The staff of Toronto Arts Council are a team of 20 people, often increased by interns and volunteers, working together to support, promote and advocate for the arts in Toronto.
Kelly Langgard, Director & CEO
Kelly Langgard has more than 25 years of experience in public policy, arts funding, governance, strategic planning, partnerships and government and stakeholder relations. She has led various programs and initiatives aimed at supporting more opportunities for artists and arts professionals. Kelly began her career at Calgary’s Herland Feminist Film Festival before becoming Executive Director of Images Festival in Toronto, during which time she served on the boards of the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre and the Independent Media Arts Alliance. She has held a number of positions at Canada Council for the Arts: Media Arts Officer, Head of Audience and Market Development, Head of Partnership and International Coordination and Manager of Strategic Research Initiatives. She has also held the positions of Senior Advisor for Cultural Diplomacy at Global Affairs Canada, Program Manager at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and most recently Director of Granting at Ontario Arts Council.
Susan Wright, Deputy Director
Susan has been in a management role with TAC and the Foundation since 2000. As Deputy Director, Susan works closely with the CEO on policy and planning as well as advocating for support for artists and arts organizations with City Council. Susan sits on a number of external committees including AACO (Association of Arts Councils of Ontario) and IRAFF (Intergovernmental Forum for Arts Funders and Foundations). Susan’s other responsibilities at TAC include financial management, human resources management and general operations. Prior to joining TAC, Susan spent five years as General Manager of Toronto Artscape, and many years as an arts consultant and manager of small arts organizations.
Andrew Suri, Director of Granting
Andrew joined TAC in 2010. He studied philosophy and biology (B.Sc. McMaster University, M.Sc. University of Victoria) and had commenced doctoral research before he crossed over to the arts and worked as a photographer and filmmaker, and as a performer and educator of the South Asian performing art of banethi. Since then, Andrew co-founded IMPACT (Indian Martial & Performance Art Collective of Toronto), and coordinated community arts projects across Toronto and in India. He has served TAC as Community Arts Officer, as well as Manager, TAC Grants Online. Working to improve access to TAC programs for under-represented cultural and community groups, Andrew led the development of several new grant programs and granting processes, including the Black Arts program and the Newcomer and Refugee Arts Engagement and Mentorship programs, and as head of the TAC Equity Steering Committee led the implementation of initiatives such as the TAC Accessibility Grant and Application Support, and helped develop and refine TAC's online granting system. Andrew became Director, Grants Management in 2017 and was named Director of Granting in 2019.
Yazmin Camacho Vela, Grants Administrative Assistant
Yazmin is an Arts administrator with years of experience supporting granting opportunities for film, media, and artistic community development projects from diverse roles at the Ministry of Culture, Peru. She has also taken production roles in film and commissioned artistic events. Her most recent work experience with the Pix Film Collective, a Toronto-based grassroots organization that contributes to enriching hybrid and multidisciplinary experimentation in media arts, was awarded the Ignite GLOW scholarship for her outstanding commitment to community development. Yazmin holds a Bachelor in Communication Arts and Sciences from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru where she majored in Audiovisual Communication and postsecondary studies in Marketing and Advertising, and is a graduate of Humber College’s Arts Administration and Cultural Management program.
Gursimran Datla, Technical Assistant
Gursimran Datla is an emerging storyteller, living and working in Toronto. He moved to Toronto in 2016 from India to pursue Post-Secondary studies in filmmaking and arts management. Through the Arts Management program at Centennial College, Gursimran focussed on digital marketing, social media optimization, fundraising, web support, and web development. He has also studied design thinking and a variety of programming languages through Ryerson University. For the past eight years Gursimran has been producing short films, facilitating film workshops, and creating events as a film programmer, and has volunteered at many film, theater and art festivals in Toronto. Gursimran is a past recipient of the TAC Newcomer & Refugee Artist Mentorship grant, and is developing a comedy TV pilot based on the lives of South Asian Canadians. As a writer and director, his short film ‘Cinnamon Tea’ was screened at the South Asian International Film Festival, Toronto and at Emerging Lens Cultural Festival at Halifax, Nova Scotia. As an artist and arts worker, he is interested in the aesthetics of displacement and how the idea of ‘Home’ affects our artistic choices and decision-making. Gursimran is a proponent of equity in the arts, and believes that the enriched multi-cultural nature of the arts in Toronto can bring positive change in the lives of its residents.
Kadija de Paula, Interim Strategic Programs Manager
Kadija de Paula is an artist, writer and arts administrator with an International M.B.A. from the Schulich School of Business at York University, and a B.F.A. from OCAD University. She has vast experience working in and with institutions in Latin America, Europe, and Asia, both as an artist and a manager. Among other roles, she acted as visual arts consultant in a joint program of UNESCO and the former Ministry of Culture in Brazil, coordinated a network of artist residencies in Latin America with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Development and Collaboration, and acted as marketing assistant for diverse audience building in New York City. Kadija is excited to be back in Toronto, where she also held positions at the Ontario Arts Council, Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography, and XPACE Cultural Centre.
Christy DiFelice, Music Program Manager
Appointed in 2010 to the position of Music Program Manager, Christy came to TAC from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, where she was the Manager of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. A graduate of York University (MA, Ethnomusicology/Musicology; 2008), her studies focused on musics and cultures of the African Diaspora, with a specialization in North American Jazz and Blues. In addition, she has previously worked with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Fine Arts Cultural Studies Department at York University, and as a music copyist. Since its inaugural season (2008), she has sat on the Board of Directors of the Brantford International Jazz Festival. She is particularly passionate about advocating for diversity, arts education, and community development through the arts.
Catalina Fellay-Dunbar, Dance Program Manager
Catalina is excited to join the TAC after many years as a dance artist, educator and advocate. Her professional dance experience, although varied, has long focused on a personal heritage in Flamenco and classical Spanish dance. Catalina’s academic interests prompted the pursuit of a BFA and MA in Dance Studies at York University, an MA from the Drama Centre at the University of Toronto, and certification in Movement Analysis from the Laban Institute for Movement Studies. As a PhD candidate in Dance Studies at York University, her research examines the intersections between cultural policy and dance arts from fluid, pluralistic perspectives. Catalina comes to the TAC after serving as co-chair of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists – Ontario Chapter.
Timaj Garad, Outreach & Access Program Manager
Timaj is an Ethiopian-Harari multi-disciplinary artist and community organizer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Development Studies from the University of Waterloo. For the past 15 years, Timaj has been performing, facilitating workshops, and creating events as a spoken word artist and singer-songwriter, alongside her community work supporting and capacity building for Black artists, newcomers, youth, and persons with disabilities in the non-profit sector. Most recently, she has developed and managed a successful Ontario-wide bridging program for internationally-trained media and communications professionals. Timaj is known for creating and leading community arts programs such as Stellar (R)evolution: a poetry & theatre series for Black Muslimahs, Beyond a Single Story – a national storytellers’ retreat for Canadian Muslim Storytellers, and LUMINOUS Fest - Canada's first Black Muslim Arts Festival, to name a few. Timaj believes in the transformative power of the arts to strengthen communities and is deeply passionate about creating greater access and amplifying the arts in Toronto’s underserved communities.
Sarah Gladki, Communications Manager
As Communications Manager, Sarah brings her lifelong passion for the arts and strong communication and administrative skills to Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation. An active member of the arts community, Sarah is a visual artist who works in many mediums, including drawing, photography, moving images and clay. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University where she majored in both Art History and World Religions, and a Masters of Fine Arts from Ryerson University’s Documentary Media Program.
Lena Golubtsova, Strategic Programs Manager
Lena Golubtsova is an arts worker, writer and translator. She holds a Master’s degree in Literature and worked in publishing earlier in her career. Since coming to Canada in 2015, she received a graduate certificate in Arts Administration & Cultural Management from Humber College and has been working in the arts with the focus on visual, public and inter-disciplinary art. She contributed to five editions of Nuit Blanche Toronto, visual art residencies at the Banff Centre, and Awakenings program at Toronto History Museums, among other professional and creative projects. Her most heartfelt interests include access to making and experiencing art; anti-colonial perspectives and practices within immigrant communities and beyond; waste, recycling and non-materiality in the arts; mental health in times of ecological crises; feminism; becoming; and unmediated miracles of daily life.
Armen Karapetyan, Finance Officer
Armen Karapetyan has extensive working experience with numerous non-profit organizations, predominantly in administration and finance. Prior to moving to Toronto, Armen lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he held a position at the Barthelmes Conservatory of Music, a rewarding and enjoyable experience he recalls with a sense of accomplishment and pride. Immediately upon his arrival, Armen immersed himself into the Toronto art scene by volunteering with local arts organizations, including the Toronto Summer Music Festival, The Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra, Canada’s National Ballet School and b Current Performing Arts, where he assisted with administrative, marketing, and accounting duties. Armen holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and currently serves on the Board of Directors with Sinfonia Toronto.
Rachel Kennedy, Manager, Stakeholder Relations
Rachel is an arts administrator and indie theatre producer based in Toronto’s east end. After graduating from York University with specializations in Devised Theatre, Playwriting and Directing, she went on to work for Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) as their Outreach and Development Coordinator. She then took a position at Theatre Ontario as the Professional Theatre and Education Manager, overseeing various grants, education, and professional development programs, before finding her way to the TAC/TAF team. Her evenings are often spent producing for local theatre and dance companies, as well as running the Crème de la Femme cabaret series which she co-founded with fellow York graduates Shauna Sloan and Julia Matias. Rachel is passionate about advocacy, equity, and amplifying local creative voices – and is thankful to have found so many opportunities for work that embraces and furthers these values.
Peter Kingstone, Visual/Media Arts Program Manager
Peter Kingstone is a Toronto-based visual artist and curator, working primarily in video and photography. As an independent artist, Peter’s installation pieces have been shown across Canada and internationally, and he was awarded the Untitled Artist Award in 2005 for his installation The Strange Case of peter K. (1974-2004). Peter holds a degree in Philosophy/Cultural Studies from Trent University in Peterborough and a Masters of Fine Art focusing on video and new media from York University in Toronto. Peter has presented at many conferences on the ideas around storytelling and social engagement. Peter started in September 2012 as the Acting Visual/Media Arts Program Manager at Toronto Arts Council.
Elahe Marjovi, Theatre & Large Institutions Program Manager
Elahe Marjovi is an Iranian-Canadian theatre set/costume designer and arts manager. Before moving to Canada in 2014, she spent a year as a set design assistant on Broadway, and a year as invited Professor of Scenic Design at the University of Tehran. In Canada, her devotion to advocating for artists and the arts inspired her to pursue studies in arts management while working as a freelance theatre designer. She has worked for many Canadian companies including Factory Theatre, Centaur Theatre Company, Black Theatre Workshop, Teesi Duniya Theatre, and the National Arts Centre. Elahe has also worked as the fundraising officer for Tirgan, one of the largest festivals celebrating Iranian art and culture in the world. Elahe’s academic achievements include a bachelor’s degree in Architecture (Beheshti University in Iran), a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Design (University of Kansas) and a Master’s degree in International Arts Management (HÉC Montreal and SMU Dallas). Elahe's works have been recognized both locally and internationally, and she has received design nominations for a Dora Award the Fadjr Theatre Festival. She received a National Award in design excellence from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Elahe has also been awarded grants from Toronto Arts Council, Conseil des arts de Montréal, and Canada Council for the Arts
Liza Mattimore, Strategic Programs Manager
Liza Mattimore holds a B.A from the University of Toronto and a post-graduate diploma in Culture and Heritage Site Management from Centennial College. She has worked as a Theatre Producer, General Manager, and Arts Administrator for the past 10 years. Prior to joining TAC she served as a Producer for Crow’s Theatre, and as General Manager for both Theatre Direct and Cahoots Theatre. She has also held positions with organisations including Artscape; the Toronto International Film Festival; Catherine Hurley & Company, one of Canada’s leading creative consultancies; The Arcadia Artists Housing Co-Operative; and Big Bang Technology Inc. Liza is particularly interested in the intersections of new technologies, public and private partnerships, accessibility, and support for local and emerging artists.
Liza is on leave until 2023
Sarah Miller-Garvin, Grants Support Coordinator
Sarah first came to Toronto Arts Council in 2010, after graduating from the University of Toronto, where she studied Drama and Women & Gender Studies. For a year, she worked with the brand-new Neighbourhood Arts Network, creating videos focusing on arts organizations across the city and their impact. Since then, while working as a playwright, director and media artist, Sarah has worked as a producer and arts administrator for organizations such as the Paprika Festival, Aluna Theatre and the Toronto Fringe. Sarah comes to TAC after two seasons working in events for Yonge-Dundas Square. Having grown up in downtown Toronto, Sarah is dedicated to this city and cause of promoting arts and culture within it.
Sarah is on leave until 2023
Shawn Newman, Ph.D., Research & Impact Manager
Shawn is the Research & Impact Manager at Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the evaluation of TAC grants programs and Foundation initiatives and initiating collaborative research projects that support the arts and culture sectors through bridging academia and industry. Having had an international career as a dancer and choreographer, and described as “[one] of Toronto’s finest dancers” (Paula Citron, Toronto Life), Shawn then completed his PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. He has taught in the Department of Gender Studies and the Department of Film and Media at Queen’s as well as the Department of Dance at York University. His research spans many artistic disciplines while focusing on representation and power in and through critical race, critical disability, and gender studies.
Michelle Parson, Office Manager
As Office Manager, Michelle’s duties include administration, reception, web- and copy-editing, among other responsibilities. She’s been a part of Toronto Arts Council’s team since 1997, previously serving as Ballet Creole’s General Administrator and Human Resources Clerk in her homeland’s Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago. Michelle’s skills as a performing artist and administrator are widely recognized in her Caribbean community, having performed with Ballet Creole, COBA, Canboulay Dance Threatre, Inner Stage Theatre, Naked Mask Productions and La Petite Musicale, among others. She is a lead vocalist in a number of active bands. Michelle has recorded lead and background vocals on a number of music albums, for artists and bands such as MOKA, Kobo Town, Dick Lochan (RIP) and most significantly, on the award-winning album Far From Home by world-renowned singer Calypso Rose. Michelle serves on TAC's Equity Steering Committee.
Abhishek Rao, Junior Accounting Clerk
Abhishek has a master's degree in commerce from the University of Mumbai and is currently pursuing a postgraduate diploma in international business management from Seneca College. He had worked as an Audit Analyst at KPMG before joining Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation. He is ecstatic and enthusiastic about supporting a vision that assures that all Toronto residents have access to the arts.
Kevin Reigh, Creative Communities Program Manager
Kevin has over 14 years of experience working in the arts/not-for-profit sector, having previously worked at dance Immersion, the Canadian Music Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) and Unity Charity in various administrative, fundraising and outreach capacities. He also founded Mosiah Grant Writing + Creative Communications to help independent artists and smaller not-for-profit organizations navigate the world of grant writing and proposal development.
As a writer and spoken-word artist, Kevin has released one album (Ground Provisions) and a volume of poetry (Love. Universes. All Things.) and has collaborated with numerous musicians and dancers throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Kevin also contributed a spoken-word piece, The Real Deal, to Paranoid Jack’s acclaimed album of electronic and house music, The Last of the Funky Cyborgs, and his work was also included in T-Dot Griots: An Anthology of Toronto’s Black Storytellers.
Rudrapriya Rathore, Literary Arts & Music Operating Program Manager
Rudrapriya Rathore is a writer and administrator with several years of experience in the education and cultural sectors. She holds a Master’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Toronto and has published her non-fiction work in various magazines including Brick, Hazlitt and The Walrus. Her fiction is featured in online and print publications as well as in The Unpublished City, Volume I, which was shortlisted for the 2018 Toronto Book Award, and After Realism, a 2022 anthology of short stories. In 2021, she was shortlisted for a National Magazine Award in the Essays category. She has previously worked as a college program advisor and a bookseller, and most recently managed administration and production at The Glenn Gould Foundation, where she collaborated with many music organizations to bring concerts and digital programming to an audience of thousands. She is deeply interested in the politics of mentorship and expanding access to creative collaboration for artists in all fields. In 2017, she founded the Flying Books Mentorship Program to empower writers and improve their craft.
Cole Stevens-Goulais, Grants & Outreach Assistant
Cole Stevens-Goulais is an Ojibwe artist, originally from Nipissing First Nation. Cole’s recent positions have included Technical Assistant at LIFT, Indigenous Initiative Coordinator at Coalition for Music Education, and Indigenous Arts Programs Coordinator for Paprika Festival. He is a recipient of the Ken and Ann Watts Memorial Scholarship, the James Bartleman Indigenous Youth Creative Writing Award, and the LIFT/imagineNATIVE Mentorship. He is a graduate of the Video Design and Production program at George Brown College. Cole’s films have been screened at various film festivals including imagineNATIVE and Toronto Queer Film Festival. Cole is grateful to represent his community in all of his artistic pursuits. Cole began working as Grants Assistant with TAC in 2019.
Catherine Tammaro, Indigenous Program Manager
Taomesre ~ People of the Little Turtle, Wyandot of Anderdon Nation; Wendat Confederacy
Catherine Tammaro is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practise spans decades. She is an enrolled member of the Wyandot of Anderdon Nation which is part of the Wendat Confederacy and served as their Communications Officer for many years. Catherine is a seated Spotted Turtle Clan Tradition Keeper and is active throughout the city and beyond, in many organizations as Elder in Residence, Mentor and Cultural Advisor. She is an alumna of the Ontario College of Art and has had a diverse career, multiple exhibits and installations, published written works and presentations and continues her practise as well as supporting the work and development of other artists on an ongoing basis. Catherine served on the Board of the TAC, TAC's Income Precarity Working Group and was the Chair of the Toronto Arts Council's Indigenous Advisory Committee in 2020/21.
Joyce To, Grants & Engagement Assistant
Joyce To is a Toronto-based percussionist, improviser, and new media/sound artist, who explores relationships between aesthetics and ecology through experimental art making. She considers the tensions between aesthetic representations of the natural world in digital media and the material consequences of art-making practices. She aims to create pathways of reflection on contemporary environmental and social discourse through artistic investigation, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Her performance career spans across the globe, having performed in Australia, Japan, America, and Canada. Over the past six years Joyce has also gained a wealth of administrative and stage management experience through festival management and co-curator roles. Joyce’s output includes presenting works at conferences and international festivals, premiering 50+ new works, and collaborating with improvisers, artists, composers, dancers, and writers. Joyce has trained as a percussionist in Australia and Canada. She holds a Masters in Performance from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.