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Akoulina Connell, Executive Director

Akoulina grew up in Sussex, N.B., did her B.A. in English literature at St.F.X., a year of the Interior Design program at Ryerson, and then an M.A. in English Literature at McGill. Prior to taking the Executive Director post at artsnb, she was Managing Editor at Goose Lane Editions, and has a background in communications for the Federal government, with career sidebars in marketing and IT. When she isn’t in the office or on the road on artsnb business, she is a dedicated arts and soccer mom. Writing and time outdoors are also high on her priority list. You can contact her at (506) 470-0072. Click here to send an email.

Joss Richer, Program Officer

Originally from Montreal, Joss and his family made Fredericton their home 20 years ago. A visual artist with a particular interest in drawing and sculpture, he has taught art to children, adults, and seniors for the University of New Brunswick and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, and continues to teach drawing classes through the continuing education program at the NB College of Craft and Design. Joss has served on the board of Gallery Connexion as treasurer and chair of the selection committee, and has also chaired the exhibition committee at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre. Prior to joining artsnb, he worked for UNB for over 15 years, initially as webmaster, and more recently as manager of UNB Online. Joss holds a B.Sc. from the Université de Sherbrooke, and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Guelph. You can contact him at (506) 478-4610. Click here to send an email.

Greg Toole, Program Officer

Greg Toole was born in Montreal, Quebec, and raised in Quispamsis. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration with Honours in Marketing from UNB in 2011, which included a semester abroad in Austria, and then gained experience working as a digital expert in the commercial radio industry. He plays a couple instruments, loves music of all styles. and does his absolute best to take in the wide variety of artistic, musical, and cultural experiences in the province; from going to shows at the Playhouse and Capital Complex, to enjoying the variety offered by local festivals such as Harvest Jazz & Blues, Shifty Bits Circus, Sappyfest and Shivering Songs Festival. You can contact him at (506) 292-4696. Click here to send an email.

Mariah Sockabasin, Workshop Facilitator

Sockabasin’s roots are woven in Tobique First Nation, New Brunswick. Raised with a strong heritage and deep love for nature, Mariah’s fascination with art began at a young age. The smell of sappy hands & fresh cut wood instilled a freedom for self-expression. After high school, Sockabasin spent a year abroad in Brazil, learning the Portuguese language and culture. Upon returning, Mariah enrolled into The New Brunswick College of Craft & Design where she completed her Foundation Visual Arts Certificate & obtained her Diploma in Fashion Design. As a member of the Committee for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, raising the success and awareness of indigenous arts and culture is of utmost importance for Mariah. Through the art of fashion Sockabasin expresses her pride in her culture and the strength of The Wolastoqewiyik (People of the Beautiful River).

Natalie Sappier, Aboriginal Outreach Officer

Natalie Sappier, artistically known as The Water Spirit is an Aboriginal Visual Artist from Tobique First Nation, New Brunswick. She completed her Diploma in Surface Design in 2005 and, in 2013, received her Diploma in Graduates Studies from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. She is known for her storytelling through symbolic stylized painting of her Wolastoq Heritage. She has public displays of work in her community and The University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. She has taken part in a group exhibition Ekpahak: Where the tides end at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery where she is also involved in ActionArt youth workshops. You can contact her at (506) 478-3751. Click here to send an email.

Tilly Jackson, Executive Assistant

Tilly Jackson is a recent UNB graduate with a BA in English Lit (Honours) and minors in both Drama and Chemistry. Before taking the position of Executive Assistant with artsnb, she worked with the NotaBle Acts Theatre Company helping to promote and produce original New Brunswick plays. Tilly is passionate about theatre, knitting, and good books. You can contact her at (506) 478-4422. Click here to send an email.