Welcome to Our New Board Members Elected for 2017-2019

Theatre Ontario welcomes the members elected to our Board of Directors for 2017-2019 at our Annual General Meeting on May 20.

We also thank Helen Landry of Sudbury, who is retiring from the Board of Directors after serving her maximum three terms.

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.


Bodene Corbitt (Toronto)


I have been active in community theatre for the past 23 years as an actor, sound designer and stage manager.  I will be directing my first full length play at The Curtain Club in Richmond Hill next spring and hope to continue to direct in the future.  I am a member of the Board of the Association of Community Theatres—Central Ontario and of Scarborough Players, and a past Board member of Theatre Scarborough. I retired from Canada Post (Letter Carrier) two years ago and am very active in volunteer positions outside of theatre.


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.


Vera N. Held (Toronto)

Held_VeraVera N. Held, M.Ed. (Toronto) runs VNH Communications in Toronto where she is a workplace coach, facilitator and speaker. In 1983/84, Vera taught EFL in Tokyo, Japan. A writer and PR pro, her “Make It Work” column runs monthly in Jobboom, The Toronto Sun; she is also DEL Condominium Magazine’s lifestyles’ page columnist.  In 1998, the Canadian Booksellers Association voted Vera’s business best-seller “How Not to Take it Personally” one of the top 15 business books in Canada. Vera serves on the Board of Directors of Variety Village, and is the top individual fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity’s Women  Build 2013. 


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.


Carri Johnson (North Bay)


Carri has been involved with Gateway Theatre Guild since 2003 and is currently serving her third term as president. Her passion is stage management, but she has dabbled in acting and producing. She has also been involved with Canadore College’s Rep 21 (Stage Manager) and Nipissing Stage Company (actor, stage manager and board member). Carri has a long history of board and committee membership, serving multiple terms as president on four boards (AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area, Canadian Academy of Audiology, Rotary Club of North Bay-Nipissing and Gateway Theatre Guild). As Festival Stage Manager for the Theatre Ontario Festival (2007 and 2016) and was last year’s Festival Co-Chair she has had the opportunity to be a part of Ontario’s thriving community theatre scene.


Eyal Katz (Toronto)


Eyal 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.


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