The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is pleased to announce that Sophie Edwards, who is based on Manitoulin Island/Mnidoo Mnising, has been hired as the new Northeastern Representative. Sophie takes over from Darlene Naponse, who was most recently OAC’s Indigenous Community Engagement Developer and has now returned to her work as a filmmaker.
Sophie is fluently bilingual in English and French and brings significant experience as both an artist and arts administrator. As Northeastern Representative, Sophie’s role will include raising awareness about OAC programs and services and providing guidance to OAC grant applicants. She will work with artists and arts organizations from all districts of the northeast, including Algoma, Cochrane, Sudbury, Timiskaming, Nipissing, Parry Sound and Manitoulin.
As co-founder and Executive Director of 4elements Living Arts, Sophie led the organization from a small ad hoc collective of four women into a vibrant, multidisciplinary non-profit organization that engages communities, schools and educators on Manitoulin Island, in the Sudbury region and around the province.
Born and raised in northeastern Ontario, Sophie has a PhD (ABD) in Cultural/Historical Geography from Queen's University, and has taught for several years in the Community Economic and Social Development program at Algoma University. She is a visual artist, writer, curator and community organizer whose work has been supported by OAC for many years. Sophie brings 30 years of experience working in community development, program development, and cultural sector development.