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meet the board

Akilah Newton

Founder & Executive Director

Growing up in Montreal’s culturally diverse West Island region, Akilah Newton met and befriended talented individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life. It was evident to her early on that art knows no bounds. She pursued her passion by studying music, drama and dance, and performing in productions at John Abbott College and in the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir. Before graduating from CEGEP, she held internships at Montreal’s MIX 96 radio and at the famed Barry Garber’s talent management firm. Additionally, she worked part-time as a dance teacher and children’s gymnastics coach. Her innate ability to connect with kids and teens made her a well-respected guardian and facilitator. While her twin brother, Omari Newton, went on to pursue a career as an actor, Akilah moved to the UK to attend the prestigious Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), a school co-founded by Sir Paul McCartney. During her three-year program, she gained invaluable training in strategic and financial management, sponsorship management, event management and entertainment marketing. Taking her cue from McCartney’s inspiring approach of “paying it forward,” she returned to Montreal to give back to her community’s artistically-inclined youth. Bringing the vision, passion and dedication to Overture with the Arts, Akilah is committed to making performing arts education accessible for children and youth from all walks of life. She personally knows the positive impact it can have on any individual if only given the chance to explore and express. The goal for Overture with the Arts is to continue to offer after-school arts programs and school tours, expanding the reach to other communities in the Greater Montreal area and beyond.

Alessia Di Giorgio


Alessia Di Giorgio joined the Overture with the Arts in Fall 2019 thrilled to bring her experience as a fundraising professional to the team. She is currently the Senior Special Events Advisor for the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. Giving back is an important part of her identity – she has been involved with a variety of not-for-profits including The Sacred Heart School of Montreal, the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, and the Comité des Jeunes Mécènes de la Fondation de la Place des Arts. She obtained her Baccalaureate from Concordia University with a double major in Chemistry & Political Science. Her unique skill set is a result of diverse experience; through academic, professional, and philanthropic endeavours, she leverages her ability to think and problem solve by bringing together ideas and concepts from various fields. She aspires to affect policy change through professional and volunteer opportunities. She is passionate about the role that Overture with the Arts can play in in our community and in the lives of youth across Montreal.

Tina Wentzell


Tina joined the Overture board in October 2017. She is a local entrepreneur with 2 companies – West Island Mommies and Kreative Memories Photography.She has been an entrepreneur for 11 years and is very well known in the community. Her knowledge of the west island and it’s needs, is a big help to Overture. Previously to being an entrepreneur, she worked many years in sales and customer service. Her goal is to help make more people aware of Overture and what it has to offer. Coming from a background in arts, it is very important to Tina to make arts more accessible to the community and available to everyone. With her large following with West Island mommies, Tina is a big help at getting the word out for all our events and activities.

Kelvin Newton

founding Board Member

Kelvin has been with Overture with the Arts since its inception. He holds a degree in Commerce from Concordia University and brings 35 years experience in corporate Accounting to the operations of Overture with the Arts. As Treasurer, he has the responsibility of ensuring the integrity and safekeeping of the organization’s funds. His conservative approach has a vision to the future and to ensuring Overture with the Arts continues to grow its participants and programs.

Danielle Leggett

board member

Danielle Leggett joined the Board of Overture with the Arts in the Fall of 2020 and is delighted to bring some of her experiences to the organization and learn more about what this gem of an organization does for our community. She has over 25 years of Human Resources experience with extensive experience in talent management, organizational design and change management. After many years spent volunteering in the community and thanks to the inspiration of great leaders she had worked with, Danielle shifted full time to the non-for-profit sector by taking on the role of Executive Director role in a cancer care organization. Danielle strongly believes in supporting and being an active member of the community and participates in a variety of community organizations. Last but not least, Danielle is a wife, mother, pet owner, athlete and lover of the outdoors.

Allison Saunders

board member

Allison is a Mother, an “Accidental Activist”, a Digital Content Strategist at Concordia University and more. In 2020, she was appointed as a co-opted commissioner at the Lester B Pearson School Board to assist with their commitment to fighting racism in their schools and centers. She is also a Board Member of the BASF – The Black Academic Scholarship Fund whose main goal is to contribute to the enhancement of the Black community of Montreal by supporting Black students in their pursuit of post secondary education. Additionally, she serves as a member of the Concordia University President’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism. In June 2020, she co-organized the West Island Takes a Knee anti-racism protest and she continues to use her voice to work towards a diverse and inclusive community in which all citizens feel welcome and the voices of our youth are heard and respected.

Telephone: (514) 889-8678

Email: [email protected]