Steering Committee

The Steering Committee advises CHRC on the Talent to Lead T2L program including linking mentors and mentees. It is comprised of cultural leaders from across the sector and the country.


Richard Hornsby (Chair)

Richard Hornsby is an active performer, educator, arts administrator and arts advocate. A specialist in clarinets and saxophones, he has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Canada the U.S. and Europe. He has also performed with major Canadian orchestras such as the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony. On saxophone, he was a member of the Canadian Saxophone Quintet and has been a member of New Brunswick’s new music ensemble, Motion, now Motion2 with which he has toured most of Canada and Europe and performed at major music festivals and recorded several CDs. He is also the founder and artistic director of Atlantic Sinfonia, eastern Canada’s professional chamber orchestra. In demand as a performer, conductor, teacher, clinician, adjudicator and speaker, Richard maintains an active performing career while holding the position of Director of Music at the University of New Brunswick where he teaches conducting, Canadian music history, music technology and conducts ensembles. He is also Conductor in Music Director of the Fredericton Chamber Orchestra.

Mr. Hornsby has been active on the local, provincial and national levels. A partial list includes serving as President of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, President of the New Brunswick Arts Board, and President of the New Brunswick Arts Council. He is currently president of the Cultural Human Resources Council of Canada, President of Music New Brunswick, CulturePlus, and was a founding member of the Fredericton Arts Alliance. He is passionate about the role of the arts in our society, and works on issues of arts education, arts and cultural policy, access to the arts and training for cultural workers through a variety of organizations.


Barbara Nepinak

Barbara Nepinak, a member of Pine Creek First Nation is retired after serving 35 years of federal public service.  Barbara is active in the Urban and surrounding areas serving on Advisory Councils and Boards as Elder and Cultural Advisor. Barb currently serves on the Special Indigenous Advisory Council to the Canadian Human Rights Museum, Board member of The Forks Foundation Board and National Board member for the Cultural Human Resources Council.

Barb provides Elder teachings in the 7 Oaks Schools division and received recognition awards such as the Recipient of the Keeping the Fires Burning through Ka ni Kanichuik and was twice recognized with the Citizenship Award by previous Mayors. Barbara is an interpreter/translater for CanTalk a national organization that provides language services and a Cultural Advisor for staff of APTN - Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.  Barb and her husband Clarence, also act as Elders and Advisors for the First Peoples Investment Inc. which provide training and developments opportunities for First Nations and Metis organizations and act as the Special Indigenous Advisory council for the Cdn. Human Rights Museum

Barb has been on the Advisory Council member at U of Brandon as well as Arts & Cultural Industries, Research in Developmental Origins of Chronic Diseases in Children Network (DEVOTION)Research Projects with U of Mb and SPOR - Strategy for Patient Oriented Research.  

Both Barb and Clarence have been recognized as Traditional Wisdom Keepers by the Circle of Educators of Manitoba.  Both receive the Queens Golden Jubilee Awards and continue to teach at the School Division in the Ojibwe language. Both have recently appointed to a National Board for Climate Change initiatives with federal government and First Nation Representatives based in Ottawa.

They also have two registered businesses…SummerBear Dance Troupe which share the oral history of the various dances as well as Anishinabe First Speakers which provides translation/interpretation of the Ojibwe language.  They are referred to as Cultural Ambassadors by various leadership representing Canada and First People Nations.


Howard R. Jang

Howard has recently moved to Banff, Alberta from Vancouver where he has joined Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity as Vice President Arts and Leadership, responsible for Banff Centre’s Arts, Leadership and Presenting Programs

Most recently, Howard was with Simon Fraser University as Professor of Professional Practice in the School for the Contemporary Arts, and was the Director of the SFU Woodward’s Cultural Unit.  At Simon Fraser University Howard developed a new Creative Entrepreneurship Program in the School for the Contemporary Arts and was also responsible for the public Cultural and Community Programs at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at SFU Woodard’s.

Howard Jang has been an active member of several volunteer boards and committees, most notably for the Canadian Arts Summit, Orchestras Canada, Manitoba Arts Stabilization, and the Canada Council, BC Arts Council Music, City of Vancouver, Vancouver Alliance for Arts and Culture, and Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance, and the Vancouver Foundation’s Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee.

Howard is a member of the Board for the Dancer Transition Resource Centre.  Howard was a member of the Board of the Canada Council for the Arts from 2012-2016 and a member of the TELUS Vancouver Community Board from 2008-2016 and is a founding member of the Board for Artscape BC and served 10 years as a member of the Board of Tourism Vancouver and was Chair of Tourism Vancouver in 2011/2012. 

Howard has consulted in areas of Strategic Planning, Board Development, Succession Planning, Marketplace Development, Fundraising and overall Organizational Development throughout Canada and the US.

Trained as a musician, Howard has served as the Executive Director for the Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver (2000-2014), Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (1997-2000), Ballet British Columbia (1993-1997) and was the Orchestra Manager for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (1989-1993) and Orchestra of St. Luke's NYC (1985-1989).

In 2004, Howard completed the Stanford University Graduate School of Business/National Arts Strategies Executive Program for Non-profit Leaders in the Arts. In 2006, Howard completed the Leadership with the Shannon Institute in Minneapolis, MN and was honoured to be appointed to the Executive Committee of the Canadian Commission to UNESCO.

His background as both an artist and an arts administrator provides Howard with a unique perspective. Appreciating the need for artistic vision and what is required to support it, Howard is able to balance these requirements with strong fiscal and strategic planning.

Odile Joannette

Odile Joannette has been an advocate for Indigenous rights for close to 20 years, striving to improve the quality of life of Aboriginal people. She serves on the Order of Montreal’s Board and has been handpicked to be one of 15 members of Montreal’s Table on Diversity, Inclusion and the Fight Against Discrimination. She is a founding member and administrator of both DestiNATIONS: Carrefour International of Indigenous Arts and Cultures, and the Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy NETWORK. She recently joined the Board of Directors of the Montreal Native Health Center project. She had been Director of Partnerships and Communications for the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador’s Commission for Human Resources Development, Employment and Training since 2014. She was recently appointed Executive Director of the Wapikoni mobile, a travelling audiovisual and musical creation studio dedicated to Indigenous youth.



Zainub Verjee

Zainub Verjee, currently the Executive Director of Ontario Association of Art Galleries, Toronto, is an accomplished leader in the art and culture sector and over four decades has shaped culture policy at all levels of governments and contributed to building of cultural institutions and organizations in Canada and internationally. 

Newly politicized at Simon Fraser University in the mid-70s, fully engaged with Feminist Labour history as well as Artists-run-centres, the setback of the Applebert Cultural Review Committee Report (1982) and second wave of feminism was seized upon by Zainub to put the agenda of women and race on the table. The following two decades saw major cultural policy work in Canada, and it is appropriate to mention Zainub's central role in making the case of racial equity right at the centre of this development. She further connected these issues with trade through her work with the International Network for Cultural Diversity included promulgating the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, adopted in 2005. Going beyond her call of duty, she selflessly enabled forming alliances, articulating new aesthetics and embedding issue of racial equity firmly into the evolving discourse. She defies an easy classification: a community organizer; artist and critic; prolific writer and speaker; institution builder; reformer and change agent; educator and mentor; and, public policy and legislation developer.

A trailblazer, she was directly instrumental in the founding of these cultural institutions (In Visible Colours; B.C.Arts Council; Vancouver Asian Heritage Month; Racial Equity Office in Canada Council for the Arts) and developed policy initiatives, advanced vital interests of artists, and created spaces and access for artists across different disciplines in Canada. 

Zainub has served as a public servant over decades of an effective role on all sides of the table. At City of Mississauga, her work as the inaugural Director led to setting up of its Culture Division and the first Culture Master Plan. A decade prior to this, she was engaged by Gordon Campbell, Canadian diplomat and the 35th Mayor of Vancouver on his landmark Vancouver Arts Initiative as part of Cultural Planning for Vancouver. As Senior Policy Advisor, Department of Canadian Heritage and Program Officer at the Canada Council for the Arts, she served on cross-sectoral portfolios. Almost for a decade, she was the Executive Director of Western Front. Prior to that she Co-Directed/Founded InVisible Colours, a widely and critically recognized and impactful International film and video festival of its kind in Vancouver and in Canada.

Zainub is an accomplished  writer, critic, curator, contemporary artist and public intellectual. At the forefront of the two decades of cultural politics of the 1980s and 1990s in Canada, Zainub was the co-founder and Festival director of the critically acclaimed In Visible Colours: An International Film/Video Festival & Symposium for Third World Women and Women of Colour (1988–90). She was co-guest editor of The Capilano Review and has published in numerous academic, cultural and critical fora including, Leonardo Journal (MIT), Kinesis, Parallelogram, Fuse, Horizon, Canadian Art Magazine, Journal of Art and the Public Sphere etc. She is invited to speak nationally and internationally, on cultural policy, contemporary art and cultural diplomacy.

Fueled by passion, vision, and a staunch conviction about art as public good, she is a mentor and role model for generations. In the wake of the failure of the Meech Lake Accord, the federal government attempted to reach out to citizens by means of a public commission of inquiry. Known as Spicer Commission, she was appointed as the Official Moderator for Citizen’s Forum for Canada Future (1991). Among many appointments to Boards, she is proud of her work at the B.C. Arts Board that led to the legislation B.C.Arts Act and the formation of the institution B.C. Arts Council. Among others, currently she sits on the Advisory Board of ArtsBuild Ontario and is the Chairperson of the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre. She was invited as an expert for the Opening and Closing ceremonies of Vancouver Olympics 2010. 

Her art work has been shown at the Venice Biennale, Museum of Modern Art, NY, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland US,  and resides in private and public collections (Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada).

Margaret Genovese

Margaret Genovese is a Senior Partner in the consulting firm of Genovese Vanderhoof & Associates (GVA), offering services in executive search, development and fund-raising, marketing, strategic and operational planning, board development, and related income development and management areas. Headquartered in Toronto, the firm has undertaken projects on behalf of arts clients in every Canadian province, 42 American states, the District of Columbia, Yukon Territory, and the United Kingdom. GVA has had the pleasure of working with more than 300 arts institutions.

Margaret is a graduate of Brown University received both MBA and MFA degrees from Southern Methodist University. She recently received the Robert Johnston Award for Excellence in Human Resources in the Arts. She was recognized for “the significant impact she has made on the field of arts & culture management, her dedication to educating and supporting new generations of cultural works, and her commitment to mentorship within the cultural industry,” and for her significant contribution to the Canadian cultural landscape. Margaret has also been the recipient of the Association of Cultural Executives Award for her “outstanding contribution and dedication to Canadian cultural management.”

For ten years Margaret served as Director of Planning & Community Relations for the Canadian Opera Company, working for Lotfi Mansouri. With Dory Vanderhoof she was a co-director (and founder) of the Income Managers Program, a federally and provincially funded initiative of the Centre for Cultural Manager, Canada Council, and Cultural Careers Council Ontario to train people in the areas of cultural marketing and development. They have trained more than 600 professionals.


charles c. smith

charles c. smith is a poet, playwright and essayist who has written and edited twelve books. He studied poetry and drama with William Packard at New York University and Herbert Berghof Studios, drama at the Frank Silvera’s Writers’ Workshop in Harlem.  He won second prize for his play Last Days for the Desperate from Black Theatre Canada, edited three collections of poetry (including the works of Dionne Brand, Marlene Nourbese Phillips, Claire Harris, Cyril Dabydeen, Lillian Allen, George Elliot Clarke), published four books of poetry and his poetry has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Poetry Canada Review, the Quille and Quire, Descant, Dandelion, Fiddlehead and others. charles was the founder of the Black Perspectives Cultural Program in Regent Park and has received writing grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.

charles is the Executive Director of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario and Artistic Director of the wind in the leaves collective, an interdisciplinary performance group combining his poetry with music, dance and visual arts which he founded in 2009. He has lectured on cultural pluralism at the University of Toronto Scarborough, lectures at the Humber College post-graduate program in arts administration, is President of Modern Times Theatre Company and board member of Civic Theatres Toronto.

His new book of poetry travelogue of the bereaved was released in October 2014 along with his book of non-fiction The Dirty War: The Making of the Myth of Black Dangerousness.  His chap book whispers was released in August 2014. he has published articles with Stanford Law and Policy, University of Toronto Press, Alberta Law Review, Captus Press and his writings on racial profiling and Black lives in Canada have been published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. His research has been commissioned by several institutions including the Canada Council for the Arts.

His latest book of poems, destination out, was released in May 2018 by Tightrope Press. 



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