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.


Roshanak is an Iranian-born Canadian artist based in Toronto. She is a Dora Mavor Award nominated performer and choreographer, and has presented her work in Canada, US and Europe. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University, is a member of the Toronto Arts Council Dance Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of the Dance Umbrella of Ontario (DUO).


Past selected credits include:


  • Nominated for Outstanding Original Choreography, Dora Mavor Award, No Woman’s Land
  • Nominated for Outstanding Performance of An Ensemble, Dora Mavor Award, Stones
  • Associate Producer, Expect Theatre
  • 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
  • Finalist, Soulpepper Theatre Dance Awards (Community Arts)
  • Resident Artist, Political Prisoners: The Art of Resistance Project
  • Panelist, The Dance Debates-Choreographing Our Future by the Toronto Arts Council
  • Keynote Speaker, the Iranian Alliance for Peace, Freedom and Social Justice (Washington, DC)
  • Panelist, Engaging Arts to Represent Violence Against Women-A Conversation About Ethics at the University of Toronto
  • Moderator, Feminist Art Conference (FAC)
  • 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 integrates community and public participation through interactive performance strategies, including her audience inclusive Flock Landing installations. Distinguished in The Canadian Who’s Who, Karen’s awards embrace the CDA “I Love Dance” Community Award, the Paul D. Fleck Fellowship for Innovation and the Moving Pictures Performance Award. Her nominations include seven Dora Mavor Moore nominations for choreography and performance, including quadruple Dora nominations for Crave which won one, the American Choreography and the Banff World Television Awards. She was a finalist for the TAF Muriel Sherrin Award for International achievement in dance, the CDA Innovation Award, NOW Magazine’s Best Local Choreographer and Best Dance Company. Karen is Co-Artistic director of Kaeja d’Dance with Allen Kaeja and Cloud 9 with Claudia Moore. An image maker, Karen’s choreography “paints portraits with moving bodies” Toronto Star. Her work is commissioned and presented by performance series around the world, along with her teaching of improvisation and partnering. She was the first resident dance artist for both MUN/Dance NL and the Guelph Dance Festival. Karenmentors many flourishing dance artists. Upcoming are commissions from Blue Ceiling Dance, Chimera Project, Downtown Dances Moncton; a Banff creation residency, a performance tour in Japan of XTOD: Solo Dance Xchange with a new lifeDUET and ongoing research for a new work to premiere in 2021.

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


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


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


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
  • Previous work experience includes: Sun Life Financial, Dynamic Funds and Intuit Canada.

Lyon Smith


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