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Board & Team




Sean Gallagher has a Master’s of Fine Art, studying at ACA in Calgary and the HdK in Berlin, and has shown his work internationally. He also has extensive business experience and a BCom in Finance and Marketing from the U of A. He is eager to help Nanaimo Arts Council deliver their range of programs, events and services aimed at promoting and supporting local artists and performers, and enriching the lives of Nanaimo residents and visitors.



Steven was the founder and CEO of a social and market research firm specializing in program evaluation, data management and custom research programs. He also taught research and program evaluation methods to graduate students at the University of Alberta. As a social scientist, he assisted governments, NFPs and businesses by mining data to measure performance and inform consumer engagement efforts. Among his clients were museums, galleries and arts organizations seeking to assess their community impact and discover alternative ways to engage their audiences. The Dennis family also supports the arts through a Community Foundation by awarding an annual scholarship to a high school graduate pursuing a career in the visual or performing arts. Steven and his wife, Sandra, retired in Nanaimo.



Sandra’s career encompassed a variety of industries in administrative and management positions, and she specializes in corporate governance and working with Boards of Directors. Sandra’s most recent experience was obtained at the Nanaimo Golf Club where she was both a Director and the Board Secretary. She holds a Business Administration diploma from Calgary’s Mount Royal University. She also has a keen interest in strategic planning, the foundation to any organization’s growth and sound development. Although not an artist, she appreciates the goals and objectives of NAC and wishes to contribute to the effectiveness of a progressive, professional organization.



Dana Smiley has been a member of the Nanaimo Arts Council since early 2000. She held a variety of positions starting with working the front desk at North Town Centre, planned many member shows, and organized some Art Around Town exhibitions. She joined the Board of Directors in 2016, holding various positions including Vice Chair and acting Treasurer, and kept the organization’s accounts as bookkeeper from 2017 until 2019.

She organized campaigns for the Cancer Society and presently organizes the Arts and Craft Sale held at the Nanaimo Golf Club, where she has been a golf member since 2007. In 1967 she and her husband moved to Nanaimo where they raised a son and daughter, and now have 3 grandchildren.

In 1983 she took an Accounting Technician Course, subsequently working as a bookkeeper for various Nanaimo companies until 2007. She presently works from home doing books for Creative City Networking of Canada.

Dana started painting in 2000. She currently works in acrylic, and also operates a small business dealing in knitted toques and other items. She is looking forward to being part of the NAC Board to help move the organization into the future.


Director at Large

Margot is a memoir writer and small business owner. She has a BA from the University of Winnipeg and recently completed a Creative Writing degree at Vancouver Island University. She has been involved in the Gabriola Island arts scene for over fifteen years, literally pouring her creativity into many mediums including natural soap making and working in acrylics. She believes art in any form is the key to creating a vibrant community.


Director at Large

Sophia Seward-Good is a Director and Designer at Ay Lelum The Good House of Design, a second-generation Coast Salish Design House from Nanaimo, B.C. She is the daughter of Master Coast Salish Artist William Good and Artist Sandra Moorhouse-Good, and is from the Hereditary Chief family of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. Sophia works alongside her sister in an artist collective with her family where they focus on Coast Salish art revitalization and documentation through garment design, art, language and music. Ay Lelum is a verified Spotify Artist with over a dozen songs in Hul’q’umi’num’ on major streaming platforms. Sophia attended VIU and is currently enrolled in the Hul’q’umi’num’ Language Proficiency Program at SFU. Sophia is a co-recipient of a 2018 Indigenous Business of the Year Award through the BC Achievement Foundation and the 2021 Excellence in Culture Award through the City of Nanaimo. Sophia is thrilled to bring her rich family teachings, cultural protocols and art background to share with the Nanaimo Art Council.


Director at Large

Kamal is a writer of creative non-fiction and a published poet with many publications in Canada, India and the USA. She also has extensive experience as a volunteer presenter at the famous McMichael Art Gallery in Ontario. She was a manuscript evaluator for the Alberta Writers’ Guild and is an Associate member of the League of Canadian poets, The Writers Union of Canada, Haiku Canada and an active member of the Federation of BC Writers. She feels that the Nanaimo Arts Council can play a pivotal role in supporting and promoting the arts in our community with respect to the Creative Word, and thus assist in bringing together the Writers and other artists that compose a greater part of our diverse community.


Director at Large

Bio pending


Director at Large

Becky Thiessen has eighteen years of dynamic community development work. Her work has ranged from women’s advocacy, family and community outreach and child and youth arts education.  Her work has taken her across Canada to the high Arctic with Statistics Canada and in various rural, coastal, northern and inner city communities as an Arts Educator with Winnipeg Art Gallery, Art City, Manitoba Arts Council, Winnipeg Arts Council and several other arts and community organizations.  Community and art are her core.  With a Master’s of Community Planning she hopes to encompass all that she has learned to help create and design places that inspire creativity and community.