Staff Bios

Sophie Edwards is a visual artist and writer who obsesses about the themes of place, place-making and land/scape, an obsession which led her to undertake a PhD in historical and cultural geography at Queen's University. In 2002 she co-created 4elements with 3 other women to create space for the arts and artists; and she continues to work with 4e as the executive director. She has been funded for her art and writing through the Ontario Arts Council, has a Certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for Writers, and has worked in community development in various capacities at the regional and provincial level for 20+ years. She has taught in the Community Economic and Social Development Program at Algoma University. Her research information can be found here:

PhD Research

from Camara March 10,14 008

Sophie Edwards (right) with long-time 4e organizer and artist, Heather Thoma (left)


Patricia Mader, Curator & Cultural Programs Coordinator



Mira Jones, Educational Programming Facilitator

In February, Mira joined the 4e team as our new Educational Programming Facilitator. In this role, she will be responsible for developing 4e's educational programming, running River Schools, and facilitating workshops, amongst other things.

Mira is originally from northern Ontario, but has lived on both coasts of Canada and in several other countries. She has a background in fine art and material art and design with an emphasis on fiber arts, metalworking, watercolour painting and ceramics. Mira has extensive outdoor experience and has worked for several years for an environmental consulting agency as a field assistant.

Her art has been exhibited in the Manitoulin Art Tour, La Cloche Art Show, Gallery 1313, and Xspace in Toronto as well as in other small art shows. She has also had art and writing published in several magazines and group collections. Mira's art reflects her wide interests and life with subject matter including: folklore, nature, urban decay, history, botany, mycology, and living out of a backpack.


Vanessa Glasby, Arts Administrator

Vanessa is a lifelong resident of Manitoulin with a background in Sociology, Environmental Studies, and Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership. She has both academic and 'on-the-ground' experience in fundraising, nonprofit, and volunteer management, and is excited to put these skills to use at 4e.

In February, she joined the 4e team as our new Arts Administrator. In this role, she will be responsible for research, systems development, as well as general administrative tasks.

When not at work, Vanessa enjoys gardening, foraging, and spending time in nature on her skis, bike, or kayak. She spent the last two summers as a market gardener on Manitoulin, and recently joined the board of the Northern Ontario Permaculture Research Institute (NOPRI). She has a keen interest in food security and environmental sustainability, and is currently pursuing a certificate in Sustainable Local Food from St. Lawrence College.


Sarah Earley, OTB Coordinator

Sarah has recently joined the 4e team as the new Coordinator of our Outside the Box (OTB) program. She is a certified teacher with a background in Outdoor, Ecological and Experiential Education as well as Special Education.

She is currently studying herbalism through the Living Earth Institute and has recently become a Forest Therapy Guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy based in California. Before moving to the Island, Sarah spent ten years teaching at a therapeutic boarding school serving youth struggling with addictive behaviour and mental health. She prefers to be outdoors, and loves to explore both near and far...