Aram Bajakian

Sessional Instructor: Music & Sound


The music of guitarist and composer Aram Bajakian music has been called “a masterpiece” (fRoots), “shape-shifting” (FreeJazzCollective), and “sometimes delicate, sometimes punishing” (Chicago Reader). As a guitarist, “the virtuosic jack of all trades” (Village Voice) has toured extensively with Lou Reed, Madeleine Peyroux, John Zorn and Diana Krall. From 2018-2021, Bajakian served as the New Music Curator at Western Front in Vancouver, one of Canada’s leading artist-run centers for contemporary art and new music. Bajakian received his Bachelor of Music degree (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he studied with Dr. Yusef Lateef. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and Master of Music degree in Music Composition from the University of British Columbia. He is currently a PhD student at the University of British Columbia, where his advisor is Dr. Nathan Hesselink. His research focuses on contemporary and historic Armenian communities.

Carolina Bergonzoni

Sessional Instructor: Art, Performance & Cinema Studies


Carolina Bergonzoni (she/her) is a dance artist, scholar, and educator.

Originally from Italy, she moved to Vancouver, on unceded Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil- Waututh), and xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) territories, in 2014. Her practices span between dancing, writing, and teaching from the body. She is the Artistic Associate of All Bodies Dance Project.

She holds a BA and MA in Philosophy, an MA in Comparative Media Arts, and a Ph.D. in Education from Simon Fraser University where her research focused on inclusive dance pedagogies. In 2011, she graduated as Dance Educator and Community Engagement Facilitator and, since then, she has been working on building communities of movers and thinkers with people from 0 to 99+ years old. Her choreographic work has been presented at festivals in Canada and Europe, including Vancouver Fringe Festival, Dance in Vancouver, Dancing on The Edge, BC Buds, Vines Arts Festival, and The Dance Centre.

She is passionate about the impact of teaching from the body, and cannot wait to see more educators and movers learn about their body and from their bodies!

Nicole Bond

Sessional Instructor: Dance


Nicole Rose Bond began her formal training at York University, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts-Dance cum laude in 2005. Since that time, Nicole has felt privileged to perform works by many esteemed choreographers including Peggy Baker, Patricia Beatty, Tom Brouillette, Susan Cash, Bill Coleman, David Earle, Danny Grossman, Ryan Graham Hinds, Christopher House, James Kudelka, Learie McNicholl, Andrea Nann, Yvonne Ng, John Oswald, Peter Quanz, Peter Randazzo and Andrea Spaziani. She is currently a company member with Peggy Baker Dance Projects as well as a freelance artist.

As a teacher, Nicole has had the pleasure of working as a course director in Graham Technique and Contemporary Dance at York University, The National Ballet School, Arts Umbrella and Modus Operandi and has taught dance classes and workshops within the Toronto District School Board. As part of outreach initiatives through Toronto Dance Theatre, The National Ballet of Canada’s YOU Dance Program and Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Nicole has taught in Toronto, Dryden, Vancouver, Moncton and Whitehorse. Nicole has also served on the Toronto Arts Council Advisory Panel and as a member of the Dance Collection Danse ‘Encore: Hall of Fame’ Committee.

Nicole’s repertoire with Peggy Baker Dance projects includes: Land|Body|Breath at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa in August of 2017; the premiere in Toronto of Who We Are In The Dark and subsequent performances in Montreal, Kingston, Ottawa, Whitehorse and Mexico in 2019 and The Netherlands in 2020, Her Body As Words in September of 2021; and Peggy Baker: A Gala Retrospective in Toronto in 2022.

Through her work as both a performer and a teacher, Nicole’s goal is to empower others to effect conscious change in the world whilst honouring those who have come before us. Nicole is beyond grateful that her vocation encompasses doing what she loves and is humbled by, and indebted to, the unique and beautiful arts community that she calls home.

Liz Cairns

Sessional Instructor: FIlm


A graduate of the Director’s Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, award-winning writer and director Liz Cairns’ short films have played at festivals internationally, including TIFF, Austin Film Festival, Interfilm Berlin, Female Eye Film Festival and VIFF, among others. VIFF Programmer, Curtis Woloschuk commented on Liz’s ability to “elicit remarkable performances.” In 2017, Liz was invited to the Berlinale Short Film Station at the Berlinale, one of ten participants selected out of thousands of applicants, to develop the script for her short film Animals Don’t Commit Suicide (currently in post-production). In 2019, Liz’s feature project Inedia was short-listed for the Sundance Screenwriting Lab.Currently being developed by producer Tyler Hagan of Experimental Forest Films Inedia will go into production in the Fall of 2021. Liz is also an in-demand production designer, working on a wide range of projects. She was the production designer on Never Steady, Never Still (TIFF 2017) and The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (Berlinale 2019). She has been nominated for a Canadian Screen Award and Leo Award for her work.

Justine A. Chambers

Term Lecturer: Dance + Theatre & Performance


Justine A. Chambers is an artist living and working on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Her movement based practice considers how choreography can be an empathic practice rooted in collaborative creation, close observation, and the body as a site of a cumulative embodied archive. Privileging what is felt over what is seen, she works with dances ‘that are already there’ – the social choreographies present in the everyday. Her choreographic projects have been presented at Nanaimo Art Gallery, Artspeak, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Art Museum at University of Toronto, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College, Agora de la Danse, Festival of New Dance, Mile Zero Dance Society, Dancing on the Edge, Canada Dance Festival, Dance in Vancouver, The Western Front and the Vancouver Art Gallery. She is Max Tyler-Hite’s mother.

Janet Danielson

Sessional Instructor: Music & Sound


Janet Danielson is a composer whose works have been performed in England, the U.S., and Canada by ensembles ranging from the Vancouver Chinese Instrument Ensemble to the Vancouver Symphony and CBC Radio Orchestras. Her recent commissioned works include an opera, The Marvelous History of Mariken of Nimmigen, commissioned by Music in the Morning; The Occupation, a song collaboration with poet Robert Bringhurst, for baritone, marimba and viol da gamba; and In the Very Highest Place, a setting Wu Li’s poetry for chorus and the Orchid Ensemble (marimba, zheng, erhu) premiered November 2007. Her realization of Verbum Caro, a 17th-century Canadian Ursuline carol, was premiered in Rome at Christmas 2007, and a string quartet for the Royal Society of Canada Symposium on War and Peace in November 2008. She has taught courses related to music theory, analysis, music and culture, and composition at Simon Fraser University and at Regent College, and has authored a text, Basic Organization of Music. Her articles have been published in Musicworks and in the Proceedings of the Asia-Pacific Composers’ League. Danielson is former Associate Artistic Director of Vancouver New Music and ChairAssociation of Canadian Women Composers, and has served on the Executive Council of the Canadian League of Composers. Current commissions include a work for string orchestra and erhu for Vancouver Pro Musica, for whom she is 2010 Composer-in-Residence, and a cello sonata for the 2010 Vancouver Music/Grail conference. She is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre.

Emmalena Fredriksson

Term Lecturer: Dance + Theatre & Performance


Emmalena Fredriksson is a contemporary dance artist living and working in Vancouver, Canada, as a guest on the ancestral unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples. 

Her practice is defined by choreography as a relational practice in the expanded fields of dance, often collaborating with artists of other disciplines, creating choreographic experiences and dance for social events, film, galleries and performance.  

Born in Sweden, she received her training at Balettakademien in Umeå and at SEAD in Austria. Emmalena has presented choreographic work, performed and taught internationally with Daghdha Dance Company (IE), Canaldanse (FR), Malta University (MT), Pact Zollverein (DE), and Falmouth University (UK) among others.

Based in Vancouver since 2013 her work has been presented in Dancing on the Edge, The Dance Centre's Discover Dance Series, Dance in Vancouver's Choreography Walk (curated by Justine A. Chambers), Dance Days (Victoria) and at the Audain Gallery. Commissioned by the National Film Board, she co-created Tidal Traces – a VR 360 dance film together with Nancy Lee in 2017. The film has to date had over 35 international screenings.

Emmalena holds an MFA degree from Simon Fraser University and she regularly teaches at Modus Operandi, Training Society of Vancouver, Harbour Dance Centre and Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

Photo by Emily Cooper

Lisa Gelley

Term Lecturer: Dance


Lisa Gelley is a performer, teacher, choreographer, and mother, living and working on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She received her training in classical, contemporary, and urban dance forms in Canada and Europe. In 2007-8, she trained and performed as a guest interpreter at Le Groupe Dance Lab in Ottawa under the direction of Peter Boneham. She has traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel where she carried out two intensive periods of study in Gaga and Batsheva Dance Company repertoire with Ohad Naharin. Lisa’s main focus is now co-directing Company 605, creating original works through collaborative processes with artists in dance and other disciplines. Lisa has performed in works by choreographers including Dana Gingras, Justine A. Chambers, Amber Funk Barton, Vanessa Goodman, Martha Carter, and was a member of Aeriosa (Julia Taffe) for six years, broadening her practice to include vertical contemporary dance in rock climbing systems on urban building walls and mountains. In addition to her work as a performer/choreographer, Lisa values opportunities to connect with young dancers and emerging professionals through contemporary dance education in Vancouver. Lisa is the recipient of the 2015 Vancouver International Dance Festival Choreographic Award.

Alana Gerecke

Term Lecturer: Dance


Alana Gerecke (PhD, Simon Fraser University, 2016) is a settler scholar and dance artist based in Vancouver, on the unceded traditional territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh nations. Her academic and artistic research practices cohere around embodied assembly. Gerecke holds a PhD from Simon Fraser University, where she pursued dissertation research on the urban spatial politics of site-based dance. She has taught at Simon Fraser University, the University of the Fraser Valley, and other institutions, and she recently completed a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at York University (2016-19).

Gerecke continues to create, perform and publish widely – most recently in Performance Matters Journal, Canadian Theatre Research and The Futures of Dance Studies. She is the mama of two objectively adorable small humans.

Sian Gurpreet

Sessional Instructor: Dance


I am a Dancer, Musician, TV/Radio Host, Actor/Producer and the Executive Director of South Asian Arts Society. I’ve had the opportunity to participate in over a dozen international Bhangra competitions as a Bhangra dancer and play the Dhol drum at the JUNO Awards with Russell Peters and during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. I continue to teach Bhangra & Dhol to adults and children at my own studio and at festivals, schools and universities across BC. In September 2010, my business partner Raakhi Sinha and I taught North America’s first ever University accredited Bhangra dance class at Simon Fraser University.

My organization, South Asian Arts Society, also produces theatre and comedy dance dramas. In 2009, The Georgia Straight voted ‘Bollywood Wedding’ as the “Best Outdoor Interactive Theatre Event” of the year.

Aside from performing arts, I co-host a popular TV show called “Punjabi Vibes“, which addresses pressing issues in the South Asian community via comedy sketches. I am also a Radio Host/Producer and Punjabi Music Director at Spice Radio. Monday – Friday from 5-7pm, I co-host a live sports talk show called “Gopi & the Gora” with my co-host Eddy (aka The Big E). Tune in!

My latest endeavour is a global percussion group called Sticks n’ Skins.

Sustrisno Hartana

Sessional Instructor: Music & Sound


Sutrisno Hartana, master of Javanese gamelan music, and shadow puppets, performs internationally throughout Asia, Europe, and North America in both traditional and contemporary works. Mr. Hartana attended the Indonesian Dance Conservatory in Java and received his BA in 1992 from the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) in Yogyakarta. In 2004, the King of Paku Alaman garnered him the title Mas Lurah Lebda Swara making him a court musician at the Royal Palace in Java. Mr. Hartana holds his MA in Ethnomusicology from the University of British Columbia and completed a PhD at the University of Victoria in the interdisciplinary program. He also directs and teaches gamelan with Victoria’s Busy Island Gamelan

Veda Hille

Sessional Instructor: Music & Sound


Veda Hille is a Vancouver musician, composer, theatre maker, and performer. She writes songs, makes records, co-writes musicals, collaborates in devised theatre, and fulfills other interesting assignments as they arise. Veda performs in a wide of array of places, alone or with bands, ensembles, symphonies, and casts. Her career spans 30 years of working in Canada and abroad, and shows no sign of flagging.

Veda spent a few formative years in music school and art school in Vancouver, laying the groundwork for a pretty elusive sense of genre. Her first album, an independent cassette, came out in 1991. She spent the rest of that decade working primarily as a recording and touring indie art-rock artist, releasing 6 more critically revered albums and travelling extensively in North America, Europe, and the UK. In the 90s she also composed scores and played live with many dance works, as well as beginning to explore forms such as song cycles and more experimental production.

In the early aughts Veda began working in theatre in Vancouver, while still continuing to record and tour. At first she considered theatre to be a side hustle, but soon it became clear that she was spending most of her time in rehearsal halls working on devised theatre, new opera, and contemporary musicals. All that said, Veda’s albums continue to be the core of her practice; she has made more than twenty full length recordings. Some are cast recordings from theatre work, and others are collections of songs written around a theme or a time in her life.

Veda’s work circles around many recurring interests: above all she writes about the natural world, amazement and the unknown, and the intricacies of human relationships. She strives for an ecstatic connection through weird detail, the universe visible through a microscope. All fancy language aside though, Veda Hille chases down the songs that are in her head and does her best to deliver them to the world, beautifully.

Farshid Kazemi

Sessional Instructor: Film


Farshid Kazemi is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University. His research interests combine an interdisciplinary and theoretical approach to Film and Media Studies/Film Theory, Iranian Studies, and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Edinburgh, with a thesis on Iranian cinema and second wave psychoanalytic film theory titled: The Interpreter of Desires: Iranian Cinema and Psychoanalysis. He has published several articles and book chapters on Iranian cinema, psychoanalytic film theory/feminist film theory in journals such as Camera Obscura. His book on the film A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night will be published by Auteur/Columbia University Press in 2020.

Image: Israel Seoane

Billy Marchenski

Sessional Instructor: Theatre & Performance


Billy graduated from the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU. He has been performing in Vancouver for over 20 years in Indie Theatre and Contemporary dance. Billy was the recipient of the Sydney J Risk prize for his show, slowpoke, inspired by a visit to the Chernobyl Exclusion zone in 2011. He is a member of the Butoh group “gigamal.”

Will Meadows

Sessional Instructor: Film


Senior Post Production Instructor at Vancouver Film School. Lead Audio Designer for 4 years with a professional website design team. Chief Engineer for 7 years in a commercial studio. Focus on creative sound manipulation with specific attention to quality. Experience with surround formats and mastering; music and sound design.

Erika Mitsuhashi

Sessional Instructor: Theatre & Performance


Erika Mitsuhashi is an interdisciplinary artist and performer living and working on the unceded, ancestral, and occupied, traditional lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations of the Coast Salish peoples, known as Vancouver, British Columbia. She studied at Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts receiving a BFA (hons) in dance.

She has had the pleasure of interpreting the work of dance artists including Justine A. Chambers, Ziyian Kwan (Dumb Instrument Dance), Sasha Kleinplatz (Wants&Needs Danse), Rob Kitsos, Vanessa Goodman (Action at a Distance) and Judith Garay (Dancers Dancing) in festivals and platforms such as Vancouver International Dance Festival, Dancing on the Edge Festival, Re-FUSE presented by the Vancouver Art Gallery and PuSh International Performing Arts Festival 2020.

Erika’s work has taken the form of performance for stage, installation, experimental film, site specific/responsive performance, scenography and projection design. Most recently she has been experimenting with live-stream video and digital spaces as sites for intimacy and choreography of attention.

Her work and collaborative projects have been presented locally and internationally by PAUL Studios Berlin, Powell Street Festival, Toronto Love-In’s PS:We are All Here series, Surrey Art Gallery’s InFlux, Kinetic Studio’s Open Studio Series, Shooting Gallery Performance Series, Upintheair Theatre’s rEvolver Festival and La Serre's OFFTA festival of live art. She has been supported by organizations including New Works, SummerWorks, VIVO Media Arts, plastic orchid factory, Dance West Network, Boca De Lupo, Theatre Replacement and Company 605 in the creation and development of her works to date.

Locally she engages with two diverse collaborative groups: Mardon + Mitsuhashi and Erika Mitsuhashi & Francesca Frewer.

Kathleen Mullen

Sessional Instructor: Film | Skoden Indigenous Film Festival


Kathleen Mullen has contributed to the programming, planning, and execution of film and art festivals for 18+ years. She has programmed films for Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs, Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival, Planet in Focus, Provincetown International Film Festival, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and many other festivals internationally.

Currently she is the Festival Director of Seattle Queer Film Festival overseeing the programming and operations of the annual festival and a mentor and festival consultant for two 4th year film students at Simon Fraser University who are starting up Skoden Indigenous Film Festival. In addition, Kathleen is working with the Whistler Film Festival, Vancouver Latin American Film Festival, and most recently with the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival. She runs her own consulting company, Letter K Media, which supports filmmakers, festivals, and arts organizations with programming, arts administration, and story consulting.

Kathleen Mullen has written and directed the short films Button OUT!you wash my skin with sunshineSleep Lines, and Still Life with Butterfly. Her award-winning mid-length documentary Breathtaking screened internationally and won the Audience Award at the Canadian Labour International Film Festival.

Kathleen has a Master of Arts from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production from York University in Toronto, Canada.

Brendan Prost

Sessional Instructor: Film


In the last decade, Brendan Prost has been quietly emerging as one of the most prolific young filmmakers in Canada, with an impassioned and eclectic body of work that includes four features and a dozen shorts. His character-driven work is characterized by powerful performances, a uniquely earnest spirit, and a thematic interest in alienation, longing, and vulnerability.

Brendan’s films have screened at major international and Oscar-qualifying film festivals like the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Ashland Independent Film Festival, Indie Memphis, Inside Out - Toronto LGBT Film Festival, and Telefilm Canada’s Not Short on Talent Program at Cannes. And, been broadcast on networks like CBC and Hulu.

Brendan graduated with distinction from Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts, is an alumni of the Directors’ Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, recently completed his Master of Fine Arts in Film and Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

When not creating his own work, Brendan teaches and mentors young directors at several film schools and colleges.

Carr Sappier

Knowledge Keeper | Skoden Indigenous Film Festival


Carr Sappier (Wolastoqew) is a two-spirited multi-genre filmmaker from Neqotkuk who just returned home from Vancouver after receiving a BFA in film at Simon Fraser University. Their passion for filmmaking stems from an aspiration to decolonize the screen, and to offer an alternative and non-binary perspective of Wolastoqew storytelling. Blending and morphing different genre styles and film mediums provides them with methods to express their two-spirited and Wolastoqew identity. While still a student in the film area at SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts, they co-founded the Skoden Indigenous Film Festival in 2019 with fellow SCA student Grace Mathisen.

Damla Tamer

Sessional Instructor: Visual Art


Damla Tamer is a visual artist born in Istanbul, Turkey and currently practicing in Vancouver, Canada. Her material practice is based on experimental mark-making at the intersections of drawing and textile processes. She has a performative practice that accompanies her works, in which she uses spoken anecdote as a performative tool, and negotiates the artistic-political stakes of a process of encountering singular events, forgetting them, and letting them re-emerge in contingent circumstances. Her work is heavily invested in searching for a new ethics of temporality through the relationships between aesthetics and politics. This involves researching the notion of agency in a variety of solidarity acts; exploring intimacy, hospitality, forgiveness, and risk as those pertain to practices of relating to one another (and relating to one’s labour); exploring the notions of futurity that are embedded in encounters with images and forms; challenging the etiological demands of strictly Western aesthetic-interpretive devices.

Damla Tamer is a founding member of Vancouver-based artist mothers collective A.M. (Art Mamas) and a past member of the now in hiatus artist-run Dynamo Arts Association. She has taught at various academic institutions including the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia (UBC), The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC Okanagan and the Continuing Studies Department at Emily Carr University of Art+Design.

Daisy Thompson

Sessional Instructor: Dance


Daisy Thompson is an English settler living on the unceded territories of the Skwxwú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaɬ and xʷməθkwəy̓əm Nations, also known as Vancovuer. As a dance artist who performs, creates, educates, and writes, she seeks to extend ideas of the dancing body as a key site for the questioning of embodied power relations, and considers how the dancing body interrupts cycles of contemporary logics of control in relation to culture and identity.

After completing her dance training at the Laban Dance Centre in London, Daisy has had the fortune to work as dancer/performer with the Trisha Brown Dance Company (USA), Eva Karczag (Amsterdam), Emmalena Fredriksson (Sweden/Vancouver), Ugo Dehaes (Belgium), Lee, Su-Feh (Vancouver), Mascall Dance (Vancouver), and O’dela Arts (Vancouver), amongst more.

She has presented her own choreographic works internationally and locally, has worked as choreographer/movement coach for theatre including The Frank Theatre Company and Ruby Slippers Theatre, published several articles including the Performance Matters Journal and the Canadian Theatre Review, and regularly teaches in a variety of spaces in Vancouver, including Simon Fraser University, Training Society of Vancouver, WeDance and Polymer Dance. In 2013, she gained an MFA, and is currently a PhD student at Simon Fraser University under the excellent co-supervision of Dr. Peter Dickinson and Dr. Laura U. Marks.

Daisy is the proud mother of Obi and Sola.

Neil Wedman

Sessional Instructor: Visual Art


Neil Wedman was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1954. Making paintings stands at the core of thirty years of studio practice, but he has devoted almost equal attention to producing drawings and works on paper including print editions, book-works and photographs. He has also made a number of short films and musical recordings although not many of the latter.

He lives and works in Vancouver and is represented there by the Equinox Gallery.