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Chris O’Neill, RCCA Executive Director

Chris O’Neill is a professional actor and playwright who co-founded the organisation and was the driving push to build the Centre, acting as the fundraising and programming locus for the past ten years. She has taught writing and acting, served on both provincial and national boards of arts organisations and  served on community boards. She continues to work as a theatre artist, with four plays co-written with husband Ken Schwartz to her credit, including the published Westray: The Long Way Home. She is most known in theatre as an actor.  She was most recently seen with Two Planks in The Iliad by Fire playing Athena (as she did in 2007’s The Odyssey), as Audrey and Madame LeBeau in As You Like It, and in LysistrataBeowulf,  Jerome: the Historical Spectacle, The CrucibleOur Town and and other shows. She is a co-creator of 937, a play without words touring schools and communities, and she has toured with productions from BC to CapeBreton.  She was awarded a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for contribution to her community and Canada in 2002, the Valley Arts Award for her working Arts Education in 2010, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Ken Schwartz, Artistic Director of Two Planks

Ken Schwartz is a co-founding artistic director of Two Planks and a Passion Theatre since 1992. A two-time graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, Ken is an award-winning director, educator and dramaturge. He has directed over 30 productions for the company, including The Odyssey and Beowulf by Rick Chafe, Our Town, Rockbound by Allen Cole and Jerome: the Historical Spectacle by Ami McKay. In 2009 he collected Merritt Awards for outstanding achievement in Nova Scotian theatre as both director and producer of Our Town. In 2008 he was awarded the Established Artist Recognition award by the NS Arts & Culture Partnership Council and collected the Merritt Award as producer of The Odyssey. In 2002, he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for his contributions to the art form, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.   He has been at the Stratford Festival as an Assistant Director to Tim Carroll twice as part of the Michael Langham  Program in Classical Direction, in 2010 and 2013.  His most recent productions include As You Like It,  and his own adaptations of The Iliad (by fire) and Lysistrata, with music and lyrics by Allen Cole.

Roxy Peterson, Camp and Education Director

Roxy Peterson was born and raised in London, Great Britain, and comes to us with honours in design and semiology studies from the London Metropolitan University. He has been involved with Summer Camping, youth and community work for 15 years in London GB, Franklin PA, and Okeechobee FL. He has lived in Canada since 2008 and has worked for Ross Creek since then  as the Education and Camp Director, managing March Break, SummerArts Camp, Youth Art Enrichment programs, the Positive Action Project for Anti-Bullying and the Ross Creek Youth Council among other things.

Mariya Tsethik, Gardening and Programming Volunteer

Mariya Tsethik is an emerging textile artist with a passion for craft and agriculture. Prior her arrival to Nova Scotia, Mariya lived in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Israel and Alberta. A soon-to-be (NSCAD) graduate with a textiles and fashion major, Mariya is a recipient of many awards and scholarships for her studio work and community involvement. Since the Spring of 2013, Mariya has been volunteering for the NSCAD Natural Dye Garden, growing dye plants on the university deck and Common Roots Farm, and was a volunteer for a number of galleries and community-based projects, including Eye Level Gallery for the Go North Tour. She has also assisted with  Family Sundays at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. At Ross Creek she is helping with the gardens, garden-based education,  community and school programs.

Jona Xhepa, Operational and Programming Volunteer

Originally from Albania, and grown up in Vancouver, BC, Jona spent bits of my adulthood traveling in Europe and Central America in search of music, poetry, comedy and cheese. With an interest in the link between mythology, storytelling and identity, I have written about my experiences, and used them in amateur comedy shows, including brief stints in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I am working towards a first poetry collection and pursuing my interest in folklore.

Lindsay Jacquard, Visitor’s Services

Lindsay Jacquard is a third-year student at NSCAD University, with a concentration in Painting and Critical Studies. She is driven by a need to observe people, places and things, as well as a broad sense of humor. She grew up in Port Williams, in the Annapolis Valley, where she can be found during the “off-season”. Her cat, Zip, is the light of her life, which she’d be happy to tell you about. Lindsay enjoys cooking delicious food, making crafts, and telling funny stories from her day. She’ll be working for both Ross Creek and Two Planks this summer, taking camp registrations and also managing the box office!,, (902) 582-3842.

Victoria Hutt, Accounting

Victoria is from Kentville, Nova Scotia and has a passion for finances and people. She is currently completing her third year of a Business degree at Acadia University, with a major in accounting.  She has received various scholarships in recognition of her academic success and volunteer efforts both on campus and within the greater community. She enjoys working with children and youth and is excited to be a part of the team at Ross Creek in both the financial and programming aspect. Victoria plans to obtain her CPA designation upon completing her undergraduate degree. In her free time Victoria likes to read, play soccer, scrapbook, and volunteer with various organizations., (902) 582-3842.

Allison Abernethy, Summer Chef

I am currently studying Business at Mount Allison University. Most people would describe me as, extroverted, passionate and genuine. I am a past 4-H member, dog lover, avid shopper, food writer and student. I am very self-motivated and ambitious; these qualities have helped me in my previous endeavors such as participating on MasterChef Canada, being the youngest and only contestant from the Maritimes to make the top 25.  I have always had a passion for cooking and fresh food, my cooking style would be considered local and adventurous. I’m always looking to reinvent classics and try new ingredients. I am looking forward to my first summer working as chef for the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts.

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