Gerardo Balderas Figueroa (He/Him)
Gerardo was born in Mexico and moved to Canada 14 years ago. Growing up he pursued sports such Originally trained as an aerialist (aerial hoop), he’s transitioned towards other acts as well.
He’s had the opportunity to train, compete, and work throughout North America. His favourite part of being on stage is to be able to transport his audience to a different world where they can forget their daily routines and experience one of his many faces.
“SEU” is a solo project that has been performing around and outside Mexico for the past 5 years, at places such as festivals, private events and concerts, and countries like Germany, Spain, Ireland and Canada; reviving the “bolero” genre with contemporary arrangements.
Composed by the Mexican singer-songwriter, born in Queretaro, Mexico but currently based in Toronto, Canada; has just released his first album with the support of important scholarships such as the one given by the Culture Institute of Queretaro. Taking his influences mainly, he decided to launch it by the name “Roots”.
This EP is characterized by exploring new and innovative ways to perform Boleros. It contains 3 songs which combine electronic sounds with musical harmonies and his acoustic guitar. Production and mixing was made by Adriano Morales.
Cassandra La Voz
I've been a singer for 4 years, singing in both Calgary and various cities in Mexico, most events have been artistic latin festivals, different bars and other locations. I sing various genders in English and Spanish. For this occasion, I will be presenting myself with four musicians and a backup dancer. I will be singing in both English and Spanish, songs that represent the purpose of the event, to celebrate life.
Nahualli Folklore Society
Nahualli (Nah-Wall-e) Folklore Society is a registered non-profit organization established in Vancouver, B.C. Canada since 2010. Our purpose is to represent and share Mexican culture through dance.
The name Nahualli originates from an indigenous language of Mexico called Nahuatl (Nah-wah-til). It signifies an animal spirit or transforming power that protects and guides each person from the moment of birth.
Nahualli specializes in the performance of Traditional Mexican Dance, including zapateado, skirt twirling, body placement and alignment and dance composition techniques combined with Mexico's most popular rhythms of El Son, El Huapango, Musica Ranchera, Banda, Indigenous music and many others.
See their website here.
Certified Permaculture Teacher
My name is Becca Martin and I am a Certified Permaculture Teacher. I teach and create programming surrounding sustainability and permaculture. As I love to work with children I created and taught the Capitol Hill Elementary school gardening program for 6 years and had over 600 students learn how to grow food seed to table.
I have an eye for building resilient commmunities through gardening and sharing food and seeds. I grow and save rare ancient and heirloom seeds. My interest in history and human rights meshes well with my seed saving endeavours in that I have sacred Amaranth and black corn to share with my communities.
In sharing and planting seeds we invest in our collective future while honouring and thanking those that came before us. We weave a tighter community that can celebrate food sovereignty together.
Check out my etsy here.
Nico & Jeff
Nico & Jeff is a high-energy duo comprising singer-songwriters Nico Brennan and Jeff Kushner. Veterans of the Calgary music scene, these two joined forces in late 2019. Since then, their music has been featured at various events including Calgary’s “Cold Hands Warm Heart” virtual concert series, Mardi Gras Street Festival, and the Varsity Folk Club. They have also enjoyed success as the creators of “Happy Hour @
Home”, a weekly live stream where they entertained audiences from around the world by playing original songs and taking requests on the spot.
Nico Brennan is a dynamically gifted singer who released 3 critically acclaimed albums with Calgary band, The Dino Martinis. Following her departure from the band, Nico released a solo album “The Dream Factory” in 2019. Her songwriting was showcased at the Rocky Mountain Arts Festival.
Jeff Kushner has been making music in Calgary for over 2 decades. Jeff is an inspiring guitar player with a knack for beautiful harmonies. His songwriting talents have been featured in several Calgary musical projects including The Funeral Factory, Talking Dog, and The Beagle Ranch, with whom he released 3 albums.
Nico & Jeff are “a perfect, slap hazard mix of expertise and experimentation.” In addition to writing their own material, this pair has also created arrangements for hundreds of cover songs that include a unique blend of instrumentation and soulful harmonies woven through the familiar and the unexpected. They are a delight for audiences of varied ages and musical tastes.
You can find more about them at www.nicoandjeff.com.
Mexican Collective of Multidisciplinary Artists
Mictlan, Arts, And Research
Mictlan is a Mexican Collective of performance arts and artistic research. Experienced artists formed it from Mexico. They started performing in Calgary in November 2018. With Ximena Gonzalez, Almendra Vergara, and Alberto Susano.
It results from the common interest in investigating, sharing, and performing the rituals, art, philosophy, and mythology that are part of the heritage of ancient cultures of Latin America in general and Mexico in particular.
They have performed in many cultural events, stages, and street shows. They were doing art workshops for people of all ages. They also do storytelling and visual arts to promote Mexican cultural heritage in the province, trying to build bridges between Mexico, Canada, and other countries.
(In the picture left side Almendra Vergara, Alberto Susano in the middle and Ximena Gonzalez on the right side)
Percussion (Mark Sepic/Alan Hetherington Duo)
Alan is the founder and Director of Toronto’s own Escola de Samba de Toronto, presently teaches a course in Brazilian Bateria at The University of Toronto and The Royal Conservatory of Music, and has traveled throughout Canada, the United States and Japan teaching the tradition.
Alan’s Fantástica Bateria from the Escola de Samba de Toronto toured Brazil in 2008, 2011 and 2016 to high acclaim, and today the ensemble is considered one of Canada’s principal cultural links to Brazil.
A Fantástica Bateria de Alan Hetherington and Chocollatte, recorded in São Paulo and Toronto, is a percussion tour de force CD that mixes traditional and contemporary idioms.
Alan’s Brazilian musical life is the subject of filmmaker Avi Lev’s feature documentary, We Are Samba with Beth Carvalho, Mestre Sombra, Mestre Odilon, and others.
Also of note is Alan’s role as producer, musical director and performer with 2018 American Folk Music Award winning artist Lenka Lichtenberg; releasing 3 CD’s together, including the latest, Embrace.
In 2016, 2017 and 2018 Alan produced and performed tours with Filó Machado and Celso Machado, as well as with Henrique Cazes and his group (Canadioca) in music festivals across the country. In 2019 he was commissioned to produce Um Grande Encontro for the Toronto Jazz Festival, and was music director for Rafael Piccolotto’s, Forró Sem Palavras, for the Orquestra de Fulô de Toronto.
Alan holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music from The University of British Columbia where he studied with John Rudolph, and a Masters of Music in Percussion Performance from the University of Toronto, under Russell Hartenberger.
Musician, Sound Sculptor (Mark Sepic/Alan Hetherington Duo)
Mark Sepic is an internationally recognized guitarist/composer, whose virtuoso finger-style guitar, appealing vocal style, impeccable taste, child-like sense of play and some electronic loop-wizardry make his concerts an irresistible joy-ride into the magic of music. His projects have been featured in thirteen consecutive Toronto Jazz Festivals and have taken him abroad to Germany, Cuba and Singapore.
“But wait – there’s more!”
A passionate environmentalist, Mark's "Junkestra" program, a hands-on wonderland of recycling, integrates sports, music, and art, celebrating the musical potential of everyday things. In schools, galleries and festivals throughout Ontario, Mark has helped Canadians recycle over 250,000 items, giving tin cans, toilet paper rolls and plastic jars a musical afterlife as drums, kazoos and maracas. Larger items – pots, pans, plumbing and yes, even the kitchen sink, become sound sculptures, 12 of which dot the Ontario landscape, from Toronto and Hamilton to Barry's Bay and Moose Factory.
The Junkestra provides infinite musical nuance and casts a creative spell over all who enter. It has received generous media coverage and has been featured at many diverse venues, including the 2015 Pan-Am Games launch, Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, Toronto Fringe Festival, Roy Thompson Hall’s “Share the Music” and Nuit Blanche.
Mark’s newest creation, a hockey stick xylophone, has been featured on CBC Radio's DNTO, as “Canada’s Green Slap Shot to Save the World”.
Guitar Guru or Mad Scientist – you decide; Either way, Mark guarantees an unforgettable experience.
Author and Director
Herbert Poll Gutiérrez
Bachelor's Degree in Social Communication. Master's Degree in Sociocultural Recreation and Public Relations and Protocol. He has worked as a playwright, short-story writer, poet, and storyteller for children and adults for 17 years. For his artistic work, he has received national and international awards. He has published eight books in the genres of theatre and narrative. Among them, we can mention:
2004: Emi Laará: Pequeñas historias para soñar (Emi Laará: Little stories to dream).
2012: Cosas de un niño grande (Big boy things).
2014: El Asesino de la Luna (The murderer of the Moon)
2014: 23 cuentos y una carta desesperada (23 stories and a desperate letter).
2017: La Gran Carrera (The Great Race).
2020: ¿Cuba qué linda es Cuba? (How beautiful is Cuba?).
Some of his writings also appear in magazines and in more than 20 anthologies from Cuba, Venezuela, Canada, Spain, the United States, Uruguay, Mexico, Germany, Argentina, and other countries.
His writings also appear in magazines and more than 20 anthologies in Cuba, the United States, Mexico, Germany, Argentina, and other countries.
Companies have performed his theatre scripts from different countries such as Dominican Republic, Spain, Chile, and Mexico.
He has also been director of the following projects:
2022: Digital storytelling project "Emi laara: Little stories to dream (Winner of the Project Grant Program - Individuals & Collectives 2021), sponsored by the Calgary Art Development Authority (CADA).
2021: The Great Race. Digital storytelling with comic trends, Coproduction Canada-Peru, and Mexico.
2021: Digital storytelling Project: "Cuba Que Linda es Cuba: Confessions of a fearless Cuban (Grantee of the Art Share 2021 Program sponsored by the Calgary Art Development Authority (CADA).
He was recognized as Calgary Artist of the Month for December 2021 by ICAI (Immigrant Council for Artistic Innovation).
Erik Olivera Rubio
His works are in private collections and cultural institutions in Nigeria, Angola, England, the United States, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Malaysia, Germany, Japan, Norway, Russia, and Cuba.
Several film directors and producers have also used works and performances by Erik Olivera Rubio for their screen projects. Among them, Teresita Gómez, Yuder Laffita, Francesca Danovaro and James Smorkaloff.
Many of his works were used for the French film "Case Depart" (2011), directed by Lionel Steketee.
Television Producer and Director
Rodolfo Ortega Arnais
Founder and Director of Imaginante S.C., Mexico. One of the most outstanding producers-directors of cultural television programs in Mexico, with over 30 years of experience and more than a thousand television productions. He has brought more than 80 national and international spectacle operas to the screen.
Among them, we can mention:
- Opera de Bellas Artes (Mexico)
- Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
- The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
- The Stuttgart Philharmonic
- The Youth Orchestra of the Americas.
His work as an audiovisual producer and creative also includes:
- Cultural programs and documentaries
- Morning and analysis show for Channel 22 and Channel 11.
- Sports, including coverage of the Olympic Games and World Football Championships.
- Live broadcasts of concerts in Nezahualcóyotl Theater, Mexico.
- General producer of the Fetes de la Nuit in Versailles, France.
- Associate Producer in London for the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Concert.
- Creator, producer, and director of the weekly program: Escenarios (Stages), Canal 22.
He collaborates constantly with the UNAM ( National Autonomous University of Mexico) where he has also collaborated with the Department of Cultural Coordination and Promotion.
Among the artists with whom he has worked are:
Plácido Domingo, Elisa Carrillo, Ramón Vargas, Javier Camarena, Deborah Voigt, Renée Fleming, Kiri Te-Kanawa, Shlomo Mintz, Philip Glass, Ute Lemper, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Philip Picket, Horacio Franco, Enrique Diemecke, Gustavo Dudamel, John Rutter, LangLang, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Alondra de la Parra, Valery Gergiev; as well as with non-academic music artists such as: Lila Downs, Goran Bregovich, Héctor Infanzón, Eugenia León and Chavela Vargas, among others.
Playwright, Stage Director, And Audiovisual Producer (Degree in Advertising, Master's Degree in Theatre and Performing Arts)
Ana Salas (Actriz)
Since 2004 she has worked as coordinator and production manager at Imagine, a company dedicated to cultural television production where -among other projects- she has participated in the coverage of the leading performing arts festivals in Mexico.
She has acted in more than twenty plays. She has staged contemporary, cabaret, and children's theatre as a director. In cultural TV in Mexico, she has participated since 2010 as an interviewer, producer, scriptwriter, and director. She has directed the following projects:
Los Anillos del Arte, "The Rings of Art" (Children's animated series)
Desde el Cervantino, "From the Cervantino" for public television.
She has worked as a playwright and theatre director in the following plays:
Güey's anatomy (2011): a comedy about health services. The play was selected in 2014 to be shown in several theatres in Mexico.
Un Día Seremos Grandes (2017): Original play by Lisa Carrion. Exhibited at La Capilla Theater.
Un Día Seremos Grandes, "One day we will be great" (2018): Exhibited at the Foro de las Artes at the National Arts Centre (México) and Winter Light Festival.
Un Día Seremos Grandes, "One day we will be great" (2019): Exhibited at the cultural centre "El Hormiguero" (The anthill ).
In 2017 he wrote and staged interactive shows for children:
"Chin en Busca de la Ermita de Tenmeaká" (Chin in Search of the Hermitage of Tenmeaká) at the National Arts Centre, México.
"Show de Los auxilios" ( The Aids Show) Euterpe Cultural Centre.
In 2018 she explored new forms of theatrical expression and experiments with"Palabras Escurridas" (Elusive Words) original work of Fernanda del Monte, presented during 2019 and 2020 in several theatres in Mexico and Uruguay.
2022: Digital storytelling project "Emi laara: Little stories to dream
Producer. Script. Acting Direction.
2021: Digital storytelling Project: "Cuba Que Linda es Cuba: Confessions of a fearless Cuban.
Imaginante S.C (México/Vancouver)
Imaginante S.C is a cultural proposal based on short, animated films that seek to awaken the ability to be surprised by the creativity expressed in literature, art, and science. We use fresh, simple, and straightforward language to condense stories that attract attention through their form and content. Imaginante constantly searches for unforgettable stories, using animated illustrations that stimulate the mind and open perception. Imaginante is aimed at an audience that seeks to explore a different, warm, and intimate way of watching television. It is not only aimed at connoisseurs but at all those with a willingness to learn. See more at https://www.imaginanteproducciones.net/.
Musical Project Rock Band
La 7ma Trompeta (The 7th Trumpet)
The beginning of this project was born in 2006, with three members in the band imagining the opportunity to share with others their own compositions. Integrating a spiritual touch and motivational lyrics and merging different kinds of rhythms such as Rock, ballads, reggae, funk and Hip Hop.
The 7th Trumpet is the sound that announces that the time has come. It is a reminder of awareness of the end of times.
The full intention of this project is to help others to find peace of mind, and take the chance to learn to be happy no matter how difficult life can be. Every song relates real-life stories of the members of the band, opening their hearts and feelings to everyone who is open to end bad times, to be aware and paying attention to listen to the good word and being ready to change for a better tomorrow.
The 7th Trumpet slogan says “Everyone united for a better tomorrow”
This project was formally released the First EP called “Exodus" in July 2020
Members of the band From Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico:
Dario Lopez; Composer, Bass player and vocal
Lyric musician 29 years' experience Drummer and bass player
Cecilia Nando; Composer, second guitar and vocal
Lyric musician 24 years' experience Singer
Jahir Loza; Composer and lead guitar.
Musician 16 years' experience Guitar player
Visual Artist, Painter
My name is Claudia Janet. When I was a teenager I decided to learn how to paint so I started to play with a canvas and some oils, since then I have always been experimenting with several materials to create my art such as oils, acrylics, watercolours, texture, pastels, charcoal pencils, and sometimes recycled materials such as foam, Compact discs, or anything I feel fits the purpose.
I am a self-taught person, I like to have books on hand that I can consult for help, or I look for tutorials to learn a particular technique. I am also constantly challenging myself by experimenting with new materials. My style has been changing regularly, sometimes it’s more gothic and dark using only black, white, and grays, or sometimes it can be very cheerful with bright colours and cute characters, it depends on my mood that day. Most of the time I use art as therapy.
I had participated in several exhibitions in Italy, England, Mexico, and Canada as a solo artist and some collectives.
I will always be an artist until the day I die; I feel excited to think about what kind of art I will be creating in the future. I love my art and I hope people who see it will enjoy it as much as I did when I created it.
Artistic Director, Marian Lasso
Así es Colombia
Asi es Colombia is a cultural organization that has dedicated itself to promoting Colombian culture in the city of Calgary. As a group, the ability to maintain and share our culture through dance and music is a passion we hope to continue expressing for many years to come.
See more at www.asiescolombia.com.
Duo De La Habana
Duo De La Habana is formed by Mrs. Yoanna Mesa in soprano voice, and Mr. Jorge Nunez in guitar and tenor voice. Our repertoire consists mostly of Boleros and Romantic Ballads, either in Spanish or English, and also some Cuban traditional dancing music and some traditional Latin folkloric music.
The Duo was formed in Calgary, Canada, our city and country of citizenship and permanent residence, although our original country of birth is Cuba. From around 10 years ago, we have performed in several private and public events and venues. We are more than happy to be part of this series of artistic events organized by Casa Mexico.
IRERI Smiles Mexican Folkloric Ballet
IRERI Smiles Mexican Folkloric Ballet, was born in 2011 as an educational initiative of
IRERI-Mexican, Latino & Cross-Cultural Society, to preserve, spread and project
Mexican Art and Culture, through Dance in High River, under the direction of Mexican
artistic instructors: Irene De La Cruz, Elizabeth Vigueras, Myriam Vazquez and Luis
After the flood that the High River suffered in 2013, IRERI Smiles Mexican Folkloric
Ballet has been available to the Communities in Southern Alberta, as a Resilient
initiative to bring joy with its colourful choreographies, full of music and rhythm from
different regions of Mexico, to the general public of Seniors Homes, Hospitals,
Shelters, and Social Organizations.
The routines that the public likes the most are those dedicated to the Day of the Dead,
a Mexican holiday in which those loved ones who have passed away are remembered
with love and respect and that in this Celebrating Life in Calgary, will be performed by
Tonantzin Hoyte, Valerie Hoyte, Myriam Vazquez, Valeria Vazquez, and Luis Segura.
Shannon MacKinnon, BFA, BA, MSW
Shannon has been involved in both the Calgary and Montreal art communities through writing, visual art, singing, performance, spoken word, installation art, community involvement and mentorship for many years. Artmaking is a way of life that has been a place of solace since childhood. Communities of care where arts and social justice intersect are of interest, though frivolous making of visually pleasing objects seems equally important on particularly difficult days
Shannon has a private studio space and often welcomes people to share conversation or co-creation time there. Collective artmaking with other artists locally and across the world via Zoom, and participating in local art initiatives whenever possible, have been sustaining practices through these uncertain times. These recent artworks highlight the resilience and hope of a better future while acknowledging the contributions of past generations to our existence in the present.
See more at www.hiveandheart.ca.
Eric Flores-Moreno & Friends
(Pictured from left to right in the photo is: Logan Calder - Bass, Tae Kim - Piano @taebromusic, Anthony Flanagan - Drums, Mitchell Prentice - Tenor Saxophone, Eric Flores-Moreno - Trumpet @ericmfloresmorenomusic, Ethan Graves - Trombone @gravey_boat_music)
Eric Flores-Moreno & Friends is a group made up of young and up-and-coming Alberta-based musicians currently enrolled in their 3rd year in the Bachelor of Music program at MacEwan University majoring in Performance. They have individually and as a group played across many venues and festivals across Alberta. Their repertoire consists of all sorts of music from jazz, latin, pop, and more.
The group is led by 20-year-old trumpet player Eric Flores-Moreno, he has been playing trumpet since he was in grade 7. Apart from the individual work he has also had the opportunity to play in many prestigious groups such as the JazzYYC Lab Band, Alberta International Band Festival Honour Band, Little birds Big Band, and the MacEwan University Big Band. He has studied and worked with many stellar trumpet players such as Johnny Summers, Jared Greeve, Joel Gray, Al Muirhead, and Andre Wickenheiser.
The rest of the group consists of Logan Calder - Bass, Tae Kim - Piano, Anthony Flanagan - Drums, Mitchell Prentice - Tenor Saxophone, and Ethan Graves - Trombone.
Farris Temaire (Dancing White Eagle)
Every day I try and set time aside to nurture my human nature that can take something and creates something new from it. A skill entwined in humanity. Crafting is an enrichment I seek when my hands want to move but my brain wants to tune out. I have beaded, created new worlds to be found between the pages, and recently picked up pine coiling.
I enjoy teaching as it's molding the greatest resources the human race has and I hope that they find the peace in the Rhythmic Movement that I find when I pick up the needle. In this celebration of life they can create a colorful creation to showcase hope for the future.
My indigenous elder named me Dancing White Eagle. I named myself Farris Temaire in my writing carrier and I was named after my grandmother Pauline.
I will be teaching tack down and basket weaving at the festival. And I can’t wait to meet you and guide your hands to success.
My name is Elaine Lee. I was born in Vancouver, BC with a rare condition known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta, also known as Brittle Bones – life expectancy 2 years old but I proved them wrong!
At the age of three years old, I discovered my passion for drawing the very first time I held a crayon! Right away, I told my mom that I wanted to be an artist when I grow up! In 1986, I moved to Whitehorse, Yukon and instantly became inspired by its warm colourful sunsets and the child-like paintings of northern scenes done by my friend and world-renowned Canadian painter, Mr. Ted Harrison who only lived a few blocks away from me! Art was always my favourite subject and I always dreamed of one day attending a real art school to become a “real artist!” In 1997, I returned to Vancouver to attend Simon Fraser University where I received my Certificate of Liberal Arts. Eventually, I was accepted into Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now known as Emily Carr University), where I graduated with my Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in 2010.
Throughout my personal journey of many, life and near-death experiences, I also became inspired by the life of the late Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, whose paintings have always told a story within the bold imagery and whose life had many similarities to my own. When I am not painting, I also speak 4 languages including: English, French, Cantonese and Spanish.
"I never painted dreams. I only paint my reality." - Frida Kahlo
Although I relocated and have been living in Calgary, Alberta since then, I still hold a soft spot for Whitehorse, Yukon. I am also grateful to the people from all walks of life who have been the inspiration and love within every colour and stroke I paint and draw. I am truly thankful for each day and all the miracles of life that I have been given thus far.
“Art is the air I breathe and without art, there is no Elaine.”
To follow my artistic journey or comment on my art, you may check out my Artwork by Elaine Lee page on Facebook or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roots-rock troubadour Matt Blais goes in search of authenticity, passionately advocating for connection in good times and bad. As a singer-songwriter and touring live performer, he has developed a purpose-driven creative life that inspires that connection in listeners. By writing socially relevant and meaningful songs in an upbeat and accessible style, performing them with his signature belting vocals and harmonica work, Blais has built a full-time career with fans across Canada. His latest release, “Our Comeback” (June 2021), captures the energy and hope of a community ready to bounce back, rise up, and overcome.
Together with ATCO Energy, the song raised $10,000 for The Prophets of Music to support Alberta’s music industry. Matt Blais is the current Calgary Songwriter in Residence and has collaborated with Sam Roberts, played over a thousand shows, opening for acts such as Blue Rodeo and The Strumbellas, and performed venues like Calgary Stampede’s Coca-Cola Stage, Big Valley Jamboree Songwriter Stage. With awards such as "Male Artist of the Year" at the Calgary Music Awards (2018) and "Best Rock Song" at The Great American Song Contest (2016), he has solidified his reputation as a musical force both on and off the stage.
Spanish Creations Academy
We promote the engagement between Canadian and Latin American culture through the immersion in the Spanish Language and performing arts.
See more at https://www.spanishcreations.ca.
D Rhythm Soul Dance Experience Company, was established and founded by Dancer and Choreographer De-Ann Weekes in April 2018. DRSD is cultured and community driven. We are inspired by and truly believe the Maya Angelou quote "Everything has Rhythm, Everything Dances".
Kimberly is a Multimedia Storyteller. She educates, entertains, and empowers people through the power of storytelling. Her works of art are on platforms such as plays/theatre productions, prose, film, interviews, skits and spoken word poetry. She recently curated Molded Out of Clay for Uprooted 2021 with Handsome Alice Theatre. Writing is a place that permits her to be soft, bold and fearless. Her originality portrays life from a contradictory point of view. She brings honest, transparent and conspicuous sentiments to her works. Kimberly draws inspiration from her Nigerian heritage and the diverse cultures she comes in contact with. To learn more about Kimberly Ihekwoaba, visit her website, kihek.com.
Lily is a Mexican Canadian performing artist; she studied a BA in Performing Arts and a master’s degree in Cultural Development. She has more than fifteen years in the performing arts (Theatre). Her first publication was “Development of Soft Skills through Art” (2014). She came to Calgary in 2017, since then she has been collaborating with the community in different cultural projects. She is a RAFT & RAMP alumni. In 2018 she co-founded SpanicArts (Hispanic Association of Professional Artists LTD). As a performer, she is always creating and finding ways to convey a deep and meaningful message on the stage.
Songwriter, Composer and Singer
Paloma Negra is a Mexican songwriter, composer, and singer based in Canada since late 2018. She found her passion in traditional Mexican Mariachi music. By 2021 she recorded her first LP ''Ventana del Alma', along with the 2017 Latin Grammy Nominees Mariachi imperial Azteca.
A professional musician with 15 years in the performing arts, with a specialty in electric guitar. He also holds a degree in art, technology, and music management. He is also a teacher for all ages from kids to adults. By 2015 he produced his first album called “A un paso del sol” (“One step to the sun”) with 9 own authorship songs. He is preparing his new production with some lyrics included.
Musician (Ph.D. in Music; M.A. in Ethnomusicology, University of Alberta, Alberta-based Sufi Singer-songwriter & Acousmatic Composer)
Shumaila Hemani & the Sufi Collective
“Staying rooted within traditional forms and honouring those while also bringing in experimentation, Shumaila Hemani sings Sufi epics in South Asian Sufi tradition compellingly,” says Rebecca Bruton from the New Works Calgary. Praised for enriching Edmonton (Edmonton Journal), Hemani is locally celebrated for her “mesmerizing” and “emotionally nerve-striking” music that carries “vocal virtuosity,” expressing “radically different inner existential visions” (Calgary Herald). Shumaila Hemani, Ph.D. in Music from the University of Alberta and Former Music Faculty, Semester at Sea, Spring 2020 voyage and the Faculty of Extension (University of Alberta)is an award-winning Alberta-based Sufi singer-songwriter, acousmatic composer, sing-style poet, spoken word artist, and traditional performer. Her composition: Perils of Heavy Rainfall, received a Second Prize at the Listening During COVID contest by the Canadian Association of Sonic Ecology (CASE) and the pioneering Canadian soundscape composer Hildegard Westerkamp applauded her for beautifully taking the listeners to an immersive world of different music, chanting, and drones.
During the pandemic, Hemani has presented virtual showcases for the FACTOR-funded International Women’s Day (2021) and Canadian Music Week (2021) for the Alberta Musical Theatre’s A World of Stories (2020), CJSW’s A Drop and the Turning (2021), and the Starlite Spotlight Sessions (2021), CJSR’s From Here We Go Sublime (2021). Her acousmatic compositions have been curated at the Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology (CCE), Ajam MC (2021) Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM)’s R.L. Stevenson Prize (2016), Sounding Board (2020), and Annual Concert (2020).
Her original single: Anticipating was featured in the Cross-Canada tour for Suicide Prevention Awareness and Hope (2020) and has been critically acclaimed for expressing “a visceral emotionality and a deep musicality expertly ushering listeners into a place of contemplation and consideration” (John Wright at Radio Airplay, 2020). Hemani’s song: Living with Purpose has been nominated for Alberta Magazine Award in Poetry (2022).
Visit her website at https://www.shumailahemani.com.
Back To Eden, Visual Artist
Twinkle Banerjee (She/Her) is an Indo-Canadian visual artist, who works with alternative and digital photographic processes. Her practice covers a wide variety of topics, ranging from social commentary to conceptual storytelling rooted in activism.
See her website at: http://www.twinklebanerjee.com.
Back To Eden, Multidisciplinary Artist
Shikha Banerjee is a multidisciplinary artist who works primarily in oil. Her stories weave through figurative and realist art practices.
See her website at: http://www.shikhabanerjee.com.
Painter & Artist
Zoong Nguyen was born in Vietnam and came to Canada in the ‘80. She was trained as a Graphic Designer in Huntsville, Alabama and worked in that field up to my move to Calgary in 2005. She much prefers the paintbrushes and canvases to the computer mouse onto the screen and never look back.
Zoong’s painting subjects range from still life, landscapes, florals to figures. In 2018, she was awarded a grant from the Calgary Arts Development to do a series of ‘Curvy Figures’, a political correct theme that is not often addressed. She wanted to be contrarian to the images of skinny models shown in magazines and to paint the images of real women: beautiful, curvy, loving and resilient. Zoong has exhibited in Calgary and Edmonton.
In summer 2021, during the pandemic, Zoong with her group of multicultural and multi disciplinary artists completed an awarded public art project, a statue of the ‘Dancers’. The statue of a jovial couple dancing represents the happy moments of the area’s multi ethnic background citizens living in harmony.
The title of my project ‘Let’s Protect Our Precious Lives’. See more about me at https://www.zoong.ca/about.
A Russian-born Canadian visual artist living and working in Calgary with natural, discarded and
waste materials mostly in areas of painting, drawing, collage, fiber, and sculpture exploring love, wonder, beauty, femininity and human emotions through discovering new processes.
Marina Nelson’s artworks are collected throughout the world, both corporately and privately, available
primarily through Saatchi Art online: https://www.saatchiart.com/account/profile/44839
Regional Mexican Music
Tacubaya music project was born in March 2020. Tacubaya meaning comes from an ancient language "Nahuatl" and means "where the waters meet". Alluding to gatherings where music is the main tool and brings everyone together bringing back good memories, having a good time and cheers with family and dear friends. Regional Mexican music like mariachi but this time as a Trio band is based on renowned Mexican artists such as Juan Gabriel, Rocio Durcal, Leo Dan, Pepe Aguilar, La Santa Cecilia just to mention a few. Tacubaya from México to your Heart.
Members of the band:
From Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico
Cecilia Nando Acoustic Guitar and main vocal, lyric musician 24 years experience
Dario Lopez Bass guitar player and vocals, lyric musician 29 years experience
Jahir Loza lead guitar and vocals, music teacher 16 years of experience
Freelance Educator, Performer, Choreographer, Staging Director, Designer, Producer, Yoga Teacher
Kyrsten Blair is a prominent member of Calgary's movement community and is a freelance educator, performer, choreographer, staging director, designer, producer, and yoga teacher. Kyrsten's dance experiences span Canada, the USA, Cuba, and Indonesia. Recent presenters of her work include Loft 112, Corps Bara Dance Theatre, Carya, Calgary Opera, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, the University of Calgary's School of Creative and Performing Arts, and Calgary's School Boards. She is currently the Dance Artist in Residence at Calgary Arts Academy.
This spring, Kyrsten began training in Contemplative End of Life Care through the Institute of Traditional Medicine. Attitudes toward death, grief, and bereavement's meaning and behaviours have long drawn her attention. She seeks to merge her paths as a movement artist and doula to support and express compassion, composition, rhythm, and stillness.
Multimodal Poet, Songwriter, Musician
Laurie Anne Fuhr
Laurie Anne Fuhr, multimodal poet, songwriter, and musician, is a poet of page and stage. She is author of night flying (Frontenac House 2018), shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, and released an EP of original songs in 2018 called Love in the Digital Age on Bandcamp under her stage name, birdheat. A poetry and songwriting instructor at Alexandra Writers Centre Society (AWCS) in cSpace, she loves to help others discover a passion for writing and performance.
Poetry Workshop: Poetry can be a beautiful and cathartic way of expressing one's thoughts and feelings about a lost loved one. In this workshop, you will learn to write an epistolary (letter) poem that may help you feel connected and more at peace.
Los Majes Latin
Lost Majes Latin is a group of musician friends that have been playing locally for almost twenty years. They are a prime example of Calgary’s diverse music scene and their repertoire is as diverse as the city they’re from. It rangers from lively fiesta essentials to more intimate, well-crafted melodies.
“Canciones de Vida y Esperanza” (Songs of Life and Hope) is a playlist about getting through hard times and overcoming adversity, poems that speak to the soul and fill our hearts with hope.
Martin Aguilar, director of Los Majes Latin, is a songwriter, poet and painter who sings and plays the guitar alongside his long-time percussionist, Denis Sandoval. Los Majes has released four CDs and their music has been featured in radio, tv networks and films.
Musician, The Mark Sepic Trio
John is a native Torontonian and started playing string bass in Grade 6, and electric bass a year later. Studied, graduated and then taught at Humber College in Toronto. He has played with a variety of artists, including Morris Albert (Feelings), Filo Machado (Brasil), TO Tango, Banda Brava, Randy Bachman, Mick Goodrich, Ronnie Earl, Frank Gambale, Liberty Silver, Lorne Lofsky, Kay Lyra, and many others from South and Central America, Sri Lanka, India and Iran. He continues to perform and write music in Toronto.
Vykrutas Ukrainian Dance Ensemble
The Vykrutas Ukrainian Dance Ensemble is known in Calgary for its authentic, polished, high-energy performances which emphasize spirit and finesse while focusing on sharing the traditional folk dances and stories of our Ukrainian people.
Vykrutas was formed by a small group of arts enthusiasts to preserve Ukrainian culture, heritage and traditions through the art of Ukrainian dance and the vision of the talented Kyiv (Ukraine) native, Artistic Director, Vasyl Kanevets. Mr. Kanevets is very proud of Vykrutas for their execution of his vision. He is humbled to receive numerous awards and recognition within Canada and more recently from Ukraine for exceptional choreography.
Dancers follow an intensive dance program combining high level technical requirements with extensive performance experience that develops serious and strong dancers. Dancers begin dancing at the age of 3 in the Vykrutas School of Ukrainian Dance and move to the Ensemble at the age of 15.
We encourage the dance experience at Vykrutas to include collaboration with other Ukrainian and folk-dance schools and a variety of different dance instructors. We believe that this develops more culturally aware and more collaborative dancers and people.
In 2020 Vykrutas premiered BRAVO!, a joint collaborative show that delivers inspiring performances by junior ensemble dancers from Ukrainian and other folk-dance groups in Alberta. The recent devastation unfolding in Ukraine has driven the focus of BRAVO! 2022 to be on uniting over 100 dancers from across Alberta for a benefit performance for our homeland Ukraine where many of the dancers still have family and friends or roots linking back to their forefathers.
BRAVO! Ukraine, We Believe in Your Glory!, a Benefit Performance for Ukraine has our dancers channelling their energy into showing their unwavering pride and strength of character and conviction as Ukrainian Canadians and Ukrainian dancers and showing that the Ukrainian spirit simply cannot be extinguished.