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leadership

Artistic Leadership

Kimberley Cooper, Artistic Director

Kimberley Cooper is Artistic Director and principal choreographer of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD) in Calgary, Canada. She has been a part of DJD for almost 3 decades, first as a dancer (1989-2013), then Resident Choreographer/Artistic Associate (2002-2013), and now as the Artistic Director (2013-present). In 2002, Cooper was named Emerging Artist of the Year by Alberta Dance Alliance and since that same year she has created 18 full-length works on DJD as well as numerous shorter pieces. She has also served as an Artist in Residence during Calgary as Cultural Capital of Canada in 2021, and was awarded Dance Victoria’s Crystal Dance Prize in 2014 for her research in Brazil.  As well, Cooper wrote a chapter in the book, City of Animals for University of Calgary’s Humanities Department about New Universe, a work she created with American jazz bassist and composer William Parker in 2017.

Organizational Leadership

Kathi Sundstrom, Executive Director

Kathi Sundstrom attended DJD’s premiere production, Body and Sole, in 1984 and became an instant supporter. In 1989, Kathi joined the DJD Board of Directors and in 1992 became President of the Board. In 1993, Kathi made a courageous career move when she left the for-profit world to become General Manager of DJD. The move offered Kathi myriad new challenges along with a radical reduction in her annual income. She promised to work with the company for two years, and now, over 27 years later, is still at the helm. She was the proud recipient of the 2005 Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management and the 2017 Calgary Awards for Community Achievement in the Arts. In addition to those awards and other achievements, Kathi also led the major expansion of DJD with opening of the $28 million DJD Dance Centre in April 2016.

Before coming to DJD, Kathi worked for 10 years for three different operating divisions of TNT Express Worldwide in western Canada, in roles in Sales, Management and as a Facilitator and Trainer in Total Quality Management. Prior to that she spent four years in Management in western Canada for Mariposa Stores, where she coordinated the openings of their first two stores in the United States. Kathi graduated from SAIT with a major in Business Administration and Consumer Marketing and was listed on the President’s Honour Roll. Kathi served as Treasurer of the Canadian Dance Assembly from 2007-2011, was co-chair of the Mayor’s Lunch for Business and the Arts in 1999 and 2000, and was a member of the executive committee of the Calgary Professional Arts Alliance from 1994-2000.

Board Leadership

JINA ABELLS MORISSETTE, DJD BOARD CHAIR

Jina has over twenty years experience as a legal executive and board member.  She started her career as counsel at Husky Energy and then General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at UTS Energy Corporation.  She oversaw the team that successfully defended a hostile takeover attempt by Total Energy and eventual corporate sale.  Ms. Abells Morissette then was appointed Vice President, Legal & Administration at SilverBirch Energy Corporation where she was pivotal to the en bloc corporate sale to Teck.  Most recently she served as General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at Cavalier Energy Inc.  a wholly owned subsidiary of Paramount Resources.  She has experience in governance, human resources and executive compensation.

Ms. Abells Morissette served for ten years on the Board of Theatre Calgary including as Chair of the Board.  She also served on the board of Calgary Reads.  She has worked extensively in the community and organized many fundraisers.  Most recently she participated as one of five individuals in the Rescue in the Rockies which raised over $600,000 for STARS Air Ambulance.

She received the Top 40 Under 40 award from Avenue Magazine’s predecessor publication Calgary Inc. and the Top 40 Under 40 award from Lexpert Magazine a few years later.

Ms. Abells Morissette has a B. Comm from the University of Regina with a major in marketing and an LLB from the University of Saskatchewan.  She is a member of the Law Society of Alberta.  She Co-Chairs the Membership Committee of the Calgary Chapter of the International Women’s Forum, is the Chair of the Board of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks and a member of the Board of Directors for The Calgary Airport Authority.

 

 

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