During a music career that has spanned more than 25 years, Susan Aglukark’s journey as a singer-songwriter and author has led her to reflect on who she is, where she comes from and the importance of discovery – discovery of history, culture and self.
Susan is the first Inuk artist to win a Juno (3) and a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for lifetime artistic achievement, she is an officer of the Order of Canada, holds several Honourary Doctorate degrees and most recently became the 2022 Humanitarian Juno Award recipient. “We have an extraordinary culture and an extraordinary past, we must embrace the opportunity to learn about our very own heroes, write those culture bridges and reframe who we are in today’s world.”
Through her music, Susan continues to share her experiences as an Inuk growing up in Nunavut, as well as the challenges faced by northern communities and Indigenous youth.
Dr. Zhou started learning the pipa at the age of five. Wendy is a co-creator of the fusion band Spire and began to explore the boundary of Eastern and Western music through rearranging and composing multiple pieces for the group. She has been involved in many contemporary Chinese performances such as The Monkiest King opera with Canadian Children’s Opera Company. She is also a part of Toronto Chinese Orchestra Chamber Players which hosts many local workshops and performances throughout the year.
Wendy performed on Room 217 Foundation Diverse Sounds Album released in 2020. Dr. Zhou is also a full-time Naturopathic Doctor.
Patty’s passion for honour, capacity for foresight, and her proven skills in arenas of complex innovation, have been seasoned over thirty years of commitment to the human endeavour within communities of diverse interest and background.
She believes that art has the power to intuitively connect individuals to hope, amidst hopeless circumstances, to put pain in its place, for 5 minutes or 5 hours.
Dr. Andrew Ascenzo, holds a Doctor of Musical Arts program from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, where he is currently a professor of cello performance with research interests in repertoire for sole cello and electronics. In addition to his work as a performing artist, Andrew is a composer, producer, as well as audio and video engineer. He is the recipient of the Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Award, a top honor awarded to a graduate of the Faculty of Music.
Andrew performs in Canada and internationally as a soloist and as a member of the Bedford Trio, an award winning classical piano trio currently in residence at the University of Toronto.
Dr. SarahRose Black is a certified music therapist and registered psychotherapist, specializing in palliative care and psychosocial oncology at both the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Kensington Hospice in Toronto, Canada.
She is a pianist, vocalist, public speaker and music health educator, and has performed, taught, and presented on her clinical work and research across Canada. Her research includes exploring music therapy in the context of assisted dying, music within psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy, as well as music therapy for adolescents with cancer.
SarahRose is a clinical supervisor at Wilfrid Laurier University and the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Music Therapy.
PAT MCKENNA | NEIL CRONE | KEVIN FRANK
Together they are The Yes Men.
Second City Mainstage veterans and household names in the Canadian Television and film biz, the Men collectively bring over a thousand years of Improv Comedy experience to the stage... in dog years! Playfully interacting with the audience throughout their show, an evening with The Yes Men is completely improvised from start to finish.
Fast paced, energetic and always hilarious, no two Yes Men shows are ever alike!!!
Music has informed and shaped Mike’s entire life. His unique background in disciplines of jazz, classical, and popular music combined with his technical piano. Powerful, beautiful, and restorative, The Psalms Project are Psalm-inspired songs that Janzen composed and arranged while recovering from a serious concussion injury, later recording them during the pandemic.
Throughout his career, he has collaborated with and performed with other luminary musicians such as Daniel Lanois,Hugh Marsh,Sarah Slean, Steve Bell, and Phil Dwyer. His portfolio includes commissioned pieces for the CBC, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and Steve Bell, as well as original arrangements of Broadway tunes for the symphony orchestra, which he performed with Sarah Slean and the Mike Janzen Trio across the country.
JULIE NESRALLAH | HOST
Miss Nesrallah is the host of Tempo on CBC Music and is also the executive producer and star of Carmen on Tap which performs Georges Bizet’s Carmen as dinner theatre.
Julie has been the recipient of several distinguished awards including theCanada Council for the Arts Emerging Artist Award & Mid-Career Grant, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her cultural contribution to Canada’s performing arts.
Miss Nesrallah performs for leading opera companies, symphonies, festivals and chamber music ensembles across Canada and around the world. She sang God Save the Queen for Will and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, for Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill in a performance that was viewed by millions. She also sang for An Evening for Peace for Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan in Montreal.