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Staff

Kirsten Schrader

CVRD Arts & Culture Manager

Phone: 250.746.3425

In 2010, Kirsten was appointed as the very first Manager of the new regional Arts and Culture Division for the Cowichan Valley Regional District. In this role, she is responsible for managing operations for the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre and curating an annual presenting season of performances of artistic excellence that contribute to the vibrancy and livability of the CVRD. She is also responsible for assisting local arts and cultural groups with capacity building, event planning and community development opportunities. Kirsten manages the distribution of two streams of grant funding for local non-profit arts organizations annually. As past Chair of the BC Alliance for Arts and Culture, Kirsten is well connected both provincially and nationally and her workdays are often extended volunteering as a Board member on a number of arts organizations,  and with regional events such as the two-year commitment as the Director Ceremonies and Special Events for the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games.

Patrick Leblanc

Theatre Facilitator

Phone: 250.746.3425

“What excites me is working collaboratively with businesses and other arts organizations to create amazing events.”

Patrick’s love for the arts started as a student with field trips to the Stratford and Shaw Festivals. Those early trips sparked a lifelong fascination that has guided Patrick through a career working in film, theatre, orchestra, choral music, opera, visual arts, gallery curation and venue management. Patrick is thrilled to be part of the CPAC team, and looks forward to ensuring the success of all events in his role as Facilitator.

Janelle Escott

Theatre Marketing Specialist

Phone: 250.746.3425

“I really appreciate everything the beautiful Cowichan Valley offers and I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to play a part in promoting the arts and cultivating community here.”

Janelle got her start in arts and culture in Edmonton as a marketing specialist and editorial writer for travel and entertainment magazines, including Where Edmonton, Edmonton City Guide, VUE Weekly and more. She has worked in communications and community engagement for over six years and has been organizing and promoting events in the Interior and on Vancouver Island. She’s currently completing her MA of Professional Communications at Royal Roads University.

Laura Stephenson

Administrative Services Supervisor

Phone: 250.746.3428

“Pulling all the details together and ensuring the best possible guest experience are the best parts of my role at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre.”

Laura, an accomplished editor and writer from the Cowichan Valley, offers a detail-orientated approach to her role at CPAC. She provides administrative support to all departments of the theatre. After a successful career in hospitality management, Laura brings her passion for Vancouver Island products to the theatre’s concession and artist hospitality. By using her community connections as a long-standing arts advocate and volunteer, she also finds varied and original shows for the Lobby Gallery.

Roland Simmons

Technical Director

Phone: 250.746.3427

“Its good to be back. The pandemic years were especially hard on the Performing Arts so it’s great to see Artists out on tour again. Our technician/magicians conjure the magic of light & sound, the shows are here and there is nothing like seeing them live in person, so… see you at the theatre!”

With a job history ranging from radio production to concert audio mixing to technical venue production, Roland has brought a career in production management to his role as Technical Director.

Over the past two years the CPAC technical team have been working to upgrade our technical capabilities in every department — including a major overhaul of our video system. We have added a new media studio backstage with video lighting and a greenscreen, and we can now offer multi-camera video recording or live-streaming from stage — with a studio-quality audio mix.

Richard Nott

Assistant Technical Director – Sound Engineer

Phone: 250.746.3425

“I do this because I love music and getting the right sound takes art and soul to get it right.”

A musician at heart, Richard has a lengthy career as a touring guitarist (in his 20’s) and then as a road manager and sound engineer touring with Trooper, Michael Kaeshammer, Jill Barber, Royal Wood and master illusionist Murray Hatfield. He has travelled the globe working in sound production and has eclectic and unique talents in stringed instrument restoration and repair. Richard has worked all over Vancouver Island as a sound technician for theatres, music festivals and large venue concerts and now heads up the sound department as an ATD for the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre. Richard is meticulous and dedicated to ensuring each show has the highest audio production possible for every type of performance from local theatre productions to international touring productions.

Dan Pedlow

Assistant Technical Director – Lighting

Phone: 250.746.3425

“The most exciting part about working in theatre is meeting new people every day and bringing their vision to life.”

Dan grew up on Vancouver Island and has been working in theatre, music and film for more 10 years as a lighting and sound technician. He has designed shows for many local theatre and dance companies as well as festivals and concerts. An accomplished lighting designer and programmer, Dan has overseen the transition from traditional tungsten lighting to LEDs and moving lights at multiple venues.

In 2018 he was delighted to take up the position as Head of Lighting at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, one of BC’s premiere entertainment venues. Dan is passionate about providing the highest level of production for every event and making the theatre a great place to put on a show.

David Barton

Assistant Technical Director – Main Crew Chief

Phone: 250.746.3425

“I have worked in other theatres over the years, but this is my favourite place to be.”

Our main crew chief, Dave Barton, has a contagious enthusiasm for all things theatre. The ultimate professional, it is quite evident when talking with him that he not only loves his job, but the clients and the theatre itself. Dave began working here in 1982 and expects to be part of the technical team for many years to come. This news is welcome relief to the many clients who have worked with Dave and have come to rely on his extensive experience in expertly handling the intricate details that are required behind the scenes.

Leah Worth

Ticket Centre Supervisor

Phone: 250.746.3425

“I love seeing people’s smiling faces going into a performance.”

Leah grew up in the Cowichan Valley and her passion for working with the public has led to a career with the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre. Starting out in the Ticket Centre as a Cashier Receptionist in 2017, Leah is now the Ticket Centre Supervisor. She has many years of experience working and dealing with user groups, promoters and the public to make sure their needs are met.