The Office of the Dean supports faculty in creating a dynamic, student-centred learning environment. The Dean is responsible for the overall administration of the Faculty and is supported by the Associate Dean and an experienced and dedicated staff.

Staff work with faculty to develop curriculum, projects and programs; to coordinate and provide financial, administrative and faculty governance support and to support and encourage research and community engagement efforts for students and faculty.


Dr. Allan Gilliland

Dr. Allan Gilliland, Dean

Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications

One of Canada’s busiest composers, Allan Gilliland was born in Darvel, Scotland, in 1965 and immigrated to Canada in 1972. Based in Edmonton (Alberta), he has written music for solo instruments, orchestra, choir, brass quintet, wind ensemble, big band, film, television and theatre. His music has been performed and broadcast by ensembles around the world including the Edmonton Symphony, Boston Pops, Vancouver Symphony, Detroit Symphony, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Canadian Brass, Winnipeg Symphony, Alberta Baroque Ensemble, Camerata Romeau (Cuba), National Youth Choir and National Wind Band, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Zapp String Quartet (Holland), St. Petersburg State Capella Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Edinburgh String Quartet and the brass section of the New York Philharmonic. Many of these performances have been in the world’s major concert halls including Symphony Halls in Boston and Detroit, Tchaikovsky Hall in Russia, the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and twice at Carnegie Hall in 2012. Some of the soloists who have performed his music include James Campbell, Jens Lindemann, John Pattituci, Dean McNeill, William Eddins, Ronda Metzies, Wycliffe Gordon, Dave Young, Nora Bumanis and Julia Shaw, Mark Gould, and Martin Riseley. His music has been recorded on over 20 CD's including two—Collaborations and O Music—dedicated entirely to his music.

For five years (1999–2004) he was Composer-in-Residence with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, writing 11 works for the ESO including concerti for violin, trumpet, two harps, and clarinet. He has also been Composer-in-Residence at the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound, the Colours of Music Festival in Barrie, Ontario, and the Strata New Music Festival in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Other highlights include: The Winspear Fanfare composed for the opening of the Francis Winspear Centre for Music, Dreaming of the Masters I given its American premiere by James Campbell and the Boston Pops, Hannaraptor, a one-act opera commissioned by Calgary Opera, the musicals The Seventh Circleand Dead Beats and Dreaming of the Masters III, a trumpet concerto written for Jens Lindemann and given its American premiere by Jens and the ESO at Carnegie Hall in 2012. In 2002 his orchestral work On the Shoulders of Giants took First Prize at the prestigious Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Centara New Music Festival Composers Competition. In 2012 his CD O Music was nominated for two Western Canadian Music Awards and won for Best Classical Composition. Allan has also won composition contests sponsored by Pro Coro Canada and the Alberta Band Association as well as First Place in the Jean Coulthard Competition for Composers and the Lydia Pals Composers Competition.


Allan holds a diploma in Jazz Studies (trumpet) from Humber College, a Bachelor of Music degree in performance and a Master of Music degree in composition from the University of Alberta and a PhD in Composition from the University of Edinburgh. His teachers include Violet Archer, Howard Bashaw, Malcolm Forsyth, Nigel Osborne and Peter Nelson. He has taught at the University of Alberta, the University of Edinburgh, Red Deer College and MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where he was head of composition from 2004–2016 and chair from 2012–2016.

In January 2017, Allan became the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications at MacEwan.

Rose F. Ginther, Associate Dean

Rose F. Ginther

Associate Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications
Assistant Professor, Department of Arts and Cultural Management

Rose holds a BA in History from the University of Alberta (1984), an MA with a focus on work, organization and leadership (2010) from Athabasca University, and has been teaching in the Arts and Cultural Management program at MacEwan for almost 30 years. After serving as Chair for 17 years, in January 2018, she took on a new role as Associate Dean for the Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications.

Rose believes strongly in the transformative power of education, having seen first-hand how it transforms and changes lives. As Associate Dean, aside from providing support and assistance to the Dean, Rose supports the rest of the leadership team and faculty in developing new and refreshing existing curriculum, developing new program proposals, and working with all faculty and staff in the Faculty to foster a positive culture and climate of learning and development. Much of Rose's research centres on work, organization and leadership in arts and cultural organizations.

One of her most recent research initiatives involves an interdisciplinary collaboration with Paul Johnston (Associate Professor, Department of Music) and student interns from multiple departments across the Faculty in the development of a MacEwan Record Label – Bent River Records (BRR). The label enables artists to access recording and promotional assistance in exchange for providing learning opportunities for students. This exchange builds capacity in the sector, with graduates who are more fully prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. For more information visit https://bentriverrecords.macewan.ca/  


Dr. Leslie Vermeer

Associate Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications
Associate Professor, Department of Communication

Dr. Leslie Vermeer has been teaching at MacEwan since 2002 with a consistent focus on language and communication. She holds master's degrees in English and education, and her doctoral dissertation is a critical examination of Alberta's English Language Arts curriculum for senior secondary education. This investigation uses the tools of close reading to demonstrate a purposeful stratification in high school English that harms some of Alberta's most vulnerable learners and has intergenerational consequences, particularly poverty.

The author of The Complete Canadian Book Editor (2016), a resource for editors and writers, Dr. Vermeer has worked as a professional writer, editor and reviewer for more than 25 years and has edited or worked on some 200 books. She has been a member of the board of NeWest Press since 2007 and is a member of Editors Canada. As a grammar nerd, a long-time logophile and a committed bibliophile, Dr. Vermeer is committed to teaching and enjoys working with students at all levels as they explore language, writing, editing and communication.

Dr. Vermeer's profile