Art City Staff

Full Time Staff 

Portraits by Lucas
Eddie Ayoub
Artistic Director

Josh Ruth
Managing Director

Albyn Carias
 Studio Programs Manager

Erin Josephson-Laidlaw
Office Administrator

Hanna Reimer
Managerial Assistant

Special Programs Instructors

Kiana Fontaine, Indigenous Art
Margaret Glavina, Ceramics, Drawing Club 
Natalie Baird, Film Photography
Ron Perez, Digital Art
Talula Schlegel, ARTsquad

Food Services Coordinator

Gabrielle Funk

Summer Program Assistant 
(Youth Mentees)

Tayna Bernardic

Workshop Facilitators

Albyn Carias
Brent Mitchell
Carmen Ponto
Christina Hajjar
Farkhonda Saberi
Hami Behgar
Hanna Reimer 
Kiana Fontaine
Maia-Star Johnson
Margaret Glavina
Marly Wesley
Posy Legge 
Ronaldo Perez
Sadaf Saberi
Sarah Michaelson
Ted Barker
Tobin Rowland
Toby Gillies
Vanessa Eidse
Zara Haque

Board of Directors

We are searching for a new board member! Please fill out this form to be considered.

Wanda Koop, Founder & Honourary Chair

The American poet Charles Olson wrote that space is the whale that threatens to swallow up North Americans. Wanda Koop, one of Canada’s most accomplished painters, has turned that whale inside out; she has been consuming space for over four decades. In large-scale paintings and mixed-media events that incorporate video, music and dance, she has fashioned bodies of work that are beautiful, monumental and mesmerizing. An exhibition of her paintings is as much an environment as an installation.

Shirley Martens, Chair & Treasurer

Shirley has served on the board of Art City since 2004, and is currently chair of the Art City board.

Shirley created The Lab Works Inc., a premium photofinishing lab, with her husband in 1988 and sold the company in 2011. She owns and manages a commercial real estate property in Winnipeg and runs Blend Imports, a company that sources and imports South African wines to Manitoba.

Shirley also serves on the board of iDE Canada. iDE creates income and livelihood opportunities for poor, rural households in countries around the world. iDE’s model for development work—listen to people experiencing the problem and give them the tools they need to prosper. She has been a volunteer since 2012 and serves as chair of the fundraising and gala committees. 

Elizabeth Schwersensky, Vice-Chair

Elizabeth joined the Art City board in 2015 and has enjoyed being a part of the Art City community ever since. The parade is a favourite every year! Outside of Art City, Elizabeth is a senior Human Resources professional. She has been working in HR since 2006, has attained her CPHR designation, and has primarily worked at non-profit organizations. Elizabeth believes that non-profits and community organizations are just a fit and are so important in our city. Work aside, Elizabeth loves spending time with her husband, kids, pets and friends. She enjoys a good puzzle, time outdoors, and especially dives into gardening whenever there isn't snow on the ground.

Jacqueline Boily

Jacqueline s'est impliquée pour la première fois auprès d'Art City en tant qu'artiste invitée en 2009 et a eu l'honneur de rejoindre le conseil d'administration en 2019, où elle siège au comité de politique interne. Elle est avocate des droits de la personne et fière franco-manitobaine de Saint-Boniface. Son expérience personnelle et ses études lui ont appris que le système de justice pénale a un impact disproportionné sur les personnes marginalisées, en particulier les jeunes, et elle sait que la programmation d'Art City transforme la vie des participants pour le mieux. 

Jacqueline first became involved with Art City as a guest artist in 2009 and was honoured to join the Board in 2019, where she serves on the Policy Committee. She is a human rights lawyer and proud franco-manitoban from Saint-Boniface. Her personal experience and studies have taught her that the criminal justice system disproportionately impacts marginalized people, particularly youth, and she knows Art City's programming transforms participants' lives for the better. 

Tania Canas

Tania enjoys giving back to the Winnipeg community volunteering her time at different organizations within the city and is excited to be a Member of the Art City Board. She is grateful for the opportunity to contribute and be a part of Art City.

She has experience working with children as a childcare assistant at daycare centres throughout Winnipeg and has also taught and tutored children at schools in the Dominican Republic. Working with children of various ages has given her the privilege to see the endless bounds of creativity and perspectives that children express through art.

Tania has experience working in marketing, sales, analytics, and operations. Currently, she is completing her yoga teacher training and looks forward to sharing the beauty and benefits of yoga with people of all ages. In her spare time, Tania enjoys spending time with her daughter doing various activities or taking on new adventures. 

Jen Kirkwood

Jen is a retired Art Educator, with over 30 years in the classroom; from Norway House to Manitou, and other stops in between, she spent most of those years teaching High School Art in the Winnipeg School Division.  Her biggest passion was running after-school programming with youth of all ages, whether that was painting murals in Rossville and beyond, or building sets for musicals, Jen has always worked to make Art inclusive to all.  Joining the Art City Board in 2010 has kept that passion alive!

Monique Lysak

Mother, wife, sister, late daughter, friend and community member. Educator, mentor, artist and collaborator. Passion for and dedication to the transformative power of artistic engagement in building human capacity and communities. Long-time member of the Art City community. First, as a mural facilitator in 1998 when Art City opened; then supervisor; 1st outreach instructor; photography instructor; Board Member. 

I have had the privilege of witnessing Art City grow, expand, adjust, adapt, change peoples' lives and so much more while maintaining its inclusive grassroots feel and mission. More than words, thank you for this life-giving journey.

Sonia Prevost-Derbecker

Before joining Movember as the Global Director of Indigenous programs; Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Sonia Prevost-Derbecker served as the National Vice President of Education with Indspire, the largest non-profit Indigenous education organization in Canada. 

She has held Director and CEO positions for organizations across the country including the first CEO of the newly created Indigenous Child Welfare System, All Nations Coordinated Responses Child and Family Services and Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad the largest Indigenous youth serving agency in Manitoba. 

Sonia was the third elected Indigenous school trustee in the history of the Winnipeg School Division and has taken lead in the development of an Indigenous high school and a provincial integrated service delivery model insuring best outcomes for her community.

Sonia has be the author of several articles and research studies most recently The State of Equity in Education Report and has been the key note at several conferences and events.