Allison Girvan (composer / vocalist) is a professional singer, arranger, director, clinician and adjudicator. She has been a featured soloist on recordings and in performance with ensembles including musica intima, Elektra Women’s Choir, The Vancouver Chamber Choir, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and as a vocalist for studio sessions for radio, T.V. and feature film. Allison has worked extensively with Canadian Celtic Tenor, John McDermott on recordings, international tours, and the PBS specials, “A Time to Remember” and “Sharing Christmas”. Her debut solo cd, “Resonance”, combining her love of world music and her love of languages, was released in 2007. She now lives in Nelson, B.C. where she continues to record for television and feature film scores, directs the Nelson Youth Choir, the women’s choir, “Shenango”, corazón vocal ensemble, and is music director for the Capitol Theatre’s youth program. allisongirvan.com
Andrea Menard (composer/vocalist), a multi-talented Métis performer, is a true renaissance woman; she is an actor, a singer, a writer, and an ambassador, excelling in the four creative areas that make up her own personal medicine wheel. Andrea has performed for royalty, prime ministers, premiers, ambassadors, Governor General’s and even sang her song “Peace” to the world’s NATO generals. Andrea’s voice is lyrical, raw, and reminiscent of the jazz and blues singers of the 1940's, yet she captures the depth, humour and wisdom of her ancestors. Andrea Menard is mesmerizing in her Gemini-nominated television starring roles, The Velvet Devil, Moccasin Flats, and Rabbit Fall. She currently stars in Blackstone and Hard Rock Medical, and has released three award-winning albums: The Velvet Devil; Simple Steps; and Sparkle. Menard’s holiday TV special, called Sparkle: An Evening with Andrea Menard and Menard’s made-for-television movie, The Velvet Devil, which is adapted from her one-woman musical stage play, both earned Gemini nominations for Menard’s outstanding performance. andreamenard.com
Bessie Wapp (composer / vocalist) is a musician (voice/accordion/percussion), theatre maker, and educator whose international performance highlights include Festival D'ete (Montreal), Lincoln Centre (NYC), and Zagreb DanceWeek (Croatia). Bessie has composed music & created sound designs for many small ensembles including Old Trout Puppet Workshop: This Little Piggie (Calgary Folk Fest 2014) (composition/performance), Twin Fish Theatre/Urban Ink: Squaw Hall Project: Damned If You Do (sound design), Electric Co./Only Animal: The One That Got Away (live sound design/performance), Mortal Coil: Treemendous Journey, If a Tree Falls, And Lava and Bones (composition/ arrangement/performance), and Zeellia (arrangement/performance/recording). Other music performance projects include: RnB dance band Bessie & The Back Eddies (KMA Winner 2012, Van Int’l Jazz Fest 2013), Balkan brass band Oxygen Orkestar, middle eastern duo TEK DUET, and acoustic folk ensemble Bessie Wapp & Friends.
Don Macdonald (composer / consultant) Don Macdonald’s composition credits include music for classical ensembles, opera, theatre, dance, published vocal works and forays into everything from jazz and rock to contemporary electronic music. He has over 20 feature film credits and has written for and recorded with orchestra, stage band, concert band, string quartet and choir. His score to the cult Zombie film Fido was recorded with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Don’s choral compositions have been performed by many notable ensembles including Rajaton, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, the Vancouver Bach Choir and Electra Women’s Choir. His commissioned opera, “KHAOS” received a highlighted performance at the 2013 Opera America Conference and his composition “Tabula Rasa”, one of 5 published choral works, received the DaCapo Chamber Choir award for Best Choral Composition in 2010. Don currently resides in Nelson, BC where he teaches at the Selkirk College Contemporary Music and Technology Program. donmacdonaldmusic.com
Kyra Soko (sound / recording engineer) With over 35 years of experience as a recording engineer, music producer, sound designer and a musician Kyra approaches sound from not only a tech's perspective but also that of an artist and a performer. Having a fully mobile recording studio and sound system at their disposal Kyra can be found recording and producing live sound in a wide variety of venues and spaces. Check out www.facebook.com/sokosound to have a listen to recent recordings and live sound productions.
Mutya Macatumpag (composer / vocalist) is an emerging interdisciplinary artist. As a queer Pilipina woman made in the Philippines and born on Unceded Coast Salish Territory, she uses the stories in her body as a source for material to find the inner narratives that exist in her heart and cellular memory. As a performer, Mutya has taken to the stage locally in Vancouver, Seattle and Montreal at the Artswells Festival of All Things Art, Cariboo Arts Centre, In the House Festival, The Woods Studio, The Centre, CBC Studios, VIVO, The Dance Centre, Pride Seattle, Women’s International Conference Montreal, Pervers/Cité Festival Montreal, Firehall Arts Centre, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Oxygen Arts Centre, Scotia Bank Dance Centre, Asian Heritage Month, The Crossroads Slam, Lotus Roots Festival, The Round House Performance Space and The East Van Cultural Centre. Excerpts of her larger work, Symphonic Barcodes, appeared recently at the International Story Telling Festival in Vancouver and the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival.
Mikayla Fawcett (artist assistant) is an emerging artist and writer. Focused primarily in fiction, poetry, and visual storytelling (by which we mean comics), she is now trying to find her footing in community-driven and installation-based art.
Nicola Harwood (concept, design & project director) is an Anglo Canadian writer and interdisciplinary artist. Recent work includes High Muck-a-Muck: Playing Chinese (2011-14), a ten artist/programmer collaboration that resulted in an interactive website and installation. High-Muck-a-Muck won the 2015 UK New Media Writing prize. Other recent community engaged projects include the Squaw Hall Project (2009-2011, Williams Lake, BC), with Tsilqotin, Carrier and Secwepemc youth and community. This project was a collaboration with urban ink productions of Vancouver, BC. FLAME (2009) and BOOM (2008) were also community engaged projects created through Oxygen Art Centre in Nelson, BC addressing social services and urban development. Recent writing commissions include Salmon Row (2011-13), with Mortal Coil Performance Society of Vancouver; and the libretto for the opera KHAOS (2012) for the Amy Ferguson Institute of Nelson, BC. Current projects include a production of her play, Buffalo Girls (2019) with Frank Theatre of Vancouver, BC and Temple of Our Madness (2017-2022), a series of interactive installations about women, animals and girls. Her memoir about queer family and fostering, Flight Instructions for the Commitment Impaired, was published in 2016. Nicola lives on the beautiful and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples. Her art practice is committed to decolonization, the land and animals and women's power. She teaches Creative Writing and Interdisciplinary Expressive Arts at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. For full details see: nicolaharwood.com
Sandy Scofield (composer / vocalist) Sandy Scofield is a multi-award winning composer, musician and singer. She has studied classical, jazz, African, Indonesian gamelan and electro-acoustic music. A Métis from the Saulteaux and Cree Nations, she hails from four generations of fiddlers, singers and musicians. Among her four recordings to date, she has won five Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award, an Indian Summer Music Award (U.S.A.), a Western Canadian Music Award and received three consecutive Juno nominations. Over the years, she has mentored innumerable First Nations singers and songwriters in the way of rudimentary music theory, vocal techniques, songwriting craft and music-industry protocol. She has toured to festivals on five continents with the International Rainforest World Music Festival in Borneo, 2011 making the fifth. She has composed for dance, film, television and theatre, with the Aboriginal Welcoming Song for the 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies, the highlight to date. sandyscofield.com
Simon Lysander Overstall (composer/programmer) is a computational media artist, and musician/composer from Vancouver, Canada. He develops works with
generative, interactive, or performative elements. He is particularly interested in computational creativity in music, physics-based sound synthesis in virtual environments, and biologically and ecologically inspired art and music systems. He has produced custom performance systems and interactive art installations that have been shown inCanada, the US, Europe, and China. He has also composed sound designs and music for dance, theatre, and installations. He has an MA in Sound in New Media at Aalto University in Helsinki, a BFA in Music Composition from the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser
University, and an Associate in Music (Jazz) Diploma from Vancouver Island University. http://www.simonlysander.net/
Tanya Tagaq (composer / vocalist) Winner of the 2014 Polaris prize, the Nunavut-born throat singer has attracted the attention of some of the world’s most groundbreaking artists and they have invited her to participate on their own musical projects, not just singularly, but repeatedly. Tanya has recently recorded once again with Björk (specifically on the soundtrack for the Matthew Barney film Drawing Restraint 9) having already appeared on Björk’s Medúlla CD in 2004 and accompanied her on the Vespertine tour. In 2005, another monumental collaborative project came to fruition when the Kronos Quartet invited Tanya to participate on a project aptly titled Nunavut, which has been performed at select venues across North America, from its January 2006 debut at the Chan Centre in Vancouver, BC through to New York’s Carnegie Hall. Acclaim and respect has followed Tagaq on her solo ventures as well: both Sinaa and Auk / Blood were nominated for a Juno Award (Best Aboriginal Recording) and (Best Instrumental Recording) Both recordings won in several categories at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, including Best Female Artist. tanyatagaq.com
Tawahum Justin Bige (research and production assistant) is a budding social justice activist and creative writing student from Surrey, BC. He believes in decolonization first and foremost. In 2017, he has performed his poetry at Talking Stick Festival’s Indigenuity, Stop the Pipelines, Start the Music visiting Kwantlen First Nation, Vancouver Poetry Slam and Slamapalooza. Tawahum has spent his young adulthood connecting with his Dene and Cree roots, and the Coast Salish roots of Vancouver and Surrey where he resides.
Vandana Vishwas (composer / vocalist). Born and raised in India, settled in Canada, Vandana Vishwas is formally trained in North Indian classical vocal music but specializes in composing and singing expressive south-Asian song forms such as Ghazals, Nazms, Geet, light Thumris etc. Her debut album ‘Meera-The Lover…’ released in 2009, created wide ranging ripples in Canadian & US World Music circles through rave reviews from leading music critics and some much coveted awards such as the Vox-Pop award for World Traditional Song of the year at US Indies (IMA) 2011 and Toronto Best World CD award by Toronto Exclusive Magazine. Songs from the album debuted at Top 10 in diverse community FMs all over Canada. In July of 2012, the album was taken up for distribution by a major record label in India. Vandana also sings in many other south Asian languages such as Punjabi, Sindhi, Marathi, Bangla apart from her mother tongue Hindi/Urdu. Her sophomore music album ‘Monologues,’ was released in India by Worldwide Records in February 2013 and launched in Mumbai by legendary Indian playback singer Suresh Wadkar. Vandana's recent projects include playback singing for a Marathi feature film "Mi Swatantra Honar" to be released in mid 2014 in India; and composing, arranging, singing and producing the theme track for upcoming Hindi novel "Samarsiddha" written by UK based novelist Sandeep Nayyar, published by Penguin India in 2014. vandanavishwas.com