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Board & Executive Members:
 
Melanie Fernandez - Programs
Megan Gariepy - Development
Alison Lam - Communications
Nancy Moniz - Communications, Resident Groups & Stakeholders
Lindsay Schoutsen - Treasurer
Brenda Shewchuk - President
Carol Walmsley - Secretary 
 
Staff Members: 
 

Melanie Billark, Program Coordinator

Melanie Billark is a multidisciplinary Toronto based artist, achieving an advanced diploma in 2011, at Sheridan College’s Craft and Design Program for glass in Oakville, ON. Following her degree she completed a year artist residency at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, ON, in 2012. Melanie graduated from OCADU's Sculpture and Installation program, obtaining her BFA in 2016. 

She has participated in a number of shows internationally and across the GTA, including venues such as: Toronto Pearson Airport, Lonsdale Gallery, Canadian Sculpture Centre, Gladstone Hotel,  Xpace Cultural Centre, and Treefort Music Fest. 

Melanie has won a number of bursaries and awards including The Masonic Foundation of Canada Bursary in 2011, The OALA Ground Award in 2016, and The Climate Arts Award in 2019. 

Over the years Melanie has been creating and developing unique arts based curriculum, which focuses on a variety of mediums and techniques such as: Community Art Projects, Eco-Arts, Sculpture and Installation, Painting and Drawing, Printmaking, and Public Art projects. Melanie has years of experience facilitating courses, leading workshops, creating programming, and presenting lectures across the GTA for people of all ages and skill levels. Melanie is passionate about art education, community development, and creating art opportunities that bring people together.

 

Andrew Cox, Customer Service Representative
From a very young age, Andrew has been resolute in his participation in and creation of music and art. After suffering a severe eye injury as a child, he started turning to music as a form of therapy.

Discovering his love for playing, and music in general, set Andrew on the path of creating his own; with and without others. From early secondary school to the present time, he has collaborated and performed with numerous musicians and artists across North America.

From backyard parties to famous venues such as The MOD club, The Painted Lady, The Reverb and Revival, Andrew has performed with and without other artists. Using extended technique, looping, effects on extended range bass,  and his voice, he attempts to dig into every corner of his musical imagination.

Andrew most recently worked for Silence: Guelph’s portal for adventurous new sound events; a local arts and performance hub in Guelph that is dedicated to fostering and incubating new and old creative talents. During his time there, he started as a volunteer- putting up posters and setting up chairs for events- to eventually becoming Silence’s Manager of Operations. He regularly worked as booker and sound technician for performing bands and artists, and gained a firm grip on what it takes to plan and execute a successful live music show.

Finding himself back in Toronto, he plans on bringing his knowledge in that field to NPCC- and help create even more magical, music filled nights of inspiring, energetic and ethereal bewilderment; simultaneously fostering local and non-local talents across the GTA, Ontario, and Canada.

Andrew is currently performing under his solo moniker “Thumper”, as well as spear-heading an experimental art ska  project called “What now? We Wait.” 
 
 
Kal Honey, Customer Service Representative and Instructor

Kal Honey was creative and obsessively detail-oriented from an early age: drawing, building models, embroidery, photography. After attending Northern Secondary School’s specialized art program in Toronto, Kal went on to become an award-winning graduate of the Ontario College of Art. After a 2009 travel sabbatical from his 20-year graphic design career, Kal re-focussed his career on art and art instruction.

Often bold (but sometimes subtle), Kal's work in painting, graphics and collage is informed by his design sensitivity and training, his love of contrasts, and his penchant for text, wit and wordplay.

Recent exhibitions include: Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Queen West Art Crawl and Otto Art, Toronto and In Situ Multi Arts Festival and ArtWorkX, Mississauga. 

As an instructor, Kal teaches artist-to-artist: inspiration, challenge, structure, support, artistic freedom, lively discussion — and laughter. In addition to being a regular instructor here at Neilson Park, he also teaches at Visual Arts Mississauga and Haliburton School of the Arts, as well as leading workshops, giving lectures and jurying exhibitions throughout Southern Ontario.

When not in the studio or classroom, Kal can often be found in the gym or out riding one of his beloved bicycles…

 

Lovepreet Kaur, Administrative Assistant

“Even Kings and emperors with heaps of wealth and vast dominion cannot compare with an ant filled with the love of God.” ...
With such thoughts, Lovepreet Kaur is a strong believer in god and humanity. She hails from a small village in Punjab, India. She completed her Bachelor of Commerce from Government College in Amritsar and decided to come to Canada for higher studies.

While completing her Accounting diploma at Sheridan College, she came across a job opportunity at Neilson Park Creative Centre. Now she has begun her career with NPCC as part-time Customer Service Representative. In previous jobs, Lovepreet worked as a tax accountant in Best Account Consultants (Mississauga) for three months in her summer holidays. Here at Neilson Park Creative Centre she is now connecting to and celebrating a richer life through the arts.
 
 
Petra Nyendick, Executive Director
Originally from Toronto, Petra Nyendick moved to Indiana in 2001, living in Indianapolis and Terre Haute. After realizing the need for a commercial art gallery in Terre Haute, Petra became founding director of 333 Visual Art Gallery. The success of that gallery and attached working studio morphed into the launch of Halcyon Contemporary Art Gallery at the Sheldon Swope Art Museum. Petra’s success as owner/operator of Halcyon and director of the Swope Art Museum’s Summer Youth Art Program led to her opportunity to become Executive Director of Indiana State University’s Community School of the Arts.
While in Indiana, she was a member of Arts Indiana’s Regional Advisory Council, and a member of the board of directors of various arts organizations: The Terre Haute Children’s Choir, Blues at the Crossroads Festival, and Wabash Valley Art Space. At Art Spaces, Petra also served as Chair of the Site Selection and Acquisition Committee.
Most recently, Petra served as the Executive Director of Silence: Guelph’s Portal For Adventurous New Sound Events, an innovative arts centre dedicated to presenting diverse, challenging, sustainable and accessible art and musical practices. While in Guelph, Petra served on the Guelph Arts Council board, chairing the Communications Committee.
These positions are the most recent facet in a life’s work in art; a long, strong involvement in the arts as a successful artist, agent and arts organizer. She brings to the NPCC her committed vision of the guild of the creative community and its importance to society as a whole.
Petra received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors at York University in Toronto and a Master of Fine Arts with distinction at Indiana State University.

 

Lisa Robinson, Outreach Coordinator

Lisa Robinson is an artist-educator who has accepted a 10-month contract position at NPCC to perform outreach activities in our community through (a yet-to-be announced) grant award!)

A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, Lisa’s artistic style can be described as playful and bold and reflects her interest in the relationships of colour, shape and form as found in nature, the human form and and the everyday.  As a seasoned visual arts educator, it has been her privilege to both write curriculum and teach visual arts for artists of all ages for over 20 years. Her vision is to enable others to realize their artistic goals whether that be to master a certain technique, discover a new medium or simply explore a creative idea in a warm and supportive environment.  

 

Matthew Summers, Customer Service Representative

Matthew Summers is an Illustration student currently in his second year at OCAD University.

Art has been a lifelong interest to Matthew and he has been drawing for as long as he can remember. He continues to practice and improve through his classes and is currently learning more about analogue and digital painting. He's painted a few murals, one of which is in his old high school Etobicoke Collegiate Institute.

Music is another passion that was pursued in middle school with his participation in the band program where he learned to play the trumpet. As his interest in music grew he started taking piano lessons as well. However, what really captured his attention was a small music class in high school that introduced students to electronic music and production. He has continued creating music electronically outside of school and this has allowed him to draw upon many genres for inspiration for his own music. 

Matthew was introduced to NPCC when he started working as a summer camp counselor and this last summer he worked as an instructor for the summer camp. He enjoyed working at NPCC over the summer and so when the opportunity arose to continue throughout the year as  a Customer Service Representative he gladly took it.

  

Cory Therrien, Facilities Coordinator

Cory Therrien is an administrative and marketing professional with a diverse range of professional experience in areas such as office management, purchasing, event coordination, and product and brand analysis and departmental budgeting. She has a B.A.A. in Office and Administrative Studies and a certificate in marketing from Ryerson University.

Cory is a believer in life-long learning and strives to acquire new skills and knowledge in her work, continuing education studies and art and calligraphy classes.

Cory is a member Calligraphic Art Guild of Toronto at NPCC and is an ever hopeful gardener.


 
 
 
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