Welcome to Our New Board Members for 2015-2017

Theatre Ontario welcomes the members elected to our Board of Directors for 2015-2017 at our Annual General Meeting on May 16.

Lily Baird (Kingston)


My life has been spent in an office most of my adult life.   I first worked at Bell Telephone on the old fashioned switchboards in Sudbury.   Moved to Sault Ste Marie in 1964, worked in a provincial lab. Then, after moving to Kingston and staying home for a few years to raise my children, I went on to work on the switchboard, as a clerk and then secretary for Department of National Defense. I retired around 2005.

I have been involved in community theatre for fourteen years all with Domino Theatre in Kingston.  Working back stage with props, construction, etc, on many productions has proved to be very enjoining for me.   I was elected to the Domino Theatre Board as secretary in September 2006.  

My husband and I joined the Eastern Ontario Drama League (EODL) eight years ago.   Thus, I became part of the Executive in 2009-10.  I was elected Vice-President/Festival Liaison in 2010 and President in 2012.  In June 2014, I was elected Past President and also as the EODL Theatre Ontario Representative.


Leah Dietrich (Toronto)


Leah Dietrich is a Human Resources professional with specialized knowledge and experience in the areas of employee relations, training and development, talent acquisition, change management, and compensation. Her current role specializes in talent management for a financial institution. She has earned her B.A. Honours in Psychology and Master of Industrial Relations, both at Queen’s University. Leah has been a lover of theatre at an early age and has directed, performed, wrote, or otherwise been involved in several productions throughout high school and university.  Since then, she has volunteered for the Fringe, SummerWorks, and Luminato festivals in Toronto. She has a particular interest in education-based theatre for youth and young adults. Leah is thrilled to be a part of Theatre Ontario!

I wish to continue serving on the Board of Directors of Theatre Ontario because I am passionate about the arts and particularly theatre. I have enjoyed being a catalyst in championing theatre through advocacy, education, collaboration and innovation in order to create a strong, vibrant, and sustainable theatre community in Ontario. I have been able to add value by providing advice and counsel on human resources matters, including talent acquisition and employee relations. I have also supported education and collaboration with my work on the Talent Bank Selection Committee and the Youth Theatre Training Program.


Ray Jacildo (Toronto)

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As a young theatre practitioner, Ray Jacildo brings a fresh and dynamic outlook into what Theatre Ontario can be. Before Theatre Ontario, Ray served as Director for SWITCH, an organization working with the TDSB to install millions of dollars worth of renewable technologies across Toronto. As Management Coordinator of Theatre 20 he worked on the company’s establishment, fundraisers and premiere production. Ray has also worked with the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and City Hall. Over the past two years Ray has performed in over 25 productions, winning a Dora Award for Best Ensemble, and has spoken about his youth work in conferences across Canada and UK. 

I wish to serve on our Board of Directors in order to bring a strong youth voice to Theatre Ontario’s governance. As the Chair of Theatre Ontario’s Youth Advisory Committee, I am part of, and directly working with, the future of Canadian theatre. It is my hope to share our perspective and resources with the Board, and in doing so, allow them the opportunity to speak directly to the youth they are cultivating. Serving on the Board is an opportunity to help shape our theatre landscape and by fostering a new generation of theatre artist, help stage our collective future.


Eyal Katz (Toronto)

Katz_EyalEyal Katz is a Managing Partner and co-founder of Giant Step Inc., an award-winning digital marketing agency. Eyal has over 15 years experience creating digital marketing campaigns and online applications for many brands including Disney, Dell, CARP, Gogo’s Crazy Bones and more. A full-stack developer, technical lead and software architect for over 100 interactive productions Eyal built software for every screen, from web and mobile to theatres, kiosks, POS and ATMs. Eyal received a B.Sc. in Software Engineering from the University of Toronto and serves on the board of directors of the Off Centre Music Salon.

I am interested in serving on the board because I see many opportunities to grow Theatre Ontario. I can help remove some technical obstacles to empower the operations and marketing team. I enjoy solving the technical aspects of business problems, especially when there is a great potential that can be realized by solving them. Every day more and more people broadcast themselves online, generating new demand for theatrical expertise and instruction. With some support Theatre Ontario could leverage such opportunities for future growth. I look forward to help grow the membership base and revenue streams through innovative technologies.


Gil Katz (Toronto)


Gil Katz is a Managing Partner and co-founder of Giant Step Inc., an award-winning digital marketing agency. Gil has over 12 years experience creating digital marketing campaigns and online applications for over 100 clients ranging from startups to global brands. A member of the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts and other associations, Gil speaks at events, judges marketing awards and serves on the board of directors of the Off Centre Music Salon. Gil received a Hon.B.Sc. in Mathematics and Interactive Media Design from the University of Toronto and a Certificate from Schulich Executive Education Centre, Schulich Business School.

My interest in serving on the board is rooted in my interest in the art of storytelling. Twelve years ago I started a digital marketing and communications firm following my passion for the latest Internet technology. By helping organizations use the web to attract, engage, and retain customers I had the opportunity to try many digital strategies and tactics and identify what works. I look forward to applying this experience to help grow the membership base, expand existing revenue streams and identify new ones by applying the latest technology to attract more of the theatre community to Theatre Ontario.


Helen Landry (Sudbury)


Helen Landry is a 20 year veteran of community theatre, starting as an actor with Espanola Little Theatre in the Quonta Drama Region and is currently involved with Theatre Cambrian in Sudbury and has worked on a total of 17 productions.  She involved herself in administration from secretary of her group, through the vice presidencies to President of Espanola Little Theatre and the Quonta Drama Region.  After a brief hiatus she returned to acting with ELT and then with Theatre Cambrian in Sudbury and returned to Quonta a few years ago as the Theatre Ontario Rep. 

I would like to continue in my last two year term on the Theatre Ontario board because I value growth, consistency and communication. My commitment is to foster collaboration between all regions and Theatre Ontario by attending board meetings at all levels, encouraging innovation and dialogue.


Deb Sholdice (Clinton)


Deb Sholdice spent “many happy years in my youth” as a volunteer usher at the Blyth Festival.  In 2000, she went with her son to a volunteer orientation session and became fixtures ever since, first as a member of the community company for all three productions of The Outdoor Donnellys and as a member of the Board of Directors. In 2007, the organization was searching for a General Manager and Deb was ultimately selected for the position.  Since that time, she has worked closely with many organizations and businesses to promote arts and culture in their rural region.


Ted Sellers (Oshawa)


Ted Sellers has been involved in community theatre for many years mainly in Oshawa and Whitby.  He has varied experiences from directing to acting, set design, producing, and a host of other positions within the community theatre arena both on and off stage.  He has held several positions on the Oshawa Little Theatre Board of Directors and the Association of Community Theatres - Central Ontario (ACT-CO) board as well.  He has been an active participant in the annual ACT-CO Festival and has been a liaison for our adjudicators.  As part of his role on the ACT-CO board, he has served ont he Theatre Ontario Board for the past two years.

I wish to continue my role on the board as a community theatre liaison as I feel I am able to be the conduit of information transfer from the theatre community of Central Ontario to the board and vice versa.  Through both roles I am supporting ACT-CO as we host the Theatre Ontario Festival this year.  I also have the opportunity to dialogue with many community theatre groups throughout our region during our annual festival not only supporting ACT-CO but Theatre Ontario as well.


Joanne Williams (Toronto)


Joanne Williams is a theatre director and arts administrator. She studied Drama & English at Queen's University and has held positions at the Toronto Fringe Festival and Canadian Stage in general management, casting, company management and professional development programs for artists. She is a member of Artscape Youngplace's Flex Spaces Artist Advisory and Alumnae Theatre’s Programming Committee. Directing credits include Savannah Bay & Le Shaga by Marguerite Duras (Spiel Players); Wild Dogs on the Moscow Trains by Anthony MacMahon and THEORY by Norman Yeung (SummerWorks); Then He Wakes Up by Matt Sarookanian and Finally: An Epic Cycle by Sarah Cody (Toronto Fringe).

I wish to serve on the Board of Directors to contribute to improvements in training, artistic development and community building for the theatre sector. I believe Theatre Ontario is well positioned to respond to shifts and change in the performing arts and to contribute positively to the sector. I will support the mission of Theatre Ontario by introducing contacts to the vibrant theatre sector in Ontario; by advocating for excellence in Theatre Ontario’s programming, strategic planning and daily operations; and generating and implementing ideas toward maintaining the organization’s long-term planning, structure, and budgeting for a viable future.


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