors living in the downtown core of Vancouver who were facing loneliness and poverty. It spread throughout communities in BC and became a National Program for St John Ambulance with funding from the McConnell Foundation.With her leadership skills and experience she was chosen in 1992 as the Co-Chair of the “Acute to Community Shift” in the BC Government Response Office for the Seaton Royal Commission on Health Care and Costs, and in 1994 as the Executive Director of the BC Government’s Office for Seniors; there, she led the initiative for the 1999 United Nations International Year of the Older Person in BC. While in her role with the Office for Seniors, Geri represented the provinces as the Co-Chair for the F/P/T National Committee for the Ministers’ Responsible for Seniors that developed a National Framework for Aging Policy and a Strategic Plan for Later Life that recognized the demographics of a growing and diverse population. She was instrumental in a partnership in 2000 with the Ministry of Housing to develop the first policy framework on Supportive Housing for Seniors in BC which has been adopted by several provinces. Geri has been recognized for her contributions: in 2002 she was awarded the YM/YWCA Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2008 she received the University of Victoria, School of Nursing Alumnae Award of Excellence. She received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. In 2003 Geri was promoted to Dame of Grace in the Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem recognizing her lifetime commitment to St John Ambulance Association.

Alison McCluskey is a Chartered Professional Accountant with considerable experience in the not-for-profit sector, both as an employee and as a board/committee member. Most recently, Alison was the Director of Finance at the Victoria Foundation and previously was the Director of Finance at Habitat for Humanity Victoria. Earlier in her career, Alison was a Senior Manager in a National CPA firm both in Vancouver and Victoria. Alison has been drawn to the not-for-profit sector from early in her career and through her employment and volunteer work, has experience with a wide variety or organizations, from small local grassroot not-for-profits to large, mature charities and foundations. Alison has served on the Boards of several organizations which include Story Studio Writing Society, South Island Division of Family Practice, Coastline Music Society and Victoria Youth Empowerment Society. Alison was born and raised in Saskatoon, but has lived in Victoria for almost 20 years, and now calls Victoria home. She is passionate about the importance of the Arts in our community and music plays a significant role in Alison’s family life. Both of Alison’s daughters are accomplished musicians and have worked with Daniel Lapp for many years as part of the BC Fiddle Orchestra through the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

Michael McEvoy was appointed Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC on March 5, 2018. He previously held the position of Deputy Commissioner to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. As Deputy Commissioner, Mr. McEvoy played a key senior leadership role in the enforcement of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).  He was responsible for leading and managing systemic investigations of significant public interest issues, and the development of policy papers and guidance for organizations and public bodies. Mr. McEvoy led British Columbia’s efforts to coordinate actions with regulatory authorities throughout the Asia Pacific region. Mr. McEvoy obtained a Juris Doctorate from the University of Manitoba in 1985 and a Bachelor of Arts in 1980 from the University of Winnipeg. He has been a member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 1986. Mr. McEvoy was a public school trustee for 12 years, including two terms as President of the British Columbia School Trustees’ Association and one term as President of the Canadian School Boards’ Association. He has also served on numerous campaign committees of the Greater Victoria United Way, chairing its 2009 campaign. Mr. McEvoy is married with two grown daughters. He prides himself as a charter member and elite player with the Victoria Grey Leafs’ old-timer hockey team.

Kirk McNally is a recording engineer, music producer and sound artist living in Victoria, British Columbia on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples, now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. He received his Master’s of Music in Sound Recording from McGill University. As a recording engineer he has held positions at the Tanglewood Music Centre (Lenox, MA), Reaction Studios (Toronto, ON), and the Warehouse Studio (Vancouver, BC), working with artists including, The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bryan Adams and REM. Kirk is the assistant professor of Music Technology for the School of Music at the University of Victoria, where he is the program administrator for the school’s undergraduate combined major program in music and computer science and the graduate program in music technology. His research and creative work has been supported by the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD), the Canada Council for the Arts, the University of Victoria’s Learning and Teaching Centre, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Bijan Neyestani holds undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Engineering and a post-graduate degree in Business Administration. As co-founder and President of Alpha Project Developments Ltd. (APD); a Victoria-based real estate development  firm, he brings over 35 years of experience in real estate development and construction management in British Columbia. Since APD’s inception in 2002, Bijan has overseen the successful completion and sale of numerous development projects on Southern Vancouver Island. At APD, he has developed a broad base of experience in all areas, including acquisition, civic approvals, finance, construction and marketing. Bijan has lived and raised a family in Victoria since 1976. Both his children have attended classes at VCM. Currently, he is serving on the board of the Urban Development Institute, Capital Region and a number of private companies.

EX-OFFICIO

Nathan Medd, CEO (non-voting)
Nathan Medd began in community arts in the mid-Island as a child before attending UVic for theatre and English literature, earning a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019, and later attending Harvard University for a Master’s degree focused on nonprofit management. A producer and community builder in the non-profit arts, he served six years in a senior programming role at the National Arts Centre and has worked with several organizations familiar to the local community, including the Belfry Theatre, the BC Arts Council, and Intrepid Theatre where he helped establish the Metro Studio Theatre in 2006 through a novel, collaborative arrangement with the VCM. He recently concluded a four-year appointment as managing director of performing arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, the globally recognized artist training centre where he oversaw pedagogy, residencies, and new works across genres of music, theatre, dance, and opera.

Stephen Green, Dean (non-voting)
Previous to joining the VCM, Stephen held the position of Executive Director and Chief Academic Officer for the Children’s Music Foundation International in Canada whose mission is to support the development and implementation of music education systems and programming for school children around the world. Stephen previously served as Associate Dean, Executive Director and  Dean of the Royal Conservatory School at the RCM in Toronto for 11 years, leading the school of over 5,000 students, 240 faculty, and an annual operating budget of over $5MM through years of growth in areas including outreach to at-risk youth, and program expansion to satellite locations.  Stephen holds a Mus. Bac in Conducting (UofT) and an M.A. and Performance Diploma in Music Direction (U. Mozarteum, Salzburg), has served as Opera Chorus Director and Conductor for 5 years in Salzburg, Austria, and is an accomplished pianist and Music Educator.

Kelsey Gilker – Staff Representative (non-voting)
Kelsey Gilker is an arts administrator, graphic designer and actor living in Victoria, British Columbia. Prior to moving to Victoria, Kelsey worked as Marketing & Membership Coordinator for the Kamloops Arts Council. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Thompson Rivers University and worked professionally across the country at Thousand Islands Playhouse, Theatre Calgary and Western Canada Theatre. Kelsey has been with the VCM since November 2017, first at Reception & Registration before moving into her current position of Executive Assistant & Assistant to the Registrar. When not at the VCM, Kelsey works freelance as a graphic designer and enjoys all things arts and culture.