Amirali Alibhai

Amir Ali Alibhai has worked as a curator/ educator/administrator of visual, performance and community-based arts, working with diverse artists and organizations, representing multiple disciplines and cultural traditions since 1989.  He has also been actively exhibiting and making art for over twenty years.

Amir was founding president of the Rungh Cultural Society, publishing Rungh, a magazine of contemporary diasporic South Asian Culture (1992-1997); he was part of the initial team that established and developed the innovative Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in Vancouver (1996-2008), where he developed artists in communities’ projects, cross-cultural partnerships and special programs over a period of 12 years.  He was Executive Director of the Greater Vancouver Alliance for Arts and Culture from 2009-2012 and is currently the Head of Performing Arts at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.

Amir has actively volunteered on various boards and public committees, including ArtStarts in Schools, Canada Council for the Arts, the Provincial and Territorial Advisory Committee of the National Cultural Human Resource Council; he currently serves on the Board of the Canadian Conference of the Arts.

JoDee Allen

JoDee Allen (BFA Contemporary Dance, Concordia) is currently pursuing an MA at the Topological Media Lab exploring concepts in social digital gaming and social dances, and she is also a part-time professor in the Contemporary Dance faculty at Concordia University.  JoDee owned, and taught at, Studio Sweatshop from 2004-2011, one of the few dance studios in Montreal dedicated to Urban Dances.  She is the co-artistic director and a founding member of Solid State Breakdance (2000 - present) and has performed literally hundreds of times with the company both locally and abroad.  The company’s most recent work is a commission by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, set to music by contemporary composer, Julien Bilodeau. JoDee also participated as a game designer in the 2012 Grand/Funcom videogames initiative.

Olga Barrios

Choreographer, teacher and dancer has collaborated with theater, musical and dance companies in Canada, USA and Colombia. She is co-founder member of Vanguardia Dance Projects (Canada) and artistic director of several independent projects since 1996. Her recent participation include: Dance Ontario Weekend´12, Canadian Campaign I Love Dance, Impact Theatre Festival Kitchener, Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, Hamilton Site Specific Festival, Vibrant Colombia Festival at Harbourtfront Toronto, and internationally Bogota Dance Festival,  Festival Women on Stage for Peace Colombia.  Olga was born in Bogota- Colombia where she studied the Scenic Arts Program in dance at the Arts Academy of Bogota, and holds an MFA in dance at York University of Toronto. Currently, she lives in Hamilton where she received the Hamilton Arts Awards in the performance category. More info at:

Izabel Barsive

 Izabel Barsive is a visual artist and independent filmmaker specializing in video art projects related to contemporary dance. Her company Barsive productions is based in Ottawa. Over the past 10 years, her dance video art has been presented at many international festivals. She also teaches part-time at the University of Ottawa and Saint Paul University. Izabel Barsive is the recipient of several awards as a producer and reporter. She is an active member of the Front of independent filmmakers from Canada and worked at several events and projects of the association. She is also a member of the Office of clusters visual artists Ontario (BRAVO) and Théâtre Action.

Nova Bhattacharya

Nova Bhattacharya’s powerful, humanistic dance works have been described as "a contemporary expression of the Bharatanatyam form … and more" (Vancouver Sun). She began her career as a dancer with the Menaka Thakkar Dance Company and as an independent artist appeared with a number of Canadian companies. In 2008 she founded Nova Dance, the company’s productions have been presented from coast to coast in Canada as well as in Germany and Japan. Bhattacharya’s choreography has been commissioned by Danceworks, Canada Dance Festival, Toronto Dance Theatre, Dancemakers and others. An impassioned advocate for dance, Bhattacharya is currently, Chair of the Toronto Arts Council Dance Committee, Member of the of the Toronto Arts Council Board of Directors and Member of the Advisory Committee of the South Asian Dance Alliance of Canada. She was recently awarded the Victor Martyn Lynch Staunton Award for outstanding artistic achievement in dance and is currently Artist in Residence at Toronto’s Heliconian Club.

Andre Bouchard

Andre Bouchard is from the Flathead Reservation in Western Montana and earned a BFA in Dance and BA Anthropology at the University of Montana.  Some of his past positions have included Web Service Coordinator and Program Onboarding Coordinator for Microsoft's Small and Medium Business Services Unit and the Map Point Unit.  He founded and was Managing Artistic Director for a performance productions company with a 50 seat theater and a resident dance company for nine years in Seattle, Washington.  After that he was Interim Managing Director and Ticketing and Publicity Manager for the Arts, Culture, and Civic Engagement Initiative and Black Box Theater at Edmonds Community College near Seattle, Washington for three years.  He has spoken on the topics of social and guerrilla marketing, municipal/non-profit collaboration, implementation of technology, and search engine optimization for the Northwest Booking Conference, the Washington State Cultural Congress, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Biz Art Conference - West.  He currently is Research Lead for a project of the Heinz School at Carnegie Mellon University where he will be receiving his Masters degree in Arts Management in early March on an accelerated schedule.

Paulina Ruiz Carballido (Rucarba)

Paulina is a Mexican dancer, performer, filmmaker, choreographer and improviser. Graduated Magna Cum Laude with BA in Dance from Universidad de las Américas Puebla in México in 2009 where she studied contemporary dance, classical ballet, choreography and pedagogy. In her work she is always pursuing different approaches towards creation while balancing with a constant research on Human Condition and Social Commentary. She has been part of national and international festival Chili, México, Cuba, Germany, England, Belgium, Portugal, Italy and France. Since 2009 Ximena Monroy and Paulina produced and directed “Agite y Sirva” – Touring screendance festival in México and with Jean-Baptiste Fave in France. She studies her MA in Dance at Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint Denis in France, supported by an award from the National Fund for the Arts and Culture, México, 2010-2012 (FONCA-CONACYT). In 2012, she was part of the residency “For the End of the World” in Bern, Switzerland and since then she is part of the network «Sweet & Tender Collaborations».

Alain Dancyger

A native of Limoges, France, Alain Dancyger studied violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London from 1977 to 1978. He then prepared his Masters in Music at Juilliard School in New York. In 1987 he obtained a Masters in Business Administration from the École Supérieure des Sciences Économiques et Commerciales (E.S.S.E.C) in Paris.  Mr. Dancyger held different management and marketing positions for the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (SNCF) in Paris and New York. He settled in Québec in 1991 to work at the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts first as Assistant Director. He was promoted Director in 1993 and held that position until 1996, when he was appointed Executive Director of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. Since 1998, he has sat on the Regroupement Québécois de la Danse (RQD) board, on the Canadian Arts Summit, on the DIA/DSA Advisory Board of Concordia University, on the Montréal Holocaust Memorial Centre Museum « Wise Committee », and on the Canadian Dance Assembly (CDA) Advocacy Committee. He was also elected Chair of the CDA Ballet Companies Standing Council. He acts regularly as a guest lecturer in the HEC Arts Manager Program. He is also the Chair of the I love dance/J'aime la danse campaign.

Warren Garrett

Warren Garrett is Executive Director of CCI – the Ontario Presenting Network, a member-based, non-profit organization dedicated to developing leadership and networks. His passion is to help others grow personally and professionally through peer mentoring, coaching and participation in leadership programs. In a career spanning 30 years, Warren has served in senior management positions with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Prologue to the Performing Arts, and the Living Arts Centre, Mississauga. His volunteer interests are focused on community cultural development and increasing public participation in the arts. He serves as Treasurer on the board of Municipal Cultural Planning Inc., chairs the Ontario Culture Days Task Force, and participates at the national level on the advisory committee for the National Study on the Value of Arts Presenting, and CAPACOA’s professional development committee.

Priscilla Guy

Priscilla Guy received her BFA in visual arts from Concordia University and her Master in Dance from York University in Toronto.   Her work weaves together evocative images that borrow from the fine arts and from performance, creating pieces that reflect her singular aesthetic perspective. From multidisciplinary scenes in video-dance, to site specific performances, Priscilla Guy’s work comprises many points of intersections, weaving together and overlapping different art forms. Following her Master’s in video-dance, Priscilla continued to explore this avant-garde medium, creating short video-dancefilms (Stop Me If I Run / Underneath the Ice; You / Presque) which have been screened internationally. She is pursuing further research in this field. Artistic director of Mandoline Hybride since 2007, Priscilla founded Regards Hybride in 2012 with director Claudia Hébert. This offshoot of Mandoline acts as a platform for information, discussion and dialogue on video-dance.

Mandoline Hybride,  |   Regards Hybrides ,

Katherine Hobbs

Katherine Hobbs is an Ottawa City Councillor representing Kitchissippi Ward. Katherine loves the opportunity her political role provides to work on behalf of the community and to support important endeavours in the City. She believes that arts and cultural activities enrich our lives, and are an investment that is good for our souls as well as our economy. Although Katherine rumba’d and foxtrotted at the “Dancing with the Stars” fundraiser for Easter Seals Kids in 2011, she looks forward to seeing those ‘who truly can dance’ celebrated at a Step in Time.

Allan Isfan

Allan Isfan is the CEO of FaveQuest, a leader in social and mobile solutions since 2007. FaveQuest has launched over 50 mobile apps, mostly for event based organizations and recently partnered with the CDA to provide discounts for members. Before co-founding FaveQuest with his business partner William Love, Allan was an Entrepreneur In Residence at Venture Capital firm Skypoint Capital. Allan has been creating cutting edge technologies that solve real business needs since obtaining his degree in Electrical Engineering in 1991.

Anne-Marie Jean

Anne-Marie Jean has been at the head of Culture Montréal since August, 2005. As Director General, her main responsibilities are to supervise the implementation of Culture Montréal’s strategic plan, which consists of promoting cultural development in Montreal. She also ensures that this democratic organization maintains an active presence within the cultural sector and the various levels of government. The mobilization of Culture Montréal’s members working towards the cultural future of their city is at the heart of her concerns.  First and foremost a woman of communications, Ms. Jean has worked in the fields of television production, corporate communications, and organizational development for over fifteen years. She also has a clear understanding of Canadian economic and environmental issues, the machinery of government, and political systems, thanks to a formative period spent in Ottawa as a political attaché for various ministries, events, and organizations. Anne-Marie Jean holds a B.A. in Communications as well as business training from the University of Ottawa.

Frédéric Julien

Frédéric Julien has been active in the performing arts for fifteen years, as an artist, cultural manager, and consultant. He has held positions at Canadian Heritage and at Réseau Ontario, and he is currently project manager at the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA), where he manages the Value of Presenting study. Frédéric has a keen interest in partnership development and cross-sectoral collaboration.

Marc Kirschner (Tendu TV)

Marc Kirschner is the Founder and General Manager of TenduTV, a multi-platform network focused on dance and performing arts programming. Kirschner oversees TenduTV’s content acquisition efforts and distribution partnerships, and works closely with industry leaders to reach and engage new and existing arts audiences. In January 2011, TenduTV became the first company to release dance performances on iTunes in Canada, and is now distributing arts programming in 16 countries. Kirschner received his MBA from Columbia Business School, and a B.S. in Mass Media from Northwestern University, and also blogs for the Huffington Post. He lives in New York with his wife Susanna, a former professional dancer and a pit bull mix named Daisy.

Eric Lariviere

Eric Lariviere is the General Manager of the Flato Markham Theatre (2009), York Region’s leading performing arts presenter and venue. For the past 25 years, he has worked with festivals, facilities and cultural organizations in both the USA and Canada. Priori to leading York Region’s foremost performing arts venue, He started his career with degrees in Business Administration from the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, and advanced studies in music at McGill University. Following work with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, he was General Manager at the Centre Pierre-Peladeau in Montreal (1994-2002) and President and CEO of the Daytona Beach International Festival (2002-2009), the largest international and orchestral festival in Florida. Lariviere actively serves on the Board of Directors and Executive committees of the CCI – Ontario Presenting network and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. With the City of Markham, recognized as the most diverse community in Canada, M. Lariviere is leading an initiative in energizing community engagement through dance.

Mary Elizabeth Luka

Mary Elizabeth ("M.E.") Luka is a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar and doctoral candidate (ABD) in communications and media at Concordia University. Her scholarly research and teaching interests focus on “creative citizenship” including production practices and creativity in cultural media production, the creative economy and cultural industries, and the intriguing dynamics and networks generated at the intersection of the arts, broadcasting and digital media production. An award-winning television and digital media producer and director, Luka is also a consultant in the cultural non-profit sector, including as for the Canadian Dance Assembly on training and database management. ME is an active volunteer for professional and community organizations related to the arts, media, and culture, including as Vice-Chair of Arts Nova Scotia, the independent funding body for the arts in that province.

Caroline Lussier

Trained in dance, Caroline Lussier worked for various art organizations for 25 years before being appointed Head of the Canada Council’s Dance Section in 2011. Over the years, she has acquired extensive experience working with independent artists, dance companies, presenters and festivals in both the dance and theatre worlds in Montreal and in regional Quebec.  She was program officer for the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and a member of the Board of Directors of the Regroupement québécois de la danse, Espace Libre and Théâtre Outremont. Caroline holds a Master’s degree in Slavic languages and literature.

Zab Maboungou

Zab Maboungou, named «Pioneer» of African Dance in Canada, is an artist and a philosopher who is a leader in the field of both dance creation and dance teaching. She is the founder of Zab Maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata (1986), a dance and music company that has been producing and creating Contemporary dance works for over 23 years. The choreographer is also a writer and lecturer. Her book, “Heya…Danse! Historique, poétique et didactique de la danse africaine” expresses her commitment to allying art and knowledge and vice-versa. It has been said of her dance art that is enriched by the strength of her thinking and vision in the philosophical and cultural spheres in which she has become a recognised authority. With this international reputation in arts, research and teaching, her work as a performer, writer and lecturer has made a significant contribution to theory and debates about art and cultural diversity. Her expertise is sought in many places: universities and dance teaching centres, as well as various institutions, in Africa, Canada, the US, Europe and Asia.

Jane Marsland

Jane Marsland has been an active supporter for the arts, serving on a wide range of boards, advisory groups and committees. She was co-founder and director for two essential programs in the art community of Toronto: ARTS 4 CHANGE & Working Capital for the Arts. Ms. Marsland has also managed arts organizations including the Danny Grossman Dance Company for seventeen years. In 1999 she began working as a free-lance arts consultant. Today, she is working with the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts and Arts Action Research on a new community initiative, Theatres Leading Change Toronto. She has been the recipient of two arts community awards: a “Harold’ in 2001 and the Sandra Tulloch Award for Innovation in the Arts in 2002. In 1995, she received the first M. Joan Chalmers Award for Arts Administration for outstanding leadership in the arts. In 2011, she was the winner of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Rita Davies and Margo Bindhardt Cultural Leadership Award. In January 2012 Jane was awarded the first Metcalf Foundation Innovation Fellowship in the Arts to examine fiscal sponsorship models and their applicability to the performing arts sector in Ontario.

Michèle Moss

Michèle Moss, is currently a tenured Assistant Professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. Co-founder of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, a professional concert jazz dance company formed in 1984.  She continues to find great pleasure in exploring the nature of jazz, through local and national performance-creation projects and educational research. She enjoys a diverse career in dance from publishing research to choreographic commissions and international teaching assignments. She has served numerous times on provincial and national peer assessment juries. Since 1986 she has conducted much ethnographic research-presented on the page and the stage. Field- sites include such locales as New York City, Kentucky, San Francisco and Italy, Jamaica, Poland, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Senegal and The Gambia- to name a few. Her most significant field sites are Guinea, West Africa and Cuba. She considers herself a citizen of the world; born in the UK of Jamaican and British parents, raised in Montreal, resident of Calgary and frequent flyer in search of dance.

Garry Neil

Garry Neil is a cultural policy consultant who works in Canada and internationally from his base in Toronto.  Mr. Neil has experience in all aspects of arts and culture, and has worked for clients in all of the cultural industries.  His areas of expertise include status of the artist, broadcasting regulation, film and television production, book publishing, and copyright.  He has written extensively on the corrosive effects of economic globalization on world cultures.  He is presently Executive Director of the Canadian Senior Artists’ Resource Network.  Mr. Neil is also Executive Director of the Council of Canadians, the country’s largest social justice organization.

Lata Pada

Lata Pada is Artistic Director of SAMPRADAYA Dance Creations, Canada’s award-winning, South Asian dance company recognized for its distinctive and paradigm-shifting repertoire. Drawing from the many eclectic influences in her life, she brings a modern worldview to bharatanatyam, by exploring diverse movement styles, contemporary themes and unique collaborations. Originally from Bangalore, India Lata has made Canada her home since 1964. Lata has trained with India’s distinguished gurus, Kalaimamani K. Kalyanasundaram and Padma Bhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan. Lata holds a Masters in Dance from York University, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Program of Dance at York University. Lata is the recipient of several prestigious honours including the Order of Canada (2009)  Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (2011)  from the President of India, the highest civilian award for non-resident Indians, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal ( 2012).

Jay Rankin

Jay is an acknowledged leader in the Canadian professional arts community with over thirty five years of experience in progressively challenging positions ­ thirty of them devoted to dance.  Based in Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and currently in Montreal as directeur général of BJM ­ Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal.  Jay is a manager with a history of leading companies to new levels of success financially and organizationally.  His expertise extends to strategic planning, programming, human resources, touring, board development, financial management, marketing and PR, government relations, design and production.  Leadership, integrity and responsible team building are the watch words of his management style.

Douglas Rosenberg

Douglas Rosenberg is an EMMY nominated director and the recipient of the prestigious Phelan Art Award in Video. He was awarded the Director’s Prize at the International Jewish Video Festival for his film, “My Grandfather Dances” with choreographer Anna Halprin and received an Isadora Duncan Award for his work on the intermedia project, “Singing Myself A Lullaby” with choreographer Ellen Bromberg. His film, “Of the Heart” was a nominated for the Jury Prize at the Dance on Camera Festival in New York.  He is well known for his work at the intersection of dance/performance and media and his numerous films and installations have been screened and exhibited internationally.

His recent documentary, Seven Solos premiered at the Dance on Camera Festival at New York's Lincoln Center in 2012.  He organized the first international symposium on screendance in 2000 and he is a founding editor of newly launched International Journal of Screendance.  His book, Screendance: Inscribing the Ephemeral Image is published by Oxford University Press in 2012.

Rosenberg is a professor in the Art Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the director of the Conney Project on Jewish Arts at the UW Center for Jewish Studies. Click to read Douglas Rosenberg keynote address

Charles Smith

Charles C. Smith is a published poet, playwright and essayist. He won second prize for his play Last Days for the Desperate from Black Theatre Canada. He has edited three collections of poetry, has one published book (Partial Lives) and his poetry has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Poetry Canada Review, the Quille and Quire, Descant, Dandelion, the Amethyst Review, Bywords, Canadian Ethnic Studies and others.  He recently received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council’s Writers Reserve Grants Program and is currently working on a multidisciplinary performance piece based on his poetry.  This piece is being produced by the 'wind in the leaves collective' and involves such artists as Kevin Ormsby (dance), Amanda Paixao (dance), Jasmyn Fyffe (dance). Harvey Weisfeld (guitar), Robin Styba (photography),  and Maya Annik Bedward (video).  charles is also Lecturer, Cultural Pluralism in the Arts at the University of Toronto Scarborough and Project Lead for Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario.  Further, he is a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, board member Fuse Magazine and advisory board member for the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre and the Scarborough Arts Kaleidescope Program.

Peter Turk

Peter is a genius software developer who prides himself on being able to figure out what people want computers to do and making computers do it. He started creating software in 1970 and has done it ever since. He is the mastermind behind several successful software start-ups, but has worked in every size and type of technology organization including giant telecom utilities and the creation of embedded machine control software. Peter is also committed to helping non-profits. He has served on several non-profit boards and helps charities on a regular basis. That commitment has lead to Peter's latest venture which is software that helps non-profits manage their relationship with constituents.

Robert Underwood

Robert Underwood has been President and CEO of AFBS for 16 years. Prior to that time, he worked in Canada and the US as consultant within the insurance and financial services sector with a specialty in mergers and acquisitions within the oil and gas sector. One of his key assignments with AFBS has been to expand the Society’s insurance and financial services beyond members of ACTRA and the Writers Guild of Canada, and to this end, the creation of the Writers’ Coalition Benefits Program and the Arts & Entertainment Plan tm are fast becoming Canadian success stories. Bob is past President of the Canadian Fraternal Association, and sits on the Boards of the Creative Arts Savings and Credit Union, the Canadian Senior Artists Resource Network, and the Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation.

Myles Warren

Myles Warren has worked in the Canadian arts field for over 30 years. As OAC’s Dance and Awards Officer since 2002, Myles administers all dance grant programs.  He administers all awards, prizes and scholarships established at the OAC and manages the jury process for numerous Ontario Arts Foundation and the Government of Ontario awards.  Myles is currently co-chair of the Canada Dance Mapping Study commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts.

From 1992 to 2002 he was Executive Director of Dance Umbrella of Ontario, where he fostered alternative arts administration models for independent dance-makers and small-scale dance companies and festivals.. He administered the Menaka Thakkar Dance Company, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Sampradaya Dance Creations, the MOonhORsE dance theatre, Fujiwara Dance Inventions, CanAsian Dance Festival, among others. He was General Manager of the Desrosiers Dance Theatre from 1998 to 2002.

Earlier in his career, Myles worked in Canadian theatre and managed national and international tours. He contributed to the founding of on the MOVE (as co-chair) and Arts for Change (as co-leader), a capacity-building initiative for the performing arts in Toronto that informed the development of the Creative Trust. He was active in community advocacy initiatives, including ArtsVote and Dance 2020 (as co-chair).

Sashar Zharif

Sashar Zarif is a multi-disciplinary performing artist, educator and researcher whose artistic practice invites a convergence of creative and cultural perspectives. His interests are identity, globalization and cross-cultural collaborations. His practice is steeped in the artistry and history of traditional, ritualistic and contemporary dance and music of the Near Eastern and Central Asian regions. He has toured across the Americas, in Europe, North Africa, Central and Western Asia and the Middle East, promoting cultural dialogue through intensive fieldwork, residencies, performances and creative collaborations. He is the recipient of numerous national and international awards for his collaborations with outstanding Canadian artists, along with international icons such as Alim Quasimov (a collaborator on Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project), and universities and arts institutions across continents. Zarif is a research associate at the York University Centre for Asian Studies, a sessional faculty member of York University's Dance Department and on the board of directors of Dance Ontario and the World Dance Alliance - Americas. Among recent awards are a Chalmers Fellowship, New Pioneers Award for Arts and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.


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