Board of Directors


President; Chair, Strategic Planning Committee

Nadia 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 Ph.D. Degree in Communications in France before joining the federal public service. Nadia has worked at the Canada Council for the Arts and currently manages the Support for Artistic and Literary Magazines 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 drawing courses at the OSA since the beginning of the year.



Heather Beaton

Industry Canada Legal Services
Heather is a former student of the Ottawa School of Art and has been a member of the Board since 2006. Heather has been working as legal counsel with the federal government since 1999 and recently completed a MA in Transnational Communications and Global Media at the University of London. She is a keen supporter of the arts scene in Ottawa, including the Ottawa School of Art.



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.



Elizabeth McGuinness

Elizabeth McGuinness, BA, LLB served as Vice President, Secretary and Director of ARTSmart, a non-profit organization devoted to raising funds for art education for the youth of Santa Fe, NM. Her responsibilities included maintaining corporate books; establishing new fund raising activities; soliciting and training volunteers; developing new underwriters and donors; interfacing with local politicians and coordinating the establishment of endowment and scholarship funds. As a Partner with Heenan Blaikie, she specialized in financing film and television production. This involved private placements; traditional banking; venture capital funding; production and distribution contracting; and merchandising, additional responsibilities including being the chair of various firm management committees.


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 is active in arts education and research in Ottawa; she received her doctorate in Aboriginal visual arts and culture from Carleton University and teaches there part time. Annette was a Research Fellow at the Canadian Museum of Civilisation and as Curator of Inuit Art at Carleton University Art Gallery, she curated the June 2013 exhibition, The Past is Present. She is involved in ongoing research and curatorial projects in the field of Indigenous visual arts and is a strong supporter of the Ottawa arts community.


Gayle Kells
Artist, Art Consultant

Coming Soon


Megan Lafrenière

Megan Lafrenière holds a BFA in Art History from Concordia University and is currently pursuing a Professional Specialization Certificate in Collections Management through the University of Victoria.  For eleven years she served as Co-director of the Lafrenière & Pai Gallery, one of Canada’s foremost fine craft galleries.  Most recently she was a Project Manager at the Ottawa Museum Network, a not-for-profit organization that works to promote and advance the interests of ten community museums.  Megan was a long-time volunteer with the Ontario Crafts Council and has sat on the Board of Directors of the Ottawa School of Art since 2010.  She has always enjoyed working creatively and has studied ceramics and mixed media art at the OSA.


Clayton Powell
COO & Partner
Jackpine Digital Inc.

Clayton Powell, BBA, MPA is an experienced leader and management professional who has worked in both the private and not-for-profit sectors. Clayton is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of the Ottawa creative and 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. He holds professional degrees in business and public administration and will soon qualify for the Certified Human Resources Professional and Chartered Professional Accountant designations.


Basia Vanderveen, MBA, ABC
Principal Consultant

Basia Vanderveen is a strategic communication consultant who helps leaders promote their business and share information effectively for the benefit of the audience and the business. She has worked locally and internationally on marketing and corporate communication projects in several industries. In her work, Basia relies on creativity and believes that art and art education can positively influence and stimulate the mind regardless of a person’s background, status, or profession. In addition to her work, Basia enjoys time with family and friends, art, literature, running, outdoor sports, and travel. She  holds an MBA from Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C. and is professionally accredited through the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).


Sharif 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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