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!
Denton Froese (he/him) – Secretary
Denton Froese has been a supporter of Halifax’s theatrical and writing communities for many years, for which he was honoured at the City of Halifax’s Volunteer Awards Ceremony in 2017. He has been a member of the Bus Stop Theatre Co-operative Board of Directors since 2017.
(Photo by Stoo Metz)
Erin Hancock (she /her) – HR Representative
Erin Hancock works with the International Centre for Co-operative Management, in the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University. Formerly, she was the Manager of Research and Education with Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada, the national apex association for co-operatives across Canada. Over the years she has also served on the boards of the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada, the Co-operative Grocers Network, the Ottawa Women’s Credit Union, the North American Students of Co-operation (housing), 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 & International Development), a Certificate in University Teaching and a Certificate in Co-operative Management.
Cat MacKeigan PhD, MPA (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 Quarmyne (she/her)
Liliona Quarmyne wears many hats – choreographer, dancer, actor, singer, community organizer, and facilitator. Her work stems from the idea of the body as story – an ever shifting, layered meeting place of moments and memory that is a constant conversation with time, space, land, and other bodies. Liliona sees her body as a link to past and to future generations. She choreographs and dances across Canada and internationally, facilitates community programming, and is the Artistic Director of Kinetic Studio. Her scope of 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.
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)
Tara Lynn Taylor, (she/her)
Tara Lynn Taylor is the Co-founder and Festival Director for The Emerging Lens Film Festival, a Filmmaker, Playwright, actress, multidisciplinary artist, singer and licensed hair stylist. She has worked in the industry for 19 years. She is Vice Chair and Diversity & Inclusive Committee Team Lead of the Link Performing Arts Society (a new arts, entertainment & production hub in Downtown Halifax) and a Board Member of Centre for Art Tapes, Screen Nova Scotia, Bus Stop Theatre, and Women in Film/Television – Atlantic, and a current member of AFCOOP (Vice Chair), Theatre Nova Scotia, PERFORM Nova Scotia, and Bus Stop Theatre. A graduate of the Centre for Art Tapes’ media scholarship program, Tara has screened her short films in various places, cast local talent in features and TV shows and has co–coordinated youth media arts March Break Video Camps. Tara has produced and in some cases starred in, “Dreamgirls”, “The Color Purple” and “The Wiz”, wrote an original musical about the life of Viola Desmond staged at The Spatz Theatre in 2018, Dartmouth Players Theatre in 2019 and currently writing her new musical works entitled, ”Hood Habits” and “Love, Peace and Hairgrease” in the playwrights Unit under Eastern Front Theatre.