Meet Our Board And Supporters
Philip Lococo has engaged in a multifaceted career.
He’s worked with some of the regions most important winemakers to produce some of the best wines the region has produced. At many of the wineries he also engaged in aspects of marketing and promotion. In 2005, employed by the Niagara Grape and Wine and Icewine Festivals he produced all of the print media copy and graphic design as well as managing the Grand Parade and main wine tent.
As a conference planner he has produced and helped produce congresses for Braebon Medical Corporation, Toastmasters International and Mensa Canada. He’s also been an important part of planning other festivals in the Niagara Region.
He’s managed federal election campaigns, municipal election campaigns and campaigns for board positions on an International Board of Directors.
Community involvement is important to Philip, volunteering for many events and organizations and most particularly supporting the arts.
Kristin Lyssand is the name I was given many moons ago in Norway, where I grew up.
In my late teens I moved to London to learn English; later Hamburg to learn German. Air Canada hired me to work at the Frankfurt airport, and in 1972 they transferred me to Toronto where I lived and worked as In-Charge Flight Attendant for AC for 16 more years.
My life has had an international flavour; father Norwegian, mother Swedish, a couple of British husbands, two Canadian sons (1 living in Bermuda and 1 in Niagara Falls) – and a love of travel.
I held a board position in the Scandinavian club, and I am still responsible for the Newsletter. As President in 1987-88 of the Swedish Women’s Educational Association, (SWEA Toronto) and a long time member. In the early 90’s I co-started a SWEA chapter in Madrid, Spain, where I lived for 8 years. This followed a 3 year stint in Frankfurt, Germany from 1988 until 1991. In year 2000 I returned to Toronto, and in 2014 I moved to Niagara Falls.
I am also the secretary for an esoteric study group and other than that I treasure my family & friends, my home & garden, books and music, our planet & environment.
I joined the Niagara Art Showcase in July 2017, and feel really excited about the prospect of helping this grow and flourish. My hope is also that it will offer new and wonderful local friends.
Mark Gardiner is chef and owner of Piccolo Niagara and has had a long career in business and management consulting in the Niagara Region, throughout Canada and the world.
Art has always been a personal passion for Mark, his first “job” designing logos for family owned businesses, as a young adult teaching art classes to children, participating in cultural festivals in the region and seeking out an education in fine arts. Although his career and education took a different road Mark has maintained a close affinity to his creative side and now uses his natural talents in the kitchen rather than the canvas.
A natural strategist Mark brings both organizational talents and a wealth of experience to the table. Mark owns and operates several businesses and has a love for supporting the local community and other entrepreneurs. He is passionate about charitable work and has committed each of his companies to charity events monthly to support the community as a standard operational process.
He is committed to business growth through quality of service from customer experience to end product and is an expert at process analysis. Having worked with clients from charitable groups to the world’s largest media companies Mark is comfortable with multitasking and situational diversity.
As a member of the Niagara Arts Showcase Mark hopes to support growth, creativity and development of the area’s Artisans.
Austin Shynal has established himself as one of the most knowledgeable and respected Sommeliers in Ontario, with a concentration in the Niagara Region wines, craft beer, cider and spirits. Having gained his education amongst the finest wineries and vineyards in the business, his familiarity with local industry allowed him to gain his experience as wine consultant at Hillebrand Estate Winery (Trius), Peller Estate Winery Restaurant, and Wine Country Vintners.
Currently he is stationed as the senior sommelier at Sassarraz restaurant in Yorkville Sassafraz.ca, and can also be found for freelance and other projects at Niagara Sommelier Service TheNiagaraSommelier.com. Austin’s certification as a Sommelier, his experience in the hospitality industry, his expertise as a wine consultant and his consummate professionalism lends itself to the success of his own personal business.
In 2011, Austin founded Niagara Sommelier Service, a private firm specializing in cellar management, alcohol portfolio brokering, luxury beverage tourism, and restaurant consulting. Through his business, he has acted as the Estate Sommelier for Stratus Wines (2011/2012) and continued in that role as the Estate Sommelier for Tawse Winery in the vintages of ’13, ’14, and ’15. Austin was also a key consultant involved with Falls Avenue Resort with launching Niagara Brewing Company including staff recruitment, training, and LCBO compliance.
Ever evolving, his business has added a component ideal for business as well as private parties. With Elite fly-in Golf & Wine Tourism, along with transport partners, daily chartered trips are available to a wide selection of fully private and other exclusive top PGA rated courses, restaurants, wineries, distilleries and breweries across Ontario and internationally through the use of either fixed wing aircraft, helicopters or both.
Ashley Murray currently has nine years of customer service expertise working in both front of the line retail as well as the administrative ‘behind the scenes’ aspect of the business. She has built long lasting relationships with customers and guests due to her organized and systematic ways of working. Her skill set has been proven by being honoured with a ‘Gold Badge Status’ for customer service from Sears Canada. With her alertness and productiveness skill sets, she always accepts any task at hand.
Within Ashley’s time with Sears Canada, she has five years in a coordinator role as the credit coordinator and currently the health and safety coordinator. During her time has health and safety coordinator she has been the chairman of the joint health and safety committee, lead workplace inspections and has conducted three workplace walkthroughs with the ministry of labor.
Ever since Ashley was 11 years old she has had a passion for events. Everything from the planning and coordination of them to the marketing and sponsorship sides. In April of 2016, Ashley graduated from the award-winning Event Management graduate certificate program at Niagara College. During her time in this program, she was the co-chair and administrative lead of her group’s event “We Got Soul”.
Between her background in business and her love for events, she is very pleased to have kept on her dream goal of becoming an event manager.
Shelby is a young professional who is passionate about getting involved with the community. She grew up in the town of Dunnville not far from Niagara Falls she has now returned to the region following the completion of school.
In 2017 Shelby graduated from the University of Toronto’s Master of Fine Art History program and was the recipient of the W. Bernard Herman Graduate Scholarship in Art History. Shelby also attended the University of Toronto for her Bachelor’s Degree where she completed a double major in Art History, and Renaissance Studies, as well as a minor in History.
Her previous experience includes working on the Video History of Medicine in Canada Project with the Friends of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, student positions with the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, the Norfolk Arts Centre, as well as volunteering at the Gardiner Museum.
Shelby is passionate about the arts and very excited to join the team at Niagara Arts Showcase!
Lindsay Misiner is a Singer/Songwriter from Halifax, Nova Scotia who has moved to Ontario to pursue bigger and better opportunities for her career. She has been a musician her entire life and has gone to school for Music Arts & Business at Nova Scotia Community College.
In the last five years, Lindsay has managed, been the Artistic Director, and the lead Singer/Songwriter for her 9 piece band “Lindsay Misiner & The 7th Mystic”, who were very successful and a well known band in Halifax. This gained her very much experience in being a manager, agent, as well as social media co-ordinator for herself and other artists alike. Lindsay has also been putting musicians on stages for over six years, organizing events at local Halifax venues. Lindsay is passionate about promoting New Artists and giving them a solid platform and sense of community, which she understands is the most important part of creating a strong Musical Empire where all talents are accepted, no matter their status.
Upon moving to Ontario – Lindsay has moved on from the band and gone back to her roots. She is now a solo artist, as she was before the creation of her band, and is successfully executing this. In July she became a part of the 2017 Honey Jam Showcase in Toronto which provided her with strong connections in the Toronto Music Industry, and she is now currently working on her debut solo Album to be released in the later months of 2018.
Lindsay has taken on the role of Music Coordinator for the Carmel Fine Art & Music Festival this year to expand her knowledge and experience, as well as assist the Festival in creating the best live music event possible. She is looking forward to bringing her expertise to the Festival and becoming a part of the Niagara Arts Scene.
You can listen to music, read blogs & stay updated with Lindsay on her website: www.lindsaymisiner.com
Children’s Art Coordinator
Rhiannon is a visual artist born on August 10th, 1982 in St.Catharinines Ontario. She has spent the largest majority of her childhood on the North Shore of Lake Superior and travels North periodically still. She now lives in St.Catharines where she creates whimsical acrylic paintings. She favours dream-like nature and water scenes, drawing from the Northern scenery of her youth. Her creations also include dreamcatchers and a variety of arts and crafts projects, utilizing an assortment of artistic mediums including glass, wood, clay and metals.
Rhiannon teaches beginner acrylic on canvas paint lessons to groups of all ages and skill levels. Rhiannon also offers self-reflection and de-stressing art classes. For more specific requests, Rhiannon offers group and individual artistic projects as a stimulus for healing and change for those who may be suffering from stress, anxiety, PDSD, trauma or depression.
When Rhiannon isn’t busy teaching art,Rhiannon enjoys her work at the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre as their Volunteer Coordinator.
Rhiannon is also a staff representative on the Folk Arts Council’s 50th planning committee, where she is leading the 150 Mosaic Mural project, a contribution to the national community art project. As well, Rhiannon is advising on events and activities for the 50th Anniversary Festival of the longest consecutively running Cultural Festival in Canada.
You can see her work by visiting her Facebook Page: Art by Rhiannon
Janelle is currently a Niagara College student studying Human Resources with the goal to attend Brock University for Public Administration. She grew up and lived in the Greater Toronto Area before finally settling in Niagara Falls. She is a passionate community ambassador and strives to become a leader and build partnerships throughout the region.
Janelle has some basic training in the fine arts and has an appreciation for a variety of works. She understands the importance of art in the community and encourages other to express their creative side. In her spare time, she paints and draws inspiration from nature.
Janelle is an active member in the community and enjoys peer tutoring and mentoring at Niagara College and volunteering at the YWCA women’s shelter whenever possible.
As a member of the Niagara Arts Showcase she hopes to motivate individuals to take part in the community and help artists across Niagara be recognized for their amazing work.
Erik Upper is a professional writer and marketer, with a history of working in academia. Erik has two books and multiple marketing campaigns under his belt.
Known for his fun, sociable attitude and care for others, Erik has become a trusted and valuable member of the Niagara community. His focus in marketing lies primarily with artists, small businesses, copywriting and event management, but he aims to expand to other avenues.
Alongside Niagara Arts Showcase, Erik is also currently working with Spiritual Niagara as their marketing coordinator, and does outside work as a freelance marketer. While he’s just getting started with his career, he’s already developed quite a name for himself within the art and small business communities in Niagara, as well as a couple other areas outside of the region.
Before entering the world of marketing, Erik worked primarily in academia as a Professional Student at Brock University, and as a Contract Archivist for the Niagara Falls Public Library. He wanted to continue his career in this field, before realizing that he preferred to work with his skills in public speaking and assisting others on a more personal level.
Providing organizational change management and coaching through her business Shift Consult Inc., Colleen’s corporate clients are within the financial services, retail, energy, and technology sectors. Colleen is known as a transformational change expert and creativity activist. With a roster of coaching clients across North America and Europe, including authors and artists, she is valued as an intuitive, strategic thinker and trusted advisor. She advocates everyone experience the freedom and joy in expressing their full creative power. Over the past six years her coaching expanded to entrepreneurs looking to identify their niche and/or scale their current business.
An author, Colleen’s book The Grandmother Legacies was digitally released in 2017, with paper release in February 2018. Her book Step Forward and Shine is scheduled for release in September 2018. Her latest book Callings of a Curious Heart: The Way of The Artist is slated for publication in early 2019.
Colleen has held executive positions at Great West Life, Manulife Financial, leadership roles at Rogers Communications Inc. and senior consulting roles with boutique firms. She holds a M.A. from Pacifica Graduate Institute (CA) and a B.A. from Brock University/University of Waterloo.
Her passions are painting, writing, gardening, learning to play the harp, and hiking by her cabin in the woods near Algonquin Park. She lives with her family in Niagara.
Ever since she was a little girl Joanna has always been artistic & liked arts & crafts, sewing, knitting, drawing & playing the piano. As a teenager she designed events & plays at her school & scouts. She studied Interior Decorating at Sheridan College and her favorite class was Art History. She is fascinated by Renaissance artists.
After graduating, Joanna worked as an Interior Designer at Roche Bobois, Downtown Toronto. She then moved to Dubai, UAE where she worked for a year as a Flight Attendant at Emirates Airlines. “I love traveling. I wanted to discover the world & get inspired by each & every culture, it was one of the best experiences I have had. To this day my husband & I like to travel as much as we can to refresh our energy & expand our creativity”.
She then went back to her field & passion for design; she worked as an Interior Designer at Ethan Allen. A couple of years later she established her own design business “Joanna Design Atelier”, where she designed various residential and commercial projects. “As a designer I believe that the most important thing is how the design makes you feel not just how it looks”.
Now she is back home to Niagara Falls and is happy to help her community through “Niagara Arts Showcase”.
Logistics Manager/Art Committee
I painted my first oil painting in 1967 at the age of fourteen and I was hooked. I continued to paint and study painting by attending group and private lessons as a teen but it wasn’t until I attended a life drawing class in college that I knew what I wanted to do. However for economic reasons my life took me off into another direction.
Upon graduation I worked and excelled in the fields of interior design, visual merchandising and graphic arts. For fifteen years I held the position of National Manager of Retail Sore Design and Visual Presentation for Sony if Canada, the Sony stores. I freelanced for many years in my own in retail store/fixture design, point of purchase design, graphic arts and visual presentation for such clients as Eaton’s, The Bay, Calvin Klein, Levi’s, Bowering’s and Elizabeth Taylor just to mention a few. I still continued to paint and attend evening classes in fine art at local universities and colleges.
However after many years of navigating successfully through the corporate world the excitement and glamour of that lifestyle began to fade away and become less important. What I really wanted to do was to paint full time, so I made the decision pack up and migrate back to my roots in the Niagara Peninsula to paint full time and have been doing it ever since.
My paintings depict the everyday and easily ignorable things that most people take for granted, emphasizing on colour, shape, light and shadow. I’ve learned over the years to break down my subject matter to it’s simplest form, eliminating the chaos and clutter to achieve and capture a more defined intensity.
A few artists that I admire are Canadian artists Christopher Pratt and Alex Colville.
I’m looking forward in sharing my extensive training and experience In fine art and design with the Niagara Arts Showcase Team to further aide in the increase of art appreciation and exposure in the Niagara Peninsula.
Neeto da Silva
Neeto comes from a film studies and photography background and has been passionately involved in different art mediums from an early age.
Her style of art can be best described as a metamorphosis of the human body with non-human elements. Through her artwork she endeavours to make an emotional connection with the viewer.
Over the past 8 years Neeto has worked in a professional capacity as a commercial photographer. She has photographed Toronto’s up and coming fashion designers and her work has appeared in multiple publications. Diversity is prevalent in her photographs as she strives to produce images that break the norm and push boundaries.
Neeto resides in St. Catharines with her husband Andrew and their two dogs, Moti and Al Capone.
Lori Lococo has fourteen years of general office experience along with eleven years senior administrative experience. A life long resident of Niagara Falls, Lori is a community minded team leader and serves on the Board of Project Share and Niagara Falls Community Outreach.
Lori is member of Toastmasters International and has been a member for fifteen years. Elected to the Toastmaster International Board of Directors for a two year term she helped guide this worldwide 250,000 member organization through a crucial, pivotal transformation.
She is trained and accomplished in the fields of Accounting, Alternate Dispute Resolution and Project/Organization Management. Lori has communication, marketing, social media and web development experience as well as skill and success in life/business coaching.
Lori does not consider herself artistic but appreciates all of the talent that the artists and musicians bring to our community.