Courtney Bates-Hardy is the Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Book Awards and the author of House of Mystery (KQP, 2016). She holds a Master's degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Regina. She has served as a board member for the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild, and is currently a member of the Grain Advisory Committee. She lives in Regina with her husband and their cat, Jean Grey.
Léa Prpick received her BBA and certificate in Public Relations from the University of Regina. She currently works full-time in marketing and student recruitment at the University of Regina's La Cité universitaire francophone - the French academic unit on campus - and part-time at Hillberg & Berk. She is passionate about supporting the Hill School of Business through coaching for JDC West, a Western Canadian business student competition, that she also helped organize in Regina in 2014. She volunteers regularly with Dress for Success Regina and Creative Kids Saskatchewan, having been on the latter's organizing committee for the RCMP Charity Ball Gala and their most recent event, Nourish. She also supports the Fransaskois community by volunteering for community events like Francothon and Mosaic.
Robin Ganev teaches history at the University of Regina. Although Robin is an academic by training she has a broader interest in books and literary writing and is eager to engage with books as artistic achievements. Robin is working toward a certificate in book publishing through Ryerson University’s distance education program. She lives in Regina with her husband and three children.
Denise Leduc is a Branch Librarian with Palliser Regional Library. She is a writer and the Prairie Region Writer/Organizer for the labour news website Rank and File. She is also a student pursuing a degree in writing. In her spare time she teaches yoga, gardens and enjoys a variety of books. In 2016 she started the charity Prairie Bear Books which helps to connect children in need with books for their home. She volunteers with several organizations including Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation, Meals on Wheels, and International Women of Saskatoon.
Donna Woloshyn is delighted to join the Saskatchewan Book Awards board of directors. This marks an exciting new challenge for Donna after having recently completed her term as president of the Friends of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Born and educated in the province, Donna has degrees from the University of Saskatchewan (B.A. and B. Ed.) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Vocational Technical Education from the University of Regina. Donna’s early career as a teacher and adult educator in northern Saskatchewan, the NWT and Nunavut laid the foundation for her love of the North and working together with Indigenous communities. In 1984 she moved to Regina where she has been working with the provincial government for over 30 years as a program manager and policy analyst primarily responsible for family and community literacy programming. Having worked on a variety of pan-Canadian literacy initiatives that have taken her to nearly every province and territory, Donna brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience. Donna has also served on several national boards (e.g., Canadian Association of Adult Education, TESL Canada and the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks) and chaired provincial and national conferences. A supporter of the SBA since 1993, Donna is looking forward to assisting with the organization's 25th anniversary celebrations. Donna has one daughter who is a journalist with CBC News.
Lindsay Baker is the Community Services Librarian with Wapiti Regional Library, and holds a Master of Library and Information Science from Western University. In her spare time she enjoys reading, travel, and her new hobby of roller derby. As a newcomer to Saskatchewan and an avid reader she is excited to celebrate Saskatchewan books and authors as a member of the SBA board.
Joe Couture is the Communications and Research Consultant for the Saskatchewan School Boards Association. His experience includes working for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post and Vancouver Province daily newspapers. He has written about a wide variety of topics, including as the provincial Legislative Bureau reporter in Saskatchewan. Joe has also worked as a professional researcher for full-service market research firms based in Regina and Vancouver. Joe earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Regina’s School of Journalism, where he has since returned to teach courses as a sessional lecturer. He is currently working toward his Master of Public Administration degree.
Troni Grande has been teaching English at the University of Regina for the past 24 years. While the mainstay of her teaching is Shakespeare--who is still alive!--she is delighted to be working with the SBA to support writers and readers in Saskatchewan, in the here and now. She also serves on the Sage Hill Board, a privilege that has opened her eyes to the richness of writers in our own backyard, and to the rewards of joining a productive and committed team. When she is not teaching or doing her own academic research, Troni enjoys carving out time to work on her own creative writing projects, or spending quality time with her partner and their two talented offspring.
Vijay Kachru is a visual artist and writer. Born in Kashmir, India, Vijay made Canada her home in 1973. Prior to her arts vocation, Vijay consulted for corporations in Canada, United States, and Britain. Her paintings have been exhibited at Affinity Gallery, Stall Gallery, Thomas More Gallery, and Le Relais. Her stories were published in Spring Magazine and The Society. She is a board member of Saskatchewan Craft Council and Word on the Street Saskatoon.
Kali was born and raised in southeast Saskatchewan in the village of Kennedy where her family operated a cattle and grain farm. After completing the Radio Broadcasting and Advanced Television programs at the Western Academy Broadcasting College in Saskatoon, Kali moved to Prince Albert to work as a News Reporter and Anchor for the local radio station and in 2010 moved to Regina where she worked as Afternoon News Anchor and Reporter on 620 CKRM. Kali now serves as the Project Coordinator for the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce and organizes the annual All Nations Jobs Expo and Emerging Labour Force Trends Conference as well as numerous other special projects. Kali sits on the North Central Smudge Walk organizing committee.
Brenda Niskala is a poet, fiction writer and an arts administrator. For over twenty years, she has served as Executive Director for SaskBooks. She has also served on the board of the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance, the Association of Creative Industries of Saskatchewan, the editorial boards of Grain, Briarpatch, and NeWest Review magazines, as well as Coteau Books, the executive of the League of Canadian Poets, Sage Hill, and the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. Brenda has represented the literary community on the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Planning Committe, the founding board of the Canadian Reprography Collective (Access Copyright), the first Minister’s Advisory Committee for the Status of the Artist in Saskatchewan, the Film/Video Professional Development Co-ordinating Committee and the Regina Arts Commission. She taught Arts Administration for the Faculty of Commerce/Fine Arts, Creative Writing for the University of Regina Extension Department, and Sage Hill Writing Experience, and presented hundreds of readings and workshops in schools and libraries in Canada and overseas. She has two books of poetry, a novella, a collection of short stories, and has been published in many anthologies and magazines. She was on the founding board of the Saskatchewan Book Awards, representing publishing for the first six years. Here she is again.
For over five decades Jack Walton has combined his work in culture and the arts with that of being a volunteer advocate for their development and sustainability. He is a writer and performer of music and literature, consultant in Board Development and Governance in the non-profit sector, a festival designer/producer and a documentary filmmaker. Community leadership in the cultural sector includes founding Chair of Northern Saskatchewan International Children’s Festival and SaskFilm, past Chair of Heritage Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Festivals & Events,Saskatchewan Motion Picture Association, the Saskatchewan Museum Funding Review, and Saskatchewan Regional Tourism Funding Review. He is a past Director of SaskCulture, Saskatchewan Arts Alliance and Tourism Saskatchewan with a focus on Cultural Tourism. Nationally Jack has served as a Director of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, and the Canadian Association of Festivals and Events. Jack is currently President of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, The Saskatchewan Writers Guild Foundation, the Saskatoon Blues Society, and Hope Cancer Help Centre, a grassroots Saskatoon organization supporting individuals and families with direct financial assistance to off set the cost of cancer treatment and beyond.