Board of Directors
This enthusiastic Board of Directors works tirelessly to fulfill CYMC’s mission statement.
The purpose of the Society is to instill and encourage a love of music and kindred arts in its students and the general public and to pursue a high standard of excellence in education and performance.
Heather Hodge, President
CYMC Board of Directors – since 2014
Heather first became involved with CYMC in the summer of 1983, shortly after moving to the Comox Valley. She has attended as a student 3 times in the classical music program. Her daughter, Jen, who now makes her living as a jazz bassist, made huge advances in her musical career through CYMC programs, and has continued to develop professional contacts and friendships made through CYMC. Heather is very grateful to CYMC for this support.
A retired physiotherapist, Heater is an amateur flute and whistle player, avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast.
Myrna Wallace – Vice President
CYMC Board of Directors – since 2015
Born and raised in Niagara Falls Ontario, Myrna has been involved in both music and theatre since she was a teenager. She played flute in the Westlane High School Band, and at the age of 16 she made up her mind to pursue a career as a band teacher. After graduating from high school with top honours as an ‘Ontario Scholar,’ Myrna attended the University of Western Ontario’s Don Wright Faculty of Music to take her Bachelor’s Degree in Music. She then went on to the Althouse College of Education for her B. Ed. degree, majoring in music with a minor in theatre arts, and graduating on the Dean’s List. She spent 11 years teaching mostly Band, as well as Choir, Drama, French, English, and Social Studies on the beautiful Queen Charlotte Islands, now known as Haida Gwaii. It was there she met her husband Neil Nahirnick, at the wedding of one of her former trumpet players from the school band. Myrna and Neil moved to the Comox Valley in 1991, and have lived at Saratoga Beach ever since. They have two children, Natasha and James-Amzin, both born and raised in the Comox Valley.
Myrna also taught band, choir, and French at the old Robb Road Junior School in Comox until 2001, when she retired from teaching due to a disabling chemical injury. In 2008 she picked up her baton again to volunteer as musical director for the Rainbow Youth Theatre Society, and also served on the board of directors and as Vice -President for a number of years. Currently, Myrna is a member of the Celebration Singers, serving both as a board member and section leader, as well as holding the position of vice-president on the board of CYMC.
Shari Jakubiec – Secretary
CYMC Board of Directors – since 2010
She has been involved with community theatre in the Comox Valley for almost 20 years. Throughout the years Shari has produced over 25 productions, stage managed 20 productions and has been involved with over 20 other productions as a member of the production team. Over the years she has served on the Rainbow Youth Theatre board and she is currently the past president for Courtenay Little Theatre. In 2009 she worked as the CYMC Office Assistant Manager and has been actively involved with CYMC ever since.
Shari believes that the key to successfully producing top quality productions is cooperation and collaboration, she is proud of the volunteers who work tirelessly for all of the theatre groups in the community. She enjoys working with the incredible CYMC Musical Theatre faculty and watching the students thrive in a positive environment every summer.
Shari was born and raised in southern Ontario; she studied Business Management at Sheridan College, in Oakville. She moved to Vancouver in 1986 and then moved to the Comox Valley with her husband in 1991 to raise their family. Shari has worked as Support Staff at North Island College since 2010.
Diane Maxted – Treasurer
CYMC Board of Directors – since 2000
Diane Maxted has lived in the Comox Valley for over forty years and has put down deep roots in this community. Training in Early Childhood Education at NIC deepened her appreciation of young people, especially her two sons. Interest in education led to serving on the board of the Comox Valley Children’s Day Care Society, and local parent advisory councils. She has served on the boards of Area “B” Rural Residents Association, Friends of Comox-Lazo Forest Reserve and the Macdonald Wood Park Society.
She spent thirty three years at the Courtenay Library, where she was employed as Assistant Circulation Supervisor and was able to share the joys of storytelling. Now retired, she manages her own vacation rental business, and sings with the Celebration Singers.
Discovering summer concerts at Vanier High School emboldened her to join the CYMC Festival Choir, and later she joined the board of directors. With CYMC’s rich history of providing so many wonderful opportunities for youth, highly skilled mentors and community to interact, it has been a good fit. After many years, Diane enjoys working with all the members of the team to ensure that talented young people can continue to enjoy life-changing experiences in music, and take that with them wherever they go.
CYMC Board of Directors – since 2015
Corinne grew up in Victoria and was very fortunate to have started violin with the Victoria Schools String programme and continue through high school with the school orchestra under the tutelage of Dorothy Evans. As a student she also participated with the Victoria Symphony. She went on to spend 12 years in Vancouver where she completed her Bachelor of Music from UBC, participated for 6 years with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and spent one summer with the National Youth Orchestra. Corrine then trained as a teacher and began a 30 year career teaching in Vancouver and then Courtenay, where she had the perfect job of district strings teacher following the path of her idol, Dorothy Evans. CYMC was very much a part of her summer life, and that of her students. When the school strings programme ended in the 1990’s due to cut backs, more than 200 students were participating in it at the time.
Following her retirement Corinne went to Ireland to teach violin and direct junior orchestras at a private music school, which interestingly was directed by Andrea Creech who is the daughter of Robert Creech, the founding member of CYMC. Andrea also attended CYMC as a young person. Corinne continues to be active in local orchestras and enjoys cycling, skiing, kayaking and golf.
CYMC Board of Directors – since 2016
Marcia Haley was involved with CYMC for many years as a cello student and chorister. She has also performed on cello in many groups in the Comox Valley, including the North Island Choral Society (where she is also a singer,) and the local orchestra. Marcia joined the board of CYMC in 2016 and helps with equipment management, concert set-up and grant writing. She also enjoys contributing to the various challenging design and display projects within CYMC.
Marcia is a retired teacher from Courtenay, where she delivered the string programme and taught music in elementary schools. Her dedication to music began with her participation in the high school orchestra which led her to a Bachelor of Music from UBC, and participation in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian National Youth Orchestra.
When not participating in local music organizations Marcia enjoys skiing, kayaking, golf and travel.
CYMC Board of Directors – since 2016
Karen plays an integral part in musical performances – that of an enthusiastic audience member and cheerleader. She grew up with music lessons and rolling her eyes through the necessary home practices. However, appreciation of music has played a starring role in life, since her childhood experiences of attending the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and seeing musicals. When she became a parent, music education was a given for her daughter, who now declares it as her passion. When her daughter joined CYMC three years ago, Karen was able to see firsthand the impact that the program can have on youth. This, paired with the dwindling resources available for music in the schools system spurred her to join the board of CYMC.
Karen has sat in numerous community boards,and received many local accolades for her community contribution and success with her business, McKinnon Photography.
Jay van der Voort
CYMC Board of Directors – since 2017
(bio to come)
Ryan Oliver – Executive Director
Hailing from Williams Lake, BC, Ryan Oliver has forged a unique and exciting career in music and the arts. He wholeheartedly identifies with CYMC’s mandate of music education and performance aimed to inspire the next generation of young performers. He co-founded the Downtown Summer Jazz Academy in Toronto, and worked as Artistic Director for the Harbord Street Jazz Festival. Ryan was also the curator for the music program for Loblaws, Ontario. As a Juno-nominated saxophonist Ryan honed his craft living in Nanaimo, Amsterdam, Toronto and New York. He has toured throughout the world with legendary Canadian jazz group The Shuffle Demons, renowned blues guitarist Derek Miller. Ryan’s band, The Cookers, has toured extensively throughout Canada, appearing on numerous recordings including live video and radio broadcasts for CBC. Oliver holds a Masters degree in music from Rutgers University, where he led the undergraduate big band, and has taught saxophone and ensemble clinics at universities and schools throughout the world for over 20 years. In his off hours Ryan enjoys cooking, running and losing daily staring contests to his dog Wally.
The passion for innovation and forging meaningful connections with communities that Ryan brings with him stands well for guiding CYMC through the next years.
More about: Ryan Oliver