Advisory Committee

Haisla Collins

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”.

Colour photo of Heidi smiling, their eyes closed, sitting in front of a window, their left elbow on a table beside them, they have a dark shirt and dark baseball cap backwards on their head

Heidi Nagtegaal

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.

Image Description

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.

Image Description

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.

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