Taskforce Members

The Community Task Force on Performing Arts has 10 members that represent relevant expertise and sector representation. The Mayor serves as the Chair. The Task Force is in place for a 8-month term, with the ability to extend, and provide quarterly updates to Council.

Mayor Tom Dyas (Chair)

Elected as Mayor for the first time in 2022, Tom currently sits on the RDCO Board as a Director, Chair of the Airport Advisory Committee, Chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Crime Reduction, Member of the BCUMC, as part of the RDCO board a representative on the Municipal Finance Committee, sits on the board of Uptown Rutland Business Association and a member of the Audit Committee.

Tom moved from Toronto to British Columbia in 1986 to be the executive sous chef at Expo. He then went on to be executive chef of Delta Hotels in Whistler. In May of 1987 Tom changed direction when he went into the insurance and financial industry creating his own company, TD Benefits, which he has proudly owned and operated ever since.  Over his 36 years in the insurance and financial industry, his company has won numerous awards for customer service, growth of business and client retention.

Tom has always been actively involved in the community, coaching local soccer clubs and sitting on the Boards of Kelowna Minor Hockey, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, the Okanagan College Advisory and the Child Advocacy Centre and chair of the 2020 Memorial Cup Host Committee.

Running a successful, respectful business has always been a primary focus for Tom, although to date he feels his greatest achievement has been raising his three children into adulthood.

With his children now grown and his business a family enterprise with a strong team, Tom’s focus is now on serving our community.

Councillor Rick Webber

Elected for the first time to Kelowna City Council in October 2022, Councillor Webber has worked as a broadcaster for 43 years on a variety of radio and television stations, including three decades as News Anchor and Executive Editor for Global Okanagan/CHBC Television. In addition to his role on Kelowna City Council, he is an alternate board member for the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

Through his news reporting, and as a longtime volunteer emcee for numerous Okanagan organization’s fundraisers and events, Councillor Webber is well acquainted with Kelowna and surrounding region. In his spare time, he enjoys riding his motorcycle throughout the Okanagan.

Webber was appointed to this committee by Mayor Tom Dyas.

Laura Doncom

Since her first dance lesson, Laura Doncom has spent decades in and around the performing arts — as a professional performer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, a founding member and past president of Ballet Kelowna, a Kelowna Community Theatre front-of-house volunteer, and a founding director of a citizens group advocating for a new performing arts centre in Kelowna.

Born in Kelowna, Laura attended the inaugural performance at the Kelowna Community Theatre on September 13, 1962, sparking her lifelong passion for live performing arts. As a student, she danced on the KCT stage, and later as a professional, she performed in more than 300 theatres throughout North America and Europe.

This firsthand experience, combined with her 20-year involvement as a volunteer with Ballet Kelowna, has given Laura an educated understanding of the backstage needs of artists and touring companies. Her work as a front-of-house volunteer at the KCT has further deepened her appreciation of the needs of audiences and presenters. After leaving her stage career, Laura has accumulated a host of professional and leadership skills in market research, sales, accounting and business administration.

Now retired, her volunteer work continues. When she has spare time, she enjoys spending it with her family and friends, along with skiing, hiking, tai chi, reading, travel and of course, attending live theatre - her most favourite thing to do.

Nikki Csek

For the past 25 years, Nikki Csek has had the privilege of offering guidance and marketing services to various local businesses in Kelowna. Her extensive portfolio spans across a wide range of sectors and industries, encompassing organizations within the vibrant arts and culture vertical.

A supporter of the arts, she acknowledges the significance of nurturing a vibrant arts and cultural sector in a community our size.

She is eager to contribute her support, energy and ideas to bring the vision of the performing arts to fruition, approaching the task with a fresh perspective devoid of preconceived notions or expectations.

Shane Styles

Shane Styles is the President of Epic Real Estate Solutions and is considered a thought leader in the industry.  He has lived in the Okanagan for over 40 years and has an expertise in product design, hands-on experience in development, and deep understanding of the Okanagan market. He values collaborating with developer partners to navigate risk and create thoughtfully designed industry-leading new home communities.

Over the past 23 years, Shane has harnessed his passion and expertise for real estate marketing and sales, travelling the world and gaining invaluable international experience in luxury and resort real estate markets. Some of his career highlights include working with renowned five-star hotel brands Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Oberoi, and living abroad in Bangkok as Managing Director for an Asian-based real estate firm.

Lauren Macaulay

Born and raised in Kelowna, Lauren Macaulay is a passionate advocate for the Okanagan Region's communities and development potential. Lauren is an Architect with two decades of experience in the design and construction of residential, mixed-use and institutional projects. She spent more than a decade working in Vancouver before returning home to Kelowna to open Arcadis' Kelowna office. Her current roles are both the Kelowna Office Lead and the Canada West Business Unit Director for the Architecture and Urbanism division of Arcadis.

An active patron of the arts, Lauren is thrilled to join the Mayor's Community Task Force on Performing Arts and to contribute to the planning and development of cultural spaces in Kelowna. Lauren grew up with a love for the theatre and dance and has many fond childhood memories performing on the Kelowna Community Theatre stage. As a parent, she enjoys watching her children perform on the same stage and believes in the transformative power of the arts to create vibrant communities. She looks forward to working collaboratively with community groups, stakeholders, and partners to best addresses the diverse needs of the community, creating a dynamic and inclusive cultural hub for all.

Robert Fine

Robert Fine began his working career in BC in 1989 with the Sea to Sky Economic Development Commission with many accomplishments including assisting in the development of Whistler which was named the number one ski resort in North America.

From 1998 to 2015, he lead the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission in Kelowna. Mr. Fine was awarded “Economic Developer of the Year” by the Economic Development Association of British Columbia and the Bank of Montreal and is honourary fellow from Okanagan College and a recipient of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s Business Leader Award.

Mr. Fine is currently a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant with Robert Fine Immigration Services. He was Director Business and Entrepreneurship and Director of the Partnership office for the City of Kelowna, retiring in 2020.

From an arts perspective, he has performed the Great American songbook as a solo, with jazz quartets and big bands for the past 25 years. He has released 5 CDs raising over $200,000 for local charities including the Kelowna Food Bank and the Rotary Centre for the Arts. He has performed professionally across Canada, in the US including Las Vegas, Seattle Chicago, and Atlanta as well as in Germany and Jamaica.

He also acts as Board Chair for the Sing For Your Life Foundation (SFYL) offering Silver Song Groups, a free, drop-in, fun program of regular 90-minute sessions of participatory- singing and music-making for seniors. The program has proven wellness benefits and participants enjoy music, singing and reminiscing. The Silver Song Group program is active in Kelowna, West Kelowna, and Vernon, BC, and in Medicine Hat, AB.

Lesley Cormack

Dr. Lesley Cormack has served as the Principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus since 2020. Her position includes the critical role of acting as a liaison between the university and the region, fostering relationships and identifying ways UBCO can better serve the community. Before joining UBC she was the Dean of the Faculty of the Arts at the University of Alberta for ten years. Lesley's academic background is the history of early modern science in England and she has a PhD and Master of Arts from the University of Toronto where she studied the history of geography and map making, including the first terrestrial globe created in Elizabethan England.

Lesley comes from a theatre family with grandparents, parents and siblings involved in the creation and performance of theatre for many years. She has always been a strong advocate for public education and the arts and a believer in the significance of culture and the value of storytelling. One of her greatest passions is live theatre. She began her university career in an acting program and sees in the power of theatre the ability to understand and empathize with our fellow human beings. More recently, she pursued this passion as a member of the Board of Directors for the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton for nine years.

Lisanne Ballantyne
Ryan Donn