A resident of Gabriola for over 10 years, but a global citizen at heart, Catherine opened Free Spirit Gallery Shop & Studio in 2021, fulfilling a lifelong dream to create a space where both emerging and established artists could be celebrated, and to launch a space that makes art accessible to everyone and is rooted in community-driven principles.
After more than twenty years teaching art, and seven years spent living and working in Uganda, and China, she cultivated her passion for art and art history by experiencing the diverse cultural and creative depths around her and developed close connections with galleries and local artists.
Given her background in education and the arts, Catherine brings a unique style and approach towards the artists she features and shows she curates. Her commitment to social impact and equity underpins everything she does. She also remains true to her roots in education by conducting workshops for kids and adults through her Free Spirit Studio in the gallery.
Catherine is a proud member of the Gabriola Arts Council and Gabriola Chamber of Commerce. She joined the Chamber of Commerce as a board member in order to represent other local retail businesses on the island. As the Isle of the Arts it is great to be able to encourage visitors and residents to shop local and support local arts.
She holds a B.Design in Visual Communication from NSCAD University, a B.A.A. in Fashion Marketing from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), and a B.A. Art Education from University of British Columbia.