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  • Shelley MacDonald - Lead Teacher, Indigenous Artist-Educator & Filmmaker

    Shelley MacDonald is a performing artist, educator, and filmmaker from the Mi’kmaq Nation with a real passion for arts based projects with youth.

    She spent over 10 years as a community outreach worker for the Vancouver School Board developing theatre, film projects and Festivals across the district. She co-founded a community based Aboriginal Mentorship program for young women in partnership with Simon Fraser University in December 2003. The Girlz group has completed three films.  Trailblazers, Girlz n the hood, and Mental: The power within our stories.  These films have screened at different conferences, including the World Peace forum for the United Nations, and on APTN. 

    She has facilitated Teacher professional development workshops in BC, Northern Alberta, Saskatchewan and the North West Territories. She is a certified Level 3 Mentor Artist with the Royal Conservatory’s Learning Through the Arts program and continues to train and mentor artists helping them to celebrate their art form and infuse it into the school curriculum.

    Shelley joined the DAREarts team in November 2011 and is thrilled to be part of this amazing arts based leadership program.

  • Trish De Luca Land - Coordinator

    Trisha’s work with adolescents and youth began as a gymnastics coach and then program coordinator with the City of Toronto parks and recreation. After graduating from U of T with a B.A. in Theatre and Film, she excelled in the Toronto/LA film industry as a production coordinator for almost 8 years. Moving to Vancouver with her husband in 2010 - that West Coast air had immediate effect and Trish found herself pregnant in a new city. This much needed breathing space gave way to a recollection of deeper passions and higher purpose - and Trish started writing. “Do Your Dreamwork” is being published in 2013 to empower young people with knowledge on how to design their life and achieve their goals.  

    This same sense of purpose led Trish to volunteer with YWCA and other local community centers, before taking the role of Vancouver Program Coordinator for DAREarts. For the last two years she has dedicated her time to running Arts Leadership programs for Gr. 6 and 7‘s in East Vancouver and developing DAREarts community outreach. The organization’s values align perfectly with Trisha’s belief that art is a powerful tool which can be used to develop crucial life-skills in children.  As the baby-brain subsides and the book gets published, Trish is exploring further education in youth counseling.  

  • Nk'xetko - Elder Mary Jane Joe

    Mary Jane Joe is a member of the Ntle’kepmx Nation one of five Interior Salish tribes in central B.C.  She sings, drums, is a story teller and quilter.  She teaches Aboriginal Studies at Langara College where the main topics include culture, identity and community. Mary Jane is a survivor of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.  She discovered that traditional culture, language and the arts have been like medicine that brings healing.  A trained teacher, Mary Jane not only lectures on First Nations history, residential school life and traditional culture, she assists in lesson planning and curriculum development.

  • John Aitken - Indigenous Artist-Educator

    John Aitken is an actor, carver, film-maker, dancer, photographer and educator.  John self identifies as First Nations with Coast Salish.

    A member of Stages Dance Company in Victoria BC, he has also performed extensively with renowned contemporary dancer, Lynda Raino.

    John produced and directed a short documentary called Breaking the Silence of AIDS and also directed a short documentary for the Songhees Nation called Diabetes: Then and Now. With both projects, he included Indigenous youth from local reservations and from the urban setting.

    As a wood carver, John carved a twenty foot  figure called the Honouring Figure based on a traditional Coast Salish Welcome Figure.  It stands on a CRD park on Mayne Island named after his grandparents.

    He recently completed a performance art piece titled The Gift, based on his challenging childhood.  He is currently working on a solo which will explore what it is like being of mixed ancestry titled Mixed Up!  

    John has  been a driving force for education around Indigenous issues.  He organized the first National Aboriginal Day celebration in the Gulf Islands ; he initiated book challenges ; and he created public art installations for RedDress addressing missing and murdered Indigenous women, and for Clean Water addressing  endangered clean water. 

    He is working on an educational tool video addressing the Truth and Reconciliation movement. 

    John is a cross cultural bridge builder : a life time occupation he takes seriously with humour!

  • Brunella Battista - Media Arts & Film

    Brunella is an award winning multimedia artist with a history of public presentation. She is a creator and instructor of inspiring multimedia curriculums for young audiences, and a nature and 3D enthusiast.
  • Linda Carson - Actors Equity, Playwrights Guild of Canada, B.A., B.Ed., Diploma of Acting

    Linda, a graduate of Vancouver’s Studio 58, has been a professional actor, writer and teacher for the past 30 years. She is one of the co-creators of the hit play Mom’s The Word, and written many plays for young audiences including Jack, The Bugs and The Beanstalk, Here To Hear, George and Martha, and Dying To Be Thin. Linda has performed for theatres across Canada, and most recently played Blanche in Brighton Beach Memoirs (Theatre North West) and Narrator in Where The Wild Things Are (Manitoba Theatre For Young People).

    Linda began teaching for DAREarts three years ago, bringing her many years of experience as an artist and a teacher with her. She quickly fell in love with the program because of its unique mandate to use the arts to teach leadership skills. She witnessed first hand how the program helps our young people find their own, unique voices, gain confidence in themselves and find their places in our world. The older Linda gets, the more interested she becomes in hearing what the youth of this country have to say.

  • Roy Mulder - Media Arts & Film

    Roy Mulder was one of the first to work in video when it was a new medium. He volunteers and works with organizations including Cinekids Productions, Tickle Trunk Players, Royal Conservatory’s Learning Through the Arts, Britannia Aboriginal Outreach School and DAREarts, creating educational programming for youth and adults.  He is an avid supporter of marine conservation. 

  • Karen Myskiw - Artist

    Karen June Myskiw is an enthusiastic creative who practices as an artist, designer and educator. She has worked as a landscape designer with Non-Profit organizations, as well as creating gardens in schools, and teaching about healthy eating. At the District of West Vancouver, she led art programs with young people in grades K to 12 exploring water colour, murals, and Manga. She continues her art education practice, as lead art teacher for DareARTS, as well as the Vancouver Opera and the Burnaby School Board.

    In her personal artistic practice she explores, water colour, acrylics, mixed media an photography. Karen’s local and international travel photography celebrates and documents genus loci of landscape and memory. Her art finds greatest expression in working communally on public arts projects.

    Professionally, Karen is principal of JardinsDESIGNS, her residential design consulting company.  With over 15 years established design experience, JardinDESIGNS focuses on the seamless integration of indoor and outdoor living rooms to create an atmosphere of wellness. She also offers workshops and retreats on gardening, foods for sustenance, and art-making.

  • Lori Sherritt Fleming - Theatre & Spoken Word

    Lori Sherritt-Fleming is an accomplished author, playwright, performer and educator.  She comes from a family of Irish seanachi (storytellers) and loves to spin a good tale.  She founded the Tickle Trunk Players Theatre and has several publications and touring plays for youngsters including, “Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch On”.  She has been a writer in residence for over two decades in diverse communities and schools.  She finds joy working with young people to facilitate them finding their voices as artists and change makers. 

  • Mark Siller - Dance

  • Tracie Stewart - Artist

    Tracie lives in The Fraser Valley while working in beloved BC. She received international training as an artist at ECCAD (Emily Carr College of Art and Design) and as an internationally certified arborist at ISA (International Society for Arboriculture), specializing in integrated pest management, organic status, food production, hazard and risk assessment and urban falling.  She finds her two passions inspire one another in a dynamic way.  She works in socially engaged art practices, collage and multimedia art, arbor and garden eco-design, & collaborative installation projects.  

  • Kurt Von Hahn - Musician

  • Claire Brown - Youth Mentor

  • Marlo Colby Mason - Youth Mentor

  • Amelia Jones - Youth Mentor, Media Arts & Film

    Amelia was born and raised in Vancouver. She is an Indigenous youth whose family comes from Duncan and Campbell River B.C.   She loves photography and working with youth because she wants to help them to become strong leaders for the younger ones.  She wants to help them have a better life and to let them know they can change something in life and not be afraid.   Working with DAREarts is helping her to achieve these goals.  She currently is the program assistant and Youth Mentor for DAREarts Vancouver and doing a film internship with UWVIDEO 1 productions.  Her hopes and dreams are to help kids and youth to open up and not be afraid.

  • Akaiya Stewart - Youth Mentor

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We are stronger as a team... We can speak and be heard; ...Self dicipline leads to self confidence.