The Community Pollinators Program is a long-term education initiative supporting and celebrating the ongoing stewardship of the x̱aw̓s shew̓áy̓ New Growth《新生林》garden by an Indigenous and racialized young cohort. The program is currently based out of the Indigenous permaculture garden at 221A’s Semi-Public 半公開 site located at 271 Union St. in Chinatown/DTES/historic Hogan’s Alley on xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations lands.
- jaz whitford, x̱aw̓s shew̓áy̓ New Growth《新生林》Community Pollinator
- Soloman Chiniquay, x̱aw̓s shew̓áy̓ New Growth《新生林》Community Pollinator
- Valeen Jules, x̱aw̓s shew̓áy̓ New Growth《新生林》Community Pollinator
- Oliver Barnes, x̱aw̓s shew̓áy̓ New Growth《新生林》Community Pollinator
- T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss, x̱aw̓s shew̓áy̓ New Growth《新生林》Garden Matriarch
- Riel Manywounds
- TJ Felix
- Grace Burke
- Shine Manywounds
- Nicole Kelly Westman, "Art Aunty"
- Tao Fei, Staff
- Afuwa, Staff
- Aislinn Thomas
- Ramya Amuthan
- Erik Benjamins, Research Mentor
- Brigitte Lochhead, Technical Lead
- Gary Hill, Technical Assistant
- Christina Battle, Fellow
- Zasha Colah, Fellow
- jaz is a mixed secwe̓pemc & scottish interdisciplinary artist who embodies anti-professionalism & anti-colonialism as a way to move toward a future where indigenous knowledge and ways of being are not only respected but valued & revered. using a range of materials, forms and mediums they work to investigate and express their lived experience and understanding of spirituality, resistance, ancestral connections, and community care. jaz’s ancestry ties them to cstálen “adams lake” in unceded secwepemcúl’ecw in the southern interior of so-called “british columbia” where they had the privilege of being raised close with the lands and waters within their territories & beyond, and it informs their work expansively. living predominantly on the west coast since 2017, the bulk of their work has bloomed within the traditional territories of the Skwxwú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ, xʷməθkwəy̓əm, and Stó:lō where they have been overwhelmed with the warmheartedness, & generosity of the host nations and allied communities
- Soloman Chiniquay is a documentary photographer and filmmaker living between xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, səl̓ilwətaɁɬ territory and his homelands of Treaty 7 territory. His lens-based work explores the ways he is welcomed to witness expressions of Indigeneity, creating imagery that attempts to show, in sometimes raw ways, the land and the people on it, the ways they use and connect to the land, and the artifacts they leave on it.
Valeen Jules is a queer birth worker and wood carver from the Nuu-chah-nulth and Kwakwaka'wakw nations. Valeen has been known to friends as "the doula that never leaves", "the eagle soaring above", and "the only top at the table".
- Oliver Barnes is an activist, musician, community worker, neighbourhood explorer and avid collaborator currently based on the Unceded Territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. He is not interested in occupying the center and finds value in the often invisible labour of supporting, assisting, and building with those he cares for. As a musician and bandmate, he has toured across Turtle Island and Europe and has performed at festivals such as SXSW, NXNE, CMJ, POP Montreal and Sled Island. Barnes is of mixed Malagasy, Chinese & European ancestry.
- T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss (Skwxwu7mesh/Sto:Lo/Hawaiian/Swiss) is an interdisciplinary artist, ethnobotanist, educator, and food security activist with a 30-year practice that engages with communities, technology and ecosystems by sharing stories. Wyss was named the Vancouver Public Library’s 2018 Indigenous Storyteller in Residence, and she is developing a project for the City of Vancouver artist-initiated public art commissions, entitled Constellation of Remediation in collaboration with Anne Riley.
- Riel Manywounds is from Tsuut’ina and Dakelh T’enneh territories, of Diné and Blackfoot descent. She programs youth arts and cultural events for her Nation, as Youth Program Director in Tsuut’ina Nation. She is a street artist and advocate for Indigenous Arts in Calgary, Alberta and sits on the Board of Directors of the Mountain Standard Time Performative Art Festival Society (M:ST).
- TJ Felix is a Secwepemc two-spirit artist, musician and colonial law breaker from the Splatsin region of Secwepemculecw. They are currently missing home on the stolen lands of the Squamish, Musqueam, & Tsleil-Waututh peoples.
- Nicole Kelly Westman is the Education & Learning Programmer at 221A. Westman practices as a visual artist of Métis and Icelandic descent that recognizes with indebted gratitude the artists that have come before her and strenuously forged space, the curators that place care at the fore of their labour, the communities that foster confidence in her practice, and the institutions and organizations that implement policies prefacing relations of trust. As an artist, she enjoys practices of listening, watching, hosting, poeticizing, foraging, and sharing. Westman earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Emily Carr University (2012) and garnered invaluable experience through the practicum program in the Visual Arts department of the Banff Centre (2013-14). As a cultural worker, Westman was previously the Assistant Director (2014) and then Gallery Director (2015-18) of Stride Art Gallery, the Vice-President of the Board of M:ST Performative Art Festival (2014-18), and a Board Member at Untitled Art Society (2014-15), all Calgary/Mohkínstsis . Westman’s writing has been published as part of her own curatorial work, through the curatorial work of others with the essays rolling hills of prairie grasses as exquisite as rainforest and I am sorry I didn’t Call – A poem for a now – vacant site, as well as the periodicals C Magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly, Instudio Magazine, and Luma Quarterly.
- Tao Fei is a multidisciplinary cultural worker with over 15 years of experience as a producer, non-profit director, researcher and writer. Tao is currently Producer, Strategic Initiatives at 221A where she advances the research and development goals of the organization, with a focus on decentralized technologies and polycentric governance and ownership models in art and public sector contexts. Prior to joining 221A she was Executive Producer of the POP Montreal International Music Festival, where she led the expansion of visual art, film, symposium and community engagement verticals alongside the festival's core music programming. Recent cohorts and fellowships include the Banff Centre for the Arts, Saas-Fee Institute of Art, The New Centre for Research & Practice, and KERNEL. She is a founding Board member of Cinéma Public in Montreal. Born in Hong Kong, Tao is sixth-generation Chinese-Canadian with maternal family ties to Vancouver’s Chinatown. She moved back to Vancouver in 2019, after 20+ years away. email@example.com
- Afuwa is an artist and dedicated non-profit cultural worker who has worked in neighbouring social service and cultural organizations Watari Counselling and Support Services, The Capilano Review Magazine, and Gallery Gachet. She is a grant writer, workshop facilitator, curator, interviewer, writer, editor, and member of federal, municipal, and grassroots‐level committees. Over the last 17 years she has worked collaboratively to identify and lower the barriers that persist in art galleries and non-profit organizations. Afuwa brings her own experience as an artist, a support worker, and her training in nonviolent crisis intervention, youth facilitation, and non-profit accounting. Her own artistic practice is a contemporary exploration of lineage and land relations across the Atlantic diaspora, and her sound and art installation Still Salt, Dark Stories was featured in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Vancouver Special: Disorientations and Echo, which closed January 2022. Afuwa is honoured to support the work of creativity, community, and connection alongside her teammates at 221A.
- Aislinn Thomas is an interdisciplinary Artist whose practice includes video, performance, sculpture, installation, and text. She culls material from everyday experiences and relationships, creating work that ranges from poignant to absurd–at times straddling both. Many of Aislinn’s recent projects respond to access and disability. She works alongside and in the legacy of so many who, out of necessity, treat both as spaces for creative acts. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include the WRO Media Arts Biennial (Wroclaw, Poland), Flux Factory (Queens, NY), Science Gallery Lab (Detroit, MI), University of Glasgow (Scotland, UK), Tangled Art + Disability (Toronto, ON), The New Gallery (Calgary, AB), Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, ON), Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery (Halifax, NS), articule (Montreal, QC), and C Magazine. Commissioned projects include A piece of cloth, held taut curated by Crystal Mowry for the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery; and A distinct aggregation / A dynamic equivalent / A generous ethic of invention curated by Jacqueline Bell for the Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Aislinn is a white, disabled, cis-gendered settler of Ashkenazic and British/Scottish/Welsh descent. She is grateful to live and work in Mi’kma’ki, in Unama’ki / Cape Breton on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Lnu’k in Peace and Friendship Treaty territory.
- Ramya Amuthan is currently a Host and Producer at Accessible Media Inc (AMI). She works with the live afternoon show team for the daily entertainment and lifestyle audio show, Kelly and Company. Ramya’s work involves meeting fascinating people, hearing their stories, and facilitating conversations on a variety of topics relating to the disability community in Canada. Ramya is also the co-creator of Adventures, a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind in Toronto, which creates daring physical activity opportunities for blind and partially sighted individuals and encourages participants to step out of their comfort zones. Ramya always makes time for hobbies; including singing (for herself and sometimes others), dancing (mostly Brazilian Zouk), and brushing up on her culinary skills.
- Erik Benjamins is a multidisciplinary artist and writer exploring the symptoms and possibilities of embodied knowledge. Recent projects have brought him to Chengdu, China; the Banff Centre, Canada; Spring Workshop, Hong Kong; the Jan van Eyck Academie, Netherlands; and the Santa Fe Art Institute, New Mexico.
- Brigitte Lochhead resides in Vancouver, BC. She studied at Emily Carr University of Art and Design where she received her BFA, 2013. She works in sculpture. Her practice is centred around material investigation, process and form in order to draw out relationships between the material and immaterial.
- Gary Hill is a retired stone Mason. He spent 30 years perfecting his skill and has worked on small and large scale projects throughout BC. A master of technique, Gary approaches his work from an intuitive and creative approach, compiling architectural man-made forms with the natural shapes and characteristics of stones.
- Christina Battle (Edmonton, amiskwacîwâskahikan ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᕀ ᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ, Canada) is an artist, curator and educator working within the Aspen Parkland: the transition zone where prairie and forest meet. Battle’s work focuses on thinking deeply about the concept of disaster and the ways in which it might be utilized as a framework for social change. Much of this work extends from her recent PhD dissertation (2020) which looked closer to community responses to disaster: the ways in which they take shape, and especially to how online models might help to frame and strengthen such response.
- Zasha Colah co-founded the research collaborative blackrice in Tuensang, Nagaland (2007). She worked as a curator of modern Indian art at the CSMVS Museum in Mumbai (2009-2011). She co-founded the curatorial collaborative, union of artists, and art space Clark House Initiative, Mumbai (under which she curated projects collaboratively with Sumesh Sharma from 2010-2015). Her art writing and curatorial research turn around contemporary art in Indo-Burma since the late 80s. Her latest essays on this region have been included in 'Interlaced Journeys: Diaspora and the Contemporary in Southeast Asian Art' (eds. Patrick D Flores and Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani, Osage Art Foundation, 2020) and in 'Art & Ecology' (eds. Ravi Agarwal and Latika Gupta, Marg, 2020). Her writing on the curatorial has been included in 'The New Curator' (ed. Natasha Hoare et al., Laurence King, 2016); in 'The Curatorial Conundrum' (ed. Paul O’Neill et al., MIT Press, 2016); 'Curating Under Pressure' (ed. Elke aus dem Moore, OnCurating journal 38, 2018). She curated ‘body luggage’, (Kunsthaus and steirischer herbst, Graz, 2016); ‘I love you Sugar Kane’ (ICIAO, Mauritius, 2016). She co-curated with Luca Cerizza ‘Prabhakar Pachpute’ (National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, 2016), and the third Pune Biennale ‘Habit-co-habit. Artistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces’ (2017). She was part of the curatorial team under Marco Scotini of the second Yinchuan Biennale, ‘Starting from the Desert. Ecologies on the Edge’ (2018). She is co-curator with Marianne Zamecznik of a year-long public art commission for Deichmanske bibliotek, National Public Library, Oslo. She teaches comparative curatorial theory in the Master of Visual Arts & Curatorial Studies department, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan (since 2018).