Board of Directors

President; Chair, Strategic Planning Committee

Untitled-2Nadia Laham, Ph.D.

Manager, Cultural Industries
Canadian Heritage

Nadia Laham has been quite active on the Ottawa arts scene for the past twenty years. Born in Ottawa, she pursued a Doctoral Degree in Communications in France before joining the federal public service. Nadia has worked at the Canada Council for the Arts and is a currently a manager in the Cultural Affairs Sector at Canadian Heritage. She also oversees the Dennis Tourbin Fund for Emerging Artists which supports the creation of multi-disciplinary and performance works. Nadia enjoys photography and is thrilled to be able to fulfill a childhood dream by taking art courses at the OSA.



Powell, HeadshotClayton Powell, MPA
Partner & Chief Operating Officer
Jackpine Digital Inc.

Clayton Powell is an experienced leader and management professional who has worked in the private and not-for-profit sectors. Clayton is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of the Ottawa strategy and creative design firm Jackpine Digital Inc. There, he is responsible for strategic planning, financial control, human resource management, and business development consulting. He has extensive experience in academic and not-for-profit governance having served on the senate for Trent University and as Lieutenant Governor (Eastern Ontario, Quebec) for Kiwanis Circle K International. Clayton holds professional degrees in business (BBA) and public administration (MPA) and is an active supporter of arts education. His mandate is to facilitate the art schools strategic vision of becoming a major centre in Canada for developing excellence in the visual arts.



Karen Vinczeffy
Senior Manager
Welch LLP

Karen Vinczeffy is a chartered accountant and works as a manager at Welch LLP, a medium-sized public accounting firm. She has a lot of experience in auditing not-for-profit organizations, including arts-related organizations. She has always had an interest in art and enjoys taking in the various galleries in the Ottawa area. She likes to travel and enjoys the outdoors.



JH - Headshot 2014Jessica Houle
Sicotte Guilbualt LLP

Jessica is an associate lawyer at Sicotte Guilbault LLP and a member of the Business Law Group as well as the Franchise and Distribution Law Group. Jessica is fluently bilingual, and her practice focuses primarily on Employment law, Commercial law (including Franchising and Not-for-Profit Organizations), and Wills and Estates law. Sicotte Guilbault LLP is a young vibrant francophone law firm located in the east end of Ottawa (Orleans). Jessica has a profound appreciation for arts and culture and participates in a number of cultural events yearly. She also presents frequently at conferences and participates in many different types of events in order to continuously improve her legal practice.


Community Members

Helen Sadler

Helen Sadler joined the Board of the Ottawa School of Art in January 2012.   She is currently pursuing a PHD in Arts Based Research through the University of Ottawa’s Education Department.  Helen worked as a visual artist and teacher in New York City for over 15 years.  Her paintings have been exhibited throughout North America and Europe and reviewed in art journals including Art in America and Flash Art.    Helen is excited to be a part of the art community in Ottawa and she is looking forward to participating through the Ottawa School of Art.


Annette de Stecher

Annette de Stecher received her doctorate from the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture at Carleton University in 2013. Her areas of expertise include historical Native North American visual arts, with a focus on eastern Woodlands and Inuit art, material culture research, museum and curatorial studies. Today, she holds a SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Laval University.


Annette held a Research Fellowship at the Canadian Museum of Civilisation and has taught at Carleton, courses relating to historical and contemporary Indigenous representation. As Curator of Inuit Art at Carleton University Art Gallery, she curated the 2013 exhibition, The Past is Present: Memory and Continuity in the Tyler/Brooks Collection of Inuit Art.


Annette’s publications include “Souvenir Art, Collectable Craft, Cultural Heritage: The Wendat of Wendake Quebec,” in Craft and Community: the Material Culture of Place and Politics (February 2014), “Integrated Practices: Huron-Wendat Traditions of Diplomacy and Museology,” in Journal of Curatorial Studies (April 2014), and the forthcomingWendat Arts of Diplomacy: Negotiating Change in the Nineteenth Century” in Beyond Wendake (February 2015).


2b2ddc1Gayle Kells
Artist, Art Consultant

Gayle Kells holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Ottawa and completed coursework in Canadian Studies at Carleton University’s Masters of Arts Program. She began her exploration in art many years ago while studying painting and drawing at The Ottawa School of Art.

Over the past twenty years, she has had a studio at Ottawa’s Enriched Bread Artists studios and has exhibited in many group and solo exhibitions internationally. Her work is held in private and public collections including the City of Ottawa’s public collection and the Governor General’s Residence. She has received two City of Ottawa Art Grants to support her work.

As an arts educator, she has taught at Algonquin College and other locations in Ottawa and she has volunteered for many not for profit organizations. She was a member of the City of Ottawa’s Arts and Heritage Advisory Committee and is the former Development Officer at The Ottawa Art Gallery.


unnamedMegan Lafrenière
Diefenbunker Museum

Megan Lafrenière has enjoyed a career as an art dealer, curator, project manager and administrator in Ottawa’s arts and heritage communities for over fifteen years.  She holds a BFA in Art History from Concordia University and a Professional Specialization Certificate in Collections Management from the University of Victoria.  She is currently the Curatorial and Marketing Manager at the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum and has served as a Director on the Board of the OSA since 2010.



Audrey Vermette
Director of Programs & Public Affairs
Canadian Museum Association

With over 18 years of experience working in the museum field, Audrey has developed a strong passion and interest for our country’s culture and heritage. She has held management positions in some of Canada’s leading museums, such as the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now the Canadian Museum of History) and the Canadian War Museum. An elected member of the ICOM Canada Board of Directors and member of the Project Management Institute, Audrey has been working at the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) as the Director of Programs and Public Affairs since 2010, where she provides leadership in the CMA’s public programs and its relationship with the museum community and stakeholders across Canada.



SharifViraniSharif Virani
Event Planner & Coordinator

Sharif Virani is an environmentalist scientist with a rebellious right-brain. With a background in media and technology he has had experience working on creative and engaging advocacy campaigns at the government, industry and non-profit levels (currently Nature Canada).

More recently he has taken on the role of co-organizer of Ottawa’s chapter of the monthly breakfast lecture series CreativeMornings – with the aim of bringing creative people from different fields together for meaningful and inspirational discussion. Almost a year old, the series has been a huge success welcoming speakers from such varied occupations as chefs, artisanal sign painters and brew mastersCreativeMornings has given the Ottawa arts community a brand new platform with which to showcase people doing creative and inspiring things, as well as a consistent and energetic opportunity to cross-pollinate and building the city’s creative community.

Sharif can also be found in various other capacities throughout Ottawa such as, active member of the HUB Ottawa, VP Development for the Young Environmental Professionals , Community Engagement Advisory for Eco-Equitable and more recently spearheading the launch of the upcoming Ottawa Food Truck Rally this summer.



Ex Officio Members

Past President (ex officio)
Diana Cantú
International Datacasting Corporation


Executive Director (ex officio)
Jeff Stellick
Ottawa School of Art

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