HAPA-PALOOZA 2011 EVENTS
Wednesday September 7
Mixed Voices Raised
Writers, poets and spoken-word artists in dialogue!
Location: Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, Alice MacKay Room
Thursday September 8
Explorations of mixed identity in film with mixed actors panel and film screenings with Q&A from the filmmakers!
Mixed Flicks is curated and hosted by prize-winning film-maker Jeff Chiba Stearns
Hafu - Trailer (Japan) – 0:30 minutes - dir: Lara Perez Takagi and Megumi Nishikura. A sneak peek at a film about the experiences of mixed-Japanese living in Japan
One Big Hapa Family - Trailer (Canada) – 2 minutes – dir: Jeff Chiba Stearns. “And you thought your family was mixed up!” A sneak peek at the experiences of mixed-Japanese Canadians and intermarriage in Canada
The Others (Canada) – 9 minutes – dir: Aram Collier
The Others focuses on the actor Lou Diamond Phillips, who says, “Playing so many ethnic characters wasn't necessarily a prior choice on my part-- it's just this face, I guess.” Of Spanish, Scottish/Irish, Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, and Cherokee ancestry Phillips is an icon of difference and otherness because of the numerous ‘ethnic characters’ he’s played in Hollywood movies, especially in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, including Mexican, Navajo, Inuit, Lakota, Puerto Rican and Arab. The Others features found footage of numerous ‘ethnic characters’ that Phillips has played and places them in dialog with each other, literally, by putting the characters into scenes together employing classic Hollywood editing style and storytelling techniques. Through these conversations comes an investigation of identity, ethnicity and authenticity.
Crayola Monologues (USA) – 2 minutes – dir: Nathan Gibbs
Crayola Monologues uses the crayon as a human metaphor for exploring color and identity in the United States. This animated video features crayons expressing how color hierarchies have shaped their lives. These crayons live in a world much like our own, complete with prejudice, class boundaries, social hierarchies and those who fall between the lines. Crayola Monologues also reveals the politics behind Crayola label changes, and gives a voice to the previously unheard perspective of crayons.
Mixed Mexican (USA) – 5 minutes – dir: Thomas Lopez
This pseudo memoir was inspired by frustration with the Census method of documenting mixed Latinos. The purpose is to show the need for changing the Census and suggests what those changes should be.
I’m in the Mood for Love (Canada) - 7 min. – dir. Jason Karman (Filmmaker in attendance)
A singing telegram worker meets his ex boyfriend while having hot pot and learns to embrace his new found bachelorhood through popular song.
Nigel’s Fingerprint (Canada) – 16 min. – writer/producer: Kim Kuhteubl dir: Amy McConnal (Filmmaker in attendance)
“What colour am I Daddy?” That’s what 6-year old Nigel Jenkins asks his father after he is called a nigger in the schoolyard. It’s 1974 and Nigel’s mother Mona, is black. His father David, is white. When David finds his son trying to wash away the colour of his skin, he searches for the right way to explain why Nigel’s colour is a gift.
“What Are You Anyways?” (Canada) – 10 min. – dir: Jeff Chiba Stearns (Filmmaker in attendance)
Follow the adventures of the Super Nip as filmmaker Jeff Chiba Stearns explores his cultural backgrounds growing up a mix of Japanese and Caucasian in the small Canadian city of Kelowna, BC. This short classically animated film looks at particular periods in Jeff’s life where he battled with finding an identity being a half minority - from his childhood origins to the epic showdown against the monster truck drivin’ redneck crew. “What Are You Anyways?” is a humorous yet serious story of struggle and love and finding one’s identity through the trials and tribulations of growing up.
Location: Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, Alice MacKay Room
Friday September 9
The Sir James Douglas Mix-a-Lot Cabaret
A delightful evening of mixed entertainment and celebration!
Location: Roundhouse Performance Space
$20 for Adults | $12 Students/Seniors/Children (Under 4-years are Free)
Chris Murdoch Chris has been studying the performing arts for nearly fifteen years, and has toured across Australia and Canada. Chris’ performance is at times mystifying, powerful and inspiring. He weaves a spell of enchantment with a crystal ball contact juggling act, Polynesian fire dancing, and rhythm instruments from around the world.
Kokoro dance Formed in 1986 by Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi, Kokoro Dance is a Vancouver-based post-butoh company that fuses the aesthetics of East and West in programs of dance that have earned critical acclaim across Canada and around the world. Kokoro Dance has produced over 1,000 performances and is dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration and culturally diverse exploration. Taking its name from the Japanese word kokoro - meaning heart, soul and spirit, Kokoro Dance creates deeply evocative and provocative performances. Inspired by the Japanese modern dance form known as butoh, Kokoro Dance fuses the aesthetics of East and West. The company has performed across Canada, in the United States, and in Europe.
Zhambai Trio Vancouver’s Zhambai Trio plays traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean music. Trance to the vibes of the ancient mbira (thumb piano) as they are electrified and amplified alongside the Zimbabwean marimbas played by Kurai Mubaiwa and Curtis Andrews. The icing on the groovy cake is the hosho (maracas), played by Navaro Franco.
First Ladyz Crew First Ladies Crew (FLC) was formed in 2007. There are 13 members with various backgrounds in Visual Arts, Dance, Graphic Design, Graffiti, Singing, and Rapping. Many are multi-talented. These young women come from different parts of BC and come together in order to support one another in a positive fashion instead of competing for shine in a highly competitive industry. By sharing resources, stages, and connections they are all stronger for the bonds created through this crew. FLC represents members such as JB the 1st Lady, Rapsure Risin (Numinous and Apt Exact), Christie Lee, Dani & Lizzy (previously known as Genetics), Inez, Girl23, and many more! Whether it's one member or 10, their show is always full of energy and talent. With many opportunities ahead of them, this crew will be one to watch out for!
GreenTaRA As a soloist or front woman for her live band, this Vancouver-born Canadian of African-American/Cherokee and Scottish descent delivers sassy, jazz-laced lyrics over funk and reggae riffs as diverse as her heritage. Described as "a soulful vixen who will blow your ears out with her voice" (The Late Greats) and "equal parts Ursula Rucker, N'Dea Davenport and Bahamadia" (NOW Magazine), this award-winning artist serves a delectable menu of the soulful music and spicy lyrics for which she has quickly become known. With an "edgy multicultural perspective" (AnE-Vibe) she brings a refreshing taste of reality to modern soul music. GreenTaRA has performed at the United Nations and NYC's hottest spots, Fete de la Musique in Berlin, the Western Canadian Music Awards, Canadian Music Week (CMW), Baltimore Music Festival, Frostbite Music Festival and the Vans Warped Tour among many more Canadian and international events. She was named "Best of the Fest" in music at the 2007 Austin Woman's Film, Music & Literary Festival and listed among the top 12 buzz bands at the 2008 CMW. She has shared the bill with Spearhead's Michael Franti, K-os, Jully Black, K'naan, Kelis, Bahamadia, Ursula Rucker and Big Sugar among others, and has warmed crowds for acts ranging from the legendary De La Soul to Little Richard.
Saturday September 10
Hapa-palooza in the Square
A delightful evening of mixed entertainment and celebration!
Location: Robson Square
ART EXHIBITION and COMMUNITY FAIR
Installations by mixed artists and booths from community partners and related causes.
Amazing performances by mixed talent of the future!
2:40pm-3:20pm Roaming Magician! Travis Bernhadt
GRAND FINALE STAGE
Prepare to be blown away by Vancouver's incredible mixed talent!
Michael Tora Speier is a mixed media mixed race artist born in the hapa mecca of Berkeley, California, during the heyday of interracial collegiate love (you'll have to guess a birthdate). After completing an intensive creative program at Griffith Preschool, Michael moved with immediate family to Vancouver where they have lived ever since-an entire family of artists! Some projects past and current are: Nectarine River, the Tale of a Mixed Race Surfer, an artwork and storybook re-mixing the Japanese folk epic Momotaro; Hapa Big Board giant interactive multiracial vehicle; Broken Only at Sky, a series of movable monuments and dioramas remembering a century of Japanese North American community journeys; and Open Sesame food for the arts productions and fissions.
Afuwa Granger is a visual artist, youth art facilitator and writer who uses myth and constructions of identity to question just about everything. She was born in South America, and is fascinated by the ways in which constructions of identity are continually questioned by the living body, which simultaneously occupies multiple locations, and represents none. More info about the artist at afuwa.wordpress.com
Margaret Gallagher: In April 2010, Margaret took the reigns as host for CBC Radio One's Hot Air, BC's longest running jazz program. Margaret has been a regular part of CBC Radio One's The Early Edition since 2001, and was the BC host of CBC Radio 2's Canada Live.
Margaret's ability to tune into the city and find stories off the beaten track has taken her up mountaintops, down back alleys, and through the heart of the city. Margaret has won several awards including the prestigious National RTNDA (Radio-Television News Directors Association of Canada Awards) Dave Rogers Award for Best Radio Feature for her piece "Fade to Black", about the closing of the last drive-in in the Lower Mainland.
Prior to joining the CBC, Margaret was active on the arts scene and worked with the Western Front, the Video In and the Independent Film and Video Alliance. Actively involved in community outreach, Margaret has tirelessly donated her time and efforts to many Vancouver events. She has hosted dozens of events for a variety of arts and community groups, including: Asian Heritage Month, The Simon Fraser University Alumni Association, The Vancouver International Jazz Festival and Word on the Street. In her varied career she has experienced many things, including a job dressing up as Barney Rubble and baking over 50,000 pieces of cheesecake (though not at the same time). Margaret's passions include singing classical Indonesian music and playing ice hockey.
The Whitridge Brothers The Whitridge Brothers, Trevor (15) & Rowan (11), have made themselves a frequent presence with their music in their Commercial Dr. / Britannia neighborhood. Playing as a duo, or in marching bands, they are a part of community events and festivals throughout the year. Trevor's primary instrument is the trumpet; Rowan's the Alto saxophone. Their musical interests include traditional and modern jazz, blues, North American roots musics and classical Indian. They both currently study jazz piano with Bob Murphy. Trevor studies trumpet with Brad Turner and Rowan studies saxophone and clarinet with Evan Arntzen.
Jocelyn Pettit Band At the young age of 15, Jocelyn is a fiddle player with outstanding talent! In a short time, she has developed musicianship well beyond her age! First inspired by driving Cape Breton fiddle music, Jocelyn now enjoys creating original compositions, and arrangements of traditional and contemporary Canadian, Scottish, and Irish tunes. A debut CD is being produced, for release in January 2010. With fiddle, stepdance, guitar and song, Jocelyn loves to perform. She leads The Jocelyn Pettit Band, with full accompaniment (family & guitarist friend); and has performed with The Jocelyn Trio, the Vancouver Scottish Fiddles, the North Shore Celtic Ensemble and solo performances. Special events and festivals have taken Jocelyn to perform in communities across Canada, Washington State, and Scotland.
Chibi Taiko The first children’s taiko ensemble in Canada, Chibi Taiko was formed in the fall of 1993 with the goal of passing this unique and dynamic performing art on to the next generation of Asian Canadians. The group’s philosophy emphasizes cooperation, leadership, responsibility and spirituality in addition to the physical and musical discipline needed to build a cohesive and dynamic taiko ensemble.
Travis Bernhadt Vancouver born and raised, magician Travis Bernhardt is known for his one man theatre show, Things That Never Happen (a runner-up for the Pick of the Fringe award at the 2010 Vancouver Fringe Festival), and for his stage work with Vancouver's premier burlesque troupe, the Screaming Chickens Theatrical Society. He produces the Cabaret of Wonders, a neo-vaudevillian variety show and is one of Canada's top street magicians.
Jenna Chow Jenna Chow worked as a DJ at various Vancouver radio stations for seven years, spinning everything from electronica to punk rock. The woman knows her music. These days, however, she’s more inclined to let you know when the Pattullo’s backed up than to take a song request. She’s the traffic reporter for CBC’s Early Edition and On the Coast. In addition, she does “Jenna’s Picks” for Canada Now.
Tetsuro Shigematsu Tetsuro Shigematsu is a Canadian radio broadcaster, comedian and filmmaker. He was the most recent host of CBC Radio One's former afternoon series The Roundup, where he replaced Bill Richardson in 2004, making him the first visible minority to host a daily network radio program in Canada. The show completed its final episode on November 4, 2005. Prior to working for CBC Radio, he was a writer for the Canadian TV show This Hour Has 22 Minutes. In 1991, at the age of 19, Shigematsu became the youngest playwright to compete in the history of the Quebec Drama Festival. From 1993 to 1996, Shigematsu wrote and performed his one-man show Rising Son in Montreal, Boston, Los Angeles, and Tokyo. In 1994, Tetsuro studied poetry with Allen Ginsberg. He then spent the following two years in Japan, where he studied Butoh dance with the founding master, Kazu Ohno in Yokohama, Japan.
Tzo’kam Tzo’kam means “chickadee” and “visitors are coming” in the Stl’atl’imx language. Flora Wallace and her family have sung together at family occasions and community events for many years. After elder Flora Wallace participated in the Aboriginal Women’s Voices gathering (1997) at Banff, Alberta, the family decided to expand their efforts to share the culture. It did not take long for Tzo'kam to hit the stage and start recording. The first major concert by Tzo'kam was at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival in the summer of 1997 opening a stage that featured Buffy Saint Marie and Keith Secola. Tzo'kam recorded for the Smithsonian Institution, for Silverwave Records and released three CD's on their own. Since 1997 Tzo'kam has performed at many festivals and concerts including Folklife in Washington D.C., Full Circle Concert in Calgary, Alberta, Harrison Arts Festival in Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver, B.C., and many conferences and gatherings. Tzo'kam, under the direction of Russell Wallace, continues to work within the Aboriginal communities and educational communities to teach, share and maintain a tradition that has been kept alive by dedicated elders.
Larry Grant Larry Grant is a member of the Musqueam Nation and is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Arts at UBC. Grant, a retired longshoreman, teaches the Musqueam language to help spark a reawakening among young people about their culture. "This is a sophisticated language," he says, "I want young people to stand up and say 'I am aboriginal and this is my language'- it’s the product of a highly sophisticated society". Grant has been impressed that urban aboriginals, even those from other parts of Canada, start to re-identify and re-connect with their culture as they become more confident in their language.
Kathara Founded by Elenita "Boots" Dumlao and under the artistic direction of Filipino-Canadian Babette Santos, Kathara Canada fosters awareness of Philippine indigenous identity through theatre, traditional and contemporary music, dance and martial arts. Their colorful costumes, indigenous sounds with unique instruments and variety of neo-ethnic dance, martial movement, represent how beautifully diverse the pre-colonial Philippine roots really are. Kathara Canada members, although born in the Philippines, Canada or of blended origins, are all very passionate about connecting and exploring their Filipino heritage and sharing their experiences. Members occasionally travel to the Philippines to study with the Masters in dance or Martial arts, musicians, artists, community organizers, and indigenous groups. In the spirit of intercultural exchange, Kathara invites guest artists or collaborates with Vancouver's World Music Musicians to explore the Philippines and its interwoven ancient history with linkages to India, China, Islam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Kathara Canada is committed to the preservation of all indigenous cultures and creating peace through art.
Ndidi Cascade + Deanna Teeple Ndidi Cascade and Deanna are Vancouver based Hip Hop Soul artists. Known for their powerful vocals and lyrics, these talented women intend to empower and inspire using music. Having shared the stage with artists such as Femi Kuti, Collie Buddz, De La Soul and K'Naan and K-os, Ndidi Cascade and Deanna are proud to represent Vancouver on a global stage. These two best friends are also Hip Hop workshop facilitators who enjoy engaging and inspiring individuals to discover and develop hidden talents.
Kutapira Kutapira is a five-piece band that plays a fusion of Zimbabwean Marimbas with Afro Cuban and West African percussion. Kai Buchan, Jeremy Bryant, Sangito Bigelow, Chris Couto and Theo Vincent are all fluent in both disciplines, rotating through their battery of soprano, tenor and baritone marimbas and trading licks on the drum kit, timbales and hand drums. The marimbas’ funky, wooden resonance isn’t the only buzz Kutapira is generating. The accolades from all corners have been swift in coming and the praise has been fanatical. In the sometimes serious and stodgy world of world music, the quintet has been bringing a welcome injection of exuberance and velocity to festival stages, community events and concert halls in Canada and abroad, lifting people to their feet and rattling the cages of the uninitiated.
Mixed Voices Raised
Joanne Arnott is a Metis/mixed-blood writer, originally from Winnipeg, living on the west coast of Canada since 1982. Her first book, Wiles of Girlhood, won the Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry (1992). She has published five further books, nonfiction and poetry, with two currently in print, Steepy Mountain love poetry (Kegedonce, 2004) and Mother Time: Poems New & Selected (Ronsdale, 2007). Mother to six young people, all born at home, Joanne is a founding member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective/west coast, has served on the National Council of The Writers Union of Canada, and continues to sit with the Author’s Committee, The Writers Trust of Canada. Joanne hosts two occasional blogs, Vera Manuel Tribute and Joanne Arnott, as well as an online storytellers e-group.
Tanya Evanson is a multilingual Poet, Spoken Word Artist, Vocalist, Whirling Dervish, Arts Organizer and Educator. Montreal-born and based in Vancouver Canada, she has published five poetry chapbooks, two spoken wor-l-d music CDs (The Memorists, Invisible World) and has been performing across Canada since 1995. Her work is featured in the award-winning videopoem Almost Forgot My Bones, documentaries (In Search of Ecstasy, Generation Exile) anthologies, international recordings, national TV and radio. A classically trained Whirling Dervish since 2002, she performed across Europe, Turkey and Japan from her base in Istanbul Turkey, and now continues in Canada. As Mother Tongue Media, she produces art events that bridge disciplines and cultures including the upcoming ANU 9 in October 2011.
Fred Wah’s biofiction, Diamond Grill, about hybridity and growing up in a small-town Chinese-Canadian café, is one of his best-known books but he has also published over 20 collections of poetry. His most recent poetic investigation of the hyphen, is a door, was awarded the 2010 Dorothy Livesay BC Book Prize. His book of prose-poems, Waiting For Saskatchewan, received the Governor-General's Award in 1986 and Faking It: Poetics and Hybridity (2000) was awarded the Gabrielle Roy Prize for Writing on Canadian literature. He was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan but grew up in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia. He studied music and English literature at the University of British Columbia in the early 1960's where he was one of the founding editors of the poetry newsletter TISH. After graduate work in literature and linguistics at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and the State University of New York at Buffalo, he returned to the Kootenays in the late 1960s, where he taught at Selkirk College and was the founding coordinator of the writing program at David Thompson University Centre. After teaching poetry and poetics at the University of Calgary for many years, he now lives in Vancouver.
Jeff Chiba Stearns is an independent documentary and animation filmmaker from Kelowna, B.C., of Japanese and European heritage. A graduate of the Film Animation program at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, he founded Meditating Bunny Studio Inc., which specializes in animation and documentary films as well as animated commercials. His films, Kip and Kyle (2000), The horror of Kindergarten (2001), “What Are You Anyways?” (2005), Yellow Sticky Notes (2007), Ode to a Post-it Note (2010) and One Big Hapa Family (2010) have screened at hundreds of film festivals around the world, broadcast internationally, and garnered 32 awards including a Webby Award and the Prix du Public at the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival. Chiba Stearns has also instructed college animation, written articles for national publications and lectured around the world on topics of multiethnic identity, filmmaking, short film distribution, and animation.
Kim Kuhteubl Writer/producer, of Nigel's Fingerprint. Kim Kuhteubl is an award-winning creative producer, writer and critically recognized actor.Nigel's Fingerprint, a film she wrote and produced, screened at over twenty festivals, winning multiple awards before it was invited to travel with the Toronto International Film Festival's Sprockets Globetrotter series. A radio version of the film was commissioned by CBC Sunday Showcase, Canada's largest broadcaster before it was licensed by IFC. Her first film, The Best Girl, toured the festival circuit and screened at festivals including the Palm Springs International Film Festival before it was licensed by CBC and BRAVO! As a story producer working in unscripted formats, she has conceived and produced hundreds of stories for network and cable television, print publications and the web. As a playwright, her work has been staged in Toronto, Edmonton and New York.
Jason Karman, director of I'm in the Mood for Love (new film addition) will be in attendance for the filmmaker Q&A. Jason Karman is a Vancouver filmmaker, born in Indonesia and raised in Western Canada. His works often incorporate themes of love and redemption. While loving drama, Jason is currently exploring song and dance as alternative ways to convey narrative. He is a British Columbia Arts Council Grant recipient and has won awards in Vancouver and Montreal.
Pia Massie is a teacher and multi-media artist whose work has been exhibited in festivals, museums and galleries throughout North America and Europe, including The Museum of Modern Art, NYC; Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts, Lausanne; and the grunt gallery in Vancouver, B.C. Massie’s work has received multiple awards, including the American Film Institute’s Independent Filmmakers award (LA), Prix St. Gervais (Geneva), and Prix de l’Institut de Design de Montréal. Massie’s projects have been funded by grants from the Canada Council, BC Arts Council, and the National Film Board, among others. Pia Massie’s teaching career spans work with universities, elementary schools and community programs. Massie has taught film at the following institutions in Vancouver: Pull Focus, Simon Fraser University, Gulf Islands Film and Television School, Pacific Cinematheque and in the States at: Bennington College and Parsons MFA Design & Technology program. In addition Massie has contributed to arts and education based non-profits for many years in a broad variety of roles, including Kitchen Summer Institute Director (NYC), think tank participant for the MacArthur Foundation awards, and currently volunteer media archivist for the David Suzuki Foundation.
Fanshen Cox made her acting debut as the "Sugar Plum Fairy" in her bilingual school second grade production of The Nutcracker. She later attended a public high school with a very intensive acting program in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she was also one of the first girls in the country to play high school football. After, she attended the University of Michigan,and began a performing arts club for students of color called "Kuumba" (Swahili for'creativity') and directed and produced "The Wiz" with over 80 cast members. After graduation Fanshen joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in the Cape Verdean islands teaching. She then enrolled in Columbia University's Teachers College where she earned her MA. While completing her Masters she taught ESL in a high school in the South Bronx. In 2001 she received the Franklin H. Williams award. Fanshen is fluent in Spanish, Cape Verdean Creole and Portuguese. Fanshen is the co-founder of the Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival in LA. For more information, click here.
Kim Kuhteubl is an actor and writer, who produces projects she loves in film, on television and for stage. She played “Melissa” in the critically acclaimed production of Suffragette Koans directed by Joyce Piven at the Victory Theatre and has also lent her voice to several animated series and radio dramas including: Jacob Two Two's First Spy Case with Eugene Levy; John Callahan's Pelswick with David Arquette; and an adaptation of Margaret Atwood's, The Handmaid's Tale with Shirley Douglas. She is most proud of her 1-woman show Pigeon staged in Toronto, Edmonton and New York and her award-winning, short film Nigel's Fingerprint. Kim was invited to attend the Sundance Producer’s Conference, with her first feature Ruby’s Rules, a film in which she has a juicy, comedic, supporting role. It’s currently in development with Mabel Pictures in Toronto. For more information, go to: www.aboutkimk.com
Christopher Musella, mixed actor from LA is coming into town on the 8th and will be part of the actor's panel. For more information, click here.
Kyle Toy is a multi-faceted and versatile performer, working in the worlds of film acting, theater, and dance. He has acted in films such as the Sony Pictures feature "Center Stage: Turn it Up" and the Insight films feature "Personal Effects" with Ashton Kutcher & Michelle Pfieffer. Toy has also starred in several independent films and worked with theatre companies in his home of Vancouver, all while maintaining a steady schedule of guest roles with dance companies throughout Canada.
Toy's career started in the world of dance. Training for 4 years at the prestigious National Ballet School of Canada, Toy has had professional training in classical ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, flamenco, classical Indian and Chinese National dance. He has received several scholarships and awards, including the Canada International Dance Festival Scholarship and the Evelyn Davis award. Toy has performed with The National Ballet of Canada, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ballet De Printemps, Ballet Victoria, Canadian Opera Company, Brian Webb Dance Company, Henry Daniel Dance and has worked with world class choreographers such as James Kudelka, Jean Grand-Maitre, Christopher House, Brian Webb, and Peggy Baker. Toy also had the rare and opportunity mix his two passions working with internationally renowned choreographer Daniella Kurz under the direction of theater directing legend Yoshi Oida. In 2010 Toy made his world-wide television debut appearing in the XXI Olympic Winter Games opening ceremonies as a Featured Professional Performer, performing along side Grammy award winning singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan with Alberta Ballet and Ballet BC. As a choreographer Toy has worked for many productions in Vancouver, Canada. In the world of film, he co-choreographed on the Sony Pictures feature "Center Stage: Turn It Up", choreographing for Kenny Wormald ("Footloose"), Ethan Stiefel ("Center Stage") & Cody Green ("Step It Up and Dance").
Toy is currently collaborating with film-makers and choreographers and starring in a nation-wide touring Michael Jackson Tribute show "Thriller is Back" which has garnered international attention and acclaim.