About the Foundation

Nova Scotia Masterworks Awards Foundation Promotional Video

The Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors through the Nova Scotia Masterworks Awards Foundation, which was created in July 2005.


Ms. Susan  Letson, President Email Susan M. Letson

Susan has recently retired as the Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs, based in Halifax. Previously she was a leader in Executive Recruitment in the Atlantic region for over 15 years, having held senior positions with two national firms, KPMG and The Caldwell Partners International. Her practice focus was the recruitment of senior level candidates for public and private sector organizations.

Susan is a past Chair of the Halifax YWCA, Symphony Nova Scotia and Debut Atlantic and a past Vice Chair of the United Way of Halifax. She is currently on the boards of the Resource Recovery Fund Board, The Greater Halifax Partnership and is Chair of the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award Foundation.

Ms. Gay Hauser, Vice President Email Judith Campbell

Gay Hauser has worked as an actor, director, designer and general manager administrator in non-profit arts sector for 35 years. Currently a consultant for Strategic Arts Management, Gay has worked as the general manager of Live Art Dance Productions and as a founding member of Eastern Front Theatre and Mulgrave Road Theatre Co. Gay continues to perform annually in Symphony Nova Scotia’s The Nutcracker and currently serves as the managing producer of the annual event.

Gay has experience in theatre and dance presenting general management including audience development, board development, strategic planning, production budgeting, global budgeting, and multi-year budgeting, financial reporting, audit preparation, bookkeeping, grant writing, CTA contracting, payroll, including T4 and T4A preparation, charitable tax returns, sponsorship relations, special event coordination, donor relations, volunteer relations, customer relations and box office management.

Mr. Ted Fraser, Treasurer Email Timothy Matthews

Ms. Carolle Fernando, Secretary Email Timothy Matthews

Carolle Fernando is an associate lawyer with McInnes Cooper in Halifax, specialising in tax law. After admission to the Bar in 2003, and commencing her legal career, she pursued her passion as a professional dancer with Mocean Dance, a company she co-founded in 2003. She has much hands-on experience in arts management and continues to act as Artistic Advisor to Mocean Dance. Carolle has returned to her other passion – law – and is a member of the Canadian Tax Foundation, the Canadian Bar Association, and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.


Ms. Mireille Bourgeois

Originally from Dieppe, New Brunswick, Mireille Bourgeois has an MA from the Centre for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.  An active member of the media arts community, she has independently curated and contributed to programs throughout Canada, the US, and Germany, and has published critical writing for Visual Arts News, Creative Times Press, C-Magazine, the Canadian Film Institute, Incite Journal of Experimental Media, and the online art blog Artengine.  Mireille Bourgeois is currently Director at the Centre for Art Tapes in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Ms. Barbara Butler

Barbara Butler is the Director of Music at St. John’s Anglican Church in Lunenburg. A chamber musician, choral conductor, organist and music educator, she is a well-known champion for the arts in Nova Scotia.

Born in Newfoundland, Barbara earned her Bachelor of Music Degree from Acadia University with majors in piano and organ. She is also a graduate of Banff School of Fine Arts in Arts Management, The Institute of Choral Arts (Nova Scotia Choral Federation), England’s Royal School of Church Music and the International Organ Academy (Holland). In 1990 she was made a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. She is the recipient of both the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal for her service to music and the arts in Nova Scotia. She is a 2006 recipient of a Women of Excellence Award in the field of culture from the Canadian Progress Club (Halifax – Cornwallis). In October, 2011 she was honoured to receive an Honourary Doctorate in Civil Law from the University of King’s College.

Barbara Butler is the Artistic and Administrative Director of Musique Royale, a Festival of Early Music in Nova Scotia and year round concerts at St. John’s Church in Lunenburg. She is the Founder and past Artistic Director of the St. Cecilia Concert Series and former Director of the Lieutenant Governor’s Concert Series.

Barbara has strong affiliations with many arts organizations in the province and has served various boards. Currently she is an avid supporter and board member of Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir as well as the Masterworks Awards.

Mr. Paul Caskey Email Adrian Hoffman

Paul Caskey’s involvement in Canada’s professional dance community has ranged from that of dancer/choreographer to Lighting Designer to Artistic Director. Moving from Vancouver to Montreal in 1989, he quickly immersed himself in the Quebec dance milieu, choreographing his own works and dancing for numerous independent choreographers. In 1994 he became Co-Artistic Director of Montreal’s Studio 303, a position he held until 2005 when he moved to Halifax, where he is currently Executive Producer of Live Art Dance Productions. Paul was a founding Board member of the Canadian Dance Assembly and was formerly President of the Board of Directors of the CanDance Network of Dance Presenters. He joined the Board of Directors of the Nova Scotia Masterworks Award Foundation in 2013.

Ms. D’Arcy Dennehy Email Adrian Hoffman

D’Arcy is a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has made her home Halifax for over 35 years and raised three very creative children here, one being a recipient of Nova Scotia Talent Trust Awards.

D’Arcy is a commercial Interior Designer and registered member of the Interior Designers of Nova Scotia. Her career has covered both the private and public sectors. She has run her own design practice, worked within Public Works and Government Services Canada, Halifax Regional Municipality and, most recently, with Fowler Bauld & Mitchell Architecture and Interiors, architects of record for the New Central Library. She is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified professional, a Project Management Professional, and member of PMI (Project Management Institute).

D’Arcy has served the boards of several arts related organizations, including the YMCA, NSCAD, Neptune Theatre, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design, particularly in the area of events planning. She is keen to support any initiative that promotes and celebrates the vitality and value that art makers bring to our community.

Mr. Peter Guildford Email Adrian Hoffman

Peter Guildford is a native of Halifax who has had a life-long involvement in the arts. While in high school he was very active in youth theatre before studying Theatre at Dalhousie University. Following two years of public school teaching, Peter returned to university, completing a Masters of Theatre History at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. While completing his master thesis, he worked for the Vancouver Children’s Festival. When he returned to Halifax in 1981 he worked in a volunteer capacity and then as Festival Director for the Children’s Festival of Nova Scotia. During that period he also taught Theatre History for two years at Dalhousie. From 1987 to 2011 he worked for the Culture Division of the Nova Scotia government where he was active in community cultural development and organizational development as well as managing grant funding programs. As well, for 14 years he served as Secretary for the Nova Scotia Talent Trust. Since his retirement from the provincial government he has undertaken occasional contract work in board governance with non-profit arts organizations in the province.

Ms. Ingrid Jenkner Email Adrian Hoffman

Ingrid Jenkner (B.A. Toronto; M.A. London (Courtauld Institute) has been Director/Curator of Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax, since 1994.   She was previously Curator at Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina and at Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph.  In addition to her curatorial appointments, Jenkner has taught art history and theory at the universities of Guelph and Regina. She currently teaches Cultural Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University, and frequently serves on peer assessment committees of the Canada Council for the Arts and Nova Scotia Communities, Culture and Heritage. Prior to her appointment to the Masterworks Foundation Board, Ms. Jenkner has had the honour of nominating a Masterworks Arts Award winner, Breathing Under Water by Glynis Humphrey, and a Masterworks finalist, See Below by Susan Feindel.

Ms. Elizabeth MacDonald Email Adrian Hoffman

Through her company, Acappella Communications Inc., Elizabeth provides strategic counsel and support in communications planning and implementation, writing and editing, and stakeholder engagement for corporate, university, government and not-for-profit clients. She is an accomplished communications professional, with more than 25 years of public, private, and voluntary sector experience.

Elizabeth started her career as communications assistant to the Saskatchewan Minister of Energy and Mines and later as legislative assistant to the federal Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. Upon moving to the private sector Elizabeth worked as Public Affairs manager (Ontario) with Texaco Canada and later with Imperial Oil Limited as Public Affairs manager (Atlantic). In 1996, she joined Royal Bank as Manager, Public Affairs (Atlantic). From 2003 – 2007, Elizabeth was based in Germany, where she worked with the Canadian Forces community in Europe in several capacities. Elizabeth also taught writing and management at Mount Saint Vincent University and Seneca College (for Canadian Forces Support Unit Europe) in Germany. For her work as writer and editor of the IABC Belgium website, she won two IABC Chapter Management Awards in two consecutive years (2005, 2006).

An active community volunteer for many years, Elizabeth is currently a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board for Halifax and serves on the boards of both the Charitable Irish Association and An Cumann: The Irish Association of Nova Scotia. Elizabeth also helps organize Re-Jigged, an annual festival of new Celtic music and dance.

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Francis Xavier University, a Master of Public Administration degree from Queen’s University, a Diploma in Marketing and International Business from Saint Mary’s University, and a Certificate in Adult Education from Seneca College.

Ms. Liliona Quarmyne Email Adrian Hoffman

Liliona Quarmyne is an independent choreographer, performer, teacher, and community development facilitator.  She is also the Creative Mind Body Spirit Program Coordinator for the Tatamagouche Centre.  Liliona deeply believes that movement and art can play a central role in the development of self-identity, and in the growth and empowerment of communities.  Liliona is particularly interested in the body’s ability to link us to past and to future generations.  She draws on her Ghanaian/Filipino background, and on a diverse set of training and experiences – including participating in Kinetic Studio’s Explorations program, dancing with Nyata Nyata, obtaining a Masters in African Studies, teaching extensively, working on the Arrivals Project, running Generations in Motion, and sitting on the board of the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre – to generate a creative and unconventional vision of how we are in the world.

Click  here to view Past Board Members.