Daniel Wnukowski, Founder and Artistic Director
Daniel Wnukowski (pronounced Vnoo-koff’-skee) is founder and artistic director of the Collingwood Summer Music Festival. He maintains an international concert career as pianist and has been extolled for his wide range of repertoire, from Baroque to Contemporary music. Growing up in Niagara Falls, ON and Windsor, ON, he left Canada for Europe in 1997 at the age of 15 to pursue further studies abroad. Since then, he has traveled throughout the world, performing for small, intimate gatherings to large-scale outdoor events with audiences over 10,000 people. Wnukowski’s passion is to bring high quality live music performances to those who cannot always access it. In 2017, he founded a pan-Canadian outreach project known as “Piano Six – New Generation”, which involves six pianists performing in rural, remote communities throughout Canada.
Jeff Shearer, Chair
Jeff Shearer is Publisher of the award winning magazine, On The Bay and General Manager of the new Collingwood based Classical 102.9 radio station. Before moving to the Collingwood area to launch On The Bay in 2004, Jeff was Vice President, Marketing of The Toronto Star, Publisher of Saturday Night Magazine, and held senior management roles with Applied Arts Magazine, Harrowsmith, Equinox Western Living and Vancouver magazine. Locally in the Southern Georgian Bay region, Jeff served as Chair of the Collingwood BIA, as a Trustee of the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, was a Director of the Georgian Bay Association and was a director of Big Brothers/Sisters. More recently Jeff was a founding director of The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay. Jeff lives just south of Collingwood in Nottawa and is married to writer Reet McGovern Shearer. He plays competitive tennis and is an avid skier. Jeff has been a Big Brother for over 40 gratifying years.
Frances Breithaupt, Board Member
Owner of a creative services agency for 30 years. Board member and volunteer for several community and arts-related societies for many years. Lover of music.
strong>John Kirby, Board Member
Collingwood real estate professional, born and raised and a lifelong resident of Collingwood. A former Collingwood town councillor John help establish the town’s first department of recreation and culture. A supporter and volunteer at last year’s Music Festival, actively involved in the GTLLI as well as CACE, a community group working towards the establishment of a Collingwood performing arts and culture center.
Mandy Macrae, Board Member
Former Chair of Woman’s Music Club of Toronto. Former Director of the STATE HERMITAGE FOUNDATION OF CANADA. Member of the board, HONENS INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION and Chaired Laureate Circle Toronto Chapter.
Liesbeth Halbertsma grew up in France and The Netherlands, where she got a masters degree in Law with a minor in Art History. This was the start of an adventurous life, filled with travels and work experiences such as director of a child right’s organization, editor for classical music magazines, designer, business owner. With her family, she moved to Sint Maarten for 14 years. In the winter of 2015 they moved to Collingwood for a new adventure. Voluntary work has always been part of her life. She was Director of Foundation Classical Delight in Sint Maarten, bringing classical concerts and school concerts to the island, hosting many famous artists such as Joshua Bell and Philip Quint. When not working, Liesbeth can be found running or hiking on the beautiful trails.
Wendy Bannerman-Clark is the founder of Paperwhite, a floral, event design and custom framing operation. She has worked as a senior operating executive and PMP with experience across diverse industries, including small businesses and Fortune 100 companies. Areas of expertise include creating and implementing strategies, building flexible operating models, and proactive change management. She has been the recipient of corporate Leadership Award, with proven team-building skills, including mentoring, training, development, and productivity.
Mila Filatova arrived in Canada from the former USSR in 1991 with a Master’s Degree in music. In her native country, she toured in festivals as a featured artist, with concerts recorded for national broadcast. Mila’s name is very well known within the Toronto musical community, expecially among the vocal music fans. She is a diverse musician who serves as an accompanist, chorus master, coach, and conductor. Mila’s Canadian professional life took her to Malta’s Opera House for their performance of La Gioconda with Ghena Dimitrova in the title role in 2000. From 2000 to 2009 Mila served annually as an opera coach and music director for the California Opera Association in Fresno for their Summer Opera Institute. Mila is now the owner and operator of Collingwood Music Studio.
Graduate of Toronto General HospitalSchool of Nursing and McGill University; Former educator and facilitator of services for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Shell Oil Company; Volunteer with the first Collingwood Music Festival. Plays golf and bridge and loves classical music.
Jonathan Contini is a recent graduate of the Collingwood Collegiate High School Music Program, where he played percussion in the school’s concert band. In 2015 he formed a band called “50 Years Late”, which has performed all throughout the Southern Georgian Bay area including at the Stayner Arts Fundraiser, “Picking in the Park”; the Great Northern Exhibition in Collingwood; Craigleith Ski Club in Town of Blue Mountains; the Fundraiser Fashion Show at Collingwood Collegiate Institute; “Relay for Life” in Jean Vanier High School, Collingwood; the Georgian Triangle Music Festival at The Beacon, Wasaga Beach; the “Old Farts” biker festival in Stayner ; Theatre Collingwood’s fundraiser “Putting for the Arts” at Blue Mountain Village. Since September 2018, he is enrolled a student of the Fine Arts Music Program at York University.
Brenda Lewis, Publicity and Communications
Since 1997, Brenda Lewis – through her company Lewis Media Relations – has been providing professional media relations, promotional writing and live entertainment planning/artistic direction services to clients from local and regional (Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo Region, Southern Ontario, Toronto) to locations across Canada, the USA, and the UK/Ireland. Longterm employers and clients include: The Guelph Chamber Choir – she is in her 10th year/season working with them as their Concert Promotions Coordinator, the Midland Cultural Centre on an as-needed basis for the past four years, and, The Arkell Schoolhouse Gallery Classical Concert Series (just outside Guelph) – for a decade she was the publicist for both of their concert series, classical, and, contemporary/folk music – and was the artistic director for the latter. For the past five years she has been internationally-acclaimed world music guitarist from France Pierre Bensusan’s touring publicist for USA, Canada, UK and Ireland. For the past two years she has been multiple Grammy nominee and International Bluesgrass Award-winner Claire Lynch’s publicist for Canadian touring. As well, she has handled media relations for Hamilton pianist/composer Robert Bruce for the past three years. Learn more about Lewis Media Relations at http://www.brendalewis.ca/publicist
Anne Fletcher, Treasurer
Graduated from Business Studies at Georgian College in 2005 and has mainly worked in the administration field in accounting, payroll and benefits. Grew up in Stayner on a farm and now lives in Collingwood. Enjoys helping others and spending time with family.
Conrad Willemse, Legal Counsel
Conrad Willemse was a DUCA Director for nine years in the 1990s and 2000s, rejoining the Board in April 2017. For 42 years, he has been an independent business lawyer. Conrad was DUCA’s legal counsel on the development and construction of DUCA’s Head Office and has been legal counsel for the past eight years to the Niagara Region Wind Farm, a 230 megawatt wind farm with 77 turbines. (A $1.5 billion project which became operational in November, 2016.)
Collingwood Summer Music Festival is a not-for-profit organization that brings performing artists in the fields of classical, jazz and world music to a wide variety of audiences.
Collingwood Summer Music Festival
4-115 First St., Suite 437
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