Lila Karim | Executive Director

Lila is the founding Executive Director of North York Arts. Over her 17-year career in the cultural sector, Lila has worked for several non-profit arts organizations including the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, ReelWorld Film Festival and The Harold Greenberg Fund. Lila has held various roles including artistic producer and programmer. Through community and commercial partnerships, Lila has helped generate upwards of 500,000 cultural patrons and has created opportunities for artists and cultural-leaders to thrive. Lila is a digital photographer with a B.A.A. in photographic arts from Ryerson University. Her work has been exhibited in Toronto, and she regularly serves on visual arts juries.

Contact Lila at


Melissa Foster | Program & Outreach Director

Melissa joined North York Arts in 2014 and has since worked on numerous initiatives to provide opportunities for artistic participation within the community. Melissa has over 10 years working in the public sector. Throughout her career, she has collaborated on several community arts projects and facilitated arts programs both abroad and within Toronto. Her primary focus is on the development and implementation of public art and community driven, arts-based programming. Melissa holds a BA (hons) in Theatre Studies as well as a Community Arts Practice Certificate from York University. She also holds a post-degree diploma in Arts Management from Western University.

Contact Melissa at


Cecilia Garcia | Program & Volunteer Coordinator

Cecília holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film studies from the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil and has built a diverse portfolio working in the Brazilian film industry. After arriving in Canada, she was fascinated by the Canadian cultural landscape; her experience as a volunteer for London Community Players drew her to pursue a career in arts management. Cecília received a diploma in arts management from Western University and has since volunteered with Airsa Art & Thought and Regent Park Film Festival, and has worked as a gallery assistant at Queen Gallery in Toronto. In 2016, She completed an internship with North York Arts where she further developed her skills and passion for arts programming and volunteer management. She is thrilled to be at NYA and to help to build communities through the arts.

Contact Cecilia at


Rachel Birnberg | Development & Communications Coordinator

Rachel has always had a passion for art and all things creative. As a graduate of the Media, Information and Technoculture (MIT) program at Western University, she was able to foster these passions though various creative courses, a semester abroad at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, as well as a four-month internship at The Grand Theatre in London, Ontario. Now, Rachel holds a post-graduate diploma in arts management from Western Continuing Studies. Through this program (and an internship at NYA), she learned to effectively apply professional management skills to the arts (taking specific interest in marketing and communications), and she has become interested in the importance of art and creative expression as a catalyst for community development.

Contact Rachel at


Fanny Martin | Festival Producer

Born and educated in France, Fanny Martin spent 10 years in the UK working as a creative producer for festivals, live music and art in the public space, and as a consultant leading on sector-building initiatives and organizational change. Toronto is the 8th city she calls home. She currently works at local, national and international scale on projects ranging from festival strategy and management, arts education, cultural research and policy, public space and community engagement. She is an Art of Hosting practitioner and supports artists and organizations through transitions and long-term planning. Photo by: m.brown / 

Contact Fanny for Sunday Serenades at: or for Cultura Festival at

Brett Cormier | Development & Communications Intern

Alberta native Brett is a current student of Western University’s Continuing Studies public relations program; he is completing his practicum through North York Arts as the Development and Communications intern. Before this, Brett obtained a BA and MA in Art History at Western, with specializations ranging from early medievalism to 1960s minimalism. Brett was also involved in facilitating art exhibitions at local London art institutions such as Museum London and Western’s Art Lab. Brett is a prospective communications professional, hoping to work in public relations in the arts and entertainment spheres. Brett is excited to be at NYA and to work with North York’s dynamic and eclectic art scene, as well as its diverse community.

Contact Brett at

Azadeh Pirazimian | Programming Assistant

Azadeh Pirazimian is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto, using visual arts and performance to express herself. Most of her works are based on her life experience. She offers a critical view of socio-political and cultural issues. While she uses different mediums and various techniques for each project, her methodology is consistent. She believes as an artist this is her responsibility. And her intention is shifting her audiences’ attention to these subjects. Azadeh holds a BA in painting and a MA in Visual Communication and has been teaching visual arts for more than a decade while she keeps developing her artistic practice in painting and performance. She is excited to be at NYA to learn more about and contribute to arts programming and management. 

Contact Azadeh at

About Us

North York Arts (NYA)  collaborates with artists, arts organizations, and partners to develop, strengthen, and promote cultural programming and initiatives for North York communities

 Contact us 

North York Arts
(Toronto Centre for the Arts)
5040 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON, M2N 6R8

(416) 733-9388
Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm