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Member Biographies

Ana Maria Mendez

Committee Chair
Term End: December 31, 2018

Since 2011, Ana Maria has been working with the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo. She is currently the Manager of Arts & Culture, and has strategically navigated a number of cultural projects, cultural events and programs.

Ana Maria has created numerous exhibitions engaging artists, cultural non-profit organizations, businesses, industry and regional government with an outcome of building and developing the skills and capacity of local artists while increasing an appreciation for the arts in the community. She has also managed a Public Art project, the TOTAL Aboriginal Interpretive Trail that includes seven pieces by Aboriginal artists and 28 fiberglass foxes painted by local artists and youths in the community.

As a champion of opportunities for local artists, and for her contributions to the arts and culture industry in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Ana Maria was recognized by Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta in 2015 as a Woman of Inspiration. In 2016, she received the Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Award for Arts Administration, presented by the Arts Council Wood Buffalo, in the same year she was recognized by Your McMurray Magazine’s Top 50 Under 50 list.

Ana Maria has volunteered for several non-profit and municipal boards and committees, currently Ana Maria is the Chair of the municipal Council Appointed Public Art Committee. She obtained her Bachelor in Fine Arts in Lima, Peru, and continued her education in Granada, Spain, and in Canada at UBC, in Cultural Planning.

Nabil Malik

Committee Vice Chair
Term End: December 31, 2019

Nabil Malik has a BA Spec. Hons. in Geography & Urban Studies and Certificate in Migration & Refugee Studies. He also holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies in the Planning Program and a Graduate Diploma in Democratic Administration. Nabil is the Vice-Chair of the municipal Council Appointed Public Art Committee and is excited to use his expertise in stakeholder engagement, public policy and community development to establish and implement the region’s inaugural Public Art Program.

An avid supporter of the diverse range of visual, auditory and performing arts, he has a strong understanding of the importance and role of public art in providing opportunities to foster a sense of identity and belonging in a region as diverse as Wood Buffalo. Nabil is inspired by how active and engaged residents have been so far with the Public Art Committee’s initiatives. He looks forward to continuing to have interactions and conversations with residents and collaboratively forming the cultural fabric of this region we are all proud to call home.

Sharon Heading

Committee Member
Term End: December 31, 2019

Sharon has been active in the arts for the better part of her life. She truly came to flourish as a visual artist since moving to Fort McMurray and is inspired by the Northern Spirit.

Sharon is a returning member to the Public Art Committee where she contributed to the development of the Public Art Wood Buffalo program from 2014 to 2016. Sharon is also the past president of the Wood Buffalo Artists Forum, an entity that has now dissolved as they met their mandate to build the profile of the arts in Wood Buffalo. She is also active member of Arts Council Wood Buffalo.

“I am proud to show my art with and be inspired by the amazing talented artists that call Wood Buffalo home. Their creative energy sustains me. I feel very passionate about public art and the conversation and engagement it creates in the community.” - SH

Waverly Muessle

Committee Member
Term End: December 31, 2019

Waverly holds her Bachelor of Laws from the University of New Brunswick, a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Finance, and a Human Resource Management Certificate from Saint Mary’s University. She has been living in Wood Buffalo since 2012 and is currently practicing Law at Cooper & Company with a focus on civil litigation. She has a keen interest in art and more specifically the transformative effect that public art can have on a community. 

“Art can become an iconic landmark for a city and instill a sense of pride and personal ownership for the residents. I am excited to be part of any ability to contribute to the landscape of Wood Buffalo in a meaningful way.” – WM

Roxana Basharpoor

Committee Member
Term End: December 31, 2018 

Roxana is an engineer by trade, however the arts has always been one of her biggest passions. She has been living in Fort McMurray for 12 years. She is a proud mother of two daughters who are heavily involved in the arts, more specifically violin and piano. Roxana is a dedicated volunteer with the Oilsand Rotary Music Festival and is passionate about this community.

“I strongly believe that if art is part of every body's life we could have more peaceful and less violent world.” – RB

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