Joseph A. Dandurand is a member of Kwantlen First Nation located on the Fraser River about 20 minutes east of Vancouver. He resides there with his 3 children Danessa, Marlysse, and Jace. Joseph is the Director of the Kwantlen Cultural Center. Joseph received a Diploma in Performing Arts from Algonquin College and studied Theatre and Direction at the University of Ottawa. He has just completed his residency as the Storyteller in Residence at the Vancouver Public Library. He sits on a committee for the Canadian Museum of History and is tasked with consulting on the redesign of the new Children’s Museum. He has published 13 books of poetry and the latest are: I WANT by Leaf Press (2015) and HEAR AND FORETELL by BookLand Press (2015) The Rumour (2018) by BookLand Press in (2018) SH:LAM (the doctor) Mawenzi Press (2019) The Corrupted by Guernica Press (2020) his children’s play: Th’owixiya: the hungry Feast dish by Playwrights Press Canada (2019) his book of short stories and short plays for children: The Sasquatch, the fire, and the cedar basket will be published by Nightwood Press along with his poetry manuscript: Here we come (2020-21) He also is very busy Storytelling at many events and Schools.
Spillious aka Trevana Spilchen is a Trans feminine settler educator, parent, musician and spoken word artist of Ukrainian and Irish decent. They won the 2017 Grand Slam Championship of the Vancouver Poetry slam and finished 6th at the 2018 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam. They have toured as a featured poet all throughout Canada and the US. Spillious has released 3 chapbooks of poetry and the last, Tales of Trans-formation has sold 200 copies. They are the SOGI (sexual orientation & gender identity) coordinator for the Delta School District and teach Social Justice 12 and Music at Delview secondary. Trevana has a Masters in Social Justice Leadership in Education from UBC and has been facilitating workshops on gender all over the province for the last 5 years. Most importantly Spillious is a parent to 4 kids ranging in age from 3 yrs to 21 yrs old and 4 cats named Cola, Orange Crush, Dr. Pepper & rootbeer!
RC Weslowski is a 2017 VPL Book Camp Keynote Speaker, winner of the 2016 Sheri D Wilson Golden Beret Award and the 2012 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Champion. RC is a 2 time World Cup of Poetry Slam Finalist (2007 and 2013) and 7 time member of the Vancouver Poetry Slam. RC has led spoken word and performance workshops at festivals across North America and for the Banff Centre’s Spoken Word Program.
RC is the co-founder and co-director of Hullabaloo: the BC Youth Spoken Word Festival. He is also the co-creator of Surrealist Audio Collage Podcast “Oh No Not Another Podcast”
Alexandra Caprara is a multidisciplinary artist and writer from Toronto (Tkaranto), Ontario, with a passion for storytelling and the arts community. Her work has been produced and staged internationally, and she is currently pursuing her MFA in interdisciplinary creation and research at Simon Fraser University. With a background in poetry, she is excited to connect with fellow poets and audiences as volunteer coordinator.
Kaelyn has been the resident sound engineer for Vancouver Poetry House since 2008. She is the head sound tech for Hullabaloo and the Verses Festival of Words and she also runs sound for the Vancouver Poetry Slam every Monday night at Cafe Deux Soleils. Kaelyn graduated from the Pacific Audio Visual Institute in 2008 with an Honours Diploma in Audio Engineering and Music Production. In a previous life, Kaelyn worked as a Veterinary Assistant for many years. In addition to her audio engineering work, she also works in healthcare with the Practice Support Program at Vancouver Coastal Health. Kaelyn has a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences (2014) and a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Gerontology (2017) from Simon Fraser University, and she is currently completing a Master of Health Administration (MHA) at the University of British Columbia. Kaelyn plays in beer-league bowling and curling leagues in the winter, and East Van Baseball League in the summer. She enjoys hiking, backpacking and horseback riding, and will frequently disappear into the woods for extended periods of time; Kaelyn recently hiked the West Coast Trail and wishes she could have stayed there forever. Go see Kaelyn at the sound board and give her a hug the next time you are at the poetry slam!
Amanda Williams-Yeagers is an elementary educator, instructor of virtual learning and the arts for two faculties of education, a writer and a performer. Amanda leads professional learning for educators across Ontario, Canada and internationally on arts integration, multimodal communication and innovative practise. About to complete her Masters of Education in Interdisciplinary Studies, Amanda’s current professional focus is on culturally sustaining practice and on providing authentic learning experiences for both elementary and post-secondary learners. Recent research projects Amanda has worked on include the use of narrative therapies (spoken word, visual art, letter writing and Sandplay) and the impact of using spoken word in virtual classes to build community and connection. Amanda is thrilled to be a part of connecting amazing poets with classrooms across the country.
Daniela Cohen is passionate about facilitating meaningful connections amongst diverse individuals. Her passion stems from the experience of growing up in apartheid South Africa, and immigrating to Canada as a teenager, where she now lives as a settler on the unceded ancestral territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam people.
Daniela’s professional experience includes coordinating and facilitating various youth programs in both Canada and South Africa to foster dialogue around identity, equity and inclusion, and the development of critical thinking, leadership and conflict resolution skills. She has a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia and a Masters in Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University. Daniela is also a non-fiction writer whose work has been published in Canadian Immigrant, The Source, New Canadian Media and ZEKE magazine, and is upcoming in Living Hyphen. In 2020, she co-founded Identity Pages, a writing mentorship program providing a supportive environment for high school-aged youth to create personal stories based on their life experiences. She is passionate about creating opportunities for youth to develop their unique potential and believes that the sharing of personal stories can create the empathy and understanding that transcends our divides.
Prior to joining Vancouver Poetry House, Laura spent over 7 years in Accounting, managing the finances for many not-for-profit clients. She has her Professional Bookkeeping Certificate from Langara College and her Office Administration Diploma from Vancouver Career College. She intends to continue with more accounting studies in the time left from pursuing her other passions: sewing and embroidery.
Colleen Brown has nearly a decade of experience working with cultural not-for-profits. She is currently the Board Treasurer of the Or Gallery and has sat on the Western Front’s board. She began working with not-for-profits as the Program Coordinator of Artspeak Gallery (2004-2007). Colleen also held numerous communications positions with educational organizations, most recently at the University of British Columbia. Colleen is a committed teacher. In the last few years, she has taught students of all ages, working with young children in galleries, with teens in the classroom and seniors as part of community-based work. She is a sessional faculty member at Emily Carr University occasionally teaching in the Sculpture Department and Continuing Studies Department. Colleen is a visual artist. She holds a BFA from Emily Carr University, a BA Psyc, Simon Fraser University and an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, New York. Her most recent solo exhibitions have been with Burrard Foundation and Unit 17. She has participated in exhibitions and events at Cooper Cole, Toronto; Vancouver Art Gallery; Western Gallery, Bellingham; Shelfed, Vancouver; Hedreen Gallery, Seattle; and The Apartment, Vancouver. Brown holds a British Columbia Art Council Project Grant. Her work for this project is an investigation of alternative forms of the victim impact statement.