Staff

  • Marty Hasselbach

    CEO

    Marty joins the Biennale as a seasoned Arts Education and Technology executive leader with extensive experience and a proven track record in facilitating strategic growth, large scale cultural change initiatives and global corporate development.

    Marty started his career in Audio Production and toured the world and recorded with major Canadian artists throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s. In 1983 he joined Columbia Academy and steered the institution for over a decade to one of the largest Broadcasting, Audio and Video schools in Western Canada, then he was recruited to join Vancouver Film School in 2000 as the Managing Director. Over the next fifteen years, he established VFS as the world’s pre-eminent one-year entertainment and digital media arts school, servicing a worldwide annual student base of over 1500, across 90 countries. One of his legacies will undoubtedly be the design and building of the ground-breaking 125,000 sq. ft. 3D Animation and Film Campus located in historic Gastown, which was completed in 2014.

    After leaving VFS in late 2015 he continued to help education/tech company entrepreneurs with their growth strategies, SaaS metrics, and scale by acting as an advisor and/or executive leader. Working with companies like Simba Technologies, Red Academy and Fully Managed, he has been instrumental in helping them expedite their ongoing success.

  • Natalia Lebedinskaia

    Director of Public Projects

    Natalia Lebedinskaia is the new Director of Public Projects at the Vancouver Biennale. She is responsible for overseeing the realization and installation of Vancouver Biennale’s Open Air Museum.

    Born in Moscow, Russia, Natalia held the position of Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba for six years before moving to Vancouver. From 2015 to 2018, Natalia was a lead curator on LandMarks2017, a Canada 150 Signature Project that brought contemporary art to National Parks throughout Canada. In her LandMarks2017 project, Coalescence, she worked with Michael Belmore to realize a three-part stone sculpture spanning two provinces and thousands of miles in a reflection on migration, resilience, and geological time. She holds an MA in Art History and a BFA in Art History & Studio Art from Concordia University.

    Contact natalia [at] vancouverbiennale.com

  • Michael Suh

    Senior Curator, Artist Residencies

    Michael Suh carries years of experience as Executive Director for the Museum of Contemporary Art Beijing. Other prominent positions include founder and director of the vibrARTion Project, Deputy Director for International Coordination, China Sculpture Institute, ISC Member of International Committee, KAO (Kinetic Art Organization) Executive Director for China. Major activities include Beijing Olympic Sculpture Project, Yuzi Paradise International Sculpture Project (one of the first sculpture projects involving international artists to work in China for larger sculpture commissions), NordArt China Pavilion for Chinese Cultural Year in Germany, Forms of the Formless: Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art, A Passage to the Alps: Chinese Artists in St. Urban and “Critical Connections” celebrating the 65th Anniversary of China-Switzerland Partnerships.

    Michael Suh is currently Guest Professor at the Guangxi Normal University School of Fine Arts.

  • Zarina Laalo

    Curator of Ancillary Project | Coordinator of International Residencies

    Zarina Laalo is the Vancouver Biennale’s Curator of Ancillary Projects and Coordinator of International Residencies, responsible for the organization’s public programming and community outreach. Zarina received her Masters of Arts in Art History from the University of Toronto, and has had worked for various federal and academic institutions in addition to contemporary commercial galleries, including Library and Archives Canada, the Canadian Museum of History, the University of Toronto, and the Portrait Gallery of Canada.

    Contact zarina [at] vancouverbiennale.com

  • Naomi Evans

    BIG IDEAS Education Program Coordinator

    Naomi Evans is an arts education professional who joins us from delivering learning programs in London, U.K., at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Historic Royal Palaces and the Worshipful Company of Salters.

    Passionate about engaging students of all ages in the arts, Naomi will lead this year’s BIG IDEAS program. She studied at the University of St Andrews for an MLitt in Museum and Gallery Studies and an MA(Hons) in Medieval History and English with a sub-honours in Art History.

    Contact naomi [at] vancouverbiennale.com

  • Niki Dun

    Digital Communications and Social Media Coordinator

    Building community and improving quality of life through collaboration exemplifies Niki Dun’s work. Recipient of a BC Creative Achievement Award, Niki’s work in social design began at Emily Carr University of Art and Design with a bicycle ambulance designed for developing communities. In recent years, Niki has developed an interest in facilitating the sharing of creative and innovative ideas at local and global levels – with the goal of fostering deeper understanding of the world, of changing attitudes, of sparking collaboration. Co-founder of TEDxEastVan and active in the TED community, her new role at Vancouver Biennale allows her to do just that.

    Contact niki [at] vancouverbiennale.com

  • Linda Purcell

    Fundraising and Grant Manager

    Linda Purcell is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing (CPA, CGA, BA) . She has a wealth of experience that includes writing in numerous genres, working as an owner/manager at Top Producer Systems, creating a book review blog, and finalizing her book publication.

    Contact fundraising [at] vancouverbiennale.com

  • Leigh-Anne Niehaus

    Administrator/Cultural Programmer

    Leigh-Anne Niehaus is a curator, designer and arts administrator. She has a Master in Modern art, Curating and Criticism from the University of Edinburgh, a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management from WITS Business School (Johannesburg) and a Fine Art Degree in Photography and History of Art from the University of Cape Town. Before moving to Vancouver she was the curator and co-director of a contemporary art gallery in Cape Town that focused on gallery spanning installations.

    Contact leigh-anne [at] vancouverbiennale.com

  • Rachel Anne Farquharson

    Squamish Liaison

    Rachel Anne Farquharson is an essayist, curator, teacher, and former professional ballerina. Having moved from Toronto with a brief stop in Vancouver where she studied architecture at the University of British Columbia, she now resides in Squamish, BC. Appointed Director of BIG IDEAS for the Vancouver Biennale in the fall of 2017, her pursuits include enhancing the K-12 Education program through inclusive and inter-disciplinary learning as well as piloting a transnational student biennale, to be launched in the fall of 2018.

    In addition to her architectural studies and teaching practice in universities and K-12 schools, Farquharson also holds a Masters of Modern and Contemporary Art from Christie’s Education/University of Glasgow in London, U.K. and an Honours B.A./B.Sc. from the University of Toronto. Her research focus has been on the phenomenological perception of art and its psychological architecture.

    Contact rachelanne [at] vancouverbiennale.com

  • Ammar Mahimwalla

    Project Consultant

    Ammar has been working as the Director of Public Projects at the Vancouver Biennale from 2013 to 2018. Prior to this he worked as a program consultant for the BMW Guggenheim Lab in Mumbai from 2011-2013, as part of an international interdisciplinary team. He was also the Education Officer at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, where he developed visitor outreach programming. Ammar studied Anthropology & History at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

    Contact ammar [at] vancouverbiennale.com