Director of Development
A certified addictions worker who’s been involved in the music industry since 1996, Ace Piva knows the ins and outs of the road and its associated pressures and struggles. He’s been there as a musician, tour manager, stage manager, sound engineer, production manager, and addictions recovery coach. Today, Piva is a founding partner, of Over The Bridge. His goals are to help break the stigmas associated with addiction and mental illness through education, awareness, and support and provide resources to musicians, crew and entertainment professionals.
Hobbies: Cycling, listening to motivational audio books and WWE wrestling.
Favorite Artists: Faith No More, Macklemore, Ghost
Director of Operations
Cole is no stranger to the ups and downs of the music industry. From playing solo and touring as a bassist, to running sound, recording, coordinating festivals and handling promotion and marketing, she has a broad range and 15 years of experience. For years she supplemented her earnings with minimum wage jobs, learning the value of hard work as she worked her way up from the bottom. Her determination landed her a job as general operations manager for Indie Week Canada which allowed her to work with hundreds of artists during a two-year span, and provided her a platform for learning and career expansion in Toronto.
Smith has seen many artists struggle with addiction and mental health issues. She’s also lost fellow musicians to suicide. As someone who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she feels it is her personal duty to make a difference in the lives of as many musicians as possible and help them successfully manage their mental health issues as well as the disease of addiction. She believes no one should have to suffer in order to do what they love.
Hobbies: Boxing, long-boarding and time travel
Favourite Artists: Aerosmith, Sia, The Heavy
Marie Sweeney comes from a business background in the fashion and beauty and luxury travel industries. The majority of the companies she has worked with were new business that now benefit from successful and growing teams. She has assisted many of these companies with establishing annual fundraisers and joint ventures for causes ranging from Beauty Night Society to Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.
Sweeney is the eldest daughter in a family with two Canadian military parents. This has led to her unique perspective on how the pressures of career—in all aspects of society affect both mental health and addiction, and how these challenges vary across the many regions and cultures within Canada. Additionally, she has had her own struggles with addiction and mental health and considers herself a survivor in continuous training.
Sweeney finds strength in providing behind-the-scenes support to the many amazing people who have assisted in her recovery and growth and believes her best chance of continuing on a healthy and happy life journey is to ensure others in high-risk careers have all the tools and opportunities that she was lucky enough to be exposed to.
Hobbies: Outdoor adventures, reading, learning.
Favourite Artists: Dirty Heads, Beethoven, Jane’s Addiction
Kristin “Gypsy” Schloesser
Gypsy is a veteran music industry professional. A retired tour manager and founder of creative strategy/artist development agency We Are Team Hans, LLC., she is currently serving as senior A & R at Legend Recordings. Schloesser also provides freelance services as a private social media strategist to businesses and artists. She is a proud recovering alcoholic/addict and maintains her journey through sobriety via her recovery blog thesoberchick.com.
Hobbies: Trading cryptocurrency and mentoring young females, though she confesses that she really needs to find some actual hobbies
Favourite Artists: Bob Dylan, U2, Radiohead, Lucero
Nicole has 20 years of experience in the media industry. She has worked as a journalist in both Canadian and American television and radio markets. Her passion is to speak for people whose voice may not be heard otherwise. Nicole approaches every person and every story with an open mind and an open heart. Nicole knows first-hand what it is like to live with a mental illness being diagnosed with PTSD several years ago from the events she witnessed while in the care of her addict mother. Nicole is also a domestic abuse survivor. Nicole is trained to assist people who may need an ear. What Nicole doesn’t know from personal experience, she has sought the appropriate education to be able to immediately support someone in crisis.
Hobbies: Hiking, Chasing Water Falls, Cooking
Favorite Artists: Tragically Hip, Rush, The Cult
Nickie Buchok has a passion for helping people and has spent the majority of her career working with people from all walks of life who are struggling with a wide array of challenges.
Buchok’s career began in the corrections field, assisting with the rehabilitation of federal and provincial offenders and their reintegration back into their communites. She has spent time providing direct service to individuals diagnosed with serious mental illness who are also in conflict with the law. Over the last seven years, she has been working with those in crisis who have encountered a traumatic event, including the violent death of a loved one and sexual assault. Other areas such as addiction, domestic violence, and the criminal justice system are overlapping and prevailing themes throughout Buchok’s career, providing her with direct skills, knowledge and experience in these areas.
She has a Master of Arts in counseling psychology, a BA in sociology and an Addictions Management Certificate from McMaster University. Buchok also has a diploma from Sheridan College’s Correctional Officer program. She aspires to specialize in the psychotherapeutic techniques of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Hobbies: Spending time with her dog, family, friends and, of course, long walks on the beach
Favorite Artists: Jhené Aiko, PartyNextDoor, Alt-J
Michelle Sybesma is part of the Parkdale Center for Professionals leadership team as chief of strategy where she works as an ally for professionals seeking treatment. Her 17 years of consulting includes many nationally-recognized companies and organizations. Prior to this, she enjoyed a history in the music industry beginning with Deer Creek Music Center in Indiana (now Klipsch), arena/stadium events and touring work across North America. She has toured with U2 and Neil Diamond and oversaw full event hospitality (catering, front of house, dressing rooms and logistical activities). She is known to make the occasional reappearance, and also has family still actively involved in the global music festival circuit.
Sybesma served during the formation of the 2012 Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force. She now serves on the State Board for the Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition as an Ally for Recovery, and soon to be Board for National Alliance on Mental Illness for Indiana.
Hobbies: Cooking and baking, spending time with children and animals and reading antique medical/law books.
Favorite Artists: Steely Dan, Charlie Pride, Rush.