Mahlikah Aweri
Mahlikah Awe:ri Enml'ga't Saqama'sgw (The Woman Who Walks In The Light) drum talk poetic rapologist; is Haudenosaune Kanien'kehà:ka & L'sitkuk First Nations, Okwáhowak (Wolf Clan), based in the One Dish One Spoon Wampum Tsi' Tkarón:to. Mahlikah is a poet, musician, hip-hop emcee, recording artist, arts educator, social change workshop facilitator, performance artist, keynote speaker, spoken word artist mentor, festival curator, Director of Programming for Neighbourhood Impact for the Toronto Centre for Community Development & Learning in Regent Park, and founding member of Red Slam, an Indigenous Cultural Arts Movement. Awe:ri is a KM Hunter OAC Literary Arts Award finalist, 2017 TD Diversity Arts Award Finalist, published in 9 literary anthologies, and is the only Canadian Motivational Speaker for Sonali Fiske's 2018 BIWOC online Master Class. She is currently the Indigenous Lead Artist for a Canada Council of the Arts Community Arts Project in partnership with JAMII and five communities throughout the province: Pikangikum First Nation, Wawa, Michipicoten First Nation, Wolfe Island, and The Esplanade here in Tsi' Tkarón:to.

 @mahlikahaweri     @mahlikah_aweri

Nic Brierre Aziz is a writer, curator and performance artist based in New Orleans, LA. As a native New Orleanian who has had the opportunity to travel extensively across the world, he was very passionate about the impact that traveling and written expression could have on the city’s youth. After returning to New Orleans, these passions led him to found WriteBrained – a youth development program that utilizes the power of writing and unique cultural experiences as catalysts for self-discovery. During this period, Nic also began managing the Haitian Cultural Legacy Collection. This is a collection of over 400 pieces of Haitian artwork that was started by his maternal grandfather in 1944. As a native New Orleanian artist, Nic has been able to work in numerous capacities with many of the city’s top art organizations including The Joan Mitchell Center, the Arts Council of New Orleans, Paper Monuments and Prospect.4. Currently, Nic is cultivating his community focused art practice as the Director of Programs for New Orleans based multi-arts organization Antenna and as the manager of the New Orleans Museum of Art’s mobile museum and community engagement initiative known as “NOMA+”. Nic is also a Salzburg Global Fellow and a former 4.0 Schools Tiny Fellow. As a writer, he has contributed to publications such as HuffPost, Pelican Bomb and ESPN.com. As an artist and curator, his work has been featured by publications such as Hyperallergic, The Oxford American, The 74, The Alternative UK and Artforum.


Paola Gomez is a trained human rights lawyer, community organizer, public speaker, artist facilitator, writer and dreamer. A member of PEN Canada’s Writers in Exile and an advocate, Paola is involved in causes such as ending violence against women and forced migration. Her works integrate arts, community engagement and anti-oppressive frameworks.
Paola is the co-founder and director of Sick Muse Art Projects. In this role, she has developed an innovative way of integrating conversations about identity, inclusion and community engagement into community art programs. 

 Alexa Hatanaka is a visual artist and co-founder of Embassy of Imagination (EOI). EOI is led by artists Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson, who also collaborate under the name PA System. EOI is an ongoing art project and social practice engaging youth in Kinngait (Cape Dorset, Nunavut). EOI animates yearly art workshops, and creates collaborative community art projects, including public murals, performances, and exhibitions, within Kinngait, across Canada and internationally. The youth have an important voice as individual artists, and collectively by contributing to Indigenous place-making and challenging the expectations for youth-engaged art. EOI is a reciprocal sharing of knowledge and ideas, expressing cross-cultural collaboration and shared human experience as an embodied practice and in material form. The ongoing project, Future Snowmachines in Kinngait, leverages art as a tool for social action, establishing a land-program for youth in partnership with the community-elected District Education Authority by acquiring equipment through the sale of collaborative sculptures and commissions. EOI projects have been supported by Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association, the West-Baffin Eskimo Co-op, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Government of Nunavut. EOI has exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Theatre Centre in Toronto, the National Maritime Museum in London, UK, and together with PA System is creating a commission for the forthcoming Toronto Biennial of Art. PA System creates public artwork and exhibits in institutions internationally, such as the Canada House in London, the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Future Snowmachines in Kinngait can link to: www.pasystem.org
Toronto Biennial of art can link to: https://canadianart.ca/news/toronto-biennial-artists-announced/ , or https://torontobiennial.org/


Asad Raza
Asad Raza (Moderator) is a producer and curator, with a focus on public art and art festivals. He is interested in the fabric of cities and how public art projects interact with the day-to-day experience of its people. He has worked as a Programming Supervisor at the City of Toronto’s Cultural Events unit, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche and is currently the General Manager at Necessary Angel Theatre company.


Helen Yung
Helen Yung is an interdisciplinary artist-researcher with the Culture of Cities Centre, a Board member with the Centre for Social Innovation, and a Salzburg Global Fellow. Combining performance, conceptual art, and social R&D, Helen works with immigrants and refugees to creatively transform conventional approaches to newcomer settlement and employment outcomes. For over a decade, Helen has contributed to policy thinking, and civic and cultural actions for public benefit. Clients include Canadian Public Arts Funders, Metcalf Foundation, Toronto Arts Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, Culture Days, Canadian Arts Coalition, and others. Helen’s artistic practice has been developed, produced, presented and supported through grants, commissions, projects, and residencies by organizations in Canada, Australia, France, USA, UK, Austria, and Argentina. Helen has been nominated for the Ontario Premier's Excellence in the Arts Award, and for the Toronto Dora Theatre awards (Outstanding Production, Scenic Design, Lighting Design). She is writing a book on What Art Knows
Her work will also be featured as part of Emeregence. 

@helenyung     @helenyung


Victoria Freeman is a public historian, multidisciplinary artist, writer, and educator, as well as the researcher, co-writer, and co-project lead (with Cheryl Zinyk) of Birds Make Me Think About Freedom. She has collaborated on numerous community-based research, public education, and artistic creation projects through SolExpress, First Story Toronto, and Jumblies Theatre, most recently as co-writer of Jumblies’ Talking Treaties Spectacle at the Fort York Indigenous Art Festival in June 2017

Milumbe Haimbe holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and Master’s Degree in Fine Arts and has had her work exhibited internationally. Milumbe is interested in the idea of the collective psyche, its associated social trajectories, and current psycho-socio trends and systems. Drawing on a background of painting, her current art practices are based in digital illustration, including sequential art as an intermedia process that combines and integrates illustrations and written texts into narratives.

                                          @milumbehaimbe       @artistrophe

Sheniz Janmohamed believes in fostering community through collaboration, compassion and creativity. An author, artist educator, spoken word artist and land artist, Sheniz has performed and led arts based workshops and programs internationally for over a decade. Sheniz is also the founder of Questions for Ancestors, a blog that encourages BIPOC writers and artists across Turtle Island to ask questions of their ancestors and provide advice for their descendants.

                                          @shenizj      @shenizpoetics        @ShenizJ

Netta Kornberg is a researcher, writer and organizer who works at the intersection of adult education, population health, and the arts. For two years she supported the wellbeing of artists through health education, financial assistance and community-building programs at Artists' Health Alliance. Netta has been published by popular, academic and industry publications and is an avid community-based volunteer. She is currently the Knowledge Dissemination Strategist at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research and continues to offer workshops on artists' health.


Maize Longboat is Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River in southwestern Ontario. He is currently in the second year of his MA in Media Studies at Concordia University where he is completing a research-creation thesis on Indigenous video game development. Maize is a research assistant with AbTeC and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures (IIF) and has combined his work and studies as a facilitator of several Skins workshops.


Mariam Magsi is a contemporary artist working in photography, performance, video, documentary, poetry, and fashion. Mariam holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media & Design from OCAD University in Toronto, Canada.

@mariammagsi.art      @mariam_magsi      @mariammagsi


Natasha Adiyana Morris is a theatre producer, writer and performing artist based in Toronto. Her artistic and production training includes a Metcalf Arts Management Internship with Volcano Theatre and Peggy Baker Dance Projects, an apprenticeship producing with Obsidian Theatre, completion of anitafrika.dub theatre's artistic residency, and graduating from Etobicoke School of the Arts’ Drama Program.


Akshata Naik is an emerging artist who has exhibited her work internationally. Her personal experiences with migration is reflected in her work which seeks to expose the struggle between grounded reality, experiences of existential crises, and the ongoing struggle with self. She is currently completing research on the aesthetics of migration through visual art which investigates how notions of multiculturalism in Canada impacts and emerges alongside Canadian contemporary art.

                                        @akshata1      @akshata.naik      @naikakshata

Sun - the Phoenix (formerly known as The Real Sun) - has been an artist educator and a leader in community arts organizing since 2005. She is a multi-disciplinary artist of poetry, music, and visual arts, who has recently turned her artistic focus to dance (Brazilian Zouk). Her work centers around the development and delivery of Purpose Driven Education - a pedagogical framework for exploring identity and purpose, social justice and equity, and healing and well-being through creativity and the arts. Sun's true inner purpose and calling is to support and guide artists to embody authenticity, and pursue their path of purpose.

                                     Facebook Icon @sunthephoenix     Instagram Icon @sunthephoenix

Kat Singer (they/them) is a queer and disabled Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist, activist and educator whose work spans various media including photography, street art, fibre art, printmaking, drawing and painting. In addition to creating their own artwork, Kat speaks at conferences, facilitates art-making sessions in a variety of settings, and volunteers with arts-based initiatives that help build creative and inclusive communities and cultivate social change.


Ty J Sloane is a mixed (Ojibwa/Asian/Irish/Iberian) and Queer (Two-Spirit/Non-Binary) individual navigating the world as a multi-disciplinary artist with a focus in movement, photography, and visual art. As an artist, Ty hopes to unpack many intersectionalities in the community and hopefully give voices to those that may need the support.   


Charles Smith is a poet, writer, educator, and cultural theorist, the Executive Director of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario, and the Artistic Director of The Wind in the Leaves Collective. He won second prize for his play Last Days for the Desperate from Black Theatre Canada, has edited three collections of poetry, has four published books of poetry, and has had his poetry featured in numerous journals and magazines. In addition to his various poetry and non-fiction publications, Charles has lectured on cultural pluralism at the University of Toronto-Scarborough and continues to lecture at the Humber College post-                                           graduate program in arts administration.


Ammarah Syed is an interdisciplinary artist interested in documenting how modern day discourses (such as capitalism, colonialism, and various power discourses) inform trauma, mental health and the human experience. She aspires to use the arts as a means to transform oppression into growth through the cognition and processing of trauma.

@ammarah_s      @ammarican