Meet the Team

Christina Giannelia (she/her)

Executive Director

Meet Christina

Christina is inspired by the role the arts play in uplifting, inspiring, and celebrating communities. Born and raised in Toronto, Christina has over a decade of experience in the international arts /non-profit sector having held leadership positions in arts organizations in Canada and abroad. She is an alum and Board member of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and holds an MA in Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Christina is thrilled to join NorthYork Arts as Executive Director as of August 2021.

What does art mean to you?

Creativity breathes life into community

Cecilia Garcia (she/her)

Senior Program Manager

Meet Cecilia

Originally from Brazil, Cecilia holds a BFA in film studies. After arriving in Canada in 2014, she received a diploma in arts management and has since volunteered and worked with multiple arts organizations in Toronto. She is thrilled to be at NYA to help to build communities through the arts.

What does art mean to you?

Art creates connections and community!


Anna Aleksanyan (she/her)

Communications Manager

Meet Anna

Anna joins NYA from a professional background of communications & advertising, and a longstanding passion for the arts and community building. She has been lucky to incorporate the arts into her life through performance, visual art, and creative writing.

What does art mean to you?

Art is the driving force of life.

Julián Carvajal (he/him)

Program and Outreach Lead

Meet Julián

Julián Carvajal (he/him) is a Toronto-based award-winner creator & producer of experiences. This Queer Latinx Colombian Canadian Arts Manager/Producer has over 21 years of experience managing, curating and delivering arts festivals and cultural events. He is the Event Producer of the largest PanAmerican Food and Music Festival in Canada, Mentor in Residence at the Neighbourhood Arts Network while working at North York Arts, StreetARToronto and producing “In My Element(s) Symposia” for ArtWorkxTO.

Julián has collaborated with organizations and artists from 5 continents on multiple artistic projects. He has mentored over 400 self-identified artists for the past 10 years. He is passionate about building meaningful relationships; helping others to navigate the art sector in the city while collaborating with others to co-create an anti-oppressive and more diverse and inclusive vision of the art sector in Tkaronto.

What does art mean to you?

The Big Bang of my life




Janice Kollie (she/her)

Office Administration

Meet Janice

Janice believes that the arts are a powerful tool in shaping the future, especially for the next generation. Having a background in psychology, early childhood, and special education, Janice has integrated into her pedagogical approach creative ways to engage children in art playing and art-making. She believes that arts bring an array of benefits to children’s development including increased self-confidence, enhanced communication skills, and improved cognition.

She has recently completed her post-graduate diploma in Arts Management at Centennial College and is delighted to have her internship at North York Arts.

What does art mean to you?

Art is one of the highest forms of expression

Chantel Parris (she/her)

Social Media and Volunteer Coordinator

Meet Chantel

Chantel was born and raised in Bermuda and moved to Canada in 2012 for university, where she obtained a BA in Business and a BBA in Communications. She is a business-minded creative with a background in non-profit programming, arts and events. As an immigrant learning to navigate Canada and build confidence in her identity, she was relieved to find solitude in creative communities. Chantel is delighted to contribute to the North York Arts team as she gets the opportunity to nurture community through the arts while supporting people on similar journeys.

What does art mean to you?

Freedom – a space to express a truth that sometimes there are no words for. 

Alia Ettienne (she/her)

Accessible Futures Coordinator

Meet Alia

Alia Ettienne is a theatre writer, actor, performer and facilitator from Toronto, ON. Initially, she studied Performance at Sheridan College, moving on to explore Creative Writing and Arts Marketing. Her first solo piece, YellowZoned, premiered in The 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival and her creative wellness program, Chill N Do Art, has been running for a total of four years. Currently, she is most focused on The Creative Coping Kits Initiative, and writing her second full length piece Allow For Release: The Xiety Complex.

What does art mean to you?

A conscious form of expression

Davinder Malhi (he/they)

Special Projects Coordinator

Meet Davinder

Davinder Malhi is an actor, playwright, and community organizer based in Toronto. He is a graduate from York University and holds a BFA in Theatre. He is the co-founder of Saawan Collective, a South-Asian theatre collective focused on producing new Indo-Canadian plays and creating space for emerging South Asian playwrights. He is thrilled to begin his work at NYA.

What does art mean to you?

Humanizing change

Melissa Foster (she/her)

Program & Outreach Director (Currently On Leave)

Meet Melissa

Melissa joined North York Arts in 2014 and has 15 years working in various roles throughout the public sector. She  holds a BA (hons) in Theatre Studies from York University and a Community Arts Practice Certificate from York University. She also holds a post-degree diploma in Arts Management from Western University.

What does art mean to you?

Exploring our shared humanity 


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
5040 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON, M2N 6R8


Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

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