Board of Directors



Powell, HeadshotClayton Powell, MPA

Powell Strategy Group

VP, Finance & Business Development
Purple Urchin


Clayton Powell is an experienced leader and management professional who has worked in the private and not-for-profit sectors. As a strategy consultant, Clayton works with small businesses in the Ottawa region to develop growth through business planning with a strong emphasis on finance and human resources. Clayton also serves as Vice President, Finance & Business Development for the local and well-known natural bath and body company Purple Urchin Inc. 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.




Megan Lafrenière

Vice-President, Exhibition Officer
Library and Archives Canada


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 has served on the OSA Board of Directors since 2009, and has taken great pleasure in ceramics and mixed media courses at the school.


MelissaMelissa Talia, CPA, CMA
Controller at Four Point Solutions

Four Point Solutions Ltd.

Melissa Talia is a Certified Professional Accountant with an abundance of experience in the business world with both small to medium sized companies and start-ups. She has helped many a local business get off the ground, and hopes her knowledge and dedication will help the Ottawa School of Art continue the growth and success it has seen in recent years in Canada.
Melissa can’t wait to get involved in the school as a student and hopes to grow her appreciation for the visual arts in the coming years.



Jessica Houle
Sicotte Guilbualt LLP

Jessica is an associate at Sicotte Guilbault and a member of the Business Law Group (head of the Employment Law sector) and head of the Wills & Estate Law Group. Jessica is fluently bilingual, and her practice focuses primarily on employment law and wills and estate law.


She completed her studies at the University of Ottawa and was fortunate to immerse from the civil law school into the common law tradition in 2010. She holds a degree in civil law from the Faculty of Civil Law from the University of Ottawa and a Juris Doctor degree from the National Program, Common Law Section, from the University of Ottawa. Jessica was called to the Bar in 2012.

During her studies in civil law, Jessica had the privilege of acting as a representative of the Conventum, Social Committee of the graduates. She was also named vice-president of the Association des étudiants et étudiantes du Barreau du Québec, Ottawa division, in 2010. Jessica is a member of the Canadian Bar Association since 2007 and a member of the Ontario Bar Association since 2010. Jessica also presents frequently at conferences and participates in many different events in order to continuously improve her practice.


Something you may not know about Jessica: she was a professional figure skater for Disney On Ice.


Community Members


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.


avermetteAudrey 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.


David Finnie, BA(Honours)

Commercial Account Executive
Canada Brokerlink (Ontario) Inc.

David Finnie has 34 years of experience in the property and casualty field of insurance. After graduating from Carleton University, David owned and operated his family insurance business for 32 years prior to joining Brokerlink. David is an active member of his community and has done extensive fundraising and marketing for numerous charity organizations including Upstream Ottawa, Bytown Association of Rescued Kanines, Kemptville Kinsmen, St James Anglican Church Kemptville and One Hundred Men Who Care Ottawa. David is a new board member and looks forward to working with the OSA.


Shirley Yik

Shirley Yik is a graduate of the Ottawa School of Art Fine Arts Diploma Program. She also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a Master of Information Systems Science degree, and a Master of Management Studies degree, all from Carleton University. Formerly she held management positions in telecommunications and internet consulting companies.

Shirley’s art practice includes painting, drawing and printmaking. She has received grants from the City of Ottawa and the Ontario Arts Council. Her work is held in private collections and the City of Ottawa’s art collection.


Geraldine Taylor

Geraldine Taylor, the Renaissance woman behind the Geraldine’s Gallery, has been an artist and art collector for 46 years. She studied Commercial Art at Commerce High School in Ottawa, and later earned a B.A. in Fine Arts and Photography from the University of Ottawa. Throughout her career, Geraldine has worked as a performance artist, a visual artist, curator, and publisher – in 1983 she published Portfolio 83, a collection of original prints and multiples by Ottawa artists.

With an impressive art collection that contains about 2,000 pieces, Geraldine collects art the way some people collect stamps. She collects, categorizes, and places artistic works on the walls of her gallery, creating a fluid, ever-changing expression of creativity. Drawn to people with passion for art, Geraldine develops and nurtures long-term relationships that allow her to exhibit works than span an entire artist’s career.

Since moving to Kemptville in 1992, Geraldine has made a name for herself both as an artist and curator, and as a real estate agent.

21Diane Hiscox

Artist / Lawyer

Diane Hiscox is a practicing artist with a background in constitutional and international law and legislative drafting. She earned a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, a law degree from Dalhousie University, and a Master’s degree in law from University of Ottawa. Formerly council in the constitutional and international law section of the Department of Justice, she has since contracted her legal expertise with various government and private clients.

Diane has exhibited her paintings in many group and solo exhibitions locally and internationally, and has work in private and public collections, including the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Hospital collection, and Dalhousie University.

Diane has a strong background serving on non-profit and school boards, including experience as a leader, mediator, and legal writer. She is committed to volunteering.

Ex Officio Members

Past president

Nadia Laham, Ph.D.
Executive Director (ex officio)
Jeff Stellick
Ottawa School of Art

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The OSA Board of Directors invites interested individuals to submit an application to join our dynamic Board. If you are interested in serving as a Board Member please contact Clayton Powell (President) at


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