The Ray Ferris Creative Tech Springboard is underway at Launchpad!
We’re excited to introduce you to our amazing facilitators, who are guiding our participants through their creative explorations with innovative technologies. These experienced leaders are multi-disciplinary artists, educators, art sector professionals, authors, photographers and more.
Read on to learn about our facilitators and their professional and personal journeys!
Daniel is a communications professional with more than ten years’ experience in public relations management, with experience teaching and working in many different contexts. A trained actor and a long-time lover of culture, Daniel brings an appreciation for the arts and a love of the original to all his work in public relations.
Esther is a multidisciplinary artist. She is the founding director of Illumine Media, a Toronto-based community-based film project. Her animated short, Another World, is gaining laurels at a number of film festivals. She is the author of the children’s book The Lovebird’s Freedom, and has contributed articles on themes of community, land and motherhood to the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and Medium, She was a panelist on the topic of media at the 2018 United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women. She holds an MA from the University of Toronto, and a BFA in Theatre Performance from Concordia University.
With a background in public art and an education in architecture, Javid Jah’s practice explores the traditional origins of sacred geometry. He works in multiple disciplines to produce work that is site-specific, spatial and symbolically aligned to cosmic archetypes. Based in Toronto, Canada, his work integrates various techniques from the Islamic arts, including calligraphy, geometric pattern and traditional architectural forms such as muqarnas. He is inspired by the study of cosmology, exploring how to create experiences that express the unseen dimensions of existence.
Nicole “Nico” Taylor is a performance and digital artist, curator, and scholar whose work dissects social constructions surrounding race and representation and highlights Black bodies using cosplay, storytelling, and graphic design. As a trained performer in Afro-Caribbean folk dance, Nico has participated in many events showcasing Caribbean culture’s beauty and vibrancy, including performing in the Opening Ceremony for the Pan Am Games Toronto in 2015. As a scholar, her interest in pop culture and designation as a proud blerd spurred the pursuit of a Master of Arts at Concordia University on decolonial practices, feminism, cosplay subculture, and Afrofuturism.
Queen Kukoyi (they/she) is a Black Bajan of Igbo and Lokono Ancestry, Queer, Gender-fluid Femme presenting, Mother, Author, Educator, Activist, Award Winning Scholar and International Artist. As a creative, Queen explores a Meta-analytical Afrofuturistic convergence of meditation, music, art, and Noetic sciences through spoken word poetry, digital collage, animations, and along with installation work that touches on concepts surrounding the Afrofuturistic meditative space.
Sid Naidu is a documentary photographer and creative entrepreneur who uses the visual arts as a tool for social impact. Drawing inspiration from street arts, cultural movements and social change, he has created bodies of storytelling works and supported development projects across Asia, Australia & the Americas. His experience led him to develop Scarborough Made, a social impact project championing storytelling in Toronto’s East through documentary stories, creative mentorships, and public art. As a creative changemaker, Sid works with numerous stakeholders, including the City of Toronto, Toronto Arts Council, Toronto Public Library, Centennial College, Complex Canada, Zuma Press & more.