Meet the Team
Robin Sutherland, Founding Artistic Director
Robin was raised in the remote community of Chub Lake in the beautiful Mississaugi River Valley. After graduating with a degree in Theatre and Arts Management at the University of Toronto, she worked in administrative roles in Toronto’s arts and non profit sector for five years, specializing in marketing, communications, community outreach and project and event management. In 2012 she managed the country’s first ever National Youth Arts Week in 2012 as the General Manager of ANCY (Arts Network for Children and Youth). In 2013 she apprenticed with Ruth Howard of Jumblies Theatre in community-engaged art practice while incubating Thinking Rock through the Youth Agent of Change program at the Centre for Social Innovation. She returned to Algoma to start Thinking Rock Community Arts in August 2013. Robin holds an MSc in Health, Community and Development program at the London School of Economics and a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation from the University of Waterloo. She is passionate about creating spaces for cross-cultural collaboration and youth-led community change to happen through the arts. In addition to running Thinking Rock, Robin also co-owns and manages Northern Skies Enterprises, an agri-innovation and eco-tourism startup.
Miranda Bouchard, General Manager
Miranda is the General Manager of Thinking Rock Community Arts as well as the Lead Designer of the Rivers Speak Community Play. She grew up in Blind River, where she first met Robin Sutherland as a classmate. A love of the arts and of sharing them with others emerged early in Miranda’s childhood, and has directed her personally and professionally since. A co-operative education placement at the White Mountain Academy of the Arts in Elliot Lake cemented her desire to pursue these passions full-time. Miranda has worked as an arts administrator in various capacities in gallery and museum settings including the Art Gallery of Algoma and the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre (Sault Ste. Marie), the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre (Guelph) and YYZ Artists Outlet (Toronto). Miranda holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree with distinction from the University of Guelph, with a double major in Studio Art and Art History. During her time at the School of Fine Art and Music, she also attended a studio-intensive semester of exchange studies at the Institute of Fine Arts, Lahti University of Applied Sciences (Finland). Currently pursuing a certification in Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Management through Ryerson University, Miranda relishes time spent in community and at home, in her Sylvan Valley studio and garden.
Jae Mahmutova, Programming and Outreach Assistant
Jae is the Programming and Outreach Assistant at Thinking Rock Community Arts for the summer of 2018. He grew up in Kitchener where the arts became and continued to be a prominent part of his life, be it through music, dance, or visual arts. He took part in choir throughout elementary school and during his first years of highschool, Jae became part of two choirs, a jazz singing group, and Jr. band. Moving to Wharncliffe in June 2017 brought many new opportunities, the most notable being taking part of the Rivers Speak production, where he was first introduced to Thinking Rock. Jae will be returning to Central Algoma Secondary School this year in September.
Tavish Jordan, Communications and Evaluation Assistant
Tavish is the Communications and Evaluation assistant on the Thinking Rock team. He grew up in Sault ste. Marie and recently moved to Thessalon, where he discovered Thinking Rock Community Arts and the Rivers Speak Community Play. He has a background with theatre from his time in high school at Korah, and a longstanding love of the arts, particularly music (some say he can pick up any instrument that he can get his hands on). During his time at Korah, he participated in several musical productions, ranging from largely background work in “Phantom of the Opera” to playing the Sultan in “Aladdin”. After graduating, Tavish moved on to begin post secondary at Sault College, studying Electrical engineering/Process automation, and has plans to continue schooling in the coming school year.
Board of Directors
Katie Elliott, Chair
Katie is currently the Communications Coordinator for the Northern Policy Institute. Prior to this she worked as the Project Coordinator of Social Entrepreneurship Evolution (SEE), an emergent collaborative based out of the NORDIK Institute, whose goal is to develop and connect sustainable infrastructure to support Youth Social Entrepreneurship (YSE) in Northern Ontario. Katie’s interest in pairing youth engagement with social economic development in Northern Ontario is reflected in her past experiences, both professionally and personally.
Prior to joining NORDIK, Katie served as Parliamentary Advisor to a Member of Parliament whose role also included Federal Critic for Agriculture & Agri-Food. This work provided her an avenue to support community initiatives while also developing policy based on community resilience and long-term sustainability. Katie also spent time as a Communications Officer with Natural Resources Canada, where she worked alongside researchers to transfer knowledge into industry action and policy decisions.
Katie graduated from McGill University with a BA (Honours) in Political Science and is currently pursuing a post graduate certificate in Public Relations at Ryerson University.
Jessica Bolduc, Vice Chair
Jessica is the Executive Director of the 4Rs Youth Movement, a collaboration between YMCA Canada and thirteen national organizations, who are working with youth to create capacities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people to come together to cultivate understanding and action in support of a better Canada. Jessica is of mixed Anishinaabe-European heritage from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Canada, and is from the Indigenous community of Batchewana First Nation. She is a Board member of Community Foundations of Canada and is the National Youth Representative for the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. She is also the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her volunteer contributions to the advancement of Aboriginal people across Canada.
In her community, Jessica is working with other young leaders to foster arts-based economies, social infrastructure and hub spaces for change makers. In the future she is hoping these initiatives will be a catalyst in the development of a more sustainable place to call home by strengthening inclusion and capacity of under-appreciated communities of people such as youth and Indigenous nations. In her spare time Jess enjoys hosting and promoting live music shows, and being out on the land, taking care to appreciate the richness of the area she lives in.
Crystal Bossio, Treasurer
Crystal is an independent built and cultural resource consultant based along the North Shore. She is the former Executive Director of Willowbank, which is also her alma mater, though she also attended Carleton University for Humanities and Huron University College for Theological Studies. Crystal started her career in heritage conservation in Ottawa on the adaptive reuse of the Horticulture Building. In addition to her work with the Board of Thinking Rock, Crystal sits on the Advisory Council of Willowbank.
Kimberly Pelletier, Board Member
Bio coming soon!
Local Advisory Circle / Creative Team
Elsie Bissaillon, Diana Blazek, Jon Cada, Max Chiblow, Marly Day, Linda Finn, Murray Finn, Tracy Fraser, Angie Gallop, Sharon Hunter, Gillian Lloyd, Earl Niganobe, Fran Perkins, Ginny Post, Gerard Sagassige, Diane Savoie, Patricia Wynter.