Siobhan (sha-von/Sio/they/she) is of a stolen people living on the stolen, unceded, and ancestral land of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Sio was born and grew up on the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of the Ojibwa, Odawa, and the Potawatomie Nations in Windsor Ontario. As a Black presenting, non-binary person, of mixed African-Indigenous-Latinx-European ancestry living with disability they recognize and value the many intersectionalities that contribute to furthering decolonization practices.
Siobhan is a published and Nationally recognized bilingual writer, speaker, and performer who’s community and artistic work, explores relational justice in many forms. Siobhan is an Unlearning Dramaturgy, S.E.A.R.A. (Sector Equity for Anti-Racism in the Arts) , Start the Wave, and Bankability Awards recipient. A Justice / Equity / Diversity / Inclusion(JEDI) speaker on organizational change, a facilitator with an emphasis on Disability Justice, Body Liberation and Food Sovereignty with Hogan’s Alley Society, Open Access Foundation, Vines Advisory Pollinator, The Federation of Black Canadians, Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals, Community Food Centres Canada, and through consultancy. Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals, Community Food Centres Canada, and through consultancy.
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”.
Artist, involuntary comedian and two-spirit activist, Raven John is of Coast Salish and Stolo Nation decent. This Two-spirit Trickster is a BFA graduate from ECU, with a major in visual art and minor in social practice and community engagement. Raven is a visual artist, cultural consultant, mediator, storyteller, photographer and sculptor. A jack-of-all-trades (and master of a few), their practice covers a wide array of mediums from provocation and humour, puppet making, ceramics, dressmaking, interactive electronics and indigenous technologies. Are you feeling “Icky” about colonization and the ongoing occupation of unceded territory? Feel free to visit their website to directly wire them money.
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.
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.
Kay 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.