Past Team Members


JoeJOE ROBERTSON –  Founding Chairman of the Board –  2013-2015

Joe Robertson was a long-time Niagara resident, entrepreneur, and supporter of music and the performing arts. He and his wife Anita built a small local company to be the largest dental supply company in Canada, whose head office and largest distribution centre is in Niagara-on-the-Lake. They were Platinum members of the Brock Centre for the Arts, Diamond sponsors of MusiCares, avid supporters of the Jackson Triggs Amphitheatre concert series and long-time Shaw Festival Governors Council members. Joe was also Chair of the Board of Brock University and a Governor of Ridley College.  Joe was absolutely thrilled to be Chair of the inaugural NOTL Niagara Jazz Festival.


PETER GILL –  Chairman of the Board –  2015 – 2018


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 the 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.


MARIA MAVRIDIS – Sponsorship & Fund Development Lead – 2014 – 2019

Maria has a passion for attracting tourists to the Niagara Region. Her family has owned business in Niagara for over 30 years and still going strong! She works in the family restaurant, Corks Winebar & Eatery as the Manager, and Events Coordinator. Carrying on a promise to her late mother, she is actively involved in the community, with fundraising. “When approached by Juliet, I jumped on board without hesitation. If Juliet & Peter are behind something, I want to be with them!”  Her organizational skills along with her extensive experience with events are what will drive the success of the Funding Committee to ensure that the Niagara Jazz Festival grows bigger and better annually. Maria keeps busy as       Sales Manager for BlauAire Technologies, Board Member on Niagara Nursery School & CC, Sales & Sponsorship for Something-Something Productions, and Clocktower Entertainment. She is a mother of a two-year who has taught her to slow down sometimes and enjoy the beautiful region we call home, Niagara. CONTACT:


BRAIN FARM – Creative Team – 2014-2015

Brain Farm’s team of artists, designers, videographers, photographers, and event / audio / visual specialists are tireless agents of change. By asking intelligent questions with their work they seek to identify creative ways of designing and embracing new ideas, new technologies and new experiences in a more human way.

The Brain Farm’s team create environments, experiences, and media that strive to resonate on a limbic level with the end user, linking well with todays markets of social media and corporate culture, enabling clients to meet their objectives whilst looking pretty snazzy.

  • art and media installations
  • photography and video production
  • product and print design
  • event programming and logistics
  • environmental and interactive design and build


DuncanDUNCAN HOPKINS – Artistic Advisor, 2014-2015

Double bassist, composer and arranger Duncan Hopkins has been working at the highest levels of jazz for over twenty years. In that time he has worked with such luminaries as Rob McConnell, Scott Hamilton, Houston Person, Warren Vache, Ed Bickert, Mark Murphy, Peter Appleyard, Dianna Krall, Kenny Wheeler, D.D. Jackson, Sam Rivers, Harry Allen and Edward Simon to name but a few. Most recently he has been touring Europe with former Jazz Messenger Bobby Watson and his All Stars alongside pianist Bruce Barth.

Duncan’s five solo albums and four co-led albums have all received international acclaim with one reviewer concluding that “Duncan Hopkins adds an inspired voice to Canadian jazz composition with his masterful Red & Brassy, offering a fascinating glimpse into the past, present and future in one invigorating breath.”{ e-jazznews}

He has toured extensively throughout Canada, Great Britain, Europe, Brazil, and the United States. He can be heard on over fifty albums, numerous CBC, BBC, and NPR recordings. He is a long-standing member of the jazz education group the Global Music Foundation and continues to be a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England.


ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS – Melissa Cahill & Jacqueline Pearson

ARTIST LIAISONS – Melissa Cahill, Lenora Gilbert, Alex Hill
GUEST SERVICES – Rebecca Rooney
VENUE LIAISON – Nancy Kennedy
WEBSITE – Mandi Gould, Joe Lapinski
VOLUNTEER COORDINATORS – Sonia Wilkinson, Erica Walters, Ailsa Wylie
TEAM LEADERS – Carol Cox, Ailsa Wylie
LOGISTICS & EXECUTION – Chachi, & Kevin Miller

Jane Gardner, Carousel Players
Steve Solski, Performing Arts Centre of St. Catharines
Chris Blake, Music Niagara
Filimone Mabjaia, Hamilton World Music Festival
Jason Cadieux, City of St. Catharines