• A Festival of Ideas
  • January 23 - 26, 2020
  • Guelph

2017 Presenters

Amy Lee is a performer, playwright, producer and educator. She is Co-Artistic Director of Up your Nose and In your Toes (U.N.I.T.) Productions and plays Jasp in the Dora Award and Canadian Comedy Award-winning clown duo Morro and Jasp. In…

Ann Hui is the Globe and Mail’s National Food Reporter, using food as a lens to explore public policy, health, the environment, science and technology. In 2016, she travelled across Canada for a series called Chop Suey Nation, which told…

Ashok Mathur’s work as a writer, cultural organizer, and interdisciplinary artist addresses the intersections of race, indigeneity, and creative and artistic research. He is the editor of the anthology Cultivating Canada: reconciliation through the lens of cultural diversity (Aboriginal Healing…

Barry Bilinsky is an Alberta-based theatre artist of Metis/Cree descent originally from Edmonton, Alberta in Treaty 6 territory. His work spans several disciplines, as a theatre Director, Writer, and Clown-based Performer, as well as along the spectrum of community driven projects…

Carol Tyler is a Mi’kmaq Anishnaabekwe Nokomis, Crane Clan – Blue heron.

Chris Creighton-Kelly is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and cultural critic. He was born in the UK of South Asian/British heritage. His artworks — presented across Canada, in India, Europe and the U.S.A. — have been internationally recognized with grants and awards from…

Christine Lesiak is an Edmonton-based theatre artist and educator specializing in clown, performer-created, and site-specific theatre. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre Practice from the University of Alberta. Christine has been creating and performing original works with…

Diane Roberts is the founder of The Arrivals Personal Legacy Process and has been its lead workshop facilitator for the past 15 years. The roots of storytelling and multi-disciplinary art forms — mixing of ritual song, dance, storytelling, live art and theatre…

France Trépanier is a visual artist, curator and researcher of Kanien’kéha:ka and French ancestry. She is the Aboriginal Curator-in-Residence at Open Space in Victoria, BC. France teaches Indigenous arts at Camosun College. She is co-chair of the Indigenous Program Council at the Banff…

Heather Annis is an actor, playwright, theatrical and therapeutic clown, Co-Artistic Director of U.N.I.T. Productions, and “Morro” of the Dora Award and Canadian Comedy Award winning clown duo Morro and Jasp. Most recently Morro and Jasp premiered their show 9-5…

Jan Henderson is one of Canada’s leading clown and mask teachers. For over 30 years she has helped people to get in touch with their most authentic, playful and creative aspect — their inner Wise Fool — and use it…

Both educator and protector, Jeannette Armstrong is a professor of Indigenous Studies and a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Philosophy at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan). She is a Spokesperson for indigenous peoples’ rights. The award-winning writer and activist, novelist…

Julia Lane is a clown scholar, a term that she introduced in her doctoral dissertation to indicate someone who does not merely study clown but also studies as a clown, applying the principles of clowning practice to scholarly inquiry. As…

Marianne Nicolson (‘Tayagila’ogwa) is an artist of Scottish and Dzawada̱’enux̱w First Nations descent. The Dzwada̱’enux̱w People are a member tribe of the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw Nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Her training encompasses both traditional Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw forms and culture and Western European based…

Melanie Goodchild, Anishinaabe, is a member of the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation (formerly Ojibways of the Pic River) in northwestern Ontario. Melanie, moose clan, is the daughter of Delaney and Melinda. Her great great maternal grandfather was a traditional healer…

Michael Kennard is best known as performer and co-creator of the Canadian clown duo Mump & Smoot. Their shows have enjoyed great success in the Fringe Festivals as well as at the Yale Repertory Theatre, the American Repertory Theatre in…

Not many bands play their very first show opening for legendary Canadian rockers like Trooper. Then again, not many bands are quite like Midnight Shine. The Northern Ontario foursome is turning heads with a sound that seamlessly mixes roots, classic…

Peter Morin is a Tahltan Nation artist, curator and writer.  He recently relocated from British Columbia to Brandon, Manitoba where he joined the Visual and Aboriginal Arts Faculty at Brandon University. In both his artistic practice and as his curatorial…

Suzy Lake is among the first female artists in Canada to adopt performance, video, and photography to explore the politics of gender, the body, and identity. In her artistic practice, which spans nearly 50 years, Lake addresses the individual’s relationship…

Tara Williamson is a First Nations musician, writer, and recovering academic from Manitoba who comes by way of Peterborough, Ontario. Both of her EPs – Lie Low (produced by James McKenty) and ndn summer (produced by Kinnie Starr) garnered national attention on…

William Woodworth is a member of the Bear Clan of the Lower Mohawks, Six Nations of the Grand River, near Brantford. His native name is La-weno-gwas, “He Dips the Words”. He has practiced architecture in Ontario for 35 years. Currently…