Board of Directors

Melissa Curtis - President

Melissa has been involved in community theatre in Alberta and BC since 2003 and brings to us her extensive theatre background, as well as her passion for acting, and a love of working with children. In addition to performing on the stage herself, Melissa has participated in numerous productions as Assistant Director, Stage Manger, Technical Director, and Assistant Producer. 

Melissa had the pleasure of working with the students of Amber Academy as our Acting Instructor in 2017. Since then, Melissa has enjoyed being able to remain involved with the organization as a board member of Amber Academy. Her goal is to help students unlock their unique talents through acting and theatre by supporting and nurturing their creativity and confidence. 

Michael Hamilton-Wojtas - Vice President

Michael has been involved with the live music and performing arts communities of Sooke since 2009. At home on stage or in the sound and lighting booth, Michael has taken part in a wide variety of productions in Sooke and beyond. Michael is currently the drummer for local band Shale, and works with numerous local musicians on stage and in the studio. He played drums and percussion for several local musical theater productions including Amber Academy’s own Fraggle Rock-a-Thon, and has fulfilled production roles in numerous shows as technical director, lighting designer, and sound engineer. 

In the past, Michael has had the joy of working with children both as a swimming instructor and outdoor camp leader. He is enthusiastic to continue to share his passion for the performing arts and music with the community as part of Amber Academy, and hopes to inspire youth to develop a love of the performing arts in the same way that he was inspired by the vibrant performing arts community of Sooke as a child.

Keli Dunn - Founder & Executive Director

Keli formed Amber Academy Youth Fine Arts Society in honour of her sister, Amber, who died tragically in 2016. Keli’s hope is that through Amber Academy’s programs and mentors, young people will uncover the framework they need to build a positive sense of self and develop a pro-social connectedness that will foster them in becoming confident, productive, and healthy adults.

Keli's work in the non-profit sector spans more than 25 years. Specific areas of expertise include Business Development, Risk Management, Project Management, Marketing and Communications, Fund Development and Event Coordinating.

Keli's passion is using her professional skills to make a difference in the lives of children today which may help them to become effective leaders tomorrow.

Barb Ruegg - Secretary & Treasurer

Barb and her husband moved to Sooke in 2014. Barb recently retired after work in the health care field for 22 years. Her last 8 years of her career were spent as the Director of Administration and Support Services at Kiwanis Pavilion, a licensed dementia care facility that provides person-centered and compassionate care for residents and their family members during their dementia journey. 

Barb is very pleased that her skills, experience, philosophy and values align with Amber Academy and is very excited to be a part of our organization.

VACANT- Director, Special Events

VACANT- Director, Community Outreach

Tracy Woodward - Director-at-Large

Steven Devereaux - Director-at-Large

Born and raised in Toronto, Steve was an athletic individual early in his life, playing a variety of team sports. Steve joined the Canadian Forces in 1983 and served in the Infantry, as an Aviation Technician and a Physical Fitness & Recreational Instructor where he continued his sporting endeavours, competing at the base and at regional levels. He was also a level two National Swim Coach, coaching the CFB Thunderbirds Swim Team as well as a master swim program designed around Canadian Senior National Triathlon team members.

A self-taught guitarist and vocalist; upon his retirement in 2012, Steve took a one-year master luthiers’ course and now enjoys building and repairing guitars. Steve raised four children during this time who were also very athletic, along with actively being involved in local theatre. Steve’s oldest son still performs in theatre with the Ferndale Repertory Theatre in California, USA. Steve has lived in Sooke since 2004 and now feels he has the time to give back to the town he calls home, with no better way than to aid in the creativity and achievement of our local youth.

Lynn Pollock - Director-at-Large

Lynn and her husband Doug retired to Sooke in 2015. She enjoys gardening, knitting and quilting. Previously, Lynn volunteered at her church where she helped run the kid’s evening program for children in kindergarten to grade 4.

Lynn joined Amber Academy in 2019 and currently runs our "Snack Program" which provides free healthy after-school snacks for our students. Lynn has a strong belief in our program and is committed to serving.