OrKidstra elects Amar Marouf, Christopher Van Barr, and Shirley Westeinde to the Board of Directors
OrKidstra is pleased to welcome new members to the Board of Directors. At the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 15, 2023, OrKidstra officially elected three Board Members: Amar Marouf, Christopher (Chris) Van Barr, and Shirley Westeinde. Initially appointed to the Board earlier this year, Shirley Westeinde was elected to her first term at the recent AGM.
Born in Ottawa and having grown up in Algeria, France, the UK, and Canada, Amar’s life has been a mosaic of global experiences. Amar is a proud OrKidstra graduate (OldKidstra): he spent 3 years as a student at OrKidstra, singing and playing the cello before graduating in 2018.
He is an accomplished young man with a wealth of lived experience, knowledge, and expertise to bring to the table. Currently, Amar leads the business development of the US Sales Initiative at Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP. His previous roles include positions in business analysis at Global Affairs and other government agencies. Amar graduated from Carleton University with an Honors degree in Global and International Studies.
“Joining the OrKidstra board is not just a role for me; it’s a journey coming full circle. This organization has been a pivotal part of my life, offering transformative experiences that have shaped who I am today. My aspiration is to extend these invaluable opportunities to future generations. I believe that OrKidstra leaves an indelible mark on everyone it touches, a lasting legacy that resonates no matter where life takes us. I am wholeheartedly committed to nurturing the growth and development of these young talents, ensuring that each musical note they play is a step towards their bright future.” – Amar Marouf
Christopher is an Intellectual property lawyer at Gowling WLG. Previously, adjunct professor of patent and trade-secret law, University of Ottawa. Christopher is a Trustee on Board of Trustees at Gowling WLG as well as former board member for a number of charitable organizations. Proud father of, and husband to, skilled musicians and music teachers.
“I am delighted to join the OrKidstra family which, to me, represents everything good about Canada. I have watched how music education can transform lives and I am excited at the opportunity to help OrKidstra reach out and empower young people from under-served communities.” – Chris Van Barr
Shirley Westeinde is the President of Westeinde Properties Ltd., a Property Holding Company. She is a graduate of the Victoria Hospital School of Nursing in London, Ontario and the University of Western Ontario. Although graduating as a nurse, Shirley and her husband incorporated Westeinde Construction Ltd. in 1978. Over the years the company-built hospitals, schools, office buildings, and Embassies in Ottawa, across Canada, and Internationally.
Shirley has received many Awards over the years, including the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, The Women’s Business Achievement Award, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Ottawa, an Honorary Degree from Algonquin College, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ottawa Board of Trade, and the Order of Canada.