Visual Arts / Media Arts Committee

Lauren Howes, Co-Chair, has been the Executive Director of the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre since 2006. Prior to that she was the Distribution Manager of Video Out Distribution in Vancouver. Through her work in distribution she attends numerous film festivals and media art markets worldwide promoting Canadian media art. She has presented curated programs in Dublin, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Hamburg, Paris, London, Berlin and Seoul and Buenos Aires. She graduated in 1996 with a BFA in Film Production from Simon Fraser University. Howes is the Chair of the Media Arts Network of Ontario Board of Directors and a past Board member of the Independent Media Arts Alliance.

Gaëtane Verna, Co-Chair is Director of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Canada’s leading non-collecting contemporary art gallery. Up to 2012 Gaëtane was Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Musée d’art de Joliette, in Lanaudière, Quebec. From 1998 to 2006, she was the curator of the Forman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University. In her more than fifteen-year career, she has gained invaluable experience in presenting and organizing many exhibitions by emerging, mid-career and established Canadian and international artists such as Vasco Araújo, Luis Jacob, Kimsooja, François Lacasse, Oswaldo Maciá, Ed Pien, Gabor Szilasi, Javier Tellez, Denyse Thomasos, and Bill Viola among others. Verna holds a DEA and a Masters degree from the Université Paris | Pantheon Sorbonne as well as an International Diploma in Heritage Administration and Conservation from the Ecole National du Patrimoine (France). Since 2012, she has served a Board member of The Hnatyshyn Foundation, The President’s Council of OCAD U and as a member of the advisory committee of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto.

Georgina Jackson is Director of Exhibitions & Publications at Mercer Union, a centre for contemporary art in Toronto. She has previously held positions as the Exhibitions Curator at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, project curator at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and was a curator-in-residence at The Mattress Factory Art Museum, Pittsburgh, between 2009 and 2011 where she realized Nothing is Impossible (2009) and Neighbo(u)rhood (2011). Between 2008 and 2013 she was a research scholar at the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, Dublin, where she completed her curatorial-practice based PhD exploring how the exhibition has been increasingly posited as a space for the political. She has contributed to numerous journals and publications including Art & the Public Sphere and most recently Curating Research, edited by Paul O’Neill and Mick Wilson (2015).

Ed Pien was born in Taipei and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from York University. He has been drawing for nearly 30 years and exhibits nationally and internationally, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Goethe Institute, Berlin; The Drawing Center, NYC; the AGO; Oboro, Montreal; Macintosh Gallery, London; The Bluecoat, Liverpool; Art Gallery of Greater Victoria; the Musée des beaux arts and Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal; Songzhuang Art Centre, Beijing, and the National Art Gallery of Canada. He recently participated in Oh Canada, MASS MoCA, the Sydney, Moscow and Beijing Biennales. Pien teaches part-time at the University of Toronto and is represented by Birch Contemporary, Toronto; Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain, Montreal; and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague.

Jason Ryle is the Artistic Director of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the world’s largest showcase of film, video, audio and digital media created by Indigenous artists from Canada and around the world. Prior to his appointment as artistic director in 2016, Jason served as the festival’s Executive Director since 2010 and a variety of other roles for the organization since 2002. Jason has served on the board of directors for Vtape and Toronto Council Fire and is an emerging producer.