backforward collective

Diane Roberts, Danielle Smith and I co-direct Toronto’s backforward collective, where we do creation and pedagogical work. This stems from our collaboration doing and teaching the Personal Legacy process, created by Diane Roberts,¬† ancestries-based creation and research for community healing, community-engaged creation and intergenerational and intercommunity dialogue. Together we ran a summer intensive in 2008 with ten emerging Toronto community artists. We also co-facilitated The Arrivals Personal Legacy Project through urban ink, when Diane was its Artistic Director, with groups of community-engaged artists in cities across Canada. The work included The Arrivals (Co)Lab (2009), a week-long intensive with representatives from all participating cities, and a public performance/ceremony in Vancouver. I continue to collaborate with Diane, Danielle and many of the more than 100 artists that have taken part in Arrivals workshops, across Canada and around the world.

I was a Resident Artist and then an Associate Artist at urban ink productions, Vancouver from 2006-2013. urban ink is an Aboriginal and intercultural theatre and production company founded in 2001 by Marie Clements. Diane directs my show ribcage: this wide passage, an urban ink production. My contribution at UI also  included arts facilitation with the From Where We Speak project, a community writing and performance initiative bringing together emerging writers across generations from two B.C. island communities for joint creation.