Main Phone Line – 905.277.4313
Annis Karpenko, MFA, MEd
Annis Karpenko joined VAM in 2014. She has an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College and a MEd in holistic education from OISE/University of Toronto. She began her administrative journey as a stage manager and she brings along an eclectic mix of experience gleaned from her work as General Manager for the Bishop’s University Students’ Representative Council in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Executive Director of Townshippers’ Foundation and Coordinator for the York University Centre for Feminist Research. Annis is a life-long learner, a community builder, and a strategic thinker. She has sat on the Boards of Directors for The Piggery Theatre and The Lennoxville & District Women’s Centre as well as the Restorative Justice committee at Community Centre 55 in Toronto. Annis is a founding member of the Third Monday Collective – an independent group of Mississauga Culture Organizations that meet monthly.
Prabha Sethia-Patel holds a Bachelor of Accounting Honours with a major in Marketing and a Diploma in Business Studies (distinction) from Metropolitan University, London, UK. Prabha has worked for international IT companies in both finance and marketing roles, including PR Manager at Acer UK.
Prabha combined her marketing know-how with her love of home decor and interior design as the owner of a Colour Your World franchise in Mississauga for 15 years. She also successfully operated a shop-at-home window coverings service from her store. Prabha has updated her Accounting skills by successfully completing Taxation I and II credits at Sheridan College. A life-long learner, Prabha is currently working towards certification as Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) with Canadian Payroll Association. Prabha manages Finance, Payroll and Customer Service functions as well as many other duties. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, she is detail orientated and applies a problem solving approach to everything she does.
Arts Program Manager
A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, artist-educator Lisa Robinson studied illustration and fine art. Lisa’s art can be described as playful and bold and reflects her interest in nature, colour relationships and form.
As an art educator since 1998, Lisa has created and taught visual arts programs to children, teens, adults and seniors in Peel and surrounding communities. It is Lisa’s belief that a positive and encouraging atmosphere along with an inspiring setting such as that of Riverwood helps all students to see and achieve their own artistic potential; to find their inner artist. Lisa was VAM’s Child/Youth Arts Program Coordinator from 2007 – 2015 and she is now coordinating all Adult, Teen, and Child programs and ArtReach.
Heather Brissenden is delighted to join the creative team at Visual Arts Mississauga where her passion for sharing the arts with the local community will reach greater heights. A graduate of George Brown College, Heather has had a colourful career working extensively in the arts in a variety of roles including Communications and Youth Program Coordinator with the Mississauga Arts Council, Promotions Manager with Windmill Theatre and more recently as the Supervisor of Theatre Program Development at the Meadowvale Theatre with the City of Mississauga’s Culture Division. While working with the theatre, she significantly increased both sponsorship for programs, audience base and revenue for the theatre’s professional season. Brissenden is also a songwriter and professional vocalist specializing in Jazz, World Music, Pop and Folk music.
Administrative and Membership Associate
Anna McCusker graduated from Carleton University in 2012 with highest honors, a major in Greek and Roman Studies, and a minor in English. She has been involved in the administration of non-profit art enterprises since high school, when she was employed by Neilson Park Creative, making the transition from weekends and evenings as a customer service representative to working as office assistance and database administration.
Anna joined VAM at Riverwood first as a temporary receptionist to assist in a transitional period, then as a full-time receptionist and administrator, overseeing memberships and course registrations, and answering customer queries. Born into a family of artists, Anna has always been involved in the arts, and aside from her own personal endeavors, has designed and created six pieces for auction at fundraising events since 2008.
Exhibitions & Events Coordinator
Eldiana completed a degree in Art History and English at the University of Toronto before going to Humber College to complete a postgraduate certificate in Arts Administration and Cultural Management. She started at VAM as a volunteer in 2014, then our weekend Customer Service administrator. While working on her degree at Humber she was VAM’s Events and Exhibitions Intern and in September 2015, she was hired as VAM’s Events, Exhibitions and Volunteer Coordinator. She is proud of the great things VAM brings to the cultural community of Mississauga and is excited for the great creative possibilities ahead! She loves to travel and spends most of her vacation time looking at art.
Katie attended the University of Toronto majoring in Art History and English with a minor in Books and Media, as well as Seneca College for Art Fundamentals. She began teaching children and teens at Visual Arts Mississauga in 2012 and has since then taken on the roles of Camp Coordinator and ArtReach Program Assistant. In her own artistic practice Katie draws inspiration from photography, illustration, and the human form. Many of her works are figurative in nature, focusing on the palpability of flesh through colour and expressive brushstrokes. She is fascinated by everyday subtle intimacies.
Katie aims to build confidence in her students through creative exploration guided by both imagination and intuition. She strongly believes in providing safe, inclusive spaces for youth to express themselves, where they can create and connect just as VAM has provided for her.
Weekend Customer Service Representative
Hibah has graduated from an Honours Studio Art program with a diploma in Business Administration at McMaster University. She has been involved in the art world for more than 5 years and has gained extensive skill that she implements and practices on a daily basis. Hibah’s background in business allows her the opportunity to look at things in a more professional manner while maintaining knowledge in key elements of management. Her works have been exhibited in exhibitions across the metropolitan areas though she is always looking to increase her involvement in artistic endeavours. VAM has opened up a great way for Hibah to work along a creatively derived team. Hibah is grateful for being part of VAM’s welcoming and diverse community.