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

Elizabeth Mudenyo (she/her)

Program Manager

Meet Elizabeth

Elizabeth Mudenyo is a Scarborough-raised professional poet, community-engaged artist, and arts manager. Versed in projects and event management, she has worked all sides of the festival circuit with groups like the Regent Park Film Festival, Luminato, Hot Docs, and the Racial Equity Media Collective, among others. Moving towards literary and community arts, she continues to immerse herself in arts programming engaging the voices, imaginations and knowings of BIPOC, LGBTQQIAS2+ communities and others on the margins.

What does art mean to you? 

Art is everything. It is what I do for a living, and most importantly how I make my life full and meaningful. It is how I make my place in the world and also what I do for fun! 🙂

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.

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. 

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

Davinder Malhi (he/they)

Program Coordinator

Meet Davinder

Davinder Malhi (he/they) is an actor, playwright, and community facilitator based in North York. He is a graduate from York University and holds a BFA in Theatre. He is the co-founder of Saawan Collective, a theatre collective focused on developing new South Asian plays and creating space for emerging South Asian playwrights. He is thrilled to return to NYA and continue his journey with the artistic community in North York.

What does art mean to you?

Understanding worlds beyond my own.

Declan David (he/him)

Outreach Coordinator

Meet Declan

Declan David is an Afro-Caribbean-Canadian visual artist specializing in animation, illustration, and painting. He graduated from OCAD in 2023 with a BFA in Fine Art, focusing on digital painting and expanded animation. He has a background in event planning working with various university of Toronto affiliated organizations. He is super excited to be able to share his skills with the arts community here at North York arts.

What does art mean to you? 
a tangible form of emotion.

Jay-Marie Phillips (she/her)

Program Coordinator

Meet Jay-Marie

Born in Scarborough, Raised in Trinidad, Jay-Marie Phillips is a community programmer, event organizer and producer living in North York, working extensively in collaboration with others to create more diverse spaces through inclusive programming. Outside of her artistic contributions, she works with vulnerable sector youth as part of the Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Network In the Dundas West Neighbourhood.

What does art mean to you?

“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”

― Cesar A. Cruz

Maria Moreno (she/her)

Outreach Coordinator

Meet Maria

Maria is passionate about art creation, mindfulness, and community building. She was born and raised in Colombia and holds a Master’s in Museum Studies from Universidad de Navarra in Spain. Since 2014 she has been working alongside non-profits and artistic institutions in Ontario to support and grow the role of arts and culture in our communities.

What does art mean to you?

Art is the highest expression of curiosity, imagination, and love.