About the Consultants:
Melissa Foster, North York Arts
Melissa has over 10 years working in various roles throughout the public sector. In her career, she has collaborated on several community arts projects and facilitated arts programs both abroad and within Toronto. Melissa is the Program and Outreach Director for North York Art where she oversees the programming vision and creative design, as well as the management and administration of both on-going and special projects. Her primary focus is on the development and implementation of professional support services for artists; looking towards creating sector-wide collaborations and community-driven, participatory arts-based programming. Outside of her role at North York Arts Melissa continues to create and facilitate community programs that incorporate her experiences in both the social service sector and the arts. Most recently, she co-facilitated a workshop, Reclaiming Tkaronto/Toronto: Transforming Lenses Around Mental Wellness for the Myseum Intersections Festival. Melissa holds a BA (hons) in Theatre Studies as well as a Community Arts Practice Certificate from York University. She also holds a post-degree diploma in Arts Management from Western University.
Julian Carvajal, Art Starts
Julian is a colourful Colombo-Canadian Media Artist, Arts Manager, Producer and Arts & Culture Promoter. He has over 15 years of experience in managing and delivering large scale arts festivals, coordinating personnel, producing shows, marketing, budgeting, managing staff, and building community and media relations.
Chris Gehman, VTape
Chris Gehman is a filmmaker, curator, educator and critic. He is familiar with many funding systems for individual artists and arts organizations, particularly in media and visual arts. His films have screened at festivals and other venues around world; his film Dark Adaptation (2016) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and screened at the 2017 Berlinale. Chris was Artistic Director of the Images Festival from 2000 to 2004, and has also worked as a programmer for Cinematheque Ontario and TIFF. Currently, he is Finance Manager at Vtape, Canada's leading non-profit distributor of artists' videos. As an independent programmer, he has organized screenings for venues including Experimenta (Bangalore), Image Forum (Tokyo), Lago Film Fest (Italy), and the Ann Arbor Film Festival (USA). Chris was editor of Explosion in the Movie Machine: Essays and Documents on Toronto Artists’ Film and Video (LIFT & Images Festival, 2013) and co-editor, with Steve Reinke, of The Sharpest Point: Animation at the End of Cinema (YYZ Books, 2005); his writings on experimental media have appeared in critical anthologies, and in periodicals such as Millennium Film Journal, Cinema Scope and Take One. He has served on the boards of directors of a number of arts organizations including the Hand Eye Society (2015-19); Images Festival (2006-09); Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (President, 1999-2001); and Pleasure Dome (1994-97).