Advisory Group

MamaDances is in the process of constituting an advisory board. MamaDances advisors currently include:

Margie Gillis

As choreographer and performer of more than one hundred solo dance works, Margie Gillis has earned rave reviews in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and in South and North America. A passionate and steadfast artist, she has worked with the greatest dancers and artists of her time either including them in her own personal projects or by participating in the productions of her peers. Concerned with the durability of her unique approach to art, Margie Gillis teaches often in different institutions such as the Juilliard School of New York.

Margie Gillis has been a Member of the Order of Canada since 1988 and she was appointed Knight of the Ordre national du Québec in 2009. Also, the Canadian and Quebec governments have each given her the honorary title of Cultural Ambassador. In 2001, in recognition of her exceptional contribution to national culture, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec awarded her their Career Grant. During the 2008-2009 season, which spotlighted the 35th anniversary of Margie Gillis’ career, the Canada Council for the Arts awarded her the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts, and the famous Stella Adler Studio of New York gave her their first MAD Spirit Award for Exceptional Humanitarian Actions by an Artist. In May 2011, she received the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award from the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award Foundation.

Margie Gillis’ masterful interpretation of the different facets of the human soul has won her loyal audiences over the years. Unwaveringly, her work continues to develop through performances, experimentations, teaching and creating.

Dr. Ak’ingabe Guyon

Dr. Ak’ingabe Guyon, MSc., M.D., CCFP, FRCPC, is a family physician who specializes in public health and preventive medicine.  Over the course of the last fifteen years, she practiced medicine and trained in multiple settings: urban and rural Quebec, British Columbia, Eastern Africa and the UK.  Her interests, both professional and personal, include the professional surroundings of women around birth.  This led her to complete a study on inter-professional relations between physicians, midwives and nurses and to publicly advocate on behalf of midwifery in Quebec.  Dr. Guyon participated extensively in MamaDances classes prior to joining the MamaDances Advisory Board.

Jane Needles

Jane Needles’ wide experience in the arts covers all disciplines of the cultural world, primarily arts administration and teaching administrative techniques.  Born into a well-known theatre family, she learned from an early age, working hands-on, in almost every aspect of productions and latterly, of producing artistic events and theatre seasons.  Throughout an extensive career, along with her regular employment, she has maintained an active role in the arts world as a volunteer lobbyist, board member, consultant, teacher and participant in many groups and committees, both French and English.  Her involvement with both cultures has increased her awareness of their complex diversities. Currently she is the Executive Director of the Quebec Drama Federation, and was also a member of the Board in various capacities over the past fifteen years for the QDF, former Vice President and current Board member of the English Language Arts Network, Past President of the Centre d’activités récréatives et educatives de Montreal (C.A.R.E Centre), Treasurer for the CEDEC, Board member of the CQRHC, Board member of the Conseil québécoise du théâtre, and Regional Representative for the National Advisory Board of the Actors’ Fund of Canada, to name some of the volunteer activities she has taken on.  She teaches Arts Administration at Bishops’ University as well as career management and administration courses for the various CEGEPs and training institutions in Montreal. She is also Guest Lecturer on a permanent basis for Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla in Puebla, Mexico.

Jini Stolk

Jini Stolk was cofounder and Executive Director of Creative Trust, an organization dedicated to strengthening the financial capacity and organizational potential of Toronto’s performing arts community and has served as Creative Trust Research Fellow at the Toronto Arts Foundation. Previously, she was Managing Director of Toronto Dance Theatre, Executive Director of the Toronto Theatre Alliance/Dora Mavor Moore Awards, Associate Director of the Association of Canadian Publishers and General Manager of Open Studio. She continues her involvement in many community and cultural advocacy activities, and is Chair and a founding steering committee member of the Ontario Nonprofit Network, and a director of the Centre for Social Innovation; she is Past Vice-President of the Toronto Arts Council and Past-President of Toronto Artscape, Hum dansoundart and Six Stages Theatre Festival, and was a member of the steering committee of ArtsVote Toronto 2010. She received the 2012 William Kilbourn Award for the Celebration of Toronto’s Cultural Life, and was a Sandra Tulloch Award and Harold Award winner.