Arts, Ideas, ACTION! Meet a Few of our Big Idea Makers

Wednesday November 14th, 2012

Unlike most public art biennales around the world, the Vancouver Biennale is a passionate supporter of youth art education. With the deadline for our Big Ideas: Arts in Action education programming looming (November 16!), we thought we’d take this opportunity to profile a few of the amazing artists, facilitators and collaborators who will be supporting our program this year.

Barbara Adler

Barbara is a Vancouver-based writer, spoken word artist, musician and arts educator. Over the past decade, she has performed internationally, both as a spoken word artist and accordion player, and as a founding member of the acclaimed folk-poetry group The Fugitives. As an arts educator, Barbara has presented writing workshops in hundreds of high schools and elementary schools across Canada, and worked one-on-one with young writers. Her interest in researching real-world topics for her stories has resulted in a catalogue of work that chronicles everything from viral YouTube videos, to Vancouver civic by-laws, to organic cat food. One of Barbara’s goals as an art educator is to show how creative writing can help students express themselves throughout their lives.

Head to her website and listen to some of her awesome music. You can also follow her on Twitter at @BarbaraAdler.



The Contingency Plan

The Contingency Plan is a Vancouver-based contemporary dance collective that commissions, creates, and produces innovative new works of live performance. Their goal is to create and present work that is representative of the human experience, as times subtle and thoughtful, at others wild and absurd, but always stemming from an earnest and genuine point of artistic curiousity. Creatively they are interested in the aesthetics of dance-theatre, the nature of collaborative process, interdisciplinary projects and community outreach.

Vanessa Goodman and Jane Osborne are co-directors of The Contingency Plan. Both artists have extensive backgrounds in arts education, community engagement and hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University. They’re online. Check our their website and Twitter at @ContingencyTrio.


Amelia Epp

Amelia is a mixed media artist who deconstructs, re-purposes, and casts found materials to create reliefs, sculptures, and collages. She employs an organic minimalism to explore forms and designs inspired by the human body, the natural world, as well as traditional crafts and textiles.  As an educator, she has worked with children, teens, and adults in schools, museums and after-school programs and community-based organizations. She is passionate about developing arts cirricula that is interdisciplinary, that addresses social and environmental themes. Through a meticulous, experimental, and playful process Amelia creates artwork in vivid colour palettes and with delicate textures.

Learn more about Amelia and her amazing work on her website.




Rupinder Sidhu

Rupinder Sidhu is an interdisciplinary artist and facilitator currently residing on unceded Coast Salish Territories, Vancouver BC. Rupinder’s works meets at the intersection of social justice and the arts, for the past 13 years he has been growing his understanding of anti-oppression and empowerment work. Rupinder brings a focused  presence, strong leadership skills and a contagious enthusiasm, which effectively engages, inspires and guides participants. As well as sitting on the boards of ArtStarts, Power of Hope, and the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, he is the co-founder of Metaphor, a program dedicated to bringing hip hop workshops and performances into schools, detentions centres, and rural communities.






Brendan McLeod

Brendan is a French-speaking writer, spoken word artist and musician. He is a former Vancouver and Canadian SLAM champion and former World SLAM runner up. His first novel, The Convictions of Leonard McKinley was longlisted for the 2008 Re:Lit Award for fiction. He has also written a play, The Big Oops, and a full length monologue, The Fruit Machine, which both toured the country. His music group, The Fugitives, have been nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award. As an active youth educator, he formerly taught spoken word at Langara College and founded FreeWrite, Vancouver’s only intensive creative writing course for secondary school students. Currently, he is a youth mentor with the Vancouver Cultural Centre, the Purple Thistle, WordPlay, and Travellin’ SLAM. Brendan is interested in interdisciplinary projects combining poetry and music.

Check out Brendan’s brilliant website and follow him on Twitter at @BrendanMcLeod.



And that’s just to name a few! A complete list of participating artists is available on our here. Deadline for the Vancouver Biennale’s Big Ideas: Arts In Action is November 16. Teachers, get your registrations in today!

Like what you see?