John Sterk, QC is a retired lawyer after 31 years of private practice in Edmonton. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law from the University of Alberta and a Master of Arts in Dutch History from the University of Victoria. He taught real estate law at the U of A law school for 10 years and published a well-recognized text on the subject. As well, he taught Canadian Business Law for the last 7 years for University Canada West. He is a chartered arbitrator (inactive). John has sung with the University of Victoria Chorus and the Victoria Philharmonic Choir. He has served as Chair of various organizations in the legal and musical areas. His interests include long distance running and reading history. One of his children is a graduate of UVic School of Music (performance voice) who owns and operates a dance school in Courtenay.
Peter Parrish - Vice-President
(Marketing and Communications Portfolio)
As a senior corporate executive, Peter Parrish enjoyed a highly successful career managing in both mature and developing enterprise environments, implementing a wide variety of new business initiatives and strategic renewals. An executive consultant for the past eighteen years, Peter’s clients have included both public and private sector organizations seeking to develop and execute strategic and organizational change initiatives and seeking to enhance their operational, marketing, and sales best-practice models. In a consulting capacity, Peter has been privileged to work extensively for the First Nations of British Columbia, including strategic and business planning, organizational development, health and education service delivery, and information and communications technology projects. Peter has served on a number of corporate and society boards including the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) board and the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Records (FACTOR) board.
Nathan Zhang - Treasurer
Nathan Zhang, CPA, CGA is a Chartered Professional Accountant working with the BC Ministry of Finance as a Senior Financial Officer in Victoria. He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Victoria as well as a Financial Management Certificate from the Government of BC. He has extensive volunteer experience from his role as treasurer on strata board, chief accountant for the LifeRing Secular Recovery Society Canada, and patient support at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. He is currently also the Director of Finance (Board Treasurer) with the Saanich Volunteer Services Society. In his spare time, he enjoys running, hiking and has a great passion in traveling around the world and exploring new cultures.
Carolyn Fumalle - Member at Large
(Section Head Liaison)
Carolyn is a former RN and Labour Relations Consultant for the Vancouver Island Health Authority. Her first exposure to music festivals was as a participant in the Kiwanis Music Festival in Calgary. Carolyn currently plays with a number of music groups/orchestras in Victoria, has volunteered with the Victoria Conservatory of Music and is a former Hampton Concert Orchestra Board member. She has been the GVPAF Section Head for Woodwinds for the past 7 years, on the Board since 2013, and recently completed one year as Vice President.
(General Funds Portfolio)
Marissa Kitson studied Classical Guitar Performance, Composition and Harmony at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Marissa has taught classical and acoustic guitar, song writing, and harmony from a studio in her home for fourteen years and her studio currently hosts over thirty students. She is the secretary and treasurer for the Victoria Guitar Society and is a long-time volunteer for the Greater Victoria Festival of Performing Arts.
Elodie Adams - Member at Large
A born-and-bred native of Victoria, Elodie Adams has been involved with music and dance for most of her life. She began dancing in Victoria at Wynne Shaw's dance studio, and ended up teaching tap dance to adults and performing in France, where she lived, worked, danced, and sang in vocal ensembles for 18 years. Elodie has an undergraduate degree from the University of Victoria and more recently completed the Journalism program at Langara College in Victoria. Since then she has worked in journalism for newspapers in Saskatchewan and on Vancouver Island, and does freelance writing and copy editing. She is happy to bring her media skills to the Festival's board.
Jane Gardiner - Member at Large
Jane Gardiner joined the Ministry of Education in 1992 after a teaching career in senior sciences. She held management positions in the area of Learning Resources and in Curriculum Development and went on to become Director of Intergovernmental Relations where, in addition to liaising with Ministries of Education across Canada, and other levels of government, she and her staff had the privilege of developing the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games Education Program. Over the years, Jane Gardiner has been actively involved in the Victoria Arts Community including: Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival as Head of Voice section, Board of Directors and President (1985-91); Victoria Conservatory of Music - Board of Governors and President (1989-99); Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra – Board of Directors (1991-94); Musica Victoria, International Recital Series – Board of Directors and President (1999-04). She is currently a Member of the Canadian Music Centre – BC Region and of the Justice Education Society.
Darlene Sheldon - Member at Large
Darlene Sheldon is currently retired after a variety of careers in the technology and petroleum industries. The last decade of her professional life involved creating, growing and divesting software corporations. Darlene’s strengths are in small business management, marketing and finance. Darlene has two daughters who have performed for many years in the Speech and Dramatic Arts and Dance sections of GVPAF.
Zhila Alizadeh-Borji - Member at Large
Zhila has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and is in the process of obtaining certification as an Aboriginal Finance Manager. She has extensive experience as a bookkeeper, finance manager and office manager for various organizations. In her spare time Zhila uses her creative skills to draw and paint.
Serena Selkirk - Member at Large
Serena Selkirk, holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Victoria and has completed the CPA Canada In-Depth in Tax Course. With her CPA and CA, Serena works in public practice as a manager at Dusanj & Wirk Chartered Professional Accountants. Serena has enjoyed participating in the Studio Dance and Musical Theatre sections of the GVPAF while growing up and is now excited to be part of an organization that helps develop participant’s artistic skills and a love for the performing arts.
Daniele Williamson - Member at Large
Daniele Williamson believes creativity can change the world - through the arts, and through problem solving in business. It’s a philosophy that has been the foundation of her diverse professional experience that ranges from marketing forestry products to managing not-for-profit organizations that support entrepreneurship. Presently she enjoys protecting democratic rights through compliance work at Elections BC. Daniele holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from University of British Columbia, from which she graduated with honors and distinction. She grew up figure skating, taking jazz and modern dance lessons and she loves any piece of music that can tease out a few goosebumps as you listen. Daniele’s family is new to Victoria and enjoys embracing “island life”, hiking and sampling all the ocean-side patios. Daniele also loves trying something new so you may find her on a windy piece of single track on her new mountain bike.
Melanie Johnson-Jagiello - Member at Large
Melanie Jagiello has a bachelor's degree in History from the University of Alberta as well as graduate work towards a Masters in French History. She has worked with the TELUS Communications Company for the past 17 years in a series of progressive roles supporting some of TELUS' largest public and private sector customers; in her present role she is responsible for running strategic business programs. Having recently moved to Victoria, she is excited to be part of the Victoria community. In her spare time, she enjoys playing piano, travelling and exploring Vancouver Island with her family.