Board of Directors and Staff

How do members get on the Board of Directors?

The members of the Board of Directors are elected by the membership of the Cowichan Valley Arts Council at their Annual General Meeting. The Board may appoint Directors from the membership to fill vacancies which occur between General Meetings.  Interested in finding out about the Board and its valuable and fun work?

CVAC Bylaws

Who is on the CVAC Board of Directors?

The Board of Directors is comprised of up to seven Directors at large and five Executive Officers:

The 2019-2020 Board members are:

President- Janet Magdanz


Prior to moving to the Island, Janet was a school administrator in Alberta. She and her husband raised two amazing young men, who now live in Edmonton and Germany.  Janet runs a small pottery studio called Shades of Green and the couple’s aim is to farm their small acreage. She joined CVAC within a month after moving here because of the opportunity of networking with other artists and to serve in the community.  Janet coordinated the Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show for 2017 and 2018. Janet joined the Board in 2018.

Vice-President – Lon Wood

Lon Wood is a 35-year veteran reporter, editor and columnist having served at the Vancouver Sun, The Province, The Canadian Press, Daily Colonist, Victoria Times and then as City Editor of the merged Times Colonist. Lon also worked as contract writer, editor and media consultant for government and private agencies from the Vancouver Rapid Transit (Skytrain) Project and Vancouver School Board, through to both the BC Medical and BC Veterinary Medical associations. Lon recently completed the 320-page art volume and biography, Stephen Lowe — A Bridge Between Cultures, in both English and Chinese editions containing 112 colour  plates of the late artist’s works.  Lon and his wife Lorrie recently moved to Maple Bay from Victoria and are enthusiasts of both the fine and performing arts — particularly opera, a focus of their travels. Lon joined the board in 2019.

Treasurer – Susan Down


Susan Down is a communications specialist with a daily newspaper background as an arts reporter, columnist and marketing manager. She has had six youth non-fiction books published. She has degrees from Carleton and Royal Roads and has served on numerous theatre and cultural boards in Toronto and Victoria.   Susan joined the board in 2016.


Secretary- Diana Batcheler


Originally from England, Diana lived in Toronto until 2007 when she and her husband moved to Vancouver Island. She was senior law clerk with Stikeman Elliott, one of Canada’s top law firms, handling complex merger/acquisition transactions. After retiring in 2012, she took up painting and joined the Maple Bay Painters where she organized workshops, coordinated the last five annual art shows and served as president for the past three years.  Diana joined the Board in 2018.


Director at Large- Rory Macdonald-


Rory MacDonald is a retired teacher who moved to the Cowichan Valley last October from West Central Alberta. Rory is a self-taught visual artist and has painted for many years and has been active in art group organizations in Edson, Edmonton and Jasper. He has recently gained active status in the Federation of Canadian Artists.

Rory joined the Board in 2017.

Director at Large- Travis Rankin


Travis Rankin grew up in the Cowichan Valley and moved back here in 2012 from the Lower Mainland. He has been crafting and teaching artistic metalwork for almost 20 years and runs Wroughtenart, a successful metal art shop specializing in designs for homes and garden.  Travis joined the Board in 2017.


Director at Large- Fran Benton

Fran has degrees from Camosun College, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, and the University of Victoria. “These schools taught me to embrace the wonderment of the world and respond in kind. I taught art for many years and that experience reminded me to always be on the lookout for new and innovative ways of art making and appreciate finely crafted works and ideas. My current practice includes sculpture, painting, ceramics, and video.” After 30 years of intense studio practice Fran reveals her innermost artistic thought “It’s great that art is hard work but it should be more fun!”  She likes designing, and toying around with all sorts of project ideas. “I do think outside the box, and occasionally I do not know where the box is!” And that’s a good thing!  Fran joined the Board in 2019.

Director at Large- Cam Russell

Cam Russell is a retired college instructor.  He founded the Fine Furniture Program at Camosun College in 1987 and taught the course for the next 30 years.  Since retiring he keeps busy at his studio/workshop, Coventry Woodworks making furniture, built-ins and wooden automotive trim.

He has curated numerous furniture exhibitions including: “We Don’t Make Them Like They Used To” in 2004, “Cascadia” in 2007 and “Making It” in 2018.  Cam joined the Board in 2019.

Director at Large- Angela Andersen

Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Angela Andersen’s passion for art and the natural environment has guided her life and career. Her portraits of old growth trees capture timeless reverence and dynamic movement through a balance of solid forms and complex tangles. Angela’s design work is based on narratives that stem from her experiences living and growing up on the west coast. Her dedication to art is shared with students and patrons from around the world. An active community member, Angela was the 2017 recipient of the Shirley McGuiness Award for her public art initiatives in the Cowichan Valley.

She holds a Hon B.A in Visual Art and M.A. in Art Education. Angela is an art teacher and department head at Queen Margaret’s School in Duncan. Her studio is in the Cowichan Valley.  Angela joined the Board in 2019.


Manager  –  Cheryl Galloway –  [email protected]

Born on Vancouver Island, Cheryl arrived in the Cowichan Valley in 1987 to take a position as Community Recreation Coordinator in the Cowichan Community Centre. Cheryl holds a BSc from the University of Oregon in Recreation Administration. To her, recreation means a process of re-creating who we really are and living in a way that leads us to self-actualization, recognizing that for many, it is through art.  She later accepted a position as Community Education Manager and then Administrative Coordinator in Training & Development at VIU’s Cowichan Campus. Cheryl is committed to community and a love for art.  Cheryl joined CVAC in Jan, 2017.


Gallery Administrator and Volunteer Coordinator- Sharon Jackson – [email protected]

Sharon joined CVAC with the role of Gallery Administrator and Volunteer Coordinator. Sharon will also program the new PORTALS Studio that is available for rentals, workshops, meetings, etc.
Sharon graduated from the Alberta College of Art in Printmaking in 1979. This pretty much doomed her to a life of working in offices, she says, including the CVAC Office in 1994 and 95 at Providence Farm. In 1996, she was elected to Duncan Council and served until 2018. She still creates pen, ink and watercolour drawings and writes children’s stories.  Sharon joined CVAC in September 2019.


Board Duties:

President: Presides at meetings, provides support, guidance and supervision to the directors, and advises on issues related to arts and culture in the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

Vice-President: Assists the President and, in the absence of the President, exercises all duties and possesses all powers of the President.

Past-President: Assists the Vice-President and, in the prolonged absence of the Vice-President, exercises all duties and possesses all powers of the Vice President.

Secretary: Ensures that all books and records of the Society are kept in safe custody, that correspondence is carried out, and that correct records of the proceedings of all meetings of the Society are maintained.

Treasurer: Ensures that there are proper and accurate records of all receipts and disbursements of the funds of the Society, that signing authorities are valid and up-to-date, and that required budgets, financial statements, and requests for grants are prepared.

Protected: BoardDirectors