Artistic and Leadership Team
Director; Cultural Ambassador; Lead Writer
Renae is Cree and Saulteaux from the Treaty 1 Territory of Manitoba and has worked across Canada and Internationally in film, television and music since the early 80s. She is honoured to have received cultural teachings through social and ceremonial songs and stories with the Secwepemc, Okanagan, Nlaka’pamux, Cree and Anishnaabe peoples. Renae toured internationally with her singing group M’Girl; served as Aboriginal Storyteller at the Vancouver Public Library and directed Down2Earth, an APTN TV Series on green-energy developments and sustainability projects in Maori (New Zealand) and First Nations (Canada) communities. Community building projects include the winter outdoor production Contest of the Winds with Caravan Farm Theatre, the community play Tuwitames with Splatsin Language Program (Secwepemc Nation)/Runaway Moon Theatre, and co-writing In the Heart of a City: The Downtown Eastside Community Play and Storyweaving with Vancouver Moving Theatre.
Community-Engagement Liaison; Co-writer
Rosemary’s passion is in bringing youth, elders and ancestors together through storytelling and cross-cultural connections. A Coast Salish and Sahtu Dene storyteller, playwright and filmmaker, her stories are deeply rooted in her family’s long history on Galiano Island. Georgeson has been recognized for her collaboration and sharing of stories with the award-winning play and CBC radio documentary Women in Fish, and her continued involvement as storyteller and writing group organizer for women in Vancouver’ Downtown Eastside. Rosemary has been Storyteller in Residence at the Vancouver Public Library (2014), and facilitator for the From Where We Speak project and A Community Remembers, working with 1st Nations youth on and off reserve to create and perform their own stories.
Born and raised in the commercial fishing industry, and with a background in the culinary arts, she has worked as a collaborating artist, storyteller and community liaison for Vancouver Moving Theatre and urban ink productions. Rosemary co-wrote We’re All In this Together and Storyweaving.
Project Artistic Director; Co-writer
Savannah, born in Oklahoma, USA, is an immigrant to Canada and twelfth generation descendant of refugees from Europe; her tangled blood lines travel further than she has concrete knowledge. A writer/theatre artist trained in dance, mime and music, Savannah is co-founder /artistic director of Vancouver Moving Theatre, with whom she has toured four continents; created a series of community-engaged productions for/with/and about Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside; and served as associate artistic director of the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival. She collaborates with artists of many genres, traditions and cultures to create productions that interweave localized content with accessible storytelling, spectacle and live music. She co-wrote Storyweaving with Rosemary Georgeson and Renae Morriseau and co-wrote In the Heart of a City: the Downtown Eastside Community Play, We’re All in This Together, Against the Current, Bread & Salt and The Big House.
Terry is Co-founder/Executive Director of award winning Vancouver Moving Theatre, and Artistic Producer of the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival. Terry has produced numerous ground-breaking and innovative community-engaged productions including among others The DTES Community Play, Storyweaving and Bread & Salt.
An award winning artist and community-organizer, Terry is involved in many Vancouver-based arts initiatives and organizations, and currently serves as Co-Vice Chair of the City of Vancouver Arts and Policy Council. Of Scots/English/Danish heritage, his ancestors arrived on Turtle Island six generations ago. Terry danced for eight years in the ceremony lodge of Elder Howard Mecas (Waywayseecappo Nation, Manitoba), and carries the name ‘Ozhoawashkaanakwad’ (Blue Cloud).
Kathleen Flaherty is the Dramaturg at PTC. She collaborates with theatre makers to dig into the deep structure and essential story or idea, the soul, of a work, building outward with concrete details and images to manifest a piece of theatre live in space with the capacity to engage an audience. She is a former producer of radio drama and Ideas documentaries for CBC Radio. She has the privilege of being a working class woman from small prairie towns who has achieved an MFA in Directing and collaborated to make theatre across Canada for forty years – from the ‘happenings’ and collective creations of the early ‘70s to post-modernism and the post-dramatic. She has lived on unceded Coast Salish territory for the past twenty years.
Sam’s traditional name is Tulkweemult of the Snaw-Naw-us First Nation. He is a nationally recognized Vancouver-based actor, a former Jessie Richardson GVTA nominee for Best Actor in Headlines Theatre’s production of Out of the Silence and nominated for Best Actor by Edmonton’s Dreamspeakers Film Festival for his performance in Dana Claxton’s The Red Paper. Sam’s theatre productions include Drylips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing at the Arts Club; Storyweaving and Bah! Humbug! with Vancouver Moving Theatre; Age of Iron, Farewell, and Ecstacy of Rita Joe at the Firehall Theatre; ; and Time Stands Still with Toronto’s Native Earth Theatre. He was also at the Lytton River Festival with Savage Soc iety’s production of Abandoned Boy.
Vern Bevis hails from Vancouver and is from the Okanagan Nation. He has been involved in Vancouver’s film industry for over a decade, as a film-maker and as an actor. Vern will appear in episodes of the upcoming Altered Carbon, the Netflix science fiction television series. He has also appeared in Market Masters Legal (TVC) and No Reservations (directed by Trevor Carroll). Vern’s music and poetry can be heard on Soundcloud under the stage name Broadway Street and music videos on Broken Dreams Entertainment (YouTube). He also has the YouTube channel Vern Bevis. The future can only get brighter.
She is Salish on both sides of her family with links to Irish, Welsh, Basque and Chinese people. She was raised in potlatch, her mother's culture and in the East side of Vancouver, before north Commercial was called Little Italy. Surrounded by artists and people who wanted social change, she became an artist. With a young daughter and family support in Toronto, she graduated with a Master's in theatre. She dabbles in poetry more for herself than anyone else and is here to perform and incite positive change.
Jonathan Fisher is Pottawattami, Muckwa Dodem (Bear Clan) from the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, Three Fires Confederacy on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. He has performed as an actor, dancer and singer in productions across Canada and USA. Favourite roles include Jayko/Candy Man in “Night” (Human Cargo), Lupi in “Lupi, The Great White Wolf” (De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre Group) in the Anishnabe language. John Pai in “The Indolent Boys” (Syracuse Stage), Almighty Voice in “Almighty Voice & His Wife” (Native Earth), Creature Nataways in “Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing” (Red Roots Theatre), Mark in “Time Stands Still” (Native Earth), and in Ian Ross’ Governor General Award winning play “farewel” (Prairie Theatre Exchange/Great Canadian Theatre Company/Traverse Theatre), for which he performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Jonathan has performed in Prague, Czech Republic across Canada, the U.S. and at the Aboriginal festival in Woodford, Australia.
TAI AMY GRAUMAN
Tai Amy Grauman is Metis Cree and Haudenosaunee from Ardrossan, Alberta. She is bilingual, as she grew up speaking French. She has a BFA in Acting from UBC with a minor in First Nations Studies. She is currently a part of Full Circle's ensemble training program. Tai was Vancouver's Mayor's Emerging Theatre Artist of 2015 nominated be Margo Kane. She is also working with Nightswimming theatre on a commission of a new play which will be developed over the next five years. She is an intern with Alley Theatre, where she is developing a one woman show which will reflect on Pauline Johnson's career as a performer. Tai is also the Arts Club's LEAP program's Level 3 participant. With LEAP she has written a full-length play called "You used to call me Marie". She just completed The Banff Centre's Indigenous Storytellers residency. Recent Credits include Thanks For Giving (Arts Club), THOWXIYA (Axis Theatre), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Carousel Theatre). Tai also wrote and directed "Her name was Mary" at the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
Stephen is a member of the Nicomen Indian Band within the Nlaka’pamux First Nation. He lives with a disability (cerebral palsy), and is a survivor of St. George’s Indian Residential School. An accomplished actor, writer and presenter, Stephen has presented in western and eastern Canada to groups regarding his personal experiences in residential school as an Aboriginal person living with a disability. He has lived in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside since 1992. He loves the character, the heart, and the courage of this community where he’s learned about the human spirit and its will to survive in spite of all the challenges it encounters. He enjoys people he meets, poetry, creative writing, acting (The Downtown Eastside Community Play, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Storyweaving). He serves as President of BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS). Stephen is the recipient of the 2016 Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in recognition of his significant, sustained, unpaid contribution to his community. He believes that the arts are one of many ways to build bridges culturally and socially.
Sophie Merasty is of the Dene and Woodlands Cree Nations on the northwestern tip of the beautiful Reindeer Lake of Manitoba. Her extensive theatre background has brought her into contact with several Canadian Theatre companies including Whitehorse’s, Hardly Art in Yvette Nolan’s, Anna Mae’s Movement, Saskatchewan’s, Spark Theatre in Tomson Highway’s’ Rez Sisters, Toronto’s, Signal Theatre’s production of Bearing for the Luminato Festival. Her credits include film, television and voice-overs for radio drama. She performed in Marie Clement’s, Unnatural and Accidental Women which premiered at Vancouver’s Firehall Arts Theatre and was Leo-nominated for her role as Verna in the film version.
She had also hosted two seasons of Kim Soo Goodtrack’s, Wankaheja, an aboriginal children’s television series for APTN. Sophie recently performed in Renellta Arluk’s, Pawakan Macbeth with Edmonton’s Prospero Theatre and is now pleased to be part of Vancouver Moving Theatre’s production and tour of Weaving Reconciliation.
LATASH MAURICE NAHANEE
As a life-long learner and practitioner of Squamish culture Latash Maurice Nahanee, is proud to share his cultural locally and internationally. Latash has travelled overseas to Asia and Europe as a cultural ambassador for the Squamish Nation. He has performed in Taiwan, Japan, Switzerland and Italy. He has travelled abroad to share traditional songs, legends and dances at cultural festivals. His cultural teachings came from the example of his parents and community elders. Latash has been performing for over 25 years as a lead singer and speaker with his family dance group, the Chinook Song Catchers. He was also featured as a speaker in The Road Forward, a play and film by Marie Clements documenting the rise of First Nations activism.
As the daughter of a residential school survivor, Tracey grew up in the fallout of the residential school system and believes strongly in the reconciliation process. Tracey began her theatre training in Vancouver in the late 90's at Spirit Song Native Theatre & Training Co. She moved home to Manitoba, completed an honors degree in theatre from U of Winnipeg, and has worked professionally since 1993, as family commitments (2 now grown daughters) would allow. Recent theatre and film credits include: Crazy Bone in A Short History of Crazy Bone (World Premiere), TPM; Cleopatra in Antony & Cleopatra, SIR; Rose in Burden of Truth, Eaglevision; Lord & Lady Capulet, Romeo & Juliet; SIR
Dalgum’ha – Delhia Nahanee
Dalgum’ha is Nisga’a from the House of La’ay. Through songs, dance and storytelling she shares her Indigenous culture with the world. Dalgum’ha holds two Bachelors Degrees in Psychology and Social Work. She works with families and children as a Family Service Plan coordinator at Raincity Housing. She has performed with the Chinook SongCatchers for 25 years. The group has performed locally and overseas in Asia and Europe.
Dorothy has stage managed shows for many different theatre companies which has taken her across Canada several times. Highlights include projects with Jumblies Theatre (Toronto), Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Runaway Moon Theatre (Enderby, BC), New World Theatre, PuSh Festival, Theatre for Living, and Vancouver Moving Theatre.
Bryan is a Vancouver based designer and has worked across Canada doing set, lighting, and projection design. He is of European descent from Nova Scotia who grew up on the Mi'kmaq territory. Recent credits include: Forget About Tomorrow, Taking Off, Mom’s The Word, This Little Light, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Other: Only Drunks and Children Tell The Truth (Fire Hall Arts Centre), Peter and Star Catcher, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Capilano University), Miss Understood (Frank Theatre), The Patron Saint of Stanley Park (Halifax Theatre for Young People),Trojan Women, Steel Magnolias (Douglas College), Bah Humbug! (SFU Cultural Programs/Vancouver Moving Theatre), Boeing Boeing (Keyano Theatre, Fort McMurray). www.bryankenney.com
2016 WCMA Winner, 2015 IMA Winner, 2010 APCA Winner, 2007 Juno Nominee, CAMA Award Winning artist and 2009 Jessie Richardson Award Nominee (DORA Award), Jason Burnstick is a Plains Cree musician and composer who performs with his arsenal of weissenborns and lap slide guitars. Also a respected singer and songwriter in his own right, Jason is known for his ability to freely move from one style to the next, attributing this freedom to his musical upbringing. He has toured with the Andean group Kanatan Aski, performed with artists Leela Gilday, George Leach and INEZ, and has written music for, and appeared in, touring theatre, in documentaries and on television in addition performing with his own band across Canada.
Crystine Booth is a multifaceted artist and designer who has been playing dress-up for a long time now. She has been active as a costumer in Vancouver’s film and television business since the early 80’s. With a versatile array of skills, Crystine has worked not only as a costume designer, but has also supported many other internationally renowned designers in a variety of roles. Extensive Film and TV credits as a costumer include Lost In Space, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Deadpool, The Neverending Story, Danger Bay, Once Upon A Time, Caprica, Elegy, An Unfinished Life, and Kundun. Crystine designed costumes for such shows as North of 60, Higher Ground, Lucky 7, Kevin of the North, Big and Harry, Rupert’s Land. She was nominated for a Genie Award for her costume designs for Once In A Blue Moon.
Bill Beauregarde is Cree / Metis from the Enoch First Nation base in Alberta. He has made and performed with masks, puppets and stilts, and worked as technical director (CHAOS festivals), house technician (Green Fools Theatre, Calgary), and set-builder (Jubilations Dinner Theatre, Winnipeg). Since moving to Vancouver in 2011, he has worked with Vancouver Moving Theatre as a design and making assistant (The Big House and Realms of Refuge) and as production staff (Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival) and with Theatre Terrific as co-director, designer and puppet-maker of Hidden Stories and co-set construction of Egni’s Eye. Bill has served as Coordinator of Cultural and Community Programs for the Aboriginal Front Door Societ, and as community drop-in coordinator at DTES Neighbourhood House. He studied in Edmonton, Alberta at the University of Alberta and the Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts.
Fibre Processing Animateur
Sharon Kallis is the founding director of eartHand Gleaners Society and a community-engaged environmental artist who has lived and worked in the downtown east-side since 1996. Over the years Sharon's art practice has grown while narrowing in focus to working with both the plants and people she meets in her own community and during traveling residencies.
CHANDRA MELTING TALLOW
Chandra Melting Tallow is an interdisciplinary artist, film-maker, graphic artist, musician, and performer of mixed ancestry from the Siksika Nation. They've been involved in the arts in various capacities since their teenager years through an exposure to theatre and spoken word through their mother, participating on film-screening panels and sharing poetry in the Indigenous arts community in Calgary as early as age 16. They spearhead the experimental music project Mourning Coup and released a full length LP Baby Blue in 2015 through No Sun Recordings. They've also created sound art collages for various projects including Untitled Art Society as well as their own films. In 2017 Haunted House Books in Montreal published a collection of their short stories as well as an accompanying self-produced audio book on tape " Horse Boy I am Writing to You From Prison. Last year they also produced a short film, composed a live soundtrack and an accompanying performance for Unsettling Colonial Gender Boundaries as part of Queer Arts Fest. They have directed, edited and filmed a number of music videos and experimental films as well as recently co-editing Coney Island Baby a short film collaboration with Gabrielle L'Hirondelle Hill, Jeneen Frei Njootli and Tania Willard. Common themes throughout their practice involves confronting the ghosts of intergenerational trauma, utilizing the power of humour to subvert existing oppressive structures of power, articulating the relationship between trauma, the body and the manifestation of chronic illness, while being ever mindful of the ancestral presence throughout the creative process.
MICHELLE SYLLIBOY (Mi’kmaq)
Video Image Creator and Text Contributions
Born in Boston, Michelle is a Mi’kmaq Interdisciplinary artist who was raised in her traditional Mi’kmaq territory We’koqmaq First Nation. Michelle also lived and worked on Coast Salish territory in Vancouver, British Columbia for the past 27 years and consequently earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, and a Masters in Education from Simon Fraser University. As an educator, and artist-in-residence, she has taught Indigenous art theory and sculpture, working with students from kindergarten to post-secondary. Michelle is currently pursuing her PhD in Curriculum and Implementation. Her educational pursuits are aimed at creating language revitalization dialogues and creating a change in people by using art and language as a way to make connections.
JESSICA HALLENBECK/LANTERN FILMS – FILMMAKER
Jessica Hallenbeck is a filmmaker and Phd candidate. She is Dutch and Eastern European (Ashkenazi Jewish). Her Dutch ancestors were some of the first colonizers in Haudenosaunee territory, settling in the 1600s in what is now widely known as Albany, NY. Jessica's work is influenced by her knowledge of her ancestors and the responsibilities connected with the Two Row Wampum treaty, which remains an important and legally binding relationship agreement. Jessica is the co-director of Lantern Films, a small documentary and animation company that is founded on the belief that films should be driven by people who have lived the story. As such Jessica brings a collaborative approach to all of her work. Jessica is also a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia where she is collaborating with Rosemary Georgeson on a seven-year research project that involves 8 generations of Indigenous women, water, and fish leading to family (re)connection.
KERRIANN CARDINAL (Metis)
Tour Production Manager
Kerriann Cardinal has over eight years of experience in managing tours and productions for Ballet BC. She has also served as Special Events Coordinator for the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Production Manager for M & M 2 Productions, Ltd., and Business Development, 1st Assistant Director, Production Coordinator for May Street Productions. She has over ten years of experience in cultivating and fostering relationships while providing leadership and direction for artists and production crews and mentoring for young artists. This includes in-depth experience in monitoring production processes, curating and managing logistics and performers for special events, creating and executing contracts, itineraries and schedules, facilitating educational and community outreach programming, overseeing production budgets and nurturing communications and relationships with major partners and funders. Ms. Cardinal’s hands-on experience as an actor, storyteller and theatre artist, participating in cultural workshops/training at Full Circle First Nations Performance and training at Tooba Physical Theatre provides her with a knowledge-base that is foundational in theatrical tour production, and in coordination with Indigenous partnering organizations.
Debbie has been an active member of the Indigenous Theatre community for the past decade as a technician, technical director and production manager. She has worked as production manager and technical director for various theatre companies in Toronto, Regina, and Vancouver, including NewWorld Theatre, Rumble Theatre, WhyNot Theatre (Riser Project), LemonTree Productions ([MSM]), Native Earth Performing Arts, The Globe Theatre and the Canadian Opera Company. Her technical skills in lighting and sound are used to provide support for storytellers across Canada to create inclusive and informative spaces for people in the arts.
MARISA EMMA SMITH
Marisa is a director, actor and artistic producer of Alley Theatre. She was the resident producer at Neworld Theatre 2012-14, Artistic Producer at Solo Collective in 2014/15 and Artist in Residence at Vancouver Moving Theatre in 2017-18. Recent directing credits include The Ridiculous Darkness (co-directed with Nyla Carpentier), Three Stories Up, O'wet/Lost Lagoon, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Small Parts and numerous staged readings and short works. Her productions have been nominated twice for the "Critic's Choice Award for Innovation", and Alley Theatre productions have been nominated for nine Jessie Awards, winning two. Marisa has also recently received a Jessie Award nomination for "Outstanding Lead Performance" in Little One, which toured to New York and Montreal. Favorite acting credits have included Problem Child, Risk Everything, and Tape (Jessie nomination "Outstanding Production"), Kayak (Firehall), Burning In (Gateway Theatre), The Shoes (Belfry), Carnage (Pi Theatre), and Confessions. Marisa is the recipient of the Joanna Maratta Award for "displaying the most potential to contribute to the Vancouver theatre community".
VMT Intern (Producer and Community-Engagement Liaison Assistant)
Julia was born and is currently living as a theatre maker on unceded Coast Salish Territories. She has worked with companies such as Pacific Theatre, The Only Animal, the Arts Club, the Firehall Arts Centre, the Cultch, Rumble Theatre and Classic Chic Productions. Julia was the volunteer coordinator for the Talking Stick Festival, a Young Ambassador for the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, and community liaison for MACHiNENOISY Dance Society’s PROX:IMITY RE:MIX, a multi-media dance project for queer youth. In 2017, she participated in Talking Treaties with Jumblies Theatre in Toronto, deepening her passion for community engaged arts. Recently she co-created and directed Wyspa for The Only Animal’s Generation Hot: Waterborne in collaborations with five youth artists.
JAMES FAGAN TAIT
James Fagan Tait is a director, actor, and playwright. He directed his own adaptations of The Idiot (Neworld/VMT/UBC/PuSh), The Life Inside (The Belfry), Cyrano (The Arts Club), Old Goriot (Western Gold/PuSh/UBC), A Christmas Carol (The Vancouver Playhouse) and Crime and Punishment (Critics’ Innovation Award. Neworld/VMT/PuSh). He directed King Lear and Timon of Athens at Bard on the Beach and wrote Vassily the Luckless (Critic’s Innovation Award), The Shoes That Were Danced To Pieces and Quasimodo for Boca Del Lupo. He has been nominated for 16 Jessie Richardson Awards as an actor, director, or playwright and has won two. He studied acting and theatre at Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto and Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, and singing and music at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. James has directed VMT co-productions (In the Heart of a City: The Downtown Eastside Community Play; Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; Bread & Salt), and provided staging consultation for The Big House community gathering and cultural feast.
JOHN ENDO GREENAWAY
John Endo Greenaway is an award-winning graphic designer, editor, author, writer, photographer, taiko player, composer and teacher. Mr. Greenaway founded Big Wave Design and has worked in print production, design and the world music fields for over 30 years – from the Vancouver Folk Festival, Chutzpah! Festival and Festival du Bois, to the Japanese Canadian National Museum, National Association of Japanese Canadians and Diane Kadota Arts Management. He is managing editor of The Bulletin, a Journal of Japanese Canadian community, history and culture and Canadian Nikkei (by, for and about Japanese Canadian and West Coast Nikkei experience). Since 2002, John has designed all Vancouver Moving Theatre program guides, posters, promotional and legacy material and web sites. Mr. Greenaway is a recipient of the 2007 National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) Award (Arts and Culture) and the 2016 Japanese Canadian History Preservation & Education Award (Nikei Place Community Awards). Co-founder of Canada's first taiko group (Katari Taiko) and first professional taiko group (Uzume Taiko), he continues to create new works for taiko and other instruments.
In a career that has spanned work as an arts administrator, director of operations, artistic director, grants officer, artist manager and agent, fundraiser and consultant among other responsibilities in both Vancouver and Toronto, Gwen Kallio has focused her attention on arts marketing and publicity since 2001. She has worked with organizational and individual clients from a variety of music forms, as well as in theatre, comedy, the visual arts, and dance. At Global Arts Concerts, she spearheaded the promotion of over 200 Canadian and US concerts and shows. Vancouver clients have included the Chan Centre, World Peace Forum, Talking Stick Festival, Paul Robeson Peace Arch concert, International Arts Initiatives, Ciwko & Cristall, Festival du Bois, Mission Folk Music Festival, LIVE! Biennale, Caravan World Rhythms, Winter Harp, Firehall Theatre, CelticFest Vancouver, Granville Island, and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival – among numerous other concerts, shows, seasons, tours, productions, events, and festivals.