New Members Appointed to the CRD Arts Advisory Council

Jun 12, 2017

Victoria, BC–- The Capital Regional District’s Arts Commission is pleased to announce the appointments of Deborah Etsten, Emmy Humber, Bronwyn McLean and Ian Piears to the CRD Arts Advisory Council.

The Arts Advisory Council is a volunteer committee that provides advice on arts policy and program development to the CRD Arts Commission. They are also responsible for adjudicating applications to the funding programs administered through the office of the Arts Development Service.

The Arts Advisory Council members represent a wide range of experience in the arts and professions.

The CRD Arts Development Service is currently supported by eight municipalities: Esquimalt, Highlands, Oak Bay, Metchosin, Saanich, Sidney, Victoria and View Royal. For further information see

The CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at


For media inquiries, please contact:
James Lam, Manager
CRD Arts Development
Tel. 250.360.3205 


Deborah Etsten’s career has spanned teaching high school art in Montreal, returning to university for an MA in journalism and working in corporate communications — mostly for not-for-profits — for nearly 25 years. Her annual reports and publications earned Canadian and international awards.  Deborah switched gears and became the Executive Director of the Beach BIA (business improvement area) and part-time communications advisor to more than 75 BIAs in Toronto.  BIAs exist to promote and improve their areas or “main streets.” Deborah and her husband moved to Victoria in 2013, where she volunteered for various organizations and joined the Newcomers’ Club of Greater Victoria, becoming its president from 2014-16. In addition to being a passionate supporter of the arts in Victoria, Deborah is active with the South Island Sea Kayak Association, French conversation meet-ups, hiking, book club and mosaic-making.

Emmy Humber has lived in Victoria for over 25 years and is a career provincial government public servant. Her work currently focuses on establishing collaborative processes with First Nations to ensure their communities have a role in environmental stewardship in their asserted territories. Previous work experience includes progressive and extensive experience as a policy and research analyst for a number of provincial ministries in the areas of economic development, health, and natural resource development. Emmy has a Masters of Arts in Dispute Resolution and a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics with a specialization in aboriginal language revitalization from the University of Victoria. She has a particular interest in music and with music events in the region.

Bronwyn McLean returns to Canada following two years in Edinburgh, Scotland working for BOP Consulting, specializing in research, strategy and business planning for creative and cultural organizations. She grew up in Victoria and, following a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, worked at the Town of Sidney as a planning technician prior to moving to Scotland. From 2008-2011 she was co-director of Modern Fuel Artist Run Centre, a not-for-profit presenter and producer of contemporary visual, time-based and interdisciplinary arts in Kingston, Ontario. In Kingston, Bronwyn was a founding board member for the Tett Centre for Learning and Creativity, an arts hub in a re-purposed heritage building on the Kingston waterfront, was a member of the Kingston Arts Advisory Council, and was a regular volunteer supporting small-scale concerts in all-ages venues.

Ian Piears moved to Canada six years ago from the UK following a 10 year career in the performing arts as a dancer and choreographer. He is currently the Cultural Outreach Manager for the Downtown Victoria Business Association.  He previously worked for the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the Victoria Symphony. Ian has a Bachelor of Performing Arts from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds, UK.  He has worked professionally as a choreographer and dancer for the National Dance Company of Wales, Malmö Opera in Sweden, Welsh Independent Dance, Bristol Dance, London Studio Centre, as well as his own company, Piears Dance.  He was artist-in-residence at The Dance House, Cardiff and at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance.  Prior to relocating to Canada, Ian was a puppeteer in the West End production of War Horse for the National Theatre of Great Britain, working with award-winning directors Marianne Elliott & Tom Morris and Handspring Puppet Company from South Africa.