Board of Directors

Debra Gibbs - Director

Board Member since May 2018

Dian Bowers - Director

Board Member Since February 2015

Dian has served as a member of an Executive in Bolton for many years and actively involved with the literary community, volunteers, Board Members utilizing a collaborative approach to attain success.

Jennifer Gilbert - Director

Board Member since February 2019

Jessie Mead - Director

Board Member since May 2018

B.A in Psychology. Several years in Human Resources Administration and executive assistant roles. Former president of CDS global Social Committee; Involving event planning, marketing & fundraising. Active community volunteer. Macrame Artist. Small business owner.

Ken Burns - President

Board Member since Feb 2019

Ken Burns attended the University of Guelph, graduating in 1975 with a Specialized Honours Degree in Geography. He returned on a permanent basis to the summer job he had had the year before at the Canadian National Railway Co as a trainman, and later as conductor and, in 1979, as a locomotive engineer.
Ken came to South Simcoe that same year. He and wife, Trudy moved in 1990 to Alliston, where they have lived for almost 30 years, and where they raised their five children.
Having an interest in the past and its influence on the present, Ken joined the Alliston Historical Society, through which he came into contact with the Arts Council in its early years.
Since retirement from the railroad in 2007, Ken has been active in several volunteer positions in the local community and beyond, including the past 11 years as a director on the board of the Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation. There he has held the positions of Vice-Chairperson 2009-2010, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, 2010-2012 and Secretary 2012-2019.
Other volunteer activities include Alliston Out of the Cold and the Boards of Directors of the Simcoe-Grey PC Riding Association and the Conservative Party of Canada Electoral District Association.

Len MacLeod - Director

Board Member since May 2018

Len brings with her an outstanding professional background coupled with strategic management and community involvement and engagement initiatives; all of which began with an Honours Degree in Visual Arts.

Michelle Dinnick - Secretary

Board Member since May 2018

Michelle in an award-winning author and poet who writes both fiction and nonfiction. She has a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto; she is a contributing author in the recent Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada, and a quarter finalist in the 2017 ScreenCraft Short Screenplay contest. Her writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and a number of local magazines and newspapers in and around Alliston, including The Briar Crier, Total Sports, Voice of the Farmer, Arts Talk and Focus 50 Plus. Her short story "Lightning Strikers" (also featured at Commuter Lit) was made into a series in the Focus 50 Plus Newspaper because fans asked for more!
Before moving to Alliston to raise her young family, Michelle worked at the Art Gallery of Ontario Book Shop for over ten years.
Michelle is a professional member of the Canadian Authors Association. In addition to currently working on a novel and a feature-length screenplay, Michelle is also writing the Spotlight on Hospice Series in Focus 50 Plus for Matthews House Hospice. You can find her online at;,, @MichelleDinnick and of course,

Michelle Eissler - Vice President

Board Member Since November 2017

Arts in our Community Coordinator January 2015 - December 2016
Interim Executive Director January - June 2017

Art & Art History Degree from University of Toronto and Interpretive Illustration Diploma from Sheridan College. Beginning as a freelance illustrator, Michelle has continued to develop as a visual artist and oil painter. She has participated in exhibitions at the Mississauga Civic Centre Art Gallery, the Peel Art Gallery, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, and McMichael Canadian Art Gallery.

Tabitha Marshall - Director

Board Member since February 2019