Performing at the opening night Art Party! July 31
Alexander Cannon, trumpet soloist, chamber musician, and educator, is a dedicated student of music and committed advocate of the Arts. Al has performed at the International Trumpet Guild Convention in Dallas, TX (2003), Las Vegas Music Festival (2003), Lake Placid Institute in New York (2003), Dublin International Festival in Ireland (2004), International Trumpet Guild Convention in Bangkok, Thailand (2005), Chaiyi International Band Festival in Taiwan (2006), Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition in Pasadena, CA (2006), Pierre Monteux School in Hancock, ME (2007), Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in South Bend, IN (2008), and with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (2008). From 2007-2009, Al was the Acting Principal Trumpet with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra, and he has appeared as a soloist across North America and in various parts of Asia.
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Cherise Clarke is an actor and visual artist based mainly in Vancouver. She recently toured the lower mainland with Arts Club in Circle Mirror Transformation, directed by Nicola Cavendish. Prior to that, she played Nastassya in James Fagan Tait’s adaptation of the Dostoyevsky novel, The Idiot, for the 2012 PuSh Festival (a co-production of New World Theatre, Vancouver Moving Theatre, and Theatre at UBC).
Other favorite roles include Rita in the one-woman show, Tiny Apocalypse (Rough House, written by Camille Gangras), for which she was nominated for a Jessie Richardson Award, and Laura in Tennessee Williams’s masterpiece, The Glass Menagerie (Arts Club). Cherise is proud to be performing at the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival for the first time, and is truly happy to be working with such dear friends and colleagues in premiering this piece.
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Audio artist/collaborator Law of Proximity, August 15-18
Composer, improviser, saxophonist – Chris Kelly’s work ranges from the cut and paste electronic scene to large and small jazz ensembles. Frequently appearing in the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Kelly is also a staple in the West Coast’s underground Jazz circuit. He writes and performs with numerous groups including, Adios, Hospital, Vancouver New Music, The Now Orchestra and his own ensemble, Little Stitches. He has created the music for MACHiNENOiSY’s, Twister, Little Birds, Self Less, Bamboozled, Vancouver Vs Vancouver, Strange Queen and He was swimming the other way and- most recently, plaything.
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One of Canada’s brightest comedic performers has had an interesting and eventful rise to the comedy stage. Recently undergoing a complete transformation, Darcy Michael has lost over 100 pounds….hopefully not the funny ones. This life alteration has worked its way into Darcy’s onstage material, and his latest project: his new comedy talk show “The Skinny with Darcy Michael”, currently in production. Darcy’s guests on the insightful and hilarious new show include Alan Thicke, Caroline Rhea, Judy Gold, David Steinberg, Harland Williams and many more.
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Playwright, Director and Actor in Boulez Contra Cage, August 12
Playwright, director, actor and fight choreographer David Bloom is co-artistic director (with Linda Quibell) of Felix Culpa. Last season he performed in Tanya Marquardt’s Transmission for Chrysalis/Proximity Arts and Frost/Nixon for The Playhouse/Canadian Stage.
He co-created and appeared in News of the World for Felix Culpa and co-directed Palace of the End for Touchstone Theatre/Felix Culpa/Horseshoes & Hand Grenades. Over the last several seasons he performed his own one-person show My Holiday Photos from Afghanistan, appeared in Fragments of a Farewell Letter Read by Geologists for Screaming Flea, The Designated Mourner for Felix Culpa, Apple and the Governor-General’s Award-winning play Unity 1918 for Touchstone Theatre. Acting and fight choreography have taken him across the country, including work at The Theatre Festival of the Americas, The Shaw Festival, Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Citadel, and almost every company in British Columbia.
Bloom’s play Revenge was produced in May ’07 by Felix Culpa, under the direction of James Fagin Tait and was nominated for a Jessie Richardson Award for best original play. His plays have also been performed by Green Thumb, Studio 58, Felix Culpa, Carousel, Axis Theatre, Canadian Phoenix and the University of British Columbia. Directing work for Felix Culpa includes the North American premiere of Howard Barker’s Und, The Monument (Jessie Richardson Award nomination, best director large theatre), and his play Two in The Morning which was produced in Vancouver and London, England. He has directed shows in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary, Kamloops, Thunder Bay, Whitehorse and London. Bloom is a graduate of Studio 58 where he is currently on the faculty.
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Facilitator for Law of Proximity Dance Workshop, a contact improv performance creation for youth, July 9-August 10
Dancer in MACHiNENOiSY, performing in Law of Proximity, August 15-18
Delia is co-artistic director of MACHiNENOiSY. Her most recent productions include a multimedia-assisted solo, plaything, the 10x10x10 short, Darkened by Clouds and a collaboration with Montpellier choreographer Fabrice Ramalingom, Vancouver Vs Vancouver. Delia has worked as a professional dancer for 18 years. She has been a company member of EDAM since 1997. Delia has performed with MACHiNENOiSY and many others across Canada, and in France, Belgium, Greece, Austria, Germany and Malaysia.
MACHiNENOiSY’s production, Law of Proximity, a community arts production with gay, lesbian, trans-gendered and queer youth, is a reflection of 18 years of committed investigation into the practices of contact dance and improvisation and 7 years of dedicated collaboration with her long time friend and creative partner Daelik.
Delia is stepmother and mother to two beautiful boys. She also works as an actress and teaches yoga and contact dance.
Read more on Delia Brett…
Dianna DavidPerforming in the opening night Art Party! July 31
Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, this first generation Filipino-Canadian started her performing career at the early age of 6 years old. Dianna has been actively involved for twenty years as a performer, choreographer and artistic director for the dance group The Philippine Barangay Performing Arts Society.
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Tenor Frédérik Robert
Performing at the Art Party! July 31
At only 25 years old, Vancouver based tenor Frédérik Robert has already sung over 20 roles and many concerts with professional companies and orchestras across Canada including: The Opera Project (Winnipeg / Edmonton / Vancouver), Edmonton Opera, Calgary Opera, Opera Nuova, Opera Saskatoon, Prince George Symphony, Dawson Creek Symphonette, Winnipeg Symphony, and National Arts Symphony Orchestra. Recent credits include Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte with The Opera Project, Tenor Soloist in Saint Saens Christmas Oratorio, Monostatos/Armed Guard/First Priest/ and Tamino (Understudy) with National Arts Center Orchestra, and counter-tenor debut as the mischievous Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Opera NUOVA.
Read more on Frédérik Robert…
Playwright and performer in Turkey in the Woods, August 9-15.
Jan Derbyshire is a performer, playwright, theatre maker, director, teacher, and comedian. Her work involves solo performance, community and artist collaboration, traditional playwriting, experimental storytelling, video, words on paper, event creation, and stand-up comedy.
Her plays have been produced locally, nationally, and internationally appearing at such festivals as 2010 Cultural Olympiad, Women in View, Summerworks, Rhubarb and the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival. Plays have been produced at Buddies in Bad Times (Toronto), The Belfry (Victoria), The Great Canadian Theatre Company (Ottawa). and with Solo Collective in Vancouver and Quest Theatre in Calgary.
Plays include Dog of My Understanding, Audition of The Embarrassed Woman, The Opposite of Everything is True, Under The Big Top and A Modern Woman’s Guide to Female Impersonation, to name a few. She has been Artist in Residence with The National Film Board of Canada, the Firehall Arts Centre and Montreal’s Playwright’s Centre. Currently she is an Artistic Associate with PTC (Playwright’s Theatre Centre) and Screaming Weenies Theatre in Vancouver. She has performed stand-up comedy on A&E, CBC, CTV. Her film Sanity for Beginners can be seen at this years Out on Screen. Festival. Recent recipient of the Remarkable Women Award 2012- The City of Vancouver.
Read more on Jan Derbyshire…
Performing in When the Sun Comes Out August 2
Bass-Baritone Joel Klein most recently sang the role of Bart in Edmonton Opera’s February production of The Barber of Barrhead, a role he created in Vancouver Opera’s 2007/8 touring production of The Barber of Barkerville. Other recent performances include City Opera Vancouver`s Curlew River (Britten), Burnaby Lyric Opera`s Barber of Seville and Italian Girl in Algiers (Rossini), Thais (Massenet), Martha (Flotow), Manon (Auber), Bohemian Girl (Balfe), two Mozart Masses and Handel`s Messiah for the Handel Society, and world premieres of Poema Letkoho Mista (opera) (Jerry Senchychyn), Lake of Souls (oratorio) (Lloyd Burritt), and Au Revoir Maria Callas (Rodney Sharman). After recent success in France, Joel has been invited to return for a series of concerts throughout the Rhône-Alpes and Bordeaux regions.
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Kate Bornstein is a performance artist, college & high school lecturer, and advocate for teens, freaks, and other outlaws. After six years in the writing, her new memoir is now available: A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today.
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Exhibiting in Random Acts of Queerness curated exhibition July 31 – August 18, and performing in Boulez Contra Cage, August 12.
Mark Takeshi McGregor is a Vancouver-based flutist. But when he’s not performing with groups such as the Redshift Music Society, the Aventa Ensemble, or the Tiresias Duo, chances are he’s painting.
Mark learned to draw and paint from his mother, Aya, long before he ever thought about tooting the flute. Since then, painting has become a vital part of his creative life, and his works have recently been exhibited at the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival and the Japanese Canadian Heritage Museum.
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Canadian Comedy Award nominee Morgan Brayton makes her home in Vancouver where she performs, writes and enjoys vegan cupcakes with her wife, her two amazing kids and an excessive number of cats. Morgan is the creator of the award-winning and critically acclaimed one-person shows Girls Like Me and Raccoonery!
She was half of the comedy duo The Crawford Twins and a member of the popular sketch troupe 30 Helens. Morgan has been a featured performer at Toronto’s We’re Funny That Way Festival, the Vancouver Comedy Festival, Seattle SketchFest and on CBC’s The Debaters as well as numerous (numerous, I tell you!) film and television projects.
When not trying to make her kids do their chores, she is practicing the tambourine in hopes of starting an all-female Monkees cover band one day.
Read more on Morgan Brayton…
Performing in Thank You, You’re Not Welcome, August 3, 2012
Noam Gagnon is an acclaimed dance artist who, over the course of his career, has helped push Canadian dance into the forefront of the international stage. Now the Artistic Director of Compagnie Vision Selective, which he founded in 2006, Noam continues to reshape the dance landscape with his achingly intimate and powerful works.
For Compagnie Vision Selective, Noam has created, choreographed and performed in several full-length works, and has toured extensively throughout Canada. Noam is regularly commissioned by dance artists and companies to create works, and has collaborated with such celebrated artists as Nigel Charnock, Daniel Léveillé, The Tiger Lillies, Steven Gilmore and William Morrison.
Read more on Noam Gagnon…
Performing in Art Party! July 31, When the Sun Comes Out August 2, and
Boulez contra Cage August 12
Hailed in the press as a “keyboard virtuoso” (Georgia Straight) with the “emotional intensity” to take a piece “from notes on a page to a stunning work of art” (Victoria Times Colonist), pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa has performed as soloist and chamber musician in Canada, the United States and Germany. Known for bold and innovative concerts, Rachel combines her warmth and curiosity to touch the hearts and minds of audiences, whether she is playing Beethoven and Schumann or Ligeti and Saariaho.
Read more on Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa…
Visual design artist/collaborator Law of Proximity, August 15-18
Sammy Chien is a Vancouver based interdisciplinary media artist who seeks to merge cinema, sound art, new media and dance performance techniques into a new individual practice. He has studied film at SFU and also developed an expertise in electroacoustic music and digital technology in performance environment. After learning real-time processing software from Troika Ranch (NYC/Berlin), he continues his deep interest in interdisciplinary collaborations and forge deep connections within images, sound and movements. He has collaborated visually, aurally and conceptually in numerous multi-disciplinary projects that have featured across Canada, Western Europe and Asia. Sammy is co-founder/co-artistic director of Chimerik collective.
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Performing in When the Sun Comes Out August 2
Iranian Canadian mezzo soprano Shirin Eskandani is an avid performer on both the operatic and recital stage. She has performed a range of work from Baroque to Contemporary repertoire. Her recent credits include Medoro in Orlando, Carmen in La Tragedie de Carmen, Mercedes in Carmen, Ruggiero in Alcina, and Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. A frequent recitalist, Ms. Eskandani has performed in numerous concerts in Canada, the United States, Europe and the Middle East.
Ms. Eskandani recently returned from the Gerdine Young Artist Program at Opera Theatre of St. Louis where she covered the role of Geneviève in Pelléas et Mélisande and joined the ensemble for the acclaimed revival of John Adam’s The Death of Klinghoffer. As part of the young artist program at Palm Beach Opera in the 2011/12 season, she will appear on the mainstage as Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette and Alisa in Lucia di Lamermoor. She will also be covering the roles of Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) and Stephano (Roméo et Juliette).
As a soloist Ms. Eskandani has performed in numerous works including Bach’s Matthaus-Passion, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Handel’s Messiah, and Durufle’s Requiem. She has premiered several works including The Oratorio to End all Oratorios with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s performance of Handel’s Messiah. She made her Toronto recital debut with distinguished Canadian pianist Jane Coop for the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto. Her interest in Middle Eastern culture has led her to work with several Middle Eastern composers including Farshid Samandari and Amir Koushkani of the SAFA Ensemble. She also has had the great honor of performing as a featured soloist for the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Shirin Ebadi.
Ms. Eskandani has appeared as a young artist with the Syracuse Opera, the Green Mountain Festival, the Ash Lawn Opera Festival, Opera on the James, and Banff Opera. A recipient of the prestigious British Columbia Arts Council scholarship, Ms. Eskandani received her Bachelors of Music from the University of British Columbia and her Masters of Music from the Manhattan School of Music.
Read more on Shirin Eskandani…
Simon is proud to be representing such a massively influential artist as John Cage, proud to be working with such skilled colleagues, and proud to be participating in his first Queer Arts Festival.
In 2010, Simon starred in an acclaimed production of Hamlet, for which his Polonius won him a Jessie Richardson Award for Best Supporting Actor. Simon was involved with four productions of Pinter’s Briefs, a collection of Pinter’s short plays, which earned him a Jessie nomination for Best Actor; two productions of Great Expectations, in Saskatoon and Vancouver; Debt-The Musical; Into The Woods; My Fair Lady; The Triumph Of Love (Jessie Award for Best Production); and Peer Gynt (Jessie Award for Best Production).
Recent roles are Estragon, in Blackbird Theatre’s production of Waiting For Godot at the Cultch, and Lear in the Honest Fishmongers Co-op production of King Lear at The Havana.
Read more on Simon Webb…
Suzie returns to performing after a hiatus during which she went to school to study biology, and wrote a novel, The Honeywatch, an eBook that centers on a hive of rogue honeybees and their keeper.
Suzie has worked as an actor, director, and teacher in theatres around B.C. She was previously seen in Marie Clements’ “Women in Fish” community memorial performance, and on many local stages, including Vancouver Playhouse, Arts Club, and Carousel Theatre. Suzie has also been an adjudicator for the provincial organization Theatre B.C.
Her work as a director has been featured at Green Thumb Theatre and Headlines Theatre, as well as the Caravan Farm and the O’Keefe Ranch in the Okanagan. Many moons ago Suzie and Jan participated in the long-running Women in View performance festival.
Read more on Suzie Payne…
Performing in When the Sun Comes Out August 2
Canadian lyric coloratura soprano Teiya Kasahara, is becoming known to audiences for her “flair for drama and blazing high notes” (La Scena Musicale). She is quickly rising as a versatile artist in the world of opera, oratorio and art song with her “brilliant coloratura voice” (Opera Canada). Though born in Ottawa, Teiya was raised on the west coast. She takes her inspiration from her experience as the daughter of Japanese and German immigrants, blending the culture of an innovative and vibrant nature surrounding her hometown of Vancouver, BC.
In the 2012/13 season Teiya will be making her company debuts with Vancouver Opera and Edmonton opera as Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute) and Olympia (Les contes d’Hoffmann), respectively.
In 2010/11 Teiya performed Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos, Lucy in The Telephone, and understudied Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Madame Mao in Nixon in China at the Canadian Opera Company (COC). She also went on tour to New York where she performed the Balmont Fables and understudied the Nightingale in Robert Lepage’s The Nightingale & Other Short Fable’s at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. To complete the season Teiya performed Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream conducted by Jane Glover and directed by Edward Berkeley at the Aspen Music Festival and School. She was a Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques Laureate and finished as a Semi-finalist in the 13th Julián Gayarre International Singing Contest in Pamplona, Spain.
Last season also marked her European debut with Opéra Toulon Provence Méditerranée performing under the baton of Maestro Giuliano Carella in their seasonal orchestral concerts. She made her recital debut in Toronto with the Off Centre Music Salon in February with pianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin. In Toronto, Teiya has sung with the National Ballet, the Concert Opera Group and a variety of other arts organizations, including the Toronto Summer Music Festival, where she debuted the role of Zerbinetta.
Along with Teiya’s many musical pursuits she is an active actor, composer, teacher, writer, and amateur photographer. She currently resides in Toronto, Canada.
Read more on Teiya Kasahara…
Hailed by the Globe and Mail for their “tremendous flair and intensity,” the flute/piano duo Tiresias was formed by flutist Mark Takeshi McGregor and pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa in 2002. A blind seer from Greek mythology, Tiresias was transformed from man to woman and back again by supernatural means. S/he symbolizes what Iwaasa and McGregor have set out to accomplish: to speak from two very different perspectives with a single voice, to provide fresh perspectives and insights into conventional chamber music programmes, and to anticipate the future trajectories of the chamber music genre through working with composers and artists from various disciplines.
Read more on Tiresias…
Performing in Big Gay Sing August 5
The Vancouver Men’s Chorus is one of Canada’s premier singing ensembles and Canada’s first gay chorus. For more than 25 years, we’ve delighted audiences locally and abroad.
Read more on Vancouver Men’s Chorus…