Board of Directors
Contact the Toronto Fringe board at anytime by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Murray, Chair of the Board
Jason (he/him) is the President and Managing Partner of BIPOC Executive Search. Over the course of his career, Jason has worked on 300+ executive searches as well as a range of EDI services in partnership with client companies. Prior to founding BIPOC Executive Search Inc., Jason worked at a multinational executive search firm as well as a boutique search firm before that. For part of his career, he worked in the Consulting Division of Deloitte & Touche as the Human Capital and Strategy & Operations Supervisor. In this position he provided organizational management and HR services to the 994 individuals in the division, and was a respected voice around matters of equity, diversity, and inclusion and increasing representation throughout the organization.
Jason has a community-facing orientation. In addition to serving as Chair of the Board for the Toronto Fringe Festival, he has volunteered with a number of other organizations including the Canadian Board Diversity Council, G(irls)20, and Pride at Work Canada.
Jason holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, and a Master's degree in Management from Boston University. He is certified in unconscious-bias decision making and iOS app development, and has completed courses on predicative data analytics and artificial intelligence in recruitment and retention.
Nancy Konopinsky, Vice Chair
Nancy Konopinsky (she/her) is the Chief Operating Officer for Canada Learning Code, a charity focused on bringing digital skills to people in Canada so they can become creators - not just consumers - of technology. Her expertise is helping mission-driven organizations grow and scale by building a people-first culture that will drive innovation, efficiency, performance and business results. Nancy also volunteers as a Coach with Ryerson’s Social Venture Zone. She is mom to two grown-ish children - a daughter, Morgan and a son, Lucas. Nancy is passionate about her family, literature and having fun.
Garth Sheriff, Treasurer
Garth Sheriff, CPA, CA, CPA (Illinois), CIA, CGMA, MAcc, is the founder of Sheriff Consulting (sheriffconsulting.com)
Garth has worked as an assurance professional and learning provider for over 20 years. He has prepared and trained CPAs for critical changes to the profession, including internal control documentation (SOX), Canadian Auditing Standards (CAS) and Canadian Standards on Review Engagements 2400 (CSRE 2400).
He earned a Master of Accounting and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours - Accounting) from the University of Waterloo, Canada. He is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPAO), American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).
Garth has also acted in various stage and film productions. He is a graduate in improvisation from The Second City and a member of ACTRA (the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists.
Boyd Neil, Secretary
Boyd Neil (he/him) spent nearly 20 years as a senior executive with Canada’s leading public relations firm (H+K Strategies), and a total of 40 years as consultant, arts journalist and speechwriter. Boyd began his career writing theatre and dance criticism and features on the arts for major publications in Canada and the U.K. (for which he was awarded the Nathan Cohen Award for Theatre Criticism). He holds B.A., M.A. (Drama) and M.B.A degrees from the University of Toronto, currently teaches social media, CSR and business consulting in Humber College’s Faculty of Media & Creative Arts. He has been a director on the Board of Bridgepoint Health Foundation and chaired the joint foundation/hospital communications committee.
Cindy Gouveia, Director
Currently serving as the President of the George Brown College Foundation, Cindy (she/her) is an accomplished leader with over 20 years of management experience in private and public sector. She is a results-driven individual whose strengths are relationship development and management, formulating optimal strategies, troubleshooting complex problems and bringing together diverse clientele. She is an inspiring individual who identifies opportunities where they are least present, is a known problem-solver and an innovative solutions provider. She has travelled overseas establishing cross-cultural partnerships, delivering strategic results through sensitivity and respect towards diversity. A college graduate, Cindy holds a PhD in higher education from the University of Toronto. She also has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Guelph.
Sage Paul, Director
Sage Paul is an urban Denesuliné woman based in Toronto and a member of English River First Nation. Her ethos centres family, sovereignty and resistance for balance. Sage is the Artistic Director of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto, which she also co-founded. She has been instrumental in establishing and leading projects for Indigenous artists working in fashion, craft and textiles through several projects with IFWTO, Inland, Ikea Canada, the International Fashion Showcase during London Fashion Week, Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator, the Canadian Trade Commissions in South Africa and London, Artscape Launchpad and Canadian department store Simon’s. Sage has contributed to InStudio Magazine (Banff Centre for the Arts), Walker Reader (Walker Arts Centre) and TEDx Toronto and has provided consultation for Ryerson University, Urbani_T, Canadian Art and Fashion Awards, Harbourfront Centre and several others, including artists in the art and fashion sectors.
Sage teaches the Contemporary Indigenous Fashion and Jewelry program at George Brown College, which she also developed. In 2019, Sage was nominated for the Premier’s Award in Creative Art and Design and was recognized as “… leading Canada’s Indigenous Fashion Movement” (En Route Magazine). Sage received the Design Exchange RBC Emerging Designer Award and was honoured by the Ontario Minister of the Status of Women as a trailblazing woman who is transforming Ontario. Sage likes to call herself a philosopher and artist. The ideas and process in the creation of her fashion and craft are catharsis of an urban Denesuline woman experience – resourceful, intentional and resilient. She up-cycles fabrics and incorporates natural materials like raw hide and antlers into her fashion, which has been exhibited in a few art and fashion shows. Sometimes she retails it too. But, creating is her favourite part. [Photo by Nadya Kwandibens]
Denise Ruzage, Director
Denise Ruzage is a multidisciplinary artist, advocate and student. She hails from the Greater Toronto Area. Her East African roots and the women in her family have inspired her passionate advocacy for gender equality internationally. She has been a member of the Speakers' Bureau with Plan International Canada for the past three years; in this role, she has worked to educate others and advocate for gender equality. Denise strives to help her community and has worked for the York Federation of Students at Wellness Centre, where she provided resources to the York community in the pillars of physical health, mental health, harm reduction and anti-sexual violence. In addition to this, Denise has worked in fundraising for Save The Children, where she raised thousands of dollars for the organization that helps children in over 120 different countries, including right here in Canada. Her passion for media and broadcast lead her to join TEDxToronto as Project Manager of the broadcast team. Currently, she is a co-host on CJRU 1280am's FemRadio, a weekly show discussing current events, pop culture and society from a feminist perspective. She uses her passion for media creation and storytelling to elevate and broadcast the stories of those marginalized, stereotyped, and underrepresented in media.
Steven Smits, Director
Steven (he/him) is an emerging Arts Manager based in Toronto, currently working as General Manager for Volcano Theatre and Peggy Baker Dance Projects. He is a graduate of the National Theatre School’s Production Program and is presently studying Arts and Culture Management though MacEwan University. He currently serves on the Professional Association of Canadian Theatre’s Advocacy Committee. He has spent two seasons at the Stratford Festival, the Royal Manitoba Theatre and Centre and the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival. In his hometown of North Bay, Steven worked with the Downtown Improvement Area as the Special Events Coordinator and as the Marketing Specialist.
Douglas Steiner, Director
Doug (he/him) is a writer, investor and consultant based in Toronto. His academic and business efforts have focused on the design and use of business models pertaining to the value of information. In this effort, he has started, run and sold a number of businesses and advised firms in finance, media, technology and retailing. As well, he combines seed funding with advisory services to startups. Doug has extensive corporate and not-for-profit board experience and was previously Chair of Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.