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.

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