President and CEO
Arts Commons is currently being led by Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Colleen Dickson (internal operations), and Chief Development Officer, Greg Epton (external relations) as interim Co-CEOs.
Colleen Dickson has been CFO and Greg Epton has been Chief Development Officer of Arts Commons for almost 10 years. Through their leadership, Arts Commons has gone from a deficit of almost $900K in the 2009-10 season, to a surplus in seven of the eight years since. At the end of the 2009-10 fiscal year, working capital reserves were a mere $38K. At the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year, our reserves were sitting at $1.3M.
Greg brings 35+ years of professional experience working in Alberta’s performing arts industry to Arts Commons. Throughout his career he has demonstrated the ability to balance artistic aspirations with appropriate risk management strategies to ensure growth and sustained financial viability. Greg served as Managing Director for two years and Resource Development Director for four years, at Alberta Theatre Projects (ATP), prior to joining Arts Commons. Prior to ATP, Greg was the Senior Director of Marketing, Development and Sales for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Winspear Centre in Edmonton. Greg also served as Executive Director of Alberta Ballet from August 1989 - February 2001. During his term Greg built a dynamic senior management team that took the debt-mired, 1.7 million dollar operation and helped transform it into a dynamic 5.8 million dollar operation that remained debt and deficit free for a decade. Through a commitment on deepening relationships with our partners and patrons, the work done by Greg and his team at Arts Commons has resulted in philanthropic giving increasing from $132K in 2009-10 to $208K in 2017-18.
As chief financial officer (CFO), Colleen Dickson is responsible for all financial and administrative functions, strategic planning, human resources, facilities, IT and management information systems. Since joining Arts Commons in December, 2009 Colleen has contributed to the strengthened financial position of the organization through sound financial management and stewardship of resources. With more than 30 years of varied experience in financial management and business leadership, Colleen served as CFO for Big Rock Breweries and Corporate Controller for Alpine Environmental Services prior to joining Arts Commons.
Greg and Colleen will continue to lead the organization until a new President and CEO has been hired. An international search is currently underway.