BOARD

ARTS MILTON BOARD

 

Auleen Carson- President

Dr. Auleen Carson is an arts lover and supporter with a special interest in how creativity is expressed and valued across cultures. She has been an active Arts Milton Board member for more than ten years and currently serves as President. Auleen’s strong belief in the power of creativity has influenced both her participation in the activities of Arts Milton and her work as a marketing professional and educator. In research and teaching, she focuses on how creativity can be used to strengthen marketing and enhance personal satisfaction and effectiveness. Her professional experience includes being a senior market research manager, Executive Producer of Carson Academy, a theatre training company for youth, and as founder and President of Envision Management, a consulting firm that helps organizations improve performance by fostering individual and organizational creativity. As an educator, Auleen has taught marketing to undergraduate and graduate students at three Canadian universities and has coauthored a marketing textbook. She has a PhD in Marketing from the Schulich School of Business at York University and an MBA from the University of British Columbia.

 

Heather Granger – Vice President

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Heather Granger is a Recreation Therapist with over 20 years of experience supporting children, youth and families in therapeutic and community-based organizations.  With a strong belief in arts and culture as a means to build social belonging, Heather is a strong advocate for community projects that enhance access to arts and recreation for diverse groups. Heather currently works for the Town of Milton as a Recreation Coordinator supporting Inclusion Services. As a Milton resident for over 20 years, Heather is passionate about the rich culture, diversity and strong sense of community that Milton offers.

 

Vandana Majithia – Treasurer

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Vandana Majithia is the Founder & CEO of Bollywood West Dance, a Milton based dance school.

She started her professional career as an accountant and further advanced into finance and operations management. While working in office 9-5, she searched for a creative outlet and started her first business; I Do Wedding & Events, an event planning company.

While busy trying to juggle her full-time job, part-time business, and being a mom to two daughters and a wife, she took a leap and decided to leave the corporate world behind to pursue her true passion for dance and the performing arts. She started Bollywood West Dance in 2015 with a small group of children and it has now grown to be a well-established dance school in the Halton region.

The need for community involvement and spreading a rich culture through dance & performance, she decided to close her event planning company and solely focus on expanding Bollywood West Dance.

Vandana is deeply passionate and enthusiastic about the arts and dance. She believes that all forms of art, whether it’s fine arts, visual or performing, can provide individuals with the power to express themselves, build confidence, develop social & emotional skills, improve memory, and give them that overall feeling of happiness!

 

Amy Leask  – Secretary

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Amy Leask is a philosopher, educator, entrepreneur, and award-winning author. She’s the founder of Red T Kids’ Media and co-founder of Enable Education, and she believes it’s never too early (or too late) to learn how to think instead of just what to think. She’s an extreme baker, hopeful gardener, driver’s seat soprano, and a mother of dragons.

 

 

 

 

Christina Romasz – Town of Milton Liaison

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Christina Romasz is an Arts Administrator with over 20 years of experience working in municipal arts and culture offices and not-for-profits. She is currently the Coordinator, Culture (Programs and Outreach) for the Town of Milton and the Town liaison for Arts Milton. She is dedicated to fostering the arts and furthering the reach and vision of artists and cultural organizations. Christina is also a passionate advocate for youth and has worked on the implementation of Milton’s Youth Strategy.

 

 

 

Allycia Uccello    

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Allycia Uccello is best known for her contemporary abstract multi-layered acrylic resin paintings
and cubes of floating optical illusions created through energetic luminous painted layers
of glass. Uccello’s painting practice experiments using resins embedded with paints, powdered pigments and mixed media resulting in optical luminescent light scattering effects.
Born into a family of artists in 1953, growing up in Toronto, England and New York and having her first one-woman show at 14 yrs. in Florida set the stage for a life committed to art. Graduated fine arts program at Central Technical School, Sheridan College for hot glass, Toronto, fused glass residency in Italy with Miriam De Fiore.

For over 50 years, Uccello paintings, sculpture, murals, installations, and glass art has been exhibited across Canada, the United States, and in private collections of South America, Australia, Italy, England, Canada and the US. Influenced by writer Jane Roberts in The Unknown Reality, along with artists David Hockney and Georgia O’Keeffe, set the stage for a deep dive into the foundational questions of existence and what those supporting structures might be created into a visual language to explore and express this. Uccello lives with her partner on their farm in rural Ontario.

 

Deepti Penkar

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Deepti is a professional HR specialist and a classical dance artist by passion. She specializes in Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form rooted in the rich cultural heritage of India. Over two decades, Deepti has performed worldwide at dance festivals, temples and cultural events, including one at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland. She is a proud member of the SAMM group in Milton, an organization acting as a support system for and promoting the cultural heritage of the South Asian women community.

In Deepti’s words: “Dance is the language of the soul! Not only does it connect you with your spiritual core, but it also has the power to spread its fragrance in the lives it touches. The impact of arts in general, including dance, especially the traditional/classical forms, cannot be underestimated. Apart from being a source of pure
joy, it’s a great educational tool and promotes mental health. It enriches society by promoting an
aesthetic sense, beautifying one’s outlook toward life and giving insights into the world’s various cultures. It’s my passion to practice and generate awareness of this beautiful art form in people of all ages, especially the younger generation and introduce them to the unlimited benefits it offers.”

 

Eddie Fiore

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Eddie Fiore is a local Milton resident who owns and operates four Milton-based music businesses.  For all your music instruction and programming needs, he founded the House of Chords Music Centre back in 2010.  Shortly thereafter, he opened Milton’s only full-service musical instrument store, Get Loud Music – offering sales, rentals and repairs to aspiring musicians across the GTA.  After operating these two companies together, Eddie felt the need to continue developing talent and opened Milton’s first commercial recording studio, Mill Town Sound.  Eddie also founded and helped to develop Lil’ Rockers Music & Movement Program for kids 0-5.

Once a drummer and guitar player playing across Ontario, Eddie can now be found rocking on stage in his living room with his two kids, Annie (1) and Theo (2).  Eddie has also been a member of the board with Arts Milton since 2022 and looks forward to continuing to bring the arts and music to all residents of our great city!

 

Kris Yun Xie

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Kris Yun Xie, a paper-cutting artist, resides in Milton and is a Shanghai Folk Artists Association member. Her artwork has been displayed in Shanghai, Suzhou, and Milton exhibitions.

She believes that within square inches lies a world of subtleties, representing the inheritance and innovation of Chinese traditional culture.

Paper cutting, originating from China, is a precious intangible cultural heritage of the Chinese nation. As a new-generation Chinese paper-cut artist, Kris is dedicated to blending traditional elements with new ideas to showcase the unique charm of paper-cut art and extend the reach of this ancient Chinese culture to a global audience.

In addition to her artistic pursuits, Kris serves as an art tutor within the Milton Chinese Community. She is the proud proprietor of “Yun’s Art Studio,” where she finds immense joy in nurturing and witnessing the growth of children who share her passion for drawing.

 

Maha Anand

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Maha has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and an MBA in Information Technology. She has worked in multiple roles in different countries and leads an Analytics & Data Management team in Scotiabank. While Maha loves her career and her data work, she is deeply passionate about music and dance. She is trained in Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music, which are Indian Classical art forms.

 Maha was an entrepreneur and started a small Technology firm with her husband in Bangalore, India. At the same time, she also conducted music classes with students of all ages. Moving to Canada helped her spread her wings in both Technology and Music. She conducts music classes in person and online from her home in Milton. Teaching children music and connecting them to their traditional roots is a passion. Movies, music, literature and community keep her energized and motivated.

Maha is excited about the opportunity to team with and participate in the diverse range of projects that Arts Milton extends to the community.

 

Sarah Arfan

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Sarah Arfan’s passion for  photography uncovers the beauty in the world around us. From capturing special moments between family to the intricacies of the fashion world, she strives to elicit emotion, inspiring others to see the world in a new perspective. Her love for the arts extends to animation as well, bringing pictures to life. One of her main aspirations is to teach others how they too can express themselves through these arts and bring their visions to life.

 

 

Minahil Ali – Youth Board Member

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Meet Minahil Ali, a determined individual who desires to contribute to the Milton society. Her passion for art was evident at a young age, as she expressed her rich inner world through sketches and paintings that explored emotions, dreams, and the complexities of the human experience. As she grew older, Minahil continued to develop her artistic skills, experimenting with various techniques ranging from traditional oil painting to digital art. She is currently a student at Craig Kielburger Secondary School, where she serves as the president of the arts council. Her works have been featured in prestigious galleries and art exhibitions worldwide, including many events at her former school, ISNA elementary, and her old school in Pakistan. Her talent has earned her accolades from both critics and patrons, and she was awarded the Youth Artist of the Year award for 2023. Minahil’s ability to breathe life into her creations has won the hearts of collectors, making her art highly prized across the globe. She was even selected to design the school team logo and yearbook cover for her elementary school in 2019, which proved to be a success as the sports teams wore her logo and many students admired her yearbook cover design.

 

Shrena Sribilan – Youth Board Member

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Shrena Sribalan is a motivated 16-year-old determined to empower the youth of the future. She plans to do this by planning events for the Town of Milton, using technology and business with Tech Under Twenty, giving young people information to disrupt the status quo with the OnCanadaProject, teaching children piano at OCOM and bringing child hunger awareness with Mary’s Meals.
Currently, Shrena attends Craig Kielburger Secondary School in Milton, Ontario for the I.B. program.
When she’s not trying to bring change, Shrena pursues her passions in the arts, entrepreneurship, STEM fields and social justice issues. Through these passions, Shrena has learned and continues to learn the piano and Bharatanatyam (an Indian classical dance form), which she has been learning for the past 12 years. She has also established ventures (Yougen, Forus, Ikigai) that better her community by connecting students to small businesses, their careers, and credible information.

Soumyaa Kansal – Youth Board Member

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Soumyaa Kansal has been part of the Milton community for the past 11 years. During this time, she developed a keen interest in visual arts such as painting, drawing, sketching, crafts, music, and dance. Playing the piano is one of Soumyaa’s favourite hobbies, and she loves performing at various events.   She enjoys a variety of painting styles, including acrylic, oil, and watercolour, and creating 3D crafts for special occasions. At this tender age of 13, Soumyaa has not only demonstrated an insatiable desire to learn new art forms, but she also seeks opportunities to teach and encourage others to learn these artistic skills. After being recognized at various Ontario-wide festivals, she received the Youth Artist of the Year Award in 2022.

 

Diksha Pal Narayan – Program Coordinator

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Diksha took over the role of Program Coordinator at Arts Milton in November of 2022, but her association with Arts Milton dates back to 2017 when she joined as part of the Board.

Diksha has a Master’s in Broadcast Journalism and has produced four TV shows, one documentary and one short film. She has written four children’s books called the Ved and Friends Series. She hopes to ensure South Asian children can see themselves and the lives they lead in Canadian literature.

As Program Coordinator, Diksha hopes to continue the legacy of fantastic and diverse programming that Arts Milton is known for in the community.