Realms of Refuge Artist Bios

Bill Beauregarde is Cree / Metis from the Enoch First Nation base in Alberta. He has made and performed with masks, puppets and stilts, and worked as technical director (CHAOS festivals), house technician (Green Fools Theatre, Calgary), and set-builder (Jubilations Dinner Theatre, Winnipeg). Since moving to Vancouver in 2011, he has worked with Vancouver Moving Theatre/Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival in design and production; and as Coordinator of Cultural and Community Programs for the Aboriginal Front Door Society.  Most recently he worked with Theatre Terrific as co-director, designer and puppet-maker of Hidden Stories.

Volodymyr Bedzvin, a cello performer and composer, was born in Ukraine into a family of professional musicians and has been playing music since the age of five. He has performed with professional musicians and bands in music festivals, TV shows, and concert tours in Ukraine and beyond. He works with multi-instrumentalists/ensembles in the styles of world-music, ethnic music, Ukrainian folk, classics, and gypsy jazz. He recently performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Counting Sheep: A Guerrilla Folk Opera.

Sam Bob is a Vancouver based actor who has performed nationally in television, film, radio and theatre. His father’s family is from the Nanoose Snaw-Naw-us First Nation,Vancouver Island. His mother’s family, Lyackson First Nation on Valdes Island . Sam’s traditional name is Tulkweemult.  Sam can be seen in the second season of APTN’s comedy Health Nut’z and in the upcoming Downtown Eastside production of Bah! Humbug!   Survivor of the Kuper Island Residential School, Sam finds creative fulfillment working in the arts through active participation and mentoring of First Nation’s youth.

Rosemary Georgeson is a Coast Salish/Sahtu Dene woman from Galiano Island.  Born and raised in the commercial fishing industry, with a background in the Culinary Arts, she has worked as an artist and community liaison for Vancouver Moving Theatre and Urban Ink productions. Her work has largely been theatre, performance, and storytelling based, and includes co-writing the Downtown Eastside based productions We’re All In This Together, and Storyweaving, and contributing to the Downtown Eastside Community Play, Against the Current and The Big House.

Hiromi Goto is a Japanese-Canadian writer who lives on the traditional unceded territories of the Coast Salish, the Musqueam, Squamish and the Tsleil Waututh peoples. She has published numerous books for both adults and youth and was the 2007 Vancouver Public Library writer in residence. Goto is currently working on graphic novels, short stories and essays. 

Ronnie Dean Harris aka Ostwelve is a Stō:lo/St’át’imc multimedia artist best known for his role as “Red” on the APTN dramatic series, Moccasin Flats, and the voice of “Wisakedjack” on the animated series, Kagagi: The Raven, and as the guest composer/performer with The Road Forward. He has programmed and produced the Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival, and has been active in facilitating and creating workshop programs for youth empowerment in media arts and hip hop.

Montana Hunter was born in the Downtown Eastside and started dancing at the Ukrainian hall at the age of seven. He has been involved in performing arts for most of his life, with highlights including The Merry Wives of Windsor (Bard on the Beach), Mirror Mirror (Vancouver Mental Health Action Group), Dead Sexy (Enemies of the Stage), I Love the DTES (Savage God), Bread & Salt (Vancouver Moving Theatre); and dancing with the Dovbush Dancers. He recently returned to Canada from UK where he completed an MA in War Studies from Kings College, London.

Terry Hunter is Executive Director of Vancouver Moving Theatre and Artistic Producer of the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival, with whom he has produced numerous innovative community-engaged productions with residents of the Downtown Eastside. He is of Scots, English and Danish ancestry and was born in Nelson, BC.

Dorothy Jenkins is a stage manager based in Vancouver. She worked with Vancouver Moving Theatre on the first Downtown Eastside Community Play, one of the subsequent shadow plays and Bah! Humbug! Most recently she worked as floor manager for The Big House.

Sharon Kallis is the founding director of EartHand Gleaners Society and a community-engaged environmental artist who has lived and worked in the Downtown Eastside since 1996. Over the years Sharon’s art practice has focused on working with both the plants and people she meets in her own community and during traveling residencies. Sharon has worked as a contributing designer on The Big House (Vancouver Moving Theatre) and the Train of Thought. She is the author of Common Threads: Weaving Community through Collaborative Eco-Art.

Stephen Lytton was born with cerebral palsy. He went to Residential School from 1961 to 1974. He moved to Vancouver in 1978 and then to the Downtown Eastside in 1992. He loves the character, the heart, and the courage of this community. Stephen is a public speaker about his community. He enjoys people he meets, poetry, creative writing, acting (The Downtown Eastside Community Play, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Storyweaving). He is currently serving as President of BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS). Stephen can be seen in the upcoming Bah! Humbug!

Kelty McKerracher is a community-engaged artist with a love for flamenco dance and singing. She produces the annual show Barrio Flamenco with local, international, and community artists for the DTES Heart of the City Festival. Kelty has worked with Vancouver Moving Theatre on projects such as The Big House Cultural Sharing Feasts (2015) and Train of Thought. She is the Program Coordinator of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver and holds a Master’s degree in Expressive Arts Therapy. Kelty is originally from Kamloops/Secwepemc territory and is of Scottish and Eastern European descent.

Sophi Liang is a writer, artist and tea master who practices visual art, performing art and gives food seminars for communities.

Renae Morriseau is Cree and Saulteaux from Manitoba, who has worked across Canada and the United States in theatre, film, television and music. Recently, Renae toured internationally with her singing group M’Girl and directed Down2Earth, an APTN TV Series on green-energy developments and sustainability projects in the Maori and First Nation communities. Renae’s community building projects include In the Heart of a City: The Downtown Eastside Community Play, Storyweaving and The Big House (Vancouver Moving Theatre); winter outdoor production Contest of the Winds(Caravan Farm Theatre); and the community play Tuwitames (Splatsin Language Program and Runaway Moon Theatre).

M’Girl is a ensemble of indigenous women with a collective of stories and song about water ways, the strength of the four-legged, the winged ones and the gifts received from Mother Earth. Their percussive-based aboriginal hand drum songs blend harmonies into a contemporary, gospel style that reflects both their expertise of voice and their personal story of home. Members include: Renae Morriseau, Tiare LaPorte, Tracey Weitzel . 

Kat Norris , traditional name Zu’comulwat  is Coast Salish from the Lyackson First Nation on her mother’s side,  Nez Perce-Hawaiian Filipina on her father’s side.  Kat is a residential school survivor of Kuper Island residential school, which became the motivating force to become a community activist and cultural educator.  Kat currently works with East Van children teaching dancing, drumming and singing, and does talks throughout the Lower Mainland.  Finding joy in writing, published work include “Crow Bones” in the Salish Seas Anthology. Kat performed in the Downtown Eastside Community Play.

Savannah Walling, a first generation immigrant from Oklahoma, a Downtown Eastside resident, mother of Montana Hunter, co-founder and artistic director of Vancouver Moving Theatre and Associate Artistic Director of the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival. A theatre artist, writer, and performer trained in dance, mime and music, Savannah collaborates with diverse artists to create original repertoire. Highlights of community-engaged collaborative projects created with, for and about the Downtown Eastside include: In the Heart of a City: The Downtown Eastside Community Play, We’re All in This Together, The Minotaur Dreams, East End Blues & All That Jazz, Bread & Salt, Storyweaving, The Big House and Against the Current.

Russell Wallace is a composer, producer, a traditional Lil’wat singer and leader of Tzokam. Wallace’s music has been part of a number of soundtracks and live productions. He has produced CD’s that have been nominated for Junos, Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, and Native American Music Awards in the USA. Wallace works and teaches at the Native Education College, and works for the Office for Aboriginal People’s holding Singing & Drumming workshops. He has performed in Downtown Eastside collaborative projects including The Big House and Against the Current.

Angela Kruger is a Japanese Canadian writer, artist, and activist living on Unceded Coast Salish Territories in Vancouver, BC. Since graduating from the University of Victoria with a BA in English and Political Science, Angela moved back to the mainland and has spent much of her time volunteering in the Japanese Canadian and Downtown Eastside communities. She works at Enterprising Women Making Art (EWMA).

Diane Wood lives and makes art in the Downtown Eastside. She speaks up for outcasts and labeled people everywhere. Diane encourages others to write and perform their stories with monthly poetry cabarets at the Carnegie Community Centre. She has published two anthologies of poetry: The Return of the Downtown Eastside Poets and The Soul of Vancouver. She has exhibited her quilts and dolls at Downtown Eastside galleries and created the DTES Heart of the Festival phoenix logo. Look for Diane every Wednesday afternoon in October at Oppenheimer Park; she is part of a team creating rattles and traditional Latin American decorations in preparation for the Day of the Dead Fiesta on Nov. 2.