Mandy Salter is the Director and Curator of the Art Gallery of Mississauga. With two decades of experience in museums, academia and the private sector, including experience as a chief curator, collections manager, project manager and private consultant, Salter brings a new level of expertise to the AGM.
Salter graduated magna cum laude with an M.A. in art history and classical civilizations from the University of Miami in 1996. Her B.A. Honours in studio and art history is from the University of Windsor in 1994.
Salter’s experience includes strategic and curatorial work for the City of Windsor regarding their public art collection and cultural heritage holdings and with the Art Gallery of Windsor where she was chief curator and collections manager.
Her curatorial and scholarly achievements, combined with her collaborative spirit and skills in management, administration and community relations make her ideally suited to strengthen the organization and engage and motivate community members. Salter brings knowledge of the nuances in working with and fostering community.
Sadaf Zuberi, is a multi-disciplinary professional with international development experience. She has a Master’s in Business Administration from the Institute of Business Administration and was the International Visitor Leadership Program Fellow (IVLP) with the Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, USA in 2008. Zuberi blends her commitment to social change with her focused expertise in financial and grants management, stakeholder engagement as well as photography and filming. She is committed to creating synergies, building networks, and ensuring efficient functioning of financial and administrative systems to maximize organizational capacity. Having over 10 years of experience working with civil society, community consortia, donor agencies, corporate and non-profit organizations, as well as the public sector, Zuberi is currently working as the Business Operations Manager at the Art Gallery of Mississauga.
Sharada Eswar’s passion for words, spoken and written, began at an early age. She hosted her first Children’s Program on All India Radio when she was 11. A trained Indian classical musician (Carnatic School), she was part of the team representing India at the India Abroad show in Paris and New York. She was also one of the three chosen by the Centres Culturels des Lions Clubs de Paris to present Indian culture in France. Since then, Eswar has been performing and teaching in Toronto and internationally, drawing on her own South Asian ancestry and heritage. Recently she curated and hosted Kootir, South Asian Storytelling, at the Toronto Festival of Storytelling. She has been invited by Royal Ontario Museum to be a speaker for their Ornamenting the Ordinary Program. Through the Ontario Arts Council’s Artist in Education program, she teaches storytelling through shadow puppetry and Narrative Writing for the Toronto District School Board’s International Languages Program.
Eswar is a published children’s author: her book, Ram’s Caps, was recently published by Harcourt, Canada and she is working on two graphic novels. Currently, she is the Community Activator with the Art Gallery of Mississauga and a Core Artist with Jumblies’ Theatre, a Community Arts organization in Toronto, where she works extensively with diverse communities.
Sonja Rainey is a multi-disciplinary artist, designer and arts facilitator with a rampant curiosity for new ways of creating performance experiences and arts engagement. Her work encompasses installation, set and costume design; puppet and mask work; illustration and sculpture as well as the creation of short films and exhibition design. She has presented her work at the Vancouver Art Gallery, PAMA, Art Gallery of Mississauga, the Prague Quadrennial and most recently, Rainey has been an artist educator with the Canadian Opera Company and instructor at the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance. She has worked extensively with MABELLEarts, Jumblies’ Theatre, Making Room Community Arts, the Community Arts Guild, The Bicycle Opera Project, urbanvessel and Ahuri Theatre.
Salaha Javed was born in Pakistan, and raised in Mississauga since the age of 4. She is pursuing a Bachelors in Interior Design at Ryerson University. Her passion for arts of all kinds consistently grows, and she wishes to share her enthusiasm with the community; developing arts and culture in Mississauga through her role as community project coordinator for Border Crossings in 2016.
Anu Radha Verma
Anu Radha Verma is a queer, diasporic sometimes-femme with complex connections to 'south asia,' She is a survivor, someone with lived experience of mental health struggles, and a resident of Mississauga. Anu Radha organizes with QTBIPOC sauga, with the hope to build trust, care and community across the expanse of the 'burbs.
Celebrated as a dance innovator, Nova Bhattacharya’s powerful and humanistic dance works breathe rich life into the spectrum between classical bharatanatyam and contemporary dance. Bhattacharya trained in bharatanatyam with Toronto’s Menaka Thakkar, was the first graduate of Nrytyakala, The Canadian Academy of Indian Dance and furthered her study of the form with the late Kittappa Pillai and Smt. Kalanidhi Narayan. Her development in contemporary dance has been informed by her ongoing work with Peggy Baker, Sasha Ivanochko and Louis Laberge-Côté. She began her career as a dancer with the Menaka Thakkar Dance Company, appearing as a soloist and company member for many national and international tours. Embarking on a career as an independent artist she appeared in the works of a number of companies including Fujiwara Dance Inventions, Kaeja d’Dance and Peggy Baker Dance Projects. Eager to explore the scope for innovation within bharatanatyam, Bhattacharya began choreographing in 1997. Her work has been described as "a contemporary expression of the Bharatanatyam form and more" (Vancouver Sun) and has been commissioned by DanceWorks, Blue Ceiling Dance/Lucy Rupert, Canada Dance Festival, Cahoots Theatre, Dusk Dances, Toronto Dance Theatre, Theatre Direct Canada and Dancemakers. She has created four works in collaboration with Louis Laberge-Côté with whom she has been working since 2001, their most recent work Akshongay was nominated for four Dora Mavor Moore Awards. In 2006 Bhattacharya was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award in the Outstanding Performance category for José Navas’ Calm Abiding and in 2012 was awarded the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for outstanding artistic achievement in dance. Nova created, choreographed and presented a dance & movement workshop that spoke to the themes of the ‘border crossings’ Project.
Sid Sharp is a 25-year-old comic artist and emerging illustrator from Toronto. They collaborated in several community arts projects and installations across the GTA and Ontario. For the ‘border crossings’ Project, Sid facilitated community workshop and created an anchor/central character to feature stories shared by the communities in a graphic representation.
Helen Yung is a multi-disciplinary artist from Toronto. Her current artistic work with newcomers to Canada has been recognized by a groundbreaking research partnership with Humber College. Her ongoing newcomers project combines art, community engagement and social innovation to suggest immediate ways to transform the settlement process for newcomers.
Karly McCloskey is a Toronto-based artist who is extremely passionate for the moving image, whether it is video, film, or animation. Karly has a Bachelor of Arts from OCAD University and has completed a semester of self-directed study and art history in Florence, Italy. Karly has taught classical art techniques as well as animation and videography to adults and children of all ages. She is currently taking commissions. Karly loves creating music videos for Toronto musicians as well as working with local filmmakers to create animations, short films and experimental works. She is the creator of the video series Off The Wall Artists.
Robin is a community thinker, creative strategist, teacher, entrepreneur, and cultural developer. He carries expereince in creating brand identities, innovative communication campaigns and game-changing strategic marketing tactics across all industries in Canada. All of his engagements re-examine the meaningful purpose and creative strategy of the organization. In the cultural arena as in the private sector, these exercises require research insights, alternative thinking and unique facilitation skills. Robin’s award-winning work for the development of the Culture and Heritage Institute Symposia was part of a larger strategy to investigate current and compelling issues in culture and related industries. Globally-sourced guests provided compelling examples of leading edge thinking and profound insights into practice. ‘Neighbourhood Diaries. Stories from where I live.’ is an exploratory project for children, that engages artists, writers, Harbourfront and community centers across Toronto in an 8-week examination of creativity. From the development of the workshop prototype through to the gallery exhibit at Harbourfront, the experiences and the work produced successfully focused on the compelling child’s creative voice. As a sessional teacher of Think Tank at the Ontario College of Art and Design University students across all disciplines have an opportunity to investigate design thinking, to reflect on its relevance, and to face their self-determined path.