David Dacks, Co-Chair, is a Toronto-based music advocate who constantly champions innovative forms of audio expression and its social impacts. He became Artistic Director of the Music Gallery in January 2012 and has since produced four seasons of acclaimed, genre-bending programming. Prior to joining the Music Gallery, David was the editor of Exclaim Magazine’s coverage of jazz, R&B, reggae, experimental music, and global grooves. His work has also appeared in the Grid, CBC Music, Weird Canada, BlogTO, Paste and Musicworks. His journalism expertise has been acknowledged with selections to both Juno Award and Polaris Music Prize juries. David was a Grand Juror for the Polaris Prize in 2011. He was a programmer and host at University of Toronto radio station CIUT-FM for 25 years and produced four documentaries for CBC Radio. David has lectured at the University of Toronto and the International Academy of Art And Design.
Tanya Charles Iveniuk. A native of Hamilton, Ontario, with roots in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, violinist Tanya Charles Iveniuk has performed across North and South America, and the Caribbean. Recipient of the Women’s Art Associate of Canada – Luella McCleary Award, the Gabriella Dory Prize in Music, and the Hamilton Black History Council’s John C Holland Award, Tanya received a Bachelor of Music (Violin Performance) from the University of Toronto, and an Artist Diploma (Orchestral Performance) from the Glenn Gould School. Currently, she is a violinist with Ensemble du Monde (Guadeloupe), Toronto Mozart Players, Sinfonia Toronto, and the Odin Quartet. Her former posts include concertmaster and soloist with the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra (COMF) and the COMF Virtuosi (SC, USA). Outside of the classical genre, Tanya enjoys playing in musical theatre productions for companies such as Mirvish Productions and The Shaw Festival Theatre. She also is a violinist with Toronto-based mariachi band, Viva Mexico Mariachi, and has recorded and performed alongside many mainstream artists of various genres such as David Usher, Shad, K-Os, the Transiberian Orchestra and Stevie Wonder. Tanya is a dedicated educator, and an in-demand string adjudicator and clinician abroad as well as in Ontario. She is on the Education Outreach Team for Ensemble du Monde in Guadeloupe and has also been an instructor in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico for the Centro Regional de Estudios Musicales program and in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for the White Chapel Music Studio. Tanya is a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Toronto-Faculty of Music in the Education department and is also on faculty at two music schools that service the youth-in-need from high-priority areas of the City of Toronto: The Regent Park School of Music and Axis Music.
Menon Dwarka. Born in Guyana, Menon Dwarka returned to Canada after almost 20 years in New York City, serving as Music Program Director for the 92nd Street Y, Harlem School of the Arts and Greenwich House. Trained as a composer, Menon has expanded his activities to include advocacy work on behalf of the arts and culture since his return to Toronto in 2013. Menon has served as: Board Member of the Canadian Opera Company, as well as chair of the COC's EDI committee; Member of City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Thought Leader Panel; Support Lead for the Metcalf Foundation’s Creative Strategies Incubator; Member of the inaugural cohort of the Banff/Toronto Arts Council Cultural Leaders Lab. Menon has also led several Canadian organizations including 918 Bathurst, Arts Etobicoke and Soundstreams.
Marion Newman. Kwagiulth and Stó:lo First Nations, English, Irish and Scottish mezzo-soprano Marion Newman "sings with rich, opulent tone, and her delivery pulses with the multiple meanings of her duplicitous existence." (Opera News) and she has been noted as "a show stealer" (BBC Music Magazine). Highlights of Marion's recent seasons include Dr. Wilson in Missing, by Brian Current and Marie Clements, and the lead role of Noodin-Kwe in the world premiere run of Giiwedin, a First Nations opera by Spy Dénommé-Welch and Catherine Magowan. In a recital for the Women's Musical Club of Toronto, Marion sang the world premiere of Bigiiwe, by Canadian Ojibway/Odawa composer Barbara Croall. International appearances include performances in the Czech Republic and Germany as Don Ramiro in Mozart's Die Gärtnerin Aus Liebe and Ericlea in Il Ritorno di Ulisse and a tour in Lithuania with the Ergo Ensemble. As part of the Banff Centre new music programme, she toured France with Richard Dubelski's What's Goin' On. On the concert stage, Marion has performed with the Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, National Ballet of Canada, Portland Baroque Orchestra, CapriCCio Vocal Ensemble, The Elmer Iseler Singers, San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, Kingston Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, Elora Festival Singers and the St Lawrence Choir. Marion's discography includes The Lesson of Da Ji, with Marion in the title role. Released in 2016, this disc won Critics Choice in Opera News. Other recordings include five discs with the Aradia Ensemble for Naxos: Polly by Samuel Arnold, Sacred Music by Vivaldi, and many more. Marion made her orchestral debut at the age of sixteen with the Victoria Symphony, not as a singer, but as a pianist, performing Mozart's Piano Concerto K. 488 in A Major. She holds a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the University of Victoria and a Master of Music with Distinction in vocal performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Mitchell Pady. From his beginnings as a boy treble with Derek Holman, to Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir under Robert Cooper, Mitchell Pady went on to study voice and composition at Western University, and has had the great fortune to work with many other visionary choral conductors, including Sir David Willcocks, Helmuth Rilling, Paul Hillier, Tonu Kaljuste and Kaspars Putnins. As a conductor, he has worked with orchestras and choirs across Canada and is in demand as a festival adjudicator and clinician. Mitchell is the artistic director of both The Cellar Singers and Oriana Women’s Choir, and since 2004, has been the choral director for the Interprovincial Music Camp. Since its inauguration in spring 2017, Mitchell has been the music director and conductor of Acquired Taste, a project-based amateur choir of professional instrumentalists coordinated by Pocket Concerts. In their 2017-2018 season, Mitchell was a guest conductor for the Elmer Iseler Singers, leading the women at their Toronto Symphony Orchestra appearance in Holst’s The Planets, the EIS series concert featuring David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion and Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, as well as conducting the reprisals of David Lang's The Little Match Girl Passion at the Music and Beyond Festival in Ottawa and The Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound. Mitchell began working with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in their most recent season as the choral director, co-ordinating the commissions and coaching the young musicians to acclaimed performances of two new works by Marie-Claire Saindon and Matthew Emery. He sings professionally with the Elmer Iseler Singers under Lydia Adams, and Choir 21 with David Fallis, and has been featured as a pops soloist under the baton of Howard Cable, and as a jazz singer across Toronto. Mitchell has recorded for Naxos, Perimeter Records and Centrediscs.
Shakura S’Aida. You may have spotted Shakura S’Aida performing in Dubai, Australia, Rwanda, Europe or Russia, in her 4 woman tribute to Nina Simone, The Nina Project or acting in TV shows like TITAN’S, Schitt’s Creek or Batwoman. This versatile vocalist and consummate entertainer has been consistently thrilling audiences with her powerful pipes for years and has blown audiences away with her scorching vocal style, uncanny ability to deliver powerful original songs and to get deep into the guts of the most venerable standard. As a veteran of the international music scene, she’s shared the stage with musicians like Jimmy Smith, Lee Oskar (WAR), and Keb Mo’ and is also an award winning solo artist. After a 10 year hiatus, Shakura is back in the studio; this time with co-producers Donna Grantis (Prince/3rd Eye Girl), Keb’ Mo’ and Roger Costa (Jeff Healey). Whether she’s speaking Swiss-German, French or English, Shakura instantly connects with her audience — and at the same time richly demonstrates the multiculturalism that Canada prides itself on.