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Individual Artists

Dance, Drama, Performance

Cultural Programmers

Literary Arts


Visual Arts


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Dance, Drama, Performance

Lila Cano

Tel: (807) 623-3554
Email: lcano@tbaytel.net

Placing the learners front and center in their own creative process is KEY to developing strong skills and powerful work with learners. Learners will be inspired from an initial jumping off point. Once their idea is chosen and brainstormed, they will develop specific drama skills that will enable them to create their own original piece to perform. Lila Cano has been an arts educator for the past 28 years. Her work as an actor, artist and arts educator is well known locally and within the province. Ms. Cano has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree – Major: Acting. Lila has also designed, produced, written, adapted and directed original works for children, and young audiences.

Kathleen Baleja

Tel: (807) 623-6732
Email: kathleenbaleja@yahoo.com
Website: www.kathleenbaleja.com

Kathleen trained with the School of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, has a certificate in Movement for Young Children from the University of Manitoba and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and attained her Grade Nine Honours Piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Her movement work in schools draws from Yoga, Tai Chi and Contact Improv to help students discover their own authentic movement. Recent performance pieces have been based on themes such as environmental concerns for the Earth and social justice issues. Kathleen is also available to deliver visual arts programming in the schools and may be hired privately or through CAHEP. 

Stephanie DePiero

Tel: (807) 767-4942
Email: artisticdirectory@stephaniespc.com

Stephanie DePiero has 22+ years of training and experience in the dance industry. Her credits include work with; Disney, Nickelodeon, Much Music, MTV, Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club to name a few. Stephanie also holds examinations with the Canadian Dance Teachers Association. She lends insight into the best tools and techniques used by professionals in the performing arts today. Her goal as a dance and performing arts instructor is to not only make all her class’s fun but at the same time introduce and educate participants about the benefits of dance as part of their fitness routine. She believes in a balanced, healthy living life style and knows first-hand the physical health and mental health benefits of dance and the performing arts.

Keri-Lyn Durant

Tel: (807) 631-4745
Email: creativemindrunamok@gmail.com
English | French

Keri-Lyn Durant is an accomplished actor, director, and playwright and has studied and worked as a drama specialist for over 30 years. Trained in the United Kingdom at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, she is a qualified teacher of Expressive Arts (England and Wales) and JK-10, English and French Immersion (Ontario). She has received commendations for her poetry, fiction, and non-fiction work, including a pedagogical article on the transformative nature of creativity and how drama humanises and empowers. In addition, working to make connections between drama and healing, she and her puppet, Phoebe the Sloth, can be seen on the paediatric ward at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

Keri-Lyn is currently active as a facilitator of workshops in areas such as dramatic play, devising, creative writing, debate, and spoken word poetry, and she is keen to work in either English or French.

Zoë Gordon

Tel: (807) 345-6969 | (807) 632-7522
Email: zeddysprings@gmail.com

Zoë is a multidisciplinary artist with a BFA in Integrated Media from Emily Carr University. She has a background in independent film and 15 years of experience facilitating media, visual, and performance arts activities to children, youth, and adults.

Joan Halonen*

Tel: (807) 683-5583
Fax: (807) 683-5583
Email: joanhalonen@shaw.ca

Joan is a Drama in Education specialist and an international drama workshop leader. A passionate advocate for Arts in Education for over 40 years, Joan has been working as an artist in the schools for the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Learning Through the Arts Program for the last 10 years. She has taught Magnus Theatre School classes. Joan is a sessional lecturer and workshop leader in Drama in Education at the Faculty of Education, Lakehead University. She also studied with Augustjo Boal in England. Joan is able to offer classroom visits or workshops on any curriculum topic form early childhood to adult education. Joan’s philosophy of teaching is as follows: I hear and I forget I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

Claudia Otto

Tel: (807) 628-3734
Email: claudia_otto@hotmail.com
Website: www.imagedance.org

Claudia Otto is a gifted choreographer/educator and has an extensive background in contemporary and improv dance. She is the artistic director of the Image Studio of Dance and has worked in the community and schools. Claudia is passionate about empowering participants through creative movement/dance.

Jelena Psenicnik*

Tel: (807) 767-3126
Email: jelenajoel@yahoo.com

Jelena was raised in Venezuela where it is deliciously warm! There she received training in classical dance and modern movement. She is a graduate of the Studio 58 Theatre School in Vancouver and since arriving in Thunder Bay, she has been involved with numerous community groups as an Actor, Drama Coach, Dramaturge, Stage Manager and Director. The Dramatic Arts are a marvelous tool to explore, enrich and deepen our relationship with ourselves and those around us. The techniques used for theatrical skill building compel the body and mind to work together towards a greater understanding of our universe. Children in classroom settings can enjoy the opportunity to explore their creative learning abilities through creative movement, improvisation and dramatic interpretations.

Rita Zavagnin

Tel: (807) 344-0312
Email: ritaz@tbaytel.net

Rita is a theatre artist with more than 25 years of experience in arts education.
Her work is focused on the experience of the body as a tool to explore the creative process and the student’s world view. In the classroom, Rita works collaboratively with the teacher to engage learners in artistic inquiry into topics of interest as identified by the students themselves. Projects are designed to encourage and motivate students as they develop specific theatrical skills. Rita has worked with schools and community groups throughout Ontario, sharing her love of improvisation, physical theatre, mask and the creation of new works. Her education includes training in child development, theatre arts and art therapy.





Cultural Programmers

Susan Johnston

Email: weshkaday@gmail.com

Susan Johnston is a member of Lake Helen Band; she was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Susan had both traditional and formal education, having been taught by her grandfather before going to study at Lakehead University and received two degrees, Honours Bachelor of Arts, Indigenous Learning and Women Studies. Susan is an energetic cultural teacher and sole proprietor of Weshkaday and Kids Rock Indoor Playground Centre. Susan spends her time volunteering and working for a small Aboriginal women’s group and volunteering for the Thunder Bay Friendship Centre in the Aboriginal Community Council Program. Susan writes her own material for the workshops that she offers. Much of her work has been focused on promoting traditional culture through hands on activities among urban Aboriginal women and children by using cultural teaching through her workshops. Susan is also a children’s author writing Aboriginal children’s books. Nuka and the Three Island is her first publication.

Susan Kakepetum

Tel: (807) 620-2477 | (807) 344-7723 – Home
Email: susan.kakepetum@shawcable.com | suzankakepetum@hotmail.com

Susan Kakepetum is an artist and heritage programmer from Lac Seul First Nation. She from the Bear clan and is a mother of 7 children and a grandmother of 23. She has been doing crafting and regalia for some years and was originally taught by her mother. Crafts have become a way to pass on teachings. Susan uses them as a means of relaxing and thinking things though.

Ron Kanutski

Tel: (807) 624-6996
Email: ronsha@shaw.ca
Website: www.withcareconsulting.com

Ron Kanutski is an energetic social worker, cultural teacher, facilitator and sole proprietor of With Care Consulting. For more than 21 years, Ron has delivered a variety of culturally sensitive wellness presentations, workshops and services to both Anishnawbae and multi-cultural children, youth and adults. He has worked in urban, rural and remote communities throughout Ontario, Manitoba, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Ron has worked with the Children’s Centre, Sister Margaret Smith Centre, Dilico Ojibway Child & Family Services, Thunder Bay Indian Friendships Centre, Anishnawbe Mushkiki, Creighton Youth Services, CAHEP, and the Lakehead District School Board. Ron has been active in providing Anishnawbae cultural programming at the Ogden Public School and he is the 2007 recipient of the “Award of Excellence” from the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association. Please review more about Ron and his work at www.withcareconsulting.com.





Literary Arts

Eleanor Albanese

Tel: (807) 344-1163
Email: eleanor.m.albanese@gmail.com
Website: www.eleanora.ca

Eleanor has worked in arts education for over 30 years. She has many years’ experience facilitating and guiding learners in art-making, whether it be creative writing, mixed media collage, marionette making or drama. Her own plays have toured nationally and are well respected and loved. Copies of Eleanor’s plays are available by contacting her or at www.playwrightsguild.ca.

Holly Haggarty*

Tel: (807) 768-7867
Fax: (807) 768-7867
Email: hhaggart@shaw.ca
French | English

Holly Haggarty is an author, storyteller and educator. Her publications include the novels Dream Dad and Summer Dragons. She will enrich both classroom and curriculum with story. She has worked in schools for 25 years and has many programs to offer which include:

Meet the Author:
You loved the book but you’ve always wondered: Who wrote it? Where did the author get her ideas? Could I write like that?

Storytelling Performances:
Enjoy the traditional art of storytelling. Choose from a menu of themes and curricular links.

Creative Writing Workshops:
Learn secrets of effective writing from an award-winning author. You’ll be surprised at how active and engaging a writing workshop can be.

Story Theatre:
Forget memorization — with story theatre, you jump right into the fun parts: improvisation, characters, movement, masks, puppets…

Teachers Guides are available for selected programs.

Heather McLeod

Tel: (807) 768-7885
Email: heather.bellamuse@gmail.com

Heather McLeod is familiar to CBC radio listeners as co-host of Northwestern Ontario’s current affairs and cultural program Voyage North. She launched her writing career upon leaving the CBC with Kiss Me! (I’m a Prince!). The saucy children’s book (published internationally by Fitzhenry & Whiteside) is enjoying great success. Pre-dating both of these careers is Heather’s music. She has been composing, performing and recording music since her teen years with three CDs of her own songs, three of jazz standards and a handful of film scores to her credit, not to mention thousands of performances across Canada and the United States.

Heather brings inspirational joy and great animation and listening skills to her work with kids. From storytelling to song writing and performance, she engages the most reluctant learners.

Ruby Slipperjack*

Tel: (807) 343-8187
Fax: (807) 343-8821
Email: ruby.farrell@lakeheadu.ca

Ruby loves to write for young audiences and her stories revolve around First Nations people of Northwestern Ontario. Ruby will give presentations on writing, publishing and literature to students in
Thunder Bay schools.

Bonnie H. Tittaferrante*

Tel: (807) 622-0904
Email: bonnieheather@tbaytel.net
Website: www.my.tbaytel.net/bonnieheather/index.htm

Bonnie Tittaferrante is a professional author located in Thunder Bay. She has published articles, stories, poems and a YA Book. Her Young Authors Group won Scholastic’s “Create a Book Contest”. Bonnie wrote a humour column for the Chronicle Journal for 3 years. She has been published on CBC Online. She has also spent 33 years as a public school teacher and teacher-librarian.






Sherry Aldrich*

Tel: (807) 622-4824
Email: sherry@musicality.ca
Website: www.musicality.ca | www.jim-n-i.com
Union: AFM Local 591

Sherry offers lively, upbeat, interactive programs for all ages, using music to enhance the classroom experience of math, social studies, science, language arts, or whatever the class wishes to explore. Through instruction and encouragement in singing, creative movement, and the use of a variety of instruments, links are discovered and confidence is built. Songwriting presents further self-expression and educational opportunities through lyric and melody composition, and through presentation. A series of “Musical Me” workshops have been created for educators, focusing on increasing each teacher’s personal comfort level with using music in the classroom, and exploring the practical application of music as an effective classroom tool. Consider a concert performance by the musical duo Jim ‘n’ I (Sherry and Jim Gillies). Whether a concert, a workshop or a presentation, participants are inspired to discover their own personal musicality.

Rodney Brown*

Tel: (807) 344-1057
Fax: (807) 344-1057
Email: rodney@rodneybrown.ca
Website: www.rodneybrown.ca
Union: AFM Local 591

Rodney Brown is well known to Thunder Bay audiences. Programs are for all ages and are designed to meet individual classroom needs. They range from concert performances to workshops, presentations and residencies. Projects are often based on song creation using selected themes with an emphasis on lyric writing and melody exploration involving vocal and instrumental instruction.

Sean Jesseau

Music Workshop School and Store
#2-1820 E. Victoria Avenue
Tel: (807) 622-1841
Fax: (807) 622-1841
Email: seanjesseau@hotmail.com
Website: www.musicworkshopdirect.com

Through his business Music Workshop (School and Store) Sean works with many populations using drums and percussion. Sean offers his classes “Hands-on Drumming” all year long and for all levels including absolute beginners. Conga, Djembe, frame drumming and Arabic drumming classes are offered. A team of teachers offer lessons on many other instruments.

Team Building For Groups with Drum and Rhythm Circles:
Sean hosts and facilitates Drum and Rhythm Circles with many collaborators in Education, Recreation, Health, Business and Entertainment sectors. Conferences, youth initiatives, music and cultural festivals and schools make up many of the repeat participants. Regular clients include; Confederation College, NWOSSSA, music festivals and many more. You can unify your group using the profoundly joyful medium (and metaphor) of the Community Drum Circle! Everything is supplied!

Educational and School Visits:
Sean is active as a classroom presenter with groups spanning pre-school, elementary and high school students, college and university groups and is active with teacher and musician training.

Field Trips/Events:
Music Workshop is a great place to host an educational, team-building or stress-busting event using drums, marimbas, theatre games and more!

The new location (as of May 2014) is on Victoria Avenue East at the corner of Waterloo South.

Lise Vaugeois

Tel: (807) 345-1811
Email: lise.vaugeois@gmail.com
Union: AFM 592; SOCAN

Lise is a composer, musician and educator and has been leading creative music projects in schools across Northwestern Ontario since 1994. She works collaboratively with students and teachers to create and perform original music (vocal and instrumental) using voice, percussion, found instruments and instruments students already play. Linked to curriculum topics, projects are designed to integrate students at all levels of ability. If requested, Lise can also provide a large number of homemade, found and world percussion instruments for students to use.





Visual Arts

Biljana Baker*

Tel: (807) 577-7077
Email: biljanabaker@shaw.ca
Website: www.sixdegreesoffreedom.ca

Biljana is a local artist that has been working with watercolours for almost 30 years. She grew up in Toronto and after high school she studied Fashion Design and Fine Arts at Ryerson University and upon graduation was hired as a Fashion Designer. The watercolour painting was a natural progression from her designing life. The softness and spontaneity of watercolours are the motivating factor in her unique paintings and the innovative mat carving adds another dimension to her work. She has worked delivering educational programming at Confederation College, 55Plus and in the public school board with Learning Through the Arts and CAHEP for several years. She enjoys working with students of all ages. Her work is well known in Thunder Bay.

Kathleen Baleja

Tel: (807) 623-6732
Email: kathleenbaleja@yahoo.com
Website: www.kathleenbaleja.com

Kathleen is a multimedia visual artist working primarily with natural materials, glass, metal and stone. Her jewellery and stained and sandblasted glass can be found for sale in Thunder Bay, Manitoba and Minnesota. Recent work includes cast papier-mâché pieces using wasp nest paper. Kathleen is able to offer a wide selection of options suitable for the classroom including hand-sewn books, papier-mâché sculptures, jewellery, copper embossing, pebble mosaic mirrors, puppets, quilting, handmade paper, juggling sticks, mask making and doll making. Her focus in the classroom is on problem-solving and process.

Betty Carpick

Tel: (807) 344-7405
Email: carpick.betty@gmail.com

Betty Carpick is a multi-disciplinary artist of aboriginal descent. Her practice includes writing, spoken word, visual art, theatre and film. She has taught the children’s Theatre in Education program at Magnus Theatre with a focus on play-based learning for 12 years. In 2014, she conceived and directed a short film, “impersians” which incorporates documentary footage and digital painting. She is directing the play, “People Like You” for the 10 x10 play project. Betty has participated in six OAC-funded film projects in various capacities. She is the Chair of the Flash Frame Film and Video Network.

Elliot Doxtater-Wynn*

Email: doxtater_wynn@shaw.ca

Elliott Doxtater-Wynn has been avidly working within both the Catholic and Lakehead school boards since graduating with an HBFA from Lakehead University. His work both professionally and with students ranges from 2-D, 3-D sculpture to performance based activities and presentations.
A key component of his presentations and workshops is to draw out the creativity of the students creating an environment that is fun and engaging to reach the students and help them achieve their goals. In recent years, Elliott has received recognition for contributions to the community by the North Western Ontario Aboriginal Youth Achievement Awards, and was selected to represent Canada as a host artist for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

Brian Holden

Tel: (807) 623-3347
Email: brianholden@shaw.ca
Website: www.brianholden.ca
Blog: www.myprintmakingjourney.blogspot.com

Brian has considerable experience in different areas of the visual arts but his extensive experience in printmaking is what stands out. This includes relief block, plate etching, silkscreen and several other printmaking techniques that incorporate the use of non-toxic materials. In addition he also offers projects that incorporate other media including digital photography, digital video, collage, mix media, 3D art, painting and drawing. He has considerable experience as an Arts Educator who regularly visits regional schools through CAHEP programming and the Artist in Education program through the Ontario Arts Council.

Natalie Hotson

Tel: (807) 631-2465
Email: nhotson@lakeheadu.ca

Natalie is a visual Artist working in many mediums including watercolour, acrylics, tie-dye, papier-mâché, pastels, pencil, ink, charcoal, beaded jewelry, murals and painted furniture. She has experience as a Dress designer and Interior designer. To devote herself fully to Art and Design fulfills a childhood ambition to celebrate the sheer beauty of the world around her through art.

Natalie has enjoyed passing on her knowledge, skill and zeal for art to others through coordinating art projects and teaching students of all ages. Natalie currently works in the schools with The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Learning Through the Art’s program. Natalie is the owner of Natworks Interior Design.

Carol Kajorinne*

Tel: (807) 708-4612
Email: ckajorin@lakeheadu.ca

Carol Kajorinne (HBFA) is an emerging artist born and raised in rural Thunder Bay, Ont. Since completing her Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts at Lakehead University, Carol has spent her time creating art in various forms including: welding steel, painting, assemblages, wearable art, music, and performance. Over the years, Carol has been developing her skills as an art instructor – working at various facilities for organizations such as: Willow Springs Creative Centre, CAHEP, and the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

Derek Khani

Tel: (807) 632-1923
Email: artvisions@tbaytel.net
Website: www.derekkhani.ca

Derek is a multidisciplinary artist who offers flexible visual art programming. Depending on the interests of partners involved, he is able to accommodate projects including painting, drawing, sketching, sculpture, murals, graphic design, graffiti, printing, set-design, digital photography, and stop-motion animation.

Originally from the Seychelles Islands, Derek did his Fine Arts degree in Germany, after which he completed a Bachelor of Education at Sussex University in Brighton, UK. Derek is fluent in four languages including French. A father of three, he is passionate about children and encourages personal and academic development through visual literacy. Derek is also an advocate of eco-friendly art projects that inspire children to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Tuula Kilgour

Tel: (807) 344-6339
Email: tuulakilgour@hotmail.com

In her retirement from high school Art teaching, Tuula is enjoying the time to expand her own creativity. Presently, she is carving in woodblocks, logs, and driftwood, tooling in copper, painting rocks or whatever sparks her intuitive nature. Her subject matter are based on wildlife and the creations take on the characteristics of the shapes, forms and textures she discovers within each material. Realism and whimsy are dancing to life in many forms. Since 2001, she continues as a contract lecturer at Lakehead University Faculty of Education, teaching Curriculum and methods in the Visual Arts to classes from September to November and January to March, giving her some fabulous time off for personal development.

Frtiz Lehmberg*

Tel: (807) 475-9758
Tel: 1 (888) 244-0745
Email: earlysnows@tbaytel.net

Fritz has been a studio potter since 1983 and has created wood fired pottery since 1990. He has been an artist educator since 2000, teaching functional and sculptural work along with tile design.

John Mackett

Tel: (807) 344-2789
Email: johnmackett@hotmail.com

John Mackett is a known Thunder Bay Artist with a fantastic history of honouring Canada’s Original Peoples. John created a theme idea of storytelling First Nations’ History in an exclusive series of numbered prints originally on T-shirts showcased in his own Park Avenue Store and in Gallery Gift Shops throughout Canada. He continues to do so and in recent years has been active with working with Children from all walks in Thunder Bay Schools, The Baggage Building Arts Centre, The George Jeffrey Children’s Centre, The Ontario March of Dimes, and Autism Ontario Workshops. John Mackett is known as a Fabric Artist and Culturally based Historian showcasing First Nations’ Artifacts and related hands on, time machine exhibits he provides for young learners to further their understanding and experience in learning about Canada’s First People. John shares his knowledge and art form, engaging both Educator’s and Youth with his passionate respect for our Country’s most exciting past.

Judy Czank-Mayor

Tel: (807) 577-5334
Email: judy_cm@msn.com

Judy is a multi-medium visual artist whose works have been accepted to juried shows nationally and internationally. Judy expresses her passion for art and her love of nature and wildlife in her works. Painting can take many forms and directions that Judy enjoys exploring. Judy enjoys helping children to express their creative minds through art. Taking course at the college she continues to learn and explore new techniques and ideas, bringing this to her students. Having been with this program for many years she enjoys seeing the excitement that the children have for art. Anything from acrylic painting, watercolor, sculpture or collage, the sky’s the limit. Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

Debbie Metzler

Email: debonair@tbaytel.net

Debbie is a visual artist and author specializing in drawing, painting, fine craft and teaching. She is available for commission work including portraits of pets, hand painted wooden crafts such as birdhouses, boxes and mirror with nature or fantasy themes. She has over thirty years’ experience as an exhibiting visual artist and art educator and is available for workshops, and private lessons in a number of artistic disciplines including child art, drawing, watercolour painting and design. Debbie’s art has been shown in galleries in Western Canada and in the USA and is collected by patrons worldwide. Please call to visit her studio. Framed and unframed drawings, prints and paintings as well as many beautiful fine crafts are waiting for good homes.

Lora Northway & Boy Roland

Tel: (807) 251-3826
Email: loradefsup@hotmail.com
Website: www.loranorthway.com | www.definitelysuperior.com/get-involved/die-active

Lora Northway and Boy Roland are multidisciplinary artists who focus on community art and graffiti. As arts educators with over 10 years’ experience, they founded the Die Active Art Collective, the largest art collective in Canada with almost 600 members. In the past six years, they have facilitated dozens of art events, workshops and group graffiti murals including Waverly Library, Mac’s Convenience stores, Cooke Street, Children’s Centre Thunder Bay, Gender Issues Centre at LU, and more. This street art duo likes to work collaboratively with groups of youth to create memorable and youth-relevant art that engages and excites those involved. They love to explore projects relating to stencil work, lettering, silk screening/ wearable art, characters & animation, mixed media painting, mural making, collage, and overall fun & explosive mess making.

Dayna Slingerland

Email: daynaslingerland@gmail.com

Dayna is an emerging arts educator originally from Penetanguishene, Ontario, who now resides in Thunder Bay. She holds a teaching degree from Lakehead University, and is currently pursuing her Masters of Education at Lakehead University. Her research focusses on the enriching potentials for community-based arts education.

During her time in the North, she has facilitated craft circles at a number of local schools, acted on the Board of Directors of Willow Springs Creative Centre, and is a volunteer for many local arts organizations. Dayna has worked with CAHEP through their community programming, offering workshops in sewing, needle and wet felting, and DIY mitten making using recycled wool sweaters.

Dayna enjoys working with felt, be it needle felting, wet felting, or nuno felting. Her experience includes creating art pieces using natural materials as well as engaging with textiles. Currently working in the realms of artist, teacher and researcher she honors the process of art making as well as the final product.

Tine M. Schrijvers

Tel: (807) 628-4211 | (807) 983-2233
Email: tinemschrijvers@gmail.com

Tine Schrijvers has a passion for teaching art and inspiring students to express their creative selves. She has 30 years of experience in Secondary Visual Arts developing courses and teaching pottery, jewellery making (silversmith techniques), glass slumping and etching, copper enameling, fabric arts, and silk painting, as well as design, painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture and works in a broad range of mediums. She has also taught glass etching and pottery workshops to elementary school children. She is a practicing artist and has had her work in shows in China and in Ontario. She has an HBFA, University of Saskatchewan, B of Ed Lakehead University and Honours Specialist Visual Arts, University of Toronto.