Artpreneur 2016

Jinny Yu

jinny-yuBorn in Seoul (Republic of Korea) and based in Ottawa (Canada), Jinny Yu obtained her MFA and MBA from York University and BFA from Concordia University. Her most recent project Don’t They Ever Stop Migrating? was exhibited at Nuova Icona – Oratorio di San Ludovico during the 56th Venice Biennale in Italy. This project started to tour in Canada at The Rooms in St. John’s Newfoundland in May 2016. Her previous work has been shown widely, including exhibitions in Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, Portugal, South Korea, UK and USA in various venues: Kunstvrein Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz (Berlin, 2016), Richmond Art Gallery (Vancouver, 2015), Produzentengalerie plan.d. (Düsseldorf, 2014), Ottawa Art Gallery (2014), Pulse New York and Miami Beach (2011, 2014), St. Mary’s University Art Gallery (Halifax, 2013), Kunst Doc Art Gallery (Seoul, 2012), ISCP Gallery (New York, 2011), McMaster Museum of Art (Hamilton, 2011), Confederation Centre Art Gallery (Charlottetown, 2011), Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa, 2009), Axenéo7 (Gatineau, 2008), Sotheby’s Conduit Street Gallery (London, 2007), Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation (Venice, 2006), and Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art (Kyoto, 2004). She was an artist in residence at the International Studios and Curatorial Program in New York, Nanji Art Studios in Seoul, and Banff Centre for the Arts. 
Yu, an Associate Professor of Painting at the University of Ottawa, was awarded the Mid-Career Artist Award by Council for the Arts in Ottawa in 2013; Laura Ciruls Painting Award from Ontario Arts Foundation in 2012; and was a finalist for the Pulse Prize New York 2011.

Adrienne Wong

adriennewongOttawa-based theatre artist Adrienne Wong creates projects that enhance connection and encourage interaction. From audio plays to participatory shows, Wong invites audiences to “re-see” the familiar and re-imagine the everyday.Adrienne’s previous works include commissioning, producing and writing two of a series of 11 site-specific audio plays (PodPlays); co-creating Landline with Dustin Harvey, a performance event for two audience members in different cities connected by an audio guide and text messages; co-writing Me on the Map, a participatory show for kids about city planning with Jan Derbyshire; co-creating Placebook, a live, analogue Facebook with Mirae Rosner and Marcus Youssef; co-creating three installation-style events (HIVE) with Vancouver’s Progress Lab; and curating the research wing of, a joint initiative between Neworld Theatre (Vancouver), Praxis Theatre (Toronto) and the National Arts Centre (Ottawa).Radio projects include Radio Scrabble, where Adrienne played Scrabble with the province of British Columbia one morning on North by Northwest (CBC Radio One), The Scarf Exchange, where we swapped craftworks with participants all over BC, and numerous radio plays and cultural commentary pieces.Adrienne has also written several published works. She is a graduate of Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts, Associate Artist of NeworldTheatre, where she was previously Artistic Producer, and Associate Artist and Head Researcher at, an online space where theatre and technology intersect.


Barbara Laurenstin 

12794821_1056125311116801_538991518238753420_oBorn and raised in Montreal, since 2012 Barbara Laurenstin is the tv host of the cultural magazine/entertainment TV show Entre nous on tv ROGERS in our nation’s capital, Ottawa; and is also the content researcher. TV/Web host, producer and part-time blogger, she is a recipient of the 2016 Nelson Mandela Legacy Award part of Black History Month for her media contribution and a 2016 Black Canadian Woman Award recipient as a Role Model. In 2014, she co-produced and co-hosted the web serie Point d’Vue; an opinion web tv oriented towards her cultural community. In addition, she is a contributor for Montreal’s cultural web magazine MatTV.Her involvement in the community, her collaborative spirit and her personality has allowed her to host several community and cultural events in Ottawa, including the National Forum Power of the Arts for the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, APCM’s (Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique) Gala Rond-Point, Community Safety Award 2015 and 10th Annual Francophone Rendez-vous with the Mayor for the City of Ottawa, Réseau Ontario’s Contact Ontarois 2016, and Winterlude 2016; the largest winter festival in North America and Canada Day 2016 for Canadian Heritage.

Teri Loretto-Valentik


Teri Loretto-Valentik is heavily involved in the arts community in Ottawa/Gatineau. Her production company currently operates The Gladstone, Ottawa’s independent theatre in the heart of Little Italy and she teaches in Journalism, Theatre Arts and the Performing Arts programs at Algonquin College. She serves on the board for Prix Rideau Awards. She holds a Master’s degree in Performance and is an ACTRA, Equity and Media Guild member.

Her first love is live theatre and music and film and television have become familiar friends in recent years too. She is a firm believer in DIY projects and supports mentorship for young artists. Her work with students keeps her relevant and passionate about the role of art in our communities. Her home is south of the Nation’s Capital on a 6-acre farm with her husband, designer Ivo Valentik, and their awesome three year old son Uly. 

Session A: Designing a Creative Business Map

Toni van Eeden

toni-van-eedenToni is the co-owner and CEO of RedBrick Rooster Inc. To her clients she is a personal branding coach, creativity consultant, speaker, and vlogger. She helps entrepreneurs build a brand that is more than just good looks. She builds brands that are authentic, heart-centered, creative, and resilient. In other words, something that’s built from the inside out. Toni is attracted to anything shiny with the possibility of social impact especially if it disrupts our attitudes and behaviors in a meaningful way. She also has a degree in video but she doesn’t think that matters much.

Tanya Woods

tanya-woodsFor a number of years, Tanya observed a need in the Ottawa legal community for accessible, low-cost legal information designed and intended to help educate and empower local artists. Finally, in 2011, along with April Britski, Rachelle Laforge and Yael Wexler, Artists’ Legal Services Ottawa was born. Tanya’s love and respect for the arts has been life-long and she has been an active advocate in the creative sector since 2004.

For the last 12 years, Tanya has worked extensively on copyright, administrative, contract, technology, and international legal matters for public and private entities. Tanya has worked with collective societies, government departments, non-profits, private corporations, universities, and a specialized copyright tribunal.

Through her extensive international legal training, Tanya is a certified specialist in both Technology Law and International Comparative Protection of Intellectual Property. Tanya is an alumna of the London School of Economics (LL.B.), University of Ottawa (B.A., LL.B., LL.M.) and American University Washington College of Law (LL.M.). She is also an award winning researcher and writer, and frequently lectures on technology and copyright issues.

In her spare time, Tanya contributes to 3 not-for-profits and a social enterprise she co-founded to help strengthen local communities and make a positive social impact.


Session B: Making It Work

Nancy Kenny


Nancy Kenny is a fluently bilingual actor, writer, producer, arts marketing & social media professional. While officially based in Ottawa, she spends and loves most of her time on the road.

She is best known for her award-winning and critically acclaimed one-woman shows Roller Derby Saved My Soul (Canadian Comedy Award Nominee) and Everybody Dies in December (Best Drama – Atlantic Fringe Festival). She is also the executive producer of On the Fringe, a feature-length documentary about life on the Fringe Festival circuit.

A crowdfunding workshop facilitator, Nancy has personally raised over $15,000 to get her projects off the ground.

A graduate of the University of Ottawa with a B.A. Honours in Theatre and two additional concentrations in Political Science & Canadian Studies, she also holds a Certificate in Conventions and Meeting Management from Algonquin College.

Follow her on Twitter @nancykenny and on Instagram @thenancykenny

Melanie Yugo

melanie-yugoMelanie Yugo is a Filipino-Canadian artist-researcher, educator, creative director and cultural worker from Toronto, now based in Ottawa. Her work focuses on art, culture, engagement and social policy, within public institutions as well as at the community level.As a print and graphic artist, Melanie explores the intersection of place, culture and identity. She teaches at cultural and academic institutions in Ottawa and beyond.Melanie invests in artist-run culture by creating platforms and networks that support the work of artists and arts professionals and their engagement with the public. She co-founded and directs the creative studio Spins & Needles, recognized for its creative programming in non-traditional arts venues, and the spin-off experimental art and social space Possible Worlds, a micro gallery, shop, publisher and project space. She has worked in social and cultural policy and research areas.Melanie received a B.Sc. in Psychology from McGill University, an M.Sc. in Social and Cultural Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and completed summer studies in silkscreening at the School of Visual Arts.

Anik Bouvrette

anik-bouvretteAnik Bouvrette is a Franco-Ontarian contemporary dance choreographer recognized for the organic and poetic qualities of her work. She is Artistic Director and General Manager of Tara Luz Danse, which she founded in 2006 after working for more than ten years as an independent artist.She initially trained in dance at the Centre d’excellence artistique at De La Salle, a public secondary school in Ottawa, and pursued her studies at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Colombia, getting her bachelor’s degree in 1993.From 1993 to 1996, early in her career as an independent choreographer, she created the solos Le sanctuaireand Sous un ciel obscur, as well as Rafales, a trio. She continued with Brigantia (1995), entre deux murmures(1999) and Lustrale – l’œuvre sur scène (2004), as well as Éphémère, a work commissioned by the Vancouver company Dancers Dancing. Her choreography has been presented at a variety of performances and dance festivals in Canada, namely in Ottawa, Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax. Internationally, she has presented work at the Escola Superior de Dança in Lisbon, Portugal and at the Quinzenade Dança de Almada in Spain (2000 and 2002).Following the birth of her children and through her growing experience with children and youth in schools, Anik Bouvrette found herself along a very playful artistic path. Thus, through Tara Luz Danse, she currently devotes herself to creating works for young audiences, namely Les billes in 2012 and Les souliers d’Angélie in 2013.With each creation, Anik Bouvrette seeks to develop a language that reflects her specific way of moving. She pushes herself and the dancers to explore the movement’s energy, to discover and define its imagistic potential that might resonate with audiences. She is also inspired by objects, which serve as an entry point for audiences into her world.Anik Bouvrette was awarded the Ottawa Arts Council Mid-Career Artist Award in 2007 and was a finalist for the K.M. Hunter Artist Awards in 2008 through the K.M. Hunter Foundation in Toronto.

Lynne Hanson

lynne-hanson-solo Some have referred to her music as Americana, roots, and rough-around-the-edges folk, but Canadian songwriter Lynne Hanson prefers “porch music with a little red dirt.” Hanson songs are like a favourite pair of jeans. They’re rough around the edges, faded and worn through in spots, with a bit of honestly-acquired dirt ground into the seams.Hanson grew up in Ottawa Canada, and starting playing guitar when she was 14, learning on a hand-me-down from her older brother. She released her award-winning debut album Things I Miss in 2006, and with many tales to tell, two more albums quickly followed: Eleven Months (2008) and Once the Sun Goes Down (2010). Each new release garnered critical praise, earning Hanson a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination in 2009, an invitation to the Kerrville Folk Festival as a New Folk Finalist, and a year later the prestigious Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award handed out annually by the Ontario Arts Council.Then … silence. A four-year hiatus from recording. Lynne took some time to take control of her personal life which also marked the beginning of a new approach to songwriting. Her fourth studio album River of Sand is the creative output of that very personal journey.On River Of Sand she’s been fortunate to work with Juno-winning songstress Lynn Miles as producer. “The songs on this record are honest and fearless” says Miles. It’s still as Hanson has always described it, but there’s a little more dirt and the dirt is just a little bit darker. No topic is off limits, and the 11 songs run the gamut, painting a candid canvas of whiskey-soaked heartbreak and personal struggle, all contrasted against hope that better times are coming. Her songs may be full of grit, but Hanson’s live performances are polished, whether she’s playing solo or with her band The Good Intentions. And she’s managed to get around, having toured Canada, the US, Europe and the UK. She’s played showcase gigs in Austin, Phoenix and Memphis (Folk Alliance), toured in support of Grammy nominated songwriters (Gretchen Peters, Steve Forbert), and performed at several historic music venues, including the legendary 100 Club in London England and the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.

Session C: Beyond Grants: Alternative Resources and Support

Dan Gainsford

dan-gainsfordDan Gainsford is an award winning producer, filmmaker, and media artist. His films explore ideas of concerning natural reverence and display human patterns – questioning whether they are in or out of sync with nature or society. His recently completed feature documentary, Searching for Dragons, continues to explore these themes alongside a larger investigation of the current cultural narrative we continue to support and believe in.

Dan is currently president of Windpath Media; a business built around his multidisciplinary lifestyle and media art practices. Over the years he has also served as a board member of The Independent Filmmaker’s Cooperative (IFCO), The Available Light Screening Collective, Kaz Media Arts, and Etre et Devenir.

As a practicing permaculturalist and beekeeper, Dan pursues his creative practice while questioning societal issues from an ecosystem perspective. He believes many of the challenges that exist in today’s world can be solved by improved ego-system design, increased cross-pollination, networking, and collective efforts.

When it comes to life as a professional artist, Dan applies his eclectic mix of principles into what he calls “the many rivers guide to wealth”. He feels strongly that artists need to be creative, adaptive and versatile, not only for themselves, but for the good of our entire society.

Christina Devine

christina-devineAs Kuhlabo Co-Founder, Christina Devine offers strategic communications and marketing support to help associations, non-profit organizations, SMEs and corporations transform their target clients into brand ambassadors.Christina’s team collaborates with companies to provide technical expertise in web design and strategic community engagement, transforming websites into engaged social media communities. She brings 10 years experience working in digital marketing and public relations with brands and organizations including House of PainT Festival of Arts and Culture, Art Gallery of Ontario, Sony, IBM and Make-A-Wish® Eastern Ontario.Christina’s post-secondary education in Sociology and Public Relations, combined with her experience as hip hop recording artist and performer “Kool Krys,” allow her to apply intuition, awareness and understanding, helping organizations identify their community needs to build strong collaborations and meaningful partnerships for growth. // 

Zachary Dayler

zack-daylerZachary Dayler is the Executive Director of the Wellington West Business Improvement Area, home to Hintonburg and Wellington Village. Zach has a Masters in Urban Planning and places a strong professional emphasis on place-making and commercial development through activity based promotions. A city to play in is a city to stay in.





Session D: Coverage as Career Leverage

Jessica Ruano

jessica ruano

Jessica Ruano graduated from the University of Ottawa (Canada) with a Master of Arts in Theatre Theory and Dramaturgy. She has worked in Ottawa and London (UK) as a theatre director, producer, writer, and performer, as well as in marketing and communications for various arts organizations, including the National Arts Centre of Canada. Her award-winning production of Sappho …in 9 fragments played in London, across Canada (Ottawa Fringe Festival ‘Best in Fest’), and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She has also directed productions at The Rose Playhouse, the Rose Lipman Building, the Courtyard Theatre, and the Tristan Bates Theatre. Following a four-year stint in London, she has decided to return to her hometown of Ottawa and is currently working on a new verbatim dance-theatre piece about sexual violence in Canada titled The Ghomeshi Effect, which premieres at The Gladstone from January 19 to 28, 2017.

Natasha Gauthier


Twitter: @Ottawanag








Photo: Postmedia


Session E: Breaking Through the Clutter

Kimothy Walker, Ottawa Media Group

kimothy-walkerKimothy Walker is an award-winning Canadian journalist who capped off a 25 year career with CTV in March 2014 by reporting from Africa for the acclaimed show, W5.Kimothy left CTV to launch Ottawa Media Group as the Managing Partner with her long-time business/philanthropy associate, Eric Collard. Ottawa Media Group is a team of almost 20 communications experts with Executive level experience in media training, social media positioning, video production, photography, communications analysis, strategy and crisis management, as well as philanthropy — provided in both official languages.She possesses a rare blend of media expertise and business acumen while having a vast contact list. For more than three years, Kimothy has also worked with an international television production company to showcase its Ottawa technology to tens of thousands of customers around the world. Ross Video is now the world leader.That business acumen was recognized when she was named the 2013 Ottawa Professional Business Woman of the Year, for making her newscast one of the most successful local weekend newscasts in a generation. It came the same year she was surprised with the United Way Community Builder Award on live television, and after receiving the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, the Ottawa Business Journal’s “Forty under 40”, Ontario Leading Women Award and Y “Woman of Distinction”.From her work in the jungles of the Philippines, to her social media coverage from the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro and her documentary reporting in Kenya, Kimothy’s international work never crowds out her dedication to her hometown.She continues her work with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and helps organize the CTV Amazing People Gala to raise money for her other charities, SchoolBox and Hera Mission.  To date, Kimothy, Eric and their amazing committee have raised more than $150,000 to sponsor Ottawa young people to build schools in developing nations.After mentoring more than 50 young journalists with the CTV Apprenticeship Program, she has also begun guest lecturing at the Carleton University School of Journalism, where she graduated in 1991.

Session F: Collaborations

Tara Shannon

tara-shannonWith over 20 years of diverse experience, Tara Shannon brings her creative talent, teaching insight and hands on approach to running Willow Sound. Her training and experience as artistic director, recording artist, songwriter, sound engineer and producer brings patient understanding of the road ahead. Her business skills and entrepreneurial mindset are valuable assets for those seeking long standing careers in the music industry. An artist herself, Tara is able to connect with the developing artist from a place of empathy, compassion and honest understanding.Willow Sound is a full service artist development agency providing record label, music production and publishing services. Special areas of focus include songwriting, vocal training, musicianship, demo production, live show production, performance skills, brand development, marketing strategies, communication skills, business planning, cash management and networking.

Megan Piercey Monafu 

megan piercey monafuMegan Piercey Monafu is a playwright, director and facilitator, passionate about the intersection of community building, social activism, and theatre. Trained in Forum Theatre and clown as well as in social work, Megan has facilitated drama workshops, classes, and networking events at schools and community organizations in Ottawa, Montreal, and the Maritimes.Megan is the Artistic Director of the newly founded Community-Supported Art Ottawa that works to connect local artists with local audiences, and modeled after the Community-Supported Agriculture (or ‘farm share’) model of food distribution, where customers deal directly with farmers, investing funds at the beginning of the growing season. This upfront investment in the farmers allows them to create a harvest of healthy, organic, and local food, which is delivered to customers on a weekly basis throughout the harvest. Everyone shares in the inherent risk of farming as well as in the bounty of a good harvest, and buyers are more connected to their food, to the natural season, and to the local economy.The first CSArt project was created by Springboard for the Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota, and has since been replicated across the US as well as in Hamilton/Burlington, ON and Montreal, QC.CSArt Ottawa aims to take the best from the existing models and create a new, multidisciplinary platform –the first of its kind in Canada. Our subscribers will fund and receive work from artists in the Ottawa region, and Ottawa artists will connect with new audiences. Just as participation in Community-Shared Agriculture provides healthy, local food and a greater understanding of the local farming process, participation in the CSArt season will provide exciting local works and a greater understanding of the process and individual artists.


Cynthia O’Brien

cynthia-obrienCynthia O’Brien has a BFA from NSCAD and University of Colorado, USA.  Now living in Ottawa she is a long standing member of Blink Collective/Gallery and participated in the creation of Chinatown Remixed, COAT, (Central Ottawa Art Tour) and CAT, (Centretown Art Tour).  A city is only as strong as it’s cultural, artistic and human connections.

O’Brien’s interest lie within the relationships between the viewer and the object; questions being asked by the maker; creating an open dialogue.
As an active member in this arts community O’Brien has been recognized through
Creation Grants and the Mid Career Artist Award from Council of the Arts Ottawa.
After participating in residencies in France, Australia and the United States she created the first Artist In Residence at Blink Gallery.
O’Briens’ work can be found in collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, France, Australia, Taipei County Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taiwan and the City of Ottawa. 

Session G: Getting Them at Hello

Kate Mensour

Kate MensourCatherine Mensour is the owner and founder of the Mensour Agency Ltd. Founded in 1985, it became Canada’s first bilingual talent agency, representing writers, actors, voice artists, translators, speakers and masters of ceremonies. Catherine also negotiates contracts, in both French and English, and on an individual basis for several of Canada’s top artists and journalists. The Mensour Agency’s award-winning clients live in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, France and Ottawa. Catherine has also packaged several television and film projects for major broadcasters and production companies. Working closely with producers at the inception of their projects has convinced Catherine to take a more active part in productions that she deems important.

Catherine has been awarded the prestigious Prix ZOF. The award recognizes the efforts of an entrepreneur in the private sector in furthering arts and culture in French-speaking Canada, and is presented by Heritage Canada on behalf of la Fédération culturelle canadienne-françaises. She was inducted into The Media and Design Hall of Fame to honour her contributions to Canadian screenwriters. Catherine has sat on the boards of les Editions l’Interligne, le Festival Franco-Ontarien, The Ottawa Film and Television Association, The Guillain-Barré Syndrome Foundation of Canada, La Nouvelle Scène, and The Canadian Screen Training Centre. She presently sits on the advisory board for the Scriptwriting program at Algonquin College and the advisory committee for film and television for Invest Ottawa. Catherine is proud that the Mensour Agency distinguishes itself through the creativity of the artists it represents and she is very pleased to be participating in this 2016 Artpreneur.