Staff Directory

Kate Cornell

Executive Director 

Kate Cornell is an arts advocate, and writer based in Toronto. Kate advocates nationally on behalf of the arts sector as the Co-Chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition/la Coalition canadienne des arts. As English-language spokesperson for the Coalition, she has been interviewed by the Globe and Mail, Canadian Press, and CBC’s The National. With a PhD in Communication and Culture, her graduate research focused on Canadian cultural policies for dance at the federal level. Her research has been published extensively in anthologies, journals, magazines, and online. Kate has worked in arts management for two decades at a range of organizations including: the Canada Dance Festival, Toronto Dance Theatre, the CanAsian International Dance Festival, the National Ballet of Canada, the Canadian Society for Dance Studies/La société canadienne d’études en danse, and most recently as the Canadian Dance Assembly’s Executive Director. Over the years, Kate has taught at several university performing arts and education programs; she now acts as a mentor in arts management internship programs. Kate sits on Advocacy Committees at the municipal and provincial levels; notably, she is a founding member of the Mass Culture/ Mobilisation Culturelle research lab initiative. Kate Cornell is the proud recipient of the John Hobday Award in Arts Management (2016) from the Canada Council for the Arts. 

Aviva Fleising

General Manager

Simultaneously pursuing her love of dance and Arts Management, Aviva is the General Manager with the Canadian Dance Assembly and an independent artist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Contemporary Dance from the University of Calgary and a Certificate in Arts & Cultural Management from Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton. An avid traveler, Aviva has trained and performed in Cuba, Italy and throughout North America. Aviva began choreographing in 2004 with a full-length interdisciplinary show for the Montreal Fringe Festival, and since then has created for festivals in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. In 2012 she formed her own company Tziporah Productions to carry out her independent projects. Aviva is a member of the Drum and Dance group IjoVudu Dance.

Samyuktha Punthambekar

Program Manager

Samyuktha Punthambekar is a Bharatanatyam dancer, arts educator and arts administrator. She is an Economics graduate, a graduate from Kalakshetra Foundation, India as well as completed her Arts Administration and Cultural Management program (with Honours) from Humber College. Since moving to Canada in 2011, Samyuktha has gained invaluable experience in teaching, performing and working on reputed projects with organizations such as DTRC, Sunny Artist Management, Toronto Arts Foundation, lbs/sq" performance, Tapestry Opera, LeSage Arts Management and most recently, The Musical Stage Company. As part of leadership development and her keen interest in cultural policies, she worked on projects such as the Canadian Arts Summit 2018 and several others. She is an artist educator for TDSB, Peel School Regions and conducts workshops for various festivals across the GTA. She also completed a fundraising certification from The University of Leeds, UK. Along the way, Samyuktha won several awards and recognitions to her credit. Currently, she works as an Administrative Producer for Jaberi Dance Theatre and has also launched her company ‘Infinite Arts Projects’, which she considers as an extension of her current work. Infinite Arts Projects (IAP) is an Arts Management Company. It aims to provide strong administrative support, innovative revenue development strategies and build bridges. IAP is currently looking for clients. For more information and inquiries, please visit -

Oriana Pagnotta
Membership Manager

Oriana Pagnotta is a dance artist now making Toronto her home. Formerly based in Calgary, she choreographs, performs, rehearsal directs, and produces. Oriana is a Lover/Co-Artistic Director with the Toronto Dance Community Love-In, and was Artistic Director for Dance Montage, Dance Curator for Ignite! Festival, and Artistic Associate with both W&M Dance Projects and Momo Movement. She holds a B.A. with Distinction in Dance from the University of Calgary, an Arts Management certificate from the Haskayne School of Business/Rozsa Foundation, and completed a Metcalf Foundation arts management program with Peggy Baker Dance Projects. Oriana is a certified DanceAbility International teacher with a passion for somatic practice and collective social change.

Lesley Bramhill

Advocacy Strategist (based in Montreal, QC)

Lesley Bramhill is a dancer and arts manager currently living in Montréal Québec. Continually moving between dance and theatre, Lesley has worked with organizations such as the National Ballet of Canada, Toronto Dance Theatre, Crow's Theatre, and the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists (Ontario Chapter). She is a graduate of the Arts Management program at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and is currently the General Manager of Playwrights' Workshop Montréal. Lesley has a fervent interest in arts policy and advocacy. She is a volunteer with the Canadian Arts Coalition, and played a key role in the recent #ArtsVote and #ArtsDay campaigns. In 2016, Lesley was quoted in The Dance Current on the status of the independent dance artist in Canada. Connect with Lesley.

Juliana Feng
Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
(Contracted by Dance Umbrella of Ontario

Juliana Feng is a marketing and communications professional focused in the non-profit arts sector and currently sits on the Board of Directors at Scarborough Arts. She has been actively involved in a wide array of arts disciplines including her endeavors in the film industry having worked for the prestigious Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and AluCine Latin Film+Media Arts Festival. She holds a B.A. Honours in Arts Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) having worked for many years atUTSC's Arts & Events Programming office to deliver administrative and events planning support for various artist talks, exhibitions, theatre shows, concerts and academic initiatives. Her interest in the cultural field has allowed her to further take part in ARTSIDEOUT, Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Gallery 1265 and Roseneath Theatre. As a passionate arts advocate, Juliana strives to engage the public through arts-making and encourages people in all walks of life to participate in the discussion, dissemination and creative exposure.

Ashley Bomberry
Indigenous Advisor 

Ashley Bomberry is Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River territory. She is a writer, producer, director and actor for film and theatre. Her short documentary film, Hoop Dance, premiered at the Female Eye Film Festival and she continues to write and create projects within an Indigenous storytelling framework. Ashley recently co-produced The Hunt, a short VR film, written and directed by Danis Goulet, included in the 2167 installation at TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre. It features a predominantly Haudenosaunee cast and the film is predominantly in the Mohawk language and shot on Indigenous territory in Tkaron:to and on Six Nations. As a producer and curator for multicultural and diverse showcases, Ashley creates discussion and aims to build bridges between marginalized and non-marginalized groups with her work. Ashley focuses on her Indigenous roots and endeavors to impart strength, hope, and healing in Indigenous communities around the world.

Michele Decottignies
Equity Advisor  

Michele Decottignies has 30 years’ experience teaching evidence-based, anti-oppressive practice to agents of change in the arts sector and beyond. She's spent the last 15 years exclusively prioritizing equity & diversity in the arts through her own company, Stage Left Productions – a conduit of artistic innovation and cultural freedom for diverse artists and national arts equity support organization. Through Stage Left's globally-esteemed Theatre of the Oppressed practice, Michele has successfully facilitated over 300 arts equity workshops, across Canada, as well as in the USA and Australia.

Michele's current arts equity work includes attending to the continued evolution of The Deaf, Disability & Mad Arts Alliance of Canada (DDMAAC) and facilitating the services offered by The Calgary Collective for Equity & Diversity in the Arts (CCEDA). Some of her recent arts equity consulting includes supporting the development of PACT's national arts equity program, All In; introducing and Orchestras Canada's members to a Canadian-specific Arts Equity Framework; and providing Theatre of the Oppressed capacity mentorship to Indigenous artists and community members engaged in Dr. Lynden (Lindsay) Crowshoe's many Indigenous Health initiatives.

Support Staff and Volunteers

Ademir Iglesias - Bookkeeper
Sophia Papandreou - Administrative Volunteer

Canadian Dance Assembly
55 Mill Street, Suite 312
Case Goods Building #74
Toronto, ON M5A 3C4
Tel: 1.416.515.8444
Fax: 1.416.515.9444