Board Members

The Board of Directors at Orillia Centre for Art + Culture is comprised of a group of volunteers from a diverse range of backgrounds, including but not limited to the arts, education, business, and community engagement, committed to contributing to the many areas of arts and culture in Ontario. We are committed to the principles of equity and diversity and endeavour to ensure our board reflects that commitment. We honour inclusionary practices in all areas of organizational activity and uphold anti-oppression values in furtherance of a healthy and strong community.

Cynthia Wesley 2.jpg

Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux


Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux served as Vice Provost for Indigenous Initiatives at Lakehead University for three years. Effective September 2016 she was appointed as the 1st Indigenous Chair for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada for Lakehead University and continues to develop pathways forward to reconciliation across Canada.


Cynthia was the inaugural Nexen Chair for Indigenous Leadership at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and remains a faculty member in the Indigenous Learning program. She is the Chair of the Teach for Canada non-profit which recruits teachers for remote First Nation schools. Cynthia was inducted as a “Honourary Witness” by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2014, and is the Chair of the Governing Circle for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba.


She is a member and resident of the Chippewa of Georgina Island First Nation in Ontario and has dedicated her life to building bridges of understanding. She sees endless merit in bringing people from diverse cultures, ages, and backgrounds together to engage in practical dialogue and applied research initiatives. She is deeply committed to public education and active youth engagement from all cultures and backgrounds. She co-founded a youth project out of the University of Toronto, the University of Saskatchewan and Lakehead University. More information on the Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE) can be found at: