Lara Lewis (she/her) – Chair of the Board
Lara Lewis is a queer and Mi’kmaw theatre artist living in Kjipuktuk. She works primarily as an arts administrator, actor, and dramaturge, and is also a founding worker-owner of the Glitter Bean Café Co-op. She is a graduate of the Fountain School of Performing Arts and the University of King’s College School of Journalism, and was nominated for a Merritt Award in her professional acting debut in 2018. As an administrator, she has worked with the Halifax Fringe Festival, Mayworks Festival of Working People in the Arts, and at Radstorm.
(Photo by MJ Photographics)
Nicholas Cox (he/him) – Vice-Chair of the Board
Nicholas Cox is an actor, producer, songwriter, musician, and playwright from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is the Co-Artistic Director of Terra Novella Theatre, a theatre company dedicated to working with emerging artists. Nick began his relationship with the Bus Stop in 2012 and has been an avid supporter since, both as a volunteer, board member, and interim technical director in 2015. In 2016 Nick won the Atlantic Fringe Festival award for Best Emerging Playwright for his play The Wrath Of Ponzi In his spare time Nick is a butcher’s apprentice with Vessel Meats in north end Dartmouth where he is learning the art of local butchery.
(Photo by Stoo Metz)
Allison Watkins (she/her) – Treasurer
Allison Watkins is a senior accountant with Grant Thorton. She graduated from Mount Allison University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and completed her Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation a few years later. Throughout high school and university she was an avid ballet dancer. During her time in Calgary she continued to be involved in the dance community by volunteering at a dance studio for autistic children. Since moving to Halifax in 2019, Allison has enjoyed supporting the local arts community and is excited to combine two of her passions…numbers and the arts!
Maddie Tench (she/they) – Secretary
Maddie started their artistic journey in childhood, performing for friends and family. Now with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and under the Peace and Friendship treaties, Maddie continues to perform, live, and work as a multidisciplinary artist in Kjipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki: the unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Mi’kmaq. Born and raised in Kjipuktuk, they recognize their settler roots and the legacy of genocide that has allowed them to occupy this land. A compassionate queer genderfluid BIPOC, they strive to connect with and embrace the Mi’kmaq and Black community and are dedicated to equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization. Always an avid volunteer, they sit on the board of three theatre companies and are a part of the Queer Theatre Ensemble Collective (QTEs).
Erin Hancock (she /her) – Governance Steward
Erin Hancock (she/her) manages the education programs for the International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary’s University. Erin serves on the board and CSR Committee of iNova Credit Union. Over the years she has also served on the boards of the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada, the North American Students of Co-operation, the Ottawa Women’s Credit Union and others. She was a co-founder of the Co-operative Enterprise Council of New Brunswick. She holds an MPhil (Public Policy & Co-operative Development), a BPhil (Leadership Studies, Psychology & International Development), a Certificate in University Teaching and a Certificate in Co-operative Management.
Cat MacKeigan (they/them)
Cat MacKeigan involvement in Canada’s arts and culture sector spans ongoing sector research, professional theatre practice, arts management, and post-secondary instruction. Cat’s work focuses on arts sector activity and relations while emphasizing the artist’s lived experience, incorporating an equity lens, and leaning into digital production. Just some of Cat’s roles have included Director of External Relations at Strategic Arts Management, Economic and Arts-based Policy Researcher at Dalhousie University, Production Manager with multiple events and production companies, and Project Consultant for various arts-based and queer-focused performance groups throughout the province. Cat has also sat on regional and national arts peer review committees, cultural boards, and advisory councils. Beyond their work in the arts, academic, and government sectors, Cat has presented research at regional, national, and international conferences. With a MPA and a PhD, Cat brings a novel perspective and renewed energy to conversations around arts management, public policy, and institutional relations.
Sobaz Benjamin (he/him)
Sobaz Benjamin, Founder and Executive Director of In My Own Voice (iMOVe) Arts Association, is a film-director, as well as community worker, advocate, mentor, program facilitator and educator. In 2009, he partnered with the Nova Scotia Justice Department to deliver his Life Story course the (Kintsugi Monologues: KM) at the Nova Scotia Youth Facility and in 2016 at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility. The KM has also been delivered at The Nova Scotia Community College. He was honored in 2014 by the Provincial Justice Department with a Minister’s Award for Individual Leadership in Crime Prevention. He has delivered workshops, seminars, presented and taught at a number of public schools and post secondary institutions, as well as facilitating community-based projects around and beyond the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). Sobaz has also received a Humans Rights Award for his work with youth and directing awards from the National Film Board of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television.
Jason Edwards (he/him)
Jason is a Halifax/K’jipuktuk lawyer practicing in the areas of labour, employment, human rights, and administrative law. He primarily represents employees and unions, though he also represents some employers, mostly not-for-profits and small businesses. In his not-for-profit practice, Jason provides advice and representation to societies on matters such as organizational governance, policy development, and employment. Jason is a founding member of the Halifax Workers’ Action Centre and coordinates its legal information and support clinics. He enjoys live theatre, comedy, and all the performing arts.
Keith Morrison (he/him)
Keith Morrison is a Co-instigator and the Show Pope of Lions Den Theatre. He is a graduate of Cape Breton University (BA, Certificates in Theatre Arts & Heritage Studies) and Memorial University of Newfoundland (B.Ed). Keith has worn many artistic hats with several companies and organizations since 1991 when he skipped a tennis lesson in favour of a drama class. Over the past few years, he’s focused on creating digital audio content with Lions Den Audio Theatre and collaborators throughout the world. Keith is a firm supporter of making “the arts” extremely accessible to all who want to experience it. “Anyone can do it, anywhere can be a space, anything can be art.”
Liliona A. Quarmyne (she/her)
Based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), on the powerful, unceded and unsurrendered land of the Mi’kmaq people, Liliona is a dancer, choreographer, actor, singer, community organizer, and activist. Originally from Ghana and the Philippines, she has an eclectic background that has taken her through many performance styles on four different continents. Liliona performs across the country and internationally, creates original works as an independent artist, facilitates community programming, and is the Artistic Director of Kinetic Studio. The scope of Liliona’s artistic work is broad, but is particularly focused on the relationship between art and social justice, on the body’s ability to carry ancestral memory, and on the role the performing arts can play in creating change. Liliona loves to work in collaboration and community, and is mom to two wonderful kids.
(Photo by James MacLean)
Adam Norton (he/him)
Adam Norton is an associate lawyer with Patterson Law specializing in the areas of Tax, Corporate Commercial, and Estate Planning. He previously worked in Civil Litigation for the Province of Nova Scotia. He has a Bachelor of Arts Hon. in political science from Carleton University and a J.D. from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie. He has previously been a board member of the Artists Legal Information Society and currently is a board member with Trips by Transit, a society that provides accessible nature experiences using the Halifax transit system. Adam mainly participates in community theatre with the Dartmouth Players and Theatre Arts Guild and is a fan and supporter of local theatre.
(Photo by Bernadine Umlah – Studio Umlah)
Masuma Khan (she/her)
Masuma Khan is a local community organizer and artist, born and raised in Kjipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki (Halifax, Nova Scotia). She is known for her overwhelming passion and commitment to dismantling systems of oppression. At most actions, you’ll find her on the megaphone chanting. Those closest to her know her for her big smile and an even bigger heart. For Masuma poetry is an expression that is tied to her cultural practice as a Pashtun. Her first album Wrath of Khan, released on April 30th 2021. Her art style is influenced by her lived experiences with white supremacy, colonialism, displacement, racism, islamophobia disability justice, and more.