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Our Toronto Team

  • Marilyn Field, M.S.M., B. Mus. A., B. Ed., OCT; DAREarts Founder and President

    A classically trained pianist, Marilyn worked for the Scarborough Board of Education as an elementary classroom teacher and music specialist for 12 years. She has a passion to help our young, and personally knows the power of the arts in life after the loss of her mother at the age of two. During her teaching career, she trained teachers and, among other events, coordinated a cultural festival for 2000 students called “Arts Odyssey”.

    In 1998, after seeing the cuts to arts funding in public schools, Marilyn initiated DAREarts as a comprehensive, multi-year arts education program, targeting those children in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods, who are at risk of not reaching their potential. Through the DARE of Discipline, Action, Responsibility and Excellence, children develop their self-confidence, inner strength and leadership skills.  

    Since 1998, Marilyn has dedicated her life to bringing the arts as hope to children challenged by life circumstances, by exposing them to a wider world, engaging them in creativity and empowering them to ignite change in their lives and in their community as leaders.  

    In 2001, Marilyn led a choir of children representing over 20 countries at the Nobel Peace Prize’s 100th Anniversary celebration in Oslo, Norway.   In 2003, Marilyn received the Meritorious Service Medal from Canada’s Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and the Queens’ Jubilee Medal from Ontario’s Premier Ernie Eves.

  • Laura MacKinnon, B.FA., B.Ed., OCT; Lead Teacher

    Laura has been passionate about the arts her entire life. She pursued music and trained and performed professionally as a dancer before coming to education with an interest in how integrating the arts into the core curriculum can enrich and enliven the educational experience of children. Laura has had the privilege of working as an artist-educator for many wonderful organizations including Learning through the Arts at the Royal Conservatory of Music, the National Ballet of Canada, Danceworks and the Canadian Opera Company. Laura has also conducted professional development workshops for pre-service and in-service teachers at OISE and with Learning through the Arts.

    As DAREarts Lead Teacher, she has witnessed firsthand how the arts can empower and engage children across the country, particularly those facing difficult circumstances. With the First Roots Aboriginal program team, Laura has had the privilege of working with Aboriginal youth in the FNMI communities of Webequie FN, Marten Falls FN and Attawapiskat FN, Pickle Lake, Red Lake and Thunder Bay in Ontario and in Tuktoyaktuk, North West Territories, co-facilitating multi-arts workshops to build leadership skills and celebrate culture.
  • Mackenzy Willis, DAREarts graduate; Lead Teaching Assistant

    Mackenzy is a DAREarts graduate with a passion for helping others. Through her extensive volunteer work, she has proven time and time again that her work ethic and dedication is nothing short of superb. Having attended Rosedale Heights School of the Arts with specializations in dance and drama, the arts have played a crucial role in shaping Mackenzy’s outlook; with hard work, she knows that any challenge can become an incredible learning opportunity.

    In her first year as a DAREarts teaching assistant, Mackenzy worked directly with over 300 children, connecting with them through her shared experience of having participated in the program during her youth. Her personal mantra is what she hopes to instil in each child: “I take initiative. I’m mature. I’m disciplined.”

  • Natalia Forgas Bernstein, B.A., DAREarts graduate; Teaching Assistant

    As a DAREarts graduate, Natalia has come to believe that an arts saturated community is the perfect kind of environment in which children and youth can be given the opportunity to thrive, grow, develop, and find the self-confidence to be an excellent leader and accomplish great things. Natalia was affected by the DAREarts program in a profoundly powerful way as a child, and that inspired her to pursue arts throughout middle school and at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, with a background in fine arts, photography, and theatre tech/arts. Throughout her time as a student at University of Toronto Natalia has always had the dream goal of working with at-risk and marginalized youth in some kind of supportive and artistic capacity, and her major in socio-cultural anthropology has educated her in the subtle, delicate, and multi-faceted ways many intersectional factors can contribute to various kinds of struggles amongst children and youth.

    Natalia’s time working with College Montrose Children’s Place has further developed her skills with and cemented a belief in family and child support and creative alternative learning environments and she hopes to bring those values and important experiences with her. She is very excited to be the newest member of the DAREarts team, and hopes to help and inspire new generations of children through the arts in as positive of a way as she once was.

Artists-as-teachers

Colin Ainsworth, Tenor
Karl ‘Dyzee’ Alba, B-BoyDancer
Don Alder, Guitarist
Kobena Aquaa-Harrison, Musician
David Aspenlieder, Visual Artist
Parmela Attariwala, Musician
Francois Aubrey, Filmmaker
Njacko Backo, Musician
Rebecca Baird, Visual Artist
Pamela Barker, Actor/Writer
Gina Bastone, Mask-maker
Dean Burry, Composer
Dave Campbell, Choreographer
Linda Carson, Playwright
Rodrigo Chavez, Musician
Violet Chepil, Musician
Kent Cher, Dancer
Conrad Chow, Musician
Sam Chung, Musician
Shara Claire, Drummer
Rachel Cleland, Soprano
Tanya Cordoba, Dancer
Douglas Cowling, Musician
John Cowling, Musician & Film maker
Parth Dani, Bollywood Dancer
Joanna de Souza, Kathak Dancer
James Dick, Aboriginal drummer
Sam Donkoh, Musician
Eleni Edwards, Fashion Design
Cathy Elliott Artist, Musician, Actor
Peter Elliott, Film maker
Lois Ferguson, Nutritionist
Waawaate Fobister, Dancer
Marie Gaudet, Dancer
Jennifer Gillespie, Actor
Karen Gingras, Lilliput Hats
Eleni Gizas, Fashion Designer
Paul Gogan, Architect
Elizabeth Gomez, Musician
Preeti Gopinath, Dancer
Derek Gray, Drummer
Moshe Hammer, Violinist
Ildiko Hencz, Fashion Designer
Colleen Henkenhaf, Visual Artist
Sarah Hicks, Singer
Alice Huynh, Chinese Heritage
Candace Iron, Architecture
Roshanak Jaberi, Dancer
Ananias Jacob – Aboriginal artist
Peter Jarvis, Actor
Jennifer Kalinowski, Videographer
Brian Katz, Musician
Charlie Kert, Musician
Jinnie Kim, Violinist
Hari Krishnan, Bharata Natyam
David Loewen, Hip-Hop Dancer
David Langlois, Actor-Commedia
Johane LeFrançois Deignan, Interior Design
Bryan Lockyer, Fashion Photographer
Bronwyn Lowe, Musician
Maddie Lyons Cooper, Zines
Dave Mandell, Jazz Pianist
Leanna Manning, Visual Artist
Glenn Marais, Musician
Peter McCann, Architect
Leslie McGrath, Librarian
Lone Cloud, Musicians

Lorraine Montreuil, Musician
Ruth Morawetz, Pianist
D’Arcy Moses, Fashion Designer
Paul Novotny, Jazz Musician
Carlos Nunes, Visual Artist
Jordan O’Connor, Musician
Old Man Bear Drummers
Kevin Ormsby, Dancer
Charles Pachter, Visual Artist
Lata Pada, Dancer
Maja Pamic, Makeup artist
Jenny Parr, Stage Combat
Patrick Parson, Dancer
Pete Patterson, Photographer
Lee Pham, B-Boy
Michelle Phelips, Visual Artist
Emily Pohl Weary, Author & Artist
Maya Postepski, Percussionist
Mike Prosserman, Dancer
Jeremy Proulx, Film-maker
Marshall Pynkoski, Director
Debra Quigly, Bagpiper
Caryl Quizon, Dancer
Mark Raynes Roberts, Sculptor
Jon Reid, B-BoyDancer
Max Reimer, Director
Jessica Reynolds, Dancer
Matt Richardson, Stage combat
Siobhan Richardson, Stage combat
Jamie Robinson, Actor
Nathan Roy, Native Drummer
Roveena, Singer
Bettine Roynon, Fashion Designer
Sinclair Russell, Designer-at-large
Joseph Sackey, Urban Step Dancer
Annette Sanger, Musician
Albert Schultz, Artistic Director
Joe Sealy, Jazz Musician
Mark Sepic, Musician
Samyuktha Sharath, Dancer
Swati Shaw, Dancer
Tara Slone, Musician
Santee Smith, Dancer
Rosary Spence, Aboriginal dancer
Cortney Stephenson, Visual Artist
Monika Jensen Stevenson, Author
Kerry Stratten, Musician
Sinead Sugrue, Soprano
Curtis Sullivan, Tenor
Alan Syliboy, Artist& Musician
Evan Syliboy, Musician
Naomi Tyrell, Musician
Allycia Uccello, Visual Artist
Harley Valentine, Visual Artist
Becky Van der Post, Musician
Altaf Vellani, Percussionist
Sharon Wadsworth-Smith, Visual Artist
Anne Marie Warburton, Jeweller
Adam Waxman, Actor
John Webster, Town Crier
Martha Weizman, Dancer
Wendy Wen Zhao, Musician
Scott White, Musician
Paul Wickham, Musician
Debbie Young, Dub Poet
Jeannette Zingg, Choreographer

 

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My son has learned respect, discipline and responsibility.