Board Members & Staff
Janice Armstrong - Chair
Marnie Blair - Vice-Chair
Marnie Blair, she/her is a white settler from Northwestern Ontario. She received a BFA with distinction from Lakehead University and an MFA from the University of Calgary. Her current practice in print media aims to recontextualize early modern medical flap anatomy.
She has studied at the Royal College of Art in London, UK, the Studio Art Centres International in Florence, Italy and has interned at Manhattan’s Lower East Side Print Shop. Blair has worked as the Print and Paper Facilitator at the Banff Centre, taught at Thompson Rivers University, and is currently an instructor in the School of Creative Arts at Red Deer College, located in Treaty 6, Treaty 7, and the Metis ancestral lands.
Photo of Harry
Harry Sawchuk is a visual artist working in watercolours and evolving his works into miniature models. He is also a lawyer with Chapman Riebeek.
Michael Richard is a Tree House Youth Theatre alumni and he’s been performing with Central Alberta Theatre since 1996. Through high school he studied drama, exploring lights sound and directing for zones festivals then continuing his training with Red Deer College’s Technical Theatre program. His lifelong passion for the arts drives him to pursue filmmaking and photography work, play guitar, and promote his designs through a variety of platforms including his YouTube channel DarkflameStudios. Michael works as a professional chauffeur, taking care of VIP clients on the most important days of their lives. He’s looking forward to working with the Arts Council in the upcoming year to bring new insights with fresh ideas.
Hi, my name is Janice Armstrong and I am excited to work with the Red Deer Arts Council. We are planning bigger, better and exciting things starting with our new home. The visibility, location and workable space will help us to more forward in the future.
Although I am new to the Chair position, I have been with the Red Deer Arts Council as Secretary for the past two years. I have lived in Red Deer for 8 years now and truly love our little city. Over the past years I have sat on many boards while raising my family, and although they were mostly sports oriented, I also reached out to the arts through pottery, sewing and painting lessons.. I began sewing at age 6, taught by my Mother on my Grandmothers treadle machine, and have moved on to modern technology and learning something new every day. Another passion is painting…..mostly on rocks, but I am enthralled with flowers, so I never run out of ideas. I served on the Board with the Rocky and District Victim Services Unit for a few years until I finished my VSU training, and was then hired to do Victim Advocacy and Court Support, as well as front line crisis aid which I did for 10 years. This was a very rewarding and fulfilling time of my life and the education I received both in training as well as “real life” prepared me for most anything.
My husband is a musical artist and we have enjoyed many events over the years, here in Red Deer, and I a looking forward to expanding “Creative Red Deer” with the Red Deer Arts Council.
Harry Sawchuk - Treasurer
Jason O'Connor, a Métis visual artist based in Alberta, specializes in 'Urban Tribalism' art, fusing global cultures, cities, animals, and mystical symbols. His studio is on an acreage just outside of Sylvan Lake.
By day, he's a marketing professional skilled in graphic design and copywriting. By night, he's a dedicated artist. Jason's unique blend of art and business acumen makes him an useful addition to the Red Deer Arts Council board, where he's eager to contribute his creativity and marketing expertise.
Suzanne Hermary - Coordinator
Suzanne Hermary grew up in Red Deer on lands farmed by her northern French immigrant family and Scottish settlers via Antigonish, Nova Scotia. She is grateful to reside on the lands of Treaty 6 & 7 territory, which is also home to a Métis gathering place where stories, arts, and culture have been shared for innumerable generations. She studied French Immersion and performed in shows at a school that was built upon her family’s homestead on the North Hill. She loved to perform from a young age and worked with Tree House Youth Theatres in her teen years while also participating in school productions.
She studied music and completed the Theatre Studies Performance diploma program at Red Deer College, then continued her studies at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, eventually graduating with Honours from Sheridan's Bachelors of Musical Theatre Performance Program after completing their degree expansion program in 2018.
Living in Toronto and Paris with many travels abroad developed Suzanne’s love of fine arts, architecture, food, history, culture, music, and literature. Her desire to share these passions with others led to her career as a travel agent, helping others to discover new experiences at home and abroad. Suzanne has volunteered with local theatre companies to direct, perform, and produce plays and musicals since her return to her hometown.
Red Deer has both a vibrant music community and a theatre community, so she developed the Broadway Open Mic sessions for people to share their love of musical theatre, and she is excited to bring these nights back to the stage very soon. During the day, she works with artists of all genres in her role as Coordinator for the Red Deer Arts Council and she is excited to share her passion for arts and culture with the broader community.