Staff Bios

 

LEADERSHIP

Sandra Laronde - Executive & Artistic Director

Portrait photo in sepia of Artistic Director Sandra Laronde

Executive & Artistic Director of Red Sky, Sandra Laronde, O.M.C., B.A. (Hon), Hon. LL.D is an accomplished innovator in arts and culture, working as a director, producer, choreographer, program manager, and creative leader. Sandra's vision for Red Sky was to be a leading international company at the forefront of contemporary Indigenous performance, and to make a significant contribution to the artistic vibrancy of Canada and the world. Sandra is originally from the Teme-Augama-Anishnaabe (People of the Deep Water) in Temagami, northern Ontario.

Click here for Sandra Laronde's full biography

 

Catherine Baldwin - Managing Director

Photo of Managing Director, Catherine Baldwin

Catherine Baldwin BMus, MPP, GAICD has worked extensively in arts management specialising in Indigenous arts and culture. She was Executive Director for the Bangarra Dance Theatre Australia (2010 to 2014), contributing to a period of growth, heightened profile and improved sustainability for this acclaimed Indigenous dance company.

Most recently, Catherine has been the Interim Director of the Australian Centre for Photography (2015 to 2017) leading this iconic cultural institution through a period of transformation to ensure its sustainability and critical place as the national agency for photography and photomedia.

Catherine was the inaugural Head of the Perpetual Foundation (2007-2008), the Chairman of the Transfield Foundation (2009-2015) and is an experienced board director. Her recent appointments include Chairman of the Adelaide Youth Orchestras, a community organisation of 250 young musicians performing across numerous orchestral ensembles, and Board member of the Australian Experimental Art Foundation, assisting with the challenging merger of AEAF with another contemporary visual arts organization.

From 1999 to 2006, Catherine was Chief Executive of the Actuaries Institute, a position from which she led reform within the actuarial profession, as its chief advocate in public policy in consultation with governments and business, and steered the expansion of the Institute’s professional qualification program. In 2006, Catherine was appointed National Chief Executive of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, having been a CEDA Trustee for many years, and led research in economic and social policies as diverse as Innovation and The Business of Defence.

Catherine has achieved a Master in Public Policy from the University of Sydney, a degree in Music from the University of Adelaide and is a graduate of both the Foundation and Mastering the Boardroom programs of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

For the Centre for Social Impact at the University of NSW, Catherine produced a background paper on ‘Social sector reform: an overview of current Australian Government initiatives’ (2009). She presented an innovative paper Beyond grant making: changing the paradigm (2008) at the Philanthropy Australia Conference and authored The art of self-promotion: successful promotion for dancers and choreographers (1993) published by Allen & Unwin.

Photo: Michael Waite

 

ASSOCIATE ARTISTS

Carlos Rivera – Associate Artist & Rehearsal Director

Headshot of Carlos Rivera, in front of brick wallCarlos Rivera has been an Associate Artist with Red Sky for over a decade. Currently, he is a Rehearsal Director, dancer, and teacher with Red Sky Performance. Based in Toronto, he is of Mixteco Indigenous descent and trained at the Government of Mexico City's Cultural Secretary Dance School, Centre for Choreographic Research at the Fine Arts Institute (CICO-INBA), and The Banff Centre. Carlos has been in numerous dance productions as well as a director and choreographer of the Yumare Arte Escenico, a traditional and contemporary dance company. Carlos draws from elements within traditional and popular culture in contemporary dance. His own choreographic works include Bosque Sagrado, Jardines y Santuarios, Memorias del Fandango, and From the Aztlan to the Zocalo. He also created I'm Not the Indian You Have in Mind, a dance project delving into the complex identity of Native peoples in today's society that was part of Harbourfront’s Next Steps in 2013. His performance credits include: Caribou Song (Red Sky), Raven Stole the Sun (Red Sky), Dancing Americas (Red Sky), Shimmer (Red Sky), Tono (Red Sky) which was performed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2008 Meet in Beijing Festival, 2008 Summer Arts Festival at The Banff Centre, The Arden Theatre, High Performance Rodeo, Toronto's Luminato Festival, Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, and World Expo 2010 in Shanghai China, and Migration (Red Sky).

 

Thomas Fonua - Associate Artist

Thomas HeadshotBorn and raised in New Zealand, Thomas is of Indigenous Samoan/Tongan descent.  He began dancing at the age of seven.  He completed his formal training with the Black Grace Dance Company, where he also spent five years dancing for the company full-time as a leading male performer.  He has worked for such companies as Sydney Dance Company (AUS), The Australian Dance Theatre (AUS), Black Grace (NZL), Atamira (NZL), Okareka (NZL), The New Zealand Dance Company (NZL), and Red Sky (CDA).

In 2010 and 2012, he mentored and led groups of young dancers in the UrbanYOUTHMovement projects.  In 2013, Thomas was selected as a Merit Dancer as part of the Indigenous Dance Residency at The Banff Centre.

In 2013, he also began choreographing and building his own body of work.  He created a short new work called, 'The Signs of Deception' that was performed as part of Red Sky's 'inSIGNia' (2013).  He also returned to The Banff Centre in that year to collaborate and co-create a new work 'Backbone'.

 

WISDOM + CULTURE KEEPERS

Alex McKay - Wisdom + Culture Keeper

Alex McKay is an Associate Professor in Aboriginal Studies at the University of Toronto, and has been with the program since its inception. He is Anishinaabe from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug. He is in charge of the Anishinaabemowin program and teaches courses in Anishinaabemowin, Native Language and Culture, and Indigenous Legends and Teaching.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

Haley Laronde - Marketing Intern

Haley Laronde hails from the Teme-Augama-Anishnaabe (The Deep Water People) who are a proud and multi–talented community. Currently, Haley is mentoring as a Marketing Intern with Red Sky where she is developing content for multiple digital platforms. She is also a Creative Designer at two newspapers: the Northern Connector and The Terrace Standard, based in Terrace, British Columbia. Haley recently studied Graphic Design at the Algonquin College in Ottawa, and will continue to refine her skills in Digital Art & Design at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. Trained in Film Photography, Haley comes from a musical family and enjoys playing acoustic guitar and piano. She is also an avid snowboarder and enjoys the outdoors.

 

Roger Francis - Bookkeeper

Headshot of Roger Francis, colour, in front of brick wallRoger Francis is Red Sky's Bookkeeper. He studied Bookkeeping and Accounting at Humber College, and Computer Programming at Seneca College in Toronto.

His previous work experience includes working in finance with the Small Theatre Administrative Facility, Associated Designers of Canada, Theatre Smith-Gilmour, Company B, and accounting firms including Wallington & Chong. To his new role, Roger brings proven financial knowledge, a broad knowledge of the arts sector in Toronto and beyond, and a strong desire to contribute to the success of Red Sky.

He loves travelling and spending time in his cabin near the St. Lawrence River.

Red Sky Board Members

Honourary National Board of Directors

Tomson Highway, O.C.
Zacharias Kunuk, O.C.
Veronica Tennant, C.C
Joseph Boyden, O.C.

Honourary International Board of Directors

Jock Soto

Wisdom & Culture Keepers

Alex McKay
Don Kavanaugh

Board of Directors

Anya Mckenzie (Chair)
Aron Fitzgerald (Treasurer)
Ian S. Anderson
Don Boswell
Karen Tisch
Hillary Thatcher
Don Kavanaugh

Red Sky Partners

Alex McKay, Anishnaabe Elder
John McKellar, Q.C. WeirFoulds
John Wilkinson, WeirFoulds
Sam Marinucci, C.A., Marinucci & Company
Photography of Cylla von Tiedemann
David Hou Photography
Pietro Siciliano, TechnicAid
Yiling Shen & Chen Xiaojiu, Traditional Chinese Medicine Health Centre

Contributing Photographers

Cylla von Tiedemann
David Hou
Don Lee
Kim Williams
Nadya Kwandibens
Paul Parkes
John Ecker
Laura Vanags
Rita Taylor