The ecosystems symposium is an introduction to a multi-pronged approach to strengthening artist relations. Each day of the symposium will focus on one of the three pillars of ecosystems: Artist Care, Advocacy and Repair, and Wise Practices. For three days we’ll join in learning and listening from knowledge holders with living and professional experience; we'll share meals, participate in ceremony, and witness art. On the fourth day we will be hosting a community market and show.
We would like to offer this space for our peers and colleagues who are looking for tools to enact systemic change in tangible ways, with help from community members who are leading trailblazing work. This professional development opportunity will include workshops and panels curated with the care and intentionality that characterizes our work. We’re proud to offer an opportunity to gain knowledge that centres anti-oppression, liberation, disability justice, and other values that we believe serve artists and arts workers. We hope that you will join us!
The team at Vines Art Society is excited to introduce the ecosystems Symposium: Strengthening Artist Relations. This four-day symposium (Nov 29-Dec 2) is an opportunity for arts and culture workers to come together to nurture our relationships to each other and sow seeds for growth in our sector.
Wed, November 29 to Sat, December 2, 2023
Famee Furlane Hall
2605 E Pender St.
Vancouver BC, V5K 2B6
Artwork by Jaime Blankinship
Accessible washrooms are available, as well as a ramp to enter the building.
Masks are highly encouraged and will be available.
We will be offering live transcription and are able to offer sighted guiding at attendants’ request.
Limited free spaces for marginalized independent artists are available. Please email us at email@example.com to inquire.
You can find our full accessibility report and venue accessibility offerings at the link below.
Join us for the closing of our ecosystems Symposium on December 2nd, 12-5 pm with a plethora of handcrafted gifts and our lively lineup of entertainment. Free entrance for all guests, both symposium registrants and general audience. Local vendors to be announced soon.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be a vendor.
Afuwa is an artist and dedicated non-profit cultural worker who has worked in neighbouring social service and cultural organizations Watari Counselling and Support Services, The Capilano Review Magazine, and Gallery Gachet. She is a grant writer, workshop facilitator, curator, interviewer, writer, editor, and member of federal, municipal, and grassroots‐level committees. Over the last 17 years she has worked collaboratively to identify and lower the barriers that persist in art galleries and non-profit organizations.
Afuwa brings her own experience as an artist, a support worker, and her training in nonviolent crisis intervention, youth facilitation, and non-profit accounting. Her own artistic practice is a contemporary exploration of lineage and land relations across the Atlantic diaspora, and her sound and art installation Still Salt, Dark Stories was featured in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Vancouver Special: Disorientations and Echo, which closed January 2022.
Am Johal is Director of SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement and Co-Director of SFU's Community Engaged Research Initiative. He has additional affiliations with SFU departments including Graduate Liberal Studies, Centre for Dialogue, Labour Studies and the Institute for the Humanities. He has been on the boards of the Vancity Community Foundation, Bloom Group, Indian Summer Arts Society, 221A, Vancouver International Film Festival, Greenpeace Canada and the City of Vancouver's Arts and Culture Committee. He is the author of 'Ecological Metapolitics: Badiou and the Anthropocene' and co-author of 'Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life: A Tar Sands Tale' with Matt Hern and Joe Sacco.
Meet Ana Santos, the 25 year old alternative soul and hip hop artist hailing from the vibrant city of Vancouver, BC. With her magnetic presence and powerful voice, Ana is reshaping the landscape of soul and hip hop music.Her stage presence is electrifying, commanding attention with her dynamic energy and magnetic charisma. Ana's live performances are a fusion of soulful ballads, fiery rap verses, and captivating storytelling, leaving audiences in awe of her versatility and undeniable talent. Her music serves as a powerful platform for self-expression, and with her thought-provoking lyrics and infectious rhythms, she is inspiring a new generation of listeners and musicians alike.
sχɬemtəna:t, Audrey Siegl, an independent activist from the unceded lands of the Musqueam. She has been active on grassroots environmental and social justice-political frontline movements. Audrey has worked on raising awareness on MMIWG, the housing crisis, the Fentynal crisis, forced displacement and the connection btw extractive industry projects and violations of FN, Land & human rights.
T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss (Skwxwu7mesh, Sto:lo, Hawaiian, Swiss) is an educator, interdisciplinary artist and Indigenous ethnobotanist engaged in community based teaching and sharing. Throughout Wyss’s 30 year practice, Wyss’s work encompasses storytelling and collaborative initiatives through their knowledge and restoration of Indigenous plants and natural spaces. Wyss has been recognized for exchanging traditional knowledge in remediating our relationship to land through digital media, site-specific engagements and weaving. Wyss has participated and exhibited at galleries, museums, festivals and public space such as Vancouver Art Gallery, Morris, Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Gallery and the PuSh Festival to name a few. Their work can be found in various collections such as the National Library of Canada, Special Collections at the Walter Phillips Gallery, and the Vancouver Public Library. They have lead the transformation of Semi-Public (半公開) during their Fellowship at 221a and they are the 2021 ethnobotanist resident at the Wild Bird Sanctuary. They have assisted in developing an urban Indigenous garden currently showing at the 2021 Momenta Biennale in Montreal.
ebonEmpress is an emcee and keyboardist spreading a message of unity through poignant lyrics and head-bobbing, infectious hip hop, jazz, and R&B. In every facet of her life, she’s committed to sharing her lived experience as a woman of African descent, raising awareness about the injustices faced by racialized communities, and showcasing the positive impact that people of African descent have on Canadian and global cultures.
Elliott Hearte is an artist, arts consultant, and administrator with a background in equity in the arts and cultural management. Elliott has worked across Canada in leadership roles in the creative industry, and has had the privilege to work with artist run centres, festivals, distributors, and arts service organizations, across disciplines in urban and non-urban communities. A graduate of the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts, her work in film, video and new media has shown extensively in festivals and galleries across Canada, USA, and Europe. She primarily works from the stolen land of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and is the Executive Director of Arts BC and President of the Media Arts Alliance of the Pacific.
in an act of rebellion, fanny walked away from nearly a decade as a social worker and headed west to pursue lifelong dreams. fanny fuses her experience as a social worker and lived experiences as a marginalized human to express her artivism through means of poetry, storytelling and community advocacy. in 2021 fanny won the Harold Green theatre monologue competition. they sit on the Curtain Razors arts board. her first book, umi's prayer was released June 2023. fanny is a Black, Sapphic, Jewish settler working towards land & relational justice.
Hampton (they/them) is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, rapper, and multidisciplinary artist who has been making music their entire life. Their voice has been described as a cross between Moses Sumney and Brittney Howard and is predominantly composed on a Loop pedal using whatever instruments (or objects!) that they find.
Their art is informed by their experiences living as a mixed, Black, trans, neurodivergent, disabled person and speaks to the oppressive violence enacted in our current colonial and capitalist social systems. The work is based in a constant critique of themself, their community, and society at large.
(The music is the sugar to lessen the blow felt by the truth to their words.)
I am a community organizer, artist, and facilitator living on Musqueam, Squamish and Tsliel-Waututh territories. I am the Artistic Director at Vines, and have grown with the festival since it’s beginning over the past seven years. I am so grateful to have been learning with the community of artists who percolate the work we do. I am committed to my responsibility to imagine and co-create nurturing creative spaces for artists. Outside of Vines I utilize my Somatic Education training from Tamalpa Institute to facilitate movement and expressive arts classes. In the past I have worked for Raven Spirit Dance, PuSh International Arts Festival, Dancing on the Edge and the Firehall. I love to garden at Harmony garden, X̱wemelch’stn pen̓em̓áy, hang out by a river and eat good food with community. I can sometimes be found performing in unexpected outdoor spaces with the collective Pressed Paradise.
Jada-Gabrielle Pape is Coast Salish from the Saanich and Snuneymuxw Nations on Vancouver Island. She is passionate about creating safer spaces for all people, healthy and direct communication and decolonizing. She has been working with rural and remote Indigenous Peoples and communities for more than 28 years, including environmental organizations, municipalities, school boards, hospitals and prisons. Her anti-oppression and anti-racism work is birthed out of traditional and wise teachings brought forward from Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Community Members, and Mentors. She holds a Masters from UBC and is also a certified professional counsellor who specializes in trauma and grief, a college instructor at the Justice Institute of BC, a filmmaker, a mixed media painter and a single mother to a fantastic 16 year old daughter.
jaye simpson is an Oji-Cree Saulteaux nonbinary transfemme storyteller from the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. An avid community organizer with a fondness of Social Justice and Equity, they find themselves often planning rallies, teach-ins, reading series and celebrations of resistance.
jaye is a displaced indigenous person living, creating and occupying on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations territories.
jaz is a secwe̓pemc & mixed settler interdisciplinary artist who embodies anti-professionalism & anti-colonialism as a way to move toward a future where indigenous knowledge and ways of being are not only respected, but valued & revered. using a range of materials, forms and mediums they work to investigate and express their lived experience and understanding of spirituality, resistance, ancestral connections, and community care.
jaz’s ancestry ties them to cstálen ( adams lake ) in unceded secwepemcúl’ecw in the southern interior of so-called “british columbia” where they had the privilege of being raised close with the lands and waters within their territories & beyond, and it informs their work expansively.
living predominantly on the west coast since 2017, the bulk of their work has bloomed within the territories of the Skwxwú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ, xʷməθkwəy̓əm, and Stó:lō where they have been overwhelmed with the warmheartedness & generosity of the host nations and allied communities.
Jillian Christmas is an artist, creative facilitator, curator, consultant, and advocate in the arts community. She is the long-time spoken word curator of the Vancouver Writers Fest, and former artistic director of Verses Festival of Words. Utilizing an anti-oppressive lens, Jillian has performed and facilitated workshops across North America. She is the author of The Gospel of Breaking (Arsenal Pulp Press 2020), and the children’s book, The Magic Shell (Flamingo Rampant Press 2022). She lives on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam people (Vancouver, BC.)
Jolene Andrew, a Witsuwit’en and Gitxsan artist. Raised in the village of Witset. Luksilyu Clan Member, Under the House of Many Eyes, following her maternal grandmother kinship. Jolene’s art comes in the through in the form of weaving, and painting designs that marry symbolisms and teachings expressed through the shapes, forms and depictions. Her work reflects her values, teachings and interconnection to stories and histories and memory.
Joyce Rosario is performing arts curator, facilitator and consultant based on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (Vancouver BC) and is the first generation of her Pangasinan family to be born on this territory. Joyce’s practice is guided by values of collaboration, rigour and care and over her career has gained broad exposure in interdisciplinary, experimental and community-based performance. She is a certified facilitator of the Critical Response Process and is currently a Cultural Planner at the City of Vancouver. Early in the pandemic she was a freelancer with organizations such as The Cultch, Museum of Vancouver, Canada Dance Festival, and Fascinator Management. Previously, Joyce spent over 15 years in programming and senior leadership positions in Canada, including PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, New Works and Made in BC - Dance on Tour. She studied Theatre Production/Design at UBC following her first foray in performance as a teenage participant in a ‘new genre’ public art project by Suzanne Lacy.
karmella benedito de barros (they/them) is a tired 2S afro-brazilian & mistawasis nêhiyawak plant lover, youth worker, community weaver, sporadic artist and collaborative organizer. they are a co-founder of the art ecosystem collective, member of the indigenous brilliance collective, youth engagement facilitator with vancouver coastal health and garden coordinator at xʷc̓ic̓əsəm UBC garden.
born and raised in diaspora as an uninvited guest on stolen & unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territories; karmella’s artistic practice is informed by the land, displacement and a desire to heal through perennial creative dialogue. cultivating a sense of connection and belonging, celebrating fractals and the little things is all central to karmella's creative and care work. their most recent experimental film “Black Native” is featured in Activations Of Solidarity with the Indigenous Curatorial Collective (2021), and poetry is featured in the collaborative exhibition “A Genocide Laid Bare” at Massy Arts (2023)
Katia Asomaning (she/they/he) is a settler on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. They are passionate about: advocating for marginalized people; creating opportunities for community; building equity into as many sectors as they can get their hands on; and plants.In addition to their work in community relations and outreach, Katia is also Director of Operations for Pink Flamingo, a Black-led advocacy group that uplifts the QTBIPOC community, and sits on the Board of Directors for Helm Studios, a not-for-profit, music production studio that offers sliding scale and zero cost services.
Manuel Axel Strain is a non-binary 2-Spirit artist with Musqueam/Simpcw/Inkumupulux ancestry, based in stolen, sacred and ancestral homelands and waters of the Katzie/Kwantlen peoples. Although they have attended Emily Carr University of Art + Design they prioritize Indigenous epistemologies through the embodied knowledge of their mother, father, siblings, cousins, aunties, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents, and ancestors. Creating artwork in dialogue, collaboration, and reference with their kin/relatives, their lived experience becomes a source of agency that resonates through their work with performance, space, painting, sculpture, photography, video, sound and installation. Their artworks display a strong autobiographical brace, tackling such subjects as ancestral and community ties, Indigeneity, labour, resource extraction, gender, Indigenous medicine, and land. Their work has been seen in the Capture Photography Festival, the Richmond Art Gallery, Surrey Art Gallery, and other places across Turtle Island. Recent works confront and undermine realities and imaginaries of colonialism to offer a space that exists beyond that matrix of power.
Hi! I’m a young neurodivergent, disabled, queer and trans person from Iztacalco mexico city living in Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam territories since 2012. I joined Vines in 2019 and have been a resident grump ever since. I believe that we all deserve access to art, and that art is a powerful form of protest against oppression. Outside of Vines I also consult, facilitate, and develop programming and resources, focusing on 2STN healthcare access and disability justice in art. I strive to build strong and healthy relationships amongst marginalized communities through centering lived experience and anti-oppression.
I am an immigrant from Bangladesh residing on the unceded, ancestral, and traditional lands of the musqueam, squamish andtsleil-waututh first nations. As a community advocate and activist at Downtown Eastside, I am currently responding to the opioid andfentanyl crisis, and work with the most marginalized, exploited and vulnerable population in the area. I am also a documentary photographer, artist and farmer in progress, find myself consumed in food sovereignty and involved in land justice resistance movements.
Senaqwila Wyss is from the Squamish Nation, Tsimshian, Sto:lo Hawaiian and Swiss. She is completing her Bachelors in Communications and First Nations studies at SFU. She is an ethnobotanist and warrior entrepreneur. She co-owns Raven and Hummingbird Tea Co. With mother T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss using Indigenous plant teachings to share with people of all ages. She is also sharing her knowledge to the next generation with daughter Kamaya. Senaqwila facilitates indigenous plant knowledge workshops and has experience in professional communications and coordination and event planning.
Siobhan (Sio/they/she) is of a stolen people living and working in solidarity on the stolen, and ancestral land of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), Hwlitsum, Katzie, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Matsqui, Qayqayt, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, and Stó:lō Nations.
Sio is a published, nationally recognized bilingual Storyteller, equity, disability justice, and food sovereignty change maker & consultant. Sio is an Unlearning Dramaturgy, S.E.A.R.A., Start the Wave, and Bankability Awards recipient. As a non-binary person of mixed ancestry living with visible and invisible disability, they recognize and value the intersection of identities that inform disability justice, artistic practice, change-making and honouring ancestral teachings.
Richard Brown is a professional drummer based in Vancouver, BC. He has recorded and performed with a number of popular artists as diverse as Ernest Ranglin, Wanting Qu, Pee Wee Ellis, Yellowman, Broken Social Scene, Dave Swarbrick, Jason Wilson, Delhi 2 Dublin, most recently a stint with Big Sugar and many more. Richard has toured in Southeast Asia, Europe, The United States, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean.
Film credits include "Glitter" starring Mariah Carey, Soul Food TV Series w/ Debra Cox, CBC’s Cover Me Canada (performing with Alannah Myles, Gino Vanelli), “The Tony Braxton Story: Unbreak My Heart" (Lifetime). The award winning film by Marie Clements The Road Forward" (NFB). And a recent appearance on rhe NBC series Resident Alien.
As well as an in-demand drummer for sessions, live performances and touring Richard is also the co-creator and co-leader of the popular Vancouver band Mad Riddim. Richard also maintains a busy teaching practice.
SoyJoy started off in 2019 as Juniper Lee (they/them)‘s musical and lyrical parallel universe. They are a settler of mixed Korean and European descent, living and creating on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples (“vancouver, bc”). Writing and recording angsty and melancholic songs in their bedroom, the singer-songwriter project has been expanding to have further collaborations with other local QTBIPOC musicians and artists.
Starr Muranko is dancer/choreographer, Mother and Co-Artistic Director with Raven Spirit Dance. As a choreographer she is most interested in the stories that we carry within our bodies and Ancestral connections to land that transcend time and space. Her work has been shared locally and nationally including the Dance Centre, Talking Stick Festival, Coastal Dance Festival, Dancing on the Edge, Native Earth Performing Arts, Weesageechak Begins to Dance, Impact Festival and InFringing Dance Festival. Featured works include Chapter 21, Spine of the Mother and before7after as well as recent collaborative work Confluence and her current research for a new piece Tracing Bones.
A proud company dancer with the Dancers of Damelahamid since 2005, she has toured across Canada and internationally and trained under the guidance and mentorship of the late Elder Margaret Harris. She currently is Artist-in-Residence at Ballet BC alongside colleague and longtime collaborator Margaret Grenier. Starr has facilitated workshops through ArtsStarts, Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, Native Education College and Vines Art Festival and holds a BFA in Dance from SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts. She honours and celebrates her mixed Ancestry of Omushkegowuk Cree (Moose Cree First Nation - Treaty 9), French and German in all of her work.
Photo: Melanie Orr
Tonye Aganaba (they/them) is a queer, non-binary, multidisciplinary artist, musician, and performer residing on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. They were born in London, England to parents of Nigerian and Zimbabwean heritage and raised on Treaty 8 and Treaty 6 territory.
Aganaba’s style is fluid, weaving playful threads of soulful neo-folk, funk, hip hop and R&B. They are a steadfast fixture in their local arts community and a passionate and political being. When they’re not making music or art, they’re actively unlearning, relearning and having conversations.
Vanessa Kwan is an artist, producer, and curator with a focus on collaborative, site-specific and cross-disciplinary practices. They are currently Director + Curator, Gallery and Exhibitions at Emily Carr University on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territories (Vancouver, Canada). They have worked in artistic leadership roles since 2003, contributing to organizations such as grunt gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, Access Gallery, Powell Street Festival and Out On Screen. They regularly write, speak and publish on art and culture, and since 2017 have been producing residency projects across the Pacific Rim (Vancouver, Seoul, Melbourne and Sydney) exploring artist-led creative exchange. In addition they have produced significant public art works including Geyser for Hillcrest Park (with Erica Stocking), Speaker A, a permanent sound installation co-created with Theatre Replacement (Maiko Yamamoto and James Long) and Curtains, an upcoming collaborative performance work.