Kasia Piech is a ceramic, mixed media artist. Piech completed her first degree in Religious studies at the University of Windsor, after which she left to teach English in Korea for two years. In September of 1996, she left Ontario for Vancouver; there Piech studied Linguistics at Simon Fraser University. Finishing up the program at Simon Fraser University, she applied and was accepted at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. There Piech completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts with Majors in ceramics and sculpture. Completing her B.F.A. Piech then entered into the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Waterloo, which she completed in 2003. The focus of her research currently is mindfulness. Kasia Piech has exhibited various works throughout Canada, China, Europe, Japan, and the USA
SPEECH AND DRAMATIC ARTS
Edward Franko has distinguished himself as one of Canada’s most energetic and experienced stage directors. Along with his active directing schedule, he acts as a producer, artistic director, educator, writer and lyric tenor. Mr. Franko has been hailed for his vivid imagination and his unique interpretations of theatre, traditional and contemporary opera and musical theatre His innovative stagings have included productions of Menotti’s The Consul, Menotti’s The Medium, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress; Puccini’s Il Tabarro, Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, Puccini’s La Boheme amongst many others. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Edward has directed over 100 operatic, musical theatre and theatrical works. A proponent of new music, he has directed the world premiere of Brian Finley/ Ken Tizzard’s musical The Selfish Giant at Westben Arts Festival. For TrypTych Concert and Opera, (which he is co-artistic director), he directed the Canadian premiere of Frid’s The Diary of Anne Frank and the world premiere of Andrew Ager’s Frankenstein to great critical acclaim. He currently is the Vice-President of the Kenora Festival of the Arts.
Lenard Whiting is a music educator, professional singer, conductor and organist. He taught music and conducted the Concert Choir at the University of Toronto Scarborough for 25 years. He has sung with the Canadian Opera Company, has been organist and choir director in churches in Toronto since 1979 and having recently completed 25 years as Director of Music at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Toronto. Lenard moved back to Kenora in July 2018. He was appointed Organist and Choir Director at St. Alban’s Cathedral, is co-artistic director of TrypTych Concert and Opera with Edward Franko and most recently was Music Director of the spectacular production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He brings his expertise, experience and boundless passion for music making everywhere he goes.
From Earl Grey, Saskatchewan, Canada, Maria Fuller is an internationally active performer as a conductor, pianist and trumpeter, and is also an acclaimed vocal coach, composer and arranger. As a conductor, Ms. Fuller has a wide range of repertoire and interests, from J.S. Bach to Steve Reich, from Richard Strauss to renowned Canadian composer, Elizabeth Raum. Equally adept in the opera pit and on the concert stage, she shows a winning charisma and infectious joy in her music-making. At the piano, Ms. Fuller is a two-time laureate of the FCMF National Finals, of the CMC National Finals, and of the CFMTA National Finals in Canada. More recently, Maria has soloed with the Longview Symphony, TX, Cincinnati Ballet, the CCM Philharmonia and the CCM Chamber Players. As an orchestral pianist, Fuller has performed with the Kentucky, Cincinnati, Longview, Richmond, Regina, and Thunder Bay symphonies. For three consecutive years, Maria won the brass title in the Saskatchewan Provincial Finals, and has received praise throughout North America for her work on trumpet. She has played with the Regina, and Thunder Bay symphonies, and other regional ensembles
Ballet & Modern Adjudicator
Claire Marshall is a passionate dance artist with over 25 years of professional experience working locally, nationally, and internationally. She believes that dance is a collective and transformative experience that can positively impact all who dare to move.
Ms. Marshall began her performing career in her hometown of Toronto with the Canadian Children’s Dance theatre (now Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre). Throughout her nine seasons with the company, she performed works by some of Canada’s leading choreographers including David Earle, Danny Grossman, Carol Anderson, Bill Coleman, and Rachel Browne, and participated in numerous national and international tours. It was Ms. Browne who encouraged Ms. Marshall to continue her training and teaching, which led her to the wonderful dance community in Winnipeg. Ms. Marshall graduated from the Senior Professional Program at the School of Contemporary Dancers in 2001 and has since performed continuously throughout Canada and abroad.
Claire Marshall is an avid dance educator. She has been sharing her extensive knowledge with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s Professional and Recreational Divisions since 2000 teaching Creative Movement, Modern Dance, Movement Improvisation, and Movement Composition. She also has been a long-time teacher at the School of Contemporary Dancers and is the President of the Board of Directors for Dance Manitoba.
After returning from completing a residency with Delfos Danza Contemporenea in Mazatlan, Mexico, Ms. Marshall performed works by several local choreographers with the Young Lungs Dance Exchange as well as alongside the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. With Jolene Bailie’s Gearshifting Performance Works, Ms. Marshall performed “Sensory Life Infinite World”, “Hybrid Human”, “Eat All You Want/The Top?” and “All You Can Eat/The Top?” with Gearshifting Performance Works. Ms. Marshall toured to Xi’an China in 2014 with an excerpt of “Hybrid Human” as well as multiple tours in Canada.
Ms. Marshall has choreographed several original works including “John Cage 100 years” with GroundSwell New Music and “Holodomor” for Verba Ukrainian Dance Company. “Holodomor” was a co-creation with Marijka Stanowych and was presented in 2013 and again in 2014 as part of the opening celebrations for Canadian Museum of Human Rights.
Ms. Marshall continues to attend, and present, at multiple teaching workshops across Canada. There is always more to learn and share.
Jazz & Tap Adjudicator
Alexandra is a sought-after choreographer in both film, TV and theatre. She most recently completed two seasons as choreographer for Apple TV’s See, starring Jason Momoa. Her stage choreography has been seen across the country, in Nine (Sheridan College), Cinderella (Rainbow Stage), PAL benefit (Stratford), and many more.
As a performer, Alexandra has played leads in many productions, including 5 seasons at the Stratford Festival.
Alexandra is also a passionate educator, adjudicator and coach. She leads with empowerment, positivity and humour!
Her students have found major success in all aspects of their careers and lives.
Hip Hop Adjudicator
Matt is the director and creator of Little Monsters Dance. In 2015 Matt’s passion for dance led him in creating a dance company that specializes in hip-hop and breakdancing.
Matt is a certified bilingual teacher, choreographer and dancer that has been teaching hip-hop and breakdancing for the past 10 years.
Matt has trained and competed with various dance companies in Winnipeg, Toronto and Vancouver such as: (Un1ted Dance Company, The Brethren Dance Crew, Underground Dance Studio and Studio North. Matt has taught at multiple studios and schools in Winnipeg which include: Little Monsters Wpg, The School of Contemporary Dancers, Elwood High School Dance Program, Expression Film Studio, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, (DSFM) Division Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine, Louis Riel School Division, and the Winnipeg School Division.
Matt believes that dance is a universal art that can be shared with all learners ready to learn.