Arts Mentorship Program 2021: Mentees & Mentors

SUE TANYA x Sedina

Sue Tanya Parks – Theatre Creator

With a background in business and a love for storytelling, Sue-Tanya Parks decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in Theatre & Performance at the University of Toronto. As an emerging artist, her focus is in the area of producing for theatre & film. To date, she has worked as an Assistant Stage Manager and Costume Designer on the 2020 Winter’s Tale production at U of T. Through her current mentorship with the York Region Arts Council, she hopes to further explore the intersection of theatre x visual arts x consciousness and develop her artistic skills as a producer. Her influences range from a variety of artists including Ava DuVernay, Crystal Pite, Tobe Nwigwe and Weyni Mengesha.

Mentor: Sedina Fiati – performer, producer, creator and director

Sedina Fiati is a performer, producer, creator and director for stage and screen. Born and raised in Toronto (mainly grew up in Rexdale), she is a graduate of Etobicoke School of Arts and she has a BFA in Music Theatre from the University of Windsor. She is proudly queer, femme and of Trinidadian and Ghanaian descent. Favourite projects: Every Day She Rose (director, Nightwood Theatre), Switch: The Village (street performance project), Feminist Fuck It Festival (co-creator and co-producer), Maternal (producer, short film). Sedina is the Lead Facilitator of Generator’s Artist Producer Training Program.

Vicki x Lorraine

Mentee: Vicki Lovelee – Singer/Songwriter

Vicki Lovelee is a Chinese Canadian pop singer-songwriter from Ontario, Canada. Vicki cleverly combines storytelling lyrics with strong, artistic visuals in a moody yet theatrical fashion. She is influenced by pop artists like Lady Gaga, Allie X and MARINA. Her songs showcase different emotions and stories, reflecting the multiple facets of Vicki Lovelee. Her strong, bright vocals and vulnerable lyrics, contrast yet compliment her triumphant melodies to reflect her struggles that transform into self-growth. From struggling with mental health, to not feeling accepted, to falling in love, Vicki writes about different life experiences that are unique to her own yet relatable. Her introspective lyrics will leave listeners eager to know how the story ends. Listen to Vicki Lovelee on any music platform. Keep an eye out for her next single in early 2021!

Mentor: Lorraine Lawson – Founder, Lawson Vocal Studios

As one of the most successful coaches in North America, Lorraine is privileged to be the Vocal Coach for CTV’s ‘The Launch’ and Season 5 of the hit show ‘Schitt’s Creek’. Other clients include Grammy nominee Kai, dance sensation; Blake McGrath, Canadian superstars Roy Woods (OVO), Kira Isabella, Scott Helman (Warner). She also works with Musical Theatre and TV Actors such as Ian Lake, Brenton Thwaites and Emily Hampshire.

Deemed “Canada’s Mariah Carey” by the National Post, Lorraine has released three critically-acclaimed jazz and pop albums, countless dance singles, radio jingles, and has performed all over the world.

Lorraine is the proud founder of Lawson Vocal Studios where she is able combine her years of experience coaching, recording and performing. She is committed to providing singers with innovative programming and achieving exceptional results.

Sarah x Monica

Sarah Forestieri – Arts Administrator

Sarah Forestieri is an arts administrator, soprano, and educator. In her current role as the Manager of Community Partnerships & Programs at the Canadian Opera Company, she is primarily responsible for the planning and execution of the COC’s community programs for children, youth and families.

Sarah holds a Master of Music in Voice Performance & Literature from the Eastman School of Music, a certificate in Arts Leadership from the Eastman Institute for Music Leadership, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto in Voice Performance. In addition to her work with the COC, Sarah is also the Community Manager at From the Voice of, an online community for connecting and engaging with forward-thinking singers and voice educators.

Mentor: Monica Esteves – Executive director, Canadian stage

Monica Esteves is a seasoned arts manager with over 20 years of professional experience, specializing in capacity building, strategic and business planning, revenue development and financial management.

Prior to joining Canadian Stage, Monica served as Managing Director of Crow’s Theatre for nine years. While at Crow’s, Monica was responsible for strategy and capacity planning, design development processes, construction/project management, exponential ten-fold growth in earned and contributed revenues, and a successful $12-million capital campaign and a new performing arts facility: Streetcar Crowsnest.

Prior to Crow’s Theatre, she was the Producer and General Manager of Nightwood Theatre from 2005 to 2010. Monica oversaw the management of the company, production and operations, and significantly grew annual operations, most notably through increased earned and contributed revenues.

Earlier in her career, Monica worked for a wide variety of professional theatres including Canadian Stage, Company Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Stratford Festival, Mirvish Productions, Theatre Passe Muraille, and various festivals and productions. Monica has served on numerous boards of directors, including the Professional Association of Canadian Theatre, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, and East End Arts. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Impact Program for Arts Leaders.

Alessandra x Erika

Alessandra Pozzuoli – Interdisciplinary Artist

Alessandra Pozzuoli is an interdisciplinary artist. Using painting, textiles, sculpture, and printmaking she explores how sacred meaning is constructed and maintained through space, gesture, objects, and the sharing of stories. Inspired by the material languages developed by Italian immigrant women and their descendants, her artistic practice highlights women’s labour as caretakers and keepers of cultural knowledge within the context of devotion, family, ageing, and death. Pozzuoli is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design (2018), earning a BFA in Painting with a minor in History, Social Studies and Philosophy. She currently resides in York Region.

Mentor: Erika DeFreitas – interdisciplinary artist

Erika DeFreitas is a Scarborough-based artist whose practice includes the use of performance, photography, video, installation, textiles, works on paper, and writing. Placing an emphasis on process, gesture, the body, documentation, and paranormal phenomena, she works through attempts to understand concepts of loss, post-memory, inheritance, and objecthood. DeFreitas’ work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She was the recipient of the TFVA 2016 Finalist Artist Prize, the 2016 John Hartman Award, and longlisted for the 2017 Sobey Art Award. DeFreitas holds a Master of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto.


ADAM MARTINO – Choreographer

Artistic Director of Breakaway Entertainment, Adam has been in the entertainment industry for over 16 years having the privilege to train with the industry’s leading choreographers.

Adam has had the opportunity to perform/work with such artists as 5SOS, Meghan Patrick, Augusta Ray & Peter Katz as well as professional companies Carnival Entertainment, Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club, Nuit Blanche & Niagara’s Fallsview Casino.

Professional Musical Theatre Credits include: Disney’s Newsies, Motor City, Aladdin, Legally Blonde, Toopy & Binoo Fun & Games, The Silent Goodbye, White Light Follies and the North American Tour of Pinkfong Babyshark Live.

Mentor: Linda Garneau – Choreographer

Choreographer, educator, movement coach and PhD candidate in Dance Studies at York U. Linda is the artistic director of the Helix Dance Project, whose works include The Waiting Room, Rain, Unearth, and Integration. Theatre credits include five seasons with The Shaw Festival, as well as productions for Mirvish, Canadian Stage, Charlottetown Festival, Citadel Theatre, National Theatre Centre, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, and Sheridan Theatre. Other credits include choreography for Stars on Ice, skating exhibition programs, and music videos. Linda continues to enjoy freelance choreography, teaching both at home and abroad, and discovering new facets of this wonderfully moving craft.