Access Activator Directory

If you are a theatre, cultural institution, or individual looking to receive training or consultation on accessible cultural practices and/or Relaxed Performance, please contact one of the Access Activators (listed below) directly for more information.

Alberta

Chis Dodd

Chris Dodd is an Edmonton based Deaf performing artist, playwright, accessibility advocate and Governor General Innovation Award finalist. He is the founder and artistic director of SOUND OFF, Canada’s national theatre festival dedicated to the Deaf performing arts. He has an excellent understanding of the challenges faced by those with disabilities and he has worked for the University of Alberta for more than 20 years as an Adaptive Technologist, helping individuals with wide range of disabilities solve their challenges through technology. He works across Canada as a consultant for accessibility and Deaf and Disability Arts.

Read more about Chris

Connor Yuzwenko-Martin

Connor has nurtured a lifelong passion for theatre and accessibility, beginning in grade school with simple skits and continuing into his young adulthood with his first professional engagement as a rookie improvisor at Rapidfire Theatre. More recent work includes serving as the Deaf Consultant for Concrete Theatre’s production Songs My Mother Never Sung Me (2019) and various roles in Canada’s only Deaf arts festival, Sound Off (2017-19). In June 2020, Connor premiered his first independent performance, The Invisible Practice, during Nextfest’s 2020 season which took place online amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more about Connor


British Columbia

Caleb Marshall

Currently the Managing Artistic Director for The Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria BC, New Brunswick born native Caleb Marshall’s twenty-five year theatrical career has spanned producing, directing, writing, teaching, acting, administration, and cultural advocacy. He has produced over 80 theatre productions and 25 multi-disciplinary performing arts presentations. He spent three seasons as the Artistic Executive Director of The Sudbury Theatre Centre where he expanded programming to include a Performing Arts Series, inclusive Relaxed Performances and the STC Academy. STC was the first theatre in Canada to commit to a Relaxed Performance for every show in their season.

Read more about Caleb

Marnie Hamigami

Marnie Hamagami is the Executive Director of Theatre NorthWest. She has been involved with the organization in various ways for six years. Hamagami grew up in the Kootaneys (southern BC), and attended the University of Lethbridge and Universitaet Tuebingen in southern Germany. She has worked in the Arts and Sport. Hamagami lives with her spouse and son in Prince George, BC.

Read more about Marnie

Clayton Baraniuk

Clayton is a theatre producer, arts administrator, trained Relaxed Performance consultant and access coordinator living on the west coast of Canada. He received his Relaxed Performance training from Include Arts (UK) through British Council Canada’s Access Activator Program, and has a growing history and connection to the disability arts community in Canada and globally. His experiences include Relaxed Performance training or hands-on consultation with dozens of arts organizations in Canada, including Theatre Calgary, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Theatre Northwest,  Buddies in Bad Times, Jo Jack et John, and National Arts Centre of Canada.

Read more about Clayton


Manitoba

Debbie Patterson

Debbie Patterson is a Winnipeg playwright, director and actor. Trained at the National Theatre School of Canada, she is a founding member of Shakespeare in the Ruins (SIR), served as Theatre Ambassador for Winnipeg’s Cultural Capital year, was the Carol Shields Writer in Residence 2012 at the U of W and Playwright in Residence at Theatre Projects Manitoba in 2013/14. She served as Artistic Associate at Prairie Theatre Exchange from 2012 to 2018 and is currently a member of the PTE Playwrights Unit.

Read more about Debbie

Elena Anciro

Elena Anciro is an arts administrator, theatre educator and actor. Part of her current role as Education & Community Engagement Manager at Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre includes the planning and execution of accessible performances, including relaxed performance. Elena is also a trained Audio Describer with Vocal I Ensemble Winnipeg.

Read more about Elena


Nova Scotia

Laura Caswell

Laura Caswell is a performer, director, choreographer, cabaret artist, producer and arts educator currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Born and raised in Ottawa, she has performed all over Canada and trained in New York and London, UK earning a Masters in Performance.

Read more about Laura


Ontario

Cathy Gordon 

Cathy Gordon is a multidisciplinary performance artist with 25 years of producing experience. She started training in Relax Performance in 2017 and produced two RP performances for Luminato in 2018. She became the Festival & Community Engagement Manager at Luminato in 2019, where she oversees the implementation of accessible programming in collaboration with an advisory committee.

Read more about Cathy

Cheryl Blackman

Cheryl Blackman is the Director of Museums & Heritage Services with the City of Toronto where she is responsible for the ten city-owned and operated historical museums, the city collection of historical objects, archaeological specimens, moveable fine art, and an extensive portfolio of heritage buildings.

Read more about Cheryl

Kat Germain 

Kat has over 25 years of teaching experience, is Ontario College of Teachers certified and has worked in diverse classrooms with the Toronto District School Board since 2001. She teaches almost exclusively in Intensive Support Programs for children who are neurodiverse. . Kat has been encouraging and advocating for the hiring of consultants and partners from the communities RP serves since organisations began offering the service: “Nothing About Us, Without Us”.

Read more about Kat

Kristina McMullin 

Kristina McMullin is a creative cultural producer with a grounded and holistic approach to access and inclusion. She was first trained in Relaxed Performance techniques in 2017; she applies these principles to her work in event production and promotion, as well as facilitation and lecturing. Kristina most recently served as a facilitator for the National Access Arts Assembly: Access Activator Training in 2020, as a guest lecturer for Ryerson’s School of Fashion Event Production: Beauty to be Recognized, A Crip Fashion Show in 2019, and as the marketing manager of the Cripping the Arts Symposium in 2019. Her current roles include communications manager at Tangled Art + Disability and a research assistant at Ryerson University.

Read more about Kristina

Natasha Bacchus

Tkaronto-Guyanese,  Black , Deaf, Queer, Former DeafOlympican, Actress of The Black Drum and The Two Natasha’s.

Read more about Natasha 

Cara Eastcott

Cara Eastcott is a Toronto-based freelance organizer and creative producer. Taught and informed by the organizing work of disability justice movements and the artistic impact of political arts movements; Cara is interested in building accessible spaces that preserve and push forward stories through arts and culture.

Read more about Cara

Jessica Watkin

Jessica Watkin is a Blind PhD Candidate and Artist at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. Her research focuses on Disabled artists and their creation processes, support systems, and Disability Dramaturgy. She is a Disability Dramaturg and Access Consultant.

Read more about Jessica

Kayla Besse

Kayla is a Relaxed Performance consultant with a background in English Literature, Theatre Studies, and Disability Studies. She is an accessible communications professional with expertise in digital media and knowledge mobilization. Together with her colleagues at the British Council of Canada and Bodies in Translation, she co-authored “Relaxed Performance: Exploring Accessibility in the Canadian Theatre Landscape,” a report on the status of Relaxed Performance in Canada in 2019.

Read more about Kayla

Marjorie Chan 陳以珏

Marjorie was born in Toronto to Hong Kong immigrants.  As a theatre and opera artist, she works variously as writer, director and dramaturge as well as in the intersection of these forms and roles. Marjorie has been nominated for 9 Dora Awards and is the recipient of four (3 for libretti, 1 for performance). She has also received the K.M. Hunter Artist’s Award in Theatre, the Entertainment World Award for Best New Work, a Harold Award, as well as the George Luscombe Award for Mentorship. Other notable nominations include the John Hirsch Directors’ Award, the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Canadian Citizen Award for her work with Crossing Gibraltar – Cahoots Theatre’s program for newcomers.

Read more about Marjorie

Rachel Marks 

Rachel has been a practicing Relaxed Performance Consultant for several years. Prior to this Rachel has an extensive background in theatre (ie. Stage Manager, Playwright, Artist Educator, Box Office and FOH) and worked developing events and programming for children/youth on the Autism Spectrum and their families for almost eight years. Relaxed Performances are where Rachel combines her two career loves (Disability Action/Accessibility and Theatre).

Read more about Rachel


Prince Edward Island

Sarah Denman-Wood

Sarah Denman-Wood is an arts administrator, theatre producer, educator and mother, born and raised on Epekwitk, the traditional and unceded lands of the Mi’kmaq. Currently the Associate Producer at Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Sarah is passionate about making the arts accessible- especially in smaller, rural settings. She has a BA in Theatre Studies (Acadia), a B. Education (MUN) and experience teaching in the UK and Canada with neuro-diverse communities within mainstream curriculum and artistic settings, in addition to her work in the theatre.

Read more about Sarah


Quebec

Daisy Boustany

Daisy Boustany works on cultural development, public policy and consultation projects with regard to inclusion and accessibility issues. She held positions in research and strategic development within the cultural sector, and then worked as a policy advisor. She currently acts as an independent consultant to various cultural institutions. She has an MA in International Studies and a BA in Sociology and Arab Studies.

Read more about Daisy

Salima Punjani

Salima Punjani is a socially-engaged artist and social worker passionate about creating dignified creative practices and environments.  Salima draws on her artistic practice with her awareness and lived experience of systemic issues such as racism and ableism to develop experiences alongside individuals and organizations that are welcoming, creative, and respectful.  She has experience in multimedia storytelling, film and media production, vibrotactile creation, participatory photography, and facilitation of creative counseling groups.

Read more about Salima


Saskatchewan

Rachel Broussard

Rachel Broussard is a visual artist, facilitator, and arts educator. She was first trained in Relaxed Performance techniques in 2020 through the National Access Arts Assembly: Access Activator Training. She has offered relaxed tours and workshops through her work as a Program Guide at Remai Modern, a museum of modern and contemporary art in Saskatoon, SK.  She maintains an active studio practice, and she serves on the board of PAVED Arts, a local artist run center.

Read more about Rachel