STAFF & BOARD
Yolanda Ferrato, Managing Director
Yolanda is an arts leader who has been working in Toronto for the past six years, after nearly a decade as a freelance theatre artist in London, UK. She is passionate about mentorship and community building and advocates for arts and culture spaces as part of healthy urban environments. She is a member of TAPA's Advocacy Committee and Groundstory’s Advisory Committee and of World on a String Fiddle Toronto.
Drew Berry, Marketing Assistant (Canada Summer Jobs)
Drew Berry is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary performance artist and teacher. Her mediums include dance, theatre, photography, videography, and classical piano. Drew works with Kaeja d’Dance as a marketing & development assistant, photographer/ videographer, dancer, and over the last 3 years has been working closely with Karen Kaeja as a scribe, documenting her latest project which is set to premiere in 2021. Drew is certified to teach Kaeja Elevation and often assists workshops in schools in the GTA. In 2016, Drew joined Rock Bottom Movement as a company member and since has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre, Canadian Stage, Canada’s National Ballet Open Space Program, and Toronto Dance Theatre as well as performing in five full-length works. Her most recent production with Rock Bottom Movement, hollow mountain, was awarded two Dora Mavor Moore awards for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble.
Gloria Mok, Administrative Assistant (Canada Summer Jobs)
Gloria Mok is a theatre creator, production manager, designer, and playwright. As a daughter of first-generation Chinese immigrants, contemporary works that transcend real or imagined barriers excite her. She is a founding member of Silk Bath Collective, the creators behind two hit trilingual plays, Silk Bath (Toronto Fringe 2016) and Yellow Rabbit (Soulpepper Theatre 2018). She has worked with various Toronto arts organizations including Cahoots, Directors Lab North, fu-GEN, Native Earth, Roseneath Theatre, SummerWorks, Shakespeare in the Ruff, Soulpepper Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, and Theatre Passe Muraille. She is a graduate of The National Theatre School’s Production Design and Technical Arts program.
Katherine Semchuk, Program Coordinator for Open Circuit (Kaeja RBC Emerging Artists Project)
Katherine is a dance-based collaborator, performer and instructor currently based in Toronto. Originally from Edmonton, AB, she attended Victoria School of the Arts and went on to graduate from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Katherine has worked in both Toronto and Alberta with Good Women Dance Collective (GWDC), Kaeja D’dance, Kylie Thompson Dance, Meghann Michalsky, Mile Zero Dance, Nostos Collectives, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Sasha Ivanochko, and Naishi Wang. Her teaching endeavours have taken her into studios, company classes and high school programs across the country where she has had the pleasure of leading workshops, choreographic processes and professional development for both dancers and educators.
Photo by: Tessla Stuckey Photography
Lori Endes, President
Lori Endes is a graduate of the Institute without Boundaries at George Brown College (GBC) and completed an MA in Interdisciplinary Design Strategy from IADT in Ireland. Since 2010, she has worked at the Centre for Arts, Design and Information Technology at GBC as the Special Projects Coordinator working with young designers and industry partners and she is Faculty in the Design Department. Lori has over 25 years experience in the world of dance as both a performer and a designer. She has designed costumes and sets for film, television, dance and theatre. From 1995 to 2005 she worked with Toronto Dance Theatre as resident designer and Head of Wardrobe. Her independent design practice includes clients such as The National Ballet, Ballet Jorgen, the CBC and Kaeja d’Dance among others. She and her family participated in Porch View Dances twice and were thrilled to share this experience with each other and the community.
Amanda Baloukas, Secretary
Amanda is a bilingual lawyer trained in both Civil law (LL.B- Université de Montreal) and Common Law (J.D.- University of Ottawa) and is also an avid dancer. Amanda currently works at the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade where she supports an immigration program for foreign skilled workers to obtain permanent residence. In her current role, she makes final decisions on requests for internal review of refused applications and has contributed to drafting internal policy and procedure in line with regulatory requirements. Formerly, Amanda articled with in-house legal counsel in the pharmaceutical industry where she negotiated and drafted a variety of commercial agreements and advised on compliance and privacy related legal matters. Amanda has many years of dance training and performing, is passionate about artistic expression through dance and regularly attends a drop in advanced jazz class at Metro Movement dance studio. Amanda is enthusiastic to bring her professional experience in a legal advisory role to assist Kaeja d’Dance realize its creative works both locally and abroad.
Christine Jackson, Director
Christine Jackson has provided arts leadership in a variety of contexts, as a teacher and Arts Coordinator at the Toronto District School Board, Arts Education Officer at the Ministry of Education, President of the Council of Ontario Dance and Drama Educators, and faculty member at OISE/UT and York University. Christine advocates for the arts as pedagogies of connection, civic engagement, and empowerment in all initiatives, and in her frequent talks and workshops. She is inspired by bold creative collaborations with teachers, students, and artists, and draws upon this work to design innovative projects and arts education resources. She participated as a Fellow in the inaugural Toronto Arts Council Cultural Leader’s Lab, and deeply values the relationships that were inspired across a diverse range of arts experiences and practices. Christine is a member of the Educational Advisory Boards for Theaturtle Canadian Stage, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. She also is a member of the steering committee for the 2018 National Round Table for Teacher Education in the Arts. Currently, Christine is Sessional Lecturer at OISE/UT and provides consulting services to Boards of Education. She has collaborated with Allen and Karen on a number of school-based initiatives, and is thrilled to now serve as President of the Board for Kaeja d’Dance.
Lori Pacan, Director
As a marketing and communications specialist, Lori is passionate about building a brand and showcasing what makes it unique. Starting out as an artist and copywriter has given her a unique perspective and has enabled her to use that creativity to conceptualize great ideas. Over 25 years ago, she began her career in England and Japan and has since worked with many influential clients at marketing agencies across Toronto. After completing her BEd in 2015, Lori found her true passion – education. Since that time, she has worked in educational publishing, and is now, at her current role as a Communications Specialist and occasional Visual Arts Teacher for a private school. The winning combination of education, marketing, and the arts, is what keeps this adventurous spirit fulfilled.
Warren Viegas, Treasurer
Warren Viegas is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University. He is a compliance specialist dealing with various federal/provincial taxes, customs and income tax issues while identifying areas of exposure. He is also involved in community service and humanitarian work, including fundraising efforts and most noteworthy, the safe delivery of the co-joined twins separated at Sick Kids hospital in Toronto in 2005. He is currently working on projects with hospitals in Africa and in them protective equipment as well as helping create telehealth platform between medical personnel in Africa and Canada.
Warren has three children, two of them are daughters who are very active as dancers