welcome - Edmonton Arts Council

Chelsea Boida

Chelsea Boida - Public Art Officer

As an artist, Chelsea Boida has made an indelible mark on Edmonton with Have a Nice Day at the Northgate Transit Centre. Created in collaboration, the mural is an expression of Chelsea’s belief that livable, dynamic cities spring from the melding of art, planning, and great architecture.
Chelsea brings a diverse skillset to the EAC – she’s co-operated a renovation company, and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Alberta, with majors in printmaking and drawing. When not shepherding public art projects, she can be found in her studio or up to her elbows in dirt in her garden.

Andrea Bowes

Andrea Bowes - Public Art Conservator

Andrea worked as a conservator in Alberta and the Northwest Territories after graduating from the Art Conservation Techniques program at Sir Sandford Fleming College. Most recently she completed the Architectural Technology program at NAIT working with an architecture firm and later a kitchen design and installation company. Working with the Edmonton Arts Council allows her to bring her understanding of material sciences, art objects, and constructions methods together to help facilitate the installation of fabulous public art projects for the enjoyment of the residents of the City of Edmonton and beyond.


Jamie Chapelsky

Jamie Chapelsky - Communications Officer (Outreach and Publications) 

Jamie Chapelsky graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a minor in Art & Design, and from MacEwan University with a Bachelor of Communications. Along her journey to the EAC, she worked in communications roles for both the Downtown Business Association and the Government of Alberta. As a supporter of Edmonton’s music scene, Jamie also lends her communications and social media knowledge as a board member (Media Coordinator) of the Up+Downtown Music Festival. When not busy working or festival planning, she enjoys catching some live music or improv, playing soccer, travelling, and drinking copious amounts of caffeine.

Eva Marie Clarke - Communications Officer (Public Art)

Art, theatre, opera... Shania Twain. It's safe to say that Eva Marie's road to the Edmonton Arts Council has been diverse. Adventures have included reporting nationally on the Edmonton arts community for CBC Radio, reviewing theatre and opera for CBC, See Magazine, and Vue Weekly, planning publicity for The Books Collective and Vinok Worldance... and yes, she is the author of an "unauthorized" biography of Ms. Twain!

Eva Marie (accompanied by her feisty Pomeranian Lily) also worked as the Community Animateur for the Boyle Street Community League. She was involved in many aspects of the Boyle Renaissance urban renewal project at the community level. This included promoting arts and culture as valuable community building and social action mechanisms.

Shirley Combden - Director of Finance and Administration

Shirley Combden joined the Edmonton Arts Council in 2006 as the Financial Officer. Prior to that she spent many years in public practice. In addition to her work at the EAC, she also works for other not-for-profit organizations including the Edmonton Heritage Council since its inception in 2010. 

Shirley enjoys the rewards of working in the not-for-profit sector so much that she can often be found volunteering at her church, her kids' school or in the multiple births community... when she isn’t too busy driving her kids to soccer! 

Penelope Haro Aranda

Penélope Haro Aranda - Executive Assistant

Penelope joins the EAC after completing a degree in Cultural Management at the Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico. Since coming to Canada in 2013, her experience includes working as Marketing Assistant for the Edmonton Opera, as well as volunteering with the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, Up + Downtown Festival, and other arts & culture events.
Penélope’s previous experience in Mexico includes working as a Sponsorship Consultant for public television, Administrator for a Production & Media company and working for Festival Internacional Cervantino, one of the largest and more important Arts & Culture festivals in Latin America.
Penélope’s interests include music, community engagement, arts marketing and audience development. She is also the mother of an aspiring writer daughter and a soccer playing son. She enjoys going to concerts at every opportunity.

Robert Harpin - Public Art Officer

Robert Harpin graduated with a degree in Drawing from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2006. Since then he has been involved with the Edmonton Arts community working for three years at the Works Art and Design Festival and then as the programming officer at Latitude 53.

In his spare time Robert Harpin creates installations and collage based pop art (sort of). These works have appeared in various locations throughout the city including an art garage sale, an office cubicle in the river valley, and a bizarre child’s bedroom in a mostly abandoned apartment. Robert Harpin also loves cats and techno (much to the detriment of his wife).


Melanie Haynes - HR Specialist

An Alberta native, Melanie left Calgary as a teen and spent formative years in many locations including San Diego, Las Vegas, and Ukraine before landing in Toronto. There, she worked in a HR capacity within non-profit organizations before leaving the big city behind and returning to Edmonton in 2017.

Initially Melanie tested out the Edmonton HR scene within different sectors, but returned to the non-profit world in 2018 when she joined the EAC as the HR Specialist. She's happy to finally proclaim an end to her travels and call Edmonton home with her children, her dogs, and her hedgehogs.


Gwendoline Hunka

Gwendoline Hunka - Communications Officer (Social and Digital Media

A true social butterfly, Gwendoline Hunka loves connecting with people both in person and online. She can regularly be found at events around the city and enjoying YEG patio life with friends. Gwen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the U of A and a Diploma of Public Relations from MacEwan University. Throughout post-secondary, Gwen discovered her love of languages and learned French, Norwegian and German, completing a three-month immersion course in Germany. She learned to sing in German before she could properly speak it!

After finishing her degree, she lived in Australia for a year before returning to Edmonton to do the Public Relations program at MacEwan. With a strong wanderlust, Gwen is always planning her next adventure, be it local or international. She also makes time to regularly volunteer, helping with the Rainbow Society of Alberta and sitting on the board of CPRS Edmonton as the Director-at-large.


Sally Kim - Associate Executive Director

Sally Kim started with the Edmonton Arts Council in 2007 as Grants Officer. Prior to that, she worked as the producer/general manager at The Works Art & Design Festival. In 2005, she managed a sculpture competition in Southern Alberta. While working to promote the Festival City brand for Edmonton Tourism, she coordinated events for Alberta Scene at the National Arts Centre and ancillary events to the Folklife Festival at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. She donates her time to various organizations, mostly working casinos.

 Grace Law

Grace Law - Public Art Officer

Grace Law joined the Edmonton Arts Council in 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alberta, and comes with a strong background in arts administration and public art project coordination. She has worked for The Works Art & Design Festival for four years, and The Places Public Art Program for four years. She is one of the founding members of Bleeding Heart Art Space – an art space, sacred space, and community space all in one. In addition, she is driven by her commitment for community engagement and inclusion.
As an arts administrator, cultural programmer, community engager, and visual artist, her interests include urban intervention and agitation, civic engagement and social change, environmental studies in the anthropocene/post-anthropocene, race and Asian identity, feminist aesthetics, spirituality, and religion.
She is excited about the work at the Edmonton Arts Council and is motivated to facilitate a diverse range of artists with opportunities in the public sphere to transform their lives and the lives within the Edmonton communities who connect to their works.
From time to time, she continues to make art. You can find her murals located in Edmonton’s McCauley and Central McDougal neighbourhoods.

Bob Rasko

Bob Rasko - Churchill Square Programmer

Since August 2011, EAC Churchill Square Happenings programmer, Bob Rasko, has produced a diverse schedule of offerings open to the public including: Sunday Swing 'n Skate, Live at Lunch, CypherWild and Zumba on the Square.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts - Grants, Awards & Support Programs Officer

Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Art History from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. During his time at Mt. A, Chris worked as the editor of a student-run literary journal and will work on the creation of its 25th Anniversary Edition. Before joining the Edmonton Arts Council, he held positions at Edmonton Community Foundation and The Works International Visual Arts Society. He is an active volunteer in Edmonton’s arts community, and recently concluded his term as President of Common Ground Arts Society.

Chris also trained in classical and jazz trumpet, and will sometimes pick up new instruments (most recently an accordion) to perform for his house plants. In his spare time, Chris likes to drink five-dollar coffee and read. He also enjoys writing, visiting art galleries, and seeing live theatre.

Sanjay Shahani - Executive Director

Sanjay Shahani is an arts professional who has worked in the arts for more than 25 years. He has produced  documentaries such as Don't Pity Me, Jaromír Skrivánek, and the series Different, Yet the Same: A Look at Canadian Cultures Today. He has also produced theatre and is especially pleased to have contributed to Twisted Metal and Mermaids Tears, a community-engaged, professional theatre work that represented the plurality of South Riverdale in Toronto. Sanjay has also contributed to the growth and development of arts organizations in South Asia and North America, and continues to act as volunteer advisor to culturally diverse performing arts organizations. He is particularly proud of his stint as the founding Chair of the Prismatic Arts Festival in Halifax. Prismatic is multidisciplinary arts festival that is dedicated to advancing the work of artists and arts organizations of colour and of Indigenous descent.   

Most recently, Sanjay was the Strategy Lead for Arts and Culture at the Ontario Trillium Foundation, designing the foundation’s arts and culture investment strategy. Before being appointed to lead the foundation’s strategy, he oversaw province-wide granting to the sector. Prior to joining the foundation, Sanjay was a Theatre Officer at the Canada Council for the Arts and Community and Multidisciplinary Arts Officer at the Ontario Arts Council where he worked with colleagues to develop the Extended Projects Program and the Multi-Arts Projects Program as a response to the growing intercultural creative expression of artists and arts organizations from culturally diverse and Aboriginal backgrounds.

Besides his artistic work, Sanjay has done scholarly work in education and cultural anthropology. As an educator, he has taught at post-secondary institutions in North America.

 Jenika Sobolewska

Jenika Sobolewska - Public Art Conservation Assistant

Jenika is dedicated to serving the artworks of the civic collection, living artists, and the EAC conservation program in a supportive capacity. An interest in marginalized spaces for the creation and presentation of visual art has lead her through a history of involvement with artist-run initiatives. As a NSCAD graduate, she holds degrees in visual art studio practice and academic art history. A desire to combine the hands-on skills of her studio practice with an interest in academic study has led her to the field of art conservation.


Bobbie Todd - Finance Assistant

After a decade in Calgary, and with 5 years experience as the Operations Director of the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers, Bobbie returned to Edmonton in 2016. She worked with the 2017 Works Art & Design Festival before coming to the EAC in the fall of that year.

Bobbie's background as a dance professional led her to arts administration. Having spent her youth in a studio, Bobbie graduated from the Grant MacEwan Dance Program, worked as an Independent dancer/choreographer for the next ten years, and served as the Artistic Director of Mile Zero Dance from 2000 to 2005.


David Turnbull

David Turnbull - Director of Public Art and Conservation

David is a graduate of the Master of Art Conservation program at Queen’s University. He has worked at the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the National Gallery of Canada, and most recently at the Denver Art Museum where he specialized in the conservation of paintings and Modern and Contemporary Art. He is especially interested in working with living artists to document their working methods and materials as well as their attitudes towards the aging and long-term care of their artworks. 



Jenna Turner - Communications Director (on Maternity Leave until November 2019)

A passionate communicator, Jenna Turner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French from the University of Alberta. Before coming to the Edmonton Arts Council, she held positions with the Government of Alberta Public Affairs Bureau and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. A strategic and creative thinker, her academic accomplishments are rounded out by coursework in MacEwan University's Public Relations Program. Jenna has volunteered her talents to the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, the CJSR Board, and the Canadian Public Relations Society. Jenna is also a skilled and innovative musician playing violin and the musical saw in local bands.

 Justina Verboom - Grants, Awards & Support Programs Officer

Justina Watt received her Bachelor of Arts degree in music and anthropology from the University of Alberta in 2010.  In 2012, she completed her Masters in Ethnomusicology at the University of Alberta, focusing on contemporary music by Inuit singer-songwriters.  During her time at the U of A, Justina worked as an intern at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in Washington D.C., traveled to Ghana to study at the University of Ghana, Legon, and as a trumpet player, participated in the Middle Eastern and North African Music ensemble.  Justina has worked for the Canadian Society for Traditional Music as well as the Edmonton Folk Music Festival and is a member of the Mill Creek Colliery Band.

Stephen Williams


Stephen Williams - Director of Grants, Awards & Support Programs

Stephen Williams joined the Edmonton Arts Council in 2010 after holding positions with the Government of Alberta and the Canada Council for the Arts. Before moving into those roles he was an active trumpet player, stage manager, community band conductor and music educator in Northern Alberta.  Stephen holds a music Diploma from Grant MacEwan College, a Bachelor of Music degree from the U of A, and recently completed a Masters degree in Public Administration from Dalhousie University. He lives in Edmonton with his family, including the cats Mary and Pippin.

eac weekly

Subscribe to our newsletter and get updates on events and information

Click here

Looking for arts space?

Edmonton Arts Council • Prince of Wales Armoury, 2nd Floor, 10440 108 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5H 3Z9 • info@edmontonarts.ca • p. 780.424.2787 | f. 780.425.7620