Appointed with input from the arts community, the Saskatchewan Arts Board’s Board of Directors governs the agency through The Arts Board Act, 1997.
The Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Arts Board has a wealth of knowledge and experience in areas such as artistic excellence, entrepreneurship, business, strategic planning, governance and finance. They also have extensive experience serving on other provincial boards of directors in a variety of public benefit sectors. Each individual’s diverse background contributes to the leadership that they provide the Arts Board in the development of policy priorities with an emphasis on providing relevant, accessible, and tailored services to meet the needs of our stakeholders.
Jason Aebig (Chair), Saskatoon – communications professional
Jason Aebig is a partner with Creative Fire communications and public relations in Saskatoon, where he leads the agency’s strategy practice. He is a former chair of Saskatoon’s United Way and former chair of the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association. Most recently, he served as chair of Remai Modern, where he was a driving force behind the new gallery and the acquisition of Picasso's extensive linocut collection to Saskatoon. He currently serves as a director on the board of the Saskatoon Chamber. In 2017, he was recognized for his extensive community service by Leadership Saskatoon.
Rachel Heidecker (Vice-Chair), Osler – technology, management and marketing specialist
Rachel Heidecker is a leader in business strategy and transformation, specializing in technology, innovation, management and marketing. She obtained her Chartered Director designation, is an MBA and B.Sc graduate from the University of Saskatchewan and received a post-graduate diploma in software technology from the University of Calgary. She was previously a director and manager at the University of Saskatchewan. Rachel is passionate about the arts and may be seen in a variety of flamenco dance performances around Saskatoon.
Dwayne Brenna, Saskatoon – educator, actor and writer
Dwayne Brenna is the award-winning author of several books of humour, poetry, and fiction. His book of poetry, Stealing Home, was shortlisted for several Saskatchewan Book Awards and his first novel, New Albion, won the 2017 Muslims for Peace and Justice Fiction Award. Dwayne has acted at the Stratford Festival and has appeared on television in various nationally and internationally broadcast programs. He is also the author of several books on theatre research. Having completed his PhD at the University of London (England), he is an active proponent of internationalization at the University of Saskatchewan, where he is employed.
Derek Davidson, Regina – lawyer
Derek Davidson is a Crown Prosecutor with the Province of Saskatchewan in Regina. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario and his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba. Derek has been practicing law for seven years and has also been involved with the Mentorship program at Mother Theresa Middle School in Regina. He is a regular patron of the Globe Theatre and the Regina International Fringe Theatre Festival.
Gale Hagblom, Saskatoon – urban planner and artist
Gale has a diverse background brought about from living in several regions within Canada, including the Atlantic and Arctic regions. She worked for nearly a decade as the Communications Coordinator for the Saskatchewan Craft Council and previously served on the boards of the Churchill Arts Council and the Great Northern Arts Festival, as well as the organizing committee for the EMMA International Collaboration. She is fully engaged in supporting creative initiatives that will result in advancing artistic and cultural opportunities. Gale studied Graphic Design at the Banff Centre for the Arts and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from NSCAD University and a master’s degree in Geography and Planning from the University of Saskatchewan. Gale currently works as a Planning and Communications Consultant and maintains a professional art practice.
Melissa Johnson, Hyas – dance instructor
Melissa Johnson has been involved in the creative and arts community for a number of years. From being an accomplished dance instructor to owning and operating her own dance studio for over 10 years, Melissa continues to instruct students and has received numerous choreography and artistic awards in recognition of her work. Melissa is not only involved in the world of dance, but is also tirelessly involved and volunteers her time with community and charities such as serving on her local School Community Council, volunteering as a senior girls volleyball coach, serving as a Volunteer Chair for Northern Saskatchewan for Diabetes Canada and as Chair for the Kids in School Policy Committee. Melissa has a true passion for helping others and has also owned and operated a decorating business that works with clients to turn their house ideas into homes that suit their needs. Melissa looks forward to serving on this Board where she can bring her experience and creativity to continue to help build a strong arts community in Saskatchewan.
Nancy Martin, Regina – retired senior public servant, former arts administrator
Nancy Martin’s career is comprised of many years of public and non-profit service as Executive Director of the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils (OSAC), as a senior policy advisor with the Saskatchewan Government in Executive Council (Cabinet Planning) and in the policy and planning area with the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport and includes past experience as a board director with the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA) and Prairie Debut Inc. She currently serves on the board of Caring Hearts (formerly Regina Palliative Care and Bereavement Centre) and as chair of the Western Development Museum. A lifelong supporter of arts and culture, Nancy remains an enthusiastic symphony attendee, theatre goer and museum and gallery observer both at home and wherever else her travels may take her.
Shahid Pervaiz, Regina – business executive
An accomplished business executive with Canadian and International Experience for Small and Medium Enterprises, Shahid is currently the Corporate Manager at Stewart Southern Railway Inc. Earlier in his career, Shahid produced a variety of documentaries, drama and musical programs. Additionally, he has organized creative writing programs and fostered multiculturalism.
Lionel Auburn Peyachew, Regina – visual artist and educator
Lionel is an associate professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at the First Nations University of Canada. In 2000, he graduated with an MFA from the University of Calgary and has since been teaching sculpture, Indian art history, traditional Indian art and painting. He also has a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Lethbridge and the Alberta College of Art and Design. Lionel has been a practicing artist for most of his career and has been awarded with five major public commissions since completing his thesis specializing in sculpture. Peyachew has won numerous awards including three with the Canada Council for the Arts and three awards with the Aboriginal Achievement for the Arts.
Lois Standing, Saskatoon – consultant
Lois Standing has a diverse background as a community and business planning consultant and creative clothing designer. She obtained her MBA from the University of Saskatchewan and received a Fashion Designer Diploma from the George Brown College in Toronto. She is currently the Indigenous Inclusion Consultant at the City of Saskatoon and was previously the Director of Indigenous Business programs at the University of Saskatchewan. Lois is passionate about the arts and local economic development.
Rae Staseson, Regina – educator, media artist
Professor Rae Staseson, Dean of the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance at the University of Regina, is also a media artist and curator. Her work has been exhibited internationally in 14 countries and is represented in several collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Walker Art Centre and the Saskatchewan Art Board. The focus of her work for the last decade has been a series of video and sound projections tracing themes of home, site/place and memory. As an administrator and curator, Rae opened, directed and curated for Concordia’s Media Gallery, hosting innovative exhibitions by local, national and international media artists. She joined the University of Regina in 2014, and is leading the faculty in new directions with the recent renaming and rebrand of the Faculty of Fine Arts, now known as the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance.
Lyndon Tootoosis, Battleford – sculptor
Lyndon Tootoosis, of the Battle River Cree tribal group, has been a sculptor for 25 years. As a youth, he was traditionally guided and learned to make ceremonial objects. With permission from his Elders, he shares their stories, legends and beliefs through sculpture. His artwork is found in collections across Canada, including that of the Saskatchewan Arts Board. Lyndon has worked with the Allen Sapp Gallery and the Living Sky and Chinook School Districts. In 2014, he was on the artistic team for the North American Indigenous Games, where he served as a mentor and ensured that cultural protocols were followed.