Board of Directors and Staff

Gabriola Arts Council Board of Directors

The Directors of the Gabriola Arts Council form a hard-working and committed volunteer Board that directs and guides the staff, volunteers, and the organization. We are always interested in hearing from members who have new ideas or who would like to volunteer to help with events or fundraising. Contact us!

Charlie Cheffins | President | charlie <at>
Charlie enjoyed a 35-year career in broadcasting. Now a senior citizen and retired from the rat race, he is resisting the impulse to spend his dotage drinking tea and watching Coronation Street in his carpet slippers by spending as much time as possible riding his bike. Charlie also serves on the board of Gabriola Players.
Board member since October 2015

Tawny Capon | Vice President | tawny <at>
Tawny is an artist, mother of three grown children, and married to musician John Capon. She has lived on Gabriola for 30 years, and has been very involved in the community as PAC Presidents for Gabriola Elementary School and NDSS, Director on the first Gabriola Island Museum Board, a paramedic on the island for 10 years, President of the Gabriola Ambulance Society, Chair of the first Gabriola Ferry Committee, Vice Chair of the Coastal Council to BC Ferries, and on the Parks and Rec Planning Committee, planning parks for Gabriola for the Regional Director. Tawny’s passion now is making mixed media and installation art, sharing it, and supporting the art-making community of this fabulous island. Check out the GAC directory for images and interviews about Tawny’s art making.
Board member since February 2017

Robyn McMahon | Treasurer | robyn <at>
Robyn was raised on Gabriola Island and returned in 2004 after some city-living. Currently juggling a career in real estate and raising two children, she also finds time for the garden and creating one-of-a-kind pieces of fabric art—a ruffly dress, cozy blanket, or costume for the children’s dance troupe. Robyn is passionate about keeping Gabriola an awesome place to live. She finds number-crunching, bill-paying and budget-making extremely satisfying.
Board member since March 2013

Margy Gilmour | Secretary | margy <at>
Margy is a TV story producer and researcher working in the areas of documentary and factual entertainment. She has been a photographer for as long as she can remember, and is now trying her hand at silversmithing. Margy previously served as a Director with GAC from 2007 to 2010.
Board member since October 2014

Catherine Hallam | Director | catherine <at>
Catherine is both a passionate artist and art educator. Her background in fashion, fine arts, design, and education led her to spend the past 13 adventure-filled years travelling the world teaching art from East Africa to South China before returning to teach in Canada. She also has a small screenprinting studio where she produces a line of baby and children’s clothes. She is looking forward to helping promote the arts on Gabriola.
Board member since February 2017

Mary Holdgrafer | Director | mary <at>
Mary Sullivan Holdgrafer is textile artist and creativity coach. She uses her mixed media textile work to question, explore and explain topics of interest. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in public and private collections. She is a member of the Haven Foundation Board of Directors.
Board member since September 2015

Tina Jones | Director | tina <at>
Tina Jones is a committed parent, community member and musical artist. Whether touring North America fronting various ensembles, to solo and duo performances at festivals and concert venues, Tina’s dynamic performances captivate live audiences of all ages. When she’s not performing, she is a private voice coach and choir leader. Tina is committed to creativity in the forms of song-writing and visual arts and loves hanging out with her dogs.
Board member since September 2013

Jen Reed-Lewis | Director | jen <at>
Jen is a leadership consultant motivated by inspiring positive change. What she loves most about her work is getting passionate people working together, aligned and focused on achieving common goals that improve the human experience in work settings, social enterprises, and communities. An avid lover of all features in the natural world, Jen and her husband spend almost all their leisure time actively engaging with the many breathtaking natural treasures here on Gabriola.
Board member since February 2017

Barbara Russell | Director | barb <at>
Barb worked in Theatre in Toronto for over 35 years, from Box Office and Front of House Management to Wardrobe and Company Management. Since “retiring” to Gabriola she is proud to work part-time at The Haven, plays cello with The Gabriola Chamber Ensemble, and volunteers with the Gabriola Theatre Festival and Gabriola Players.
Board member since October 2015


Michelle Benjamin | Executive Director | michelle <at>
Michelle worked in book publishing for twenty years, including ten years owning and operating a small literary press. She has been with the Gabriola Arts Council for four years, and is committed to making a meaningful contribution to the Gabriola community, not only through her work with GAC but also through collaborating with and supporting the programs and services of other community-based organizations.

Mitch Miyagawa | Program Director | mitch <at>

Mitch has been producing large-scale community and arts events for 20 years, and is a nationally-recognized writer, playwright, and filmmaker. His film A Sorry State won the 2013 Writers Guild of Canada award for Documentary.

Mitch joined GAC in 2017. He lives on Gabriola with his partner Angela Walkley and their 2 sons, Tomio and Sam. He also creates and delivers compassionate communication workshops and events with Angela in their business, Farthest Shore Workshops.