Our Staff

Administrative Staff

Joan McCauley, Executive Director
T: 604.664.1636 ext 35 | jmccauley@placedesarts.ca

Bali Singh, Facilities & Administrative Coordinator
T: 604.664.1636 ext 31 | bsingh@placedesarts.ca

Casey McCarthy, Resource Development & Volunteer Coordinator
T: 604.664.1636 ext 36 | cmccarthy@placedesarts.ca

Christa Beese, Financial Coordinator
T: 604.664.1636 ext 37 | cbeese@placedesarts.ca

Kate Lancaster, Communications Coordinator
T: 604.664.1636 ext 29 | klancaster@placedesarts.ca

Lidia Kosznik, Artisan Shop Coordinator
T: 604.664.1636 ext 0 | lkosznik@placedesarts.ca

Tania Deisinger, Registration Coordinator/Financial Assistant
T: 604.664.1636 ext 39 | tdeisinger@placedesarts.ca

Programming Staff

Jessie Au, Senior Fine and Performing Arts programmer
Dance, Theatre, Fine Arts and Literary Arts
T: 604.664.1636 ext 33 | jau@placedesarts.ca

Kim Correia, Fine and Performing Arts and Exhibitions Programmer
T: 604.664.1636 ext 32 | kcorreia@placedesarts.ca

 

 

Michael Fera, Program & Events Coordinator
T: 604.664.1636 ext 34 | mfera@placedesarts.ca

Wen Dee Wong, Fine and Performing Arts Programmer
Music and Home Learners
T: 604.664.1636 ext 38 | wwong@placedesarts.ca

Our Board of Directors

Place des Arts is a not-for-profit society governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Directors dedicate many volunteer hours to provide direction on policy, program and facility development.

Board contact email: board@placedesarts.ca

  • President: Barb Hobson
  • Vice-President: Diane Tucker
  • Treasurer: Terence van der Woude
  • Directors: Travis Kang and Karolynn St-Pierre

Our Teachers

Music Teachers

Jimmy Baldwin

Jimmy Baldwin

Guitar, Group Guitar

Jimmy is an extremely versatile modern guitarist who was born and raised in northern British Columbia. Although primarily self-taught, he moved to Vancouver in 2005 where he was offered a scholarship to study Contemporary Jazz Guitar at Vancouver Community College’s (VCC) School of Music. In June 2007, Jimmy was selected as valedictorian of his graduating diploma class.

In 2009, he earned a Bachelor of Applied Music Degree at VCC. While studying there, Jimmy received numerous scholarships and awards including the Dave Greenall Leadership Award, AJ Bay Memorial Scholarship and a National Millennium Excellence Award. He spent two years with the VCC Latin Jazz Ensemble and another two in the guitar chair of the VCC jazz fusion group Short Fuse.

As a member of Jarimba, Jimmy uses his wide range of influences to contribute to the exciting and eclectic sound of this Afro-funk/world fusion group that released their debut album in May 2008. Jimmy is also the Assistant Guitar Instructor at the Sarah MacLachlan Music Outreach and a private guitar/music theory teacher.

An experienced sideman, Jimmy has most recently been working with South African Munkie Ncapayi’s Nine and a Half Band, country singers Sandra Laratta and AJ Woodworth and Canadian jazz guitar great Stephen Fisk.

http://www.jimmybaldwin.ca/

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Meredith Bates

Meredith Bates

Violin

Meredith Bates is an award-winning violinist, improvisor and teacher. She grew up in Vancouver, B.C. and has been performing and competing since she was a teenager.

Meredith is a founding member of the celebrated ensembles Pugs and Crows (JUNO Award Winner 2013, JUNO Award Nominee 2016, Western Canadian Music Award Winner 2017, Galaxie Rising Star Award winner 2010, Polaris Longer List 2016), Gentle Party (Polaris Longer List 2017), ElkHorn, Peggy Lee’s Echo Painting, Tony Wilson’s Burn Down the Cornfield, Leah Abramson’s Lost Pod and Ford Pier’s Strength of Materials.

She has collaborated extensively with some of Canada’s most innovative musicians, including C.R. Avery, Laila Biali, Kim Barlow, Annie Lou, Matt Mayes, David Ward, The Fugitives, Mark Berube, Rodney Decroo, Chris Gestrin and Buck 65 and has performed alongside many varied musicians, from Rod Steward to Evan Parker.

Meredith has toured internationally with many bands and has played on over 100 recordings to date. Meredith has also been a core member of the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra first violin section for ten years and performs regularly with other civic and regional orchestras around B.C.

Meredith is a passionate music teacher, with certificates in both Orff-Schulwerk and The Suzuki Method. She has taught violin, viola and fiddle and coached ensembles for 20 years to students of all ages and abilities. She also has experience as a conductor, sectional leader, workshop instructor and small ensemble coach.

Meredith is a well-respected teacher whose students return year after year, gaining skill and musicality as they grow. She tailors her teaching to the various desires and needs of each student, with a strong focus on technique and posture, but, above all, finding joy in music and creativity.

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Rebecca Blair

Rebecca Blair

Celtic Harp

Rebecca’s career as a musician and teacher has been both rich and varied. Her musical studies began in the classical realm with the clarinet, culminating in 1996 when she graduated with a master’s degree in performance and musicology from the University of Victoria.

Since then, she has focused her interest on Celtic music and improvisation on the harp, attending many Celtic harp workshops all over North America and Ireland, where she studied with such notables as Kim Robertson and Sharlene Wallace.

Rebecca’s approach to playing and teaching the harp draws on her classical background and combines it with her passion for Celtic music. Her teaching philosophy focuses on balancing disciplined technique with improvisation and creativity.

Rebecca regularly gives harp workshops at Place des Arts, which attract students from all over the province. She is active in the Vancouver folk music scene, performing around the Lower Mainland as both a soloist and with groups such as the Maenads and Triskelion.

Rebecca works as a freelance musician, playing at many special events; her audiences have included the President of Ireland and the International Bar Association. She has also applied her skills as a studio musician and has been featured on CD’s such as the Maenads and Orra Chan by Teresa Doyle. Rebecca keeps a busy schedule of teaching and performing, as well as studying Irish dance. Visit her website at www.dancingharp.com.

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Frank Bond

Frank Bond

Guitar, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Ukulele

Frank was trained privately by Mr. Faust Pinto. Frank has extensive experience as a live performer in many different musical styles and has written music for television (the CKVU news theme), theatre, film as well as pop tunes. Frank aims to give his students a well-rounded ability on their instrument which will allow them to enjoy playing in whatever style(s) they choose.

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Rosie Carver

Rosie Carver

Violin, Fiddle, Fiddlers 1, 2, 3

Rosalie (Rosie) Carver is a member of the BC Registered Music Teachers Association (BCRMTA). She joined the association in 1997 after receiving her Associate for the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (ARCT) diploma. Three years prior to that, she was a member of the Student Teachers Auxiliary to the BCRMTA.

Rosie uses a positive approach to teaching. Her lessons focus on posture, intonation, timing, dynamics, dexterity and a beautiful tone. Rosie believes that with proper training and musical awareness, a student can venture into classical, baroque, romantic, contemporary, fiddle, gospel, jazz or whichever style they choose. Many of her students have achieved high marks for their examinations including silver medals for the highest marks in BC.

Rosie is the associate director with the Vancouver Corelli Strings (VCS) under the direction of Ona Cropper. She began her affiliation with the VCS at the age of 10 after two years of studying with Ona. She worked her way up the ranks to the position of concert master and has been featured as a soloist at many concerts throughout the years. She was also a member of the Vancouver Junior Philharmonic String Orchestra under the direction of Douglas Stewart.

Rosie has been a member of the Celtic group Blackthorn for over 20 years. In that time, she recorded four albums with them which include a number of her own compositions. Rosie also performed and recorded with The Carpenter’s SonSquid Jiggers, Sunshine and You, The Streels, The Halifax Wharf Rats and Triscallion.

Rosie has attended fiddle workshops, including one with the well –known Irish fiddler Kevin Burke, and plays in sessions regularly in Vancouver. She runs her own fiddle workshops throughout the Lower Mainland as well as through the Georgia Strait Guitar Workshop and The Moveable Music School.

Visit Rosie’s website here.

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Robin Chan

Robin Chan

Piano (Junior Piano Teacher)

Robin is currently studying for her performance diploma with Marjory Purdy at Place des Arts. She was awarded Place des Arts’ Scholarships in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 and received the 2013 Adjudicator’s Choice award at the North Fraser Music Festival. Robin has also attended master classes with May Ling Kwok, who sits on the music faculty of the University of Victoria and Corey Hamm, a professor at the University of British Columbia. Robin wishes to share her piano experience and to inspire others to enjoy music.

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Benjamin Chang

Benjamin Chang

Piano (Junior Piano Teacher)

Benjamin began playing piano when he was five years old and is currently preparing for his grade nine piano exam at Place des Arts with Marjory Purdy.  He has achieved the top mark in BC for Piano 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8, as well as in Theory 1 and 2.

Benjamin enjoys working with children, as he has coached a youth basketball team and is a volunteer with the City of Coquitlam’s summer day camps for kids.  He also enjoys reading and sports, particularly soccer.  Benjamin enjoys the freedom and escape that music offers and cannot wait to pass on his knowledge and passion for music.

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Emma Chong

Emma Chong

Piano (Junior Piano Teacher)

Emma started taking piano lessons at the age of seven with Marjory Purdy. Before that, she was part of the Musical Rainbow Program and the Rainbow Singers with Mr. I.

Emma is in grade 11 in the French Immersion Program at Dr. Charles Best Secondary School. She plays the trombone in both the concert and jazz bands at her school, sings in the choir and has been a peer tutor in trombone and in clarinet.

In 2016, Emma was the recipient of the Elva Maria Wiltsie Memorial Scholarship from Conservatory Canada.

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Danielle Cyr

Danielle Cyr

Voice, Singing Fundamentals

Danielle Cyr, soprano, has an MMus from the University of Alberta in Vocal Performance as well as a BA in Music from Trinity Western University. Currently, Danielle is pursuing her Artist Diploma at the Vancouver Academy of Music. She has performed the role of Miss Jessel from Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw with the Accademia Europea Dell’Opera and Mrs. McLean from Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah with the Vancouver Academy of Music.

Danielle has also performed in scene excerpts as Rusalka in Dvořák’s Rusalka, Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Erste Dame in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and as Rosaline in Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II.

Danielle is a passionate performer and teacher whose love of singing and music inspires as well as empowers students throughout their vocal and artistic development.

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Geeta Das

Geeta Das

Bass Clarinet, Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Mixed Wind Ensemble

Geeta is a highly qualified professional musician who has been performing and teaching music in Vancouver, as well as around the world, for over 20 years. She has studied music at Douglas College in New Westminster, the University of British Columbia, and also privately in New York. She is well versed in a variety of musical styles, including everything from Classical and Jazz, to Latin, Funk, R&B and Broadway Show Tunes.

Geeta has performed with world renowned artists such as jazz trombonist Bill Watrous, the Juno award winning Brad Turner, Nickelback drummer Daniel Adair, rap star Kanye West, UK pop/rock sensation The Heavy, world famous historic big band The Glenn Miller Orchestra and many more. Geeta has a great deal of knowledge and passion for music that she hopes to share with the community.

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Joshua Dean

Joshua Dean

Violin

Violinist Joshua Dean is a dynamic artist who is passionate about performing, teaching and innovating. His modern teaching methods are synthesized from the latest ideas in education, neuro-science, psychology, physiology, as well as methods of great masters of violin playing such as Jascha Heifetz, David Oistrakh and Nathan Milstein. In the last ten years, he has traveled to Harvard University, the Juilliard School, and New York University to meet with top researchers and professors and to discuss ground-breaking ideas on violin playing and teaching. He believes that with proper guidance and attitude, every student can master the violin. He places great importance on how to listen to one’s own playing and how to practice at home.

Joshua holds a Master’s Degree from UBC where he studied violin and education. While doing his master’s degree, he was also a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Faculty of Music Education. He enjoys teaching young students aged 4 to 10, many of whom have won top prizes in local festivals and competitions. Since 2005, his students have achieved highest marks in the province of British Columbia at Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations in virtually all levels.

Joshua is also a top expert in antique string instruments and has been consulted by members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Opera, and the University of British Colombia School of Music. Aside from violin playing and teaching, he works as an independent appraiser of fine string instruments.

Anyone who is interested in violin lessons with Joshua is welcome to contact him through Place des Arts.

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Aleksandra Dziobek

Aleksandra Dziobek

Cello, Cello Ensemble

Aleksandra received her bachelor’s degree in cello performance from The Academy of Music in Poland. She has performed in various orchestras and chamber groups and has given numerous solo performances throughout Europe, South Africa and North America.

Now living in Vancouver, Aleksandra is an active freelance musician with many of the region’s orchestras and chamber groups. She was the principal cellist for the BC Chamber Orchestra, Burnaby Symphony Orchestra and New Westminster Symphony Orchestra. Currently she is a principal cellist for the Vancouver Camerata and Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra and is a founding member of the Classical String Quartet.

Aleksandra has had over 20 years of teaching experience. Many of her students have made great achievements in RCM exams (highest marks in the province) and have received gold and silver medals in various music competitions.

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Birgit Giesser (Miss Bee)

Birgit Giesser (Miss Bee)

The Musical Rainbow: Sparkles

Birgit sings, plays recorder, piano, flute and guitar. She has a Bachelor of Education with a major in music from Germany (1995) and is an Accredited Music Therapist (BMT from CapU, 1997). She has worked with children, youth and adults of varying abilities and teaches the “Musical Rainbow” in several preschools. A mother of three children, Birgit is excited to share her love of music with the youngest students and their families at Place des Arts.

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Lorell Gingrich

Lorell Gingrich

Piano, Group Piano

Lorell earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Calgary, has studied with the Royal Conservatory and attends workshops for RCM, Alfred Piano and Conservatory Canada whenever possible. She sang in choirs for 18 years, has played in bands and ensembles and has accompanied students for recitals as well as RCM exams.

She teaches classical and popular piano as well as  improv and encourages students to explore these areas of music. Whenever possible. Lorell encourages students to play in duets or small ensembles.

Lorell has also taught preschool music classes with an emphasis on fun but also on developing an ear for folk and classical music and also on listening and rhythmic skills.

She has been teaching piano for over 20 years and derives a great deal of satisfaction from watching students develop their musical skills as soloists as well as in ensemble arrangements.

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Johanna Hauser

Johanna Hauser

Clarinet

Johanna received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College (honours), her master’s degree in performance from the Manhattan School of Music (Andrew Goodman Prize for excellence in clarinet), and a stipend for further studies at Yale at Norfolk. Johanna began her career in New York City performing with groups such as Dance Theater of Harlem, Bel Canto Opera, the Brooklyn Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra, The Group for Contemporary Music, The Queens Symphony and The Queens Symphony Woodwind Quintet.

Johanna is an excellent diagnostician and a sensitive musician who analyzes and corrects performance issues and nurtures the musicality of her students. Responding to each student’s individual needs, goals and interests, she creates lesson plans that loosely follow the RCM syllabus. Under Johanna’s guidance, those students who choose to take exams or auditions do extremely well. Johanna stresses proper technique with her beginning students so they will have a strong foundation to build on.

In addition to teaching at Place des Arts, Johanna directs and performs with the Kits Classics & Worlds Beyond chamber music series at St. James Hall. She is a member of the Vancouver Inter-cultural Orchestra and has premiered pieces by many local composers.

Johanna can be heard on the soundtrack of Trawna tuh Belvul (National Film Board of Canada) and on the CDs, L’ivresse de la vitesse (Diffusion/ Media) and The Last Arrow (Dream on Productions). She also plays solo music for group meditations and private functions.

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Yurgen Ilaender (Mr. I)

Yurgen Ilaender (Mr. I)

The Musical Rainbow with Mr. I

Yurgen (fondly known as “Mr. I”) has taught at Place des Arts since 1981. He also teaches music at two Montessori preschools, instructing over 300 children per week. With a Diploma in Flute and Voice from VCC, he also has instruction in the Kodàly methodology from John Alfred Young and has attended summer programs on Kodàly pedagogy at the University of Calgary and the University of Washington. An accomplished guitarist, he also plays various other instruments and performs at many children’s concerts throughout the year. Visit his website at www.childmusicMRI.com for more info.

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Irina Jilina

Irina Jilina

Piano

Irina earned a Master of Music from the Musical Institute of Uzbekistan and a Music Teacher Diploma from the Musical College of Uzbekistan. She is a member of the BC RMTA and has 25 years experience teaching students from beginner to advanced levels. Irina is the Director of the Association of Russian-Canadians choir, organizes the Vancouver International Russian Music Festival and is the Vice President of the Russian Music Teachers Association.

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Isaac Juarez-Flores

Isaac Juarez-Flores

Piano

Isaac earned a Bachelor of Music from the National University of Mexico and an Artist Piano Diploma from the Superior School of Music of the National Centre of the Arts, Mexico City. He also has his ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music and Licentiate Diploma from the British Columbia Conservatory of Music.

Isaac has received numerous awards, including 1st Place Piano Performance and 1st Place Academics medals from the University of Mexico and a silver medal from the RCM. An active performer, Isaac has been a featured soloist and accompanist on TV and radio programs in Mexico.

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Maria Hwa Yeong Jung

Maria Hwa Yeong Jung

Piano

Maria Hwa Yeong Jung is an active vocal collaborative pianist from Toronto. Before her recent move to the Greater Vancouver area, Maria was a member of the University of Toronto Faculty of Music as a vocal coach and staff accompanist and accompanied the renowned Oriana Women’s Chorus and Acquired Taste Choir with conductor Mitchell Pady.

She was also a music director and repetiteur for the Summer Opera Lyric Theater for the productions of Handel’s Cesare and Marschner’s Der Vampyr.

Maria is a graduate of University of Toronto, where she earned her Master’s degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, and Bachelor’s degree in Music Education under the tutelage of Lydia Wong and Dr. James Parker.

Recently graduated from New England Conservatory of Music, she studied with Dr. Cameron Stowe and John Moriarty in the Collaborative Piano Graduate Diploma program.

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Nader Kamali

Nader Kamali

Piano (Junior Piano Teacher)

Nader has studied piano with Marjory Purdy at Place des Arts for almost 10 years and is currently preparing to complete the grade 9 exam. He has been awarded Medals of Excellence from Conservatory Canada for the highest mark in British Columbia for both piano and theory. He has also received the Elliott Harty Scholarship in 2015, and the Leonore Peyton Memorial Award in 2016. Nader has also participated in many music festivals and masterclasses.

Nader is a grade 11 student at Charles Best High School where he plays clarinet and saxophone in both the concert and jazz band. Nader is excited to share his passion for music with other kids who, like himself, want simply to experience the joy of learning music.

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Dina Kholina

Dina Kholina

Piano

Dina Kholina is a Ukrainian-Canadian pianist whose musical path started at age five. She completed 17 years of music education, and holds a Master’s degree in Music and Arts from the Ukrainian State Pedagogical University (Kiev, Ukraine).

Playing as an accompanist for various instruments and voice has expanded Dina’s teaching and performing experience. She is a prizewinner of the National Piano Players Competition (Lviv, 1992). In 2003 Dina relocated to Canada where she continues her musical career as a BC RMTA registered piano teacher, accompanist and piano performer. She is in high demand as a piano coach and accompanist for recitals and master classes, music festivals, exams and auditions (Kiwanis, Burnaby Clef Society, Richmond, SDMF, St. Thomas College, BCRTMA, RCM, VAM, UBC, VSO, Metropolitan Opera, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Burnaby Lyric Opera and others).

Dina had her first student at age 16, and since then teaching piano has become her passion. She believes that every child is unique, and with a positive and innovative approach everyone can enjoy playing the piano. Dina’s goal as a teacher is to promote classical music and the best traditions of the Russian piano school (Rachmaninoff, Rubinstein, Scriabin, Horowitz). Dina’s lessons focus on hand position, fingering, posture and quality of sound. She is eager to fill children’s hearts with the joy of music.

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Karen Kinoshita-Wood

Karen Kinoshita-Wood

Piano, Theory

Karen has an ARCT in Piano Performance, a Bachelor of Sacred Music (major in piano performance, minor in voice) from Ambrose University College and Orff training. From 1996 – 2000 she was the music director at Tenth Avenue Church in Vancouver. In addition to teaching at Place des Arts, Karen has also taught group piano at Carillon Music in Burnaby, BC Conservatory of Music and in her home studio.

Karen seeks to foster a lifetime enjoyment of music through learning the fundamentals of many musical styles and by helping students accomplish musical goals through exams, student recitals and other performance opportunities.

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Leanne Koch

Leanne Koch

Voice, Vocal Basics

Leanne has a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music from UBC in voice and opera performance.  Having taught for over 10 years, she is also a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).

Leanne recently completed studies at Shenandoah University (Virginia) Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) Institute, completing courses in Somatic Voicework – the Lovetri Method™ Levels I-III, and classes in Gospel music, Working with Injured Voices with Wendy LeBorgne (PhD., CCC-SLP) and Voice and Movement with Joan Melton.

She has sung in recitals, concerts and with Opera Appassionata, Opera NUOVA, Opera Breve and Vancouver Opera Chorus. She has also adjudicated at festivals around BC.

Leanne loves to share her love of singing; her teaching goals are to provide engaging classes which help students become lifelong singers who sing and make music to the best of their ability.

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Christina Krystecki

Christina Krystecki

Piano

Christina received a master’s degree in teaching and composition from the Academy of Music in Gdansk, Poland. Her work experience in Poland includes performing and travelling with the Gdansk Philharmonic Opera.

Christina has been a music director and organist for several churches in Vancouver and is a Royal Conservatory of Music Affiliate Teacher. She is a founder, leader, producer, actor and singer of the Polish Cabaret: “Kropka nad i . . . .”

Christina regularly prepares students for music festival and RCM exams. She teaches a variety of styles, from classical to jazz. An active performer, accompanist and soloist, Christina constantly searches for new ways to nurture her students’ artistic development and is passionate about sharing her experience. She also never forgets to have fun and that progress takes time and requires patience.

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Genevieve MacKay

Genevieve MacKay

Violin

Genevieve MacKay is a working musician, educator, arts administrator and writer living in North Vancouver. She is a regular performer and avid teacher of viola and violin, which she has played with the Lions Gate Sinfonia, Plastic Acid Orchestra, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Vancouver Film Orchestra and many other ensembles.

Genevieve holds a BA (English Literature) and an MA (Ancient Culture, Religion, and Ethnicity) from UBC, where she also performed in the UBC Symphony Orchestra and the Early Music Ensemble. Her teaching philosophy is music should be fun and everyone can learn.

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Jenneka MacRae

Jenneka MacRae

Music for Young Children® (MYC)

Jenneka began taking group music and piano lessons at the age of three. She later switched to private piano lessons with Darlene Brigidear, with whom she studied for 12 years.

Jenneka’s education includes Piano Teacher’s and Piano Performer’s Diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of Music and all levels of teacher training from Music for Young Children.

She has taught piano lessons for over 20 years and has been an MYC teacher since 2007.

Jenneka enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels and has prepared many students for piano festivals and exams. Her main goal as a teacher is to help each child develop their own lifelong love of music, and she feels the MYC program is a wonderful way to begin this journey.

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Stefan Nazarevich

Stefan Nazarevich

Piano (Junior Piano Teacher)

Stefan is currently studying for his grade ten piano exam under Place des Arts instructor Marjory Purdy, while preparing to enter a Bachelor of Music program at the University of British Columbia.

In addition to winning several medals of excellence for piano, as well as BCRMTA trophies for piano and theory, Stefan has taken master classes with renowned pianists Cory Hamm and May Ling Kwok, among others.

In 2012, Stefan was awarded the Elliott Harty Piano Scholarship and in 2016, the Fern Bouvier Arts Legacy Award (both from Place des Arts).

Stefan has a passion for all types of music, and enjoys playing the guitar, drums and French horn. He looks forward to passing on the enjoyment of music to his students.

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Tina Nguyen

Tina Nguyen

Piano

Tina Nguyen was born and raised in Goettingen, Germany where she received her first piano lessons at the age of 7. As a youth, she participated in many competitions and won 1st prize in several categories.

Her first career path led her into the world of marketing but, feeling unsatisfied in her job, she decided to reconnect with her passion for music. After one year of intensive preparation, she passed the entrance exams at Robert Schumann University in Duesseldorf, Germany and, in 2015, finished her Bachelor of Music with focus on piano and early musical education. Her growth as a musician during these studies was rewarded with the possibility to further enhance her abilities by pursuing a Master’s degree in concert piano and chamber music. She graduated with honours in 2017.

Tina started teaching the piano as soon as she began studying music and quickly became attached to the craft. She enjoys sharing her love for music with people of all ages. She will always make sure to create a positive and enjoyable learning atmosphere and continuously adapt to her students’ individual needs.

Tina aims to make the principals of deliberate practice the very foundation of her students’ musical education as soon as possible. This ensures they can study the piano independently at home, while playing the music they love and enjoy.

For more information please visit: www.pianowithtina.com.

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Florence Noh

Florence Noh

Violin

Florence earned a bachelor’s degree in violin performance in Seoul Korea, where she was a middle school music teacher before immigrating to Canada. She has over 20 years of teaching experience.

Florence started teaching at Place des Arts in the mid 1980’s. She has performed with the Vancouver Chamber Music Orchestra and is a member of the BC RMTA. Currently, she performs as a soloist and accompanies a church choir on the violin.

Florence’s students are consistently high-mark earners, including silver and gold award winners at RCM exams and music festivals. Florence teaches classical and gospel music (she is open to other suggestions) to children and adults of all ages. She believes students learn best in a fun and motivating environment where they are able to reach specific goals and appreciate music.

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Jason Overy

Jason Overy

Percussion/Drums, Intro to Drumset

Jason has a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Victoria where he grew up playing in the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra and a variety of Jazz, Blues, Rock, Punk and Ska bands.

Since finishing his degree and moving to Vancouver in 1996, he has played, recorded, and toured internationally with many groups of note. He is the musical director for Uzume Taiko, a drum set soloist with OLAM and percussion section leader for the Band of the Fifteenth Field Regiment RCA.

Jason has a great deal of experience playing for musical theatre productions. These include Cabaret, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Oklahoma, The Wiz, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oliver Twist, Urinetown and several award winning independent productions.

Jason has also played drum set and percussion in a multitude of west coast funk, rock, blues, punk, and ska bands, notably DOA, the Hounds of Buskerville, The Colorifics, The Harpoons and the Juno award winning bluesman Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne.

Jason has studied with some of the world’s great masters, and has taught drum set, hand drums, percussion and taiko to people of all ages locally, nationally, and internationally.

Jason’s other love is martial arts, and he has his Sandan (third degree black belt) in Shotokan Karate-do and travels regularly to Japan with his Sensei to study Budo.

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Derek Pang

Derek Pang

Violin

Derek Pang attended the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, and earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music.

Derek has been a member of the Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Eastman Philharmonic Orchestra, the Eastman Graduate Chamber Orchestra, the Whitewater Opera Company, the St. Martin Chamber Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Derek is a member of the BC RMTA.

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Lambroula Pappas

Lambroula Pappas

Voice

Lambroula Pappas has Bachelor of Music (Voice Performance) and Master of Music (Opera) degrees from the University of British Columbia. She is currently the head of the vocal department of the British Columbia Conservatory of Music, teaches at The Arts Connection and is proud to be on faculty at the outstanding summer art song program, Vancouver International Song Institute (VISI) and Young Artists Experience (YAE).

Acclaimed for her charisma and exquisite tone, soprano Lambroula Pappas has impressed and delighted audiences around the world. She possesses an extraordinary blend of shimmering voice, powerful stage presence and sparkling lyricism.

Ms. Pappas’ extensive performance and recording career includes her signature role as Gilda in Rigoletto which she played in 2008 at Stadttheater Bern, Switzerland and then again with Opera Saskatoon in Canada. She is a former member of the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal and has been acclaimed by audiences and critics for her performances as Marie in La Fille du Régiment, Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte, the title role in Amelia Goes to the Ball, Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor,and Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte.

Main stage, Ms. Pappas performed Giannetta in L’Elisir d’Amore, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, and La Charmeuse in Thäis. Other significant performances include Adele in Die Fledermaus, Miss Silverpeal in The Impressario, Sandrina in La Finta Giardiniera,Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, and Lucy in The Telephone.

As a concert soloist, Ms. Pappas has sung with symphony orchestras across Canada with highlights that include the likes of the Vancouver, Montreal, Orchestre Metropolitan, Victoria, and Quebec Symphonies; Festival Vancouver, Festival en Lumières, Festival de Lanaudière and Festival Lachine.

Internationally Ms. Pappas has appeared with Germany’s East West Symphony, Belgium’s Opéra de Wallonie, France’s Opéra d’Avignon, Spain’s Delegada Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid, Orquesto Pablo Sarasate de Pamplona, Northwest Sinfonetta, Lake Union Civic Orchestra and New York’s Lincoln Centre at Alice Tully Hall.

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Garth Preston

Garth Preston

Piano, Composition, Theory

Garth began his musical education as a child in school and church choirs. He began piano study at the age of nine. He graduated from the Brandon University School of Music in 1982 with a Bachelor of Music and from the UBC School of Music in 1989 with a Master of Arts in Music Theory.

Garth’s Master’s thesis was a comprehensive study of the extreme chromatic harmony in the early music of the 20th century Austrian composer Anton Webern. That study has been cited as a reference in an introductory essay, in an edition published in 2004 by Dr. Matthew Shaftel, on Webern’s early vocal music and also in a paper on chromatic harmony presented to the Society for Music Theory at a conference in Seattle in 2003.

Garth has a wide-ranging background in music having performed as a soloist and accompanist and in various ensembles in such diverse idioms as classical, jazz, rock, country, folk and musical theatre.

His professional activities have also included composing, arranging and adjudicating. Garth began teaching full-time in 1983, working for Yamaha Music Canada in Winnipeg and for the Winnipeg School Division, teaching both piano and guitar. He has been teaching at Place des Arts since 1985 and at the Delta Community Music School since 1987.

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Marjory Purdy

Marjory Purdy

Piano, Theory

Marjory began piano lessons at the age of four with her mother Margaret Purdy. She later continued her studies with Robin Wood, Winifred Scott Wood and William Goldenberg.

Marjory’s education includes Performer’s and Teacher’s Diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Victoria Conservatory of Music; a Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria; and a Master of Music and Performer’s Certificate from Northern Illinois University.

She also studied collaborative piano at the doctorate level with Martin Katz at the University of Michigan and participated in various summer programs and master classes in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Marjory has been teaching for over 20 years. She adjudicates music festivals throughout British Columbia and is an examiner for Conservatory Canada. As a clinician, Marjory presents master classes and workshops on various topics to teachers, students and the public.

Marjory loves teaching all levels from the very young beginner to the advanced piano student. She considers the benefits of music education immeasurable for a child’s emotional, social and intellectual development.

In her teaching, Marjory encourages and challenges students, in partnership with parents, to strive towards excellence within a kind and supportive environment. She believes all children have an artist within, and she aspires to guide students on their journey of learning and discovery.

Marjory’s students are recipients of numerous awards from local festivals, the Registered Music Teachers, and Conservatory Canada; but what Marjory values most is watching students master the things they thought were impossible, and the privilege of sharing time with children as they grow up.

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David Rogers

David Rogers

Piano

David Rogers is originally from Manitoba where, after initial studies with composer Rémi Bouchard, he completed a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Accompanying at Brandon University.

He later studied collaborative piano at the University of British Columbia under Rena Sharon and has participated in vocal and opera coaching workshops. Since 1991, David has been teaching piano and music theory, as well as accompanying vocal and instrumental soloists, choirs and music classes. He has also played piano in a variety of theatre productions.

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Sarab Shamoun

Sarab Shamoun

Violin and Piano

Violinist and pianist Sarab Shamoun is a passionate professional musician who graduated with a Teaching Diploma in Music and earned her Bachelor of Music Education from Al Baath University. She has more than 7 years of experience as a music teacher in public and private schools.

Her teaching philosophy is “Believing, Achieving and Serving.” As an educator, she feels that it is important that she is not just setting challenges for herself but also strive to be a positive role model for her students.

The importance of respect, reverence, patience, love and forgiveness has shaped her into the person she have become today. She felt it is her responsibility to teach students how to appreciate the positivity in life through music.

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Adrianne (Anne) Stride

Adrianne (Anne) Stride

Violin

Anne Stride received her training in music performance from Portland State University and has performed as an extra musician with the Vancouver, Victoria, Prince George, Kamloops and Okanagan Symphonies. She has been a member of the Canada West Chamber Orchestra and Symphony Canadiana.

She has also performed with the ITV (now Global) Orchestra in Edmonton, has played for local jingles, recording projects and television productions, and is an active chamber music performer.

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Herbert Tsang

Herbert Tsang

Violin

Violinist and conductor Herbert Tsang earned his Master of Music degree from Boston University’s School of Music, where he continued his musical studies at the doctoral level. In addition, Herbert earned the Doctor of Worship Studies degree from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. Herbert is currently the music director of the chamber orchestra SINFONIA MOSAIC and President of Church Music Ministry of Canada. Locally, he has performed with the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra and West Coast Symphony as a violinist and conducted the Vancouver Chamber Choir in performance.

With an avid interest in opera and musical theatre, Tsang was the musical director of the Fraser Valley Gilbert and Sullivan Society production of The Mikado and HMS Pinafore. In Europe, he conducted in a production of Le Nozze di Figaro at the East Slovakian State Opera House, Slovak Republic.

A prolific recording artist, Herbert has over 30 recordings produced under his musical direction. Tsang was selected as one of eight Tanglewood II Symposium Scholars in 2007. This international symposium brings together distinguished international scholars to cultivate a new understanding of music learning for the 21st Century. He has been on the music faculty of Place des Arts since 1995. Visit his website at www.herberttsang.com.

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Nicole Walker

Nicole Walker

Baby Signing and Song

Nicole has been involved in musical endeavours for most of her life. She began piano lessons as a child and pursued piano performance in university, but always knew there was more out there to challenge and inspire.

This creative desire has manifested in several unique ways, including performing with a Balinese Gamelan, singing in a barbershop quartet, working and touring with incredible musicians such as Elvis Costello and Diana Krall and, more recently, designing curriculum for her latest passion, which is teaching baby sign language through music and play.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance and a Master of Arts degree from UBC in Music Theory. She is a certified Music Together® instructor as well as a Baby Signing Time® instructor and has recently completed an American Sign Language (ASL) course at Douglas College. She is a full-time Mom and part-time teacher and is excited about the opportunity to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with others.

www.fingerfun.ca

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Aouda Yen

Aouda Yen

Piano

Aouda holds a Master of Education degree in Arts Education from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Performing Arts from Capilano University. She is a certified educator of RCM and a member of BC RMTA.

Two of her students were awarded the Gold Medal in Grade 7 Piano from the RCM for the highest exam mark achieved in BC and the Medal in Grade 2 Piano from the BC RMTA Vancouver branch for excellent achievement, respectively.

Her teaching philosophy is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for students to explore, learn and grow.

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Visual Arts Teachers

Jane Appleby

Jane Appleby

Visual Arts for Adults

Jane is an enthusiastic artist and instructor, mentoring students and leading workshops throughout the Lower Mainland for over a decade. She is an award winning painter and photographer, often working from nature and in abstraction. In addition to being an active member of the Passionate Outdoor Painters, Jane frequently exhibits her art work in both solo and group shows throughout Metro Vancouver.

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Vin Arora

Vin Arora

Ceramics Technician, Ceramic Arts for Adults & Youth

Vin is a graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design (ceramic arts). He currently manages his own studio and teaches both youth and adult pottery and ceramics. Vin has gained valuable teaching experience working with the Learning Through the Arts program. Whether through painting, sculpture or pottery, he enjoys sharing his passion with students of all ages.

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Rebecca Blair

Rebecca Blair

Celtic Harp

Rebecca’s career as a musician and teacher has been both rich and varied. Her musical studies began in the classical realm with the clarinet, culminating in 1996 when she graduated with a master’s degree in performance and musicology from the University of Victoria.

Since then, she has focused her interest on Celtic music and improvisation on the harp, attending many Celtic harp workshops all over North America and Ireland, where she studied with such notables as Kim Robertson and Sharlene Wallace.

Rebecca’s approach to playing and teaching the harp draws on her classical background and combines it with her passion for Celtic music. Her teaching philosophy focuses on balancing disciplined technique with improvisation and creativity.

Rebecca regularly gives harp workshops at Place des Arts, which attract students from all over the province. She is active in the Vancouver folk music scene, performing around the Lower Mainland as both a soloist and with groups such as the Maenads and Triskelion.

Rebecca works as a freelance musician, playing at many special events; her audiences have included the President of Ireland and the International Bar Association. She has also applied her skills as a studio musician and has been featured on CD’s such as the Maenads and Orra Chan by Teresa Doyle. Rebecca keeps a busy schedule of teaching and performing, as well as studying Irish dance. Visit her website at www.dancingharp.com.

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Kenten Bowick

Kenten Bowick

Cartooning & Animation

Kenten is a comics creator, illustrator and graphic designer. In addition to publishing his own comics and comic strips and doing freelance storyboarding and character design for the television industry, he teaches weekly comics and cartooning classes. In his free time, Kenten is completing a graphic novel.

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Kristen Conboy

Kristen Conboy

Basketry for Adults

It is the tactile nature of basketry that inspires Kristen to continue learning and teaching basketry – and the practical side of her loves to create functional art that can be used and admired. Basket weaving is about creating something with your hands; there is a sense of satisfaction gained from looking at the finished product and saying, “I made that.”

Kristen has over 20 years of experience working with fibre, whether it be knitting, weaving or basketry. Kristen’s professional career is outside of the studio; to the classroom she brings with her years of experience teaching adults, a passion for learning and a love of creating.

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Catherine Dumaine

Catherine Dumaine

Fibre Arts for Children & Youth

Catherine Dumaine is a fibre artist living in Port Coquitlam, B.C. She has been teaching in art centers and institutions around the Lower Mainland and in local schools since 2007. Catherine’s Fibre Fun classes for children are among Place des Arts’ most popular programs, and she is also a regular art camp teacher, where she offers a variety of fibre arts classes to children and youth.

Catherine’s work has been exhibited in shows locally including at Place des Arts, in the Port Moody Festival of the Arts and at Leigh Square Community Arts Village. She also served as the curator for the Craft Year 2007 exhibit Au Naturel.

Catherine has led community engagement workshops for Place des Arts, both at the centre and as a Place des Arts representative at external community events. In 2013, she helped Place des Arts celebrate our 40th Anniversary with her community engagement Social Fabric Project, and in 2016, 2017 and 2018 as an artist in residence, she engaged thousands of school students to create lantern installations that were unveiled during our annual winter season event. Catherine continues to advance her skills through the multitude of fibre arts workshops she takes each year.

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Noelle Horrocks

Noelle Horrocks

Children's Ceramic Arts

Noelle is a ceramic artist and instructor who is passionate about sharing her love of clay with students of all ages. She has a BFA in Ceramics from Emily Carr and 18 years of teaching experience throughout the Lower Mainland at organizations such as Arts Umbrella, The Anvil Centre and The Surrey Art Gallery. Her studio practice focusses on whimsy, storytelling and colour as it relates to sculptural forms.

She believes that clay is a unique and magical material that allows unlimited possibilities in creative expression and finds great joy in supporting her students in finding their own unique art voice and vision.

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Cath Hughes

Cath Hughes

Visual Arts

Cath Hughes is a British-Canadian contemporary painter presently living and working in North Vancouver. She holds a BFA in Painting from Oxford University, UK, an MA in Museums and Galleries in Education from London University and is currently a student on the post-graduate painting correspondence course facilitated by Turps Art School in London, UK.

Her art practice is rooted in a collage methodology and draws subject matter from still life, figure and landscape. Cath has worked in art education for twenty years and currently teaches a range of audiences in the community across the Lower Mainland. www.cathhughes.com.

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Stan Hunc

Stan Hunc

Visual Arts for Adult, Children & Youth

Stan is an art practitioner with ten years of formal art training (MFA and MEd) and lifelong practice. His art adventure and passion has never worn out since the time he made a fantastic scribble of “Guernica” at the age of two. Stan started his teaching career over 30 years ago at The Public School of Fine Arts in Opole (Poland) and currently continues as an art instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver and here at Place des Arts.

Throughout the years, Stan’s work has been presented at individual and group art shows in Poland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary, South Korea, China and Canada.

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Vanessa Kelly

Vanessa Kelly

Visual Arts for Adults & Children

Since 2005, Vanessa has enjoyed teaching all ages in drawing, cartooning, comics and animation. Her classes have been hosted throughout the Lower Mainland, including at the City of Burnaby’s Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, the City of Richmond’s Arts Centre and Place des Arts in Coquitlam.

Vanessa holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts from the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University and an Associate’s Degree in Commercial Animation from Capilano University. Currently, Vanessa works as a storyboard artist on shows like Ready, Jet, Go! for PBS and Ghost Patrol for Disney.

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Rosie Kerschbaumer

Rosie Kerschbaumer

Fibre Arts for Adults

Rosie Kerschbaumer has a BA from the University of Alberta and a Fashion Arts and Technology Diploma from Kwantlen Polytechnic. She also worked in the garment industry for several years. She is a member of the Coquitlam and the Greater Vancouver Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guilds. Rosie is captivated by the way weaving blends different fibres, techniques and structures to create endless unique results.

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Dhanha Lee

Dhanha Lee

Adapted Art and Visual Art for PD

Dhanha is an interdisciplinary artist with a focus on sculpture, installation and social practice. She enjoys working with a wide range of mediums to communicate her ideas. Her social practice study involves working with persons with special needs and using art as a medium to build hope and confidence in a comfortable and fun environment – respecting each other’s ‘diversability.’

A founding member of the Vancouver-based GHIA Collective (Growing Hope Into Action), Dhanha holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design with a minor in Social Practice and Community Engagement.

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Dawn Livera

Dawn Livera

Fibre & Visual Arts for Adults & Children

Dawn Livera is a visual artist primarily working in textiles and mixed media, with a focus on “freestyle weaving,” a style of weaving in which “there are no mistakes.”

Dawn studied weaving with a master weaver for many years and completed the Fashion Arts program at Vancouver Community College. She also has a BSc from UBC.

Community engagement is an important part of Dawn’s practice. She believes that making art should not be the private domain of the talented or learned few. Rather, everyone should feel free to explore their own creativity without worrying about whether their art is good enough.

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David Lloyd

David Lloyd

Ceramic Arts for Adults

David Lloyd taught at Kwantlen Polytechnic University for 24 years before retiring to raise a child. He acquired a wide range of forming, firing and decorating techniques with the belief that you have to be ready to try everything in the diverse field of ceramics. Making things is fun, and making things really well is highly satisfying. With good teachers, we can all learn to make things better than we thought we could. Enjoy Making.

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Barbara Mitchell

Barbara Mitchell

Fibre Arts for Adults

Barbara’s passion is to help weavers and spinners achieve their goals by reducing frustration and increasing confidence. She brings 30 years of weaving, spinning and sewing experience to her work with individuals and groups. Barbara believes in continuous life-long learning and spends every day researching, experimenting and practicing her fibre skills. She adds her background in adult education and career coaching to her weaving passion and builds workshops that are fun, welcoming and creative.

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Olga Pirogova

Olga Pirogova

Visual Arts for Children

Olga received her BFA from the Institute of Art and Design in Moscow. She has worked in a wide variety of media, including oil, watercolor, pen & ink, ceramic and puppet making. Throughout the years, her artwork has been presented at individual and group shows in both Russia and Canada. She has enjoyed her work as an art teacher for almost 20 years.

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Don Portelance

Don Portelance

Visual Arts for Youth

Don Portelance is a master artist and teacher, working in a variety of media. Through the years, Don has received many awards and has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows. His work appears in private and corporate collections around the world.

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Bernadette Rollin

Bernadette Rollin

Adult Visual Arts

Bernadette Rollin was born and raised in Switzerland where from early childhood she loved to draw, paint and do crafts. In 1977, she moved and immigrated to Vancouver.

In 1982 Bernadette began exploring decorative painting which she had fully enjoyed for ten years and by 1992 Bernadette then moved on to discover the beauty of watercolour painting.

Since 1999 the technique and mediums of her art have evolved to include pastels, oils, acrylics, ink stamping and layering of porous material, all of which have challenged her to further explore the inner-depths of her art and creativity. Through the inspiration of Bernadette’s love of gardening, outdoor activities and nature these themes are now being incorporated throughout her art work.

Over the years, Bernadette has continued to develop artistically exploring a variety of techniques, perfecting her skills through studies in drawing and painting courses. Bernadette’s current works incorporate painting larger, semi-abstract mixed media on canvas with varied surfaces complete with bolder and brighter colours.

Bernadette was a Founding Member of the Art Focus Art Group as well as being an Active Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. Over the years, Bernadette has participated in many selected solo and group exhibitions with Bernadette’s art work being purchased by a number of Government agencies as well as by collectors around the world.

Currently Bernadette also teaches painting to children and adults, in conjunction with being a yoga instructor.

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Jocelyn Sanchez

Jocelyn Sanchez

Visual & Media Arts for Children & Teens

Jocelyn Sanchez is a Vancouver-based interdisciplinary artist focused on visual development and storytelling through digital media and illustration.

A recent MA Animation graduate from the University of South Wales in the United Kingdom, she is currently working on a children’s book and short animation series.

She is excited to share her knowledge and passion of visual and media arts with the students of Place des Arts.

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Dan Severance

Dan Severance

Ceramic Arts for Adults

Dan Severance first did wheel throwing in high school in Burnaby and was lucky to have potters as teachers who encouraged him to take classes at the Shadbolt center in Burnaby. But like most youth, it was adventure time and clay work was put aside.

27 years later in 2004, Dan decided to try wheel throwing again. He took a beginners course with Gillian McMillan at the Port Moody Arts Center, followed by more courses taught by Clive Tucker.

Dan Severance’s work has now shifted to handbuilding functional wares decorated with brightly colored under glazes. Dan is a member of the BC Potters Guild and the Tri-City Potters’ Group. His work can be seen at the Gallery of BC Ceramics on Granville Island and Kizmit gift gallery in Fort Langley.

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Lena Savic

Lena Savic

Visual Arts Teacher

Lena Savic studied Art History at Belgrade University, and Fine Arts at Langara College and ECUAD. She  had worn many hats in art; from art critic, juror, curator, art dealer, gallery manager, to art instructor and practising artist in her East Side studio. She took part in artist’s residencies in Italy, Cuba and Vancouver’s schools.

For over 15 years Lena was involved as a volunteer, community art project-leader and an instructor in various art programs and events for children and adults across Metro Vancouver. Her interests are diverse, yet throughout all her work in photography, mixed media, installation, painting, drawing and earlier ceramics, she has been drawn to the texture.

As an instructor, Lena emphasizes formalism as a foundation of visual literacy and believes that, besides creativity, art stimulates focus, cognition, self-confidence, perseverance, resourcefulness….

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Clive Tucker

Clive Tucker

Ceramic Arts for Adults

Almost 20 years ago in a dim corner of industrial Yorkshire, Clive Tucker strayed from his appointed path. After years of study completing two science degrees, Tucker found himself slaving in one of England’s “dark satanic mills.” Disillusioned, he cast his job aside and fled to the exotic east.

In 1993, he landed in Durness, Scotland to apprentice with Lotte Glob at The Far North Pottery. There, he learned the art of throwing and dreamed of becoming an artist. Immigrating to Ontario in 1994, it was not long before he became a self-sufficient potter.

In 1998, restlessness struck once more, and he moved to Vancouver to attend Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Upon graduating he was invited to be artist in residence at the Port Moody Art Centre. Late in 2008, Clive and fellow potter Jacqueline Sheridan opened their own studio, Straight Up Studios in Port Moody.

Clive believes in a playful, yet poignant approach to art. He is very focused on keeping elements of play and whimsy in his work with a light sprinkling of irony. For more information about Clive and his work, visit his website here.

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Dance & Movement Teachers

Megan Alandi

Megan Alandi

Children and Teens Hip Hop

Megan fell in love with funk and hip hop at an early age. Dancing since she could walk, Megan taught herself to move the way many did before the YouTube era: with freestyle and music videos.

With this passion for music and innate talent in dance, Megan started training intensively with the SOULdiers Dance Company where she learned the fundamentals of Urban Dance styles such as Locking, Popping, Hip Hop, House, Breakin’ and Waacking. Here she explored the history and learned directly from creators of these genres including Jimmy “Scoo B Doo” Foster and Boogaloo Sam.

Through her journey in dance, Megan discovered her love for teaching. Since 2004, she has taught at recreation centers, Douglas College and coached her former high school’s competitive dance team. With a Bachelor’s in Education from Simon Fraser University, she is now a BC certified Dance, PE and Science teacher at New Westminster Secondary. Megan takes pride in watching her students grow into talented and knowledgeable dancers by encouraging them to see their full potential.

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Lucienne Anczykowski

Lucienne Anczykowski

Children and Adult Ballet, Pointe, Body Development

A professional and certified Russian Ballet teacher, Lucienne began her studies as a resident of a Polish State Ballet School, later working toward her professional teaching credentials at the University of Music in Warsaw. Her performing career was with the Maurice Bejart Theatre de XX Siècle in Belgium. Lucienne continues to learn by attending extensive teacher ongoing training through the National Ballet School of Canada.

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Ashley Binette

Ashley Binette

Children's Bouncing Ballerinas & Dance Sampler, Teen Lyrical, Adult Ballet, Hip Hop, Jazz & Tap

Ashley found her love for dance and performing at a very young age. With over 15 years in the performing arts industry, she has earned titles such as National Gold Champion for two consecutive years in dance competitions in Las Vegas and Orlando, as well as National Silver Champion in a dance competition in Portland, Oregon.

Ashley is trained in tap, hip hop, jazz, musical theatre and ballet and has trained with many masters, including Jeni Le Gon, Jason Samuels Smith and Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo (NappyTabs).

She was a backup dancer for Tazneem Tarmohamed, has been featured in television commercials such as Alley Cats, and performed in local productions, including For The Luv Of It, West Side Story and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games Ceremony. Ashley is always eager to share her knowledge and continue to learn in every aspect in the performing arts industry.

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Kelsey de Zwaan

Kelsey de Zwaan

Children and Teens Jazz Dance

Kelsey fell in love with dance during her first lesson at the age of three. Since then, she has trained in jazz, ballet, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, tap, stage, Irish dance and 13 styles of ballroom dance.

With over 22 years in the dance and performing arts industry, Kelsey has performed in many professional productions including on the field for the BC Lions and BC White Caps as well as at the Opening Ceremonies for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

She has trained with talented instructors and choreographers in L.A. and Las Vegas such as Tyce Diorio, tWitch, Blake McGrath, Luther Brown and Nappytabs. Kelsey is very excited to share her knowledge, creativity and love of dance with the students at Place des Arts.

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Bryn Kinders

Bryn Kinders

Children's Tap

Bryn began dancing at the age of two; as soon as she was walking, she was dancing! Specializing in tap dance, she has also trained in jazz, ballet, contemporary and modern dance.

Bryn has traveled the world to train with artists like Michelle Dorrance, Nicholas Young, Dianne Walker and Sarah Reich. She recently traveled to Chicago where she attended the Institute for the Rhythmic Arts and performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art alongside other professional tap dance artists and masters.

Bryn has also appeared in dance concept videos such as Sedated by Alex Clancy, which was screened at Cascadia Dance and Film Festival in the summer of 2016.

Bryn has an endless passion for the tap dance art form and its rich history and is excited to share this with her students!

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Bernadette Rollin

Bernadette Rollin

Adult Visual Arts

Bernadette Rollin was born and raised in Switzerland where from early childhood she loved to draw, paint and do crafts. In 1977, she moved and immigrated to Vancouver.

In 1982 Bernadette began exploring decorative painting which she had fully enjoyed for ten years and by 1992 Bernadette then moved on to discover the beauty of watercolour painting.

Since 1999 the technique and mediums of her art have evolved to include pastels, oils, acrylics, ink stamping and layering of porous material, all of which have challenged her to further explore the inner-depths of her art and creativity. Through the inspiration of Bernadette’s love of gardening, outdoor activities and nature these themes are now being incorporated throughout her art work.

Over the years, Bernadette has continued to develop artistically exploring a variety of techniques, perfecting her skills through studies in drawing and painting courses. Bernadette’s current works incorporate painting larger, semi-abstract mixed media on canvas with varied surfaces complete with bolder and brighter colours.

Bernadette was a Founding Member of the Art Focus Art Group as well as being an Active Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. Over the years, Bernadette has participated in many selected solo and group exhibitions with Bernadette’s art work being purchased by a number of Government agencies as well as by collectors around the world.

Currently Bernadette also teaches painting to children and adults, in conjunction with being a yoga instructor.

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Lauren Taylor

Lauren Taylor

Children and Teen Acrobatic Dance, Contemporary, Jazz and Hip Hop

Lauren began dancing at the age of 3, training seriously in ballet, jazz, modern and hip hop. She began teaching in 2007 and is presently teaching across the Lower Mainland.

Lauren enjoys teaching a variety of styles including Hip Hop, Jazz, Contemporary and Acrobatics. She has recently been certified to teach Acrobatics through Acrobatic Arts and will be continuing her studies there. In addition to teaching dance, Lauren also spent time obtaining her Bachelor of Arts at Simon Fraser University.

Lauren is an alumni member of Kill The Lights Co., an urban dance company based out of Harbour Dance Center in Vancouver. She is continuously training in Vancouver and often travels to Los Angeles, California to further her knowledge.

She has danced in various shows around Vancouver including 604 Delite, For the Luv of It, Vancity Project, for different companies including Sonic Nation Radio and Kia, and has also danced for artists such as Brian McKnight, Charlotte Fischer, Michael Buble, Lowkita, Jackie Valentine and Laurell.

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Sophie Turner

Sophie Turner

Children and Teens Jazz & Lyrical Dance

Hailing from the United Kingdom, Sophie began dancing from the age of two, and started training in gymnastics at the age of five. She trained with renowned teachers such as Brenda Last and Yoko Ichino at the Northern Ballet School and at Yorkshire Ballet Scholars until the age of 16, at which time she received a full scholarship to Laine Theatre Arts, a performing arts college in England, where she obtained a National Diploma in Musical Theatre.

Over the years, Sophie won The English National Ballet Championship, was crowned Miss Dance of Great Britain and also represented the South Yorkshire gymnastics team and competed throughout England.

Professionally, she performed at The London Palladium in the West End and in shows throughout England including Jack and the BeanstalkCinderella and Robinson Crusoe. Sophie then moved to Japan and performed for Tokyo Disney Sea as a lead in a show created by Cirque Du Soleil.

As a dancer and aerialist, Sophie trained with Sonoko Yoshihara and Chinatsu Hirasawa alongside other great aerialists from Japan to prepare for and perform in Disney’s The Little Mermaid as Ariel, where she flew 30 meters high on a 2-point harness.

Since then, Sophie has traveled the world performing with Holland America Line as a featured dancer in all styles of dance; she performed in 10 shows and taught ballroom dance to guests on board. Sophie is excited to be teaching in Vancouver next season and sharing her love of performing arts with the students at Place des Arts.

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Megan Walker-Straight

Megan Walker-Straight

Dance for Parkinson's

Megan holds a BA in Dance from the University of California, Berkeley. She trained in the Hunter University of New York Masters Program in Dance Therapy and at the Helix Institute for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Healing, also in NYC.

Megan has been teaching contemporary dance since the 1980’s when she performed in the acclaimed New York City dance companies of Merce Cunningham, Lucinda Childs, Douglas Dunn and Kenneth King. She has since taught contemporary dance technique throughout the United States, Europe and Canada. Since 2000, she has been teaching contemporary dance in the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.  In 2013 she was named a Cunningham Fellow by the Merce Cunningham Trust and has re-staged his dances in both NYC and Vancouver.

In 2015, Megan began her involvement with Dance for Parkinson’s and was awarded a Stanley J. Wertheimer Fellowship for training by the Mark Morris Dance Group in New York. She presently teaches dance class for people living with Parkinson’s disease in West Vancouver and Vancouver.

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Shelby Simmons

Shelby Simmons

Children's Dance Sampler, Tap and Adult Tap

Shelby was born with toes tapping! She started dance classes at the age of three and has since had the opportunity to compete and perform with a range of groups over the years. Specializing in tap and musical theatre, Shelby is also trained in jazz, contemporary, street jazz and hip hop.

Shelby has taught recreational to competitive classes in various settings including at the Vancouver Tap Dance Society and numerous public schools. Her training is continuous, and she emphasizes emoting through the dance form in her classes. She is a performer with the non-profit organization Groove Force Productions and will be performing in their upcoming performance Coming Home in December 2018.

Shelby has her Special Education Assistant Certificate and is excited to merge her passions for education and dance at Place des Arts. She is determined to help students feel accomplished in their dance classes through a fun approach with constructive guidance.

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Theatre & Film Teachers

Daniel Curalli

Daniel Curalli

Coquitlam Youth Theatre

Daniel’s passion for theatre and acting was truly ignited by his opportunity to study the artform at UBC. Being immersed in learning and purposeful play broadened his horizons both in the profession and in his life in general. He is excited to be able to assist young people in this incredibly rich pursuit.

In addition to holding a BFA in acting, Daniel also completed his Bachelor of Education at UBC. He continues to be involved in the Vancouver theatre scene, participating in local film work as well as in theatrical productions with companies such as Awkward Stage, Align Entertainment and Theatre Under the Stars.

Outside of the theatre, Daniel is a substitute teacher and a professional baseball coach. In all of his work with young people, Daniel is committed not only to helping students improve their skills, but also to teaching life skills and helping students transfer knowledge from the classroom studio or field into their own lives.

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Laura Drummond

Laura Drummond

Theatre for Life

A graduate of Studio 58, Laura is excited to be returning her focus to the acting world. A mom of three, she co-founded the arts-infused independent school Urban Academy in New Westminster in 2001 and has since passionately championed the arts in education, community creation, leadership and organizational development.

Her previous stage work includes shows with Platypus, Green Thumb, Sunshine and Richmond Gateway theatres, as well as writing and performing her one-person show, Peanuts. Laura has also appeared in various commercials and film and television shows such as Fairly LegalHiccupsThe 4400Stargate, Due East and Beggars & Choosers.

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Seamus Fera

Seamus Fera

Coquitlam Youth Theatre

Seamus Fera is an emerging Vancouver-based theatre artist and Artistic Producer of Indigo Child Productions. Seamus is a recent University of British Columbia BFA graduate and hopes to focus on creating new Canadian works that are engaging and reflective of modern society. Since 2011, Seamus has been a youth theatre instructor for various organizations throughout the Lower Mainland.

Selected UBC acting credits include Cletis (Lone Star), Mortimer (Edward II), Boris (The Safe Word) and Jean Claude Phillipe III (The Dirty Dutch Rhino). Other acting credits include Robert/De Stogumber (Saint Joan), Jay (Generation Hot: Waterborne), Vagrant (The Insect Comedy), Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Performer (Ask a Teenager- Boca Del Lupo). Directing credits include Our Town (Coquitlam Youth Theatre) and MilkMilkLemonade (Awkward Stage Productions) and Assistant Directing credits include Romeo and Juliet (Theatre Temp), Charles III (Arts Club Theatre), Taken at Midnight and The Imaginary Invalid (The United Players of Vancouver) and The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe and Fantastic Mr. Fox (Arts Umbrella).

When not acting, directing or teaching, Seamus can be found writing. His play Gale: The Yellow Bricks of Oz was produced by Coquitlam Youth Theatre last season and previously at Vancouver Technical Secondary School. He has also written Alice: A Wonderland and Genesis: Genesis. He is currently developing an original play, The Wives, which received public readings at UBC and Sup: A Reading Series.  Seamus has abridged various classical plays that have been produced by Arts Umbrella’s Pre-Professional Training Program and at Carousel Theatre for Young People’s Teen Shakespeare Program.

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Peter Grasso

Peter Grasso

On-Camera Acting

Peter Grasso has been working as an actor, writer and director in Vancouver for over twenty years and has accumulated multiple theatre, film and television credits. He is proud to have written a one-act play titled Man Up, concerning the struggles of at-risk youth, which toured the Lower Mainland in 2016.

Peter has been teaching since 1989 and has taught hundreds of workshops for young actors at Templeton Secondary, with Tarlington Talent teaching students how to create, write, shoot and edit films, and at Atlanthus Achievement Centre working with youth between 10 and 18 years old. He enjoys being a part of the growth of aspiring performers.

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Joanna Kovats

Joanna Kovats

Tiny Musical Theatre and Acting Basics

A Musical Theatre performer for over 25 years, singing, dancing, and acting have been Joanna’s life passions. She started dancing at a very young age, completing all the examinations in Ballet, Tap and Modern dance with the British Association of Teachers of Dance in the UK. Joanna successfully completed a teaching diploma in Ballet, Tap and Modern dance before setting off on a professional career on the stage that enabled her to travel the world.

Performing in dance reviews and musicals in England, Germany, Spain, Japan and Canada, Joanna’s knowledge of the performing arts is extensive. Now a proud member of the Canadian Dance Teachers Association in the Classical Ballet, Tap and Jazz divisions, Joanna is thrilled to become a part of the Place des Arts community, sharing her passion for dance and theatre with her students!

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Megan Phillips

Megan Phillips

Writing & Performance: Comedy for Confidence

Megan is an award-winning writer and performer who has toured solo shows to sold-out houses across the Canadian Fringe Circuit since 2012. She has been called “an artistic achievement” by Vue Weekly and has been teaching singing and drama for over seven years.

Megan graduated from the Western University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with an Honors in Voice. She then obtained her MA in Musical Theatre from Mountview Academy in the United Kingdom. A teacher and a performer, Megan performs sketch, improv and stand-up comedy around Vancouver and believes in harnessing the power of play in all artistic endeavours.

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Shelby Simmons

Shelby Simmons

Children's Dance Sampler, Tap and Adult Tap

Shelby was born with toes tapping! She started dance classes at the age of three and has since had the opportunity to compete and perform with a range of groups over the years. Specializing in tap and musical theatre, Shelby is also trained in jazz, contemporary, street jazz and hip hop.

Shelby has taught recreational to competitive classes in various settings including at the Vancouver Tap Dance Society and numerous public schools. Her training is continuous, and she emphasizes emoting through the dance form in her classes. She is a performer with the non-profit organization Groove Force Productions and will be performing in their upcoming performance Coming Home in December 2018.

Shelby has her Special Education Assistant Certificate and is excited to merge her passions for education and dance at Place des Arts. She is determined to help students feel accomplished in their dance classes through a fun approach with constructive guidance.

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Literary Arts Teachers

Janice Liu

Janice Liu

Creative Writing & Illustration

Janice Liu is a children’s comic creator, illustrator, and educator. She is the artist of the bilingual comic Chicken Soup & Goji Berries 中药鸡汤, and her comic shorts have appeared in Wayward Sisters: An Anthology of Monstrous Women, New Moon Girls, and Augur magazine. Her work is often about exploring diasporic identity and the inner world through fantasy.

Janice was born in Ottawa and currently lives in Burnaby where she teaches at Young Artists’ Place. She has been teaching art for children and teens since 2013 and has delivered various art and comic workshops at schools and libraries, including Burnaby Public Library and the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study at the University of Toronto.

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