Board of Directors

Bill Smith

Bill has been employed by CIBC for thirty five years and is currently a Senior Manager, Commercial Banking. Bill is a graduate of Illinois State University (Marketing). Bill has been active in the Oakville community for many years. He is currently the President of Oakville Arts Council, Board Chair of Celebrate Oakville Festivals, Board Chair of CommUnity Arts Space, and a member of the Oakville Community Foundation Advisory Council. Previously, Bill was Board Chair, Oakville Community Foundation (2000-2003); Board Chair, Oakville Waterfront Festival (2003-2007); member, Town of Oakville Environmental Strategic Plan Advisory Committee (2003-2011); member, Oakville Community Foundation Youth in Recreation Grants Committee (2007-2010); Assistant Coach, Oakville Soccer Club (Oakville Blaze) 2005-2007; and a Leader in Scouts Canada (1990-2000).

Roland Klassen

Roland Klassen is CEO of Acrobat Research, a market research services firm he founded in 1994. Today, it has operations in Canada, the US, Costa Rica, and joint-venture partners in Germany and Hong Kong. Previously, he had eleven years’ experience in technology research and marketing, including the startup and development of the Canadian presence of International Data Corporation. Roland’s involvement in arts started at an early age. As a musician, he performed in Canada and internationally. His education includes a Diploma of Music from Humber College, BA (Fine Arts) from York University, Diploma of Education (U of T) and an MBA from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. Prior to moving to Oakville, Roland spent 6 years on the Board of the Community Folk Arts Council of Metropolitan Toronto, including two years as Chair. More recently, he was a member of the 2009 Mayor's Advisory Group, "Creative Oakville". He has also been President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation-TAO for the past five years.

Ben McRae
Treasurer CPA, CA, Senior Accountant, A&A, BDO Canada LLP

Ben is the Director of Financial Reporting at Performance Auto Group. In the past he worked as an audit senior for BDO Canada, where he worked with entrepreneurs to provide audit and tax services in a diverse set of industries. Ben earned his Bachelor's degree in Accounting with honours from Dalhousie University and is a recently qualified CPA, CA. He is passionate about producing high quality work and likes to help others.

Gray Hammond

Gray Hammond is a marketing consultant and newcomer to Oakville. He has extensive Arts experience, having worked in the field (including the Ontario Arts Council and several theatre companies), volunteered (including the Mississauga Arts Council) and performed on stage and the (small) screen.

Mark Melymick

Mark Melymick is the Coordinator of The Performing Arts Preparation Program at Sheridan College. He has extensive experience as a professional actor, writer and teacher. He is a published playwright and has optioned a screenplay, The Wise High Guys. He has numerous television and movie acting credits including recurring roles on Due South and Flash Forward and guest lead on the Cagney and Lacey TV movie. He received his MFA in New York under the guidance and direction of Academy award winning actor, F. Murray Abraham and Playwright/Director, Jack Gelber. In Toronto, he studied with Al Waxman. Mark was a high school teacher for 17 years, mostly at White Oaks Secondary School in Oakville. In 1999 he was elected Vice President, External Affairs for ACTRA. In 2005, he was elected to serve as Co-Chair of Audio Visual, Live Performing Arts on the Board of Directors for the Cultural Human Resources Council [CHRC]. He is proud Canadian and a strong promoter of Canadian Culture, but is most proud of co-producing his two sons Luke and Lee.

Ralph Robinson

Elected to his 11th consecutive term in 2014, Councillor Ralph Robinson has played an active role in municipal politics since 1982. Councillor Robinson brings varied political, volunteer and business experience to his role as a Ward 1 Councillor. He is involved in many areas of community politics: from chairing the Bronte Creek Environmental Assessment Steering Committee and acting as a founding member of the former Community Advisory Committee to Petro-Canada and the Lake Ontario Shoreline Algae Action Committee to participating on a variety of town committees. Ralph chaired the Oakville Terry Fox Run for 25 years.

He is a founding director of the Oakville Sports Hall of Fame and a past director of the Halton Multicultural Council. In addition to his list of political credentials, Councillor Robinson has 30 years of banking and entrepreneurial experience. In 1991, Councillor Robinson was nominated and elected by his peers to be a Life Member of the Association of Kinsmen Clubs and in 2009 he became the 11th Canadian recipient of the prestigious Kin award known as "Hal Rogers Fellow" (HRF). He is also a Life Member and Past President of the Minor Oaks Hockey Association. In 2012 he was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubliee Medal. Born in Lindsay, Ontario, Councillor Robinson has lived throughout Ontario and the Atlantic provinces (from Thunder Bay through St. John's). He and his wife, Marie, have three children and ten grandchildren.

Kirk Sloane

Kirk Sloane is the past Chair of the Oakville Waterfront Festival. He has been a member of its Board of Directors since 2002. Prior to that, Kirk sat on various festival committees and had been involved with the festival for 10 years. A lawyer by profession, Kirk has worked in both private practice and as in-house counsel, developing a wide ranging experience in various aspects of insurance law. Currently, he practices with David Share Associates in Toronto where he utilizes he extensive experience representing clients dealing with disability and file insurance claims. Kirk and his family have lived in Oakville for the past 20 years. When he is not busy with his law practice and festival responsibilities, he enjoys coaching minor hockey. In addition to his membership on the Board of the Festival, Kirk is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Wildlife Preservation Canada, a non-profit charitable organization devoted to saving highly endangered animal species facing imminent extinction in Canada and internationally.

Julian N. Wise

Julian has been in the financial services industry since 1976. Prior to that, he had careers at the Financial Post, and as an independent producer of current affairs TV shows in the U.S.

He is a charter member of the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting, and belongs to Advocis. He is also a registered member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

He has been Chair of the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts – and was also a member of the Oakville Cultural Advisory Committee. He currently sits on the Board for the Oakville Federal Liberal Association.

Julian was a member of the Million Dollar Round Table for 32 years, and was President of the Canadian MDRT Foundation.

His firm, Wise Advisory Group Inc., has an Integrated Estate and Wealth Management™ team that helps clients meet the promises they’ve made to themselves, their families, and their businesses. As it says on his business card, “Promises Made. Promises Kept. Since 1976.™”

He is also a co-founder of WiseMouth™ Media Incorporated. If you ever have a story that you feel can help others, or you just need to learn things about life from others, go to When the world shares, everyone grows.

Julian has two adult children, Bryonie and Matthew, and lives with his wife Nandita in Oakville, Ontario with their dogs Lucie and Potter.

Phone: (905) 815-5977  |  Email:  |  Address: 2302 Bridge Road, Oakville, ON, L6L 2G6

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