Executive Director and Intern hired

OTF4elements has received very generous funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to hire an Executive Director and open an office on Manitoulin Island; our focus over the next two years will be to:
Develop our University/Community Land Art Institute, create financial sustainability, develop our regional presence as a social enterprise consultant, expand our community development work through arts methodologies, double our community arts programming, and provide administrative leadership.

4elements Living Arts is very happy to announce two new staffing appointments:

Sophie Anne Edwards, the founder of 4elements has been formally hired as the Executive Director through generous Ontario Trillium Foundation funding, and Kendra Edwards (no! no relation) has been hired as our Community Arts Program Assistant Intern through funding by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

Gary Fuhrman, the Board Secretary and Hiring Chair, stated: “We interviewed some candidates with exceptional abilities, including a candidate from Toronto, but none as strong as Sophie. The Board of Directors is really looking forward to working with her to carry out her creative vision, and we think many communities on Manitoulin and elsewhere in northern Ontario will benefit from it.” Congratulations have been pouring in from 4e’s partners such as NORDIK in Sault Ste. Marie stating their support for the hire, noting that they are looking forward to building the relationships with Sophie and 4e and moving forward on shared projects.

Originally the board understood that Sophie could not apply for the position based on her standing relationship with the organization; however, just before Christmas, we learned that the Ontario Trillium Foundation would not limit applications as long as there was a clear and transparent hiring process led by the Board. The 4e Board of Directors received five applications for the ED position (two from Manitoulin). We interviewed three candidates, two from the Island and one from Toronto. The interviewers were Gary Fuhrman and Pam Jackson (both of the 4e Board) and Jim Noble, a retired consultant from Providence Bay; all Board members contributed to the process of setting the interview questions. Thanks to the Anchor Inn in Little Current for providing a space to conduct our interviews!

The excitement builds, as this week we hired our Community Arts Program Assistant Intern through our Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation funding. We have found a fantastic Intern who has already started training with Sophie (who will formally start as E.D. in mid-February). Kendra recently graduated from the University of Ottawa with a specialization in Communication. Her course work covered a wide range of training such as organizational communication methods, negotiation and mediation techniques, advertising and social media projects, media ethics, group dynamics, and cultural studies. Locally she has been involved in the Billings Township Community through CAP-youth internship working at the local library, and by volunteering for various other community events.

Says Kendra, “This position with 4elements will allow me to work with the Executive Director on community events and programs that combine the arts, land, and local communities. In addition this position will make use of my experience with documentary film making of the arts and gathering quantitative research results for a local Ottawa business (SPSS training). I look forward to my time with 4elements as a rewarding opportunity for applying my skills and gaining practical experience!” And she’s no newcomer to the arts scene, being the daughter of local artists Barb and Richard Edwards (no! no relation to Sophie Edwards).

Office Space coming to a Manitoulin Community

Our next step will be to set up an office space in an Island community. 4elements is currently accepting proposals from townships and local organization. If you are interested in bringing 4e’s presence into your community, please submit information about the rental parameters, potential partner relationship and expectations to Sophie Edwards: sophie@4elementslivingarts.org