Arts and Artificial Intelligence in TCDSB

18 May 2021 | 9:30 a.m. EDT

Asian Heritage Month Education Roundtable at Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB)

Opening Remarks: Mr. Justin Poy, Honourary Patron, Asian Heritage Month-CFACI

Arts and Artificial Intelligence in TCDSB
—led by Vicki McRae and Jodelyn Huang

We will feature the Arts and Artificial Intelligence project, funded by Canadian Heritage CSMARI Project Grant. This is a project collaborating with TCDSB, Toronto District School Board, York University and IBM, spanning right across the pandemic, and miraculously became very useful as schools went virtual. It is raising awareness through identifying the cultural messages behind colours using a custom-made IBM visual colour recognition app (doing Asian Canadian, Indigenous and Black communities), and asking students to paint with this newly acquired cultural awareness.

Asian Canadian Resilience and Entrepreneurship
A panel of celebrated cultural leaders and award winning artists come together to discuss how they’ve navigated and succeeded in the world of performing arts. Moderator Miquelon Rodriguez will be asking Writer/Director/Musician Romeo Candido, Choreographer/OAYSIS Studios Founder Ming-Bo Lam, and Artistic Leader/Theatre Artist Miriam Fernandes about their journeys in building their own platforms and amplifying the voices of their communities. They will share their insights and experiences in how resilience has enabled them to adapt, particularly during the pandemic, which has threatened the survival of the performing arts industry.

Miriam Fernandes is a Toronto-based artist who has worked as an actor, director, and theatre-maker around the world. She is the co-Artistic Director of Why Not Theatre. Acting credits include Jungle Book (WYRD/Kidoons), Animal Farm (Soulpepper Theatre), Prince Hamlet (Why Not Theatre), Dinner with the Gods (Wolf and Wallflower, Sydney, Australia), The Snow Queen and A Sunday Affair (Theatre New Brunswick), The Living (Summerworks Performance Festival), and Soliciting Temptation (Tarragon Theatre). She has trained with the SITI Company, and is a graduate of École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Directing and creation credits include Nesen, (MiniMidiMaxi Festival, Norway) The First Time I Saw the Sea (YVA Company, Norway). She is currently in development for a few new pieces that she is co-creating including an adaptation of the Mahabharata, Three Pigs, and a new play called Partition. Miriam is the recipient of the JBC Watkins Award and was nominated for the inaugural Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize.

Romeo Candido is a dynamic multi-disciplinary Filipino Canadian award winning storyteller with experience in narrative and factual storytelling for film, television, advertising, theatre and digital platforms. His horror film, ‘Ang Pamana: The Inheritance,’ played in theatres across the Philippines and won Best Feature at the Winnipeg International Film Festival. His award winning transmedia project, Prison Dancer: the Musical, based on the Dancing Inmates of Cebu, is the recipient of the National Creation Fund and is being developed as a stage musical with the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. Romeo is the winner of the Bell Media / WGC diverse screenwriter program and was invited to be a story coordinator for season two of ‘Kim’s Convenience.’ Romeo made his Netflix debut as a writer for both seasons of the sci-fi thriller, ‘Another Life.’ He made his comedy television directing debut as the series director of the CSA-nominated comedy ‘Second Jen.’ His musical comedy drama Topline is currently in pre-production and slated to shoot in the spring with Shaftesbury for CBC. A proud member of the Filipino Canadian community, Romeo has been instrumental in bringing to light the Filipino experience either as the Senior Producer of CBC Arts or his over 20 years of mentoring, collaborating and documenting his community.

Ming-Bo Lam is known, first and foremost, for her love of dance and ability to share that passion with all whom she encounters. Her choreography is rooted in her classical foundations and guided by strong internal dialogue and emotional undertones. Lam graduated with an Honours BFA in Theatre Performance Dance, from Toronto Metropolitan University, as Valedictorian. Since graduating, she has crossed the line between classical dance genres and the commercial industry, choreographing for theatre productions (SeXT: Sex Education by Theatre; Mixie and the Halfbreeds, produced by fu-GEN Theatre Company) and independent dance projects and commissions. Select performance credits include the Much Music Video Awards, the Toronto Raptors’ Dance Park, The Umbrella Academy, Sogand, PSY, and the NBA All Star Weekend 2016. Currently, Lam works as a freelance dancer, choreographer, adjudicator and educator. She is also the co-founder of OAYSIS Studios: holistic movement lifestyle, offering online classes in dance, yoga, fitness and mindful movement.

Miquelon Rodriguez is a sound designer, editor and mixer; music composer; digital content creator; actor; and an emerging arts leader based in Toronto. He was the Apprentice Artistic Director at Factory Theatre from 2017–19 under the mentorship of Nina Lee Aquino, and co-curated Pan-Asian works over two seasons at Soulpepper Theatre Company. He is currently an Artistic Leadership Resident with the National Theatre School of Canada and has worked as a sound designer/composer with a multitude of artists and companies in different provinces across Turtle Island.

Toronto Catholic District School Board; Asian Heritage Month—Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc.; Toronto Public Library; York Centre for Asian Research, York University; Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto; York University; Richard Charles Lee Canada Hong Kong Library, University of Toronto; Chinese Canadian Photography Society of Toronto; WE Artists’ Group; Social Services Network; Cambridge Food and Wine Society; Fête Chinoise

Asian Heritage Month Festival is partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Asian Canadian Artists in Digital Age is funded by Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategy Fund

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