Optimistic. Determined. Enthusiastic. Creative. Leanne Gallant (Riverview, NB), Executive Director, Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf (CCSD) is all four of these, and so much more! She has a passion for life and strives to take part in every opportunity that comes her way. Leanne’s personal and professional experiences and leadership roles at local, provincial, and national levels have provided her with knowledge and drive to give back to the Deaf and hearing community.
Many of her experiences have shaped her into becoming the positive, energetic, and dynamic Deaf woman that she is today. Leanne is a strong organizer with particular expertise managing projects and people having served as a Program Manager, Project Coordinator and Youth Director in the Maritimes, prior to serving as CCSD Executive Director. Leanne’s experience with Deaf Arts projects includes hosting the Deaf Excellence of Youth Awards, hosting paint nights with Deaf Artists, and setting up filmmaking workshops alongside a Deaf producer. One of Leanne’s passions and strengths is her ability to secure funding and apply for grants. She has been building this capacity for fundraising since she was a kid working and being involved in many community events alongside her family. Leanne is passionate about Youth Development and Leadership and established the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Youth Association on her own initiative. She believes that the future is in the hands of the younger generation of Deaf! She prides herself on being a role model for many individuals, those deaf and/or hearing and she works effortlessly in promoting acceptance of diversity as an important aspect of Deaf Education, Deaf Culture, and Deaf Arts.
Leanne is the proud recipient of a National Award from the Council of Canadians with Disabilities in recognition of her valued contribution to the Disability Rights Movement in Canada, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Medal, and the Deaf Youth Role Model in Canada award.
During her spare time Leanne enjoys spending time with her family, camping, swimming, and spending time with youth.
Marketing and Administrative Assistant
Melissa is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she developed her passion for culture and community through her studies in anthropology. Inspired, Melissa pursued the Community Worker Diploma at George Brown College. Today she pairs this passion and experience with her Graduate Certificate in Museum and Cultural Management from Centennial College in her efforts to support communities in the arts and culture sector. She has experience volunteering with a variety of organizations, and was previously a placement student and volunteer with CCSD. Always learning, Melissa continues to study American Sign Language. She is passionate about equal access to information and opportunities, working with the Deaf community, and promoting Deaf arts.
In her spare time, Melissa enjoys reading, crafting, and visiting museums and galleries.
Gary works as Director, Sign Language Institute Canada, Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf. Also, he works as a part-time Civics and Career teacher at the International Yeshivas High School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Gary was President, Toronto Association of the Deaf, Ontario Deaf Sports Association and Chair, Ontario Association of the Deaf Education Task Force, leading Deaf Ontario Now that led to successful establishment of ASL and LSQ as official languages of instruction under the Ontario Education Act. He served board members with ARCH Disability Law Centre, Canadian Deaf Sports Association, Canadian Association of the Deaf and Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf during 1980s and 1990s.
Gary has been awarded as one of many award recipients an honourary doctorate degree from Gallaudet University in 2011. Gary was the first Deaf person using sign language to be elected in the legislature anywhere in the world.
SLIC Administrative Assistant
Victoria is an Administrative Assistant, Sign Language Institute Canada (SLIC) under Canada Cultural Society of the Deaf. Her administrative work experiences and expertise include scheduling and correspondence include office management, organization, and computer programs for more than 7 years.
Victoria has experienced in connecting and good working relationships with several Deaf local and provincial organizations in the Province of Alberta and across Canada. Victoria is excited to have working and learning opportunities to expand her professional skills and gain work experience in the SLIC office.
Victoria enjoys her hobbies including walking, baking, and gardening.
Website and IT
Biography coming soon.
Database & Retail Manager
Biography coming soon.
Mark Aldrin Encarnacion
Biography coming soon.