Meet the youthLEADarts Team and Collaborating Artists

youthLEADarts’ Artist Educators are experts in developing curriculum for all students. Whether virtually or in person; for elementary, junior, intermediate or senior students; as a facilitator in your classroom, youth group, extracurricular or community activity, we are specialists at empowering youth with the vocabulary and skills to become LEADers. Our forte is using the arts to increase the skills such as group work, creative problem solving, interpersonal communication, personal responsibility and self-regulation. Through these skills the students also increase their resilience, self-esteem, and their ability to self-advocate. 

Please contact us to schedule a consultation to meet your needs. We have resources across Canada. (

Marilyn Field, M.S.M.- Founder of youthLEADarts


To read more about Marilyn please see our About Us page for the full story of Marilyn’s background and work as an Educational Innovator. Please go back and learn about this inspirational LEADer.

Shelley MacDonald, youthLEADarts National Team

Shelley is an award winning performing artist, educator, and filmmaker who is of Mi’kmaq “Ugpi’Ganjig,” Eel River, New Brunswick and Scottish Ancestry. She has over 20 years of experience as an artist/educator and has collaborated on different theatre and film projects across Turtle Island creating meaningful arts and culture experiences that focus on social justice issues to help create systemic change.

She has spent the last 5 years presenting at different arts and education conferences such as the Assembly of First Nations, INDspire, The First Nations Education Steering Committee, Chiefs of Ontario, The Lighting the Fire Conference and the Banff Centre. She has led performance and film workshops in many reserve communities across Canada.

She has appeared on the television series, Cold Squad and Masters of Science Fiction. She won Best Actor in BC’s Reel Fast 48-hour film festival and has received the Keith Provost award from the Cold Reading Series for her Community Arts projects.

Lori Sherritt-Fleming, youthLEADarts National Team

Lori Sherritt-Fleming is an award winning author, educator, publisher and performer. Lori has been a mentor artist with the Royal Conservatory’s Learning Through the Arts Program, an educator at the Vancouver Symphony School of Music, an arts educator with Vancouver Biennale and has performed at the Vancouver and Surrey International Children’s festivals. 

She founded the Tickle Trunk Players, Theatre for Literacy Project over two decades ago and partners with non-profit organizations such as One World Schoolhouse to build libraries in underserved countries. Her award winning picture books include: “Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch on”,  “Hungry for Science: Poems to Crunch on” and “Hungry for the Arts: Poems to Chomp on”, with two more in the series due out soon. From a family of Irish storytellers, known as Seanchai, in her spare time, Lori travels the world looking for dragons, ghosts and ideas to inspire her next tale.

Deirdre Potash, youthLEADarts National Team

With over 30 years’ experience as an art educator, Deidre has a diverse practice including a specialty in cultural mediation and online teaching. Her educational practice spans from projects like introducing and establishing art programs, to setting up and running art shows with-in school and community groups.

She has worked with all different types of clientele, from children to seniors in a variety of settings. This has included sectors in education, community groups, business environments, health and mental health institutions, and at school and university locations.

Roy Mulder, youthLEADarts National Team

Roy started his focus on creating media by getting his Audio Visual Communications degree after developing a strong interest in photography. He has kept up with the technology as it has transformed from film to video to digital production. His specialty is underwater videography which fits well with his interest in marine conservation as he is the current president of Canadian Marine Environment Protection Society.

Over the last decade, he has spent a significant amount of time teaching filmmaking and working with youth. While working with Britannia Aboriginal Outreach Program, he taught camera skills and helped students create their own documentary on identity.  Roy likes working with youth and often uses former students as interns in his new projects.

Tina Bye, youthLEADarts National Team

Tina Bye has been an artist all of her life. At first, she thought she was a visual arts person, but she discovered that she liked working with people more than being alone with her paints. So, she combined her new found love of theatre with her painting, and became a theatre designer and director.

Then she realized Canada is a huge country and to be working full time in theatre would mean traveling from city to city constantly. So, then she became a teacher and she worked at international schools. And then she noticed some kids have troubles that showed up in their drama scenes and their art. Those kids inspired her to go back to school and learn how to be a creative arts therapist so she could work with those situations safely. And ever since she has been a teacher, a therapist, a visual artist, and a theatre professional; and she lived happily ever after.

Angela Aiello, youthLEADarts National Team

Known for her dynamic personality, trailblazing business ideas, and award-winning work, Angela Aiello (@SuperWineGirl) has forged through the wine world with her charismatic talents, educating the next generation through socially-relevant events, creative stories and programming. She makes wine approachable, fascinating and adventurous. 

Ange is part of a number of initiatives that support community service, inclusivity, alternative voices, environmental causes, and human equality.

Elder Amanda White, Collaborating Artist

Elder Amanda White is from the Haida Nation of Haida Gwaii from the Eagle Clan. She has retired from her work with the Vancouver School Board as the Knowledge Keeper for the last five years . Amanda was an Indigenous Education Enhancement Worker for twenty-two years.

Candice Halls-Howcroft, Collaborating Artist

Candice Halls is a proud member of the Squamish Nation. She is the daughter of Faye Baker & Billy Halls, and the granddaughter of Chief Simon Baker (Khot-La-Cha) and Emily Rivers. She currently is working as an essential skills instructor at the Native Education College and as an Artist/Squamish Nation Liaison for The Learning Through the Arts Program with The Royal Conservatory. She has thoroughly enjoyed working and learning about her Squamish Nation culture and traditions from the amazing colleagues, role models and mentors who she has had the pleasure of working closely with over the last 20 years.  Candice is grateful for all of the valuable teachings and skills that she has learned:

  • Wool/Cedar weaving
  • Medicine Wheel Teachings
  • Seven Sacred Teachings
  • Storytelling and Legends
  • Dreamcatchers
  • Empowerment Stones
  • Spiritual Cleansing & Talking Circles
  • Traditional Songs
  • Drum Making. 

Damian Rumph , Collaborating Artist

Damian Rumph is a teacher, writer and storyteller based in Vancouver and honored to work and create on the Traditional Coast Salish Lands of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ) and Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Nations. The main focus in his written work is theatrical memoir. With students, he has been using adaptation of stories to reflect personal points of view. 

Currently, he works as an English language teacher and with students of various ages, diverse backgrounds and language abilities, has had the opportunity to use writing, performance and film to enable language acquisition. Using analysis of text and dialogue to extract meaning and brainstorming to provoke creativity, students have used writing and performance to further their understanding and enjoyment of  language. He is excited to be a part of this dynamic team to explore issues relevant to young students through artistic creation and collaboration. 

Sheniz Janmohamed, Collaborating Artist

Sheniz Janmohamed is a firm believer in fostering community through collaboration and creativity.
An author, artist educator, spoken word artist and land artist, Sheniz is a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Guelph.

Sheniz has performed nationally and internationally for over 10 years, including features at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Aga Khan Museum, and Vancouver Writers Fest to name a few. Her writing has been published in various journals and anthologies including Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant, CV2 and Quill & Quire.

A recipient of the Lois Birkenshaw-Fleming Creative Teaching Scholarship, Sheniz holds an Artist Educator Mentor certificate from the Royal Conservatory (Toronto). She has visited dozens of cities and schools to teach and perform.

Natalie D. Clifford, Collaborating Artist

Natalie D. Clifford is a lawyer in Halifax. She has Indigenous roots connecting her to Mi’kma’ki. From a young age she witnessed blatant racism toward the Mi’kmaw, a public attitude that cast a cloud over her understanding of what it meant to be Indigenous.

She was taught that the best way to change this would be to become a lawyer – so that’s what she is.

Brunella Battista, Collaborating Artist

Brunella Battista is a multimedia artist and educator with works screened at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the World Peace Forum for the United Nations, and broadcast on CBC, Bravo!, Channel M, and CJSF Radio. Brunella has extensive experience in all aspects of film production and has created branded videos for many high-end clients including the Italian Day Society, the YWCA, the Francophone Federation of British Columbia, Avena Originals, Les Clefs d’Or, Hot Fusion, and Strut Studios in Vancouver. Brunella has received awards for video and poetry and is an internationally published writer and photographer. She is a seasoned performer on stage and on TV, and was Dumpty on TVOntario’s Gemini winning “Polka Dot Shorts”. An event designer and speaker, she is a skilled communicator, who loves problem-solving while creating supportive and inclusive artistic spaces. 

David H. Lyle, Collaborating Artist

David brings his unique Indigenous voice to every show he performs on. Before he became the host and the voice behind Nations at War, a gripping documentary series on APTN, David was a lead performer on APTN’s Health Nutz , had a recurring role on the CW Network show Arrow, and a featured role on CBC’s Arctic Air.

 He has a long and distinguished career as a screen and tv actor and director and can be seen in many additional tv shows and movies including Alaska Daily, Ice Road Terror and Supernatural, to name a few. David is also an accomplished acting and dialect coach.