Gayle Dempsey believes that arts and culture are very significant
factors in quality of life and play a key role in defining who we are as
individuals, communities and as a society. She is committed to reclaiming
and promoting Muskoka’s rich culture and heritage both locally and globally
with a view to facilitating international cultural exchanges.
and life-long learning has been another important aspect of Gayle’s life.
For three years, she was Trustee with the Muskoka Board of Education and has
lent her management and administrative support and energy to many community
groups through executive positions and as an enthusiastic volunteer. She
currently facilitates very popular art classes in the local community cultural
centre and in her new Muskoka Place Gallery which opened in June 2005.
Muskoka Place Gallery
has served on provincial and federal arts, culture and heritage task forces and
roundtables, and sits on the steering committee of the newly formed Muskoka
Healthy Communities and the Arts Council of Muskoka. Gayle
is Past President of the Port Carling Community Centre Board and headed up
the building of a new community and performance centre. She is also a
Founding Director of the new Bracebridge - Muskoka Lakes Rotary Club.
the last few years, Gayle has returned to one of her early interests, visual and
performing arts. She has taken numerous workshops and courses in painting,
drum making, mask making, drawing, pottery, and set design and decoration. She
is currently involved in several ‘arts in community’ projects and arts
enrichment programs in local schools.
Gayle has owned and operated a successful company providing organizational
management and consulting for profit and not-for-profit organizations for the
past twenty-five years. Currently her main client is the Muskoka Lakes Music
Festival for whom she serves CAO/Director of Festival Development and was one of
the founders. Several years ago she and her partner ,Gary Froude, founded Muskoka
Cultural Impresarios, a company that not only brings first-class artists to
Muskoka but is embarking on international cultural exchanges.
passion for arts, culture and community development is reflected in her work.
In 2002, Gayle was nominated for the Community YWCA of Muskoka Women of
Distinction Award in Arts and Culture and in 2004 in Entrepreneur
and last year received the Township of Muskoka Lakes’ Award for Dedication and
Advancement of Arts and Culture.
is a fourth generation Muskokan and feels a deep connection to the
spirit of the land, the lakes, the natural beauty and the peace that is Muskoka.
She is focusing more energy these days on the gallery and watercolour and
acrylic painting, and writing and is studying with and representing renowned
painter Pat Fairhead. Examples of Gayle’s painting and writing can be
found in a recently published work – “My Story Listens to Your Story: An
Anthology of Women’s Leadership Images and Stories” through the Centre for
Emerging Leadership in Minnesota. She continues to work on her own book,
“Fruit of the Spirit”, while she is working on a new degree at Nipissing
University’s Muskoka Campus in Studies in Culture and the Arts