About Us

Mission Statement
Inciting success for the arts in Hamilton
Incite is a movement to support the arts in the city of Hamilton. We are determined to fund and promote the visual and performing arts in our city. We staunchly believe that a robust cultural atmosphere improves the lives of our citizens in many ways. Incite is dedicated to the advancement of the arts and providing worthy organizations with access to funds that help them to achieve artistic excellence.

What We Do

Incite funds the visual and performing arts through private donations. Our most significant goal is to create a long term base of financial support for the groups we assist in the Hamilton area. We fund worthy organizations through careful assessment by the volunteers on our Advisory Committee. Growth and continued fiscal health will allow us to increase the number of grants that we award annually.

The Incite Foundation has three classes of awards to arts organizations in the Hamilton Region.

Major Public Organizations
These organizations are mostly professionally managed with professional performers or staff. They include the Art Gallery of Hamilton, The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and Theatre Aquarius.

Also included are organizations that make a major contribution to Hamilton’s cultural life such as the Hamilton All-Star Jazz Band, the Bach Elgar Choir, Brott Opera, the Hamilton Childrens’ Choir and the Hamilton Youth Orchestra.

These grants are meant to help defray the operating expenses of an organization as well as to stimulate creativity and public support.

Approximately 65% of the Foundation’s annual awards budget will be distributed to this group.

Educational Programs
This category includes organizations that operate major educational programs in the arts for school children in the region. This group includes An Instrument for Every Child, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Culture for Kids in the Arts, the Dundas Valley School of Art and Centre 3.

Approximately 25% of the Foundation’s annual awards budget will be distributed to this group.

Catalyst Grants
The Foundation will also support small scale initiatives that promise to develop an interest in the arts in the Hamilton Region. Normally these grants will not exceed $2,500.

Who We Are

Advisory Committee

The volunteers on the incite Advisory Committee meet regularly to assess applications and award grants.

-> Click member names for more detail.

Carl Turkstra, PhD, P.Eng is the retired President of the Turkstra Lumber Company, the largest contractors’ lumber supplier in south-western Ontario.

A civil engineer, Dr. Turkstra was a professor of Structural Engineering at McGill University for many years. Prior to returning to Hamilton in 1990 to take over the family business, he was Professor and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at what is now New York University. He has studied and taught at universities in Canada, Britain, Mexico and the United States.

Carl was twice awarded a state-of-the Art Award of the American Society of Civil Engineers and is a member of the Hall of Fame of the Hamilton Halton Home Builders Association.

Carl firmly believes that a strong cultural life is vital for economic growth in Hamilton.

Graham was born in England, and raised in Hamilton.
He moved to Toronto in 1980 and built a successful management consulting company that provided strategic planning, leadership development, and innovation services to clients in over 14 countries.

After selling his company to a large, Toronto-based corporation in 2005, he retired and moved back to Hamilton.

In 2007, Graham purchased a 3-storey building on James North that he turned into Hamilton HIStory + HERitage, Hamilton’s first storefront museum. In its 5 years of operation, H+H attracted over 30,000 visitors to its wide-ranging social, architectural, heritage, and photographic exhibitions, all focused on Hamilton.

Since retiring, Graham has contributed to his community by facilitating a number of strategic planning sessions with local charitable and cultural organizations including The Durand Neighbourhood Association, Christ’s Church Cathedral, the Shaw Festival, the Imperial Cotton Centre for the Arts, and the Hamilton for Residential and Recreational Redevelopment Programs (HARRRP), and urbanicity, a civic issues-focused monthly publication.

Joy has practiced law since 1983, originally in private practice with Turkstra Mazza Associates in Hamilton.   Joy left private practice in 1997 and since then has worked primarily for publicly traded and private companies in the waste management sector as in house legal counsel.

In her role as a corporate lawyer, Joy has advised both public and private company clients on governance issues.  As a parent of a son with Asperger’s Syndrome, Joy has been active with parent groups supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is also currently Chair of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and a member of the Board of Directors of Mohawk College.

Joy and her husband Greg live in Hamilton. Their 2 children are attending post secondary school in Ottawa and Lindsay.

Kate is a registered nurse and a native of Penrith England. A former Head Nurse at the London Hospital in England she has also practiced in Montreal and New York City. A keen patron of the arts in Hamilton she is a devoted movie enthusiast.

She is the mother of Peter Turkstra who now manages the Turkstra lumber Company and of Jennifer, a domestic engineer, in Montreal. Her four grandchildren are her pride and joy .

After a 20 year career in banking, Liz is currently the administer for the incite Foundation and personal assistant to a local businessman. She is a Hamiltonian, an avid theater go-er, music lover and movie watcher.

Liz has been active in volunteering with organizations like Wesley Urban Ministries, The Cancer Society, The Joy and Hope of Haiti and The Hamilton School Board.

Maggie worked as a Registered Nurse before staying home ten years to raise Bob’s and her three children. Raising funds and awareness for many community projects led her to Director of Development positions with he Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Hamilton. Volunteer work with many organizations including Board positions with The VON Foundation, grass roots children’s groups and currently The Art Gallery of Hamilton.

Maggie is a proud member of INCITE.

Wally holds a PhD from McMaster University in Solid State Physics and spent his whole professional career in the semiconductor industry, first in research and development, then in business management. He founded Gennum Corporation and served as CEO until his retirement. His two main interests are supporting technological innovation and arts and culture. He has served on many technical boards and committees as well as Chair of the Bay Area Arts and Heritage Program.

John was born in the Netherlands, raised in Burlington. Has had a career in teaching and business.

He is currently doing private equity funding for his own account, is chairman of Grand River Foods in Cambridge and is involved in various companies in varying degrees. He sits on several boards and is a supporter of AGH, Good Shepard, St Joseph Villa and others.  A firm believer in supporting those organizations who support the community through the arts and care giving.

Toby runs an active interior design practice, consulting in the GHA since 1985. Pre- design school, Toby’s work in Development approvals/Engineering and Community Development in 3 city admins, fed her interest in urban issues/design and led to her candidacy in the 2014 municipal election. She wrote a weekly column as a Spectator freelancer for 20+years.

Toby engages in many initiatives, events and consultations focused on Hamilton’s urban renaissance (Art Bus, Ottawa St BIA, Barton-Tiffany Land Use Forums, the City’s Engagement Committee, neighbourhood & garden tours).

Her favourite volunteer gig is serving at 541 Barton Eatery.

Toby and her husband, a retired Spec Photo Editor/photographer, live in Dundas and are the proud parents of two young women.

Patrick joined the incite foundation in 2016.

What does the future hold for Patrick Bermingham? “I like cycling, painting, horseback riding… to quote Winston Churchill… ‘no hour of life is lost if its spent in the saddle’. Right now I am at a stage in life where I want to help people do what they are doing so I am assisting at the McMaster innovation centre a little bit. I like to help other people realize their dreams.”