Lana Kouchnir presents a poetry performance set blending personal themes of queer femininity, Ukrainian mythology, immigration, and the magical temporality of intergenerational trauma. Lana is an award-winning performance artist and arts facilitator. Her writings and performances center queer Ukrainian folklore and mythology and are driven by a multidisciplinary, community-based approach to storytelling.
Lana graduated from the 2015-2016 Transdisciplinary Arts Residency at the Watah Theatre; she was a recipient of the Watah Theatre's Outstanding Performance Award for her workshop presentation of Vovk, a one-woman play created under the mentorship and dramaturgy of d'bi. young anitafrika. She was selected as a 2015-2016 City of Ottawa 'Youth in Culture' Youth Advisory Committee member and is currently working on her first poetry collection.
Shanika Maria is a Singer-Songwriter from Hamilton, Ontario. She has been playing and performing around Southern Ontario since 2014. In the summer of 2017, she released her debut EP "Childish Games". The EP was a mix-mash of folk-acoustic tunes with a title track pop single. In 2018, Shanika is set to release her full length album “Subtle Uncertainties”. In this upcoming album, Shanika seeks to blur the lines and refuses to put her music in a box. "Subtle Uncertainties" takes on a more produced, full sound that embodies styles that range from pop electronic, beach rock, dark country and folk with support from Hamilton producer Aaron Hutchinson. Shanika explores themes of empowerment, societal expectation, identity and relationships through her music. . http://www.shanikamaria.com.
Beauregard Deville has travelled the world in search of adventure, and he has a million tales to tell. He has climbed a mountain in Pakistan, scaled a waterfall in Jamaica, crashed a motorcycle in Cuba, and started a fight in a donut shop in Saudi Arabia. He has broken hearts, sacrificed in the name of love and cheated death. It was not long ago, he suddenly realized there was only one thing he had never done...own the stage as a drag king. He donned his first fedora last year with Kings & Classics at Buddies in Bad Times. This year, he also performed at the Fierce! International Queer Burlesque Festival, Speakeasy at the Revival and Pride Toronto. So far it's been the journey of a lifetime.. Facebook @beauregarddevilleto // IG @beauregarddeville
Bianca Boom Boom - the Triple B with the Double D's and a High C - is a multidisciplinary striptease sensation. This effervescent beauty has delighted audiences from coast to coast with her signature blend of wit, sass, charm and dazzling vocals. She is a published pinup, an award winning chanteuse and has been featured in major burlesque festivals and queer events across North America.
Sunshine Daydreams is an experimental blend of drag, strip, burlesque, performance art and contemporary dance.
Jordan Campbell is a queer performance artist and creator with a focus on high-aesthetic content and dance. (Th)(s)he(y) is part of xLq, a body of POP ART performance based in ritual and physical play, dedicated to developing new forms of audience engagement for the 21st century brain. xLq recently produced 4inXchange, a business meeting for four participants at a time centred around $1000 cash (commissioned by Nightswimming). Jordan is also a teacher at Purple Carrots Inclusive Drama Studio. Recent performance credits include 72-Person Ball Passing (Charles Moulton, FFDN) and The Youth/Elders Project (Evalyn Perry, Buddies in Bad Times).
JL Whitecrow sardonically explores the concept of “Indian-ness” as it seeps into her every day experiences as a hip, ambitious, and highly creative artist that escaped the Rez for a better life. JL blends stand-up comedy, prose, and performance art for an intimate yet uncomfortable look at living as a First Nations woman that is never Indian enough.
JL is an emerging Ojibway multi-disciplinary artist from Seine River First Nation, Treaty #3 and lives in Toronto. Her practice includes writing, filmmaking, visual art, music, comedy, and performance. Her latest short film is a documentary about a Lacrosse playing community in Fort Erie, produced by the National Film Board and the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres and will be released late 2018. She is also a member of Manifest Destiny’s Child —an Indigenous female comedy collective that has performed across venues in Toronto and at special events including the AGO, ROM, and TIFF parties.
Melissa Taylor presents “Symphony No 6” - an exploration of tthe tender middle between friends and lovers, as two teenage girls foster an intense friendship that is lauded with sexual curiosity and attraction. Is intimacy always romantic, or can it exist somewhere beyond or beside? Stumbling through the pitfalls that accompany coming of age in today's world, Symphony No. 6 explores female closeness through dynamic, string-of-conscious, first-person narration and the re-imagined use of a Greek chorus.
Melissa Taylor is a recent graduate of the Master of Fine Arts Playwriting program at the University of Victoria. She has worked extensively as an actor, playwright, and creator in Victoria, BC, collaborating with hapax theatre, Theatre Inconnu, Langham Court Theatre, and Impulse Theatre. Recent credits include Elizabeth Proctor in Hart House Theatre's The Crucible,performer/creator of rePLAY: Declarations Eating, and was a member of Nightwood Theatre's Young Innovator Program in 2017/2018.
Mugabi Byenkya was born in Nigeria to Ugandan/Rwandan parents and is currently based between Kampala and Toronto. They spent their life across Africa, Asia and North America. Mugabi was longlisted for the Babishai Niwe Poetry Award in 2015, has been featured on Brittle Paper, The Good Men Project, African Writer, Arts and Africa and The Kalahari Review amongst others. Their writing is used to teach international high school English reading comprehension. His debut novel, ‘Dear Philomena,’ was published in 2017 and he recently concluded a 30 city North America/East Africa tour in support of this. An advocate for the intersection of arts, chronic illness, social justice, and literacy, Mugabi leads workshops in effective writing, poetry, performance, vulnerability, mental and chronic illness for youth and adults.
Mona Faith Mousa is a spoken word poet and motivational speaker living in Toronto Ontario. Having toured actively her whole poetry career, last year alone Mona has booked over 200 shows all over North America. When she is at home Mona is heavily active in all facets of her community as the founder and director of Feather & Anchor a talent management agency serving performance artists from the BIPOC & LGBT communities. Over the past 10 years Mona’s mission has been to work to empower people to engage in discussion. The mission is about promoting real love, love as an action that we commit to unconditionally. This love is about safe spaces no matter your religion, social class, gender or sexual orientation. The mission is education & tolerance, no exceptions.
Taura is a collaborative dance work-in-progress that invokes the spirit of bulls in their natural habitat, and as they are first introduced to adversity within the matador’s ring. We are using the imagery of these beautiful animals as an entry point to experimenting with the expansion of flamenco dance vocabulary. Two dancers explore questions of adversity with physical contact and sculpture with the bata de cola, a traditional long-tailed flamenco skirt. Two musicians use percussion to call sounds from the Afro Venezuelan, Colombian and Brazilian traditions. Together, we are discovering a work that is deeply ritualistic, methodical and powered by the desire to dialogue with flamenco dance as a diasporic art form. Choreography: Sofí Gudiño, Collaboration/Dance: Alana Elmer, Pulga Muchochoma, Collaboration/Music: Mari Palhares, Y Josephine