AFRO VAN CONNECT | DAE SHIELDS
FOUNDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Dae Shields is the founder and Executive Director of Afro Van Connect Society, Community Advocate, Musician, Designer and Events Coordinator. As an Emcee under the stage name ebonEmpress, Dae aims to share her lived experience as a Jamaican Canadian with her community. She is Bassist and Front Woman for Ital Blue formed in 2017.
Ital Blue strives to spread awareness about the injustice that African communities face and to show the impact that people of African descent have had on Canadian culture, and cultures around the world. In service of this goal, Ital Blue actively spreads the ideals of great civil rights leaders. Messages of hope, unity, love, and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race.
Dae began Afro Van Connect April 2019 to create a platform for young creatives to come and express themselves. One of the initiatives started by Afro Van Connect is called The Remix Café. These BLACK SPACES allow young creatives to come and express themselves, share ideas and connect. They are established to create opportunities for people of African Descent to access equipment, education, training, networks, and opportunities, empowering them to creatively and economically flourish; building on their unique gifts and perspectives from their heritage and diaspora cultural experiences.
AFRO VAN CONNECT | KOR KASE
Buni Kor aka Kor Kase is an actor, artist, activist, designer, event coordinator, life Coach and cofounder of Afro Van Connect. Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. Kor began his acting and music career in the 2010’s releasing music independently online platforms and playing local shows in the lower mainland. Generating an underground following and local attention. As an actor he has appeared on shows like Man in the High in the Castle, Izombie, and See. He is consistently releasing original music, covers, and remixes on online platforms. Including the release of multiple projects, singles and collaborations in 2020.
In 2019 Kor cofounded an artist collective called Afro Van Connect. As an organization focused on creating platforms for creatives of African descent to come together and express themselves. The intention of Afro Van Connect is to build community through creating safe spaces for healing, rooted conversations, and the arts.
It is his goal to promote messages of empowerment, love, unity and equality. As an artist it is his responsibility to be a voice for my community. He believes it is important to use his platform to highlight injustices and inequities in the hopes of creating awareness and solutions. As an artist of African Descent sharing the experiences of people of African descent, the injustices our communities face to this day, and showing the impact that people of African Descent have had on Canadian culture, and cultures around the world.
AFRO VAN CONNECT | MARIAM BARRY
BLACK SPACE MEDIA DIRECTOR
Mariam Barry is a multidisciplinary artist from Norway and The Gambia. As a creative, her approach to art-marking is intersectional and multi-hyphenate. Mariam is an actor, writer, and producer in both theatre and film. She is a former artistic producer of Killjoy Theatre, an intersectional feminist theatre collective, and the co-creator of Breaking Borders, a performance crew for immigrant, newcomer and refugee artists. Mariam has a BFA in Acting from UBC and loves making art that celebrates the diversity of the Black experience. Her favourite acting credits include: bcHub Artist Ensemble (b current theatre), Ashbridge (CBC), Snowpiercer (Netflix), ‘da Kink In My Hair (Envision Festival/Boca del Lupo), & Theory (Tremors Festival/Rumble Theatre). Mariam is also an arts facilitator and film editor for Reel Youth, where she supports the production of short films, intergenerational documentaries, and music videos in youth communities across Canada.
In April of 2020, Mariam became the Black Space Media lead for Afro Van Connect. In this position, Mariam produces workshops and events for Black creatives to create decolonized work for the screen.
ALL BODIES DANCE | HARMANIE ROSE & JANICE LAURENCE
DISABILITY DANCE ARTISTS
All Bodies Dance is an inclusive dance company located on unceded Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC, Canada). Our work brings together artists with and without disabilities. We seek to make opportunities for every body to discover dance and for artists with disabilities (and without) to access pre-professional dance training.
Harmanie Rose is a disabled dance artist born on the unceded territories of the Semiahmoo, Katzie and Kwantlen First Nations. She is an Associate Artist with All Bodies Dance Project, working as a facilitator, choreographer and performer. With over a decade of working in inclusive dance, she is committed to furthering discussions about inclusion and creating new opportunities for artists with disabilities. She is interested in discovering her own interpretation of the interactions between body perception, place and privilege.
Janice Laurence is an emerging disabled dance artist with Vancouver’s All Bodies Dance and 55+ Ageless Dancers. Her creative dance practice uniquely incorporates the various mobility aids she uses to thrive. Janice is passionate about diversity, community, inclusion, belonging, health, and social justice. In 2019 she performed in Act Of Faith (Realwheels Theatre) and in 2020 was featured with Paralympians in the AMI-tv wellness documentary series Mind Set Go.
ANGELIQUOI? (also known as Angelica Poversky) is a queer, non-binary, transgender, pangender, pansexual, polyamarous, Russian, Ukranian, Jewish poetry clown and activist white settler residing on the stolen lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) peoples.
In May 2020, they released their debut EP “After Consent” – a visual spoken word exploration on queer, trans, and women-aligned reclaiming of “consent” through poetry, music and audio collage. (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgBg6TJ9D1xfIeS2FfQeH4A6ZaeVBdQ7_)
ANGELIQUOI? has shared stages with clowns, comedians, politicians, scientists and rabbis – talking about algorithmic oppression, media justice and all things gay and grave. Highlighted performances include opening for Shane Koyzcan at the Vogue Theatre, featuring at the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial at the Vancouver Convention Centre in 2017, doing TEDx talks, and performing in three poetry tours across North America.
Angelica has been known to summon ghosts back to life, as they unearth truths about diaspora, lineage, sexuality, consent, gender and forgiveness.
@free.angelica -> on IG
Anya Saugstad is based in Vancouver BC, living and working on the lands of the Squamish, Tseil-Waututh, and Musqueam First Nations. Using Dance theatre, sound, light, and stage design, she is interested in expressing the untamed self, and is pushing to create work that is vigorous and exhausting. Anya has choreographed works for Simon Fraser University, Youth In Motion (Shadbolt), Bloom (Mascall Dance), Vines Art Festival, SplitScreen (Boombox), and F-O-R-M Festival. Anya is extremely grateful to be working with her collaborators on this project, for their friendship, inspiration, and for melting into, and running full force into and inside the work.
ART ACTION EARWIG | MINAH LEE & RILEY ANDERSON
Art Action Earwig, a multidisciplinary performance collective composed of Minah Lee and Riley Anderson, is based in Vancouver, unceded ancestral Coast Salish territory. On these stolen lands, an artist who was losing her ground in the Canadian immigration system and an artist experiencing sustainability challenges united to make their creative livelihoods possible. Riley has been practicing puppetry since 2003 and created Moth Orbit Object Theater in 2011. Minah has been exploring multimedia performance since 2007 and co-founded FurryN@vel Performing Arts Collective in 2013. Bringing individual expertise together as a new performing arts group, they conjured shadows for sister-shows Midnight Mirror (2018) and Mo’s Closet (2019). These theatre performances, part of a Climate Shadow Series, explore urgent matters of climate crisis that are deeply entangled with everyday human activities as well as the issues of race, gender, and labor in the globally industrialized world. The duo’s collaborative journey, that had begun in early 2018, continues under the name Earwig from 2020. Earwig’s art practices concern issues beyond national borders, exploring pressing matters of our time that call for actions.
DRAG ARTIST & RESILIENT ROOTS ARTIST
Bo Dyp is a non-binary drag artist from the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw nation. Bo has developed their work as a medium for exploring their culture and their intersectional position in body politics. Kwanxwalaogwa, one who possesses thunder.
Their practice is their healing process because they present raw dialogue –sharing the experience of living in Bo’s body. A mixed-race body, with indigenous and white-settler ancestry. A female body, assigned at birth. A non-binary and queer body. A sexual body. A body that has been beaten, grabbed, assaulted, and raped. A body with addictive tendencies. A body with arthritis. With depression, dysphoria, and ideation of body death. A body that has danced. And a body that possesses thunder.
BUTTERFLIES IN SPIRIT | LORELEI
DANCE ARTISTS & RESILIENT ROOTS ARTIST
Founded in 2012, Butterflies in Spirit is a dance group consisting of family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG).
With a mission to raise awareness of violence against Indigenous women and girls, Butterflies in Spirit has performed at numerous gatherings and events throughout Canada, the US, and has traveled as far as Bogota, Colombia to perform at an International Women’s World Peace event. On stage, members of the group wear shirts depicting images of their missing and murdered loved ones.
Led by Lorelei Williams (Skatin Nation, Sts’Ailes) serves as the women’s coordinator for the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre, assists in an Aboriginal-focused therapy program on complex trauma at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and works to facilitate positive relationships between law enforcement, women who have experienced violence, and families of missing and murdered women.
She came to this work as a survivor of physical and sexual violence, and as the niece of Belinda Williams (missing since 1978), and cousin to Tanya Holyk (Tanya was murdered by Robert Pickton in 1996).
Caroline MacCaull is a Vancouver-based interdisciplinary artist who explores the in-between. Her work utilizes a compilation of personal interpretations and internalized perceptions while studying different people, places, cultural surroundings and experiences. Using a choreographic amalgamation of experimental movement, video, new media and technology, her practice converges ideas between different mediums and rediscovers how they can cohesively exist in a medial space. As a performer, Caroline has worked with artists such as Rob Kitsos, Company 605, Justine Chambers, Emma Howes (Germany), Noam Gagnon and Chick Snipper, among others. She has also recently interned with Chimerik Collective, working as a video editor/archivist and interdisciplinary research assistant. Caroline is excited to currently be in her final semester at Simon Fraser University working towards her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a major in contemporary dance.
A mixed media artist, whose passion for the creation of creatures and monsters burbling up from the subconscious, signifies Claudia Segovia’s prolific art practice. She has been creating art since childhood. Diplomas in Fine Art and Graphic Design from the Emily Carr Diploma program gave her the formal structure offering her work control and allowing the wild nature of the creatures to play. Strong colour, delicious patterns, and the creatures that are both whimsical and grounded in a naïf aesthetic, are reminiscent of her Mexican roots.
She is attracted to applying her own concept of minimalism to her life and subsequently to her work. Striving for clean lines and simple forms, while keeping the play of colour and layering, minimalism for her is a process that removes the clutter, leaving room for the meaningful.
Her work uses recycled materials like wood panels that are left over wood from hardware stores or from recycling bins outside of woodworking studios on Granville Island, Vancouver. The materials she uses to make and teach her three-dimensional art are perfectly fine though deemed unusable items from industry, businesses and shops; normally they would be thrown into landfills. Gathered by her friend Leanne Bishop.
DALANNAH GAIL BOWEN
There are many faces and many personalities to Vancouver based blues singer Dalannah Gail Bowen. All of those personalities have something in common – a spark, joy, determination and a fire inside. She is more than a singer – she is woman through and through. Dalannah Gail Bowen is all women – beautiful, tough, talented, nurturing and spiritual.
Born of African-Canadian/Cherokee heritage, Bowen has been music-making for forty years in the Canadian blues, rock and soul scene. Bowen started her musical career with the all-female group The Feminine Touch who toured Canada and the USA opening for acts such The Monkees and The Guess Who.
As an in-demand vocalist, she has performed with or opened for other major artists including Led Zeppelin, B.B. King, Willie Dixon and many more. Her 2007 CD recording, Mamma’s Got The Blues, was released to wide acclaim and rave reviews from across the globe. Then in 2015, her Been Around A While CD was selected by Downbeat Magazine as one of the Best Albums of 2015.
Dalannah Gail Bowen’s live performances are known for their powerful and energetic delivery while taking an old-school approach, as well as adding contemporary elements. As a versatile and knowledgeable artist, Bowen can also be heard performing in a wide- range of musical collaborations, including traditional drum group The Snowy Owl Drummers, Songs of Mahalia Jackson, a tribute to the world-renowned gospel singer and East Van Morrison, a jazz group that performs selections from Van Morrison’s repertoire.
DANA DE SAMEDI
Formerly known as Dana I.D. Matthews, Dana De Samedi is the definition of a multidisciplinary artist. An extremely talented writer and performer, whether it’s writing and performing spoken word poetry, completing an original Hip-Hop song from recording to post-production, writing scripts for their podcast or creating and editing his own promotional material. Dana is a professional with a unique upbringing and view on life that always manages to shine through in all their works. Dana De Samedi is diverse in being and in art, providing quality that never disappoints.
MULTIDISCIPLINARY DRAG COLLECTIVE
The Darlings are a multidisciplinary, non-binary drag performance collective based in Vancouver, BC.
Their work challenges the boundaries of conventional drag, and explores genderqueer, non-binary, and trans experience through the use of movement, poetry, performance art, theatre, and immersive/interactive installation. The Darlings are Continental Breakfast (Chris Reed), PM (Desi Rekrut), Rose Butch (Rae Takei) and Maiden China (Kendell Yan).
As an emerging collective, they have mounted four full-length installations in September 2018, October 2018, and March 2019 as well as features at Here For Now Volume 2 dance showcase (December 2018), the PuSH International Performing Arts Festival (January 2019), and full-length features in the Transform Cabaret Festival (October 2020) and Intrepid Theatre’s OUTstages Festival (February 2020). They also produced a digital Live Broadcasted Quarantine-Friendly show during the COVID-19 outbreak (March 2020).
EDDY VAN WYK
Eddy van Wyk is Namibian. She creates and performs as a guest on unceded Coast Salish land in Vancouver,BC. Her work has a Grotowski/clown sensibility. Her clown teachers include Steven Hill, David MacMurray Smith and Gina Bastone; her Grotowski training stems largely from the facilitation of Raïna von Waldenburg. Recent credits include Bean and Hat for Pull Festival (2019), Slime with The Only Animal (2018), 12 Minute Madness at the Vancouver Fringe Festival (2017) and Romeo and Juliet at SFU (2017). She has worked with Radix Theatre, Rumble Theatre, Speakeasy Theatre, Popcorn Galaxies, New(to)Town Collective, rice&beans and Hong Kong Exile. Short films include Soak and Refahmation.
She recently created and performed her one-woman show, tadpole: the last episode at the Vancouver Fringe Festival (2019) and went on to win the TD Fringe Forward Award through Neworld Theatre. Her current practise investigates contact improvisation, habit and ritual, deep peculiarity and long focus. She is not on social media, despises smartphones, reads for revolution and loves being a godmother.
MUSICIAN & RESILIENT ROOTS ARTIST
Edzi’u is a mixed race Tahltan and inland Tlingit sound artist, songwriter and composer. Her songs are an incarnation of her family’s ancient tradition of storytelling; realized by designing sound through vintage and current audio recordings, electronic instruments and the voice. Edzi’u has a degree in music composition from Vancouver Community College, with a minor in classical voice. Her body of work, Kime Ani, samples audio from recordings of three generations of her matriarchs and grandmothers stories. Edzi’us songs are vessels of history, tradition, and adaptation; a glimpse of her world view and life experience through a contemporary Indigenous lens. Edzi’u and her work has been featured at imagineNATIVE, Talking Stick, and on CBC Radio Reclaimed.
Estíqw | JAZ WHITFORD
Estíqw is a 2 spirit anti-professional, working as an interdisciplinary artist with a focus on decolonization and indigenous autonomy. they are a defender of the sacred and use their craft as a tool to decolonization and land sovereignty. they and their fire are from the secwepemc nation of the south central interior of so called british columbia.
THE HAWKS PROJECT | HOLLIS NELSON & KARLEE MCKENZIE
The Hawks Project is a collaborative effort by two artists working out of Sunrise Studios. Together, Karlee McKenzie and Hollis Nelson, work together to spread creativity and slow fashion. In 2019 The Hawks Project travelled as far as Haida Gwaii to set up pop-up studio space. In our pop up studio we plant seeds of creativity by engaging with the public through performing our own art making practices, as well as inviting the public in to make their own art with supplies that we provide.
Janelle Reid is a singer, actor, song writer and mover. She has a BFA in music composition and theatre double major and has a second bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She enjoys singing in a variety of genres such as gospel, soul and reggae music. Janelle often enjoys collaborating with other vocal artists, acting for community theatre as well as provide vocal coaching when ever she can. She is always excited to take the precious opportunities that she is given to share her passion of singing and performance to others.
Jesse Orr is a multidisciplinary artist based in beautiful unceded Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) territory, in the West End of Vancouver. Her training is in theatre, puppetry, community arts and horticulture, and her practice roams through visual art, performance, writing, curation, and horticultural art works. Relatively new to the west coast, Jesse spent a decade in Tio’tia:ke / Montreal working with the curatorial collective Café Concret, with whom she recently created an arts research project, Moving Parts/Corps Articulés, looking at performing objects across disciplines, principally dance and puppetry. This summer she is nourishing her connection to land and food systems as an organic farmer, and building her plant-based art practice. Upcoming projects include performing as a puppeteer in UNIMA International’s “Four Creations, Four Continents” project planned for April 2021.
I have formally studied fine art in Estonia, France and Canada, but above all, art has always been my direction in life. My art is the result of experimentation with various techniques. I have experience with interactive installations and artistic video making. My curiosity and interest in fabric led me to a university degree in Fashion while in France and provided me with some great opportunities to work for leading retail companies. After a few creative ventures, I discovered natural dyeing, which has become a real passion for me. There is something so grounding and healing in the process that speaks volumes to me and connects both of my interests in art and fabric. Today, I work mostly in developing different ways of natural dyeing on fabric and create installations with naturally colored textiles. It brings me great joy to design atmospheres with color and texture. I use my sewing skills to assemble fabric installations which combine color, scale and community to transform architecture, and the way that we engage with public spaces.
My art Instagram: @carotitatelier
Ḵáawan Sangáa (Brings-A-Special-Day) Woody Morrison
Selected at Birth, his Grandfather took him to the “Old Men” at age 3… his training began and continued until his last teacher (at age 67) went home. 10 years Guest Storyteller – California Indian Storytelling Assn., 7 years President of Wisdom of the Elders (and a Storyteller), 5 yrs. President of Vancouver Society of Storytelling, Story/Cultural Consultant on 19 Hollywood Film Productions, including The X-Files, Free Willie 2, White Fang 2, Deadman’s Gun, Hawkeye, Man of the House.
KIMIT SEKHON (PAPERWAVE)
Kimit Sekhon (Paperwave) is a digital artist and electronic musician born in Vancouver. Their work has been influenced by the experience of growing up as a queer second generation immigrant in the suburban sprawl of Surrey. Kimit recontextualizes their experience through digital manipulation of the never ending audio/visual stream of the internet.
The sound of Paperwave traverses the history of House and Techno while reaching for the future of Footwork and Deconstructed Club music. Their art practice includes hand folded modular origami polyhedrons, projection visuals and live lighting.
Paperwave is the founder of Terrestrial FM, an underground electronic music show on Vancouver Co-op Radio CFRO 100.5 FM Friday nights from 9 – midnight. Paperwave is the Co-founder of Acceleration Arts Collective, a group dedicated to amplifying the voices of Queer POCs through music and rave culture.
For music, art and more visit Paperwave.ca ~
Balam S Antonio, aka Kin Balam studied under the renowned flamenco guitar master Jeronimo Maya In Spain Madrid. Born in the Indigenous lands of Kuxkatan (El Salvador) in the heart of a Central American revolution, along with his family he came to Turtle Island, Canada as a refugee of war. Descending from a long family line of musicians, Kin was born with a unique gift of musical abilities that would one day come to determine the direction and intention of his living. Burying his heart in the pain of urban violence as a teenager with a soul hungry for meaning, Kin opted to die to a self-destructive lifestyle that shattered the foundation of his community, making a vow to focus all of his might and capabilities to create a sound that spoke the positive message and cultural power he felt lacked in the world. Since then he has dedicated his entire being to the refining of his skills, potential, and music to reflect the voice found in his soul, and to serve the oppressed communities of our world.
KIRAN SHOKER a.k.a. KIRAN THE MUSE
As an artist forged from the cracks of diaspora, the writing and performances curated centre around agency and self-determination in all factions of life. In exploring and race, gender, eco-literature, and colonialism with raw humanity, Shoker’s art largely centres on empowerment and restoration.
HAIDA STORYTELLER & RESILIENT ROOTS ARTIST
Kung Jaadee (Roberta Kennedy) is a Haida singer, storyteller, and drummer. She has performed for hundreds of audiences across Canada and parts of the United States for nearly twenty years at festivals, schools, museums, aboriginal celebrations, and conferences.
She is originally from Haida Gwaii (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, B.C.) and has most recently lived in Yellowknife, NWT and Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she served as Storyteller-in-Residence at the University of Manitoba Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture. She has worked as a primary school teacher and now performs stories and songs full time.
Kung Jaadee loves dancing, singing, drumming, laughing, eating and she is a true Raven causing mischief wherever she goes in this world. Her stories tell of a time when the animals taught us how to be true haada laas (good people). They were our sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers. We understood them because they already knew the secrets of life.
She prefers to be known by her true Haida name, Kung Jaadee, Woman in the Moon, the personal crest she wears on her button blanket. She was formerly called Kwii-Ge-Ii-Wans, or Big Loved Cloud, her maternal grandmother’s name, but she has now passed that name on to her daughter.
Living With is an interdisciplinary experience where a cast of musicians, actors, clowns and dancers will usher audiences through a variety of emotional soundscapes, harmonies, improvised movement, and choreographed sequences. Throughout the piece, the artists explore the concept of dichotomy in terms of connection vs. disconnection and the aim to seek balance in-between. The work is largely collaborative with directors in each discipline: Movement rooted in experimental street dance, Afro Contemporary, Latin Fusion, Hip Hop, and Dancehall, is led by Her Tribal Roots; Music grounded in jazz, soul, r&b, heavily influenced by the African diaspora at large, is led by Ital Blue and Afro Van Connect; Clowning is led by Katie Karjala of the Dusty Flowerpot. Embodied intersectional stories of the cast is woven into the piece to bring awareness to the idea of a harmonious “living with” – i.e. with nature, with one another, and with self.
MATTHEW TOMKINSON & ANDY ZULIANI
Matthew Tomkinson is a writer, sound designer, and doctoral student in Theatre Studies at the University of British Columbia. His compositions span a number of sonic paradigms including acoustic ecology, deep listening, musique concrète, noise, ambient, and techno. Matthew’s current practice involves composing music for contemporary dance and theatre.
Andy Zuliani is a writer and multimedia artist whose audio-visual work blends ambient music, video, sculpture, and performance, in order to survey the structures of feeling that shape and give texture to our digitally-suffused lives.
Together, as Magazinist, they present collaborative sound art which makes use of found sources, visual and sonic collage, and the translation of material across disparate and often competing media. Their installations, including “Reverse Search” (2020) and “Hotel Fata Morgana” (2019), attempt to make the overwhelming yet intangible landscapes of data and media hearable, seeable, and feelable.
Matthew and Andy live in Vancouver on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
MILDRED GRACE GERMAN
Mildred Grace German is a multi-disciplinary artist / cultural worker, with roots tracing back from SinagBayan Arts Collective. She is a film student at Weengushk Film Institute (WFI) as COVID-19 until the COVID-19 lockdown. http://mildredgracegerman.wixsite.com/website
OFFENSIVE AND DISPOSABLE (a.k.a. HASNAA)
PERFORMANCE & VISUAL ARTIST
Hasnaa, one who exposes a body of invisible histories and untold stories. She uses decades of lived experience and feeling through of unsafe childhood spaces, border checks, corporate meeting rooms and abusive power relationships to research what it does to simply be somewhere. There is no aesthetic ambition to her experiment, other than what arises from improvisation dance teachings, pre-written text and recordings.
A Moroccan woman recently naturalized Canadian. Hasnaa is working her way towards a bold practice starting from a genuine yearn for integrity and social justice. Formerly trained as a theoretical biologist, formally training in Fine Arts at Emily Carr University, she uses her social location to give voice to silence and acknowledge the invisible.
Her work strives to be Political. Accessible. Relatable.
Paige Smith is an experimental filmmaker and media artist based out of Vancouver, Canada. She received her BFA in Film from Simon Fraser University (2018), and was selected for the Vancouver International Film Festival Mentorship Program (2018). Her works have recently been shown at the Richmond World Festival with Cinevolution’s Digital Carnival (2019) and with the Victoria Shorts Film Festival (2019). Smith has previously screened at the Moonrise Film Festival where she won the Audience Choice Award for Best Experimental Film (2016), the Montreal World Film Festival (2015), and at VIFF with the Reel Youth Film Festival where she won the Audience Choice Award (2012). Her artwork often uses reflective techniques to investigate viewer perceptions and the possibilities of her mediums. She approaches her work with a queer perspective and methodology.
Her work often explores themes of sexism, internalized homophobia, voyeurism, hierarchies of art-making, and viewer interactions. Smith is currently researching / creating work related to the themes of indigenization, environmentalism, and futurism. She continues to explore the materiality and limits of filmmaking and media art installation.
paula luther is a mixed-media Community Artist based in East Vancouver, and an instigator of good things. She delights in transforming the everyday into something special, in embracing old traditions, and making them exciting & relevant today. Her work is an observation of the beauty & absurdity of life. paula uses art to transform ourselves, and build community. She leads a popular annual Love art workshop, hosts a variety of events, and is the lead instigator of Typewriter Tales, Letter Writing Club, and Love is Always the Answer Project, among others. paula brings joy & a bit of magic to all her projects.
Between Arts and Sciences, I first chose science. Curious about the mind, I eventually became a psychiatrist. But my increasing frustration with the business mentality that has infiltrated health care led me back to question my early decision. I received my BFA from Emily Carr in 2007 and my MFA from Concordia University in 2011. I am presently a full-time interdisciplinary artist with a socially engaged practice. My works has focused on environmental and mental health issues. I am member of the Gallery Gachet collective, the Art Is Land collective, a board member of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver and the Emily Carr Alumni.
Robyn Jacob is a pianist, singer, composer and educator who lives and works on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She has toured Canada and internationally with her avant-pop project Only A Visitor, who recently collaborated with sound designer Nancy Tam on a multi-media production called Double Happiness: Detour This Way. Robyn’s recent composition projects explore writing for unusual ensembles, as well as collaborations with visual artists and instrument makers. In 2019 she was commissioned to write a piece for percussion quartet by Grammy winning Third Coast Percussion as part of their Emerging Composer Project. In early 2020 she celebrated the release of Earth Leaps Up on the label elsewhere music with her duo The Giving Shapes in collaboration with harpist Elisa Thorn. Since 2012 she has been part of the multi-disciplinary arts collective Publik Secrets, currently artists in residence at the Hadden Park Field House with the City of Vancouver. In 2013 she toured Bali with Gamelan Gita Asmara, and has since been co-leading Gamelan Bike Bike. Robyn has received a Bachelor’s degree in Music from UBC, and has completed residencies at the Banff Centre and Joya Air in Spain.
Sarah Wong is a contemporary dance artist based in Vancouver on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people, including the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She completed her dance studies at Arts Umbrella and received her dance diploma in 2018. Upon graduation, she spent a year dancing at Nuova Officina della Danza (NOD) in Turin, Italy under scholarship. Now freelancing in Vancouver, Sarah is expanding her practice through interdisciplinary pathways involving creative writing, installation work, and studying tai chi. Sarah strives to blend social activism with her creative practice, using movement as a way to reconnect with the body and explore personal history. Her practice is rooted in asking questions and uncovering connections through listening to what is already present in space. She is passionate about using art as a healing practice for mental wellbeing.
RESILIENT ROOTS DIRECTOR
SHANA WOLFE & ROSEMARY XINHE HU
Shana Wolfe is a dance artist based in Vancouver, Canada on the unceded ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She completed her dance studies at Arts Umbrella Graduate Program and received her dance diploma in 2017. She has toured internationally to the Netherlands, performing in the ITS Festival and Netherlands Dans Theater’s Shortcuts XL’17, and performed “BILL” by Sharon Eyal with Ballet BC throughout England and in Germany. In 2018, Shana worked with Cindy Mochizuki on a dance film with 10 Japanese Canadian women, and in 2019 with OURO collective and 01magazine for a dance on screen project.
Rosemary 昕禾 Hu is a local poet and linguist working on and benefitting from the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Science from UBC, with research centering endangered Indigenous language preservation. She is currently working on her first minicomic, which she hopes to publish in zine-form in the fall. You can find her performing in various open mic poetry slams throughout the city. Last year she published her first chapbook, titled: words crack, my broken brain. You can find it at Massy Books. Instagram: @rosemaryxinhe
I’m Sharon Pink (she/her), a white (Portuguese/Polish), queer, survivor, femme and Tarot-reading witch.
I am an uninvited guest living on the unceded Coast Salish Territory, specifically the ancestral homelands of Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh nations (aka Vancouver, BC). To me , this means a continual recommitment to honouring the ancestors, current beings and descendants, including the people, land and spirits through listening, reparations and actions with the intention of justice.
I cast circles, make art and spend as much time with my dogs as possible.
Siobhan hails from Southern Ontario, now living in BC by way of Quebec. Siobhan is a Nationally recognized bilingual Storyteller, Singer, Poet, social justice and equity advocate sought as a Public Speaker, Community Engagement Organiser, and Facilitator.
Their songs and tellings often centre on culturally-linked myths and fables sometimes featuring creation-tales and stories that emphasize preserving global resources.
Siobhan is a published fiction/non-fiction author, and visual/textile artist committed to responsible reconsumption “www.PutaHatOn.com “. As a person of mixed African-Latin-Indigenous-European ancestry living with disability they recognize and value the many intersectionalities that contribute to furthering decolonization practices. Siobhan’s community work, explores relational justice in many forms and extends into teaching wellness and nutrition (with FoodFit & C. Diabetes Ass.) encouraging sustainable plant-based diets and different health-measures that celebrate ‘healthy at every-body size and ability’.
SKIM AND DONG
Skim also known as Romi Kim is an interdisciplinary artist and drag performer. Romeo Villanueva III, is a multidisciplinary artist acting under the drag queen persona Dong Ganisa (Dong Gah-KNEE-sah). The duo both attended the University of Victoria with a major in visual arts. They are both first-generation Canadians often exploring their experiences through the art drag. Dong and Skim can both be seen regularly performing in the Vancouver drag scene at Commercial Drag, Ricecake. Dong Ganisa also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of British Columbia with a specialization in Secondary Art Education while Skim is currently working towards their Masters in Fine Arts.
SLAB is a quintet-ssential collective of clown artists exploring the many facets of matter in relation to the Soul’s operation, Earth and its many manifestations of constructs. SLAB will implicitly and explicitly take you on a quest through paradoxical questions and the shedding of old skin. You’ll cycle through the realms of birth, death, rebirth and creation and recognize unconscious pleasures within the vast ocean of memories. There will be chameleon shapeshifters and musical birds. There will be dance and utter stillness. SLAB is an experimental creation seeking to crack open into the raw material that is the essence of transformation. Discovering flexibility and responsibility in the places that feel stuck to us while sourcing from within to affect the outside systems. Come share in the wonder and regain the courage to openness of all interwoven phenomena!
Artists: Alisha Davidson, Eddy van Wyk, Raj Gill, Suna Galay, Tom Cryan, Tyrell Warren
I am a Korean-born immigrant to Canada. I moved to England to study, revisited Korea, and returned to Canada. I have been traveling since then. Due to my ambiguous cultural identity, the idea of alien has been a central reference in my art.
SUNKOSI MAYA MARIA / SUNA
MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTIST & RESILIENT ROOTS ARTIST
Sunkosi Maya Maria / Suna is a visual and performing artist of mixed Indigenous and European descent (Denésuline Métis, Tamang from the Himalayas of Nepal, Ukrainian and German) born on the unceded ancestral territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Nations of Turtle Island. After studying painting and sculpture at Emily Carr University, she began exploring the performing arts worlds of clown and grotowski with teacher David MacMurray Smith.
Her arts practice began with an examination of cultural identity, expanding into an exploration of the human spirit’s inherent fluidity, and continuing its evolution into an embodied investigation of the many masks of her own character.
Through the performing arts Suna found her North Star to be within the body as pedagogy, and art as ceremony. Her intention is to engage with sovereignty through reclamation; to be together in remembering our languages, the raw power in the movement of our emotions, and our unbroken ancestral ties to the mystery.
She continues to engage with the transformative nature of life and death through hide tanning, currently working with deer and buffalo.
VAN VOGUE JAM
VAN VOGUE JAM is a Vancouver based non-profit organization helping to support and build the vogue/ballroom scene within Vancouver, BC, Canada.
By facilitating by-donation and open-to-all-levels and weekly Vogue jams, VVJ seeks to help contribute towards building a culture of dance and competition with the accessibility and safety of the LGBTQIA2+ BIPIOC community at its core. In addition to offering weekly classes, VVJ has recently started to organize bi-annual Balls with one launching during Vancouver’s Annual Pride Week, and another occurring at a different time earlier in the year. These balls draw on both international talent and local talent to judge, participate and help nurture the scene. International names have included Legendary Icon Leiomy Maldonado (Mother of the House of Amazon/NYC), Brandon Harrison (Father of the Kiki House of Flora/PDX), Daniel Giron Mizrahi (Father of the Kiki House of Ada/PDX), Carlos Lanvin (LAX), Packrat Lanvin (LAX), and the Legendary DJ Blackcat; and local talent and notable community figures have listed Jaylene Tyme, Raye Sunshine, Kendall Gender, Rose Butch (The Darlings), and Shay Dior (Mother of the House of Rice).
Photo of Ralph Escamillan (Founder & Executive Director) by Richie Lubaton.
WEN WEN (CHERRY) LU
Wen Wen (Cherry) Lu is a multimedia artist interested in installation, sculpture and painting; with dabblings in film, animation, book art, print, digital, and community engaged projects. She thinks of her practice as a conceptual dance where each movement requires its own set of research and material choice. Wen Wen often gravitate towards exploring the hidden, the small, and the forgotten. Or in the metaphor of dance, she finds the possibility between one movement to another more intriguing than the arrival of a finale.
Her work has been shown in various galleries and natural surroundings such as Richmond Nature Park, WINDOW Gallery, International Arts Gallery, Centre A, Jericho Beach, New Westminster Museum and Gallery, Access Gallery, and Burnaby Art Gallery. She is a graduate of Emily Carr University with a bachelor’s in visual arts. Wen Wen is also an inspiring visual arts educator to a few vibrant communities; they and those around her know her as Cherry.
ZION FYAH & ZUNELVIS FONSECA
Zion Fyah is a singer-songwriter, poet, lawyer and leader of the Vancouver Roots band “I’Land”. Together with Zunelvis Fonseca, master percussionist and multi-instrumentalist from Cuba, they perform their unique and original music.
ZOFIA ROSE MUSIEJ
INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTIST & RESILIENT ROOTS ARTIST
Zofia Rose Musiej is a Polish and Carrier First Nation, singer/songwriter, poet and interdisciplinary performer. She resides in Vancouver (on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples) where she can be found busking in East Van. She is a slave to the muse, a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at SFU (2019), and her poetry has been published in Prism, RoomMagazine, and Salt Chuck City Review. Zofia has performed music and poetry at Indigenous Brilliance and the Talking Stick Festival.
GROW VINES FESTIVAL!
Your donation will support the growth of eco-arts in Vancouver.
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Vines Art Festival takes place on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.
2325 Franklin Street