Sandy Crawley, Executive Director
Sandy began his career as a self-employed artist in music and theatre. He has appeared in over 80 productions as an actor and served as composer and musical director in a dozen more.
His community leadership began as national president of ACTRA through most of the 1990s followed by stints as senior staff for the Canadian Screen Training Centre, the Documentary Organization of Canada, the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres and most recently the Professional Writers Association of Canada. Volunteer service includes three terms as a director of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, Word-On-The-Street (Ottawa), the Great Canadian Theatre Company and the Cultural Human Resources Council among others. He currently serves on the boards of the Book and Periodical Council, Work In Culture and Access Copyright.
Throughout his time in service to the cultural community he has developed strong relationships across the sector and in government. Working within the writing and publishing sector for the last decade has prepared him for the important task of making reading a source of pleasure and progress for all Canadians in a healthy knowledge economy. He began as Executive Director of the NRC in 2015.
Véronique Beauchamp, Project manager – Reading Town
Recipient of a diploma in arts and media technology, Veronique made her debut in event organization as a logistic coordinator of the Montreal’s Festival International Nuits d’Afrique and an agent at the Kola Note theatre from 2000 to 2002. After a brief time in community work, she returned to the cultural field as head of projects for the communications firm Les Majuscules from 2005 to 2012, where she worked notably on la Semaine des bibliothèques publiques du Québec (Quebec Public Libraries Week), Journée mondial du livre et du droit d’auteur (World Book and Copyright Day) and the inauguration festivities of Montreal being named World Book Capital City by UNESCO.
Working as a freelancer since 2012, after being the community manager for the National Reading Campaign she is now the Project manager for the event Reading Town, she is also the adult and youth coordinator of the Prix des libraires du Québec (Bookseller’s Prize of Quebec), consultant for the Journée mondiale du livre et du droit d’auteur (World Book and Copyright Day).
Melanie Fishbane, Coordinator, Children’s Book Reviews
Melanie holds an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and an M.A. in History from Concordia University. With over seventeen years experience in children’s publishing, she has adjudicated a number of children’s book awards. She also lectures internationally on children’s literature and L.M. Montgomery at various venues. A freelance writer and social media consultant, Melanie teaches English at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario. Her work can be seen in Canadian Children’s Book News and the Quill & Quire. Melanie’s first academic publication, “My Pen Shall Heal, Not Hurt”: Writing as Therapy in L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside and The Blythes Are Quoted,” will be published in a collection of essays, L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years 1911-1942, in October 2015. Her first novel based on the teen life of L.M. Montgomery will be published under the Razorbill imprint, a division of Penguin Random House of Canada, in 2017.
Becka Viau, Director, Reading Town PEI
Becka, a professional visual-artist and a native of Prince Edward Island, has worked as a curator, writer, educator, and project manager with various Canadian arts organizations, festivals, and events such as Art in the Open and This Town is Small Inc.
Approaching her work with an educated critical eye, Becka’s passion for creativity has helped inspire community engagement. Through her contemporary art and her involvement in community service, Becka has proven herself a social catalyst dedicated to the development of a sustainable, creative, and social-minded community. She continues her commitment through her role as Director of Reading Town, PEI.
Becka received both her BFA and MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and has exhibited in numerous galleries throughout the Maritimes and the United Kingdom.