Board of Governors

Danielle Keating


Danielle Keating (she/her) has a deep connection to the Conservatory, having been involved with the School of Dance for the better part of her life. Growing up, Danielle’s evenings were spent in the halls of the Conservatory not only learning dance but developing an appreciation for the performance arts and the value of an arts education. Danielle still loves to dance, and is a regular participant of the Conservatory’s adult dance classes.

Today, Danielle applies the numerous skills she developed at the Conservatory to her legal career. She currently practices in the litigation group at Burchells LLP.

Danielle has always been passionate about community building and engagement – she has been involved with several non-profit organizations in Halifax, including Pathways to Education in Spryfield, ISANS, and LEAF (Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund). Danielle is excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the Halifax performing arts community.

Christopher Hopgood


Born in Halifax in 1947. Graduated from St. Mary’s University in 1973 and entered the investment business and was an investment advisor at ScotiaMcleod for 40 years. Formerly married and has three children from the marriage. My mother loved classical music, my father would rather play golf, go fishing or skiing. She would tune in to CBC on Saturday afternoon and listen to the Metropolitan Opera from New York City. Took voice lessons from Jason Parkhill at the Conservatory for a few years starting in about 2010, it was then the I truly appreciated the Maritime Conservatory for the Performing Arts, watching the kids come in with their musical instruments, full of energy and excitement, and watching the students, adult and young ones at the student recitals was great. Member of a number of choirs, Nova Voce, Jubilate, Cantabile Truro, and sang Beethoven’s 9th with the Nova Scotia Symphony choir.

Rick Alexander

Vice-Chair / Acting Chair

Rick Alexander is a lifelong fan and avid participant in the performing arts from a seat in the audience.


Rick has worked for the Province of Nova Scotia for the last 26 years in a variety of leadership roles in communications and on programs that support youth employment, particularly barriered youth in partnership with community organizations. He began his career in broadcast journalism and management. He has a background in mediation and served for many years as a mediator and board member of the Community Justice Society, including three years as board president.


Rick sees the Maritime Conservatory as a precious and crucial component of Nova Scotia’s cultural fabric, with a long, distinguished heritage and a vital future. He is honoured to be a member of the board.

Kathryn Burlton


Kathryn is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 30 years’ experience in public sector accounting. She has extensive experience as a board member and Treasurer on numerous Boards of Directors, including most recently the Financial Management Institute of Canada and the Association for Textile Recycling. For much of her career she was a Financial Manager reporting to a large public Board of Directors. Kathryn was involved in amateur theatre and musical productions for many years, primarily as a stage manager. She attended the Banff School of Fine Arts Stagecraft program. Growing up in Nova Scotia, Kathryn’s parents instilled in her a deep love and appreciation for all of the performing arts. It is a distinct pleasure to combine these areas of expertise by contributing to the success of the Conservatory.

Edie Hancock

Edie Hancock, a successful Realtor in Halifax metro, has been involved with the MCPA almost continually since 2006. She either sat on the Board of Governors, or on our fundraising committee, or was involved with the MCPA Association (now Bravura Nova Scotia). She currently is President of Bravura Nova Scotia. She has a background in mediation with her work as well as 10 years with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice working with young offenders as a volunteer mediator, and sat on the Youth Alternative Society Board, including as President of the Board for 10 years.

Niel MacIntyre

Niel MacIntyre is a unique blend of right- and left-brain, being in fairly equal parts introverted yet extroverted, personable yet analytical, technical yet creative.  Music has been a formative part of Niel’s life – he trained and performed on drumset for more than 12 years before deciding to pursue his aspirations in the next-most obvious career after being a professional musician: banking.

For a decade, Niel worked for TD in Toronto where he obtained the CFA Charter and held roles in retail banking, investment risk analysis, and institutional fixed income research.  Upon returning home to Halifax with his wife in 2019, Niel partnered with Edward Jones to develop his wealth management practice and now helps individuals and families build lifelong financial security and live better lives.  

Joining the Board of the MCPA brings things full circle for Niel, allowing him to combine his ongoing interest in both the arts and business.  He is honored to help steward the Conservatory towards its bright future as a center for culture in the Maritime region, and to support new generations of performing artists as they work to excel in their fields and follow their dreams.

Alexandria Samson

Alexandria Samson (she/her) is a musician, dancer, and fundraiser. Her love for music began at an early age, growing up in the vibrant cultural landscape of Cape Breton. Inspired by her roots, Alexandria has a deep love and appreciation for the arts.


Alexandria studied literature and sociology at the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University. This academic foundation has provided her with a deep understanding of societal dynamics and a keen ability to analyze complex issues from various perspectives.


Currently residing in Halifax, Alexandria is actively involved in her community and serves as the Director of Donor Relations at the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth. In this role, she passionately advocates for bringing people together to create community for marginalized youth. Her desire at MCPA is to demonstrate the Conservatory’s impact, inspiring children and families to come through the doors and feel belonging through their artistic endeavors.

Ex Officio Members

Simon Robinson


Simon Robinson graduated with a BA from Chelsea School of Art in London in 1984 and firmly believes that creativity is the key to developing robust and successful enterprises. He has over twenty years experience of leadership in the arts and culture sector. Throughout a diverse and international career he has, among other things, designed and built a pirate museum in the Bahamas, created strategies for revitalizing Indigenous languages with the tribal councils of British Columbia, and created a centre for the critical study of apocalyptic and millenarian movements in the United Kingdom. From playing in new wave bands in his youth to thrilling in opera at the New York Met, music has been a fascination and inspiration throughout Simon’s life. He understands that music and dance are integral to our ability to lead happy, healthy, productive, and fulfilling lives.

Janet Bradbury

Dean of Dance

Janet’s early training in ballet was here in Nova Scotia, followed by studies and performance experience in the UK and US. She began teaching at the Maritime Conservatory in 1995 as a student in the Teacher Training Diploma, and upon graduating in 1996 joined the Dance Faculty at The Conservatory. She is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance (Teacher Training Certificate 1996, Teaching Diploma 1998), a Licentiate with the Canadian Dance Teachers Association in Ballet and Stage, and Examiner of Classical Ballet. Janet is also a licensed Silver Swans® Ballet instructor. Teaching all ages and levels for over 25 years, Janet has trained students from Pre-School to Solo Seal. Her latest passion is adaptive dance for dancers of all abilities.

Sibylle Marquardt

Dean of Music

A native of Germany, Sibylle Marquardt moved to Canada in 1997. As a professional flutist Ms.Marquardt’s orchestral career began at the early age of 23 with orchestras such as the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and she continues to perform and tour regularly with Trio d’Argento and the Argento Collective. In 1998 she joined the faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music, is a member of the College of Examiners and a sought after adjudicator at music festivals. With her diverse portfolio as an arts manager, Ms.Marquardt continues to work towards promoting the value of arts education and its impact on communities.

Daniel MacNeil

Music Faculty Representative

Daniel is a dynamic instrumentalist (guitar, oud, percussion), composer and educator, and due to his creativity, professionalism and ability to collaborate, he is becoming more and more in demand. He received his Bachelor of Music from Acadia University where he focused on composition and conducting, and his Masters in Musicology from Dalhousie University.

As a professional guitarist and composer, some achievements include performance, composition and arranging for: the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia and the Victoria Symphony. Additionally, he has been featured on CBC and has performed in countless music festivals throughout Canada.

Cole Richardson

Dance Faculty Representative

Cole started ballroom dancing in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, during his final year of high school, and moving to Halifax to continue his development upon graduation. Training under two of Canada’s most experienced coaches, Jane Edgett and Barbara Child, Cole represented Nova Scotia in competitions across Canada before shifting his focus to spreading the joy of ballroom dancing to first-time and experienced dancers alike. Cole’s goal for you in his classes is to have fun – learning to dance is just an added bonus! With this in mind, Cole approaches each class with energy and enthusiasm, while also striving to create an inclusive environment so you can have the best ballroom experience possible.