Gordon Hatt | Executive Director 

Portrait 2018-01-01 at 12.08.28 E.pngGordon Hatt (BA 1983, MA 1985, Art History, University of Toronto) arrived at CAFKA after working as Curator of Zone A for Nuit Blanche in Toronto, October 4, 2008. He was Director/Curator at Rodman Hall Arts Centre in St. Catharines from 2004 to 2007 and from 1988 to 2004 he worked in a variety of capacities at Cambridge Galleries, the last seven of those years as curator of temporary exhibitions.  At Cambridge, he developed a programming philosophy of audience development through the presentation of advanced contemporary art and he brings this philosophy to CAFKA.  Gordon has been active in the development and the promotion of Canadian artists for over 30 years. He has written numerous articles, essays and interviews. Gordon Hatt has acted as Executive Director of CAFKA since 2008.

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Back row, left to right: Stephen Lavigne, Jen Love, Bryn Ossington, Graham Whiting, Cherie Fawcett, Hanneke Smolders, Tom Nagy

Front row, left to right: Jessie Lacayo, Glodeane Brown, Michelle Purchase, Victoria Kent, Brian Hawthornthwaite


MICHELLE PURCHASE | President and Board Chair

Landscape Architect / Educator / Artist

Elected to the board in April 2015.  Michelle Purchase is a licensed Landscape Architect and full-time professor at Niagara College in the School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies. Michelle teaches courses in Landscape Design, Computer Drafting, Plant Identification, and Ecological Restoration.  She obtained her Bachelor of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo, and her Masters of Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph. Before teaching she worked in environmental consulting for 8 years preparing landscape plans, vegetation inventories, and ecological management plans. Michelle is also an artist working out of Globe Studios with representation at several galleries in Ontario. Her interest in native plants and ecology strongly influences her work.


TOM NAGY | Secretary

Management Consultant

Elected to the Board March 2016. Tom Nagy graduated from the University of Waterloo in 1998 with his BA SC degree in Electrical engineering. He had a successful career at RIM where he was employed for 10 years. As a independent consultant he specializes in the management of intellectual property. In 2011 Tom obtained a BMus, Jazz and Contemporary Music.  He is a performing musician and composer; technical director at The Jazz Room in Waterloo; and member of the board of directors at the Grand River Jazz Society, and the Da Capo Chamber Choir.  He is also the executive producer of albums recorded during The Live at the Jazz Room Series.



Chartered Accountant

Elected to the Board April 2012, Brian Hawthornthwaite is a chartered accountant and a senior manager who has had a successful career within a sales and service culture. He has a proven track record in the areas of financial management, strategic planning and implementation, objective setting and in improving financial performance. Brian has worked effectively with boards of directors, including audit, conduct review and corporate governance committees. He has been instrumental in a successful and complex turn-around situation and managed an information systems department. He has proven that he can lead effectively in different types of corporate and employee cultures, and has demonstrated strong technical and team building skills. Brian graduated with a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University and obtained his CA designation during eight years of public accounting experience with Deloitte Haskins and Sells.


JEN LOVE | Vice Chair

Partner, Agents of Good

Elected to the board in April 2015.  Jen Love is an Agent of Good. A storyteller and fundraiser, she started Agents of Good to help charities inspire their donors and raise more money. A strategic and creative firm, Agents of Good is proud to collaborate with passionate people working for social justice, a healthy environment and a brighter future.



Artist / Educator

Elected to the Board April 2012, Stephen Lavigne is an artist and educator. He completed his MFA at the University of Western Ontario in 2007. He has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions in Ontario, Alberta and in the United States. He has worked in art education at the University of Western Ontario, Museum London, the Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery and as the workshop and tour co-ordinator for CAFKA during CAFKA.11 and CAFKA.14.



Owner, Yeti Café

Elected to the Board April 2013, Victoria Kent is a musician, artist, writer, librarian and the owner of the Yeti Cafe in Kitchener. She has lived in Halifax, Glasgow, Berlin and Toronto. Her art projects include the bands Rick of the Skins, Ye Olde Syrup Shoppe and Lennon/McCartney/Kent, and the healing performance known as Staring Therapy. She has been active in artist-run culture as a member of the programming committee of the Khyber Centre for the Arts in Halifax, NS and the Don Blanche Residency in Shelburne, ON.



Art Administrator

Elected to the Board March 2016, Jessie Lacayo is an arts administrator with a background in community services. She completed her MFA at the University of Victoria in 2001. Jessie has served as the Director/Curator of Gallery 101 in Ottawa and as the Marketing Manager of the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo. She worked as an Administrative Co-ordinator at Carizon Family and Community Services and is currently completing a degree in Business Administration at Conestoga College.



Principal Architect, Whiting Design

Elected to the Board April 2012, Graham Whiting holds degrees in Architecture and in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo.  Graham is the owner of Whiting Design, an architectural design firm specializing in sustainable, modern design in Waterloo Region for the past 11 years.  He teaches Sustainability for Small Business at the SEED school in the University of Waterloo.  Graham volunteers not only as board chair but assists with drawings, permits, and construction for some of the more complex biennial installations.  He chairs the Uptown Waterloo Streetscape committee, is an avid cyclist, husband of a Kundalini yoga teacher, and a father to three.



Account Manager, Sortable

Elected to the Board in 2017, Bryn Ossington has worked in Waterloo Region’s non-profit and charitable sector in a number of different capacities over the past 14 years.  For example, he served as Executive Director of the WL Student Publications for seven years, was founding Publisher of the Community Edition Newspaper, past Coordinator and Curator of Steel Rail Sessions, and the former Donor Relations Officer at the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation. Very recently, Bryn commenced a new role as a Publisher Account manager at Sortable, one of the Region's fastest growing startups. Bryn also works concurrently at Conestoga College as the Program director of the Non-Profit Sector faculty and teaches a course in Senior Leadership and Management. 


MEG HARDER | Director


Elected to the Board in 2017, Kitchener-based Meghan Harder was born in St. Catharines. She is a graduate of the University of Waterloo Fine Arts Program, which included an exchange to the Bezealel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Israel. Her work has been featured in Work in Box Art Show, Night/Shift, Stop-Gap, CAFKA and the Museum. Meg has been artist in residence at Kwartzlab and Rare Charitable Research Reserve and was a participant in Musagetes's SenseLab. She currently works at the Kitchener Public Library in the information service department when she helps develop resources for newcomers and folks pursuing ESL. Meg is currently involved in the community with KW Book-mo-bike and a new folk and bike festival celebrating Waterloo City Limits. She has been volunteering with CAFKA for over 6 years as a tour guide and artists assistant. 



Interior Designer/Culture Blogger

Elected to the Board in 2017, Glodeane Brown is a graduate of the Interior Design program and Corporate Communications program at Sheridan College. She is a freelance interior design consultant and has professional experiences in customer service and administration. She is the Editor and Founder of Culture Fancier, an art blog that covers arts events and regularly features interviews with local and international artists and creative professionals.




Re-elected to the board in in 2017 after maternity leave, Cherie Fawcett is originally from Sudbury, Ontario. She moved to the Waterloo Region in 2007 to complete her BFA at the University of Waterloo. Upon graduation in 2012, she was presented with the RCAA Howe Award for her artistic practice and her work Co-Directing/Curating the student-run Artery Gallery in downtown Kitchener. For the past few years, Cherie has curated for local galleries and spaces including a guest curation at Cambridge Galleries (VSVSVS: space mods, 2013). She was the Curator in Residence Walter Fedy (2012-2013) and was on the Programming Committee for the Elora Centre for the Arts (2012). Cherie currently works as the Gallery Assistant at Idea Exchange, Art + Design (formerly Cambridge Galleries) providing curatorial assistance and administrative support for three gallery locations.



Chartered Professional Accountant

Elected to the Board in 2017, Hanneke Smolders is the Chief Financial Officer of Renison University College in Waterloo where she oversees the financial life of the institution and the management of the finance department. Previous positions include Financial Officer, Retail Services, University of Waterloo; Senior Accountant, Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan; and Manager, Finance and Administration, University of Guelph. Hanneke holds a certificate in Master Controllership from the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Laurentian University/Université Laurentienne.