Joan McCauley, Executive Director
T: 604.664.1636 ext 35 | email@example.com
Bali Singh, Facilities & Administrative Coordinator
T: 604.664.1636 ext 31 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hazel Kang, Facilities & Techology Assistant
T: 604.664.1636 ext 31 | email@example.com
Position to be filled, Development Coordinator
T: 604.664.1636 ext 36 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Christa Beese, Financial Coordinator
T: 604.664.1636 ext 37 | email@example.com
Aurora van Roon, Communications Coordinator
T: 604.664.1636 ext 29 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lidia Kosznik, Artisan Shop Coordinator
T: 604.664.1636 ext 0 | email@example.com
Tania Deisinger, Registration Coordinator/Financial Assistant
T: 604.664.1636 ext 39 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Pereira, Marketing Assistant
T: 604.664.1636 ext 29 | email@example.com
Jessie Au, Senior Fine and Performing Arts Programmer
Dance, Theatre, Fine Arts and Literary Arts
T: 604.664.1636 ext 33 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Correia, Fine and Performing Arts and Exhibitions Programmer
Ceramic Arts, Fibre Arts and Art Camps
T: 604.664.1636 ext 32 | email@example.com
Scott Jeffrey, Fine and Performing Arts Programmer
Music and Home Learners
T: 604.664.1636 ext 38 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
President: Barb Hobson
Vice-President: Diane Tucker
Treasurer: Matthew Sebastiani
Secretary: Rachel Mai
Director: Terence van der Woude
Director: Luana Magno
Monica Han (Dr. M)
Yurgen Ilaender (Mr. I)
Rita Attrot has been teaching piano students of all ages and levels for over thirty years. She received her early training at the Victoria Conservatory where she took her diploma in Teacher Training with Winifred Scott Wood. She went on to complete her Bachelor of Music at the University of Victoria with Bruce Vogt and followed up with a Master of Music degree in Performance from the University of Western Ontario where she studied with Dr. Damjana Bratuz and Ronald Turini. As a graduate student and post-graduation, Rita specialized in accompanying and chamber music.
Ms. Attrot held the position of Staff Accompanist at Acadia University in Nova Scotia for nine years, worked as a freelance accompanist for instrumentalists and singers in Toronto, and served as a coach and repetiteur at the University of Toronto Opera School. She has collaborated with violinist Mishan Han – releasing a CD from a live performance at the Glenn Gould Studio; pianist Lynn Johnson – performing piano duo and two-piano recitals in the Maritime provinces; and the Appassionata Trio and the Erato Ensemble – serving as principal pianist in concerts throughout Vancouver, Victoria and the Lower Mainland. Above all, Rita is passionate about working with vocalists and can be heard in recital performing innovative programs of great song literature with frequent collaborator, soprano Catherine Laub.
Ms. Attrot is Head of the Piano Department at the British Columbia Conservatory of Music where she has many students and teaches the Piano Pedagogy and Viva Voce courses. She is active as a Masterclass clinician, examiner for the BCCM Examinations and as an adjudicator for music festivals throughout B.C. As a church musician, Ms. Attrot has held many posts as organist and choir director and she is presently the Music Director at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church in Vancouver. In her spare time, she enjoys watercolour painting, gardening, rollerblading and snowshoeing.
Acoustic & Electric 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.
Meredith Bates is a multiple award-winning violinist based in Vancouver, BC where she has been performing professionally since 2004.
Meredith is a founding member of the celebrated ensembles Pugs and Crows (JUNO Award winner 2013, JUNO Award nominee 2016, Galaxie Rising Star Award winner 2010, Polaris Prize nominee 2016, Western Canadian Music Award winner 2016), Gentle Party (Polaris Prize nominee 2017), ElkHorn, Gran Casa, Tony Wilson’s Burn Down the Cornfield and Looking Back, Peggy Lee’s Echo Painting 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, Ayelet Gottlieb, Chris Gestrin, Joshua and Jesse Zubot, Annie Lou, Matt Mayes, David Ward, The Fugitives, Mark Berube, Rodney Decroo and Buck 65, and has performed alongside such varied musicians as Evan Parker and Rod Stewart.
Meredith has toured internationally with Pugs and Crows, Peggy Lee’s Film in Music, Crowman, Annie Lou and Dyad and has recorded on over 100 albums to date. Meredith was an artist in residence at the Western Front in Vancouver from September 2019 -March 2020, and attended residencies at The Banff Centre for the Arts in Banff, Alberta, and Flykingen in Stockholm, Sweden, in January and February 2020, respectively.
Currently, Meredith is finishing production of an immersive multimedia concert at The Western Front with guests Lief Hall, on vocals, synthesizer and running the octophonic sound system, and Josema Zamorano, on live improvised video and photographic installation. Over the next few months, she will be collaborating remotely with Seattle-based pianist, Wayne Horvitz, on an EP of solos and duos, one of which will be a premiere recording of her recent Western Front/SOCAN Foundation composition commission for processed violin and piano, If Not Now. Meredith is scheduled to perform at the 2021 JazzAhead conference in Bremen, representing Canada with Joshua Zubot’s String Quintet, and at the 2021 Katowice Jazz Festival in Poland. She will also be giving multiple performances, both collaborative and solo, as a guest artist at the Suoni per il Popolo festival in Montréal for three weeks in June of 2021.
She continues to be an in-demand session musician, performer and teacher, known for her elegant and virtuosic sound. A talented improvisor and collaborator at heart, she relishes any opportunity to join forces with other like-minded artists.
Celtic Harp, Adult Visual Arts
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 Triskellion.
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.
Visual Arts Bio
Rebecca Blair has been an active member of the arts community in Vancouver, which includes a decade of teaching at Place des Arts. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of Lethbridge and a Master’s of Arts from the University of Victoria. For nine years Rebecca taught drawing courses at Whatcom Community College in Washington State.
Rebecca’s art experiences have also taken her to Italy where she taught for a semester in Florence and attended a fresco restoration workshop in Altamura, Puglia. She has participated in several local art events such as the East Vancouver Cultural Crawl and art shows at Place des Arts. She attends the life drawing sessions at Vancouver’s Basic Inquiry studio.
Rebecca’s body of work focuses on watercolour landscapes and portraits in various media which is inspired by her travels both local and abroad. She is presently writing a book on the 17th-century Dutch artist, Jan Vermeer.
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.
The Musical Rainbow
Britney began her musical journey singing in various concert and vocal jazz choirs. She continued her education earning a bachelor’s degree in performing arts and an associates degree in musical theatre. Britney now introduces musical instruments to her students and teaches basic music theory through song and movement. Britney has been teaching The Musical Rainbow program for three years at several preschools and day cares. She is very excited to share her knowledge with her students at Place des Arts!
A West Coast girl through and through, Joani Bye was born and raised in North Vancouver and still lives there. Joani studied music at UBC, entering as a Concert Piano Major and switching to Voice in her second year.
As well as working live in clubs, at festivals and on theatre stages, Joani became a sought after studio musician, singing commercial jingles as well as background vocals for critically acclaimed artists such as Bon Jovi, Cher, INXS and David Bowie, to name a few. She performs regularly with the bands “Big City Soul” and the “Rhythm and Blues Allstars”.
In 2016, Joani became certified as a SongShine instructor, working on vocal empowerment with people who have Parkinson’s, recovering from strokes, living with other neurological issues or who want to improve ageing voices. She has taught SongShine courses for North Shore Neighbourhood House, John Braithwaite Community Centre, The Parkinsons Society of BC, the Vancouver Brain Injury Association and Stroke Recovery groups.
Violin, Fiddle, Fiddlers 1, 2, 3
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.
Rosie uses a positive approach to teaching and believes that with proper training and awareness, a student can venture into classical, fiddle, or whichever style they choose. Many of her students have achieved high marks for their examinations including silver medals in BC.
Rosie studied under the direction of Ona Cropper in Vancouver, BC. She began her affiliation with the Vancouver Corelli Strings (Ona’s string orchestra) at the age of 10. Rosie worked her way up the ranks to the position of concertmaster and has been featured as a soloist at many concerts throughout the years. Rosie was also a member of the Vancouver Junior Philharmonic String Orchestra under the direction of Douglas Stewart (Ona’s teacher).
Rosie has been a member of the Celtic group Blackthorn for 30 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 Son, Squid Jiggers, Sunshine and You, The Streels, The Halifax Wharf Rats and Triskellion.
Rosie has attended many fiddle workshops, some of her most memorable instructors were Kevin Burke, Liz Carroll, Gillian Boucher, Adam Sutherland, Martin Hayes, Alastair Fraser and Gordon Stobbe. Rosie plays in sessions regularly in Vancouver. She runs fiddle workshops, was a featured instructor at the Georgia Strait Guitar Workshop and The Moveable Music School and has recently launched a new music camp on Gambier Island called the Cat Nap Music Camp.
Piano (Novice Teacher-in-Training)
Born and raised in Vancouver, Dayton has been immersed into music at the young age of 6 and is studying the ARCT certificate with Marjory Purdy at Place des Arts. Dayton received first class honours with distinction in all his theory work and first class honours in his Grade 8, 9 and 10 piano exams. He was awarded the Elliott Harty scholarship in 2020, gold and silver in the North Fraser music festival in spring 2019 and studied with the renowned Terence Dawson in a Masterclass.
Dayton is currently in the French immersion at Dr. Charles Best Secondary. Aside from playing piano everyday, he volunteers for the Hope for Freedom Society, summer and spring camps for the City of Coquitlam, and for Coquitlam Minor Hockey Association. Dayton is an avid hockey player, loves basketball and is an aspiring chef. Playing piano is Dayton’s means of expression and he is very thankful to have discovered this outlet. He is very eager to share his knowledge with others so that they can enjoy music too.
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.
Piano (Novice Teacher-in-Training)
Emma Chong has taught in the Teacher-in-Training program at Place des Arts since 2017. She is currently finishing her Grade 10 Piano with Marjory Purdy while completing her undergraduate in Archaeology at Simon Fraser University. Emma has been awarded Medals of Excellence for Grade 3 and Grade 6 piano and Grade 4 theory, and in 2016, she was the recipient of the Elva Maria Wiltsie Memorial Scholarship from Conservatory Canada. Emma also plays the trombone her in school jazz band.
She is excited to share her love and passion for music with everyone around her.
Bass Clarinet, Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Mixed Wind Ensemble
Geeta is a professional multi-instrumentalist who has been performing and teaching music in Vancouver, as well as around the world, for over 25 years. She has studied music at Douglas College, the University of British Columbia and privately throughout the eastern United States. She is well-versed in a variety of musical styles, including everything from Classical and Jazz, to Latin, Funk, R&B, Reggae and more.
Geeta has had the honour of performing with world-renowned artists such as UK singer/songwriter Adele, 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.
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.
Music for Young Children® (MYC)
Charlene is a long-time music educator with over 42 years of work experience and has a passion for teaching music to people of all ages.
Sharing her love of music with her students moved Charlene to teach MYC. For 21 years she has been devoted to teaching the MYC program because of its amazing holistic blend of fun and learning.
Her varied and extensive work experience and specialized training (particularly her degree in Music Therapy) have greatly enhanced her teaching techniques.
While growing up in a small rural community in the heart of Alberta, Charlene’s life was enriched with piano, voice, guitar, drum, recorder and ukulele lessons. At a young age, she passionately participated in numerous music festivals, talent shows, Christmas pageants, choral groups (female choirs, high school madrigals, mixed choruses) and musical productions.
As an adult, Charlene taught in schools and institutional settings throughout Alberta and British Columbia. She has had experience with community musical theatre production groups, community choirs and jazz ensembles, and has been the accompanist for several local churches. While operating her full-time music studio, she was also the choir director for the Beacon Unitarian Church (2013-2017).
In her teens, Charlene completed her Royal Conservatory of Music voice (Grade 10, 1977) and piano (Grade 9, 1987) and, during the past 30 years, she has enhanced her music education with various specialty courses and studies at several colleges and universities.
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.
Mr. Sheldon is an accomplished musician with a rich baritone singing voice. He plays recorder, guitar and ukulele, but his specialty is the banjo. The children love to hear Mr. Sheldon strum and pick happy songs on the banjo. He has been teaching the Musical Rainbow program since 2010 at many preschools and elementary schools throughout the lower mainland and has a wonderful rapport with young children. He has a lighthearted approach with his students to ensure that they are having a fun time in class while learning their musical concepts.
Katrina [Kat] Gillis started singing at the age of 10 and took piano lessons starting at age 6. She has competed in festivals for voice and piano at a young age. She found a passion for entertaining while playing popular songs on the piano and singing along, which then led to her writing her own music. She did some post-secondary studies at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, where she studied Vocal Performance. Throughout university, Kat continued to play the piano by accompanying vocalists, playing in bands and acting as a band director for school productions.
Upon moving to BC, Kat attended Malaspina University (now called Vancouver Island University) for Jazz Performance. This was also where she further developed her skills in creating original compositions, working with bands as a backup singer and keyboard player and as a Musical Director for various musical productions on the island. She also performed her original work around Vancouver.
As a teacher, Kat has brought her focus to strengthening her student’s voice with proper breathing techniques, proper intonation, and agility (embellishment) warmups. She also teaches some music theory, ear training and recently has been teaching some of her students playing the piano while singing songs. She brings a lot of life experience on and off the stage to her teaching, showing musicianship and performance skills.
She is currently taking courses online to keep update her teaching skills and to further her knowledge in music composition. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking, kayaking, and horse back riding.
Piano (Novice Teacher-in-Training)
Offering In-Person and Online Lessons on Friday
Bella started studying piano at the age of 5 with Margaret Purdy, she is currently studying Grade 9 Piano with Marjory Purdy. She was awarded Medals of Excellence in 2013 and 2016 for piano and one in 2019 for Theory 5. Bella has also received the Place des Arts Scholarship for piano in 2019 and 2021. She is studying in the International Baccalaureate program at Port Moody Secondary School. Additionally, Bella studies and volunteers in the ballet studio at Place des Arts. Bella is looking forward to sharing her love for music and encouraging others to enjoy it as much as she does.
Monica Han (Dr. M)
A recent graduate of University of Montreal, Dr. Monica Han has been consistently recognized as a soloist in performances, festivals and competitions across the globe.
Ms. Han is a grand-prix winner of the 2009 British Columbia Performing Arts Competition and a Silver Medalist at the 2014 and 2015 Canadian National Competition. She has also won numerous prizes as a finalist at the International Union City Philharmonic Competition of New Jersey, and Bradshaw and Buono International Competition in New York, the 2014 Osaka International Piano Competition and the 2nd Australian Chopin International Competition.
Ms.Han has studied with Dang Thai Son, Dr.Sara Davis Buechner, Pavlina Dokovska, Paul Badura Skoda and many other artists of high-calibre.
Music for Young Children® (MYC)
Miss Becky has an ARCT in Piano Performance, Certificate of Teaching (Music) from The Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music, U.K. in 2008. From 2007-2019 she was the head teacher of a music program at Tom Lee Music Academy in Hong Kong. She was also one of the program planners and song writers responsible for new teachers’ training for the related program. From August 2002- March 2007, she served as a private piano teacher and course instructor at Salina Cheng Music Academy. She also taught group lessons for early beginners, in a program named “Music for Little Mozarts”. Besides teaching at the academy, Miss Becky taught group courses at Simon Fraser University Day Care Units. During those years, she had instructed over 40 piano students.
Miss Becky has more than 20 years experience in early childhood music education. She has excellent communication and interpersonal skills. She has good command in spoken and written English, Cantonese and Mandarin.
One of her piano students just awarded the Bronze medal in Grade 4 Piano at Steinway Piano Competition 2021.
Her teaching philosophy is to provide the flexibility of teaching. Every student is a unique individual so better listen to what they want and what they like. And hoping every student will bring a smile to her music class.
Yurgen Ilaender (Mr. I)
The Musical Rainbow with Mr. I
Mr. I aspires to inspire children to learn music. Since 1981 he has been teaching his Musical Rainbow program at Place des Arts and various Montessori preschools. Along with teaching music, Mr. I performs captivating concerts for children and families. An award-winning songwriter, he has recorded 18 CDs of educational and entertaining music and has written music and songs for over 20 children’s musical theatre productions.
Mr. I knows how to engage children to be the best they can be.
Irina Jilina graduated from Music College in 1978 and the Conservatory of Uzbekistan (Tashkent) in 1983. Irina worked extensively in music schools in Tashkent city and taught Piano in the Music College of Uzbekistan. After immigrating to Canada in 2002, Irina established herself as a private piano and theory teacher in Vancouver. Irina is a member of the Piano Teachers Federation and a Registered member (#54897) of the Royal Conservatory of Music, as well as a registered member (#3148) of the BC Registered Music Teachers’ Association.
In 2007 Irina founded the Vancouver International Festival of Russian Music in Vancouver (viform.org) and many of her students regularly performed in this annual event. In 2009 Irina accepted a position with Place des Arts where she has been teaching piano and music theory.
Irina’s students participate in a variety of local music festivals and Place des Arts class concerts. Many of her students successfully complete the Royal Conservatory of Music requirements for practical and theory examination at all levels.
Isaac’s musical style is influenced from music dating back 400 years to present day. He has earned a Bachelor of Music from the National University of Mexico and an Artist Diploma from the Superior School of Music, both in Mexico City. He has also earned his ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music and Licentiate Diploma from the British Columbia Conservatory of Music.
Isaac has attended many master classes taught by high-caliber performers worldwide and has received numerous medals, awards, and scholarships. An active performer, Isaac has been featured as a soloist and accompanist in a wide range of styles and musical genres.
A dedicated teacher, many of Isaac’s students have earned high marks in music exams and have placed highly in festivals, including 1st prize winners.
Aside from teaching and performing, Isaac is also an active adjudicator in various music festivals both locally and abroad.
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 masterclasses, 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.
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.
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.
Violin & Viola
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.
Born in Winnipeg, Canada, pianist Noel McRobbie first received national attention after receiving top prize at the Eckhardt-Grammatté Piano Competition. In addition, he has received prizes at the CBC Début Concert Artist Series, Grand Konzerteum International Piano Competition, Seiler International Piano Competition and the University of Michigan Concerto Competition.
Noel’s solo performances include the Steinway Series at the University of South Florida, the Vancouver Chopin Society, the Eastport Arts Centre in Maine, the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, the Seoul Arts Centre and the Asian Composers League at Sejong Chamber Hall. As a concerto soloist, he has performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Bulgarian Chamber Orchestra, the Jeonju Philharmonic Orchestra, the Westcoast Symphony, the University of Michigan Philharmonia, Dongduk Women’s University Symphony Orchestra and the New Westminster Symphony. Recent performances include the Victoria Conservatory of Music Summer Piano Academy, the Turning Point Ensemble and the Canadian Music Centre Concert Series. In addition, Noel is currently performing and recording works by Juno Award-winning composer Michael Conway Baker. His performances have been broadcast on CBC radio, and he was featured in International Piano magazine and KBS television’s Classic Odyssey.
For many years, Noel was a student of Lee Kum-Sing at the Vancouver Academy of Music and the University of British Columbia, where he received an Artist Diploma and Bachelor of Music respectively. Other teachers include Arthur Greene, Patricia Zander, and Svetozar Ivanov. He received a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory. Previously Noel was Assistant Professor of Piano at Dongduk Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea. Currently, he also teaches at the Vancouver Academy of Music, where he is on the college faculty.
Clarinet, Saxophone, Piano
Krystal Morrison holds the position as second clarinet with the Vancouver Island Symphony, and enjoys an active freelance and teaching career in her native Vancouver. A graduate of McGill’s Schulich School of Music and the University of Ottawa, she possesses Master’s degrees in both Performance and Musicology. Krystal began her musical career with the Canadian military, making her debut on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill as a musician in the daily changing of the guard ceremony. Since then she has continued to perform across North America and Europe, and can be heard outside the orchestra playing Argentine Tango, or alongside viola in Duetto di Nuovo.
An enthusiastic pedagogue, Krystal has taught at music schools throughout Canada, from conservatories to Cadet Camps. Her teaching style matches her diverse interests and blends practice and theory, both in the studio and the classroom.
Krystal is also a certified Alexander Technique teacher and member of CANSTAT, the Canadian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique. She has worked with musicians, actors and dancers to help them find ease in movement and bring new energy to their craft. Whether in masterclasses or one-on-one, she aims to give students a chance to pause, notice their habits, and ask, “is there a different way to approach this?”
Piano (Junior Piano Teacher)
Stefan Nazarevich has been both a student and a teacher at Place des Arts, studying piano with Marjory Purdy for 17 years. Additionally, Stefan has studied with renowned pianist and educator May Ling Kwok, and is completing a degree in “electroacoustic music composition and performance” with Sabrina Schroeder at the SFU School for Contemporary Arts. In 2018, Stefan was accepted into the Darmstadt Summer Festival, a two-week intensive workshop in Germany for electronic music. His artistic practice has led him to compose music for several contemporary dance artists in Vancouver, and to co-found the interdisciplinary artist collective olive theory projects with Shion Skye Carter. The collective has been artists-in-residence at What Lab Studio and Left of Main in Vancouver. Stefan’s dedication to his craft has earned him several Conservatory Canada medals of excellence, the Place des Arts Fern Bouvier Arts Legacy Award, the British Columbia Arts Council Scholarship Award and the Red FM Music Scholarship Award from Simon Fraser University. His goal as a teacher is to pass on the love of music to all of his students.
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.
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.
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.
Voice and Piano
Krista Pederson is a pianist, singer and teacher in the Tri-Cities region. After being born and raised in Saskatchewan, Krista has enjoyed travelling to and living in many different places for study and adventure. She studied piano performance with Jacques Després at the University of Alberta and completed a Master’s Degree in collaborative piano with John Hess at the University of Western Ontario. She has also studied piano and voice in the U.S., Canada, Spain and Austria with dedicated musicians like Alexandra Munn, Christiane Riel, Margo Garrett, Patricia Caicedo and Norman Shetler. She is pleased her career allows her to perform and share music with the people around her. Her work includes collaborating with singers and instrumentalists, playing for ballet classes and choirs, teaching, performing and being a mother to her four children. She has performed, toured and recorded with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and more recently, she has joined the Vancouver Cantata Singers and is loving sharing extraordinary performances with those talented musicians. In 2019, Krista joined the Coastal Sound Music Academy family as a pianist and this year she is thrilled to also be teaching and getting to know more artists at Place des Arts.
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.
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.
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.
Affectionately known as Miss. Beans, Sabina was once the student of Mr.I’s when she was a child. A multi-instrumentalist, Sabina plays guitar, ukulele, piano, and has a vibrant singing voice. She loves to bring surprises to class each week for her students and currently teaches at several daycares and preschools in the Pitt Meadows and Port Coquitlam areas.
Jammy Smith began her music studies in Hong Kong. She is a very active member of the BC Registered Music Teachers’ Association, and she is a registered Royal Conservatory of Music piano teacher with over twenty years of experience teaching private lessons and group music classes to students of all ages and levels.
Jammy received her Licentiate Diploma in Piano Performance, and an Associate Diploma in Piano Teaching from the London College of Music and Media (UK) under the tutelage of Joseph Bayer and Sharon West. She continued her piano studies with Alice Enns, and Jazz lessons with Peter Friesen. She practiced Alexander Technique with Marta Hunter.
Jammy loves being creative, and applying games in her teachings, to develop children’s musicality, creativity, and most importantly instill a life-long love of music. Jammy’s students have consistently received the first place awards and high honours for outstanding performances in music festivals, and the first class honours with distinction in RCM examinations. Her students frequently appear in the Celebration of Excellence Recital, a recital for those who got over 90 in their piano examination. Understanding the significance of early music education, she studied different programs and methods for young children such as Kelly Kirby Method for Beginners from Eleanor Harkness, Music for Young Children from Wendy Guimont, and the Music Pups Program. She is particularly interested in teaching young children. For many years, she has taught these programs at her own studio in North Burnaby and applied those methods in the music classes at preschools and daycares where she has taught for over ten years.
Violin & Viola
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.
Piano and Flute
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.
Cara Bain has a passion for capturing the faces and places that surround her. Her work explores the ways people search for meaning and find a connection with themselves, with others and with their surroundings. She is also devoted to landscape painting, both indoors (working from images) and ‘en plein air’ (painting in the great outdoors from life). She’s known for her unique combination of oil paint with copper leaf patina, unexpected colours, and expressiveness.
Cara has been an art instructor since 2016 and joined the Place des Arts team in 2018, teaching and inspiring children, teens and adults to build a solid foundation of technique to express their creative ideas. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Communication from Capilano University and over 15 years of experience in fine arts including participation in numerous exhibitions in greater Vancouver.
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.
Sylvia has a background in education and art instruction through which she has developed a teaching philosophy motivated by confidence-building and art-making as a space for supported self-expression. She hopes that in this position she can curate and direct classes that help students identify their individuality, introduce tools for visual communication and most importantly encourage children at all stages of artistic development to find success in both learning and creation.
A recent BFA graduate from SFU School for the Contemporary Arts, Sylvia has received the Tanabe/Thorne Award in Visual Arts, the Dr. Tashakkor Award in Contemporary Arts, the Rennie Undergraduate Award in the Visual Arts and has recently been recognized as a longlisted nominee for the Lind Emerging Artist Prize. As a mixed-media performance artist, their work concerns the performativity of identity, gender and domesticity as seen through a queer lens, and these works are often realized as interactive installations and sculptures, using photo, video and craft techniques.
Visual Arts for Adult, Children & Youth
Stan is an art practitioner with ten years of formal art training (MFA and MEd) and lifelong practice. Currently, he works as a semiretired art instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver and at Place des Arts in Coquitlam. 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.
More info: www.stanhunc.com
Anime/Manga & Comic Storytelling for kids and teens
Sarah has a background in Classical Animation and has worked as a character animator on 2D animation television shows. Currently, she teaches a variety of programs including drawing, painting, cartooning, animation and claymation to students of all ages. She enjoys helping and supporting students in creating and expressing their artistic endeavours.
Visual 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.
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 residencies in Italy, Cuba and Vancouver’s schools.
For over 15 years Lena was involved as a volunteer, community art project-leader and 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. Besides creativity, she believes that art stimulates focus, cognition, self-confidence, perseverance, resourcefulness, social and emotional development and health.
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, watercolour, 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.
Visual Arts for Adults & Children
Susan grew up in the UK and spent her early career working as an Education Officer in museums and galleries. Since moving to BC in 2005 she has worked full time as a paper collage and acrylic artist.
Fibre Arts for Children & Youth
Catherine Dumaine is a fibre artist living in Port Coquitlam, B.C. She has been teaching in art centres 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.
Fibre & Visual Arts for Adults & Children
Dawn Livera is a visual artist primarily working in textiles and mixed media. Dawn’s art practice begins with the belief that in art “there are no mistakes.”
Dawn has been an artist for her entire life. She 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ceramic Arts for Adults
Friederike (Fredi) Rahn was born in 1966 in Harlow, England. She studied ceramics at Sheridan College (Ont) and at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Since 1990, she has maintained an active studio practice in Vancouver.
Fredi has participated in artists’ residencies at Watershed, Maine, the Archie Bray Foundation, Montana, and was a participant in the Mexico / Canada ceramics exchange in Puebla, Mexico and the Banff Centre.
She teaches at the Shadbolt Center for the Arts and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Fredi makes utilitarian tableware with strong decorative elements. Her work is exhibited across Canada and the United States.
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.
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.
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 20 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.
Dance Sampler, Jazz I, Tap, Adult Tap, Adult Musical Theatre
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.
Theatre Arts Bio
Shelby has been a passionate and active participant in theatre since she can remember. Starting classes at the age of six, she has been a part of many projects including acting in musicals, one act plays and spoken word performances.
Shelby has experience teaching in multiple settings from competitive to recreational environments including in public schools and for community theatre. Her most recent project involved helping write and direct an original piece of theatre titled Little Black Box that Port Moody Secondary School students performed at MetFest, a district wide theatre festival. She is currently excited to be working on The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Port Moody Secondary as the choreographer and director.
Shelby’s training is continuous through workshops involving improvisation, clowning, flocking, puppetry, musical theatre, tap, hip hop and jazz. She also has Viewpoints Training.
Shelby has her Special Education Assistant Certificate and is qualified to teach students with a wide range of ability and needs. She is excited to merge her passions for education, theatre and dance at Place des Arts and is determined to help students feel accomplished in their classes through a fun approach with constructive guidance.
Bernadette has been practicing yoga since 1984. She received her Yoga Teacher Certificate in September 2000 upon successfully completing a five-year program of yoga study with Om Sairam. In addition, Bernadette has studied and been awarded her 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Certificate from Sandra Sammartino in conjunction with receiving her Canadian Yoga Alliance Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher Certification (CYA-E-RYT500). Bernadette also has completed her Teaching Chair Yoga Workshop program studying under Sylvia Smallman. Bernadette has continued to develop her yoga education through worships with Erich Schiffman (Hatha Yoga), Sherryn Rault (Critical Alignments Yoga Therapy) as well as reading and weekend retreats and practices. Bernadette has been teaching yoga to both adults and children since 1999 blending dedication, passion and joy into her teaching.
She is a member of the British Columbia Yoga Alliance and over the years has continued to develop her yoga education through workshops, reading and practice. Bernadette is also a successful visual artist in her own right and teaches art to children and adults.
Tiny Tutus Ballet
Emily started her dance career at the age of 6 at Place des Arts. Growing up taking ballet classes with Lucienne Ancyzkowski as well as jazz and technique classes, she received several awards and scholarships. She then branched out into hip hop and street jazz, which is where she ultimately found her passion.
In her last year of high school, Emily joined hip-hop training company “Kill the Lights” (KTL) run by industry professionals Ken Yung and Shauna Smith through Harbour Dance Centre in Vancouver.
After booking work in the Vancouver dance scene, including multiple music videos, movies, live performances and commercial work, Emily decided to return to team dancing and training.
Her biggest accomplishment to date was being invited to dance with an internationally renowned, all-female competitive hip-hop team called Style and Grace. Run by Carmen Forsyth and Ravienal Lescano, Style and Grace competes locally and internationally and was featured on Season 3 of NBC’s World of Dance.
Emily continues to travel and teach locally and in other Canadian cities in the hopes of spreading her love of dance to others.
Jazz and Lyrical Dance
Amanda is a Vancouver-based performing artist, choreographer, dance educator and vocalist.
She has over 15 years of training in jazz, lyrical, contemporary, musical theatre, stage, tap, street jazz, creative movement, ballet and hip-hop. Amanda has extensive teaching experience with a variety of ages, levels and genres.
She spent many years as a competitive dancer receiving numerous awards and scholarships. In addition, she has taught, trained and performed across BC with Vancouver Tap Dance Society’s touring ensemble, TAPCO. She has trained with tap masters such as Michelle Dorrance, Jason Samuel Smith, and Travis Knights. During her time as a competitive dancer, her specialty was in Song & Dance. Amanda is a dancer on the NLL Vancouver Warriors Dance Crew at Rogers Arena as well as a Captain of the SFU Athletics Dance Team. She has adjudicated at the Performing Arts BC Regional Festivals and Tri-Cities Got Talent for the past 3 years.
Amanda has performed in and choreographed multiple musicals in Vancouver. Her most recent choreography work was for the musical Guys & Dolls. Past accomplishments include nominations for “Best Supporting Actress” (CTC Awards) and “Outstanding Supporting Performance” (Ovation Awards). Select theatre credits include CATS, Ragtime, Slumber Here, Bye Bye Birdie and The 39 Steps. In addition, she has worked in film, music videos and print ads.
As a vocalist, she has studied under Peter Jorgenson, Dr. Gina Oh and Sheila Christie. Growing up, she competed in many voice competitions and received scholarships and awards from BC Performing Arts, Arts Club Theatre, CDMF and Kiwanis. As a performing artist, she has also trained with Arts Club Theatre and The Gateway Conservatory.
Amanda is at SFU studying Communication and Education, a peer mentor, and a Board Director for a non-profit society. Amanda’s philosophy for her classes is growth-oriented and focuses on helping her students cultivate creativity and confidence through movement.
She looks forward to sharing her passion for dance with her students!
Modern & Contemporary Dance for Children, Teens and Adults
Kylah Powell is a Vancouver-born resident who attended on a scholarship and graduated with a BFA in dance (with a focus on Modern) from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She studied dance under Leni Wylliams, Mary Pat Henry and Paula Webber, and also spent a summer in New York as a student at the Alvin Ailey Dance Centre.
Kylah has been teaching for over 20 years, with her choreography winning numerous awards throughout the Lower Mainland, including Choreography of entire Dance Power Festival for 5 years. She has performed in various festivals over the years, and her choreography has been showcased in the BC Festival of Arts, among many other events. In 2009, she choreographed and performed in a short film titled ‘Swell Season’, which screened at the Chicago International Film & Music Festival. During that time, she was also part of Project CPR, a project focusing on the choreographic process, directed by Claire French. Choreographers included Sara Coffin, Heather Laura Gray and Caroline Liffman. Kylah’s most memorable moment came in 2010 when she danced in the Vancouver Olympic Opening Ceremonies! Since then, she has been focussing on her company, CollabArt Creations (see below), and in 2015 she performed a piece in a segment entitled This Is A Full Length, as part of the Dance In Vancouver Festival. In May of 2018, Kylah’s work was selected to be showcased in a special Gala celebrating BC’s 160th held at the Vancouver Playhouse.
Kylah was a national level competitive gymnast for many years, competing both locally and out of province and country. This experience proved to be invaluable, as the teaching and choreographing of circus arts at Cirkids became another creative aspect of her life.
In 2005, Kylah formed CollabArt Creations, a contemporary dance company whose goal is to showcase the artistic collaboration of dancers, performers and artists of various mediums in the public domain. She has produced and choreographed several full-length shows throughout the Lower Mainland, all of which were well received by enthusiastic audiences! CollabArt Creations has collaborated with artists including choreographers, dancers, photographers, painters and film directors/producers.
Most recently, Kylah has focused on the realm of film, due to COVID. She has produced/ choreographed several short dance films and has just received a grant from The Dance Centre towards her next film project ‘Just a Swipe’. Stay tuned…
Follow Kylah on Instagram: @kylahpowell @collabartcreations
Jazz and Lyrical Dance Teacher for Children and Teens
Marcel Tremel is a choreographer, performer, adjudicator and dance educator based in the Vancouver area. He is a fully certified Dance Teacher with ADAPT Syllabus (Jazz, Tap), Canadian Dance Teachers’ Association (Jazz, Tap, Acro), Acrobatic Arts, Progressing Ballet Technique, Alixa Flexibility and is working towards completing his certification with the Acro Dance Teachers Association. Marcel is also a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA) where he completed the full three-year program, earning him a Diploma in Applied Performing Arts.
Aside from training, Marcel has had several exciting opportunities to perform and showcase his choreography over the years, some of the highlights include: touring Western Canada and parts of the United States with a song and dance group called Saskatchewan Express, co-choreographing the CCPA’s production of Young Frankenstein, starring in CCPA’s production of Lend Me A Tenor, choreographing Hello, Dolly! with Fraser Valley Stage, and touring in England to dance in the Gilbert and Sullivan International Festival in a production of The Gondoliers. The versatility in Marcel’s training has allowed him to push the boundaries of basic dance routines and create exciting new pieces to share with his community. His work has made him a standout amongst his peers, having been recognized with numerous awards and recognitions for his outstanding choreography. Marcel is a passionate instructor and is motivated by watching his students become inspired by a shared love of dance. He looks forward to sharing his love of dance with you this upcoming year.
Justin has trained extensively in film and theatre from a very young age and continues to do so. When in his class, you’ll find that Justin strives to cultivate creative confidence with empathy of an actor’s individual process. Justin is a big proponent of creating one’s own work, developing several films as his own producer and writer with accolades. He is thrilled to be at Place des Arts and helping young artists unleash their creative potential.
Coquitlam Youth Theatre
Seamus Fera is an emerging Vancouver-based theatre artist and Literary Manager for Western Gold Theatre. 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 acting credits include Cassandra (Agamemnon– Stone’s Throw Productions) The Figure (The Ocean– Pull Festival 8), Robert/De Stogumber (Saint Joan– Promethean Theatre), Jay (Generation Hot: Waterborne– The Only Animal) and roles in Lone Star, Love and Information Edward II and The Safe Word (Theatre@UBC).
Directing credits include Bare (Eternal Theatre Collective), Anon(ymous), The Secret in the Wings (Killarney Theatre), The Chrysalids and Our Town (Coquitlam Youth Theatre) and MilkMilkLemonade (Awkward Stage Productions). Upcoming directing projects include Salome for Promethean Theatre.
Assistant/Co-Directing credits include Peter Pan (Arts Umbrella), Dear Edwina Jr. (Coquitlam Youth Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Theatre Temp), Charles III (Arts Club Theatre), Taken at Midnight and The Imaginary Invalid (The United Players of Vancouver).
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 and previously at Vancouver Technical Secondary School. He has also written Alice: A Wonderland and Genesis: Genesis. Other recent produced scripts include Curiouser and The Greek Cycle: Persy’s Phone. 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 Carousel Theatre for Young People’s Teen Shakespeare Program.
Tiny Musical Theatre, Musical Theatre I/III and Acting
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!
Christine Bissonnette is a performance poet and Speech Arts teacher. Originally from Nova Scotia, Christine holds a BA in English and Theatre, with a concentration in creative writing from the University of New Brunswick, and a Theatre Conservatory Diploma from Vancouver Acting School. She has trained extensively in voice, breath and movement with highly respected coaches from across North America, and is a certified Breath experience instructor.
As a poet, Christine has performed on stages all over Vancouver (including opening for Danielle LaPorte as part of the Rise Women’s Conference in 2019). She also wrote, co-produced and featured in a short film, Left Opened, that explored the experience of anxiety using poetry, improvised piano and dance. The film toured international festivals in 2020.
As a teacher, Christine has worked with Viva Voce Speech Arts Studio (teaching private and group Speech Arts classes), Kudoz (facilitating poetry writing workshops for adults with cognitive disabilities), Vancouver Biennale (developing and conducting multi-week poetry and theatre workshops in schools) and ArtStarts in Schools (teaching poetry writing to teens). She also had the great pleasure of adjudicating the Speech Arts segment of the Pacific Northwest Music Festival in 2019.
Christine has prepared students for the Royal Conservatory of Music and Trinity Speech Arts exams, as well as theatre school auditions and speech competitions. In her classroom, students wishing to develop confidence and poise on stage, in front of the camera, and in conversation with others, will find a supportive atmosphere with instruction that values and builds upon their unique interests and curiosities.
Tessa has been studying, training and performing in musical theatre for more than 20 years and has worked professionally as an actor, singer, choreographer and sound designer. She has been teaching for about eight years and is excited to be working with such a supportive organization and inspiring young performers.
Recent credits include Bad Hat’s Theatre’s Peter Pan (Carousel Theatre); Amelie (West Moon Theatre – Ovation! Nominee); Kathy in Singin’ in the Rain (Royal City Musical Theatre – Ovation! Nominee), Grease, All Shook Up (Chemainus Theatre Festival) and From Broadway with Love (Circle Bright).
Tessa has a Diploma in Music from Capilano University, a Bachelor of Performing Arts and is a graduate of Studio 58.
Creative Writing & Illustration
Janice Liu is a children’s comics instructor and writer-artist. Her 2019 graphic novel, Chicken Soup & Goji Berries 中药鸡汤, was a 2020 Excellence in Graphic Literature Award finalist and has been nominated for a Gene Day Award.
Janice lives in Burnaby, where she also teaches at Young Artists’ Place. She has enjoyed bringing her programs to schools and libraries across Metro Vancouver, including Vancouver Public Library, Burnaby Public Library, St. Leonard’s Youth and Family Services and Richmond & West Vancouver district schools.