Yves Thomas was Associate Professor at Trent University from 1990 to 2016. Yves was Director of the Year Abroad Program in Nantes France and as Chair of the Cultural Studies Department from 2014 to 2016. In 2017, Yves and his wife Angela opened Centre + Main Chocolate Company in Warkworth, Ontario, pursuing a long-time passion. Since moving to Warkworth, Yves has become the WBA membership coordinator and a member of the Service Club. He has graciously accepted the Chair of the Board at Ah! to share his belief in arts and heritage as an important part of a healthy community.
John Belton is a Civil Engineer (South Bank University, London, England) and a Business Administration Graduate (Sir Sanford Fleming College, Peterborough, Ontario). After many years as an Engineer in the UK, USA and Canada he transformed into a Systems Analyst for Trent University and self-employed Business Consultant. He retired as the Development Officer for Horizons of Friendship, Cobourg, Ontario where he supervised fundraising, charitable reporting, finance and investment advisor, producer of reports, newsletters and future planning in the not-for-profit sector. Since retirement, John Belton has volunteered with AH! (Board Member and Treasurer, 2017), Campbellford Memorial Multi-Care Lodge (Past Board Chair, current committee member), 7 Hills Community Pantry (Warkworth Food Bank), Warkworth Community Service Club (Past Board Member). He brings passion for arts and culture as a tool to promote social justice, supported by a great sense of humour and the desire for happiness for his home community of Trent Hills.
Paul Portelli, a terra cotta clay sculptor, creates whimsical animals, carnival figures, masks and a full range of functional and figurative work. A graduate of Seneca College he has studied at OCAD and Haliburton SOAD. He exhibits in public and private galleries and is collected in Canada, the US, Europe, and Africa. As well, Paul Portelli specializes in retail design, merchandising and event coordination. He operated a gallery/sculpture studio in Warkworth, Ontario for 22 years where he was instrumental in creating the branding and advertising campaign for Warkworth. Visual Merchandising work includes clients Holt Renfrew, Microsoft, Proctor and Gamble, Lindt Chocolates and Mercedes Benz. He has written about Visual Merchandising for Crafts Plus, Style and Men’s Wear Canada as well as television appearances on Cityline, Craftscape and Savoir Faire.
Dorothy Caldwell is a textile artist utilizing wax-resist, discharge dyeing, stitching, mark-making, and appliqué. A graduate of Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia she maintains an active international exhibition and teaching schedule from her studio in Hastings, Ontario where she has lived since 1972. She completed research projects in Japan and India, and has worked “on site” in the Australian outback and the Canadian Arctic. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the prestigious Bronfman Award given to one Canadian craftsperson each year. Her work is in private and permanent collections including The American Museum of Art and Design New York, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the International Quilt Museum and Study Centre University of Nebraska, The Canadian Museum of Civilization, The Canadian Consulate Bangkok, Thailand and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs.
Delphine Crane White, studied Political Science at University and pattern design at George Brown College following a passion for costume research and creation in feature films, mini-series and television series. Delphine established herself with the early films of David Cronenberg including ‘Fast Company”, “Scanners” “The Brood” and Videodrome”. She has worked with directors Jim Sheridan, Terry Gilliam, Norman Jewison, Antoine Fuqua, and Barry Levinson, Gus Van Sant, James Foley, Paul Schrader and Nick Cassavetes. Television work includes “The Kennedy’s After Camelot”, “The Dovekeepers”, “Copper” for BBC America, and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, “Hidden Room’, ‘War of the Worlds”, Phillip Marlowe Private Eye”. She is a member in good standing of IATSE 873 in Toronto, and The Costume Designer’s Guild IATSE Local 892 in Los Angeles. Delphine is a founding member of CAFTCAD (The Canadian Alliance of Film and Television Costume Arts and Design). She lives in Warkworth and is a founding member of the AH! Board of Directors generously donating her skills as Acting Director.
Dimitri Papatheodorou is a practicing architect, visual artist, musician and adjunct Professor at Ryerson University’s School of Architecture. Papatheodorou graduated, with distinction, from the University of Waterloo in 1989. His early practice was in the social housing sector followed by work in downtown Toronto’s hospitality, condominium and institutional sectors. In 1999, he established his own architectural practice. His custom residential work has been published, including a country home for legendary rock-star Alex Lifeson. He is a founding board member of the Arts & Heritage Centre of Warkworth, and an active member of the local community along with his partner Dr. James Read, a local physician. Papatheodorou is represented by Elan Fine Arts in Vancouver and the James Baird Gallery in Newfoundland.
Sheree Rasmussen is an honors graduate of OCAD working in fabric collage expressing history, memory and journeys. She lives and works in Warkworth, having had a successful Toronto Landscape Design Practice with her late husband Clive Russell (the founding visionary Director of AH!). ‘Inside and Out Garden Design’ received awards from Landscape Ontario, Annual Awards of Excellence. Sheree’s current work “Tiferet”, the Hebrew concept of beauty in place beyond language and logic, is supported by an OAC grant to Visual Artists. Her world travels have included participation in Folk Dance and Movement Events in Europe, North America and Israel, ten years as a studio weaver in Jutland, Denmark and an ongoing passion to integrate artistic genres through community participation. She is a Founding Member of AH!
Lise Varette was born in North Bay, and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. She studied at New England School of Photography in Boston then moved to New York City where she worked for nine years. She then moved to Toronto, working for 10 years before moving to Warkworth, Ontario with her partner. Lise Varette specializes in commercial client commissions in beauty, cosmetics, fashion and portraits. She recently was part of the Spark Photo Festival showcasing her work at ‘Our Lucky Stars’ in Warkworth. Her published work includes the Globe and Mail, Canadian Family Magazine, Canadian Living Magazine Parents Canada Magazine, Harper Collins, Potter Craft/Random House, Lancôme Cosmetics, Clinique, Red Thread, and Redwood Design.
In 2014, Ruth retired from a life in Toronto and happily settled in Warkworth to pursue her passion as a multi-media Artist, Photographer, and Gardener. For more than 40 years, she worked a multi-faceted career in fashion, film, retail & franchising, holistic health, wellness and yoga. She has worked in London, England in the fashion industry as a shoe buyer for a chain of high fashion women’s boutiques, in Toronto in the film industry as a freelance producer of television commercials; She created, owned and franchised Covent Garden Flower Market, a unique Toronto cut flower and design store (which won the Design Canada Award); in Victoria, B.C as an aromatherapist and wellness/business coach, and most recently after gaining her yoga teacher training certification in Thailand, taught yoga & meditation, facilitated workshops and retreats. Ruth went on from there to self publish and promote her book “Kitchen Yoga” which included TV appearances, and writing regular health / wellness / lifestyle articles for both print and on-line magazines. She is now honoured to contribute on the Creative Committee and volunteers at community events that serve to further enhance the arts in the vibrant village of Warkworth and beyond.
Christine Wright studied Fashion Design at Ryerson University. Early in her career she worked as a costumer for the Charlottetown Festival Theatre, the National Ballet of Canada, Toronto Arts Productions, the Tarragon Theatre, a television commercial for Corningware, and several small independent films. She owned a small retail custom tailoring business in Toronto for several years called Carissi Designs. Christine travelled widely, working as a contract designer for Canadian manufacturers of both outerwear and sportswear visiting London, Paris, Munich, Dusseldorf, Zurich, New York, Chicago, Dallas and Hong Kong. Private label clients included: Levis, The Bay, Jacob, Tristan, Simons, Tall Girl, Spiegel, and J. Crew. Her fashion work has been covered in print media in both Montreal and Toronto. Most recently, she has been creating dance costumes for Ballroom dance and has worked with a Toronto jeweller creating custom-designed fine jewellery. Christine lives and works at her home/studio in Warkworth. Currently, she is studying writing and volunteering her time as a member of the Creative Committee at the Ah!
Friends of Ah!
Dr. Skye Morrison: Grant Writer for Ah!
Skye Morrison is a Canadian Folklorist, designer and author with a life-long interest in traditional crafts. Her areas of specialty are women’s narrative textiles, kites, vernacular architecture and creative non-fiction writing. She is an Advisor to Ah! especially with Grants and is one of the Founders of the Textile Museum of Canada. She received her PhD in Folklore (Material Culture) from the University of Pennsylvania (1991), her MA in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University (1976) and her Diploma in Design (Textiles) from Sheridan College, Canada (1972). Skye spends several months in India each year with MELA: Mindful Encounters with Local Artisans a project to promote better communication between traditional artisans in collaboration with designers based in Jaipur, India with colleagues Ayush & Geetanjali Kasliwal (AnanTaya and AKFD Storey). In Hastings, Ontario, she runs The Doors Guest House in her Heritage home undertaking experiential tourism projects with crafts and culture.
Nicole Tellier graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1986 and was called to the Bar in 1988. She divides her time between her Family Law practice in Toronto and her home in Trent Hills. She is a founding member of the AH! Board of Directors as Secretary, expressing her passion for the arts and providing advice on governance. She has served as a Director on various legal professional organizations and engages in a variety of law reform activities through test case litigation and by testifying as an expert before federal and provincial justice committees. In 2010, she received the Ontario Bar Association Award for Excellence in Family Law.
Eric Dalby, Past Summer Student at AH!, was born in Peterborough, England, moving to Canada as a child to grow up in Warkworth, Ontario. After graduating from East Northumberland Secondary School, in Brighton, Eric moved to Toronto to study Graphic Design at George Brown College’s School of Design. Having completed his first year, Eric had returned home to Warkworth for the summer to work at AH!’s Arts and Heritage Centre as their first Summer Student Intern. His time at Ah! has now come to an end.