Advisory Committee

Our Museum Inclusive Leadership project benefited from the vision and expertise of eleven leaders and innovators across Ontario's cultural sector who formed our project Advisory Committee. Recognzied for their outstanding work advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in Ontario's cultural sphere, these champions supported the project staff and ten partner museums as we worked collectively to identify opportunities to embed inclusion into all areas of museum practice.

To download a PDF of Advisory Committee bios, click here.

Cheryl Blackman, AVP Audience Development, Royal Ontario Museum
Cheryl is Assistant Vice-President, Audience Development at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Her responsibilities include ensuring a quality experience, managing the front of house and audience research. Cheryl is the main point of contact for the Museum’s 1300+ vibrant Volunteers, and she leads the ROM’s Community Access Network which she has grown into more than 40 partnerships with groups across the GTHA. Cheryl’s leadership and commitment to inclusion has grown this area into a highly successful part of the ROM where the Museum regularly achieves high satisfaction levels amongst visitors and wins awards for innovation in all aspects of access and community building. Cheryl has a deep belief in lifelong learning which she tapped into while completing her MBA. Cheryl’s focus was Hospitality and Tourism management. Prior to joining the ROM in 2004, Cheryl had a distinguished 16 year career at Air Canada. In her last role at the airline, she was seconded to the Terminal 1 New team and served as the Manager of Training.

Karen Carter, Executive Director, Myseum of Toronto
Karen Carter is the Executive Director of the Myseum of Toronto, an innovative approach to the museum experience, and a new way to experience Toronto’s natural spaces, cultures, history, archaeology and architecture. She has over 20 years’ experience working and volunteering in a variety of cultural and educational settings in Toronto. She is the co-founder and Chair of Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue (BAND), an organization dedicated to the promotion of Black arts and culture in Canada and abroad. Karen is also a faculty member for the Culture and Heritage Site Management program at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre.

Pauline Dolovich, Principal, Reich + Petch Design International

Pauline Dolovich is a Principal and architect with Reich +Petch specializing in museum exhibitions. Pauline has developed gallery projects for institutions such as the Royal Ontario Museum and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Pauline is currently leading the team for the Smithsonian’s largest natural history Hall to date, Deep Time, the National Fossil Hall, which includes their dinosaur collection.

Shelley Falconer, President and CEO, Art Gallery of Hamilton

Ms. Falconer's 25-year career includes national and international experience as a consultant, curator, educator and administrator. She has worked as a senior manager and consultant with a variety of important cultural/educational organizations including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, University of Toronto, Centennial College, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Toronto District School Board, Department of Heritage, Government of Canada, Sotheby's London and Waddington Galleries, England.

Ms. Falconer has directed and managed numerous award winning projects including exhibitions and installations for Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Canada House in London, England and the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C. She has also authored and produced numerous exhibition texts and catalogues including the publication Stones, Bones and Stitches: Storytelling through Inuit Art. Her award winning Art2Life: the Canadian Century digital project won a prestigious United Nations World Summit award for best in e-content and creativity. Ms. Falconer was also awarded a York Region District School Board Applause Award for outstanding contributions to education and the community.

Her academic background includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in Art History, Museology and Arts Administration from York University, Sotheby’s England, Sorbonne, l’université de Paris and the University of Toronto. Ms. Falconer has a broad knowledge of Canadian and International art. She was a member of the University of Toronto's and Centennial College’s adjunct faculty in Culture & Museum Studies and lectures widely on a variety of educational and art historical subjects.

Ravi Jain, Founding Artistic Director, Why Not Theatre

As founding artistic director of Why Not Theatre, Ravi has established himself as a seasoned international producer and award-winning artist with collaborations with internationally acclaimed companies like the SITI Company and Complicite.  Acting/creation credits include: SPENT (Dora Award for Best Ensemble), A Brimful of Asha, (developed as Urjo Kareda artist in residence at Tarragon Theatre) and Gimme Shelter (Commissioned by the Toronto Pan Am Games cultural festival). Directing Credits include: The Prince Hamlet, I’m So Close (Spotlight Award, Summerworks 2008), A Lion in the Streets (National Theatre School), Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Soulpepper, nominated for 6 Dora Awards and won 2 including Outstanding Production), Nicolas Billon’s triptych Fault Lines (Greenland, Iceland and Faroe Islands, which won the Governor General’s Award for Drama in 2013), Like Mother, Like Daughter (Why Not Theatre, in partnership with Complicite, UK), We Are Proud to Present…(Theatre Centre), Salt-Water Moon (Factory Theatre, Dora Award for Outstanding Direction), The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God (Shaw Festival) and 39 Steps (Soulpepper). Consultant director for Sea Sick (Theatre Centre), BOOM!(Mirvish/WYRD), Much Ado About Nothing (Tarragon Theatre).

He is on the Artistic Advisory Boards for ArtReach Toronto and the Daniel’s Spectrum, and an alumnus of the DiverseCity Fellows program with Civic Action.  Ravi was the inaugural Artistic Director in Residence at The Theatre Centre, is a member of the Artistic Director’s Cabinet at Soulpepper Theatre Company and was selected to be on the roster of clowns for Cirque Du Soliel. He was awarded the Ken MacDougal Award for Emerging Director and most recently the Ontario Arts Council’s Pauline McGibbon Award as Emerging Director. Ravi is a graduate of the acclaimed Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris and has trained with notable artists including Anne Bogart and the SITI company, Arianne Mnouchkine and Theatre du Soleil as well as with various members of Complicite.

Cara Krmpotich, Associate Professor, Museum Studies, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Cara Krmpotich is an associate professor in the Museum Studies program at the University of Toronto. She teaches and researches in the areas of critical collections management, contemporary issues in cultural heritage, museum and indigenous relations, and material culture. She leads the "Memory, Meaning-Making and Collections" program, an initiative that supports Anishinaabeg and Cree seniors living in Toronto wanting to learn about Indigenous culture and history through material heritage. She has also had the privilege of working with the Haida Repatriation Committee, authoring and co-authoring two books on Haida efforts to return their ancestors' remains, The Force of Family: kinship, memory  and repatriation on Haida Gwaii and This Is Our Life: Haida material heritage and changing museum practice. Most recently, Cara joined a research partnership between the University of the Western Cape (South Africa) and University of Toronto, exploring common questions of museums and political activism, Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, and ideas of missingness. She has worked in museums in both Canada and the United Kingdom, and is passionate about getting collections into the hands of people. 

 Jess Mitchell, Senior Manager, Research + Design, Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University

Jess Mitchell is Senior Manager, Research + Design at the Inclusive Design Research Centre ( She manages large-scale international projects and initiatives focusing on fostering innovation within diverse communities while achieving outcomes that benefit everyone.

Jess is a community leader who works in a highly collaborative, open, and iterative manner borrowing methods from complex project management, agile, participatory, and inclusive design.

Jess has worked on a number of complex distributed projects, bridging gaps among diverse stakeholders and fostering innovation. Those projects have ranged from building the Ghana Internet Exchange Point in West Africa, teaching an open source project course with 4th year students at Duke University, facilitating workshops with government, industry, and non-profit partners, and working to make the Internet accessible and inclusive to all.

Penny Pine, Collections Coordinator, Canadian Museum of History

Penny Pine is Ojibwa, raised in her home community, Garden River First Nation.  

In May 1999, Penny graduated from the 3-year Museum Technology Program at Algonquin College and she began her museum career at the Canadian Museum of History (CMH).  Penny worked in various capacities of the CMH, including an internship from 1999-2000, to become a permanent employee as Ethnology Collections Coordinator in 2003. 

Penny provides a strong voice and leadership in advocating for the welfare of the Collection, specifically its’ function, and the management, preservation and care of the First Nation, Inuit and Métis collection within the museum.

Penny creates an environment of constant learning and development for external clients with her knowledge and expertise.

Penny has represented the Museum on many occasions, including traveling to Beijing in 2008.  Over her 17 years with the museum, Penny has helped with the preventive care of the Ethnology collection of numerous internal and external exhibitions.

Penny is the current Collections Coordinator of the Ethnographic Collection at the Canadian Museum of History and is a proud Chair of the RBC Aboriginal Internship Steering Committee at the CMH.

Vishnu Ramcharan, Specialist: Visitor and Community Engagement, Ontario Science Centre

Vishnu Ramcharan began working for the Ontario Science Centre as a host and demonstrator and is now the visitor and community engagement specialist, bringing the Science Centre to unexpected places like Toronto PRIDE, Toronto Caribbean Festival and Word on the Street. He has worked with several exhibitions including A Question of Truth. Ramcharan helped develop Agents of Change, an innovation initiative at the Centre. He has also coordinated training projects in the USA, Malaysia, Oman (UAE), Sharjah (UAE), Thailand, Turkey, South Africa and Germany.

Anita Small, Founder and Owner, small LANGUAGE CONNECTIONS; Co-Founder and past Co-Director, Deaf Culture Centre

Dr. Anita Small, MSc, EdDis a sociolinguist, educator and researcher.  She is founder and owner of small LANGUAGE CONNECTIONS, bridging seemingly different worlds through communication, language and culture. She consults to non-profit organizations, theatre companies, museums, broadcast companies, businesses, educational institutions, artists and leaders. Her work focuses on co-creating empowering cultural content, programs and collaborative communicative contexts for change. She is most known for her innovative program development in the Deaf community.

Dr. Small is Co-Founder and past Co-Director of the award winning DEAF CULTURE CENTRE. Among her numerous publications, she was project manager and author of the Deaf Artists and Theatres Toolkit (DATT)   to engage Deaf performing artists and Deaf audiences in theaters across Canada. Anita is recipient of the United Nations World Summit/ UNESCO Award for co-creating and recipient of the international W3 Award for co-creating She has obtained over nine million dollars in language and cultural program grants, mentors non-profit organizations and individuals on effective grant writing and has implemented and evaluated their outcomes. She taught bilingual bicultural Deaf education at York University, Faculty of Education and comparative linguistics at University of Toronto for a combined 15 years. She is cross-appointed to Hogeschool University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. She has taught, consulted and mediated in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Italy and the Netherlands and has provided cross-cultural interaction training and mediation with Deaf and hearing personnel for over 25 years. Dr. Small is recipient of the singular national award from the Canadian Deaf community given to a hearing individual.

 Jutta Treviranus, Professor and Director, Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University

Jutta Treviranus is the Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and professor at OCAD University in Toronto, formerly the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre. The IDRC conducts proactive research and development in the inclusive design of emerging information and communication technology and practices. Jutta also heads the Inclusive Design Institute a multi-university regional centre of expertise on inclusive design. Jutta is the Co-Director of Raising the Floor International. She also established and directs an innovative graduate program in Inclusive Design. Jutta has led many international multi-partner research networks that have created broadly implemented technical innovations that support inclusion. These include the Fluid Project, Fluid Engage, CulturAll, Stretch, FLOE and many others. Jutta and her team have pioneered personalization as an approach to accessibility in the digital domain. She has played a leading role in developing accessibility legislation, standards and specifications internationally (including WAI ATAG, IMS AccessForAll,ISO 24751 , and AODA Information and Communication).