DANCER-IN-residence: Rachel Facchini
Rachel Facchini is an emerging artist and co-artistic director of Near&Far Projects (NFP). Throughout her residency term she will be collaborating with co-director, Tavia Christina and five dance artists. Both Rachel and Tavia are graduates of Ryerson University’s BFA Performance Dance program. Founded in 2016, NFP is inspired by the relationship between the body and creates dance which reflects an intersection between various philosophical theories and movement. They are an ambitious and humble duo who are grateful to be working in the Heliconian Club. www.rachelfacchini.com
Musician-in-residence: Afarin Mansouri
Afarin Mansouri is an award-winning composer whose works have been performed in Canada, the United States, England, Iran, and South America. In 2018, her opera “Forbidden” gained national and international attention. She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto, produced more than 30 new music programs in Toronto, and has worked with Canadian League of Composers and North York Arts as a counselor and Board member. As a soprano, Afarin has performed her own new music. As an educator and researcher, Afarin has led many opera workshops. www.afarinmansouri.com
PlayWright-In-Residence: Polly Phokeev
Polly Phokeev is a playwright, dramaturg, actor and arts educator, born in Russia and based in Toronto. She has written numerous award-winning works including Seams, How We Are, and The Mess. She holds the 2016 Safewords New Canadian Play Award, the 2016 MyEntertainment World Award for Outstanding New Work, and was recently honoured with the inaugural Award for a Young Canadian Playwright. She is currently adapting the classic Russian novel Master and Margarita with Mikaela Davies and Hailey Gillis (to be workshopped with the Stratford Festival in summer 2019), and writing her new play Kostroma.
VISUAL ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE: vanessa mckernan
Vanessa McKernan is a Toronto based oil painter focused on a type of figurative painting that has its roots in story- telling. In 2006 she completed her honours BFA at Concordia University, majoring in Studio Art. Since then she has maintained a studio practice devoted to the pursuit of truth and magic through painting. Vanessa works out of a space in the Distillery District and lives in the east end with her husband Christian and three-year-old son Jules.
Writer-in-residence: Stephanie wyeld
Stephanie Wyeld made her writing debut in grade eight when the teacher read her story about the Titanic aloud to the class with the lights off for effect. She has a B.Sc. (Kin), an M.Eng. and a penchant for volunteering. She has recently given up the prestige of counting money for the PTA and is now on the Executive of the Canadian Authors’ Association – Toronto. Nothing, though, has been as exciting as when she finished writing her first novel, which is currently out on submission. While she waits, she gnaws her nails and writes her next book.