Your Arts Council – Who We Are
Danielle Vaillancourt - Chair
Danielle Vaillancourt, a classically trained mezzo-soprano, has many roots that run deep in the Cornwall area and SD&G. Her grandparents, Ronald and Dorothy Sullivan, have been crucial forerunners in the development of culture and the arts in Cornwall; it was just so fitting that Danielle leads on where her grandparents have left off. Danielle completed her masters degree in Opera Performance at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, where she has performed in many operas in and outside of her studies, worked with world renowned artists, and won and placed in many different prestigious competitions in Canada and abroad. As active as she is at singing, she is also in the midst of completing her masters degree part-time at the HEC [Hautes Études Commerciales] in Management in Cultural and Artistic Organizations in Montréal. Her number one passion, of course, is singing and performing. However her passion is swaying towards contributing her musical abilities, artistic coordination and expertise in Cornwall & the Counties in hopes of it becoming one of the most sought out artistic regions in Ontario.
Brett Desrosiers - Vice-Chair
Brett is a local playwright, director, and drama instructor. Her credentials includes directing many plays in the Ottawa Fringe Festival, including: “Finished Girls: A Tale of the Colonial Sex Trade”, “Ex-Cathedra”, “The Night of the Living Impaired”, “Hey, Bartender”, “What Goes Around”, “Bonkers”, “Harlequin”, and “In the Year of Our Lord, 1495”. She received her education through Algonquin College’s Theatre Arts Program and then moved onto the University of Ottawa’s Theatre Arts Program, where she received a B.A. with Honours, a Specialization in Theatre Arts and a Concentration in Religious Studies. Brett enjoys teaching drama to the next generation and spent many years in Gananoque teaching theatre to youth at a performance arts school. She also taught for The Not So Amateur, Amateurs in Kingston. She just recently finished a contract teaching drama to youth with the Native North American Travelling College. Recently, Brett started to offer drama workshops through an offshoot of The Not So Amateur, Amateurs, that will be centered around the Cornwall and SDG area.
Virginia Lake - Secretary
Virginia Lake is a wise women, an entrepreneur, wife and grandmother. She has walked many paths in her life, from businesswoman to shaman. She is known as a healer and listener to spirit talk. Clients of her work as a lifestyle coach and energy practitioner find her to be a healing, supporting and inspiring influence. Her art style and medium express her inner world with flow and vibrant colour. She was excited when a piece was chosen for display in the juried Exhibition of TAG Cornwall Spring 2013. Her life and art weave a tapestry of laughter, storytelling and poetry. “I discovered vibrant felt pens as way of expressing dreams, impressions, ideas, encounters and visions. I love the flow and surprise that appears out of shapes and colour. To date my creations have been received warmly by family and friends as gifts and now wish to share them with the public. They are expression my observing and imagination, displaying light and dark, hidden depths and the obvious equally well. I love the simplicity, flexibility and freedom of this media.”
Marie Morrell - Treasurer
Marie Morrell has a genetically diverse multicultural background. After a long career with the federal government in various disciplines, Marie came to Cornwall in June 2006 to build a Collector's Museum and Multicultral Art Centre intended to showcase her and her partner’s (Rudy Tabak) personal collections, an eclectic mix of multicultural artefacts, artworks and collectibles gathered from around the world. Today, these collections amount to over 30 thousands items. In 2007, while waiting for Museum building permits, Marie founded a community service group, The Parade of Nations. Its purpose was to celebrate the art, culture and heritage of all of the nations and peoples represented in our region. The organization has since been renamed The Parade of Nations for the Developmentally Challenged (PONDC), and has become a registered charity. The group’s mission is to help people with special needs who are artistically inclined attain greater independence and dignity by nourishing their artistic abilities. We achieve this through programs that provide support to those with special needs so they can participate in and contribute to the community in which they live in an artistically expressive manner that promotes acceptance and compassion in our community for all its members.
Betty Healey - Past Chair
The co-owner of roadSIGNS, a consulting and coaching company specializing in Conscious Communication, Betty Healey joined the YAC Board due to her interest in art as business. Throughout her time in the S, D & G region she has coached artists regarding their business skills and how to make a living from what they love. Betty is also an award-winning writer and an artist in her own right. Her commitment to YAC and the community it serves is with the vision of art and culture as a viable part of local economic development.
Tracy Davies - Director
Tracy Lynn Davies is a local artist originally from Timmins Ontario. Owner of Wired and Hung Studio. Tracy works in many media, her work is very diverse yet has a distinct style that resonates through her pieces. Her passion ranges from painting, sculpture, collage to jewelry making. A current member of Focus Art, YAC, FineArtAmerica and The Collective Four. You can see her works in Oshawa, Toronto, Morrisburg, Ingleside and Cornwall. Visit her site at www.wiredandhung.com or her Facebook page: Wired and Hung
JR Tremblay - Director
Jean-Roland brings proven organizational skill, as a result of nearly 40 years as a teacher, school administrator and university professor. He has always demonstrated tenacious support of the Arts in all its forms, as well striving for fair treatment and recognition for all individuals practicing their art. Jean-Roland is presently the CEO of Swan Records Ltd. and Chief Administrator of the Riverdale School of Music.
Todd Bennett - Director
Todd has been part of the management team at the local Farm Boy store here in Cornwall where we have enjoyed the support of our community, and with that, we have seen steady growth. Before that, Todd owned and operated a Wonder Bread Franchise in Cornwall and the surrounding area.
Richard Salem - Facilitator
Richard Salem is a security graphic designer who started out as a Mechanical Engineering Technologist in 1986. While in school, he was exposed to the first Computer-Aided-Design programs available for the new personal computer. It was so new there was no one to teach it, so Richard, motivated by his hatred of manual drafting, taught himself. He learned well and quickly, and the college hired him to create and teach their first AutoCAD course. Richard learned many other CAD programs, teaching and consulting to the throng that glommed onto the CAD phenomenon. Converting paper drawings for use as digital files led to map publishing, where Richard found a way to make high-quality digital negatives for printing large maps - the first of their kind. He published on the topic in trade journals and his work was featured at trade shows internationally. Always the tinkerer, Richard, fascinated by the artwork on banknotes, submitted some of his digital versions to a local bank note company. Thus began his adventure with security graphics, a 25 year affair involving every type of document of value you can imagine. Frustrated at the exorbitant cost of security graphic design software, Richard wrote Dove, the Document of Value Engine, a suite of programs for creating security graphics, and was awarded a U.S. patent for his digital security graphic screening system, DoubleTake. He resides in Long Sault with the Skype images of his two grown sons. In his spare time, Richard works with the developmentally challenged, and is an avid improvisational comedy performer, workshop facilitator, and enthusiast.