We are excited to introduce our 2018 BC Culture Days ambassadors! Our ambssadors this year will be representing communities all the way from Victoria, Port Renfrew, Chilliwack, Vancouver, North Vancouver, Prince George, Kelowna, and West Kelowna to Revelstoke. Supported by the BC Culture Days Ambassador Program, each will be producing their own Culture Days activity, as well as engaging participation in the annual Culture Days weekend through community outreach and media opportunities. If you're interested in connecting with them about your activity, you can reach out on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, or contact the BC Culture Days office at email@example.com.
Elana Bizovie is an actor, director, and arts administrator situated in the Central Okanagan, BC. She received her training at the University of Alberta and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in anthropology and drama. Her passion for the life changing possibilities that storytelling offers has developed into a strong interest in multi-disciplinary approaches to performance art. She is focused on creating more opportunities for artists across all disciplines to collaborate on collective creations that reflect voices in the community. She is fortunate to work as an administrative assistant at Cool Arts Society, which offers art programming for adults living with developmental disabilities in the Central Okanagan, while she continues her studies in the Arts & Cultural Management diploma program through MacEwan University. Elana is continuing her work as an artist while she completes her studies. Recent acting credits include roles in Neverwhere (Red Dot Players), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (St. Andrew’s Players), and The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare Kelowna). Elana is currently directing ‘The Russian Play’ and ‘Essay’ by Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch for New Vintage Theatre’s ‘Secret Theatre Project,’ which will be presented in a non-traditional theatre space in September. She will then take to the stage again with roles in two theatrical productions this fall.
Rob Buchanan is an award-winning professional photographer, artist, designer & editorial cartoonist. His photographs have appeared in many places including National Geographic Adventure and Traveler Magazines, Bike, Powder, Snowboarder, Explore, the Knowledge Network and the Patagonia clothing catalogs. His winning images have been on two world tours with the Banff Film Festival, have hung in Canada’s McMichael Gallery, and even appeared on the Jumbotron in New York’s Times Square. He has worked as an editorial cartoonist for 23 years for the Revelstoke Review where he has won 2 provincial awards, and his drawings have also been featured by the David Suzuki Foundation and the Canadian Avalanche Association. His paintings have been presented as gifts to British Columbia’s Lieutenant Governor, as well as Canada’s top General for the Department of Defence and British Columbia’s Minister of Transportation. His large-scale metal interactive public art installations have been used by tens of thousands of visitors to Rogers Pass and Revelstoke, BC, including a Member of Parliament, Rick Mercer and members of the Japanese consulate. He has taken documentary photos for the Canadian Physicians for Aid & Relief in Malawi, Africa, worked in Nepal, Belize, Costa Rica, Turkey, and the Western Arctic. In his 23-year career as a professional exhibit designer, he has worked in mediums as diverse as sand-blasted rock, water-jet cut steel, wood, moss, spray paint, fiberglass, linocuts, film, sound, light and recently helped design a giant cake for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Currently, he can be found plotting and scheming about contemporary art installations for Revelstoke’s Luna Art Festival.
Ashley Good is a comedic screenwriter-turned-independent filmmaker from Victoria, British Columbia. After shooting her proof of concept pilot, HAPPY MEDIUM, in 2016, Ashley decided to keep the momentum building. In 2017 alone, she produced and directed the Stephen King "Dollar Baby," IN THE DEATHROOM, as well as her first feature film, PITY PARTY. She hopes to shoot her next project, CORPORATE RETREAT, in 2019. Inspired by the quote, "Life doesn't imitate film, it imitates bad television," Ashley's film-making style combines point of view shots with sitcom-inspired scenes. As a writer, Ashley focuses on the odd and awkward moments that happen in between everyday moments. Since 2014, Ashley also hosts a monthly screenwriting support group in Victoria, which gives her the opportunity to mentor and collaborate with other local screenwriters.
Michael Kast predominantly works in fine art photography, but also unique portraiture, commercial photography, acrylic painting, design, theatre, radio broadcasting, and writing. He publishes the Take 5 community paper. Michael is primarily self-taught but has studied photography and design while living in Toronto. He has owned photography studios, and up until three years ago, had worked for a 10-year period at SpeeDee as a graphic artist. Michael is a member of the prince George Community Arts Council, Prince George Community Radio Society and The Theatre NorthWest Society. Michael has had solo shows in Toronto, Prince Albert and Prince George with group shows in Toronto, Prince George, Williams Lake, and Mackenzie. His art has been sold and displayed across the country. Michael’s work explores a wide range of topics from abstract to surrealism, fantasy to reality. His greatest influences are Karsh, Johansson, Platon, Dali, Pollock, Vallejo, Royo, Whelan and Jusko. He is currently working on a photography series for a show in May of 2018: A line of greeting cards and numbered prints based on the current wildlife series and poly-resin sculptures that include acrylic pouring medium abstracts.
Lynette La Fontaine is an emerging Métis visual artist with roots in Northern Saskatchewan and the Red River Valley. She grew up on the traditional, unceded Dakelh territory of the Stella’ten, in British Columbia. Her work is inspired by connection to land, heart, spirit, ancestors and teachings from elders and knowledge holders. With the intent to honour these connections, she utilizes her preferred mediums of traditional and contemporary beadwork, mixed media, acrylic painting and fabrics. Lynette aspires to continue to gather the skills and knowledge of traditional Métis art forms - horse hair wrapping, quill work, fish scale art, moose hair embroidery, and caribou hair tufting and sculpting- through self-study and knowledge transfer by master knowledge holders. In turn, reciprocating the transfer of knowledge to others, informally and formally.
Photo credit: Brent Braaten/Prince George Citizen
Diane Moran is a practising visual artist who recently left the big city of Vancouver BC and has relocated in Port Renfrew, a remote community on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, BC. As a long time community connector, Children’s Programmer, and arts advocate Diane has independently and collectively participated and coordinated Culture Days events in Burnaby, West Vancouver, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam. She is very excited to be a South Coast Ambassador for 2018 and looks forward to engaging others in the arts while exploring the local culture and history of her new community. Diane also enjoys educating others about global issues and awareness through her art. She has been intimately involved with and has coordinated relief efforts using art projects to support others after natural disasters. She has undertaken projects in Havana, New Orleans (after Katrina), New York (after Hurricane Sandy), Fort MacMurray (following the forest fires) and Calgary (following the floods). She has been an Artist in Residence in local schools since 2002 and has developed and planned many community arts projects including school-based banner projects, ceramic and mosaic works, as well as artists’ presentations on Stigma and Mental Health. She is a listed Artist for ArtStarts in Schools. Diane’s latest artistic passions include photography, painting, and facilitating art workshops coupled with her humanitarian projects.
Lori Paul is a Canadian singer/songwriter and recording artist whose 40-year career highlights include opening for B.B.King and Tower of Power at Expo 86 and being nominated Female Vocalist of the Year by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) that same year. Her seventh album is in the works and songs from her previous albums are available on iTunes and at CDBaby. Lori Paul and her husband Rick Genge provide inspiring vocal coaching and guitar instruction, as well as recording opportunities for the next generation of musicians, out of their home studio in beautiful Chilliwack, BC.
Mandy Rushton, a born performer, raised in BC and currently based in Vancouver, is a multi-talented, triple threat. She is a dynamic character actor, having graced a multitude of stages, performing vaudeville in Dawson City, Yukon, musical theatre across Canada and the States, including the PNE and Canada's Wonderland, animation in Cancun, and hundreds of venues in between. You can catch her voice next in the upcoming feature film: CARGO where she had a blast voicing characters, keeping the director and producers in stitches. Mandy has used her skills to transform into a VIP hospitality entertainer. In years past she’s served as an emcee/singer/host for corporate events, high profile charity galas/product launches and special event/fundraisers, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthy causes. A highlight of her career was the opportunity to perform for the consulate of the Netherlands and 800+ Holocaust survivors at the first ever WWll conference in North York, Toronto. Mandy spellbinds the young and young at heart, sharing the magic of intimate stories with her audience. A bonafide torch singer and lover of The Great American Songbook, this balladeer has found time to produce and star in her own one-woman cabaret acts. There’s no limit to what she can or will do next!
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MsRushton101 or Reverbnation.com/mandyrushton
Johnny D Trinh is an interdisciplinary and spoken word artist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Exploring the use of spoken word, music, video, social media, movement, theatre, and creative technology- Johnny’s practice integrates the multi-layered realities within which we exist to create immersive spoken word experiences. Johnny’s pedagogy is rooted in the constant goal of fostering a sense of empowerment, agency, and compassion through socially engaged, community based art. Johnny recognizes that many of us are uninvited guests on this indigenous Turtle Island, and continually works to reconcile that through accountability, allyship, and integrity in practice. He creates opportunities to support marginalized communities cultivate their voice: “Pass the mic, or silence the future.” He is an award-winning playwright, and author of several chapbooks. Johnny’s first audio album #undeniable released in July 2017. Highlights: Live at the Bolt 2018: Fever Rising (Burnaby), Verses Festival (Vancouver) - Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS) Tournament Director 2017, Regina Slam Champion 2016, Finalist - CIPS 2016, Finalist- Capturing Fire 2016 & 2015 (Washington, DC). Feature performances: Vancouver Poetry Slam, UBC Slam, Victorious Voices, Tongues of Fire (Victoria), Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (2016, 2015), Pride Toronto (2016), Toronto Poetry Slam, Tonight It’s Poetry (Saskatoon), Saskatchewan Festival of Words (2017,2016,2015), WordPlay Poet, Saskatchewan Artists in Schools Program. Training: Banff Centre for the Arts, MFA: Interdisciplinary Studies: Theatre & Creative Technology- University of Regina, Dell’Arte International School for Physical Theatre: Summer Intensive, Musical Theatre Performance: Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, Hon. BA- Drama- University of Waterloo.
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