Chelsey McNeil - Chair
Chelsey MacNeil is an entrepreneur, business developer, and social innovator based in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She is the Director of Social Enterprise at Choices for Youth, a nationally recognized non-profit dedicated to serving at- risk and homeless youth, and has over 10 years of experience developing business models and refining best practices to bring the best of individuals to their communities through small businesses. With past experience coaching entrepreneurs with the YMCA, owning and operating her company, Model Citizens, and collaborating closely with the Chamber of Commerce in Bonavista, Chelsey has unique perspectives on how to add value to communities through social enterprise. Chelsey has been recognized nationally as a mentor and entrepreneur for Futurprenuer Canada, YWCA Woman of Distinction nominee and as a nominee for the RBC Female Entrepreneur of the Year award. She holds a B.A double major in Music and Arts Administration; a B.Ed in Post-Secondary Education and is near completion of her MBA, with a specialization in Social Enterprise. Chelsey is the Director of Education, Employment and Social Enterprise at Choices For Youth.
Ruth Lawrence - Treasurer
Ruth Lawrence is a director/writer/actor in film and theatre. In 2020, her first narrative feature, Little Orphans (Imagine That Productions), a micro-budget, premiered in Galas across Canada and won the Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature at Whistler Film Festival. In 2019, she released her first CBC-TV feature documentary, Circus by Komatik (Fire Crown Productions). Ruth was one of the writer-directors on the 2018 portmanteau feature, Hopeless Romantic (Northeast Productions). She directed The Ennis Sisters music video, Shine Your Light, to mark the 100th Anniversary of the CMHA. Her short films include Talus & Scree and Sweet Pickle. Ruth co-produced the feature Hunting Pignut, winner of two best feature awards, with Pope Productions. She is the director of the 5-episode web series, Buy the Boards by Luke Lawrence and Matt Wright.
Wendi Smallwood is a St. John’s based writer, director, producer, and actor. Her credits include White Rooster Theatre's The Cut Of It, and her one-woman show, Resurrecting Mary in Roles 4 Women’s four-act production Women From the Future at the Factory Theatre in Toronto. Wendi has performed with many local theatre and film companies and has directed for Graveyard Shift Productions, Short & Queer II, V-Day St. John’s, and Shakespeare By The Sea Festival. She is the founder and artistic director of the St. John’s Women’s Festival of Theatre (SW|FT) and founding member and artistic 1 associate of V-Day St. John’s. Wendi was a Toronto Dora Mavor Moore Award nominee for her performance of Sandy in Judith Thompson’s Crackwalker and is a past recipient of the Rhonda Payne Theatre Award from Arts NL.
9 years as Programming Coordinator with the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television - event production for large-scale industry Awards presentations both on and off-air. Co-producer of the Academy's inaugural Digital Awards as well as the facilitator for the inaugural Apprenticeship for Women Directors Program. 9 years as an on-air radio host/producer/tech. 3 years as lead program educator with the Magenta Foundation's Flash Forward Program - guiding high school students across Canada and the United States in a theme-based photography project culminating in a silent auction exhibit in each city. 2 decades of live performance experience in dance, theatre, comedy, performance installation, drag/burlesque, and, and, and production assistant at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre for 3 years, I was also a production coordinator for some shows there.
Candice Pike is a Corner Brook-based dance maker and educator whose work is rooted in building community and encouraging empathy. Her process often involves responding to physiological rhythms and poetry to create work based on the subtleties and stories contained in intergenerational memory. In recent years she has used her gentle, care-based approach to create and perform in several full-length group works and smaller solo pieces that have toured Atlantic Canada. She has also worked as a dancer in Neighbourhood Dance Works’ ReMix Project with choreographer Thea Patterson and NL Dance Project with choreographer Anne Troake. From 2017-2019 she commissioned a new solo from Lois Brown, developed a new solo for Josh Murphy, presented and continued to consider and practice unique ways of creating and presenting dance in isolated locations. With an eclectic background of movement and artistic training, Candice also practices ‘community networking choreography’ and facilitates an Audience-in-Residence program for public sector employees. In 2017 Candice was awarded the Corner Brook ACE award for Overall Artist of the Year and she was the 2014 Roberta Thomas Legacy Award recipient.
Candice works as a dance educator committed to empowering people to understand their own incredible potential for movement and creativity. She received a MA degree in Dance from York University in 2010 and since that time has pursued continuing education in dance pedagogy through several forums. She is a Certified Teacher of BodyMind DancingTM, has completed a certificate in International Dance Teaching Standards, and has completed several post-secondary and graduate courses through the National Dance Educators Association (USA) including studies in early childhood education, dance and disabilities, dance health and medicine, music theory, dance composition, pedagogy, and professional standards. She has participated in Canada’s National Ballet School ideas exchange for teachers.
For over 15 years, Candice has facilitated classes and workshops using her unique approach to movement, improvisation, and creativity education for private studios and community organizations and has also developed and taught integrated arts curricula in public schools and post-secondary institutions, including Memorial University where has developed and taught movement courses for the BFA theatre program. Candice’s students have gone on to study dance at York University, University of Calgary, Sheridan College, St Clair College, School of the Toronto Dance Theatre and more. http://www.candicepike.com/
Gloria is sole proprietor/director of Soothe Downtown Spa, St. John’s, NL, Canada. Her Ahimsa (do no harm) mission has been moving toward a cruelty-free business/life balance. As such, she participates in ongoing wellness education including environmentally friendly esthetic product/service research, yoga workshops/certifications, enlightenment Intensives & meditation classes and the World Peace Diet; a (vegan) conscious connection with nature and all sentient beings.
Gloria's compilation of life experiences includes service industry employment, community development & mental health social work, health promotion consulting, yoga instruction, dance performance and her most recent joy; culinary arts. She has a passion for learning and a deep appreciation for these interconnected opportunities; Yoga; Gloria is a Graduate of the Lotus Centre Yoga Teacher Training program (2009, NL), Further training include: Yoga Anatomy and Yoga Assists (2010) TAYS Therapeutic Approach Yoga Studio, Creative Yoga for Children (2010) Lotus Centre, Anusara Yoga Training & Meditation Retreat (2011) Ananda Ashram; World Yoga Centre of New York, Yin Yoga Professional Teacher Training (2016) Sartori Yoga, Yoga Nidra Teacher Training (2017) Shakti Yoga, Thai Yoga Massage Level 1, (2017) Lotus Palm Chef & Nutrition Training; Gloria is a graduate of Plant-Based Nutrition; Cornel (2017) and Heal & Ignite" Raw Vegan Chef Certification (2017) Pachavega. Presently, (2018) Gloria is enjoying Rouxbe Professional Plant-Based Chef Certification Program.
Esthetics Training: Spa Facials / Skin Care Consultations, Massage, Manicures, pedicures, Waxings, Body Wraps, Natural Spa Product Development (Certifications 2010 - ongoing) Additionally, as a hiking enthusiast & travel enthusiast, Gloria's favourite holidays are yoga retreats!