Instructor Bios - School Workshops
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Maureen is a theatre artist and educator. As a teacher, she has worked for Canada’s National Ballet School, The Halton District School Board, the Living Arts Centre and the Stratford Festival, to name a few. Maureen primarily makes her living as a stage manager, focusing primarily on mentorship and community based projects. Recent theatre work includes Talk is Free’s immersive, outdoor, roving production of The Music Man, The National Ballet of Canada’s YOUdance: Regent Park Project, and COSI’s (Center for Opera Studies in Italy) La Calisto. Maureen is also one of the resident concert managers for Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and has worked for over 15 years as head chaperon for the more than 200 students involved in James Kudelka’s The Nutcracker. She initially trained in drama and film studies at McMaster University, and also has a B.Ed. from O.I.S.E. and studied opera stage management at the Banff Centre.
Naomi Chorney is a versatile Toronto-based Multi-disciplinary artist. Originally trained in classical dance, she studied the Russian Imperial method with Diana Jablokova Vorps expanding into different dance forms and performing professionally in Contemporary, Jazz and Baroque styles. She now maintains an active visual arts practice, working in the mediums of sculpture, printmaking and drawing. Naomi is a co-founder of the now defunct Studio 401 artist collective in Toronto’s Distillery District, which operated from 2003 to 2006 and featured yearly group shows and open houses. Continuing with figurative clay and plaster work, Naomi has also explored cast paper pieces since 2009. She has been a member of the Al Green Sculpture Studio since 2012. Her work has been widely exhibited in the Toronto area since 2003. Outside of her personal practice, Naomi shares her experience and knowledge of multiple art forms with children and adults by facilitating workshops and classes in dance, visual art and drama in both English and French.
Rick graduated from Brock University with a B.A. in Theatre. It was through theatre that Rick cultivated an interest in drumming and percussion. Over the last twenty years Rick has performed for the National Ballet of Canada, the Just for Laughs festival, Cirque du Soleil opening night gala, the grand reopening of the AGO, and the Hudson Bay Companies annual meeting where his group involved all 1,500 people in an interactive celebration where each person played an instrument. He has facilitated his ‘Magic of Rhythm’ workshop for The Walt Disney Corporation in New York and L.A., BMG (British Music Group), The Living Arts Centre World Rhythms workshop series, The Royal Conservatory of Music, the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club, Humber College’s Aboriginal Camp, as well as 4,000 displaced children throughout war torn Bosnia. He has released three musical recordings; Magic, Circle and The Rhythm of the Drum. Rick is also an accomplished drum maker making drums from a variety of cultures.
Andrew Gaboury’s roots lie in collective creation and playwriting while, in recent years, they have spread to include community engagement in the arts and physical performance (specifically clown and contemporary dance). His work focuses on performer/audience intimacy, durational improvisation, myth and story. Andrew produces work with his company, a field of crowns, as a member of the [elephants] collective, and is one of three co-Artistic Directors of studio and self-sustaining performance incubator hub14 in Toronto. He has taught theatre arts classes out of studios, Toronto District school classrooms, York University, at artist residencies and various day camps. He is an alumni of both the Creative Ensemble (now Devised Theatre) and Playwriting streams at York University and continues his education whenever he can by studying with current industry leaders.
Katherine Laird is a certified, bilingual Ontario teacher and has taught youth for many years in both the Peel and Halton districts. With an education in Visual Arts, Art History and French Cultural Studies, she has cultivated a keen sense of aesthetic and design throughout the ages. Her love of both art history, as well as science and speculative fiction, is reflected in her own artistic practices and private clothing label WallacePlayford.
Wendy Heagney-Bakewell is an Artist & Art Instructor whose desire to draw and paint began as a child in her Ottawa Valley hometown. She earned an Honours BFA from the University of Toronto/Sheridan College Art & Art History program and an MFA from the University of Victoria, British Columbia. Her illustrative paintings have been included in various group exhibitions, most recently at the Graven Feather Gallery (Toronto) & A Square Affair at 13th Street Winery (St. Catharines, ON). Through her business Tiny Brushstrokes; she specializes in custom paintings & creative products for children as well as the Tiny Art Box, a subscription based art experience for early childhood. As an Art Instructor, she has connected children with art-making through summer camp, after-school and recreational art programs in Victoria, Toronto & Mississauga. In addition to instructing at the Living Arts Centre, Wendy is also a Preschool Instructor for the City of Mississauga Recreation Programs.
Colleen Snell currently works with a broad range of dance and movement organizations in a number of roles. She is an instructor with the Living Arts Centre, Fresh Dance Intensive and Conteur Dance. Colleen’s most notable ongoing artistic involvement is with Frog in Hand, a multidisciplinary site specific performance group she co-founded in 2012. In 2016 Frog in Hand was shortlisted for the Kevin Spacey Foundation’s Artist of Choice Awards. Colleen also works freelance, dancing for Dancemakers (Toronto Nuit Blanche), the Toronto Love-In, Alysa Pires Dance Projects (Toronto Fringe), and TOES for Dance, among others. In August 2016 Colleen was delighted to participate in the Banff Centre’s choreographic lab. Colleen trained in Toronto (CCDT), in Montreal (EDCM), and in England, where she completed a Masters Degree at the London Contemporary Dance School. Colleen’s first full-length production, Creature, supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts, premiered in October 2016.
Jeannie Kim is a graduate of the Art and Art History joint program at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College. She has exhibited in various galleries locally in Toronto as well as internationally in Japan and South Korea. In her body of work, she takes interest in the idea of memory being an unstable, abstract source of information and in depicting her personal history through various mediums such as oil paints and oriental watercolours.
Csilla Perenyi is a graduate of the Hungarian University of Applied Arts in Budapest. She is an artist, crafts person, and industrial designer in porcelain and has participated in many exhibitions and shows. Over the past 10 years, Csilla has led numerous classes in ceramics at institutions and organizations such as Academy of Artisans, Pickering Potters Studio, and the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation. In 2003, she joined the Living Arts Centre as a ceramics Instructor and, currently, is conducting school and community workshops for all age groups.
Marisa Picard is professionally trained in Mississauga and has been working with clay since 1995. As a locally recognized artist, her work has been on display across the Western GTA at various art and craft exhibits, as well as in Central Ontario specialty craft shops. An active member of the local crafts community, Marisa instructs pottery classes for children and adults.
Yo Mustafa graduated from Sheridan College Theatre programme and went on to complete the one-year acting master class at the HB Studio. He has directed over 30 productions and is currently Artistic Director of West End Studio Theatre in Oakville.