Who We Are

Meet the Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries Staff

Zainub Verjee
Executive Director

Zainub Verjee is an accomplished leader artist, critic, and administrator in the art and culture sector she brings expertise in cultural policy on issues of intellectual Property, Digital Technologies and Culture Trade. She is acknowledged for her work on art-in-a-digital-ecosystem in the1980s-2000s in Canada and internationally. She was part of the decade-long digital dialogues at the Banff New Media Institute (1995-2005). As the Executive Director of the Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries in Toronto, she is leading the shift of the Public Art Galleries Sector into the digital ecosystem. She is the laureate of the 2020 Governor General’s Visual and Media Arts for Outstanding Contribution and a McLaughlin College Fellow at the York University. She was recently conferred with an Honorary Doctorate from OCAD University.

Jessica Lukas
Secretariat Coordinator

Jessica Lukas is an arts administrator and arts professional who lives in Toronto. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts: Visual Arts and a Certificate in Arts Management at the University of Windsor. Furthering her love for arts and culture, she completed the Museum Management and Curatorship at Fleming College. She has experience in archiving, curating, and collections, but her career focus is in arts administration.

Meet the Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries Board

York Lethbridge – President [2017-2020]
E: yorklethbridge@gmail.com

York Lethbridge is Executive Director of Mercer Union, a centre for contemporary art. He joined the organization as Director of Operations at the end of February 2010 after a year serving as a Director on the Board. He holds an MA in Art History from York University and a BFA from Queen’s University. York has administrative experience from positions held at the OnSite at OCAD University, Art Gallery of Ontario, the Power Plant, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, and Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre. In his time at Mercer Union, York has focused on diversifying resources including introduction and management of major fundraising events including a biannual auction series, Spiked Tea, and Mercer Multiplier; and has collaborated with the Director of Exhibitions to develop annual commissioned projects including Aleksandra Mir (2011), Geoffrey Farmer (2013), Abbas Akhavan (2015), Liz Magic Laser (2015), Duane Linklater (2016), and Deanna Bowen (2017). He has bolstered support from the private sector that helps further Mercer Union’s independence as an artist-run centre, including ongoing relationships with Partners in Art and Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts. York is committed to professional development in service to Mercer Union, participating in Business for the Arts’ artsVest program, and as part of ArtsBuild Ontario’s Arts Facilities Mentoring Network.

Dawn Owen – Past-President [2015-2021] Curator Guelph Museums
Guelph Museums
52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, ON N1H 4H8
T (519) 822-1260 x. 3392
E: dawn.owen@guelph.ca

Dawn Owen is Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Guelph. She is also an educator and artist in photo‐based practices, and a writer, editor, and publication manager in visual arts publishing. Owen holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree, specializing in studio art, from the University of Guelph and a Master of Fine Art–Visual Arts degree from York University (Toronto). She has worked in the public art gallery sector since 1998.

Christian Bernard Singer – Vice-President [2016-2022]
Gallery Professional
Georgian Bluffs, ON
E: singer@christianbernardsinger.com

Artist, curator, teacher, presenter, and most recently, art dealer, Christian Bernard Singer was born in 1962 in Paris and raised in New York City where he began as a company dancer with Laura Foreman’s Composers and Choreographers Theater. He is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and received his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He teaches sculpture at the Ontario College of Art and Design and the Toronto School of Art. As well, Singer has managed grant application programs for both The Canada Council and the Ministry of Culture and Communications (Ontario), was Director of CAFKA 2005, Curator and Associate Director of Leskiw Fine Art, and has served as board member to several arts organizations. He is director of Rouge Concept Gallery and Rouge Contemporary Projects.

Robert Steven – Treasurer [2016-2022]
President & CEO
Art Gallery of Burlington
1333 Lakeshore Rd
Burlington, ON L7S 1A9
T (905) 632-7796 x. 306
E: rs@agb.life

Robert Steven is the President and CEO of the Art Gallery of Burlington in Burlington ON.

Devyani Saltzman – Secretary [2018-2021]
Director of Public Programming
Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
317 Dundas St. W.,
Toronto, ON M5T 1G4
T (416) 979-6660

Devyani Saltzman is a Canadian writer, curator and journalist with a deep interest in relevant multidisciplinary programming at the intersection between art, ideas and social justice. She is the author of Shooting Water (Publishers Weekly, Library Journal starred reviews, ‘A poignant memoir’ The New York Times) and is the 2014-18 Director of Literary Arts at the Banff Centre as well as the Founding Curator, Literary Programming, at Luminato, North America’s largest multi arts festival and Toronto’s Festival of Arts and Creativity. In 2018 she was appointed the Director of Public Programming at the AGO, working across all disciplines. Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, National Post, The Atlantic and Tehelka, India’s weekly of arts and investigative journalism. She sits on the board of PEN Canada, the advisory committees for Project Bookmark Canada and the Humber Galleries and has been a juror for the National Magazine Awards, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and The Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. Saltzman has a degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Oxford University

Glen Bloom – Member [2018-2021]
Former Senior Counsel at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Member of the Canadian Cultural Property Export & Review Board

Glen was a lawyer practicing intellectual property law and litigation with the firm of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and its predecessor in Ottawa for more than 36 years, and retired at the end of 2016. He has supported the visual arts for many years, has served as chair of the Ottawa School of Art, vice chair of the Ottawa Arts Court Foundation, chair of the Ottawa Art Gallery, and member of the advisory board of the Carleton University Art Gallery. He is currently Chair of the advisory board of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University, and since 2013 has been a member of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.

Shelley Falconer – Member [2019-2022]
President & CEO
Art Gallery of Hamilton
123 King St. W.
Hamilton, ON L8P 4S8
T (905) 527-6610 ext. 228

SHELLEY FALCONER is President and CEO of the Art Gallery of Hamilton and a member of the Culture Strategy Advisory Group struck by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport to provide advice to the provincial government on its culture strategy.

Her 25-year career includes national and international experience as a consultant, curator, educator and administrator. She has worked as a senior manager and consultant with a variety of important cultural/educational organizations including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, University of Toronto, Centennial College, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Toronto District School Board, Department of Heritage, Government of Canada, Sotheby’s London and Waddington Galleries, England.

Ms. Falconer has directed and managed numerous award winning projects including exhibitions and installations for Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Canada House in London, England and the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C. She has also authored and produced numerous exhibition texts and catalogues including the publication Stones, Bones and Stitches: Storytelling through Inuit Art. Her award winning Art2Life: the Canadian Century digital project won a prestigious United Nations World Summit award for best in e-content and creativity. Ms. Falconer was also awarded a York Region District School Board Applause Award for outstanding contributions to education and the community.

Her academic background includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in Art History, Museology and Arts Administration from York University, Sotheby’s England, Sorbonne, l’université de Paris and the University of Toronto. Ms. Falconer has a broad knowledge of Canadian and International art. She was a member of the University of Toronto’s and Centennial College’s adjunct faculty in Culture & Museum Studies and lectures widely on a variety of educational and art historical subjects.

Ann MacDonald – Member [2019-2022]
Doris McCarthy Gallery, UofT Scarborough
1265 Military Trail
Toronto ON M1C 1A4
T (416) 287-5649

Ann MacDonald is the Director/Curator at the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto Scarborough in Toronto ON.

Past Board

Gesta J. Abols [2006-2012]
Jan Allen [2012-2018]*
Ralph Allen*
David Aurandt*
Kevin Bailey*
Anong Beam [2018-2019]
Carolyn Bell-Farrell [2008-2014]
Megan Bice*
Brad Blain*
Tobi Bruce [2005-2011]
Michael Burtch*
Alex Maeve Campbell [2015-2018]
Olinda Casimiro [2008-2014]*
Emelie Chhangur [2017-2018]
Mela Constantinidi [2001-2007]*
Glenn Cumming*
Virginia Eichhorn [2008-2014]*
Catherine Elliot-Shaw*
Dorothy Farr*
Rob Freeman*
Heather Fullerton [2012-2015]
Sharon Gaum-Kuchar [2000-2006]
Dennis Geden [1999-2005]*
Mohib Habib [2017-2018]
Gordon Hatt [2006-2011]
Mary-Ellen Heiman [2007-2009]
Matthew Hyland [2010-2016]
Robert Ihrig*
Ingrid Jenkner*
Arlene Kennedy*
William Kirby [2001-2007]
Pamela Krueger*
Nadia Kurd [2014-2017]
Lisa Landreth*
Carl Lavoy [2001-2004]
Marcie Lawrence [2002-2008]
Shirley J. Madill [2010-2016]*
Catharine Mastin [2014-2019]*
Ellen McIntosh*
Brian Meehan [2002-2008]*
Mary Misner*
Nataley Nagy [2006-2010]*
Wanda Nanibush [2016-2019]
Judith Nasby*
Paddy O’Brien*
Linda Paulocik [2004-2010]
Francine Périnet [2011-2014]
Ted Pietrzak*
Carol Podedworny [2012-2018]
Stuart Reid [2005-2009]*
Ryan Rice [2017-2018]
Jay Richardson [2000-2006]
Ian Ross*
Celeste Scopelites [2006-2012]*
Maurice Stubbs*
Robert Swain*
Karen Tait-Peacock [2012-2015]
Illi-Maria Tamplin*
Yves Théoret [2009-2012]
Christy Thompson [2014-2016]
Alan Toff*
Melanie Townsend [2010-2016]
Jeremy Watney*
Rhona Wenger [2000-2006]
Liz Wylie [1999-2005]*

* denotes served as President