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!

Anne Poschmann | President | anne <at>

Anne spent 35 years working as a geotechnical engineer with a consulting engineering company based in Ontario, travelling the world a bit with various projects.  While working, Anne’s belief that geotechnical engineering is an art as opposed to an exact science (in that it takes a lot of imagination) satisfied some of her artistic urge while saving up for retirement.  But then when retirement planning with her partner resulted in a paradise home purchase on Gabriola, she quickly shifted gears.  After three years of part time living on Gabriola while looking after parents back in Oakville for the rest of the time, Anne has made the plunge and is now immersed in Gabriola life where the arts and community gardens are now her passions, including weeding of the GAC grounds.
Board member since February 2020

Seraphina Khepera | Vice President | seraphina <at>

Born in Honduras and raised in Guatemala City, Victoria’s initial B.A. studies in Anthropology, Sociology and Cinematography led her to solo Art Video exhibitions and documenting holocaust witnesses in Eastern Europe by the age of 23. After graduating from the Film School in Guatemala City, she moved to Berlin and worked in a team setting as a freelance documentary photographer for an NGO searching for witnesses and survivors of genocide, particularly of WWII and Iraq. After years of traveling she now resides on the island of Gabriola working out of her studio and is a passionate student of hellenistic astrology. As an independent visual artist she creates visionary art through the world of abstract painting with encaustic and acrylic mediums inspired by visual meditations and astrological archetypes, she also produces, films and edits videographic collages inspired by nature.
Board member since March 2021

Dirk Huysman | Treasurer | dirk <at>

Since moving to Gabriola with his partner in life, love and glass, Dirk has spent his creative time indulging in glass art and photography. Involvement in the Gabriola Island Photography Club has resulted in a community of like-minded folks passionate about the photographic arts, supporting each other through an exploration of photography as an art form. Enjoyment of poetry and performance art led to a two-year stint on the Poetry Gabriola Board. The completion of their glass blowing studio (D’Dance Glass) has resulted in an almost full-time obsession with glass blowing. Life has been very good here.
Board member since February 2018

Patricia Armstrong | Secretary | patricia <at>

Patricia Armstrong is a professional violinist and music educator. She has performed with the Victoria Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, the CBC Radio Orchestra, and, most recently, with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. Patricia became a full- time resident of Gabriola in 2018, after having spent many years as a part-timer. Her family has roots on Gabriola that reach back to the 1930’s, and she is grateful to continue the legacy.
Board member since March 2021

Mary Ann Richards | Director | maryann <at>

As a Gabriola glass blower, one of many diverse roles, Mary Ann has great gratitude for the opportunity to live and create on Snuneymuxw lands. Her endeavours continue to include parenthood (5! adult children), teaching, teacher education, educational research, drama, outdoor pursuits, reading, and joy in life. In organizational roles such as communications chair, political action chair, and teacher education and certification committee member with the Alberta Teachers Association, she has focused on building connections and maximizing potential, and looks forward to continued opportunities with GAC.
Board member since February 2018

Frank Shoemaker | Director | frank <at>

After growing up in Vancouver and working for a major accounting firm there, Frank has welcomed the change of pace Gabriola has offered for the last twenty years. He is a CPA CA and for the first five years here had an accounting practice. Following that, in retirement he formed The Lunch Bunch that has purchased and maintained the ferry camera set up, was commodore of the Silva Bay Yacht Club for a year, and volunteered with PHC for several years by providing technical support to their bookkeeper. He is an active basket maker, woodworker, and supporter of the arts.
Board member since February 2018

April Vannini | Director | april <at>

Back in 2010, April and her partner, up-and-moved their family from the faraway lands of Ladysmith, B.C. They now live as visitors on what is called Gabriola Island, in Snuneymuxw Territory. She is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Royal Roads University, and an Associate Faculty since 2007 in the School of Communication and Culture where she teaches community-based research, arts-based inquiry, and visual ethnography. Outside of University research, she co-founded, and works closely with, the artistic collective Murmur Land Studios and is most inspired by site-specific land art and art as a social practice widely known as Socially Engaged Art. She gets most excited about quirky, off-the-wall, absurd ideas. April is the producer and co-writer of the film A Time for Making.
Board member since July 2018

Brendalee Astells | Director |brendalee <at>

Gabriola has been my home since 2014. Primarily a silversmith when I arrived, the natural beauty of the island and the many creative connections I have been fortunate to make during the past five years have encouraged me to explore different media including acrylics and watercolours. I’m a regular at seasonal craft fairs on Gabriola and Vancouver Island, participate in major island arts events like the Studio Tour, and Isle of the Arts. I plant flowers when I’m not busy making a mess in my studio.
Board member since February 2020

Ian Cox | Director |ian <at>

Ian has studied music at Capilano University from which he holds a degree in Jazz Studies, written choral music performed from Vancouver to Chartres Cathedral in France, and lent fingers and ears to diverse projects in BC over the last two decades. Continued involvement with creative individuals and groups such as Rabnett5, Dawn Pemberton, Queer Songbook Orchestra and now various musical groups on Gabriola, has given Ian the opportunity to travel and perform in the United States, Europe, and at Canada’s music festivals in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa. Ian’s arrangements and compositions have been featured on studio recordings and on CBC radio. He currently writes and performs on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and in the lower mainland while living full time on Gabriola with his husband, beloved dog Jack, two cats, chickens and the many other creatures that call the island home.
Board member since July 2021

Roweena Bacchus | Director |roweena <at>

Roweena has been an admin assistant for 25 years at UBC.  She worked with the Faculty of Education for the last 19 years and feels that arts and education co-mingle very well.  She had been involved with Human Rights for the last 28 years and is a big supporter of the environment, boasting membership in Western Wilderness. Leaving the big city and moving to Gabriola is a shock to her audacious spirit of attending lectures, plays, protests, marches, etc. She dabbles in income tax preparation and stained glass. She is enjoying getting to know the art community and all that Gabriola has to offer.                                          Board member since July 2021

Are you interested in joining GAC’s Board of Directors?

Our directors commit to a three-year term, and can serve a maximum of two consecutive terms. Our Nominating Committee is always interested in receiving applications for board positions. Except under special circumstances, we elect new directors at our AGM in February. We are happy to receive applications at any time. Click here to download our application form. You can also click here to complete an online form. Thanks for your interest.


Carol Fergusson | Executive Director | carol <at>

Carol joined the Arts Council in March 2020. Since arriving on Gabriola she has been involved with various aspects of GAC: Tour Central Producer, Canada Day Producer, Festival Merchandise Team Lead and Coordinator to name a few. Carol also owned a small art gallery on Gabriola and came to know the island’s artists on a professional and personal level. Trained as a fashion designer and having worked in the arts for most of her career, Carol looks forward to the challenges of Executive Director in carrying on with GAC’s mission, vision and mandate, as well as forging new paths.

Victoria Banford | Financial Administrator | victoria <at>

Kathy McIntyre | Administrative Systems Officer | kathy <at>

Laura Eagin | Web Content & Media Manager | laura <at>