Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter of event announcements, promotions, and ideas:

Add special announcements from:

Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street

visual art

June 16, 2018



LAUNCH Festival was established in 2013 with the goal to support and help guide emerging artists to achieve their professional goals. 

For the 2018 edition 149 Arts Society, SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs and SFU School for the SFU Contemporary Arts have selected a group of emerging artists from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines to showcase their work during an interactive workshop and pitch session with leading Artist and mentor Richard Layzell (London, UK) and local Artist Vanessa Goodman (Vancouver, BC).

All 2018 Applicants have also been invited to a mentorship session with Richard Layzell and Vanessa Goodman to discuss survival skills, main tools and resources to work as a free-lance artist, and how to establish a lasting and sustainable artistic practice. 


Amelia Earhart was raised in Burnaby, British Columbia. Born in Sorsogon, Philippines, Amelia focuses on creating work that calls upon her own questions of what being human means, depicting vulnerability through movement in 2D animation and experimenting with the physicality of stop motion mediums.Producing a range of 2D animated and 3D stop motion films, Amelia has had the opportunity to work with Howie Tsui ( Retainers Of Anarchy, 2017) and Allison Hrabluik ( Meatloaf, 2016) during her studies at Emily Carr University.

Website: | Instagram: @meahearhart

Anya Saugstad is a dance artist and choreographer. She is currently studying Dance at Simon Fraser University, and previously trained at ArtsUmbrella. While being at SFU, she has had the pleasure of being in works by artists such as Rob Kitsos, Wen Wei Wang, Vanessa Goodman, Heather Myers, Lesley Telford, and others. Anya is grateful to have spent the past three summers studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and will be returning this summer for the choreographic mentorship program. Anya had the pleasure of interning and dancing with Amber Funk Barton, and her company, the response, as well as recently interning with Vanessa Goodman and her company Action at a Distance Dance Society. This past March, Anya co-choreographed a multidisciplinary work “Topophelia” with Rob Kitsos, Steven Hill, Justine Chambers, Company 605, and Daisy Thompson. Anya’s own recent works include “Jungle”, “Away”, and “2Fade, which have been shown at various performances at SFU. Through her work, Anya wants to tell stories, and give others a place to find questions or answers. Her work often explores what it means to be singular compared to collective and how one can affect another, either by presence or by absence. 

A Coquitlam native, Bukola Balogun is a self taught 16 year old musician who’s been deeply influenced by Jazz, R&B and unique artists like Tracy Chapman, Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston. She's been pursuing her dreams of becoming a professional musician since she was 9 years old and has only been building momentum ever since. The recent grand prize winner the Nimbus Battle of the Bands competition, Bukola has since performed at the JUNO pre-show Let's Hear it! Live, was interviewed by CBC, Metro Vancouver, and has become a very much sought-after young artist by music professionals and fans alike. Her music blends uniquely rich jazz chords and soulful vocals with lyrics about her life and the world around her. Metro News describes her as “the confident up-beat, young woman plays guitar and sings with a simultaneous mastery and innocence”. When listing her inspirations, the article goes on to say that “like them, Bukola is an artist with something to say”.

Chloe Xi Hua is a multidisciplinary artist and experimental filmmaker based in Vancouver, BC. Originally born in China, she started her art training at the age of five. Her traditional Chinese drawing and painting training turned Chloe into a living copying machine who was very good at duplicating an image in a realistic fashion. In her early twenties, she graduated with a bachelor degree of media arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Upon the completion of her degree, Chloe’s first animated film Dan has been selected by multiple film festivals. Over the years, Chloe developed her passion for storytelling through different line qualities, colours, and movements.

Based on her everyday moments, thoughts, and memories, her stories are not told for entertainment purposes, but rather as a way to stay mindful. Slowing down and being present in life has always been her source of inspiration. Through experimental filmmaking, she established her commitment in telling stories through metaphors and movements that allow a variety of interpretations. Chloe hopes her stories be seen as playgrounds for her audiences’ minds to run wild and, more importantly, be present. 

Etienne Siew is a Singer-Songwriter who lends his sound to the genres of folk, soul and blues. His vocals and guitar melodies are characteristic of the eclectic mix of artist’s who inspire him. His original pieces have said to encompass the softer soaring vocals of City and Color, The gritty blues of The Black Keys, the story weaving capabilities of Ray LaMontagne with the profound authentic messages reminiscent of Bob Marley. His current work is heavily inspired by nature and uses imagery to vividly address the themes of vulnerability, love, friendship, adversity, learning and overcoming life’s obstacles. His musical journey has taken him to perform year round at the Hard Rock Casino, to be featured and interviewed as an emerging artist on Shaw TV, and led him to take second place at the Coquitlam Idol. Finally he was selected to sing the national anthem and share his original stories as a performer at “ The New Citizen’s Reception.” Etienne continues to share his music throughout Vancouver and hopes to one day connect his music to a global audience. 

Hân Phạm is an emerging filmmaker coming from Saigon, Vietnam. She is finishing up her 1st year being a Film Major at SFU School for the Contemporary Arts. As a filmmaker, at the moment, Han’s main focus is experimental narratives and documentary.  Film is an important tool for her to reclaim and rediscover her long-traumatized and forgotten identity, and she seeks to learn more about the inner and outer world through the filmmaking process. In her journey, she also wants to provoke the world around her to break boundaries and initiate social changes, especially when it comes to sexuality, minority rights, and social justice issues.  

Two Gents of New West – co-founded by Howard Dai and Tiger Xu and in 2013 on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory belonging to the Qayqayt, Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm), and Coast Salish Nation – is a collective that designs immersive experiences with the goal of community engagement. Two Gents have produced a full-length play sponsored by New Westminster Secondary School (“Rumors”), an Audio-Play commissioned by and for Massey Theatre’s 65th Anniversary (“The-ear-tre”), an open-air open-mic series supported by Vancouver Foundations’ Neighbourhood Small Grant (“Openstage”), and a original play presented at the Vancouver Fringe Festival (“Cosmic Justice”). Two Gents of New West has received generous support from Massey Theatre Society, Arts Council of New Westminster, New West Secondary’s Performing Arts Department, Playwright Theatre Theatre, and the community of New Westminster.

Mariah Mennie is a emerging composer based in Vancouver B.C. Also an active pianist, vocalist, drummer, arranger, fire dancer, traveler and music educator, her artistic endeavours are wide-ranging. She has a special interest in rare and/or unique instruments such as the hang, hapi, djembe, tamboa, and also music from other cultures like

Indonesian gamelan. She recently completed a BMUS at UBC, majoring in music composition and also holds a classical keyboard music diploma from VCC College. Past collaborations and/or commissions include Vancouver New Music, Hard Rubber Orchestra, Redshift Music Society, the Plastic Acid Orchestra, Vancouver Electronic Ensemble, Giorgio Magnanensi, Aventa, Vancouver Electronic Ensemble, the End Tree, the Living, Anita Eccleston, Maria in the Shower, UBC African Drumming Ensemble, UBC Gamelan, VCC

Concert Choir, VCC Gamelan Ensemble, Happenstance, Crossroads Project, Nocturnal Valley Seduction and the Valley Voices Choir. She writes and performs with her trio, the Plastic Acid Band and is a core member and composer for the Plastic Acid Orchestra – a 45-piece rock orchestra dedicated to redefining the orchestral experience and premiering innovative new works by local composers. Her future goals are writing and performing in integrative discipline collaborations and travelling abroad to study music.

Mattheus Brown is a 4th year student at Simon Fraser University pursuing a major in music composition and a minor in French. In addition to writing for different ensembles each semester for class, he produces electroacoustic music, soundscapes, and dance music. He wrote for choir as part of QSONG in 2016 with guidance from Rodney Sharman, with another performance of his choral music at New West Pride by QSONG alumni in 2017. He also loves collaboration: he regularly works with other SFU students, and in 2016 and 2017 his work with another musician was featured in Ascension, a yearly collaboration between musicians, dancers, and choreographers. His music has been featured twice in the yearly Sonic Boom festival organized by Vancouver Pro Musica; his work has also been commissioned for the 2015 North American & Caribbean Taekwondo Championships. Outside of music, he works as a taekwondo instructor with a third degree black belt, teaching students of all ages in his hometown of Port Coquitlam.

Patrick Blenkarn is an artist, director, and bookmaker whose works include performances for stages and streets, hotel rooms and email inboxes, artist books to be read aloud and in silence, as well as short films, sculpture, net art, and illustration. His recent work involves a sustained investigation of the history and function of the book, the politics and imperialism of the English language, and critiques of nationalism. In 2013, he graduated with a BA Combined Honours in contemporary philosophy and theatre studies and a minor in Film Studies from the University of King’s College in Halifax, for which he received medals for highest marks in all three departments. Patrick recently completed his MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies at Simon Fraser University with the support of the SSHRC Canadian Graduate Scholarship.

Phoebe Huang is a Visual Arts student currently completing her bachelor in Fine Arts at Simon Fraser University located in Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish territories. Her current practice involves text work, installation, sculpture, painting, and performances that address the unnoticed, the invisible, and the seamless constructs that permeate our society.  Huang hopes to identify internalized structures of authority in technology, ideologies, architecture, and labour by fabricating solutions to encourage alternative perceptions of reality. Her main methodology involve collaging research materials together to create a myriad web of connections between past and present, cultures, places, people and interdisciplinary area of studies. Huang often refer to art history as a central source in facilitating a reflexive understanding upon her own practice, as well as, a comprehensive analysis upon various subjects of life. Currently, Huang is interested in urban spaces, domestic living, and notions of the ideal in how we live, where we live, and what we live in. In pursuit of progress, Huang deconstructs the past and constructions of our current society, to create a space for change and to better understand ourselves within. 

Rachelle Tjahyana is an interdisciplinary artist living and working on unceded Coast Salish Territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and sc̓əwaθen (Tsawwassen) First Nation peoples.

While pursuing her dual BA and BFA at Simon Fraser University, Rachelle’s practice has ranged from video, photo, installation, painting, and text. As an artist, she often wanders from place to space––mediating the fragmented memories, senses, and stories that linger in some uncanny in-between.

Sujit Vaidya is an independent bharatanatyam artist based in Vancouver and has performed extensively in Canada, US, Europe and India. Solo work is his forte, although he has been part of duet and group productions with companies such as Co Erasga in Vancouver and Dakshina Dance in Washington, DC.

While continuing to pursue training in the traditional form with Guru A. Lakshman in Chennai, India, he creates work that speaks from a deeply personal space. He uses bharatanatyam as a language to reimagine the content of traditional texts and responsibly contextualizes it in ways that are relevant to him as a gay man living in today’s times. He finds it important and urgent to question the narrative and relevance of non inclusive traditional texts. His urban sensibilities juxtaposed seamlessly in an art form rooted in tradition informs his work and makes it unique and interesting.

He was the first South Asian artist to receive the Vancouver City’s Mayor’s award as best emerging dance artist in 2010.

WAREHAUS dance collective, Akeisha de Baat and Megan Hunter, founders and Artistic Directors

Akeisha de Baat holds her BFA from Simon Fraser University School of Contemporary Arts and continues to study with many respected teachers from around the world. In 2017, Akeisha completed a self-directed Cultural-Entrepreneurial residency with Small Stage, under the direction of Julie-anne Saroyan, which was made possible with the support of the BCAC Early Career Development Grant. Her personal practice is greatly influenced by Countertechnique®. In 2016, she traveled to Australia to attend the One Body One Career Intensive and train under the founder Anouk van Dijk, in order to better integrate this method into her artistic practice. Through WAREHAUS, Akeisha continues to create works and perform on various stages in Vancouver and abroad including; New Works: Dance Allsorts, Small Stages, 12 Minutes Max, Lovers Cabaret, and New Blue Emerging Festival, in Toronto. She has had the pleasure of interpreting works by; Megan Hunter, Vanessa Goodman, Paras Terezakis,Dezza Dance, and Joeri Dubbe (NL).

Megan Hunter is actively creating works both in collaboration with WAREHAUS and independently. Through WAREHAUS, Megan has been mentored and performed works by Vanessa Goodman and Desiree Dunbar. WAREHAUS has performed original works presented by Dance Allsorts by New Works Dance Management, Small Stage, OURO collective, To.Be.Announced, Sweet Moves, Cascadia Film Festival, and Shadbolt Centre for the Arts (International Dance Day) and Dezza Dance. She had the privilege of training sessionally at the Toronto Dance Theatre and in partnership with Dancemakers, and in scholarships programs with EDAM and Training Society of Vancouver. Megan is the honoured recipient of the Gran Strate Award in Dance in 2014, from Simon Fraser University. She is currently performing and rehearsal directing with Kinesis Dance Somatheatro. Megan was invited to New Brunswick in April 2017, to create and perform a new work in collaboration with musicians, Andrew Reed Miller and Emily Kennedy. WAREHAUS travelled to Toronto in June 2017 to present Warp and Weft, choreography by Vanessa Goodman for New Blue Emerging Festival. She also presented a new work created in residency in Veretz, France and performance in Festival Dansez Maintenant.


SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs, 149 Arts Society, and SFU School for the Contemporary Arts.

Presented by

SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs, 149 Arts Society, and SFU School for the Contemporary Arts.

Visitor Information