Coming from a strong background in a single discipline or from a studio practice that fuses two or more disciplines, our MFA students all value and thrive in the stimulation of the unique interdisciplinary environment of the SCA, which also encourages them to develop the theoretical or scholarly contexts of their practice.

Rahul Bader

MFA Graduate Student

Rahul Bader is an interdisciplinary artist, community builder and music educator. He is a driven and passionate music instructor, who makes learning an energetic and fun experience. With a BFA in Music, and a BA in Cognitive Science his interest is in making music accessible by creating innovative teaching methods borrowing from the numerous traditions of world cultures.

He uses music as a way to unite and uplift and has facilitated drum workshops across Canada for people of all abilities including special needs populations, refugees and youth at risk. Rahul is one of Canada’s leading drum circle facilitators, and has hosted drumming workshops at festivals and community organizations all across the country. He is currently completing his Masters of Fine Arts Degree at SFU School for the Contemporary Arts, where his research will focus on the intersection between neuroscience, dance and rhythm.

Specializing in World Music & Productionhis teaching repertoire includes: African drumming, Tabla, Beatbox, Handpan; Composition and Rhythm Notation; Recording and Production

Jean Brazeau

MFA Graduate Student

Jean Brazeau (b. 1992) is an electroacoustic composer and performer based in Vancouver, BC. Selected performances include Sky Island (Vancouver, BC), Dig Your Own Rave (Outer Heaven, Victoria, BC), and Luminocity hosted by the Kamloops Art Gallery. His commercial work has been featured on the record labels: Acting Press (DE), 1080p (CA), Pacific Rhythm (CA), and Isla Records (CA). Past commissions have included This Chime Has a Door (2018) for the Pollyanna 圖書館 Library at 221a, as well as Fraser (2019) for Liquid Landscapes at the Surrey UrbanScreen. As an extension of his artistic practice, Jean is a Director at Deep Blue, an experimental sound studio in Vancouver where he co-curates a program of sound based performances.

Torien Cafferata

MFA Graduate Student

Torien Cafferata (he/they) is an immersive theatre producer, director, playwright, dramaturge, actor, and educator based in Treaty 6 territory, Saskatoon, Canada. He holds a BFA in Drama from the University of Saskatchewan, which has shaped his practice to consistently centre the relationship between performer and audience -- or technology and user. As co-Artistic Director of It’s Not A Box Theatre he plays at the intersections between performance, interactive digital design, immersive scenography, sound design, found spaces, and lo-fi augmented reality. He thrives on collaborating across disciplines and inviting audiences to become players and storytellers, as seen most broadly in Overhear, It's Not A Box Theatre's one-on-one immersive documentary podplay and Situationist psychogeographical experiment. Overhear is an on-going international project, having been produced at both Toronto's SummerWorks and Prague Quadrennial, and received the SATAward for Innovation. His latest work has drifted further into digital immersive game design, such as in the home interactive mobile game series ISOLATA and the first-person lo-fi livestream RPG, Play Fail Win. Reflected in these are his recent research muses which lurk in the realm of anti-capitalist hauntology; from Vaporwave to Hopepunk to Fisherian "Weird and Eerie" liminality and lost futures. As an active community member Torien has served as Board Chair of Live Five Independent Theatre Inc, as President and Dramaturgical Chair of the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre (2018-2019), and as Head Dramaturge of the Sask Writers Workshop, a free workshop collective for young or emerging writers. He has written Fringe plays and sketch comedy since 2013 and his short plays have twice been selected for the Hardly Arts Short Cuts Festival.

To stay up to date on Torien's digital immersive work, see @itsnotaboxtheatre

To stay up to date on Torien's Internet Dumpster Marxist Shitposting, see @kyles_roommate

Alexandra Caprara

MFA Graduate Student

Alexandra Caprara is an interdisciplinary artist and writer whose work focuses on lighting and video design, devised processes, installation, poetry, and physical theatre. Born in Toronto, she holds a degree from York University in Theatre and Creative Writing, and has produced and performed her work internationally. Her research interests include examining the ways emergent technologies can become a harmonious part of a creation process, and how the digital can embrace the organic in both form and content.

Charlie Cooper

MFA Graduate Student

Charlie Cooper is a composer and sound artist whose work examines the ecology of lived and imagined environments through sound. His practice is grounded in field recording, often in underwater environments. Through performance and installation, Charlie’s work encourages listening as a means of understanding and appreciating the world we live in.

Kittie Cooper

MFA Graduate Student

Kittie Cooper is a composer, performer, and educator based in Vancouver, BC. She makes intermedia art that frequently incorporates feminism and explores the spectrum between silliness and seriousness. Her work has been called "highly original and wonderfully fun." She is interested in text and graphic scores, improvisation, and DIY electronic instruments. She also performs locally as a guitarist, electronic musician, and improviser. Kittie is currently working toward an MFA in interdisciplinary arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. She also serves as Director of Composers Forums and Faculty for The Walden School Young Musicians Program. She holds a BM from Northwestern University in music education and guitar performance, and an MEd in special education from George Mason University. In her spare time, she enjoys taking care of the stray cats in her neighborhood.

Mena El Shazly

MFA Graduate Student

Mena El Shazly's (b. Cairo) work is grounded in video but encompasses embroidery and sculpture. Her practice is concerned with entropy, bodies and (light)-sensitive surfaces that carry knowledge and memory. She studied performing and visual arts at the American University in Cairo and is a former fellow of the Home Workspace Program at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut. El Shazly also has a well-established curatorial practice and has organized several video art events and workshops. She is the current Artistic Director of Cairo Video Festival for video art and experimental film organized by Medrar for Contemporary Art. | | |

Tin Gamboa

MFA Graduate Student

Tin Gamboa is a dance artist who was born and raised on traditional land of Austronesian people, in a place commonly known as Manila, Philippines. She is currently living in the traditional land of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-waututh first nations, now known as Vancouver, Canada. With her Filipino blood rumbling through her tapping toes and dancing body, Tin explore patterns, cycles, and stories within micro and macro levels, as “to enquire into the world of changing patterns and forces at play, is to enquire into the choreography of life” (Klien 2008). Through dance improvisation and composition, she creates safe spaces for focused reflection on ideas and patterns imprinted on the body, in relation to larger frameworks, whethe political, geographic, historical, cultural, or societal. | Vimeo

Photo: Hannah Campbell

Kourosh Ghamsari-Esfahani

MFA Graduate Student

Kourosh Ghamsari-Esfahani is an Iranian-Canadian composer-violinist. He completed an Honours B. Mus. at Wilfrid Laurier University, and has presented at festivals and artist residencies across North America and internationally, including: The Brush Creek Arts Residency in Wyoming, USA, the Arteles International Creative Residency in Finland, and the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab. He is also currently a violinist with the SFU SCA Ensemble-in-Residence, working directly to support the undergraduate composition program, as well as developing the ensemble's own line of performances.

Various labels may describe Kourosh's work with some accuracy: neo-romantic, contemporary-classical, electro-acoustic, soundscape, chamber, interdisciplinary, and so on. He strives to inhabit the intersections between performance, composition and improvisation

Aakansha Ghosh

MFA Graduate Student

Aakansha Ghosh is a visual artist, whose research has been developing to deconstruct, decode and depict the role of architecture in context to the notion of memory and individuality, in and of places. She has lived in more than twenty houses across seven cities in India and now in Canada, this constant shift has shaped the context of her research surrounding spaces we call home and the individuality that resides within these places. Her practice incorporates painting, sculpture and installation making, using found objects and everyday material.

She has completed her Bachelors in Visual Arts (2018) with a major in painting and a minor in ceramics from Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S University of Baroda, India. Her works have been part of shows across Vadodara, Goa and Delhi. They have also been published on artist-run websites.

Somayeh Khakshoor

MFA Graduate Student

Somayeh Khakshoor is an experimental artist, working mainly in the field of the moving image. She received her master’s degree in Animation from Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

Homa Khosravi

MFA Graduate Student

Painter from Iran, Tehran. Studied painting at Tehran University. My paintings are mostly about nature, plants, animals and human bodies, specifically the female body and human organs. I do photography and collages as well, about the same subjects.

Katie Kozak

MFA Graduate Student

I am an artist of Métis and Ukrainian descent. My Art Practice blends visual art, science, and wellness evolving from a longstanding interest in biology, alternative medicine and therapeutic rituals. While my practice has always encompassed a deep connectivity to land, I have only recently begun to understand it as a way to process both the loss of my father and the loss of a piece of my cultural identity.

Giselle Liu

MFA Graduate Student

Areas: Choreography and Movement Poetry

Giselle Liu received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. In Hong Kong, Liu worked as an artistic director of ‘City Dancing,’  co-choreographed for “an original creation and collaboration between ‘HKYAF’s director Lindsey McAlister and Cirque du Soleil composer duo Violaine Corradi and Rose Winebrenner,” and was principal choreographer for HKYAF’s musical production “Fame.” She’s worked in the commercial industry with artists such as canto-pop singer Fiona Sit and 2017 Miss Hong Kong, Juliette Louie. Liu’s work has also taken her to the UK, co-choreographing and co-mentoring for Punch Records: Gallery 37 project in Birmingham, and co-facilitating a ‘Threaded Heart Creations’ workshop in London. Threaded Heart Creations collaborated with spoken word artist Bhavini Raval and composer Max Carrey in their performance ‘Entangled’ for Kate Sparrow’s ‘I Am Woman’ solo exhibition at the Anita Chang Lai-ling gallery.  Liu’s movement aesthetic is enhanced by a distinct language of embodied poetry.  

Liu recently moved from Hong Kong to attend the MFA program at SFU to further her studies and has embarked on a collaborative journey with fellow cohort and designer Mansi Patel.  Her research and body of work study the human potential of the heart, body and mind in relations to perceptions of reality.

“Dance to live. Live to inspire.” – Giselle Liu

Lauraine Mak

MFA Graduate Student

Lauraine Mak is a Canadian artist living and working between Düsseldorf, Germany and Vancouver. She graduated from Emily Carr University in 2013 and has since been enrolled at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, Germany studying under Rita McBride. Her work is informed by philosophical investigations of language and phenomenology, and she works chiefly with video and painting. |

Silas Ng

MFA Graduate Student

Silas Ng is an emerging artist based on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. His photography and multi-disciplinary works explore his life experience and identities as Deaf Canadian-born Chinese to discover how his life was weaved by the three different worlds.

Salome Nieto

MFA Graduate Student

Salome Nieto is an accomplished contemporary dance artist renowned for her emotionally charged performances. Highly influenced by Butoh and Mexico’s surrealism, her transformative works explore themes of ritual and ceremony. Crucial to her artistic vision, she welcomes artists’ contributions from other disciplines through local and international collaborations to explore new possibilities for innovation. These collaborations encompass installations, traditional stage, site-specific and improvisational performance. Nieto is an award-winning dancer and choreographer who has taught and performed internationally. As an interpreter, she has worked predominantly with Canada’s leading post-butoh company, Kokoro Dance, with Donna Redlick Dance and most recently with Raven Spirit Dance. She currently holds the position of Fine and Performing Arts Programmer for Dance at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.

Salome Nieto’s work is created on the traditional, ancestral and unceded land of the Coast Salish peoples – Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səlílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam) Nations.

Jami Reimer

MFA Graduate Student

My practice explores musical sound, particularly as it relates to movement and the exploration of spaces. I am interested in composing with field recordings, electronic sounds, and voice. I hope to draw on a cross-disciplinary interest in dance and somatic studies in the creation of new musical work for stage and/or other place-based environments.

photo by rūta kuzmickas

matthew toffoletto

MFA Graduate Student

matthew toffoletto (he/him) is a composer, writer, theater creator, and sound artist from Houston, Texas. his work focuses on the sonification of language and poetry, in integration with musical materials and processes. he’s interested in medieval/renaissance music, instruments, and texts and process-based, polyphonic, and masse-form materials.

Cody Tolmie

MFA Graduate Student

Cody Tolmie is an emerging interdisciplinary Stó:lō artist from their traditional territory of S’ólh téméxw. Cody’s current practice is primarily focused on photography, painting and digital media. Within these mediums he seeks to contextualize and challenge notions of history, tense and power dynamics within narrative and lens.

Photo: Faune Ybarra

C. Olivia Valenza

MFA Graduate Student

C. Olivia Valenza is a composer, clarinetist/performer, and interdisciplinary collaborator from Milwaukee, WI. Her work includes live performance, installation, sound design for dance, and the development of electroacoustic and acoustic concert music. Her research and process is concerned with eliciting personal and intimate performances and investigating the development of scores that elicit those points of relationality. She often looks to methods of remediation, using found objects and imagery in her compositions and performances to parse familiar threads of association and weave new worlds. Her hope is that sound and meaning made through participatory practices can help to realize a pluralistic vision of our artistic communities and of society as a whole.

Valenza has developed scored and improvised performances for clarinet, turntable, electronics and various materials, including recently, leaf blowers, maps, and walkie-talkies. She has also developed site specific works for electric guitar, clarinet, cello, metal sculpture, and electronics. 

She holds a BFA in Composition and Technology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is currently expanding her research/practice as an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies at Simon Fraser University. Currently, she is also an editor for the Comparative Media Arts Journal there.

Valenza has developed work for and performed with Present Music, Wild Space Dance Company, Hyperlocal MKE, FTAM Noise Knowledge Consortium, Sensoria: Experiments in Sound and Performance, and the Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra (MiLO).

Douglas Watt

MFA Graduate Student

Douglas Watt is an artist who synthesizes elements of model making, set design, handcraft, installation, photography, and ready-made practices to reflect on sexuality, lived environments, virtuality and selfhood. Specific areas of research include localized histories of Vancouver’s Davie Village and the perforations between literature, popular media and fine art more broadly.

Faune Ybarra

MFA Graduate Student

Faune Ybarra is a time-based artist originally from Oaxaca and Mexico City, Mexico working with “portable formats” such as video, sound, performance, and photo-based practices. Due to the experiences of constantly moving and adapting Faune has conceived of her body as a site of translation from where she attempts to communicate with other people and the non-human. Focusing on questioning the understanding of communication beyond our human constructs of language, in her practice, Faune attempts to create spaces to facilitate conversations among the communities she is a part of. She holds a BFA in Visual Arts from Memorial University of Newfoundland and she is currently expanding her research/practice on the interrelation of displacement and site-specificity at Simon Fraser University as part of the MFA cohort in Interdisciplinary Studies. She has performed, exhibited, and spoken about her practice at galleries, festivals, artist-run centres, and conferences such as PULP Gallery, Ambulante Film Festival, Eastern Edge Gallery, Grenfell Art Gallery, The Rooms, and SpokenWeb symposium.

Katayoon Yousefbigloo

MFA Graduate Student

Through video, music, writing and visual art I examine how media shapes our mythologies. Reverse engineering narratives, I use speculative fiction as a framework through which to imagine alternate realities and their commercial potentials. Unrelatedly, I am pursuing franchise opportunities for my musical project Puzzlehead.

Shervin Zarkalam

MFA Graduate Student

Shervin Zarkalam is a dramaturge, performance maker, set designer and director from Tehran, Iran. He graduated from the University of Tehran majoring in set design but his area of interest include dramaturgy, choreography, object theatre, composition and problem-solving and art counselling. As a dramaturge, Shervin seeks fundamental questions like who is a dramaturge? And how to do dramaturgy or What is the media of performance and what is to perform? With this approach to dramaturgy, he took different positions in various artistic groups and participated in well-known theatre festivals such as Tajrobeh Theatre Festival, Iran International University Theatre Festival, Fajr International Theatre Festival.

Joey Zaurrini

MFA Graduate Student

Joey is a sound artist and music composer, as well as an MFA candidate at Simon Fraser University. Using sound to facilitate narratives in dance, theatre and film, as well as create stories of his own, he spends most of his days immersed in a laboratory of noise and electronics where every object is a potential instrument. His areas of interest include decoding the compositions of city soundscapes, playing with interactive technology, and merging socio-ecological concepts with his sound art. He can be found attending workshops and classes, in the middle of deep collaborations, or roaming streets and deserted hallways with a recorder in hand.


MFA Students

SCA Graduate Programs

Interested in pursuing a graduate degree at the SCA? Find out more about or MA, MFA, and PhD programs HERE.




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