Gilles Choquet is a great music lover and culture enthusiast. He has been the Executive Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil since 2009. Prior to his current position, he enjoyed a high-level career in finance. Mr. Choquet worked as a senior executive, first at CIBC Bank and then the National Bank of Canada, where he acquired solid experience in management and business development.
He is a current and past member of several boards of directors, including PME Inter-Notaires and the CLD de Longueuil. He has also presided over several major fundraising campaigns for organizations such as the United Way (Laurentides), Red Cross and Centre Jeunesse. He was also a founding member of the Fondation Tremblant and the Fondation Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil.
Mr. Choquet is a man of action with a talent for adapting to change. He has the knowledge to transform broad strategic objectives into tactical actions that deliver results.
Mr. Choquet holds a Bachelor of Science from the Université de Montréal and an MBA from the Université du Québec.
Bruce Craig has a life-long interest in music performance. At present, he is President of the Prince Edward Island Symphony Society where he oversees the operations of the PEI Symphony Orchestra (PEISO). In 2013, he and his spouse, Patricia, became the founding donors of the Accelerando Classical Music Performance Fund at the Confederation Centre of the Arts Foundation in Charlottetown, PEI which supports classical music appreciation and performance.
Born into a musical family in Los Angeles, California, Bruce obtained intensive performance training at the California Institute for the Arts where he was a member of the youth program. For years he performed as principal horn and as a section member with a variety of community symphonies; he also was an active member of the Los Angeles Horn Society. Bruce possesses a doctorate in American History (speciality in history of espionage) and maintains academic affiliations with UPEI and the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton). During his work career he served in a variety of management positions with the U.S. National Park Service though he spent most of his working career as executive director of several history and national park related non-profit organizations. Just prior to moving to PEI he was the Washington representative for the American history and archival professions where he gained a reputation as an especially effective non-profit sector lobbyist. He has served as an officer on a number of non-profit boards, including an eight-year stint as president of the Conservation Preservation Federation of America.
Leanne Davis was appointed Vice President and Chief Development Officer of the VSO in 2010. She had previously worked in all aspects of fundraising for the Vancouver Symphony growing and revitalizing the organizations Individual and Corporate Giving programs seeing increases in all areas of private support for the Orchestra. She has enhanced the organizations stewardship programs to build deeper connections between the community and the Orchestra and has recently established a Legacy program to help ensure long term stability for the VSO through the growth of its endowment fund. She is grateful to the wonderful team that surrounds her and gives their all everyday to ensure the VSO can continue to enrich and transform lives through music. Leanne took a brief hiatus from fundraising betwwen 1999 to 2002 to establish an Education Department at the VSO, an achievement she remains very proud of to this day, as it has grown to now deliver thirteen education programs reaching over 50,000 young people annually. It is Leanne’s belief that contributing to the community in which you live is one of the most important things you can do. She is an active volunteer for causes including literacy, social housing and youth engagement in the arts.
Tanya Derksen is the Executive Director of the Regina Symphony Orchestra (RSO) and has almost twenty years of experience in the music industry as a performer, teacher, board member, and arts administration leader.
Since joining the RSO, Tanya has led the organization to increased growth in subscription revenue and sponsorships, transformed the customer service and marketing approach, established new education programs, and developed a visionary 5-year strategic plan for the organization.
Tanya has a strong education and community outreach background from her work with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. During this time, she developed the education and outreach programming to more than 20 programs, including Sistema Winnipeg, which reached 60,000 people each year across the province.
Tanya has been playing the piano and engaging in music making for as long as she can remember. She is a passionate and active arts leader with experience on various boards in the arts and business community. She has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Music (piano) from Brandon University. Tanya also enjoys running, doing yoga, eating great food, spending time with family and friends, and traveling around the world.
Marie-Josée Desrochers was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the OSM in June 2015. She previously led the OSM’s artistic department where she oversaw the company’s concert planning, partnerships and tours, as well as its multimedia strategy. Previously, Ms. Desrochers spent more than 15 years in communications and marketing. Her relationship with the Orchestra began in 1997 while working with a communications firm on contract with the OSM. From 1999 to 2011 she was the OSM’s Director of Marketing and Communications, overseeing ticket revenue, marketing strategies and public relations. She was also responsible for OSM branding across all platforms as well as for tours and recordings. When the Orchestra moved into its new hall, Ms. Desrochers restructured the OSM’s concert series and headed the international public relations campaign for the inauguration of the Maison symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestra’s new home.
Marie-Josée Desrochers has also worked for Groupe Gignac Communication Marketing. She spent her early career in the cultural sector with positions at Radio-Canada and the Festival de Lanaudière. She has also served as general director of musical organizations such as the Chambristes de Montréal.
Ms. Desrochers holds a Master of Music degree (piano) from the Université de Montréal and a graduate diploma (DESS) in Management of Cultural Organizations from HEC Montréal.
Recorder virtuoso, cellist, and music director Matthew Jones is proud that his career has spanned the length of Ontario as the current artistic director to the Kitchener/Waterloo Chamber Orchestra in Southern Ontario and as conductor laureate with the Timmins Symphony Orchestra in the North East of Ontario.
Matthew graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University where he studied Cello performance. His conducting studies include the Conductor’s Institute at The Hartt School, University of Connecticut, and the 2005 Oregon Bach Festival Conductor’s Workshop under the guidance of Helmuth Rilling.
Matthew Jones was the Music Director of the Timmins Symphony Orchestra from December 2000 and directed the Timmins Symphony Chorus from 2004. He enjoyed a faculty position with the Geoffrey James Lee School of Music, teaching Cello, Recorder and Theory. In 2014, Matthew was pleased to introduce himself to the audience of the Kitchener/Waterloo Chamber Orchestra as their new music director.
Matthew delights in performing as a Recorder soloist. He is particularly proud of his CD, Just Pipes in partnership with Organist, Jan Overduin.
Matthew is honored to serve as a board member for Orchestra’s Canada, Canada’s national voice of the Canadian orchestral community.
Jennifer MacDonald serves as Director of Artistic Operations for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. She oversees musician and union matters on behalf of the administration, and has worked through collective bargaining for two three-year collective agreements with the musicians. In addition to orchestra and operational matters, Jennifer oversees artistic administration and education initiatives for Calgary Philharmonic, including PhilKids, a new after-school music program that brings Calgary Philharmonic musicians into a Calgary elementary school for two sessions every week.
Before moving to Calgary in 2011, Jennifer was Assistant Artistic Administrator with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and had previously served as Artistic Administrator for the Ottawa Chamber Music Society. Jennifer holds a Masters in musicology from McGill University, a BMus from Mount Allison University, and is currently working toward a certificate in Strategic Management from Harvard University’s Extension School.
In her free time, Jennifer teaches a music appreciation course at the University of Calgary’s School of Continuing Education, and spends a lot of time hiking and snowshoeing in the mountains.
Marc Stevens is General Manager of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. He moved to Canada for this role in June 2014, following 12 years as Concerts and Recordings Manager for the London Symphony Orchestra. This involved brief glamorous moments such as organising the orchestral music for the opening and closing Ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and many recordings including Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and four Harry Potter movies. Marc previously worked for the Aldeburgh Festival (founded by composer Benjamin Britten) and Glyndebourne Opera, following a BA(Hons) in Music Industry Management with Italian. He loves Ottawa and Canada, and during his first Canadian winter he learnt to skate. Please feel free to connect to Marc via LinkedIn and Twitter @marcstevensnac .
Shannon Whidden is the former Executive Director of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, the only fully-professional orchestra in Northern Ontario. During his tenure with the TBSO, he launched a planned giving program, revitalized the financial systems, and implemented a highly structured season planning process. Prior to joining the TBSO, he held roles with progressively increasing levels of responsibility at the Arizona Opera Company, Phoenix Symphony, Windsor Symphony Orchestra and National Arts Centre Orchestra. At the NAC, Shannon was part of the senior management team for the Music Department, managing 60 musicians, led a cross-disciplinary programming team, participated in collective bargaining processes, and managed multiple recording projects. In addition, he served as the NAC Orchestra’s tour manager, leading tours of Western, Atlantic and Northern Canada. He is a graduate of Mount Allison University, where he majored in Vocal Performance, with a focus on Opera.
Karen Wilkinson, FCPA, FCA
Karen Wilkinson is President of Karen Wilkinson Professional Corporation. She was previously a Tax Partner with Deloitte LLP. Karen’s practice is focused on assisting private companies and their owners in maximizing wealth and transitioning the business to the next generation. She also assists donors in achieving their charitable goals. Karen graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Master of Accounting degree. Karen has been very involved in the community over the years currently serving as a member of the Board of the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Association and the Treasurer at Orchestras Canada. Prior community involvement has included the Board of Governors at the University of Waterloo, United Way of Cambridge and North Dumfries and the University of Waterloo Planned Giving Advisory Committee.