Carolina Bergonzoni is a Vancouver-based Italian dance artist, choreographer, yoga teacher and scholar. Her research interests include dance, phenomenology and the concept of presence in dance performance. Carolina practices her own presence through dance, yoga and her academic studies. She graduated as a Dance Educator and Community Engagement Facilitator and has been teaching since 2008. She specializes in early childhood and community engagement and has worked with a diversity of groups from people 0 to 90+ years old, to projects based in the DTES, to inclusive/mix-ability dance groups, and non-professional dancers. She believes in creating safe and shared spaces for collaboration where learning is a two-way process. She has explored topics such as "performance-lecture", working with objects (even pieces of foam) and constantly inquiries about the concept of home. While working with students is not without its challenges, it has evolved teaching style and lens to fully acknowledging the transformative nature of the arts.
Cindy M Charleyboy
Cindy M Charleyboy is Tsilhqot'in, Secwepemc and Norwegian and believes strongly that the arts, play and movement have the capacity to alter our state, which can shift perception and allow for faster learning, integration of knowledge, greater self-awareness and lasting positive change. Her practice includes dreaming, imagining, remembering, creative writing, painting, photography, storytelling, spoken word, singing and drumming. She teaches creative facilitation and active dreaming, which includes using movement and art to work with and create from dreams, and even re-enter dreams as a group. Cindy has a BA in First Nations Studies and a minor in English from UNBC, and 15 years' experience supporting students, programs and organizations in K-12 and post-secondary education. She works with IndigenEYEZ and other creative projects to make the work of Indigenous artists more accessible to Indigenous communities and the public.
Cosmo and Jumps
Melissa Aston and Monica Trejbal make up Cosmo and Jumps. Trained in ballet, contemporary and tap dance forms, Monica incorporates those dance forms in her specialized physical comedy. Spanning an arts career of 20 years, she performs for local profit and non-profit organizations. Her solo and group shows have been featured throughout Canada. Melissa is a professionally trained clown and circus artist, bringing 20 years of experience to the stage, circus ring and hospitals. She works as a therapeutic clown at the BC Children's Hospital, and directs her own company, Kazoomco Productions. Melissa has also toured the United States with Ringling Brothers Circus.
Devon More is a musician, singer-songwriter, educator, audio-engineer, storyteller, actor, writer, polyglot, feminist, meditator and lifelong learner. Her formal training is in classical music, theatre and education. She draws on her artistic pursuits to create, compose and perform solo musical storytelling shows. She plays in an indie rock band as well as a solo performer with the help of a loop station and a variety of instruments. She plays at the intersections between melody and story to create "works of edutainment". She takes holding an audience's time seriously and considers it a responsibility to create work that is beautiful, rich in meaning and stimulates further discussion. She aims to strengthen a collective identity, and reexamine social, political or cultural values and biases to make space for innovative, critical thinking. She holds sincere belief in the capacity and potential of young people through digital natives to innovate and enact change if encouraged to think creatively and critically.
Dustin Anderson is a children's performer and has been performing as the Purple Pirate since 1999. He has performed across the country in schools, theatres, community centres and festivals. He has created performed many school shows, including Message in a Bottle about his experience of being a bullied, becoming a bully and finally breaking the cycle. Before being a school performer he travelled all over the world as a contemporary dancer. His art is through sound, light design, theatre and magic for children. His creative process starts with a vision and learning everything he can to bring it to fruition. He was inspired to work in schools because he wanted to share a message that would appeal to visual and kinesthetic learners. Through the Arts Integration Learning Lab, he wants to gain a better understanding of school cultures to better frame his performances.
Hazel Bell-Koski is a self-directed, steadfast woman of mixed Anishinabeg, Finnish, Irish and English heritage. She holds a BFA in Film Studies from Ryerson University and has maintained a multi-disciplinary arts practice for over twenty years, including public exhibits, facilitation of inter-generational community storytelling and art-making circles, and professional experience as a multi-disciplinary artist, creative facilitator, and event coordinator. She has extensive experience in working with diverse intergenerational communities. She creates and hold spaces of belonging and safety for groups of people, inviting levels of creative confidence into a creative process. Past partners include such organizations as the Toronto District School Board, Sketch Working Arts for Street Youth, Transformative Learning Centre at the University of Toronto, Toronto Public Libraries, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Rainforest Action Network, Green Peace, Grassy Narrows First Nation, Power of Hope, IndigenEYEZ, PORAMOR, and ALIVE in connection with Reconciliation in Action. Her first language is colour.
Jacinda Mack is an Indigenous woman from the Nuxalk and Secwepemc Nations of modern-day British Columbia, Canada. Her artistic and performance interests include live theatre, singing in a live band, song writing, storytelling, traditional Nuxalk dancing and singing, costume making, and educational and political public speaking. Jacinda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Victoria, and a Masters of Arts degree from York University, specializing in Indigenous land issues and decolonization. She is a BC Advisor to the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, and Coordinator for First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining. Jacinda is an advocate for land-based learning and conservation initiatives, indigenous knowledge and creating pathways for connection and reconciliation with the Earth and each other.
Karima Essa is Vancouver’s very own Bollywood superstar! An incredibly charismatic and passionate choreographer, fitness instructor and performer, she has used her one-of-a-kind talent to entertain diverse crowds at charity events, weddings, festivals and even for films and television; with style, grace, and a flare for the dramatic. Well-known for her participation in Canada’s reality television show, Bollywood Star, she displayed her dynamic movement, expression and personality on the show, taking her all the way to Mumbai, India. She has since returned to Vancouver and now teaches children of all ages the creativity and physiological benefits of movement and music. Karima teaches private classes online and around the Lower Mainland. Having worked closely with children for over a decade, she still gets excited when engaging children to work hard, work out, and work together; using easy to understand terms, and allowing them to create their own vision of art and locomotion.
Ventriloquist Kellie Haines is an experienced and multi-talented entertainer with a background in theatre, dance, singing and clowning. She explores a wide variety of topics with humour, compassion and boundless energy. Kellie has a BA Specialized Honors in Drama and performs at festivals and has had exciting opportunities to work on both tv and film. She has a great deal of experience delivering workshops for schools and using drama as a therapeutic tool for teachers and caregivers. She deals with themes of turning challenges into successes, bullying, embracing diversity in nature and in people, celebrating talents and being you. She starts her creative process with improvisation, followed by visualization, peer editing, rest and repetition. Working in schools for Haines means modelling to students that despite what other might say, your passions, determination and hard work can take you far. Seeing the kids get that through her performance, for her, is instant gratification.
Madeline Terbasket is Syilx, Ho-Cak and Anishnabe and studied Acting for Stage and Screen at Capilano University. Her gifts include performing and teaching through clowning, acting, storytelling, film making, dancing, doll making, weaving, painting, and creative writing. Madeline performs solo and in groups, for film and on stage. Having recently performed in Theatre for Living's šxʷʔam̓ət (home)
, she has extensive experience in forum theatre. She uses humour, Indigenous knowledge, including traditional Okanagan stories and the physical body to bring awareness to culture, land, mental health and the need for decolonization. In her work with the Provincial Health Services Authority program Ask Auntie, Madeline hosts online video content and co-facilitates film workshops for youth across BC. Madeline loves to help youth connect to their emotional and creative power through storytelling. She regularly shares her gifts through creative facilitation methods at Power of Hope and IndigenEYEZ camps and workshops.
Matthew Ariaratnam is a composer, improviser, guitarist and music educator. Matthew works with sound as a sonic material and as a point of connection to create happenings and relational interactions. He has written chamber music, electroacoustic music, and recorded and produced multiple albums of original music. He is interested in improvisation both through experimentation with his guitar and as a means of performance and of generating relationships with a variety of people from different backgrounds. He runs a collective, Co.Crea.Tive, which creates interdisciplinary improvisation producing work across sound/music, theatre, installation, video projection, and dance disciplines. On his personal time, he maintains a self-study of field recording, sound walking and site-specific to investigate subjects of ontology, epistemology and phenomenology. His query is centered around how listening is way of being in the world which provides sensorial information and knowledge, that in turn, informs his relationship to himself and to others.
Matthew Horrigan is a composer, writer, spoken-word performer and multidisciplinary artist. He has undergrad degree in music composition and a MFA from Simon Fraser University. He currently performs regularly in a local art collective and on local co-op radio. He values the ability of new language to stretch out and meet those who are encountering it for the first time, and to find those who are looking for fresh new vocabularies. He enjoys re-mixing buzz words and political jargon, and the likes to create new meaning making in search of "freedom". While he believes in both the academic and lived outside world, he feels the most earnest works are often from the communities describing their own experiences. His interest is to further extend alternate narrative making, in a collaborative manner to critically think about the events we hear. He would like to learn to help students find ways of channeling their imaginations and feel proud of their creative energy while going through such formable years.
Molly Billows is swift waters, secrets and salal berries. Northern Coast Salish from the Homalco Nation, they were adopted-out and grew up in and around Victoria. They have been living as a visitor in Vancouver, on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations since 2011. They are a queer, mixed, urban, Indigenous feminist, a spoken word poet, facilitator and a youth worker. Molly hopes to weave together stories in ways that lift up their communities, and contribute to collective healing, rage, resurgence and love.
Peter Graham-Gaudreau has performed in professional plays and musicals across Canada since 1987. These days he performs solo in his interactive stage show as well as stays busy as a singer-songwriter. Peter has just finished his second CD showcasing his original works. He has experience working with youth on songwriting, physical theatre and circus skills. To create more dialogue in his pieces, he adds an interactive element to the performance. Though he knows the importance of adding fun into his works, he also has incorporated meaningful message into their themes, such as eco-play he wrote for youth about the SE Asian tsunami. When working with youth, his key to having a successful creative songwriting process is to invoke as many ideas as possible, to build an initial understanding of rhymes, and to keep a loose and open environment so everyone's ideas can be heard and honoured. His strength as an educator and facilitator is synthesizing everyone's offerings into an artistic collaboration celebrating ideas of love, community, joy and kindness.
School of Moves
In 2015, Dianna David founded the School of Moves after 13 years of a professional artistic career. Being a one-woman performing artist for all those years, she want to share the many possibilities that could be available for other artists to be role models for the youth by sharing their stories in their own unique and entertaining way. Students learn invigorating ways to stretch their body coordination stimulate their imagination and encourage deeper self-awareness through body language and the emotions that support expressing their best self. Her school show, The Faculty of Freshness, tours throughout Canada and worldwide. The show is workshop-style performance on ways to live out your best self by understanding how we communicate and perform in life. It offers helpful tips on the master the art of self-discovery through understanding our physicality and emotions, our thoughts and words, and our creativity and passions to develop strong character and self-esteem. As a result, the show boosts the confidence, eases anxiety and improves physical and emotional health of those involved.
Tiffany Moses grew up performing in her home town of Fort Smith, in the Northwest Territories. Moving to Vancouver, she started her career studying as a vocal major but later discovered a fascination for audio engineering and begun studying at Pacific Audio Visual Institute. She has harmonized her passions both as a vocalist through performing with various groups and as a facilitator, leading workshops in songwriting and music production. Her creative process involves exploring melodies with her voice, as a way to express those profound emotions and experiences in life that are not easily expressed. She believes being an artist is about expression and creating change in herself and others through connection. Being an Indigenous person, she has recently started to incorporate her hand drum, rattle and a few of the words from her mother's language (Dene) into her songs. Moses loves working with youth and offering support in finding their creative voice.
Virginia Duivenvoorden is an accomplished dancer and alumni of the Karen Jamieson Dance Company and Damlahamid. First trained here in Vancouver, she completed her BA. Virginia invites participants, collaborators and audience to discover the passion in all of us where dance becomes a celebration of connection, culture and creativity. The themes that often recur in her work are transformation, rebirth, conflict and resolution. She utilizes both individual explorations of ideas to bring insight, curiosity and culture alive as well as group exercises to reveal relationships in new frameworks and compose human designs. Imitation first opens up exploration followed by limitations and parameters on movement. Creativity can be found in the simplest of explorations. As choreographies take shape, freedom is created and placed in a time based performance art piece that's made together. Virginia believes sharing ideas in performances creates thoughtful and empathic way to engage in dialogue. In turn, we connect and learn more about who we are and the explored concept.