Performer Bios - 2013

Glenn Deer

posted Aug 24, 2013, 12:06 AM by Pamela Bentley

Glenn Deer is a poet, father, and an Assistant Professor of English at UBC. Deer's recent teaching and research interests include the politics of historiography in Michael Ondaatje, comparative studies of Asian American and Asian Canadian writing, mixed-race writing and trans-ethnic desire, the representations of food in trans-cultural writing, and the discourses of the nuclear.

Russell Wallace

posted Aug 24, 2013, 12:01 AM by Pamela Bentley   [ updated Aug 24, 2013, 12:04 AM ]

Russell Wallace is a composer, writer, producer and is a traditional Lil’wat singer. Wallace’s music has been part of a number of soundtracks (film, video, television) and theatre/dance productions. Wallace studied Creative Writing at Capilano University and University of British Columbia and has had some of his poetry published in anthologies and periodicals. Currently Wallace teaches at Native Education College, Simon Fraser University, and Capilano University and is also writing a musical based on the life of jazz singer Mildred Bailey.

The Great Smartini

posted Aug 17, 2013, 8:41 AM by Natasha Boskic   [ updated Aug 17, 2013, 8:41 AM ]

Jeff Christensen aka The Great Smartini has been an award winning Vancouver magician for over 25 years.  He first became interested in magic during high school thanks to his physics teacher Mr. Best.  soon thereafter Smartini became a junior member of the prestigious Vancouver Magic Circle which is affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Magicians.  Some previous Smartini clients include: Vancouver Public Library, Lord Baden Powell Elementary, L' ecole Bilingue, School District 43, Thomas Cooke Travel, , Work Safe BC, Fraser Valley Library, Coquitlam Challenge Students Association.
In addition to his magical talents Smartini is also an experienced public school teacher who is an expert at the teaching of reading.  He recently completed his masters degree in language and literacy instruction at U.B.C.  using this expertise Smartini has developed a new show entitled -reading magic.  This show is specifically designed to both encourage as well as teach sound reading skills.  For more info on this show click on the "Show Info" rubber chicken tab.  Another interest for Smartini is scientific literacy and critical thinking.  Smartini has developed a series of curriculum materials which use magic and pseudo-science to help promote the scientific method.  He presented his research findings and experiences on this topic at the MYABC Middle School Conference.  

Lache Cercel

posted Aug 17, 2013, 8:38 AM by Natasha Boskic   [ updated Aug 17, 2013, 8:39 AM ]

Lache Cercel
The flare and passion of traditional Eastern European melodies with swingin’ jazz harmonies… and a little egyptian percussion for good measure…

Lache Cercel and his Roma Swing Ensemble represent the latest chapter in an important movement in Canadian World Music – elite musicians from around the world who settle in Canada and create music that incorporates their own traditions with influences they find surrounding them here.

Before leaving his homeland, Lache Cercel was one of Romania’s premier musicians. From a musical family, he trained at the Academy of Arts in Bucharest, became a soloist with the Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra and, in 1986, was awarded the “Artist of the People” Citation by the Romanian government.

Since settling in Canada in 1998, he has furthered his musical studies at Vancouver Community College and collaborated with musicians from a diverse range of backgrounds. Among them are renowned Egyptian percussionist Adel Awad, noted Vancouver jazz vocalist Laura Crema and Latin music virtuoso Sal Ferreras. Cercel’s music is firmly rooted in Roma tradition, styled with Doina Klezmer, Middle Eastern and European sounds, and held together with jazz improvisation. He calls his fusion Roma Jazz or Roma Swing. In the tradition of Django Reinhardt and Stephen Grappelli, Cercel lays classical and improvisational jazz alongside traditional renderings, which makes for a phenomenal sound.

Cercel is a bandleader who lets every musician shine. He plays with the outrageous virtuosity found in contemporary European Roma recordings, and adds his own vision, relaxing the form somewhat. The musicians play with freedom and the listener feels the strong roots and hears the history of tragedy, struggle and ultimate survival that is part of Roma music.

Cercel spent his early years in Canada doing solo performances around BC and teaching Romanian style violin. For several summers, he made annual teaching trips to the Buffalo Gap International Music Camp in Washington, DC and Mendocino Balkan Camp in Mendocino, CA. His early performance highlights include The Victoria Jazz Festival, Mission Folk Festival, the Western Premiers Conference and Victoria First Night Celebrations. Cercel also performed with the Original Balkan Jam, appearing at The Winnipeg Folk Festival and Festival by the Sea in St. John, NB. He even performed at Disneyland with the Ukranian ensemble Vaselka.

In 1994, Cercel returned to Romania to continue his exploration of Romanian music. There, he recorded his debut CD, Rhapsody of Romania with well-known Romanian conductor, Paraschiv Oprea.

He came back to Canada in 1996, settled in Vancouver and has continued since then to build his reputation as a solo performer, session musician, and composer of music for film and TV.

Wanda Nowicki

posted Aug 17, 2013, 8:35 AM by Natasha Boskic   [ updated Aug 17, 2013, 8:37 AM ]

Wanda Nowicki
Originally from Vancouver Canada, Wanda began her  stage training at The Banff School Of Fine Arts , to which she was awarded a scholarship .
After her summer in Banff, she continued her training for 4 years ,in Los Angeles ,at The Strasberg Institute, where her training in both theatre and vocals were extensive. Private training under Seth Riggs and Elizabeth Sabine were included as well as her class studies at the institute.

Many theatre productions, voice over work and night club engagements have filled Ms. Nowicki's resume. Musically she has had a variety of bands that have included blues, cabaret, and more recently, jazz. She has had the opportunity to share the stage with all time sax great Big Jay McNeely, as well as a live radio performance with Richard Berry. 

More recently, back in her home town of Vancouver, Ms. Nowicki has been working consistently with her own jazz quartet ,in a wide variety of venues,including 5 consecutive perfomances ,from 2005 to 2010, in The  TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. The band has played in countless dining establishments,nightclubs, jazz festivals around the lower mainland, and private functions.

In 2010 , Ms. Nowicki's 2009 cd, Prezactly Excisely, was played on CBC'S jazz program Tonic, with Katie Malloch. She also was a featured vocalist in the film Every Other Tuesday and the clip can be viewed on you tube ( or by searching My Bed Is Wide on you tube)

Sho Wiley

posted Aug 15, 2013, 8:00 AM by Natasha Boskic

Sho Wiley performs spoken word, telling stories and saying things she couldn't get away with any other way. She has a degree in Creative Writing from UBC and is grateful for mentoring by poets such as Robin Skelton and Brendan McLeod. She has been involved with Van Slam since its beginnings and that has made all the difference.

Sho writes speculative fiction under the name Sho Ray and is finishing a novel CE6:Connections. Concurrently, she's working on a collection of poems called Broke-itudes and another novel about the afterlife of Joan of Arc (Jehanne La Pucelle.)

Chrystalene Buhler

posted Aug 15, 2013, 7:58 AM by Natasha Boskic

Chrystalene Buhler
Chrystalene Buhler wrote her first poem at the age of eleven. Then she lost it. In an effort to recapture the genius of her youth, she has been a Vancouver Poetry Slam team member, an editor of several poetry anthologies and Shane Koyczan's Visiting Hours, a graphic designer, an expert sonnet writer, a founding member and workshop leader of WordPlay Poetry in Schools since 2005, a holistic nutritionist, a clown-in-training, and a devoted champion of roasted broccoli.

Eva Waldauf

posted Aug 14, 2013, 4:30 PM by Natasha Boskic

Eva Waldauf lives in Vancouver, with her cat Chocolate. She’s a visual Artist and Poet. Eva’s often been a featured Poet in Vancouver and the lower mainland.


Publication in many anthologies includes Royal City Poets Anthology 2012 (Silver Bow Publishing). Eva’s Poems were published in Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine 2011 & 2010 & Red River Review 2012. In 2011 Eva’s first Poetry chapbook, Howling Heart was published.


Eva runs a monthly Poetry & Music event called The Abundant Music & Word Festival



Adult Stage Performers

posted Jul 17, 2013, 6:48 PM by Natasha Boskic

Elizabeth Hann
My name is Elizabeth Hann, and I am twenty-two years old. I live in Vancouver, B.C, and have lived there all my life. I currently attend Kwantlen Polytechnic University, where I am majoring in English Literature. I have been writing poems and stories since I was nine years old, and I am currently working on a novel.
Caitlin Harrigan
Caitlin Harrigan is very interested in language, puns, poetry and speaking in third person. At this point, she is fluent in French and English, but has a passion to broaden her linguistic horizons to include Latin and Italian. Conducting experiments constantly, Caitlin’s writing is essentially the result of trial and error.
Juliana Jaspar
I am 15. I would be a reckless driver. I have only one mediocre talent. I do not own a pair of matching socks. I spend far too much time idling.  I don’t know how to make cotton candy. I could juggle if I tried. I have a surprisingly high pain tolerance. I’ve always wanted a vertical garden. I am a list.

Children Stage Performers

posted Jul 17, 2013, 6:47 PM by Natasha Boskic

Arjun Basra
Arjun Basra is eight years old, turning nine on October 30, 2013.  He lives in Vancouver, BC. He is in Grade 3 and he plays the piano. He has a sister who is four, and a mom and dad.  He goes to Shaughnessy Elementary School.   He likes to play baseball, and play piano, and play video games.  He also likes to paint.
Jolie Leung
My name is Jolie, and I’m 11 years old. During school, I miss summer and during summer, I miss school. I love writing and reading fantasy and adventure stories. I have an imaginary pet dragon and if you doubt me, he will bite you. I like dancing in the rain and singing while swinging. My mom says that trying to get me to practice piano is like trying to pull a cow up a tree.
Isabella Battiston
Isabella Battiston was born on the sub-tropical island of Bermuda, and spent most of her life there until she moved to Vancouver, Canada in 2011. She is ten years old, with a six year old sister and has been attending various programs at the Lyceum for the past two years. She attends the MACC program at Queen Mary Elementary, but will finish her Elementary School years at St. Augustine’s School. Isabella’s number one hobby is reading. If she could, she would spend all day reading books of assorted types. She enjoys playing the violin and viola, soccer, gymnastics and looking after little children.
Yabi Davidoff
Hi! My name is Yabi. I want to be a professional chef.  I like soccer and all sports. My favourite food is my grandma’s enchiladas. I thought writing would be not so much fun, but in the end I found out that writing is even more fun than playing on the computer.
Samantha Chauvin
My name is Samantha Chauvin. I live on the 13th floor of a building in Yaletown, Vancouver, BC, Canada, North America, Northern Hemisphere, Earth, the Universe. I am ten years old and I like pickles and apple juice.

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