Photo by: Jeremy Sale

Get to know the staff of Arts Etobicoke by clicking on their names for a biography.

Menon Dwarka, Executive Director

Born in Guyana, Menon returned to Canada after almost 20 years in New York City, serving as Music Program Director for the 92nd Street Y, Harlem School of the Arts and Greenwich House. Since arriving in Toronto, Menon has not slowed down, creating a dynamic network and contributing to Toronto’s cultural ecology. He was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Banff/Toronto Arts Council Cultural Leaders Lab; is currently a Support Lead for the Metcalf Foundation’s Creative Strategies Incubator; a member of the Toronto Arts Council’s Board Nominating Committee; part of the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Thought Leader Panel; serves on the board of MusicWorks Magazine; and is an editorial consultant for Listen: Life with Music and Culture. Media appearances have included TVO’s The Agenda and CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.

Louise Garfield, Executive Director Emeritus

Louise Garfield was teh Executive Director at Arts Etobicoke for 13 years before retiring. She is a veteran of the thriving cultural scene in Toronto. Her varied background in film & television, theatre and dance as a producer, writer, performer and choreographer, (notably as a founding member of the feminist lip-sync artists THE CLICHETTES), lent her arts administrator’s eyes a distinct sensibility.

Ms. Garfield was one of the three founding partners at Triptych Media, an acclaimed Toronto film/TV company where she co-produced John Greyson’s ZERO PATIENCE and Thom Fitzgerald’s THE HANGING GARDEN, which won the People’s Choice Award and Best Canadian Film at the Toronto International Film Festival, the 1998 International Critic’s Award and 4 GENIES. She was the Executive Producer of DANCES FOR A SMALL SCREEN, by Laura Taler and Mark Hammond, TELL ME EVERYTHING and YES/NO by Brian Johnson. She produced LUCKY GIRL by John Fawcett for CTV which won 2 GEMINIS. She has served on the Board of Directors of Dance Collection Danse and the Bill James Dance Company.

Ruth Cumberbatch, Development Manager

An Etobicoke resident for over 10 years, Ruth joined Arts Etobicoke in 2006 after working for several years as a project manager at The Royal Conservatory.

Ruth is also passionate about professional development for cultural workers, and through WorkInCulture and most recently Theatre Ontario, she has facilitated training in Project Management for arts workers.

Ruth studied music at the University of Winnipeg and McMaster University; completed the Income Manager's Program, an intensive, 54-week training program in cultural fundraising and marketing; and has completed the Masters Certificate Program in Project Management through Schulich's Executive Education Centre.  

Michelle Marchetti, Office Manager

As a life-long Etobicoke resident, Michelle is thrilled to be working in an organization that provides for her community. Michelle began her career in Book Publishing as a Writer and Editor. Through volunteer community fundraising, she discovered the not-for-profit industry and has flourished in the knowledge that she is helping to make a difference in others' lives.

Michelle holds an English Literature and Religion and Culture BA from Wilfrid Laurier University and multiple certificates, includng Event Management, recently earned from York University.

With a passion for theatre and dance, Michelle is excited to be joining Arts Etobicoke and looks forward to supporting the local arts community and the incredible artists within it.



Heather Ervin, Communications Manager

Heather is happy to be working for a community arts service organization that serves the needs of the community in which she lives. Heather has been working in the cultural community in Toronto since moving here in 2006 from Saskatchewan. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s joint theatre program with Sheridan College; and has performed in plays all over Ontario and Western Canada. She has managed communications for such companies as Theatre Passe Muraille, Theatre Columbus, Blyth Festival Theatre, The Toronto Fringe Festival and Tarragon Theatre.

In addition to the arts Heather is active in Toronto’s sporting community playing dodgeball and softball. She has travelled extensively for competitive international dodgeball tournaments including Las Vegas, Detroit, and Vienna (Austria), bringing back a gold medal from each; she is also a member of the current 3-time defending Women’s National Championship team.

Shira Spector, Program & Outreach Manager


Shira Spector is an LGBT writer, cartoonist and community artist.She holds a BFA in Fibres (with Distinction) from Concordia University; her work has been exhibited in Montreal & Toronto and published in multiple anthologies. Drawing from over 30 years experience in social justice movements she has created and implemented arts based programs for a variety of agencies. She adores over the top anything and is inspired by the theatricality of things from tropical fish to aqua musicals. Believing that play and poetry are not luxuries, and that opportunities to embrace the fantastical belongs to daily living, she accepts defying the mundane as her personal mission in life. She is currently writing a trilogy of graphic novels.

Wendy Rading, Program Manager & Gallery Director

Wendy previously worked with us as Interim Office Manager in 2014-15. Wendy has a Fine Arts Degree from the University of Manitoba, as well as a Recreation Studies Degree (UofM), and a post graduate diploma in Arts Administration and Cultural Development from Humber College. Since leaving Arts Etobicoke she has been working at The Living Arts Centre as the Outreach Coordinator. Wendy is thrilled to be rejoining the team at Arts Etobicoke and is looking forward to providing high-quality arts programming to the Etobicoke community.

Giulia Simonato, Special Projects Coordinator

Giulia is proud to join Arts Etobicoke as an arts management professional. After graduating from Western University's post-graduate Arts Management diploma program and York University's Environmental Arts & Culture degree program, Giulia has developed a number of cultural projects including a first-of-its kind program exploring cultural vibrancy, a brand-new volunteer program and public art projects. She is interested in strengthening communities through the arts and is particularly focused on bridging the cultural and environmental sectors through public art to animate and enrich public spaces.

Margie Macdonald, Art Rental Consultant



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