Board of Directors

2021

Lisanne Ballantyne has 30 years of business experience spanning economic development, destination attraction, public assembly facilities management, media and event production; government Indigenous relations and working with sustainability, technology, arts and culture and non-profit sector. Her professional experience, including Director of Marketing for the Edmonton Art Gallery just prior to its transformation to the Art Gallery of Alberta, results in a solid understanding of gallery operations, funding and board models.She is a graduate of the Public Relations Program of the University of Winnipeg, and holds her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba. As the current President and CEO of Tourism Kelowna, Ms. Ballantyne works to grow the visitor economy in our city. Ms Ballantyne was appointed to the Board in April 2020.

Garry Benson has been practicing as a lawyer for 25 years and is a founding partner of Benson Law LLP in Kelowna. He also has been a member of the Board of Directors for numerous committees and organizations at the local and Provincial level. Born and raised in the province of Alberta, Mr. Benson is a member of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation. He is passionate about the arts, food, wine and his community. He believes that art is an essential part of the well-being of every member of the community. Mr. Benson was appointed to the Board in April 2020.

Gillian Dougans has been a lawyer for over 30 years. She was born and raised in Vancouver and received her degrees, in Arts and Law, from UBC. She has practiced in Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Kelowna and recently rejoined her original firm in Vancouver. She has always been a trial lawyer in the areas of insurance defence, personal injury, employment, estate and general litigation. She is also a qualified mediator. She was an Adjunct Professor with UBCO in the Political Science Department and taught “Issues in Contemporary Law” from 2016 to 2020. She lives in Kelowna and Vancouver and likes to cycle in the summer and ski in the winter. Jill was appointed to the Board in April 2020 and sits on the Governance Committee.

Jessica Hedrick is an artist who currently exhibits in four galleries across Canada and the US. She regularly teaches classes out of her home studio as well as travelling for workshops out of town. Recently she finished a project, The Face of Kelowna, finishing over 250 portraits of Kelowna residents for a Canadian Mental Health Association fundraiser. Jessica also works at Hambleton Galleries and has owned her own gallery in Vancouver, BC. Ms. Hedrick was appointed to the Board in April 2019.

Sarah Neely is the Associate Director of Alumni Engagement at UBC’s Okanagan Campus. She holds a Bachelor of Management degree from UBC’s Okanagan Campus, and brings over a decade of diverse management experience in the areas of marketing and communications, finance, First Nations, professional services, hospitality, real estate, construction, green building (LEED), arts and culture, design, charity and not-for-profit, and sustainability. As a trusted partner to senior leadership, she helps organizations achieve their strategic goals. Ms. Neely was appointed to the Board in August 2019.

Vice Chair: June Nicolay is the owner of distrib-u-tec Software, which develops and implements Food Industry Specific Software Products. Locally June has been involved in many organizations including the Kelowna Yacht club, Founding Donor of the Visiting Artist Mentorship Program at University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO), Board of Director and Past Chair of Opera Kelowna. June has a long-time interest in the arts. She is currently a member of our Acquisitions committee. Ms. Nicolay was appointed to the Board in April 2019 and is currently the Chair of our Acquisitions committee.

Lori Samuels is a wealth manager at Raymond James in Kelowna. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Calgary and has successfully completed several industry designations. Lori has volunteered her time with many organizations over the years including 7 years with the BC SPCA. She currently volunteers her time with event planning and fundraising for the annual Raymond James fundraising event and she is on the planning committee for 100 Heroes. Ms. Samuels was appointed to the Board in 2019 and is currently the Chair of our Appetite for Art committee.

Treasurer: Candace Surette is a Chartered Professional Accountant and the director of Quality at Crowe MacKay. Surette has been involved with the Alternator Center for Contemporary. She recently became an Associate to the Accounting Standards Board Private Enterprise Advisory Committee, and also likes to stay involved with Okanagan College (her alum) annually judging the College’s second-year business simulation competition. Ms. Surette was appointed to the Board in April 2016 and has been the Gallery’s treasurer since 2017.

Chair: Stoke Tonne has always had a passion for art as he majored with a BA in art history with a focus on architectural history in his undergraduate degree and went on to graduate with a Masters in Architecture. He has woven his love of art into his business of design and works daily as an architect at improving the quality of the public realm. He lives in the Heritage District and practices in downtown Kelowna and is committed to enhancing the vibrancy downtown core with recent projects such as the Kelowna Yacht Club and the Okanagan Centre for Innovation. Mr. Tonne was appointed to the Board in May 2017 and elected Vice President in 2019.

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