Ailsa Craig - Consultant
Ailsa Craig is a cultural sociologist with interests in cultural economies, gender and sexual diversity, and inequality. Dr. Craig’s work includes research on visual artists, poets and poetry communities that addresses field-specific questions and concerns regarding contemporary artists and poets' lives and contexts. This research on artists, poets and their respective communities contributes to larger questions about passionate dedication to central life activities and thereby provides a critique of more rationalist approaches to understanding the creation and maintenance of commitment.
Dr. Craig's critical reviews have appeared in Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, Contemporary Sociology, Archives of Sexual Behavior, Sexuality & Culture. A Fulbright Scholar, Craig has been interviewed for Weekend America (National Public Radio in the United States), Quill & Quire Magazine, The Globe and Mail, CBC Radio and the National Post and other news media. While at New York University Dr. Craig received the Dean's Award for outstanding teaching and at Memorial has twice been recognized as a ‘Vagina Warrior’ (an award given to acknowledge those who work to end gender-based violence and inequality). A queer and trans activist, Craig was also selected as a Community Leadership Marshall for the St. John’s 2014 Pride Parade and is founder of Make it Better NL which works to build community and provide resources and awareness about gender diversity and sexuality in Newfoundland and Labrador. Dr. Craig has also served as an assistant editor for Sociological Forum, and is currently an editor for the American Sociological Association’s Culture Section Newsletter.
Kathleen Pirrie Adams - Board Member, Juror
Dr. Kathleen Pirrie Adams is a writer and curator. Her PhD entitled Popular Music Remains: Artifact, Experience and the Museum as Interface was completed at the University of Leicester. Her writing and curatorial projects focus on the influence of new media and popular music on contemporary art. She was a founding member of the band Fifth Column, part of the programming committee of Inside Out, an arts writer for Xtra and the program director of InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre. Most recently she co-curated with Noah Cowan Queer Outlaw Cinema, an exhibition for World Pride at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. She is Assistant Professor at School of Image Arts, Ryerson University.
(She was a founding member of Inside/Out, InterAccess, and A-Space. She has been fundamental to Lesbian and Queer artist run culture in Toronto from the 90s to present day, has published countless essays and reviews on queer culture and art, and curated critically acclaimed exhibitions, but she is very modest and won't mention this history in her bio. - TW)
Jason St-Laurent - Board Member, Juror
Jason St-Laurent is an artist and curator based in Ottawa. He studied fine arts at the Université de Moncton and the University of Toronto. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the United States, South Africa, Romania and Finland, notably at the Western Front in Vancouver, VertexList in New York City, the South African National Gallery Annex and MUU in Helsinki. As a curator, he has presented more than 50 projects in Canada, South Africa, Finland and Estonia, including SCATALOGUE: 30 Years of Crap in Contemporary Art at Galerie SAW Gallery, Voices in Transit at the Cape Town Central Train Station in South Africa and Videogram International Media Art Exchange as programmer for SAW Video. Jason St-Laurent founded the biennial ELECTRIC FIELDS: Festival of Electronic Art and Sound in Ottawa. He was until recently the Director of Programming for Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival. He is now the curator at Galerie SAW Gallery since 2012.
Tobaron Waxman - Artistic Director
Tobaron Waxman is a visual artist who sings. Tobaron composes performances for photograph, video and site specific installation, and is also a trained vocalist in Jewish liturgical music. As a curator, Tobaron’s curatorial projects have included 'Watch me Work:Women, Labour and Queer Economies" at BBK Köln, Germany; 'Object Body: Unexpectedly Ecstatic' at Studio Maya, Brooklyn: 'Radical Drag/Transformative Performance' in collaboration with Stefan St-Laurent at GalerieSAWGallery, Ottawa; and the internationally touring video program 'Topographixx: Trans in the Landscape'. In 2013, Tobaron founded The Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency, as a combined curatorial, relational/live art, and sociopolitical praxis. Since 2017 Tobaron has been Trans Archive Assistant at Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, part of a collaborative team creating the Trans Archive at the largest independent LGBTQ archive in the world.
Tobaron has been exhibited at such venues as Palais de Tokio, Videotage Hong Kong, Kunsthalle Vienna, CEPA Buffalo, New Museum NYC, Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New Museum NYC and Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music. As a vocalist, Tobaron has sung liturgy in hospitals, at memorials and weddings; as well as performed at Kampnagel Festival of Choreography and Protest Hamburg, Kulturlabor ICI Berlin, Donau Festival, and Dixon Place NYC. Tobaron is currently developing a volume of artist interviews with international trans women artists, and more site-specific endurance performances for a cappella transsexual voice. In addition, Tobaron is a Research Collaborator of the Canadian Consortium for Performance and Politics in the Americas. Tobaron has taught live art, collaboration and vocal techniques at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, School of the Art Institute Chicago and at the Hollins MFA Dance Program, and has lectured at Parsons, SOAS University of London, Concordia University, OCADU, SMFA Boston, UC Irvine, Goldsmiths and others.
Tobaron is a grateful recipient of grants from Franklin Furnace for Performance Art; Canada, Ontario and Toronto Arts Councils; andOntario Ministry of Education and Training Technology Grant for Students with Disabilities. Tobaron has been artist in residence at Atlantic Centre for the Arts, Smack Mellon, Canada Council International Artist Residency at La Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, Marble House Vermont, and Toronto People with AIDS Foundation. Tobaron was Van Leir Fellow at Harvestworks NYC, artist fellow at Kulturlabor ICI Berlin, Fellow at the Akademie der Künst der Welt/Köln (2014 - 15). In 2010 Tobaron was honoured with the first ever Audience Award of the Jewish Museum of New York for the 8-hour endurance performance Opshernish.
Tobaron’s writing and photography have been published internationally, including in Carte Blanche (Magenta, 2006), Post Porn Politics (bbooks, 2010), Fast Feminism (Autonomedia, 2010), Trans Bodies Trans Selves (Oxford University Press, 2014) and featured in such publications as Missy, C Magazine, Fuse, Canadian Dimension, Canadian Theatre Review, Lillith, Women & Performance, GLQ, TSQ, and LTTR.
Syrus Marcus Ware - Juror
Syrus Marcus Ware is a visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate and educator. He is the Coordinator of the Art Gallery of Ontario Youth Program and a facilitator/designer for the Cultural Leaders Lab (Toronto Arts Council & The Banff Centre). Syrus holds degrees in Art History, Visual Studies and a Masters in Sociology and Equity Studies, University of Toronto. Syrus is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University.
As a visual artist, Syrus works within the mediums of painting, installation and performance to challenge systemic oppression. Syrus’ work explores the spaces between and around identities; acting as provocations to our understandings of gender, sexuality and race. His work has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU), Gladstone Hotel, ASpace Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, SPIN Gallery and other galleries across the city. His work has been reproduced in FUSE Magazine, The Globe and Mail, THIS Magazine, Blackness and Sexualities amongst others. His work has also been included in several academic journals including Small Axe and Women and Environment International.
Syrus recently co-edited an issue of the Journal of Museum Education entitled Building Diversity in Museums, which focused on strategies for diversifying galleries and museums internationally. Syrus’ chapter in Who's Your Daddy?: And Other Writings on Queer Parenting (Sumach Press, 2008) entitled, “Going Boldly Where Few Men Have Gone Before: One Trans Man’s Experience of Fertility Clinics” and his co-authored chapter, “How Disability Studies Stays White and What Kind of White it Stays” are part of curricula at several colleges and universities. He is currently co-editing a book chapter (with Zack Marshall) about disability, Deaf culture and trans identities in Trans Bodies, Trans Selves (2013).
In 2005, Syrus was voted “Best Queer Activist” by Now Magazine, and in 2012 he was awarded the Steinert and Ferreiro Award for LGBT community leadership and activism. For the past 6 years, Syrus has worked with Blackness Yes! to produce Blockorama (the black queer and trans stage at Pride), and other related events throughout the year. Syrus is also a founding member of the Prison Justice Action Committee of Toronto. Syrus is a program committee member for Mayworks Festival, and is a past board member of the FUSE magazine. For the past 15 years, Syrus has hosted the weekly radio segment, “Resistance on the Sound Dial” heard each Saturday on CIUT 89.5FM. He is a founding member of the Transparent-cy Working Group at The 519 Community Centre. He helped to initiate the Trans-Fathers 2B course- the first course for trans men considering parenting in North America. Syrus is also a member of the Gay/Bi Trans Men's HIV Prevention Working Group for the Ontario AIDS Bureau and one of the creators of “Primed: A Back Pocket Guide for Trans Guys and the Guys Who Dig ‘Em”.