Board of Directors, 2016-2017
GILAD COHEN, Director
Gilad is an artist, human rights advocate and founder of JAYU. Gilad has been actively involved in the human rights scene since 2006. Feeling the need to raise more awareness in his own community, Gilad launched JAYU in 2012, using art as the main vehicle. Gilad has been invited to speak on human rights in media and several platforms including VICE, CTV, CBC, The Globe and Mail, Al Jazeera America, and the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva in 2012. In 2015, he was selected as Rothschild Fellow through The University of Cambridge in the UK. He is the current co-host of The Hum Podcast, a weekly human rights show featured on iTunes and Rabble and sits on numerous boards including Scarborough Arts and Global Youth Volunteer Network.
Melissa Daly-Buajitti was born in Toronto, but grew up in Ottawa, where she studied for a Bachelor of Humanities, with combined honours in English. Following graduation, she moved back to Toronto with her family, where she went on to complete a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation. She has lived in Cliffside Village of Scarborough for the past four years, and is deeply connected to the district, both through family history, as well as a personal love for the geography.
JULIANA FENG, Director
Juliana is a marketing and communications professional primarily focused in the non-profit arts sector based in Toronto. She has been involved in a wide array of arts disciplines to create tailored marketing & outreach strategies, distribution plans, building media relations and managing multiple communication channels such as her most recent work with the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. Prior to joining Reel Asian in 2015, Juliana has worked for many years at UTSC’s Arts & Events Programming office as a Publicity Assistant before she became the Communications Coordinator. In addition, she developed her arts administration practice through AluCine Latin Film + Media Arts Festival, ARTSIDEOUT, Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Gallery 1265 and Roseneath Theatre. As an artist, she has produced works that has been exhibited in local arts festivals as well as the Scarborough Civic Centre Rotunda, Gallery 1265, the Doris McCarthy vitrine, Cedar Ridge Gallery and Artscape Youngplace. She holds a B.A. Honours in Arts Management and Studio Major at the University of Toronto Scarborough and was awarded the 2014 Yvonne Chu, C.M. Memorial Scholarship in Arts Management. Juliana is also an alumnus from R.H. King Academy’s Specialist High Skills Major, educating youth towards a career in the arts & culture sector. As a passionate arts advocate, Juliana strives to engage the public through arts-making and encourages people in all walks of life to participate in the discussion, dissemination and creative exposure.
IRINA FYFE, Director
Irina is a municipal government professional with 7 years experience in finding creative solutions to narrowing the gap between Torontonians and their representatives at City Hall. She appreciates all forms of artistic expression recognizing not only its aesthetic side, but also its ability to transform, connect and influence the audience in a meaningful way. Aside from being responsible for constituency and intergovernmental relations in her current position, Irina enjoys working on various arts & culture related projects in collaboration with Cultural Hotspot Initiative, Bell Box Murals Project, STEPS Initiative and other organizations supporting arts and community. Irina graduated from St. Petersburg State University (Russia), where she studied languages and literature.
SIMON PAABOR, Treasurer
Bio coming soon.
MEGAN PEARSON, Director
Megan is a dedicated and passionate educator; her most recent post was as the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at a private school north of the city, where she provided curriculum support and consulting services to faculty, and created and led a set of professional development workshops for public and private school board administrators and educators, focused on improving professional capabilities. She developed and facilitated professional development seminars in Guangzhou, China and has worked with the Rotman School of Business’ I-Think Initiative, helping to create professional development, and leading workshops.
Megan has a Bachelor of Arts in Equity Studies and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Toronto and earned a Master of Arts in Child Study and Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study in 2009. Most recently, she has applied to a Ph.D at the University of Toronto where she hopes to study community development. She finds out in March!
She is currently in the ideas phase of the Paradis Project School Cooperative, an alternative community-cooperative school for grades 6-8 students. The curriculum is based in social entrepreneurship, which puts the school at the cutting edge of education. The Paradis Project’s innovative and inclusive approach to education is two fold: Firstly, its mission to be pioneers in growing social citizens, which is done by giving each cohort of students the opportunity to design and start a social business over the course of a 3-year program. And Secondly, it is a cooperative with many member groups – teachers, families, and community partners; each member holds an ownership stake in the school.
Megan is thrilled to be a member of Scarborough Arts, a vibrant and dynamic community!
MORGEN PEERS, Board Chair
Morgen is an architect* and educator based in Toronto, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan. He researches and writes about community renewal and the design of city districts. Morgen specializes in neighbourhood mapping, digital storytelling and model making. His projects focus on the policy and practices of Incremental Urbanism and Integrated District Development. He believes that arts and cultural programming are the basis of sustainable placemaking. Morgen helps lead several enterprises and initiatives, including: the Office for New Suburbanism (ONS),@NGHBRHDS, Micro Plans, and the Scarborough Map Project. Morgen is the Coordinator of the Spring 2017 Conference on New Suburbanism being held at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus.
* Morgen studied Architectural Theory & History at Carleton University’s School of Architecture. After beginning a Master’s degree in Town & Country Planning he discontinued studies in Planning to focus on the design and development of small places, specifically suburban and rural areas. He intends to apply to University Of Detroit Mercy for professional training in Community Architecture after completing the construction of his first studio in eastern Toronto.
JULIE WITT, Director
Julie Witt is an arts manager and educator with over 15 years of experience in program development, delivery and assessment, cultural event planning, group facilitation, and volunteer management. Since 2001 she has studied, worked and volunteered in the Scarborough community, mostly at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), in a wide variety of roles particularly specializing in arts, cultural pluralism and diversity, student development and experiential education. She is currently the Programming Coordinator for ACM Connects (formerly, Arts & Events Programming), an initiative in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at UTSC that presents artistic programming and facilitates student-initiated work, field placements and research projects relevant to building critical and creative connections primarily within the Eastern GTA. Julie’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts Management, and a Masters of Education in Community Development.
Sergei Petrov, Executive Director, Scarborough Arts
Get in touch with the Board of Directors at board [at] scarborougharts [dot] com.