Richmond Arts Strategy Task Group


The following members of the Arts Strategy Task Group are assembled to be community ambassadors and champions to provide support, direction and feedback to the Project team made up of key City staff and the professional consulting team, Patricia Huntsman Culture + Communication and Nordicity.


Glen Andersen. I've lived in Richmond for 9 years and care passionately about about access to the arts, including civic arts policy and arts spaces. As a multi-disciplinary artist working mostly in public art, community engaged arts, documentary video and 2D and 3D mediums, I have completed 2 local civic public artworks using sculpture and mosaic (RCMP/ public safety building, London Landing). My work in Richmond has also included a collaborative community-engaged (crowd-sourced) video installation, "Voice of the River" and several group shows. I have served on public art juries for civic and private projects locally and serve on the Richmond Public Art Advisory Committee. My local work in video includes a 10 minute film for Britannia Heritage Shipyards and an ongoing documentary about politician/farmer environmentalist Harold Steves. I am active in 2 local environmental organizations.

Sid Akselrod is a visual artist, photographer and the leader of the Art department at Steveston-London Secondary in Richmond. Sid has taught, mentored and inspired the artistic endeavours of art students in Richmond for 20 years. He has created a mini art school environment where students are encouraged and welcomed to explore drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking, photography (digital and traditional) and digital media thanks to a fully equipped computer lab that he spearheaded and fundraised to establish. Sid was one of the original planners of the Richmond Art Gallery’s Arts for Life Conferences which provided students the opportunity to hear and learn from visual art professionals. He is always providing opportunities for students to exhibit and apply their creative skills in the community. With his enthusiastic support and encouragement, many of Sid’s students have embarked on well-established careers in the visual arts.

Linda Barnes is a retired Richmond City Councillor, having spent 15 years championing the Arts, Sustainability and being an advocate for social issues. She retired from the Richmond School District in 2006, having worked as a Teaching Assistant and Youth Support Worker for 25 plus years. During this time she was involved with her union, CUPE Local 716, holding several positions including President. She developed and taught educational courses throughout the province for CUPE. Since her retirement, she has kept active in the community, currently chairing both the Steveston Historical Society and the Richmond Arts Coalition as well as the Steveston 20/20 Group, which includes the heritage societies in Steveston.

Suzanne Carter-Huffman is a senior planner with the City of Richmond with over 30 years of experience in planning and development, including over 20 years in Richmond. She was a lead author of Richmond’s City Centre Area Plan (CCAP), adopted 2009, and was involved in planning for the Canada Line and Richmond Olympic Oval. Her current work is focussed on implementing the CCAP, including working with developers to achieve City objectives for, among other things, a high amenity public realm, public art, affordable studio space and housing for professional artists, and related arts opportunities.

Ceri Chong. With over 12 years of experience in marketing within the travel and tourism industry, Ceri has worked for international travel organizations, including the fourth largest tour operator in the UK and the largest working holiday travel company in New Zealand. When she moved to Canada in 2010, Ceri used her international marketing expertise in organizations such as Hostelling International Canada - Pacific Mountain Region and the River Rock Casino Resort to attract international travelers. She is currently the Industry Development Manager at Tourism Richmond, working with stakeholders to develop a unique destination and experiences, managing the Cooperative Marketing Investment Program and more.

Kirsten Close has over 20 years of experience in municipal recreation and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Kinetics from the University of British Columbia. Throughout her career, she has developed diverse skills including relationship development, community engagement, facility operations, leadership, and project management. Kirsten believes that art plays a crucial role in bringing together communities and facilitating discussions about community issues; a value that has been evident through her leadership of City Centre Community Centre as the Coordinator, Leisure Services. In January 2018, Kirsten will be embarking in a new role as the Coordinator, Community Services Major Projects.  

Sandra Ciccozzi is a long time Richmond resident and avid potter who belongs to the Richmond Potters' Club.  She has spent many years supporting the community and schools with her volunteerism.  Enjoying life in a beautiful city such as Richmond, she has a vested interest in seeing art flourish in her community.

Gabby Cometa. I'm a Richmond youth who is a long-time member of the Richmond Youth Media Program! I love art and enjoy making art in many forms such as drawing, writing, and media arts like animation and music.

Chris Ho. Educated as an architect, Chris has been involved in all facets of real estate development for over 25 years.  Over the last 5 years, he has been working at Polygon Homes as a VP of Development overseeing a variety of projects including the award winning Carrera/Kiwanis project in Richmond.  Carrera/Kiwanis was made up of 325 condominium homes and 298 affordable senior rental homes.
Chris’s education, experience and leadership have led  to numerous speaking engagements and presentations for institutions such as The Urban Land Institute, The American Planning Association, The Congress of New Urbanism and The Architectural Institute of America.

Jonathan Der, violinist, conductor, chamber musician and church organist, has given many recitals and chamber concerts in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. He is a member of the Vancouver Chamber Players and has performed in the Chan Centre, Orpheum Theatre and many other venues in the Lower Mainland. Mr. Der is involved in many community collaborations with the Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra. Each year, he brings students to over 35 performances and events to the community. He teaches violin at his home studio, is enjoying his 14th season with RDYO and is the music director of St. Anne’s Steveston Anglican Church.

Rob Fillo, Executive Director of the Richmond Arts Coalition, Multidisciplinary Artist and CEO at Vancouver Media Services Inc.

Donna Lee is the Inclusion Coordinator with the City of Richmond and is passionate about accessibility and social justice. Her background experience is varied and includes work in municipal recreation, provincial non-profit organizations, and university settings. Donna is a long-time Richmond resident and holds an M.A. in Kinesiology from UBC.

Neonila Lilova. Heading Economic Development for the City of Richmond, Neonila facilitates growth for hundreds of businesses in Richmond. Prior to joining the City, Neonila accumulated over a decade of consulting and business development experience in the private sector. She also worked for a British Columbia government agency fostering growth and promotion of the British Columbia technology sector. Neonila holds an MBA from Queen’s University and a BComm from UBC.

Sudnya Mulye is a dancer and choreographer of the ancient Indian classical dance form of Bharata Natyam. She is a specialist in Indian culture and a proponent of dance. Sudnya is the Founder and Artistic Director of Sudnya Dance Academy (SDA). Sudnya instructs students of SDA on Indian culture, heritage, language, traditions and art forms while teaching Bharata Natyam. In addition to her performances and instruction, Sudnya has been the Artistic Director for several events; most recently, International Dance Day Richmond. Sudnya has partnered with a diverse range of artists and businesses, working towards “You Create Art Productions” -  creating a platform to engage youth and future generations.

Jay Nunns is founding member, Artistic & Community Engagement director for CircusWest Performing Arts Society-- Western Canada's premier circus training and performance entity since 1985. Jay also creates and directs theatre, events, spectacles and video/film project with his company CoastStory Creative. As an improviser, Jay has performed with Vancouver TheatreSports and has collaborated with numerous companies to create original circus, theatre and film content including Theatrix, FirePort Theatre, Hoarse Raven Theatre and more.  Jay continues to teach theatre and circus throughout BC, most notably as Artistic Director with Ailanthus Achievement Centre for nine years and more recently, for 12 years, as Arts Instructor Specialist at Stratford Hall IB World School. Jay is passionate about arts, culture and community and is eager to add his voice and perspective to Richmond Arts Strategy Task Group.

Marcus Prasad is in the final year of his BA in art history at UBC, working on his honours thesis that investigates the reemergence of classical and early modern tropes in contemporary sculpture. He has published and presented research regarding Nepalese religious statues, as well as contemporary horror film, and intends to pursue further graduate studies in art history. He is also the Secretary and a Director for the Richmond Art Gallery Association, and currently works at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and Reid Hurst Nagy CPAs.

Andrea Paterson. I'm a photographer, writer, and fiber artist and a mom to two kids--a nearly 6 year old boy and a 1.5 year old girl. I'm very interested in art as a community building practice. I have been running a community craft night in Steveston called Stab and Gab for about two years now. I write a blog (sadly a little neglected of late) about the intersection of crafts/art/writing and mental health. The act of making things, and writing through trauma, was integral to my recovery from Postpartum Depression and Anxiety after the birth of my son.

Angelica Poversky is an artist, spoken word poet, artistic programmer and Bachelor of Media Studies student at the University of British Columbia. Interested in clown, music, performance and media art, Angelica is Vancouver’s Top 24 under 24, a TD Scholar, Richmond’s 30 under 30 and a Richmond Arts Award Winner. She’s been on the author panel at National Culture Days, a speaker at The Top 25 under 25 Canadian Environmentalists Awards and the feature performer at The 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defense Minsterial Conference.

Carolyn Robertson. An educator for 38 years, Carolyn Robertson is the Dean of the Wilson School of Design at KPU. In addition to her teaching and administrative roles. Carolyn has an extensive service record in university governance, student mobility, program development, and quality assurance. Throughout her career, Carolyn has been strongly committed to creating exceptional and transformative learning experiences for students while building capacity with faculty and programs. Most recently, she has led her team in the opening of a new $36 million facility specifically designed to elevate research and learning, stimulate creativity foster innovation, and develop designers and leaders of tomorrow.

Quelemia Sparrow is a First Nations actor, director and writer from the Musqueam Nation. She graduated from Studio 58’s Theatre program and the Langara Film Arts screenwriting program. Directing credits include Oleanna/Main Street Productions and Salmon Girl/Raven Spirit Dance. Some of Quelemia’s theatre acting credits include The Snow Queen/Globe Theatre, the Jessie Richardson award-winning production of Our Town/Osimous Theatre and The Penelopiad/Arts Club Theatre. Various Film and TV credits include Clouds of Autumn, The Letter, Fringe, V, Unnatural and Accidental, Da Vinci’s City Hall, Dead Zone and Da Vinci’s Inquest for which she won a Leo Award for Best Female Guest Appearance. Writing credits include the plays Salmon Girl/Raven Spirit Dance, Women of Papiyek/Full Circle Theatre and The Pipeline Project /Itsazoo and Savage Society. Her short film, Mosquitoes, won an award for her unique voice and she recently completed the Stratford writing retreat. Quelemia is currently an Associate with Playwrights Theatre Centre and is in residency with Full Circle Theatre.

Jovanni Sy is a playwright, director, actor, and the Artistic Director of Gateway Theatre. In 2010, Jovanni wrote and performed A Taste of Empire which was nominated for two Dora Awards (Toronto) including Outstanding New Play.  A Taste of Empire was subsequently remounted by Boca del Lupo Theatre in Vancouver and translated into Cantonese. His latest play, Nine Dragons, premiered at Vertigo Theatre (Calgary) and Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (Winnipeg) this fall.  It opens at Gateway next April. Jovanni’s directing credits include God of Carnage, Antigone, and Blackbird  for Theatre du Pif in Hong Kong and Closer Than Ever, Valley Song, and Harvest at Gateway.  He has performed with theatre companies from St. John's to Whitehorse as well as overseas.

Minghui Yu. I am a Richmond resident and a father of two school-age kids. I am an IT professional and have three degrees, MBA (2016), Bachelor of Computer Science (2009), and Bachelor of Engineering (2000). I am passionate about community engagement and was elected twice as a board member of the largest UBC staff collective bargaining group. I believe culture plays a vital role in shaping a dynamic city. I look forward to contributing my passion and expertise to develop an arts strategy that serves Richmond residents better.

Thomas Yu. I have been retired since 2013. I came to Canada in 1970 and am currently living in Richmond. In 1985, I graduated from Ontario College of Art (Now OCAD university) in fine arts and had many solo and group shows in Ontario. In 1995-97, l had solo art shows at Gateway theatre gallery and Ladner community art gallery. From 2000 to 2012, l ran a jewellery business in Richmond. As for voluntary work, l have been a director of the Richmond Chinese Community Society since 2003. I was President in 2005-6, and am currently honorary member and director. I was also a member of the Richmond Spirit of BC committee (a City advisory committee) 2006-2010.

Toni Zhang McAfee. received her M.A. in Arts Administration and M.A. in Museology in the U.S. She has worked in commercial art galleries in both the U.S. and Canada since 2001. After moving to Vancouver in 2008 she has been working with local artists, historians, curators, designers, collectors and cultural organisations in the production of multicultural community arts programs. She has served on the boards of the Richmond Art Gallery and Cinevolution Media Arts Society. In her free time, she has organised cultural activities for the Grandmothers’ Support Group at the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre.