At Glenbow, we are committed to being approachable, inclusive and authentic. We know that memorable encounters with art, culture and history can change lives and inspire amazing things. That’s why our leadership, board members and employees work diligently to provide art experiences that invite new perspectives, spark creativity and move our community forward.
Senior Leadership Team
Led by President & CEO Nicholas R. Bell, our leadership team is committed to the success of the museum, its employees and volunteers, and the Calgary community as a whole.
Nicholas R. Bell
President & CEO
Originally from Vancouver, Mr. Bell joined Glenbow in 2019 from his position as Senior Vice President for Curatorial Affairs at Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut. Nicholas launched a formidable exhibitions program during his three years at the preeminent American maritime museum. He previously served as The Fleur and Charles Bresler Curator-in-Charge of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC, where he led the Renwick’s relaunch, increasing attendance from 150,000 annually to one million. Mr. Bell is also an author and editor of ten books on art, museums, and contemporary culture and offers a proven background in spearheading change and successfully implementing strategic initiatives.
VP Engagement & COO
Melanie Kjorlien has held several positions at Glenbow over the last 12 years, including Director of Knowledge Management, VP of Access, Collections and Exhibitions and now COO and VP, Engagement. Throughout her career, Melanie has been motivated by her genuine passion for art and culture and the value they bring to our communities. Melanie’s background has encompassed journalism and media, website and digital project management, curating and teaching. Melanie is an award-winning writer and editor and has edited several publications on various aspects of Canadian art history.
Glenn McMurray, CPA, CA
VP Corporate & CFO
Glenn McMurray is a chartered professional accountant with extensive experience as a senior leader in the not-for-profit sector. A native Calgarian, Glenn is currently the Vice President Corporate and Chief Financial Officer at Glenbow. Prior to joining Glenbow, Glenn was the Executive Director, Research Services at the University of Calgary and the Chief Operating and Financial Officer of the Calgary Health Trust. He has also served as a board member for several not-for-profit organizations.
Kim Kadatz joined Glenbow in 2020 after holding several key fundraising and leadership roles at the University of Calgary, most recently serving as Associate Vice President, Development, where she led a team of 50 and was responsible for raising $50-60M annually for the institution. In her 15 years with the University, Kadatz served in a number of lead development positions in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Principal Gifts, the Schulich School of Engineering and the Haskayne School of Business. She has also held positions with Mount Royal College Foundation and the United Way of Calgary and Area. Ms. Kadatz is currently a board member with Two Wheel View, an organization that builds resiliency through youth cycling programs. A lifelong Calgarian, she is committed to raising resources that enhance the community and accelerate Calgary’s development as a leading city.
Board of Governors 2020-2021
The Glenbow-Alberta Institute, operating as the Glenbow Museum, is governed by a Board of Governors. The Board is comprised of a minimum of 12 governors to a maximum of 24 members, eight of whom are appointed by the Board, two by the Devonian Foundation, and the remaining 13 elected by the members of the Institute. The President and CEO automatically becomes a Governor upon his/her appointment.
Irfhan Rawji (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2014, and currently serves as Board Chair and ex officio member of all Board Committees, as well as a member of the Anti-Racism and Equity Committee. Mr. Rawji is the Founder & CEO of MobSquad, a Managing Partner with Relay Ventures, and an Adjunct Professor with the Sauder School of Business at UBC.
I believe that cultural institutions have a critical role to play in advancing society from our current reality to our desired future state. By holding up a mirror, art museums can inspire and activate the discussions required to catalyze change. I hope Glenbow can both achieve this aspirational goal for its community, as well as act as an example for other organizations to achieve the same.
Lori Van Rooijen, Pii'Takii
Vice-Chair and Chair, Project Oversight Committee
Lori Van Rooijen, Pii’Takii, (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2015 and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board and as Chair of the Project Oversight Committee. She is President of Larkspur Consulting Inc. (LCI). A project planner with over 35-years of experience, Ms. Van Rooijen works with post-secondary institutions, governments, not-for-profit organizations and private corporations, primarily working on “city or community building” projects for and with the community.
I am excited about our ability to shift the fundamental purpose and future of museums across the country and beyond. Museums are colonial institutions, often telling stories of the elite. Our communities are so much more than this. I believe that with Glenbow Reimagined, we will be able to create new connections with our audiences. We’re building more spaces for active dialogue and display; spaces that will foster understanding and truth. Ultimately, we are building a more inclusive environment that values the stories and learnings of so many more members of our diverse community.
Jim McLeod (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2015 and served as Chair of the Board from 2015-17.Mr. McLeod worked in the petroleum sector for 30 years, recently retiring from Nexen Energy ULC. He is an avid collector of western Canadian folk art and Canadian art.
For over 50 years Glenbow has demonstrated its ability to remain relevant, promote vibrant visual art and open its doors for the benefit and enjoyment of all. As part of Glenbow’s Board, my role is to ensure the museum is best in class in delivering an exciting and engaging experience for generations to come.
John Q. Adams
John Q. Adams (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2019. Mr. Adams leads Fiera Capital’s business development initiatives in Calgary. He has 30+ years of experience in the financial services industry in the areas of business development, relationship management and communications.
Glenbow’s future is extremely bright as it looks to reimagine itself and truly transform into an art, culture and historical centre for all Albertans. Changing an institution such as Glenbow isn’t easy and takes a lot of courage and devotion to make it happen; being a part of that team is an exciting opportunity.
Chris Chan (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2017. He is President of W. Chan Investments Ltd. managing a broad retail and real estate portfolio. He has 35+ years experience in national food service and hospitality as well as developing commercial properties across Canada.
Glenbow is a wonderful and important institution; I joined the Board because I wanted to help give back to a city that has been so great to me and my family. I feel privileged to be part of the group that will be able to re-shape what Glenbow will be for decades. This effort is driven by the incredible leadership and vision of Irfhan Rawji and Nicholas Bell, as well as the support, knowledge, expertise and hard work of The Board of Governors and the Glenbow team.
Paul Desmarais III
Paul Desmarais III (Montreal, Quebec) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2019. He is the Chairman and CEO of Sagard Holdings, the Executive Chairman and co-founder of Portag3 Ventures, and the Chairman and co-founder of Diagram. Mr. Desmarais is also a Senior Vice President of Power Corporation of Canada and Power Financial of Canada. As a part of his responsibilities at the holdings, he sits on the boards of Great West Lifeco, IGM Financial, Pargesa, Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, and Imerys.
I was interested in joining the Glenbow board as I am an active art collector and wanted to give back to the community. I am a particularly enthusiastic collector of First Nations art, of which the Glenbow has a strong collection. I think the process we are currently undergoing to renovate and reimagine Glenbow is going to revitalize the institution and the collection.
Chair, Audit/Investment Committee
Ken Fetherstonhaugh (Edmonton, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2015 and currently serves as Chair of the Audit/Investment Committee. He is Vice President/Senior Private Banker with BMO Financial Group. Through his 20+ year career in financial services in both executive leadership and client facing roles in corporate banking, credit risk and wealth management, he has benefited from this multi-disciplinary experience.
One can sum up the opportunity ahead of us in our foundational belief that “Art is for Everyone.” It is more than just renovating our building – the most visible of the changes we are making at the Glenbow. Rather, the biggest opportunity for us is to engage in having the important discussions about what a truly open, inclusive and equitable Glenbow can mean for our community, in Calgary and the rest of Canada.
Ryan R. Green
Ryan Green (Calgary, Alberta) joined the Board in 2020. Mr. Green is the president and owner of Masters Gallery Ltd. He has over 20 years of experience as a dealer of Canadian historical, post war and contemporary art with a specialty in Group of Seven and mid-century Quebec Abstraction.
Martha Hall Findlay
Martha Hall Findlay (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2019. She is Chief Sustainability Officer at Suncor Energy. As a corporate lawyer, senior business executive and successful entrepreneur, Martha brings 25+ years of domestic and international experience with major multinationals as well as start-ups, primarily in telecommunications and technology.
From my very first visit, Glenbow has been able to draw me in, pique my interest, teach me, make me question, and encourage me to learn more. I am excited to be even a tiny piece of the collective effort and generosity of so many people working to ensure Glenbow’s ability to continue to do the same for many others — particularly younger generations. It is a gift to our community and our society that I am proud to be affiliated with.
Tim Hamilton (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2015. Mr. Hamilton is an executive search consultant with 30 years of experience recruiting senior executives and board members across North America.
Glenbow’s transformation coincides with that of our city. With dynamic new leadership and a commitment to a vibrant inclusive community, the Glenbow will serve as a beacon to the rich cultural heritage of Calgary. A truly exciting time!
Chair, Collections & Access Committee
Paul Hardy (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2018 and currently serves as Chair of the Collections & Access Committee. Mr. Hardy is an internationally acclaimed fashion and interior designer with more than two decades of experience within luxury fashion and interior design, retail, branding and creative consulting. In 2015-16 Mr. Hardy was Glenbow’s artist in residence, resulting in the year-long exhibition Kaleidoscopic Animalia.
I am delighted to be able to serve on the Board during this period in the museum’s history. It is an honour to help steward the future plans amongst such a diverse and compelling group of Governors. It is my hope that collectively we will be able to create a landmark destination in Western Canada and become a source of inspiration for the local and global community.
Chair, Governance Committee
Kathryn Heath (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2015 and currently serves as Chair, Governance Committee. She is a retired corporate lawyer with 30 years of counsel and executive experience in domestic and international companies in the private and public sectors.
I’m excited about our programs for innovative exhibitions. We are creating experiences that bring our collections to life and appeal to diverse interests, and that reflect our community. All this will soon take place in a beautifully reimagined building that will function as a gathering and learning place and a cultural hub.
Todd Hirsch (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2018. He is the Chief Economist of ATB Financial; his expertise as an economist is specialized in Calgary and Alberta, and he has been recognized as one of Alberta’s most influential people.
I’m excited about the role Glenbow will play in 2022 and beyond, as Calgary starts to rebuild post-COVID. The city and the province have been hit hard by both the pandemic and the related economic downturn. As a community, we are at a turning point — economically, emotionally, and culturally. What we do as a city over the next five years will be critically important, and Glenbow will play a prominent role.
John Larsen (Victoria, British Columbia) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2012. He is Executive Vice President, Crisis & Reputation Risk with Edelman Canada. As a public relations executive with 30+ years expertise, primarily in the area of issue and reputation management, Mr. Larsen’s consulting engagements mostly focus on supporting Boards and executive teams in exploring intersections of trust, governance and communications.
Glenbow is on the precipice of a massive transformation that will position the institution as one of the leading cultural icons in Canada and I am deeply committed to supporting that vision and success. My background affords various avenues for contribution, specifically in the design and implementation of a communications program that announces ‘the new Glenbow’ to visitors, government partners and the cultural industries scene.
Zai Mamdani (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2019. She is a trusted leader and relationship builder in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Her most recent role has been providing leadership and guidance at Strategic Group, a company she co-founded, in support of the organization’s vision for community partnerships and corporate sponsorships.
What excites me most about Glenbow’s future is the plan to renovate and re-imagine the building as a national and international icon. Glenbow has an amazing collection, and the new spaces will allow us to really showcase our artistic and cultural history, as well as our heritage. Glenbow will attract world renowned artists and exhibitions right here in Calgary.
Ross Middleton (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2018. He is the lead of Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Calgary and BCG Canada’s Energy Practice. Mr. Middleton brings deep expertise in strategy development and business model innovation from his long-standing international career with BCG in Calgary, Melbourne and New York. Through his role as Chair of Tourism Calgary and support of Calgary Economic Development, Mr. Middleton also brings additional expertise in Calgary’s tourism economy and the city’s agenda to find its place in the New Economy.
Glenbow has a pivotal role to play in revitalising our downtown core, nurturing a creative artists’ community, and inspiring Calgarians of all ages to take pride and ownership in their city’s future. I’m excited about Glenbow’s aspirations as a premiere gallery on the international stage. I hope to help keep our vision bold, make Glenbow accessible and open to Calgarians and out-of-town visitors alike, and build strong connections with all our community partners.
Kent Monkman, Dish With One Spoon Territory (Toronto, Canada) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2018. Mr. Monkman is an interdisciplinary Cree artist with 30+ years of experience. He has worked extensively with museums, in the capacity of exhibiting and curating, in an ongoing effort to challenge and de-centre colonial museum practices. Mr. Monkman’s paintings, installations and site-specific performances have been shown at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, The Royal Ontario Museum, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Denver Art Museum and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
It is exciting to be part of an organization that privileges Indigenous perspectives by their inclusion of a significant number of Indigenous governors. The Glenbow shows leadership in the museum world by foregrounding the experiences of the First Peoples upon whose land they occupy.
Stephanie Pankratz (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2016. She is a Partner with the Audit practice of KPMG Calgary where she provides audit and audit-related services to public clients across a wide variety of industries including oil and gas, power and agriculture; her expertise is in finance, governance and strategy.
One of my favourite things to do when I travel is to visit art museums. I think they are great places to experience beauty as well as explore ideas and experience different viewpoints. I am proud of the great collection we have at Glenbow, and I am excited for a future which will bring increased public access to those collections and create a “must visit” space.
Chair, Development Committee
Patricia Phillips (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2019 and currently serves as the Chair of the Development Committee. She is CEO of PBA Land & Development. While she has worked in various industries from finance to energy, she remains a developer at heart with a passion for creating communities and connecting people to make space for dreams.
I see Glenbow as both a mirror and a light to our great city. A mirror, in that its relative youth gives it a distinctive energy and dynamism and sense of potential. A light, in that it has a special place in our hearts and minds; Glenbow has the ability to offer us new ways to experience not simply art but a rediscovery of our self, our culture, history, and community. Glenbow adds an extraordinary cultural vibrancy to Calgary as a world class Canadian cultural centre. I am committed to executing on Glenbow’s innovative expansion and programming.
Su Ying Strang
Su Ying Strang (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2018 and currently serves as Co-Chair of the museum’s Anti-Racism and Equity Committee. A cultural worker and artist, she specializes in artist-run centres, contemporary art, and community engagement through the arts. Her focus on artist-run culture over the past decade has given her a keen insight and understanding into the operations, governance, and possibilities for not-for-profit arts organizations.
I’m excited about Glenbow’s ongoing relationships with Indigenous communities and continued work towards Indigenizing the museum. Indigenous relationships and perspectives will be centered as the organization is reimagined over the coming years. This work, in tandem to Glenbow’s commitment to fostering an organization grounded in equitable and anti-racist practices is something I am committed to supporting.
John R. Whelan
John R. Whelan (Calgary, Alberta) joined Glenbow’s Board in 2020. Mr. Whelan is currently Vice President, Heavy Oil at Exxon Mobil, and was most recently Senior Vice President, Imperial Oil, leading Imperial’s Upstream oil and gas organization. A professional engineer with 30+ years of oil and gas experience, Mr. Whelan has extensive experience and expertise in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, project management, business planning and stakeholder management.
This is an exciting time for Glenbow. Arts and culture is an important part of a strong society and I am excited about the role Glenbow will play as a vibrant and open cultural institution contributing to economic diversification, public dialogue and indigenous reconciliation. In particular, our vision of radical access for all really inspires me. I am honoured to work with such a dedicated, capable and diverse leadership team and Board. I look forward to using my industry experience to contribute in any way I can.
Glenbow Ambassadors assist with the business associated with a Board committee and are invited to sit on the committee by the committee Chair.
Collections & Access Committee
Collections & Access Committee
Standards and Ethics
The Board of Governors is committed to the highest standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct its duties and responsibilities. The Board will foster an environment where all Directors, officers, employees and volunteers of Glenbow can report violations or questionable conduct, which is suspected to be unethical, dishonest or fraudulent without retribution if the report is made honestly and in good faith.
Glenbow’s Whistleblower Policy states that Glenbow employees and volunteers can anonymously forward concerns/complaints to a confidential email address received by the Chair of the Audit Committee. The procedures outlined in the Whistleblower Policy document are intended to ensure that any such complaints and concerns are promptly and effectively addressed.