About Us


The Arts & Cultural Alliance of Windsor Essex County was founded in 2011 and is a registered non-profit, membership based organization. 

The Alliance’s goal is to strengthen the arts and cultural sectors through cooperative relationships, special events and community projects. 

Many artists and artisans work in isolation, we believe that making connections and forming networks is very important to the sustainability of arts and cultural sector. 

Our programs are designed to meet those needs. Regular newsletters, a speaker series and promotion of community events all support our mandate.

If you’re looking for an organization that seeks to serve a wide audience, at the community level, membership in the Arts & Cultural Alliance is the right fit for you!

Board of Directors 2018-2019

Rose Aktas


 Sales Representative at Deerbrook Realty Windsor ON


Lupita Amaya


Born in in Mexico City, Maria G Amaya (Lupita) is an active artist and photographer. She currently lives and works in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and continues to maintain close ties to the Arts Community in both Mexico City and in Windsor. Past & actual member of the AGW, ACWR, ARA, Artcite, as well as working with other groups and organizations including the Willistead Manor,  Art Gallery of Windsor, & Windsor Symphony Orchestra where she was an active volunteer for more than 19 years.
For almost two years 2016 & 2017 she worked closely with the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Windsor Essex coordinating unique and engaging creative Workshops for Seniors, encouraging and inducing people to foster and grow their creative abilities through a variety of media. As recently as 2017 she was involved in organizing the Open Studio Tour in Windsor. Lupita is passionate in her love of the Arts and Photography and continues to support the Arts, Creativity and continuous learning from and for all in the community in Windsor.

Ruth Kivinen


  Ruth is an Acrylic, Mixed media and Water colour artist. She formally taught children’s art and currently teaches art using colour through abstracts as an expressive release for wellness for all ages. The process of expressing one’s self artistically helps to release and reduce stress, as well as improve self-esteem. There is no artistic talent required to achieve peace through art. Therapeutic Art is a form of expression that uses many different mediums and a way to freely communicate and express one’s self without the use of words or language as communication.  It’s also a great way to just relax and learn to paint. Ruth is active in the local  community, a former Human Resource Manager and a graduate of Huron University with a Bachelor’s degree in Theology and Ethics and is currently completing a Master’s degree in psychotherapy. 

Katrina Rutter


 Katrina is a graduate of Frankenmuth High School in Frankenmuth, Michigan and Western Michigan University in fine arts. She has also studied Advertising and Marketing at Northwood University in Midland, Michigan and Baker College in Jackson, Michigan. She has been a resident of Windsor for five years. Her art graces the walls of collectors such as Anne B. Coors, Oscar Meyer, Rita Blade and Mrs. Gordon Givens of the Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California. She has participated in numerous art shows and events across the United States and in Windsor, and collected many awards for her watercolour depictions of food still lifes.In addition to watercolours, Katrina enjoys dabbling in batik, quilting, polymer clay, glass painting, costume making, calligraphy and acrylics. Recently, she has been teaching acrylic painting for Healing the Creative Soul workshops at Hospice, The Multi-Cultural Center, WEST and Throne of Grace Church. She also donates her services as a fund raiser for St Mary’s Anglican church in Walkerville, where she is a member. Katrina and her son, Julian, have plans of opening an art supply store in Windsor in the near future. 

Deborah Cottreau

Photo of Deborah Cottreau

Both academically and artistically inclined, Deborah holds a PhD from the University of Toronto having studied at the Graduate Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, as well as a certificate from the internationally acclaimed Ècole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France.  As an undergrad, she frequently worked with the Samuel Beckett manuscripts, typescripts and notebooks at the University of Reading, England. The focus of her graduate thesis centred on Beckett’s highly dense, extremely complicated later stage plays. Later, over the course of four years, she became the editor of Theatre Research in Canada/Recherches théâtrales au Canada, an internationally respected learned journal. Her academic interests include contemporary Canadian and Irish theatre, as well as new play development in both these countries.

In 2000 Deborah accepted her first undertaking as a festival dramaturg for La Troupe du Jour, Saskatchewan’s only professional French theatre company. Working with emergent and established playwrights to develop new plays, she continued in this role with the theatre company until 2017, two years after moving to Windsor.  In addition, she was a member of their Board and offered master classes in various forms of acting. She also taught classes for up-and-coming artists at the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company. 

Her training from the Lecoq school in Paris, France, informs her current theatre practice which focuses on the many forms of physical theatre and comedy. She is a devotee of all forms of mask work, particularly Neutral Mask, Character Mask, Clown and Commedia dell’Arte. Although trained as an actor, she prefers the challenges of directing, because it requires from her an astute understanding of script analysis, design & colour (costume, set, lighting), the dynamics of space and an imaginative application of the actor’s jeu (a Lecoq term which amalgamates openness and availability into the actor’s world of “play”).  More often than not, her Didi surfaces, providing a source of entertainment in the classroom.

Marian Drouillard

Photo of Marian Drouillard

Founding Board of Directors

Leona MacIntyre


 Working  in watercolours and acrylics, Leona's work represents an exploration of  nature, symbolism and an emotional response to a very busy life.  She  calls her artistic process  "Stress Free Play" 


Linda Heise



Linda's  adventure with art began when she was very youg. It has taken her from  commercial art to fine art where she discovered her niche. Being  intrigued with light, colour, and beautiful scenery, Heise began  experimenting with many mediums and the properties of paint. She  is mostly self-taught and is often called an intuitive artist.  Her passion drives her to capture a moment in time, whether in landscape  or florals, that ignites the emotions.   Presently,  Heise has work in galleries around Windsor, ON. Her art has been  sold across Canada and in Singapore. She is a member of the local Art  Association, A.R.A. and on the board of the Arts Alliance group.  


Rico Dancel


 Rico Dancel is a self taught artist, born in the Philippines and came to  Canada in 1978, currently living in Windsor. His talent was developed  when he attended at W.F. Herman Secondary School. Rico went on to  finished his Certificate of Qualification as a General Machinists,  currently working at Cutting Edge Technology, unrelated to art but his  passion remains.  Working primarily with watercolour, his brushstrokes and control of the  medium creates delicate and warm subdued colours. 


Gulnaz Turdalieva


 Gulnaz Turdalieva is a Windsor-based visual artist who works in  acrylics, watercolours, and mixed media such as pen and ink and collage.  She creates paintings and drawings that explore different themes that  express the beauty and joy of the world around her. Her approach pushes  the boundaries between realism and abstraction and includes the  manipulation of colours and tones within various visual medias.