Board of Directors
Founder and President
Barrie Mowatt has a long and accomplished history as an educator, philanthropist, and entrepreneur opening the Buschlen Mowatt Fine Art gallery in 1979. Barrie is the visionary behind the Vancouver Biennale Open Air Museum, where he combines his passion for art, education and community service in exhibitions that bring great art to public spaces where people live, work, play and transit, free for all to enjoy, explore and be inspired by. Barrie is also the founder of the Celebration of Hope Foundation, co-founder of Taste the Nation, and the Buschlen Mowatt Scholarship Program at Arts Umbrella. Barrie received the Vancouver Business in Arts Award from the Vancouver Board of Trade, and the Ethics in Action Award, presented by Vancouver City Savings and the BC Work Ministry. He has twice been nominated for Western Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the category of socially responsible businesses.
John Harrison is currently the President of Inter-City Gas Ltd. John, who retired in 2009 from his position of elementary school principal with the Burnaby School District, began his education career as an upper intermediate teacher. He has also worked with the UBC Faculty of Education as a Faculty Associate and Social Studies Curriculum Instructor, and with Simon Fraser University as a Faculty Associate. During his tenure as an educator, John developed learning resources for teachers in literature and critical thinking. He also presented workshops for educators in conflict resolution, creating cohesive and caring school communities, and building leadership capacity. A member of UBC’s Faculty of Education’s External Advisory Board, John recently completed a diploma in Sustainable Community Development at SFU City Program.
Murray Nichol is a director of the Buschlen Mowatt Nichol Foundation, a philanthropic foundation whose focus is on lifelong learning, education and the arts. He is a pianist, educator, and music-education advocate. He works as a senior examiner for Royal Conservatory Examinations in Canada and the Music Development Program in the United States. As an educational advisor and arts advocate he has been integrally involved in outreach and the development of the Biennale’s International Residency Program, expanding the integration of this with the Biennale’s BIG IDEAS education program. He has been a Biennale Ambassador on his many travels, including South America, Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe and holds the responsibility as a Director of the Board overseeing archives, inventory management, and administration.
Linda Naiman is founder of Creativity at Work and helps organizations develop creativity, innovation, and leadership capabilities, through coaching, training and consulting. As a corporate educator and coach, Linda brings a multi-disciplinary approach to learning and development based on her background as an artist and designer: She leverages arts-based practices to spark creative inspiration, and design thinking to manage the creative process for innovation. Organizations that have sought out Linda for her expertise include the US Navy, GE, BASF, American Express, RBC, UBC, and Intel. Linda is co-author of Orchestrating Collaboration at Work: Using Music, Improv, Storytelling, and Other Arts to Improve Teamwork (Wiley 2003). She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from California College of the Arts and is a graduate of Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design. Her mission is to liberate creativity at work, and make life, and work, a work of art.
Geoff Cross is the Vice-President of Planning and Policy at TransLink in Metro Vancouver. TransLink is unique among North American transportation agencies in that it has a broad mandate that encompasses the planning, funding, and operating of transit as well as major roads, bridges, and cycling at the regional level. Geoff’s team has been responsible for working with the region’s mayors for the creation and implementation of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision that established the investment priorities for transportation investment, strategies, and policies to support a prosperous and liveable region. Geoff has concurrently always been involved in the non-profit sector having founded a cycling advocacy group and a social and environmental film festival. He is currently on the Board of Instruments of Change, a local arts-for-social-change organization. Geoff has a master’s degree in Sustainable Community Planning and a BA in Economics.
Miriam Blume is an accomplished marketing and communications consultant with 20-plus years of experience in the profit and non-profit sectors. Her professional career began at TELUS, Canada’s second-largest national communications company, where she learned the discipline of best-in-class brand management and CRM marketing, contributed to the delivery of an annual $25M advertising plan, and managed the high-value consumer-loyalty program. After multiple promotions throughout the organization and two leadership awards, Miriam decided it was time to steer her career in a different direction. Inspired by her love of art, she has spent the past ten years working with independent artists and arts organizations to build their business strategy, brand identity, audience engagement, and funding. She has worked on several high-profile projects, most notably SweaterLodge, the Canadian entry to the 2006 Venice Biennale of Architecture, and the Vancouver Biennale as Director of Marketing. Having recently been a keynote speaker at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, Miriam has attended major art fairs, festivals, and biennale exhibitions worldwide.
Christina Leung holds the CGA, CA, and American CPA accounting designations. For ten years she worked for Buschlen Mowatt Fine Arts Ltd. as controller responsible for full-cycle accounting. It was in this position that she was first involved with the Vancouver International Sculpture Project (1998), precursor of the not-for-profit arts organization known as the Vancouver Biennale.
She has seven years’ experience as a senior tax manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Currently she is working for the Armstrong Group (owner of the Rocky Mountaineer luxury train company) as a senior tax and finance manager overseeing the financial and tax affairs of Rocky Mountaineer and the Armstrong family.
Presently living in Burnaby, Christina and her husband, Chris, have two children who are actively involved in arts programs.
Jesse Saniuk is the Vice President and co-owner of the real-estate brokerage Four Sails Realty Inc. based in West Vancouver. He has a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in African studies from the University of British Columbia. He is also a collector of contemporary art with a particular interest in sculpture. It is a combination of his passion for real estate, history, and art that led him to his ownership of the B.C Binning House (a National Heritage Site of Canada), which he is currently working to restore with the hopes of preserving it as a private museum with public accessibility. Jesse is a former member of the Vancouver Biennale’s Young Patrons Group.