Erin McDonald, Manager, Art Collections recognized by Avenue Magazine

Date: Oct 31, 2017

AFA staff recognized as Top 40 Under 40

The Alberta Foundation of the Arts (AFA) is thrilled to share that one of our staff - Erin McDonald, Manager, Art Collections - was recognized by Avenue as one of "Edmonton’s most exceptional emerging community and corporate leaders of 2017" in their annual Top 40 Under 40 list. This  is the ninth year that Avenue Edmonton has announced its list of the 40 most influential young people in the city. 

Erin provides oversight and strategic direction, as well as specialized collections management expertise, for all aspects of the care of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts art collection. The AFA art collection is the largest collection of visual art by Albertan artists anywhere in the world. She holds a Master’s degree in Culture Heritage, and has worked with the AFA since January 2014.Some highlights of the many important contributions Erin and her team have made include:

  • providing strategic development for the AFA collection through the development of the Collections Development Plan
  • being an ambassador and champion for collections management standards and care through large scale projects such as the 2015 AFA Artwork Collection Conservation Assessment
  • raising the profile of the AFA collection and other provincial art collections within government and externally through events such as the annual Doors Open tours

We asked Erin about what she loves most about working so closely with Albertan art. She responded:

Alberta has a strong visual arts culture and it deserves to be celebrated. As Albertans, we can appreciate artwork included in the AFA collection, not only because it's world class, but because it's familiar. It speaks to us because it's a part of the fabric of who we are.

Read Erin's Top 40 Under 40 profile on Avenue Edmonton's website.

Avenue recognizes Alberta artists

We're also pleased to share Avenue profiles of Alberta artists and culture workers in Calgary and Edmonton also celebrated in their 2017 Top 40 Under 40 lists. Recipient descriptions are from Avenue Calgary and Edmonton websites.

Avenue Calgary Top 40 Under 40

Anton deGroot - Theatre Designer (set, light and sound)

  • An award-winning theatre designer who brings worlds to life for local and international audiences, deGroot also creates off stage magic with art installations and podcasts. Read Anton's Top 40 under 40 profile.

Angel Guerra - Co-founder, Market Collective

  • As a co-founder of Market Collective, Guerra has helped grow the community-focused arts market from the ground up. In the last three years alone, the markets have generated $5 million in sales for local artisans and artists. Read Angel's Top 40 under 40 profile.

Jennifer MacDonald - Director, Artistic Operations, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

  • MacDonald has helped the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra become more efficient and cost-effective and was part of a group that successfully lobbied the federal government to change policies that restricted orchestras from hiring world-class musicians from other countries. Read Jennifer's Top 40 under 40 profile.

Pam Rocker - Affirming Consultant, Hillhurst United Church; Director, Family and Spiritual Development, McDougall United Church, and active member of Calgary arts scene

  • Rocker’s LGBTQ-inclusive ministry at Hillhurst United Church has received international attention, making her a sought-after consultant for other faith communities and helping to break down negative stereotypes. Read Pam's Top 40 Under 40 profile.

Avenue Edmonton Top 40 Under 40

Ahmed Ali - Artistic Director, Breath in Poetry Collective; Edmonton's Poet Laureate

Jesse Lipscombe - Co-founder of the #MakeItAwkward campaign; founder of FlowPower; co-owner at Wevive Fitness; Actor; Producer; Singer; Motivational Speaker

Blake Loates - Photographer; mental health advocate

  • As someone who suffers from depression, she strives to ensure that people with mental illnesses get a chance to be heard without being judged. Read Blake's Top 40 Under 40 profile

Moréniké Ọláòṣebìkan​ - President, Ribbon Rouge Foundation

Doug Organ - Producer and recording engineer at Edmontone Studio; musician

  • As a musician hired to back up local acts and marquee attractions, and as a producer behind a console, he's always supporting artists in one way or another. Read Doug's Top 40 Under 40 profile

Ryan Parker - Actor, Photographer, Teacher and Musician

  • As a performer, he's contributed to the theatre community for the last 17 years by mentoring scores of up-and-comers locally and globally. Read Ryan's Top 40 Under 40 profile

Meghan Unterschultz - Associate Executive Director and Vice President of People and Culture, Francis Winspear Centre for Music and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

Leigh Wright - Marketing manager, Mojo Designs; Founder, Vignettes

Congratulations to all the recipients!