Siobhan (sha-von/Sio/they/she) is of a stolen people living in solidarity on the stolen, unceded, and ancestral land of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, Musqueam, Hwlitsum, Katzie, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Matsqui, Qayqayt, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, and Stó:lō Nations.
Sio is a published, nationally recognized, bilingual, equity and accessibility consultant also sought as a spokesperson, storyteller, and community organizer. Siobhan is an Unlearning Dramaturgy, S.E.A.R.A., Start the Wave, and Bankability Awards recipient. Sio advocates recognizing the impact of intersectionalities in moving toward equity, decolonizing practices, and collective liberation. As a non-binary person, of mixed ancestry, living with disability, they recognize and value the intersection of identities that inform disability justice, artistic practice, change-making, and honouring ancestral teachings.
Sio is a big bodied, caramel coloured, 188cm/6ft2″ person, of mixed Indigenous African Caribbean Latinx European ancestry, with two-toned brown curly shoulder-length hair. A jaunty dimple in their left cheek with wise and sometimes mischievous cocoa coloured eyes.
Haisla Collins was born and raised in Vancouver BC and has mostly Tsimshian, Nisga’a, Gitxsan, and mixed European ancestry. She has a Bachelor of Fine arts from Emily Carr University, 6 years of singing lessons and performance coaching with legendary jazz singer Ron Small, and a year of social sciences from Langara College. In 2019 Haisla won an alumni award from Langara college for community building in the arts.
Haisla’s work is magical and full of patterns and colours, she takes an expressionist approach to North West Coast forms and design and puts an emphasis on indigenous storytelling and cultures. Haisla is most well known for her mural at the Vancouver Public Library “Sisters, Daughters, Clan Mothers”, Her work on collaborative mural on 600 Beatty Street and her involvement in the Big Print Project. Haisla also makes beaded jewellery and sings and plays harmonica with blues and roots band “Haisla with Nasty Brutish and Short”.
Heidi Nagtegaal (BFA, ECUAD, 2005) is an artist, writer, facilitator, and business owner residing on stolen territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Nations. They founded Hammock Residency and Headbands & Bracelets, motivated by exchanges built on currencies that nourish instead of deplete.
Nagtegaal studied trauma and embodiment with Dr. Beth Hedva (2016). They graduated from The School of the Free Hammock (2018), a self-made MFA program based in mutual aid. Focussing on aesthetic encapsulations, emergency vs stability, and DIY methods, they utilise available materials, and craft to make “something out of nothing”. Their artwork manifests as sculptures, intervention, performance, installation,panel talks, writing, and activation.
Disability justice, or any justice really, is not seen as separate from art. However, to rely on art as a political change agent is not enough, and they work to use their platform as artists to also then bring voice to political needs at hand, and also, just doing the ongoing word of advocacy. They identify as a disabled artist. Society as a whole is structured to serve normative bodies, and their whole experience has been non normative. Being high functioning means they “pass” but that doesn’t always mean that’s a good thing.
Their deepest desire is to participate and build into societal structures that don’t just degenerate (take away from the situation), or sustain (it’s ok, as is, good enough), but are regenerative, making the ecosystem around them better. It’s a lifelong goal to figure out what this means for me, and the communities I am a part of and responsible to.
Heidi is sitting by a table in their studio, in front of a softly lit window. They are wearing a backwards baseball cap over their long, brown, shoulder length hair. Their eyes are closed, and they look like you have just said a joke and they are smiling to themselves about it. They have light skin, are middle aged, and casually dressed in an open flannel shirt with rolled up sleeves with a t-shirt underneath with a tarot design on it.
Jotika Chaudhary Samant
Jotika is a Queer Glitter Femme. Her ancestral lands are Fiji & India. She identifies as a racialized settler. She is an Expressive Arts Therapist passionate about supporting BIPoC to (re)connect into their bodies & nervous system through arts creation. She is chronically ill and an interdisciplinary artist who uses visual art & songpoetry to ground herself and cope with trauma, heartache and oppression.
This is a picture of Jotika, a Brown Femme looking into the camera at an angle wearing a big smile with her front teeth showing. The side of her head is shaved, and she has curly black hair. She wears a silver hoop nose ring and dangly earrings, only one of which is visible. She wears a patterned navy blue dress with little white stars. The sun is shining on her face and hand. In the background green shrubbery, a concrete wall, and glass windows are visible.
Kay Slater is a multidisciplinary artist, accessibility consultant and arts worker. As a consultant, they work directly with artists and organizations to build accessibility in, at the planning stage, and to incorporate sustainable, grass roots strategies that support evolution in artistic presentation. Their work is rooted in anti-oppression practices, and they employ open source and community-engaged approaches to support ongoing knowledge transfer with makers and creators at all stages of their careers. Kay is queer and hard of hearing. They use They/Their/Theirs pronouns exclusively online.
Person wearing a yellow raincoat stands in front of a white gallery wall on which 3 works of art are displayed.
Image Caption: Kay at the Oppenheimer Park group show hosted by Gallery Gachet in 2019
Photo credit: Tom Quirk, 2019