BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Olatunbosun Amao, Director
Bosun has extensive experience in financial advisory and project management. Bosun’s experience span over 15 years with various organizations such as Guaranty Bank Plc, Union Bank Plc, Scotia Bank and Canada Revenue Agency. Bosun holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria and an International MBA with focus on Banking and Finance from Bologna Business School, University of Bologna, Italy. He is also PMP, PRINCE2 and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certified. Aside his professional experience, Bosun has served at different times as drama/theatre director, head of theatre group as well as co-founder of a dance group between year 2002 and 2003 with four other friends. He has handled various theatre projects and coordinated the production of a film titled “Fatal Slumber. Bosun has passion for youth development and mentoring. He is also passionate about acting and film production. His other hobbies include soccer, travelling and spending quality time with his family.
Larry Isacoff, Director
Lighting Designer/Yoga Instructor
Larry has been in the theatre industry for more than thirty years. He was the Production Manager for Prairie Theatre Exchange during its final years on Princess Street and its inaugural years in Portage Place. He was Production Manager for RMTC for 11 years just missing out on the Royal designation. He taught production management at the National Theatre School in Montreal for 5 years and truly misses Montreal bagels. He continues to work in theatre as a lighting designer. His other life is that of a certified yoga instructor, working towards his advanced certification. Theatre and Yoga both have the power to transform lives.
Navneet Malhi, Director
Student, Non-profit Residential Management
Navneet is a socially conscious student with a particular interest in the processes of criminalization and social regulation. She uses a feminist approach to legal theory, which she believes allows her to have a healthy skepticism towards the justice system which often affects and ignores the experiences of women and other marginalized people. She has done extensive research on the literary and cinematic representations of the South Asian diaspora and also worked on research regarding racialized masculinities. In her spare time, Navneet enjoys independent cinema and books that represent diasporic consciousness, migration, clashes of culture and identity crises. Navneet is honoured to be on The Board of Directors for Sarasvati Productions and believes that the company is an excellent representation of theatre and social change.
Hera Nalam, Director
Actor, Singer & Songwriter Hera Nalam is an up and coming local singer-songwriter and actress who unlocked her love and passion for the arts when she moved to Canada 7 years ago. Now a fresh graduate from the University of Winnipeg Theatre Honours Program, Hera was last seen on the stage in QUEST with Meraki Productions, UofW’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Concord Floral and Time & The Conways. She was also recently seen on Shakespeare in The Ruins’ production of Timon of Athens in the spring of 2018, and has just finished a provincial tour over the winter with Manitoba Theatre for Young People in their production of Torn Through Time.
Debbie Norman, President
Director, Glassco Foundation
Debbie has spent most of her life in Winnipeg and is proud to call it her home. She loves the city and feels its active arts scene expresses its incredible diversity. Her other volunteer activities have supported wilderness education and environmental issues. She had a busy career in IT and the University of Manitoba and now is focusing her time supporting community development projects in Zambia. Debbie is thrilled to join the Board and looks forward to the adventure.
Erin Meagan Schwartz, Secretary
Emerging Theatre Artist Representative
Erin Meagan Schwartz is a trans-disciplinary artist, actor, and creator from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty 1 Territory, Home of the Metis Nation. She has improvised her way through festivals in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Winnipeg in addition to producing local improv shows with The Neighbourhood Watch, and working as staff with the Canadian Improv Games. Schwartz just graduated this spring with an honours degree in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg and has worked on research regarding gender in improvisation by looking at the intersections of theatre and feminism and how they can work together to enact social change through intervention. Previously, Schwartz completed a practicum placement with Sarasvati and is thankful for the opportunity to be involved with the Board to support and represent emerging artists.
Cindy Singer, Director
Retired Senior Accountant
A lifetime Winnipegger, Cindy’s main career has been in small business accounting for many for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Cindy has a BA in religion from the University of Manitoba and a certificate in Arts and Cultural Management from the University of Winnipeg’s PACE program. An avid volunteer, Cindy supports many Arts Organizations as well the Alzheimer’s Society of Manitoba, Main Street Project and Kid’s Help Phone. She has volunteered for Sarasvati Productions for many years and is honored to join the board.
Myra Tait, Vice-President
Member of Berens River FN; Lawyer and Aboriginal law & policy consultant
Myra is a member of Berens River First Nation. She is a practicing lawyer, and further holds a Master of Laws (on Treaty implementation and taxation). Myra has participated in international research on constitutional development and Indigenous inclusion in NZ and Australia, is the co-editor of Surviving Canada: Indigenous Peoples Celebrate 150 Year of Betrayal (ARP 2017), and teaches on Sustainable Development for Aboriginal communities.
Judy Wasylycia-Leis, Past President
Community Advocate / Former Member of Parliament
Involved in public service all her adult life, Judy served as Manitoba’s Culture Minister before working as MP for Winnipeg North from 1997 – 2010. During her time in Ottawa, Judy was critic of Heath, Finance, Status of Women, Immigration and Persons with Disabilities. Judy resigned from her position as MP in order to run for the Mayor of Winnipeg in 2010 and then again in 2014. Over the last five years, Judy has been involved in democracy strengthening initiatives with the National Democratic Institute working on projects in Jordan, Kosovo, Pakistan and Tunisia. An avid promoter of Winnipeg’s rich cultural scene and a founder of the North End Artists Collective, Judy believes in the transformative power of the arts in building community.
Additional Community Committee Members include:
MARKETING ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Mandeep Cheema, Marketing Manager at Avenue 4 Communications
Diego Fernando Castro Olaya, Marketing, Innovation, Sales and Business Strategy Consultant
Jennifer Logan, Program Administrator at Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Amol Samra, Digital Marketing Specialist at SkipTheDishes
Kelsey Thomas, Marketing Assistant at Manitoba Hydro