Each year, Vines Art Festival hosts a free multi-week performing arts program for youth aged 16-24 to develop their skills and test their mettle in a safe, supportive environment. Under the tutelage of several fantastic multidisciplinary local artists, youth participants will learn how to hone and harness their creative styles into powerful and memorable performances, culminating in a performance as part of the Vines Art Festival programming. Each year, Vines sources incredible artists excelling in their fields to guide youth through a series of workshops and exercises, and this year, the team has truly outdone themselves.

We are so pleased to introduce the Youth Program Mentors for the 2019 Season! Sign up today for your opportunity to work with them!

Senaqwila Wyss

Senaqwila Wyss is from the Squamish Nation, Tsimshian, Sto:lo Hawaiian and Swiss. She is completing her Bachelors in Communications and First Nations studies at SFU. She is an ethnobotanist and warrior entrepreneur. She co-owns Raven and Hummingbird Tea Co. With mother T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss using Indigenous plant teachings to share with people of all ages. She is also sharing her knowledge to the next generation with daughter Kamaya. Senaqwila facilitates indigenous plant knowledge workshops and has experience in professional communications and coordination and event planning.


Aleks Besan

Aleks is a queer immigrant and settler living in East Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish Territories. With experience in designing and facilitating courses for everyone from survivors of abuse to Provincial Boards of Directors, she is passionate about intersectional, long-range approaches to justice and experiential education. Aleks worked with the inaugural Vines youth cohort last summer, and continues to expand her own creative practice as a budding artist.



mia amir

mia susan amir (she/her/hers) was born in Israel/Occupied Palestine. A queer, Crip+MAD Jew of mixed Ashkenazi and Sephardic ascent, she lives as an uninvited settler on the unceded and occupied territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ/Selilwitulh Nations, Vancouver, BC. mia works at the intersection of creative and community practice as an educator, cultural organizer, writer, director, dramaturg, and theatre artist creating immersive, transdisciplinary works. mia is interested in how live performance offers a prefigurative space to respond to the conditions currently shaping our world, to challenge and expand perception, to unearth relationship, and to engage in democratic narrative production, starting from the site of physical sensation.

mia’s research, solo and collaborative works have/will be presented by Undercurrents (Ottawa), The Welders (DC), foldA (Kingston), Prairie Theatre Exchange (Winnipeg), Magnetic North (Vancouver), Talking Thinking Dancing Body (Vancouver), Ergo Arts Theatre (Toronto), FestivALT (Kraków), International Federation for Theatre Research (Belgrade), rEvolver (Vancouver), Vines Arts Festival (Vancouver), Feminist Art Conference (Toronto), AMC (Detroit), among others. Select dramaturgy credits include her work with Sick + Twisted Theatre (Winnipeg), Killjoy Theatre (Vancouver), The Only Animal (Vancouver), Vines Arts Festival (Vancouver), PTC (Vancouver).

mia holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Mills College, traditional Ohlone Territory, Oakland, CA. She received a 2018 LMDA Bly Creative Fellowship, and a 2019 Arts Club Theatre Bill Millerd Artist Fund award. She is a co-founder of EdgeForms Collective (Vancouver/Winnipeg), and Subjects of History (Vancouver), and is the Convener of Unsettling Dramaturgy. mia is the Dramaturgy Research Associate at PTC, the Artist in Residence at Fight With a Stick, a member of LMDA, IFTR, PGC, the CATR Disability, Pedagogy and Performance Working Group, and the Board Chair of All Bodies Dance. https://www.miasusanamir.com

Anjela Magpantay

Anjela is a first generation Canadian originating from the Philippines and graduated from Simon Fraser University with a BFA in Theatre Performance. Recent acting credits include The Wolves (Withaspoon Theatre and Pacific Theatre) Foreign Radical (Theatre Conspiracy), 12 Minute Madness (rEvolver Festival), Mis Papás (Rice&Beans Theatre) and Harvey (Western Gold Theatre). Anjela works freelance as an actor, clown, teacher and collaborator with various artists of different disciplines. She currently lives on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Eddy Van Wyk

Eddy van Wyk hails from Namibia. She creates and performs as a guest on the unceded, traditional and ancestral territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish nations. 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 and New(to)Town Collective. Short films include Soak and Refahmation.

Eddy graduated with a BFA in Theatre Performance from SFU School for the Contemporary Arts in 2017. Currently she is working on her solo show, tadpole-the last episode, for Vancouver Fringe 2019.


Kimmortal is a queer Filipinx artist of lines and rhymes born in Vancouver. The artist born Kim Bince Villagante is paving a path with a penchant for well-crafted pop and big beats. She has been featured in SXSW, Rifflandia, Junofest, and the Queer Women of colour film festival. Check out Kimmortal’s newest album “x marks the swirl” available on all platforms.





Arash Khakpour

Originally from Tehran, Arash Khakpour is privileged to be a dance artist on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
Arash has been lucky to work with Wen Wei Dance, Out Innerspace Dance Theatre, Kinesis Dance Somatheatro, Emmalena Fredriksson, David McIntosh (Battery Opera) among many others.
Arash’s desire is to see whether the theatre can be a place to interrogate the body and to investigate alternate ways of being. He is interested in dance and embodiment as a way into researching human conditions through historical, social, political and existential interpretations. Arash is the cofounder of Vancouver’s guerrilla performance group Pressed Paradise, cofounder of the dance-theatre company The Biting School (alongside his brother Aryo Khakpour), and the founder and co-host of How About A Time Machine, a podcast on the history of Canadian performance.