PETER GILL – Chairman of the Board
Peter Gill was born and brought up in Toronto, lived for 7 years in Vancouver and then relocated to Niagara-on-the-Lake, 14 years ago. His work career was in Claims and Risk management with the Corporation of the City of Toronto and latterly managing claims with a private insurer in Vancouver for seven years. While there he started a consulting business in the same field with clients in BC and Ontario, continued that business from NOTL, but has now retired.
Fundraising has become a sort of hobby for him. His first independent fundraising was for the 1980 Terry Fox original run when he organized a very successful multi-departmental challenge at the City of Toronto. Subsequently he has organized events and raised funds for Gillian’s Place, the NOTL Cancer Society, the new St. Catharines hospital, the Red Roof Retreat, the Shaw Festival Guild, the latter three while on their Boards, and other charities. Peter and his wife Judy are both music lovers, in particular jazz, and have taken various opportunities to see some of the jazz greats over the years and played trumpet for many years in his teens.
When the Niagara Jazz Festival was formed the attended many events in both 2014 and 2015. When he heard a new Board was being created, he contacted Juliet Dunn and also the Chair of the 2015 Board for more information, and subsequently applied to be on the Board, where he was nominated and accepted the position of Chair for 2016-17.
SUSAN KELLY – Secretary
Susan grew up in St. Catharines, and in 2011 after a career in the hotel industry, she joined the Four Seasons Hotels marketing team and was responsible for positioning Four Seasons Yorkville. Following that she was transferred to open Four Seasons hotels in Philadelphia and LA. With interests in researching new markets and strategic development, Susan opened a niche consulting practice specializing in opening and repositioning fine hotels. Career highlights include: Hotel Manager of Hotel Bel-Air, LA; CEO and GM of Poets Cove Resort, Spa & Marina, Pender Island, British Columbia; and VP Marketing Sea Island Company, Sea Island, Georgia. As a hotel manager Susan was fortunate to enjoy performances of many renowned musicians and to meet the artists when they were guests in the hotel. Susan and her husband, Ernie Kister, have enjoyed living while working in many vacation destinations and decided to continue the tradition by retiring to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Both are members of the Shaw Guild. In 2013 Susan became a member of the Executive Committee and is beginning her fourth year as Secretary.
EVA SCHMIDT – Treasurer
Jane Gardner celebrates her 8th year as General Manager of Carousel Players in St. Catharines. Career highlights include managing two successful regional theatres – Blyth Festival and Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa, serving as Executive Director of Theatre Ontario, promoting an international jazz festival in Ottawa and fostering joint marketing projects with Association of Summer Theatres ‘Round Ontario.
APRIL MITCHELL BOUDREAU – Director
April Mitchell-Boudreau is a Niagara-based Indigenous designer, who is on a mission to awaken the creator that lives inside every person. Together with her husband Doug, April owns and operates BeadQueen, an innovative handmade jewelry company.
Passionate about empowering people’s natural creativity, April is the designer of the Lofttan Strandwear jewelry system, and is constantly challenging herself to create new tools for expression. More recently, April has begun offering Conscious Creation Workshops, where mindfulness is awakened through design, and stringing beads. When people “make” together, magic happens!
Now in it’s 11th year of business, BeadQueen operates as both a retailer and wholesaler out of Niagara; selling online, in museum shops and galleries across the country, and participating in select juried retail environments.
RON CLAVIER – Director