Algonquin Arts Initiative

Team Members

Joel Irwin

Executive Director

Joel Irwin is a scholar, curator, writer, art journalist, and film producer who currently lives in Toronto, Canada. Joel graduated from the University of Toronto with a Masters in English Literature and all but finished a PhD there before he took a full time position at the Algonquin Art Centre, where he pursued his interests in the relations between Canada’s Parks and the nation’s creative development…

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Ian Shanahan

Director of Programs

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Ian Shanahan is a trained actor, singer and painter born and based in southern Ontario. He worked for 13 seasons with Ontario Parks in the Natural Heritage Education program, including a stint at Algonquin from 2010-2013 when he staged 5 theatrical productions.

Matt Coles

Creative Director

Born in North Bay, Ontario, Matt Coles experienced the rugged landscape of the Canadian Shield at a young age. He and his father would go on frequent fishing and camping trips, and Matt developed a love for the outdoors that would later form the cornerstone of his artistic expression.

Matt is a plein air artist now residing in Huntsville, Ontario. He paints the many beauties of the Canadian landscape with a signature style – contrastive colours with sharp, sometimes wild outlines…

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Jennifer Pimental

Media Relations

For those who have a passion for art, the most critical decision of all will eventually confront them; to become a full time artist or to leave that notion on the shelf and let the creation of art be nothing more than a pastime.

It was February of 2007 when Jennifer could no longer avoid this choice. Jennifer was living in Toronto and working as an Art Director for a large design agency but the stress of her position along with the growing sense of dissatisfaction from effectively creating junk mail began to weigh heavily…

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