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

Melissa Foster (she/her)

Director of Development

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 


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.

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. 

Jasmine Vanstone (she/her)

Interim Program Manager

Meet Jasmine

Jasmine Vanstone (she/her) is a Jamaican-Canadian multidisciplinary artist, arts facilitator, and arts administrator based in North York who explores the themes of anti-Black racism, mixed race identity, mental health and wellness, and environmental justice. With hopes to inspire, impact, and amplify marginalized voices through community engagement and arts education, Jasmine continues learning and pursuing opportunities that align with her passions.

What does art mean to you?

Transformative healing and community building.