Anil Purandare has been volunteering for a wide range of non-profit organizations and housing co-ops for over 20 years. He has served on boards and led committees to protect and improve government housing assistance for those in need. He works in the Registrar’s Office at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and participates in the OISE Staff Indigenous Alliance, a group formed to learn about Indigenous history and culture. Anil is also a musician and chorister.

Emma Munro is a teacher and assistant curriculum leader at a public high school in Toronto. In Emma’s 15 years as an openly queer English, Drama and Guidance teacher in Canada and New Zealand, equity and inclusion have always been at the forefront of her practice. Anti-racist education and LGBTQ+ and Indigenous representation, advocacy and intersectionality are the focus of Emma’s work. Emma believes that every student can have an 'artistic life', and that equitable access to education and the arts are essential to freedom, opportunity, and agency. Collaborating with ReDefine Arts on “Project Love” has been one of the highlights of her career.

Erin Lee is the Executive Director of Lanark County Interval House and Community Support, Community Safety and member of the Victimology Advisory of Algonquin College. Erin has been a recipient of the Ministry of the Attorney General, Award of Distinction and the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario award for social change and most recently, Lanark County Interval House, in conjunction with the Ontario Provincial Police and community, received the OPP Accolade Award for the development of the Victim Advocate Program. Erin was a member of the Ending Violence Against Women (Renfrew County) Inquest working group after the triple femicide in Renfrew and offered testimony related to rural realities as a neighbouring county. In May 2023, Erin was appointed to the Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee. Erin has been engaged with ReDefine Arts through the Countdown Public Art Project in Carleton Place (2019), Almonte (2021) and Smiths Falls (2022-2023).

Gehan Udayanga is an artist, community member and activist raised in Tkaronto, Kanata. Since childhood they’ve always been excited to share their thoughts, feelings and stories. Through encouragement, support and instinct, they continue to grow and heal through singing, writing, acting and dancing. Gehan believes these and other forms of expression are our birth rights; without them we feel lost but with them we are connected to our wisdom, history and inner worlds. Gehan has worked with Jumblies Theatre, Community Arts Guild, and ReDefine Arts as an actor and community artist.

Jane Field is a former high school teacher and adult literacy worker who advocates for disability and LGBTQ rights. She has worked professionally in forum theatre to educate and promote social change. Living with a rare nerve disease herself, she supports patients and families dealing with similar neurological challenges. She enjoys singing in a social justice choir and volunteering in community theatre projects.

Ronnie (Veronica) Thompson is a social worker who has spent over 25 years working primarily with mothers and children. Known for her supportive and compassionate professionalism when serving marginalized groups, Ronnie is a strong believer that we are all capable of greatness when given access to the tools and resources.

Trisha Lamie is an associate professor in theatre and performance studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). Her practice-based research on contemporary performance focuses on art and social justice, community engagement and participatory art. Her teaching explores and celebrates inclusiveness, cultural diversity, feminist and LGBTQ performance. She is proud to be teaching at UTSC, one of the most culturally diverse university campuses in the world.

Zena Lord is a spoken word artist, musician, comedian and art therapist. A graduate of the Create-Canada Expressive Arts Therapy Program, Zena has facilitated spoken word/poetry, music and art workshops in elementary/high schools, community groups, and shelters for over 30 years. Zena has been engaged with ReDefine Arts since 2016 on projects including Drift Seeds (2017), Ache (2021-2023) and Trace (2023), as an ensemble member with the Epic Choir of Traceland.

Back to blog
Next blog entry