2017 Anvil Centre Artists in Residence

The Anvil Centre AiR is a self-directed residency program offering opportunities for artists to focus on work in a creative environment, with dedicated studio time. This residency accommodates artists and artist collectives working in sculpture, print, fibre, drawing, painting, writing and literary arts, music, dance and performance for an eight-week period for research, development and production of new or ongoing bodies of work. In exchange, artists will facilitate an outreach program for the local community during their residency.


The 2017 particpants were:

Sam Davidson, Sarah Gallos, Sandeep Johal, Chelsea Comeau, Teodora Zamfirescu, Elisa Yon, Lois Klassen, Jennifer Pielak, Meichen Waxer, Andrea Taylor, Margery Theroux, Julian Legere, Michelle Cyr, Farouche Collective (Mahaila Patterson O'Brien, Felicia Lau, Erika Mitsuhashi), and Dawn Livera.


November 2017: Dawn Livera

Dawn Livera is a visual artist primarily working in textile and fibre arts, with a focus on “freestyle weaving”. She studied weaving with master weaver Suzanne Gaston-Voute for about ten years. Recently her work has been influenced by SAORI freestyle weaving. In freestyle weaving, “there are no mistakes”. She has taken workshops at SAORI studios in Canada, USA and Estonia. Community engagement is an important part of her practice. She believes that everyone should feel free to explore their own creativity without worrying about whether their art is "good enough".

While the mainstream fashion industry strives to force people to squeeze into a single “idealized” silhouette and colour palette, Livera's work boldly celebrates all our individual differences and unique perspectives. Livera uses a bold colour palette and freestyle weaving techniques to counteract the negative messages from the media and even our own thoughts that tell us that we are not good enough. During the residency artist Dawn Livera will focus on creating one-of-a-kind wearable art garments from handwoven and/or hand dyed fabric, or other repurposed textiles. The work would unfold intuitively, with decisions made as it evolves. Always open to exploring the possibilities of “what would happen if....” Each garment will be a completely unique original work of art that could never have been made by a machine.



September 2017: Farouche Collective

Erika Mitsuhashi is an emerging dance artist based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. Erika has interpreted the work of Robert Kitsos, Vanessa Goodman, Judith Garay, Katie DeVries and Daisy Thompson in festivals and platforms such as International Dance Day hosted by The Dance Center, Dance Allsorts, Dancing on the Edge, The Interplay Project, Vancouver International Dance Festival and Simon Fraser University masters showcase. As a choreographer, she has had her work presented locally and nationally by the Powell Street Festival, Toronto’s PS:We are All Here and the Surrey Art Gallery’s InFlux. 

Felicia Lau is a dance artist based in Vancouver. She received her BFA Honours degree from SFU School for the Contemporary Arts. She has interpreted the works of Dancers Dancing (Judith Garay), Rob Kitsos, Desirée Dunbar, Katie DeVries, Emmalena Fredriksson, and Mahaila Patterson-O’Brien. Two of Felicia’s upcoming performances will be Hong Kong Exile’s VISITORS FROM FAR AWAY TO THE STATE MACHINE (Club Push) and Meredith Kalaman’s Femme Fatales (Shadbolt Centre). 

Mahaila Patterson-O’Brien is an emerging dance artist in Vancouver. She studied at SFU School for the Contemporary Arts receiving her BFA (Hons) in dance. She has studied at The School of Contemporary Dancers in Winnipeg, MB, and at The University of Winnipeg. As a choreographer her work has been presented at multiple venues, including Project CPR, 12 Minutes Max, Dance Allsorts, ROMP! Festival 2015 (Victoria, BC), ASCENSION 2013 /2014, Launch! Festival 2014, and Ignite Youth Festival 2013. 

As a new collective, Farouche will use this residency to develop a series of duets as research for collaborative choreography, and methods of approaching duets performed by multiple bodies, no bodies, and bodies with projection and light. How these integrated mediums interact and develop will guide their investigation surrounding the duet form.


Open House

Come by Anvil Centre's Dance Studio to meet the artists, and partake in demonstrations of the research they have been conducting as part of this residency! The Open House is one of many special events taking place at Anvil Centre as part of BC Culture Days! 

Anvil Centre Dance Studio 415
Friday September 29th, 12:30pm-1:30pm 
This event is FREE and open to the public!

**Please note there are no shoes, drinks or food allowed in the Dance Studio.**

August 2017: Julian Legere & Michelle Cyr

Julian Legere studied Acting for Stage and Screen and obtained his Bachelor of Performing Arts from Capilano University. His training and artistic practices span acting, directing, physical theatre, collaboration, writing, devised theatre, and clowning. Works he has co-created are Pub Culture (Loose Leaf Collective/Vancouver Fringe), Phantasmagoria: Circus of Dreams (Loose Leaf Collective/PuSh Festival), and Balls! (Stages Theatre & Deux par Quatre/rEvolver Festival). 

Michelle Cyr is an avid storyteller who loves to put on a show. Dedicated to the theatre, Michelle has spent most of her theatrical career on stage. Behind the scenes, Michelle has stage managed a number of productions, assistant directed post-secondary shows, has her own small production company, and coaches various tales.

Seeing all their friends doing amazing feats and playing gut-splitting physical  comedy, two clowns are feeling left behind. With their lack of coordination, these two  have never mastered the usual clown antics, but that won’t stop them from trying with  all their hearts. Clumsy Valentine is a bittersweet celebration of the single coin whose two sides are joy and sadness. Two clowns with no special skills or spectacular talents will work to give homage to Great Love Stories, sharing a journey with their audience as they earnestly attempt all the tricks they never got a chance to learn.


Two Fools Improv Evenings

Join theatre duo Two Fools and explore Improvisation and Clowning in a fun, informal setting. Participants of all ages will learn to unlock their creative power through the magic of play.

Improv will be explored through classic drama games, scene work, and various exercises to build fundamental physical, mental, and emotional performance skills. Basic principles of Clown practice will also be explored through a combination of one-on-one or small group exercises and presentations. Seasoned performers looking to brush up their skills and first-timers curious to know what Improv and Clowning are about are welcome. Participation is optional, join in when you are ready!

Anvil Centre Studio 411B
Thursday August 17, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
- or -
Anvil Centre Studio 413
Thursday August 24, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Registration Fee: FREE with RSVP

These workshops are FREE and open to the public. RSVP required - please contact to reserve your spot. Maximum 15 participants. Must be 18+ or accompanied by an adult.

August 2017: Andrea Taylor & Margery Theroux

Andrea holds an MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Arts (2014). She had two solo shows in 2016 at Back Gallery Project and Malaspina Printmakers in Vancouver. Other recent shows include Port City Gallery in Portland OR, Bjornson Studio Vancouver, DownStreet Art in North Adams MA, and Moving Art juried show in Vancouver 2014.Andrea teaches in Continuing Studies at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Margery Theroux holds an MFA in Visual Art (Vermont College of Fine Arts, 2014), and a BA in Art History from New York University. She studied painting at New York Studio School. Recent shows include a drawing show in Garrison NY, which she co-curated and DownStreet Art in North Adams MA. Margery teaches at three local New Jersey art schools and holds monthly workshops in Experimental Drawing.

For the duration of their collaborative residency, artists Andrea Taylor and Margery Theroux will explore collaborative drawing, printmaking and writing, to create a limited edition book of a visual conversation. Working collaboratively through the experience of drawing/monotype Taylor and Theroux will document their visual conversation and create a limited edition of ten handmade books which contain original monotypes and drawings, a copy of which will be remain the Archives/Reading Room. An artist talk/book launch will be scheduled for the final week of the residency. Fall 2015, Taylor and Theroux completed a month long collaborative drawing residency, artist talk and exhibition in Port Chester, NY at Miranda Arts Project Space.


Open House - New Westminster Cultural Crawl
Anvil Centre Cultural Studio 411B
Friday August 11
5:00 - 7:00pm
FREE and open to the public.

July 2017: Meichen Waxer

Meichen Waxer is an interdisciplinary artist engaged in questions surrounding culturally inherited power structures and resulting modes of representation. She holds a Masters of Applied Art, Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Recently, she was Artist-in-Residence at 33 Officina Creativa (Italy) and Halka Sanat (Turkey) and Turkish Cultural Foundation Fellow. Meichen will be Artist-in-Residence August 2017 at Triegnac Projet (France). Recent exhibitions include Charles H. Scott, Halka Sanat, and Open Studio. Meichen sits on the Board of Directors at the Or Gallery, Vancouver. Meichen is a co-founder and co-director of Arts Assembly, a community centric not-for-profit arts organization.

For the duration of her residency, Meichen will be conducting artistic research based on the historic architecture in New Westminster. Through the archives of the New Westminster Museum and embodied observation, Meichen will question how the history of a physical place and its archival façade are negotiated through a process of urban revitalization. This research will involve walking, observation, exploratory sculptural works made with locally sourced materials and writing. This project will also include public workshops, which aim to promote oral histories of the cultural geography specific to New Westminster through collective discussion and sharing.
Workshops: Stay tuned for more information!

June 2017: Jennifer Pielak

Jennifer is a local actor, improviser and singer who is becoming known as one of the top musical improvisers in Canada. She currently performs completely improvised musicals, teaches classes in the art form here in Vancouver and co-founded Off Key Improv, a local musical improv group she both performed with and was Artistic Director of for 4 years. She has performed improv at Second Storey Theatre, The Improv Centre, with The Fictionals, Table23, Improv Boston and at festivals in Vancouver and New York. Her latest credits include Connected: The Musical, Dogfight, and playing Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games The Musical.

For the duration of her residency, Jennifer’s goal is to develop a one woman, improvised musical. The show will involve improvising all the songs, dance, characters and storyline, with a musician improvising on piano. Using Anvil Centre’s studio space to workshop both independently and with a musician/musical director, there are also opportunities for invited local directors, choreographers, and dramaturges to participate. This residency will allow Jennifer to develop the show’s vision and format, and expand her skill sets as a performer.


A girl, a piano player and many voices. A heartfelt, character driven, one-woman musical. Oh yeah… it’s also improvised!

June’s artist in residence, Jennifer Pielak, presents a workshop version of her show in development - Voices. Voices is a one-woman improvised musical performed by Jennifer Pielak, co-directed by Alison Chisholm with piano by Peter Abando. All the singing, dancing, characters and story are all created in the moment. Inspired by the many voices we all have in our heads, Jennifer will be pulling inspiration from the audience to create the characters she will play this evening. Come watch this free performance along with a post-show artist talk-back on August 24th at 7pm!

Anvil Centre, 4th Floor Landing
Thursday August 24th
Presentation: 7:00pm-8:00pm (doors at 6:45)
Artist Talk: 8:00-8:30pm
Registration Fee: FREE and open to the public
***Seating is limited. Please e-mail Kristina at to reserve ahead.***

Musical Theatre Improvisation Workshop
Anvil Centre Dance Studio 415
Saturday July 22, 2:00-4:00pm
Registration Fee: FREE and open to the public
To registration email kfiedrich@newwestcity.ca (spaces are limited, maximum 12 participants)

Show Test Runs and Q&A/Feeback Sessions
Looking for an audience! Jennifer will be doing a short intro to her new work, a 45 minute show and a 15-30 min audience Q&A/Feedback session. The show is a one woman improvised musical performed by Jennifer Pielak with music direction by Peter Abando. With the show currently in development at the Anvil Centre, these performances will help Jennifer determine how best to work with an audience, drawing inspiration from real people in attendance.
Anvil Centre Dance Studio 415
Monday June 26: 2:30pm-4:00pm
- and -
Wednesday June 28: 6:00pm-8:30pm
Registration Fee: FREE, open to the public
Spaces are limited. To register email: kfiedrich@newwestcity.ca

June 2017: Lois Klassen

Lois Klassen’s long-term projects involve collective making and dialogue. Archive City: Portraits of Lulu Island (Cindy Mochizuki, Jaimie Robson, Lois Klassen, 2008) presented a memory collection that was gathered from residents of the City of Richmond (Richmond Art Gallery). Klassen’s Garden Gnomad (2009) gathered stories and imagery from community gardeners by way of a solar-powered media cart (Means of Production Artists Raw Resource Collective and Emixer, Surrey Art Gallery). Klassen’s texts are published in Word Hoard, Fillip, Public Journal and Border Crossings.

Reading the Migration Library is a research-creation component of Lois Klassen’s current doctoral research on ethical frameworks of social art practices at the Cultural Studies Program, Queen’s University. This new project combines research, archiving, public engagement and performance. It involves the assembly of a virtual migration library, the production of new narratives in small press publications, and reading aloud in public. The project’s process is documented at http://www.readingthemigrationlibrary.com


Join June Anvil Centre Artist-in-Residence Lois Klassen for an artist-book making workshop in a uniquely New Westminster collection of migration stories. Learn to make small, easy to reproduce booklets (also called chapbooks or ‘zines) based on themes of migration by way of personal experiences, or information borrowed from the New Westminster Museum and Archives. Add your booklet in art exhibitions and events related to the project, Reading the Migration Library! For more information go to, readingthemigrationlibrary.com

Anvil Centre Room 411B
Saturday June 10, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Thursday June 22, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Registration Fee: Free with RSVP.

These workshops are FREE and open to the public. RSVP required - please contact to reserve your spot. Maximum 15 participants. Must be 18+ or accompanied by an adult. Supplies will be provided.

May 2017: Elisa Yon

Elisa Yon is a Vancouver-based artist and public Art Coordinator for the City of Richmond. Her recent work includes Alien Terrarium, a collaboration with artist Amanda Arcuri as part of the Vancouver Public Art Program's Platforms 2016: Coastal City exhibition, and Working Holiday, a year socially engaged artist residency project at Dunbar Community Centre in Vancouver, working in collaboration with artists Leah Weinstein and Jaspal Marwah. She holds a Master of Applied Art degree from Emily Carr University and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Waterloo.

A new hybrid art and curation project by Elisa Yon will aim to create a mutable and transitory gathering, book-making and performance space, designed to host artist and non-artist text-based book projects or libraries, such as Lois Klassen's current work, Reading the Migration Library. This residency will allow the artist to question, test and develop the inaugural manifestation of Curating Library.


Still Life w/ No Name (18+)
Anvil Centre Artist-in-Residence, Elisa Yon will lead a still life drawing and recipe-making workshop inspired by the budget conscious foods she consumed growing up in a Chinese-Canadian immigrant family. Participants will create drawings and recipes from a still life composed of an assortment of no name brand food products. At the end of the workshop, participants will be invited to contribute one drawing and/or recipe to an artist book that will be produced by the artist and contributed to readingthemigrationlibrary.com, a project by Lois Klassen, Anvil Centre's June Artist-in-Residence. Drawing materials will be provided.

Friday May 12, 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Anvil Centre Studio 411B

Sunday May 14, 10:00am - 2:00pm
Anvil Centre Studio 411B

These workshops are FREE and open to the public. RSVP required - please contact to reserve your spot. Maximum 12 participants. Must be 18+ or accompanied by an adult.

April 2017: Chelsea Comeau

Chelsea Comeau is a freelance writer and editor, and an Education Assistant, whose work has appeared in The Claremont Review, Quills, and CV2. In 2011, Amber Tamblyn selected her as the winner of the BUST magazine poetry contest. In 2014, she was one of eight poets across Canada accepted for the poetry genre in the Banff Centre’s Writing With Style Programme, working with Lorna Crozier. In 2015, she was the Canadian winner of the Leaf Press chapbook contest. She has appeared at Word Vancouver, and was a guest on Co-Op Radio’s Wax Poetic show. She attends poetry retreats with Patrick Lane and Lorna Crozier.

For the duration of her residency, Comeau will develop a full-length poetry manuscript that explores the themes of women and a
connection to place. Comeau believes that women’s issues are extremely relevant at this point in time, particularly following the recent U.S. election results. Being a resident of New Westminster, a location steeped in history, Comeau also feels a deep sense of connection to physical presence. She will be exploring both her role in this world as a woman, as well as emotional ties to her environment through poetry.


Looking for professional feedback for your manuscript, article, review or other written work? Join April Artist-in-Residence Chelsea Comeau for one-on-one advice about your project. Comeau's advice can help strengthen your work, maximize your chances of success, or provide suggestions to push your writing to the next level. Depending on your project and needs, this special workshop can accommodate either 30 or 60-minute sessions. To book your one-on-one consultation,
Anvil Centre Room 311
Saturday May 13, 12:00pm-4:00pm
FREE; RSVP required.

April 2017: Teodora Zamfirescu

Born in Transylvania and relocating various times around the globe, Teodora Zamfirescu spent many years growing up in the Eastern block dictatorship. This has set the foundation for how she views the world in terms of philosophical as well as aesthetic questions. She points to the everyday moments and the small details in life as her source of inspiration, and describes her work as a playful response to existential thoughts about the purpose of animate and inanimate matter. Her work is humorous as well as deeply serious, anchored in contradictions of philosophical pessimism which is equally romantic and life-affirming. She remains a big supporter of collaborations, public space installations and ad-hoc processes.


THINK TANK Come to Anvil Centre to examine spaces and places (including archives, landing, studios, bathrooms etc.) and share ideas (from totally doable to totally crazy) for filming and creative works. After considering all ideas, Zamfirescu will be shooting a film. Come give us your ideas!

Thursday April 13, 5-7pm, Room 411B
Sunday April 16, 11am-1pm, Room 411A

March 2017: Sandeep Johal

Sandeep Johal is a Canadian-born South Asian artist whose meticulously crafted, detail-oriented work embraces the intuitive and often spontaneous relationship between pattern and colour. Grounded in principles of symmetry and geometry, her pattern-work is heavily influenced by South Asian textile design and motifs, particularly the mandala form. Sandeep is fascinated with exploring meditation through the process of repetition and creating a contemplative space for her viewers.

For the duration of her residency Sandeep will be exploring themes of gender justice, continuing the series HARD KAUR -not your starlet, not your victim, and creating new works her upcoming solo show, REST IN POWER. For updates, follow her on Instagram @sandeepjohalart


Artist Talk: Sandeep Johal
Join Vancouver-based artist and March Artist-in-Residence Sandeep Johal for an presentation and discussion about the artist's ongoing series HARD KAUR - not your starlet, not your victim. The works acknowledge female victims of gender-based violence and will be shown in the artist's upcoming solo exhibition REST IN POWER opening at the gam gallery September 8th.
Anvil Centre Room 417
Saturday May 13th, 2pm-4pm

*Due to the content of the artist's work and practice, this event is 19+

February 2017: Sarah Gallos

Sarah Gallos is a dancer, choreographer, improviser, and teacher based in Vancouver, BC. Her work is based in contemporary forms, influenced by her study of contact dance and release technique, informed by her practice of clown as well as classical ballet.
Her choreography FOLLOW has been selected for Des Arts Dehors/ Arts Outside, a Made in BC: Dance on Tour initiative. She is co-producer of the Shooting Gallery Performance Series; showcasing short form experimental dance and theatre. She has performed for choreographers Julie Lebel, Julianne Chapple, Meredith Kalaman and is a member of the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret.


Artist in residence Sarah Gallos is offering a parent and child movement-based class. Perfect for spring, come to learn about and move like plants. Great for younger children to adults, this session will touch upon the stages of growth of a plant. Starting with the moment a seed starts to reach its roots into the earth through to summer, fall and ending with it buried under the winter snow.

Sunday March 12th 11:15 am -12:00 pm

All performances and presentations free and open to the public.


January 2017: Sam Davidson

Sam Davidson (B.Mus) is a specialist in the EWI, a breath-controlled synthesizer of under-realized potential which he features in his recordings and performances. He is a member of Canadian band Brasstronaut who have toured Europe and North America extensively. He also performs as sideman to Toronto violinist Jaron Freeman-Fox and The Opposite of Everything.

For the duration of the residency Sam has been working across several genres and instruments, developing his compositional techniques. Using 'early music' (AD1620-1720) as source material, he has immersed himself in baroque melodies, extracting their themes to recycle into new innovative works.

Pop-Up Performances:

Tuesday January 10, 11:30am
Friday January 13, 2:00pm
Tuesday January 17, 6:00pm
Tuesday January 24, 3:00pm
Thursday January 26, 11:00am

Final Presentation & Performance:

Saturday February 4, 3:00pm

All performances and presentations free and open to the public.