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The ArtStarts team is driven by the fact that the arts are essential. We are committed to serving communities across British Columbia, continuously improving our programs and offerings, and exploring what is possible when young people engage in arts-based learning.

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ArtStarts in Schools
808 Richards Street
Vancouver, BC, Canada
V6B 3A7 (map)

Phone: 604-336-0626
Toll-free: 1-855-292-7826
Fax: 604-683-0501

Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4:30pm
Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Winnie Tam (she/her/hers)

Winnie Tam (she/her/hers)

Interim Executive Director
Joined ArtStarts in 2020
604-336-0626 ext 107

  • Winnie is first generation immigrant-settler of Chinese descent from Hong Kong.
  • Her lived experience and education are foundational to her commitment to social justice.
  • As Interim Executive Director, she supports the ArtStarts team in building their capacity, resilience, and leadership skills to empower them to fulfill ArtStarts' mission. Winnie ensures that ArtStarts' strategic direction, financial and operational management, fund development, programs, and community engagement and outreach are robust and values-aligned in service of promoting the arts as essential to life and learning.
  • Through Winnie's professional experiences as an entrepreneur, arts services consultant, and organizational leader, she has dedicated her twenty year career in the arts to community building, compassionate and visionary leadership, organizational transformation, and program innovation. As a former teacher and longstanding arts education programmer, Winnie believes it is vital for young people to have access to artistic experiences in their schools and in the community that represent humanity’s multitudes of diversities.
Emily Beam (she/her/hers)

Emily Beam (she/her/hers)

Director of Administration
Joined ArtStarts in 2015 as Grants Manager
604-336-0626 ext 110

  • Emily is a white settler living on unceded Coast Salish territory. She exercises her creativity through parenting, cooking, and spreadsheets.
  • Emily has been actively unlearning our systemic norms and learning from equity advocates since 2018. She is passionate about supporting community organizations, schools, and artists to access resources and build capacity through an equity and social justice lens.
  • As the Director of Administration, Emily builds the administrative, financial and operational sustainability of the organization so that the staff can spend more time working strategically with our communities.
  • She has worked as a grantor, lender, and facilitator for various non-profits, foundations, and social enterprises
Paneet Singh (he/him/his)

Paneet Singh (he/him/his)

Director of Programs
Joined ArtStarts in 2020

  • Paneet is a Sikh-Punjabi settler living on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Sto:lo nations, with a professional artistic practice in film and theatre.
  • Paneet's artistic practice as a writer/director, whose work is rooted mostly in the Punjabi-Sikh and wider South Asian community, has led to a passion for driving forward causes of social justice and amplifying marginalized voices, in both process and performance, within the arts sector.
  • As Director of Programs, Paneet provides leadership to the Programming staff and spearheads the systemic change initiative.
  • Paneet's past experience includes six years in children's arts instruction and arts administration, and an ongoing practice as a playwright and filmmaker.
Pavan Thind (she/her/hers)

Pavan Thind (she/her/hers)

Program Manager, Booking and Touring
Joined ArtStarts in 2018
604-336-0626 ext 105

  • Pavan is second-generation settler part of the Punjabi diaspora.
  • She is passionate about supporting under represented communities and committed to the process of unlearning systems of oppression through her own learning journey.
  • As Program Manager for Booking and Touring, Pavan supports and connects hundreds of artists with schools and young audiences across BC; she supports artists in our Artists on Tour Directory while managing our annual ArtStarts Showcase and Artists in Education grants for school districts.
  • After graduating with her BA in Communications from Simon Fraser University, Pavan found her way into the nonprofit sector where she worked directly with schools and young people wanting to make a difference in their communities.
Elysse Cloma (she/her/hers)

Elysse Cloma (she/her/hers)

Communications Manager
Joined ArtStarts in 2020
604-336-0626 ext 109

  • Elysse is a second-generation Filipino settler living on the land of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.
  • Elysse holds a degree in Equity Studies from the University of Toronto, but unlearning oppressive systems and learning about equity is an ongoing journey. She is passionate about capacity building, advocacy, and representation for BIPOC artists and how that fits into the larger picture of decolonization.
  • As Communications Manager, Elysse takes care of ArtStarts' digital presence, from maintaining the website, to posting on social media. She also promotes ArtStarts' programs and events.
  • Elysse has worked in the nonprofit sector in various capacities, including program coordination and communications. Her personal creative practice involves exploring identity through writing, music, and sound.
Fareed Yaqub (he/him/his)

Fareed Yaqub (he/him/his)

Communications and Events Assistant
Joined ArtStarts in 2021

  • Fareed is a second-generation Pakistani settler living on the unceded traditional territory of the Coast Salish, Semiahmoo, Katzie and Kwantlen Peoples.
  • As a Communication major, Fareed has been able to analyze inequity through a holistic lens while being critical and cognizant of systems of oppression. Outside of school, he employs self reflection, reading and conversation as a form of ongoing and intentional learning to propel his actions.
  • As the Communications and Events Assistant, Fareed primarily supports communications, events, programs and donor engagement related tasks, initiatives and projects.
  • Fareed’s involvement in theatre, visual and media arts throughout high school led him to an event planning position with the Youth Arts Council of Surrey. Since then, he has held marketing, communications and other event coordinator roles. He is excited to combine his passion for work in the non-profit sector with his lifelong connection to the arts.
Lily Cryan (she/her/hers)

Lily Cryan (she/her/hers)

Program Manager
Joined ArtStarts in 2018
604-336-0626 ext 111

  • Lily is a white settler who grew up on Duwamish territory, colonially known as Seattle. She is a practicing emerging choreographer who immigrated to Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Territory to attend SFU and holds a BFA in Dance and Communications.
  • Lily's creative practice works with artists from all movement backgrounds and all bodies to create interactive works performed in public spaces. She is committed to continuing to learn from local artists and activists to work for a more just and accessible world.
  • Lily works with the Director of Programs to manage the AIC, CSV, Cherniavsky, and AIECBC grant programs and redesign grant processes to remove barriers. She also works with the Gallery Team to design and deliver process-based activities that emphasize process over product to move away from Eurocentric definitions of “high” art.
  • Lily has worked at educational institutions and arts organizations in the Lower Mainland. She is thrilled to bring her dance, theatre, and education backgrounds together at ArtStarts to provide hands-on connection between Artists and young people.
Hannah Jarvis (they/them/theirs or she/her/hers)

Hannah Jarvis (they/them/theirs or she/her/hers)

Program Coordinator, Booking and Touring
Joined ArtStarts in 2018
604-336-0626 ext 102

  • Hannah is a fifth generation white settler from Sḵwx̱wú7mesh lands, emerging visual artist and a passionate lover of disco music.
  • They completed their bachelor's in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies with a Sociology minor at Simon Fraser University in 2018. Since then, Hannah has had the opportunity to continue learning from local, grassroots organizers and artists with a focus on justice and accessibility.
  • As Program Coordinator, Hannah supports artists on our touring roster to get connected with schools across the province of BC. They support with the day-to-day communication and invoicing on behalf of artists as well as our annual ArtStarts Showcase.
  • While in university, Hannah got involved in anti-violence work for feminist nonprofits in Vancouver. In doing this work, they became keenly interested in how marginalized groups can use art as a means of resistance and connection. They are so excited to be supporting artists, and ensuring that youth all over BC can gain access to the arts in meaningful ways.
Darcie Dyer (she/her/hers)

Darcie Dyer (she/her/hers)

Office Coordinator
Joined ArtStarts in 2018
604-336-0626 ext 108

  • Darcie is an avid crafter living and working on Unceded Coast Salish Territories in Vancouver. She holds a Honours Post-Graduate Diploma in Art History from UBC, and Bachelor of Arts in Art & Design from UofA.
  • Darcie is committed to continuous learning and unlearning through anti-oppression workshops and resources. At ArtStarts, supporting artists, volunteers, and the public in accessibility and equity is her priority.
  • As Office Coordinator, Darcie manages general inquires, rental program, finance including accounts payable and receivable, volunteer program, while also supporting financial development, special events, and the ArtStarts Gallery.
  • Darcie has six years of nonprofit experience in the arts and cultural sector. Working in Vancouver's museums and art galleries, she developed a diverse skill set in programming, operations, and administration. She is eager to advocate for the arts and all things creative.
Kay Slater (they/them/theirs)

Kay Slater (they/them/theirs)

Gallery Coordinator
Joined ArtStarts in 2016

  • Kay is a queer, hard of hearing, multidisciplinary artist, and colonial body living and working on unceded Coast Salish territory.
  • Kay's artistic practice explores value as it relates to materials and expectations. They enjoy creating and maintaining safe and accessible spaces where people can explore, learn, experience, and create!
  • Kay works to develop and challenge the traditional gallery experience to reflect the ever changing and ever present need for public space. Working both as a coordinator for our public programming, and as a digital creator who builds assets and outreach for families across BC, Kay is passionate about making space for hands-on, process-based learning and critical thinking for humans of all ages.
  • Kay has worked, and continues to work with multiple artist-run centres and galleries throughout Coast Salish territory. They are proudly devoted to sharing assets and resources across organizations so that we can focus on learning and sharing new things together.
Tom Fijal (he/him/his)

Tom Fijal (he/him/his)

ArtStarts Showcase Production Manager

Tom Fijal is a freelance Production Manager who has been working in the arts and entertainment industry for over 25 years. After touring North America and beyond with theatre and dance productions, and marvellous musical artists Fred Penner, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Al Simmons and others, Tom settled in Vancouver where he works locally and regionally, producing events large and small. From 200-seat clubs to arenas and outdoor concerts for 40,000, he brings to the task an enthusiasm for making experiences special, and strives to facilitate the best possible relationship between artist and audience. Tom has produced the ArtStarts Showcase since 1996, and touts it as one of his favourite events.
Our Volunteers

Our Volunteers

We are lucky to have amazing volunteers at ArtStarts! Meet a Community Art Star is a regular interview series showcasing ArtStarts' amazing group of volunteers who are passionate, enthusiastic arts champions. Learn more about volunteering with ArtStarts.
Our Board

Our Board

We are proud of our Board of Directors who are all passionate advocates for the importance of arts in education. We appreciate their dedication to this cause and to forwarding ArtStarts' mission and vision.