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.
MODUPEH TAYLOR CLINE, President
KELVIN NEWTON, Treasurer
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.
DIANE BATES, SECRETARY
Diane joined the board of Overture with the Arts in April 2107, bringing extensive business, networking and fundraising experience. Diane began her career in the field of finance working for Banking, Oil & Gas and Transport multinationals. More recently, Diane worked in the field of executive search for clients in the Aerospace, Life Science and Energy industries. Diane is also a qualified coach, helping her clients heighten their self-awareness to realize their potential. Diane has volunteered for many business organizations such as the British Quebec Business Coalition, Business Network International, John Abbott College, West Island Chamber of Commerce and Women in Bio. Diane is the mother of four adult children and, on their behalf, became involved in school committees and local theatre. Diane has always had an interest in the performing arts. She has acted in numerous productions, produced a musical and worked behind the scenes. Diane is passionate about giving young people the chance to explore different experiences to help them understand themselves and reach their potential. She truly believes that the mission of Overture with the Arts is an ideal opportunity for her to help young people achieve this through exposure to the performing arts.
JUSTINE MCINTYRE, Administrator
Justine McIntyre is party leader for Vrai Changement pour Montreal. Elected to Montreal City Council in the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro in November of 2013, she is also a member of the Finance and Administration Commission as well as the Commission on Social Development and Diversity for the City of Montreal. A McGill University graduate in piano performance, Justine McIntyre also holds a Certificate in Arts and Non-Profit Management from the University of Washington. She began her professional career as a classical pianist. Through the course of her pre-political career, Justine McIntyre worked in many fields including founding a music initiation school «La souris verte» and continued to teach music up until her election in 2013. An active member of her community and mother of three, Justine McIntyre continues to play piano for the sheer joy and love of music. She is thrilled to be a member of the board of Overture with the Arts and in this way, to continue giving back to the community through the arts.
NAN BEATON, ADMINISTRATOR
Nan brings a wealth of knowledge in many facets of community involvement and raising funds for our youth. A mother of 3 girls who are now completing their post-secondary studies, she became involved with their education sitting on many school committees throughout the years. She was elected to the Lester B. Pearson School Board, Council of Commissioners, in November of 2014, serving the Pierrefonds East/Ile Bizard area. She serves on many sub-committees including education, human resources, and communications. She has also been involved in many policy changing committees as well. She spent 7 years as a Board of Director member with the Pearson Educational Foundation, which raises money to help provide much needed funding to LBPSB schools and classrooms. Nan lives in Pierrefonds with her family, where she has operated a Home Daycare for the past 26 years.
ALINE ZAFIRIAN, ADMINISTRATOR
Passionate about building the "Dream life" for herself and her clients, Aline is a dedicated entrepreneur who focuses much of her efforts on investment properties and increasing her clients' net worth through real estate and other businesses. Aline is a natural “connector” who finds every possible opportunity to connect people through her very vast network. By connecting the right people together she always finds an opportunity to create value and helps others build and grow their businesses. Dedicated to helping youth and the community, she has been an active volunteer with JDRF for over 10 years, worked with the Boys and Girls Club after school program and has been a big sister for The Big Brothers, Big Sisters West Island Chapter. In December 2015, Aline played the ghost of Christmas past in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” benefiting Geordie Productions and contributed to their annual fundraiser. Aline firmly believes in the importance of inspiring and supporting our youth in being their best self and reaching their full potential. Through Overture with the Arts she believes she can help them achieve that goal and is honoured to be a part of this outstanding organization.