Team

Roshanak Jaberi

Artistic Director

 

Artistic Statement

Several years ago, my art and politics entered into a union, an organic relationship based on my need for purpose and desire to understand the world we live in. This led to a tension, causing the two sides to engage in constant negotiation and compromise in an attempt to satisfy their own expression. Somewhere along the line, I learned to embrace this tension and use it as a catalyst to challenge myself artistically while continuing to speak to the issues that matter to me.

 

My practice is based on the values of research, collaboration, community, experimentation, risk-taking and knowledge sharing. I am interested in creating with multiple art forms and am most inspired by my travels, through which I have met incredible people who have left a lasting imprint on me. My work does not attempt to offer strategies for complex, historically entrenched systems of oppression; however, my desire is to use my art to reveal the nuances in often concealed experiences.

BIO

Roshanak is an Iranian-born Canadian performer, choreographer and producer residing in Toronto. Described as a “force to reckon with,” she has presented her work in Canada, US and Europe. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Dance Umbrella of Ontario (DUO).

 

Honours:

  • Recipient of the Global Fellowship, ISPA-International Society of Performing Arts 
  • Recipient of the Chalmers Arts Fellowship, Ontario Arts Council
  • Nominated for Outstanding Original Choreography, Dora Mavor Award, No Woman’s Land
  • Nominated for Outstanding Performance of An Ensemble, Dora Mavor Award, Stones
  • Nominated for the Soulpepper Theatre Dance Awards (Community Arts)
  • Selected for Pitch New Works, ISPA-International Society of Performing Arts
  • Selected for Pitch New Works, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland
  • Selected for Pitch New Works, Cervantino Festival, Mexico

 

Selected Past Credits Include:

  • Committee Member, Toronto Arts Council Dance Committee
  • Committee Member, Canadian Dance Assembly Pluralism Committee
  • Juror, Dora Mavor Awards and the Toronto Arts Council
  • Guest Lecturer, Historical and Cultural Studies program at the University of Toronto
  • Associate Producer, Expect Theatre
  • Resident Artist, Political Prisoners: The Art of Resistance Project
  • Keynote Speaker, the Iranian Alliance for Peace, Freedom and Social Justice (Washington, DC)
  • Co-host, Evi-Dance Radio
Resident Collaborators

Karen Kaeja

Artistic Advisor

 

Karen Kaeja is an award-winning performer for stage and film, choreographer, community builder, project instigator, curator and educator. She thrives on developing performance platforms provoking collaborative relationships between dancers, everyday people and the body.

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The mastermind behind Porch View Dances” Toronto Star, she develops performance platforms provoking collaborative relationships between dancers, everyday people and the body. She integrates community and public participation through interactive performance strategies such as her audience inclusive Flock Landing installations. Karen’s awards include the 2019 Dance Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award, the CDA “I Love Dance” Community Award and the Paul D. Fleck Fellowship for Innovation (Banff). Her performances, choreography and creations have received 7 Dora Mavor Moore nominations, including quadrupal Dora nominations for Crave which won one. Karenis distinguished in The Canadian Who’s Who, was a finalist for the TAF Muriel Sherrin Award for International achievement, the CDA Innovation Award, NOW’s Best Local Choreographer and twice nominated for NOW’s Best Dance Company. An image maker, Karen’s choreography “paints portraits with moving bodies” Toronto Star. Commissioned, presented and touring globally from NFLD to Israel to Japan, she was the first resident dance artist for both MUN/Dance NL and the Guelph Dance Festival.Karen is a mentor and dramaturge for many instrumental dance artists plus Stratford’s first movement dramaturge for their upcoming 2020 production of Wendy and Peter Pan. She is Co-Artistic Director of Kaeja d’Dance with Allen Kaeja, and with Claudia Moore of Cloud 9. She is currently working on several commissions and performances for 2020 and 2021 including premieres at Citadel and Company’s Bright Nights, The Bentway and Harbourfront Centre Theatre. www.kaeja.org

Dr. Doris Rajan

Community Research Advisor

 

Doris Rajan is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the Director of Social Development at the Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (IRIS) where her focus is on violence against women, access to justice, migrant, Indigenous issues and disability rights.

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Her work involves designing community-based social development and applied research projects with international, national and provincial/territorial organizations. As an educator, Doris has taught community development courses at a variety of post secondary institutions. She has written many training resources and advised national and international NGO’s on how to conduct effective community-based research and development strategies. Doris is also an actress, playwright/screenwriter and filmmaker. She is very proud of her work with director Pierre Tétrault on the films This Beggar’s Description, The ‘R’ Word and the comedy Healing Rani. Favourite theatrical work includes; Gandhi High, Doris Does Damage and most recently, her play A Tender Path.

Dr. Shahrzad Mojab

Academic Research Advisor

 

Shahrzad Mojab, scholar, teacher, and activist, is internationally known for her work on the impact of war, displacement, and violence on women’s learning and education; gender, state, migration and diaspora; Marxist feminism and anti-racism pedagogy. She is Director of Equity Studies at the University of Toronto.

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Dr. Mojab is Professor of Higher and Adult Education in the Department of Leadership at OISE/University of Toronto and the former Director of the Women and Gender Institute. She received the prestigious Royal Society of Canada Award in Gender Studies in 2010. A unique feature of her work is making knowledge accessible to public through the use of arts such as story-telling, dance, drama, painting and film. Her most recent research projects are Youth in Transition: War, Migration, and ‘Regenerative Possibilities’The Pedagogy and Policy of Refugee Youth Resettlement; and No Woman’s Land, which is a dance project to capture the experience of refugee women of sexual violence.

Board of Directors

Ramak Jaberi
President

 

Ramak is a freelance communications specialist with over ten years of experience in the corporate and non-profit sectors.

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  • Bachelor of Arts, York University, majoring in English
  • Previous experience includes: Desjardins Insurance, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame
  • Founder and Executive Director of Dine to Donate, a charitable foundation with a mission to bring Canada’s best restaurants and their patrons together in support of hunger and poverty reduction programs in their communities

Sudeshna Saha
Treasurer

 

Sudeshna is a certified accountant with over 10 years of professional experience in the Canadian financial industry.

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  • Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) in Accounting, ACCA Diploma in International Financial Reporting,Accounting and Business/Management at Certified Management Accountants-Canada
  • Senior accountant at OnX Enterprise Solutions
  • Previous experience: Financial Analyst at Mevotech Inc.

Barbara Yebuga
Secretary

 

Barbara is a communications and public relations specialist, advocating for representation and accessibility in the arts.

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  • Bachelor of Arts, Wilfrid Laurier University, majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Organizational
    Leadership
  • Previous work experience includes: Sun Life Financial, Dynamic Funds and Intuit Canada.

Lyon Smith
Director

 

Lyon is an award winning, multi-disciplinary artist who works primarily as an actor/sound designer and photographer.

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  • Gemini nominated voice actor
  • Previous experience includes: Tarragon Theatre, Canadian Stage, Soulpepper Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Obsidian Theatre
  • Over 20 years as advisor and board member of the Laidlaw Foundation, as the great grandson of Robert A. Laidlaw
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