VirginiaGillespie – CandiceJames – HarveyOstroff with SanaJanjua & FauziaRafique at Word Arts LIVE ‘Ages & Stages’ – 11 March 2018

Welcome to the final event of the second session of Word Arts LIVE at Alexandra Neighborhood House. The March event will be held at Alexandra Hall instead of the media room, and it’ll be followed by a celebration of wine and refreshments.

This is the third event in the theme-based session titled ‘Ages & Stages: Dreams, reality checks and things that go bump in the night’ where the first event focused on ‘youthfulness’ on January 14th; ‘adulthood’ on February 11th, and now, ‘golden years’ on March 11th. We will have Author Virginia Gillespie, Poet Candice James and Performer Harvey Ostroff with Host Sana Janjua, and Discussion Facilitator Fauzia Rafique. There’ll be plenty of discussion time at the end.

Virginia Gillespie

Virginia Gillespie, Artistic Director of the VG PlayRoom Studio, is a writer, arts advocate, and coordinator of the Word-Arts Project through Surrey Cultural Grants. Her play LOSS, is part of the STUFF Collection where another short play, HOARDER, was selected for a curated reading at the Vancouver SHIFT Festival in support of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. Last spring she taught mixed-arts devising modules, which birthed PROJECT WOW: Arts Building Without Walls and the Tiptoe Through the Garden Event at the Newton Plot Sharing Garden and Medicine Wheel. Currently Virginia, Heidi McCurdy and Celina Strachan host LISTENING BOWL: rambles in nature, art making and celebrations to re- connect with self, land, spirit and community. Virginia is a Surrey Civic Treasure recipient who is passionate about bringing art alive and making performance an innovative tool for personal, societal and ecological transformation.
Faeebook @VGPlayRoom, @wowartsbuildingwithoutwalls @ListeningBowl

Candice James

Candice James served 2 terms as Poet Laureate of New Westminster BC and was appointed Poet Laureate Emerita by the City of New Westminster in Nov 2016. She is author of 13 books of poetry; a visual artist; musician; singer/songwriter; workshop facilitator. Her artwork has appeared in many magazines internationally including Duende (Goddard University of Fine Arts, Vermont); SurVision, (Ireland); The Arts and Entertainment Magazine (Hollywood); CQ International, New York); and Wax, Poetry Art Mgazine (Canada). She is also Founder of Royal City Literary Arts Society; Poetic Justice; Poetry in the Park; Poetry New Westminster; RCLAS Singer Songwriters; Fred Cogwsell Award for Excellence in Poetry and she it the recipient of the Bernie Legge Artist Cultural Award and Pandora’s Collective Citizenship Award.

Harvey Ostroff

Harvey has been involved in the theatre arts for fifty years as teacher/ Director and Helping teacher for SD 36 and as Instructor at Western Washington U and SFU. He is also a playwright. His first play, “Yossel’s Music,” was produced in 1983 by Studio 58 and his latest, Teatron’s production of “Delimax” went up at the Toronto Centre for the Arts in 2015. Since his retirement in 2002 he has been presenting workshops throughout the Lower Mainland including Stage-fighting and Characterization and has choreographed fight scenes for a variety of productions. His most popular workshop was “ Dancing with Swords.” He has also been an actor and is currently singing and writing songs. One claim to fame is that he got to sing his “Ballad of Terry Fox” with Valdy at a local fundraiser. He lives happily in the wonderful community of Ocean Park (South Surrey) with his wife Margie and has two successful children and three wonderful grandchildren.

Sana Janjua

Sana is a poet, performer and playwright. Her writings have been published at The Laaltain, Mayanaam and Uddari Weblog, and she has presented monologues at various cultural and literary events. Her play Migration, written and directed for a group of Pakistani-Canadian youth, expresses the experience of loneliness and pathos of (forced) migration and exile. Her monologue Smaller Names explores the dynamics of silencing of women’s voices/stories and the trauma and shame they endure as they speak. She has hosted events to commemorate Poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Women’s International Day, and book launching ceremonies for authors. A Founding Member and the President of Surrey Muse, Sana is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, and enjoys working in the field of mental health.

Fauzia Rafique

Fauzia is a novelist, poet, blogger and an activist. She has published two novels Skeena (English by Libros Libertad in 2011 and Punjabi by Sanjh Publications in 2007) and The Adventures of SahebaN: Biography of a Relentless Warrior (Libros Libertad, 2016). She has printed two chapbooks of her poems, Holier Than Life (Purple Poppy Press, 2013) and Passion Fruit/Tahnget Phal (Uddari Books 2011). She is a co-founder and the coordinator of Surrey Muse, and the project coordinator of Surrey Muse Writers. Fauzia is happy to have received WIN Canada’s Distinguished Novelist & Poet award in 2012, and to have declined Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013.

Word-Arts LIVE!
Sunday March 11, 2018
3-5 pm, Alexandra Hall
Alexandra Neighborhood House
2916 McBride Avenue, Surrey BC

Series co-founded and co-organized by Fauzia Rafique and Virginia Gillespie

We are grateful to the City of Surrey for the 2017 Cultural Project Grant for Word-Arts events, forums and training. Alexandra Neighbourhood House is home base and a strong supporter.

For more information and to participate, contact
Virginia Gillespie
Fauzia Rafique

Word Arts LIVE Series is a collaboration
between VG PlayRoom and Surrey Muse At Large (SMAL)

Surrey Muse At Large (SMAL) operates on
the unceded territories of the
Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Surrey Muse At Large (SMAL) is a project of
Surrey Muse.



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