Performers & Visual Artists

10 Performers, 10 Visual artists, One Venue, One Cause.


Truth Is… A great leader and powerful public speaker of our time was noted for using ‘Thunderclap rhythm with a distinctive voice blending ecstasy and despair’. That would also be a perfect description of Truth Is… Her Passion is only surpassed by her desire to explore and express the truth itself, and this becomes obvious when her poetry is spoken. As a repeated member of Toronto Poetry Slam Team, a TPS & ESC slam Champion, an Up From the Roots’ 5th Annual Toronto International Poetry Slam finalist and with a scheduled appearance in the Women Of the World International poetry slam happening in Detroit she is no stranger to gruelling and intense competition. She has competed twice in the Canadian festival of Spoken Word, The Rustbelt Regional Slam and has had several of her pieces aired on Canadian-based radio stations (Flow’s OTA Live, CBC’s Big City, Small World among others) Truth Is… is an avid guerrilla poet taking poetry from street to street. She has featured at many reading series, schools and Conferences and also just finished participating in the 8th Annual ‘When Sisters Speak.’ spoken word concert held in Toronto.

Nathan Gerber. Some people were clearly put on planet earth to create music… Nate Gerber is one of those people.  Whether on acoustic guitar – or fusing together electronic & organic sounds.. there’s no doubt that this recent York U music graduate has got serious soul. Featuring a special dance performance by Cara Spooner – Also a recent York U graduate, Nate will be rocking a frantic hybrid solo performance of controllerism and songs that embody a higher reality hitting planet earth.

Nathan is also Founding Director of Divine Force Company (DFC), a hip-hop outreach troupe based in Toronto, Ontario.

Matt Henderson. On May 13, 1984 the gods of rock and roll blessed Eileen and Randy Henderson with a beautiful 17 pound 1 ounce baby boy. They would call him Matthew, which means Facemelting Solo in Hebrew. It was prophesied in the August 1979 issue of CREEM Magazine that Matthew would unite kids from every scene (excluding Post Neo Absurdist Screamo) in a way that only paralleled that of a young Jerry Lee Lewis. Under the tutelage of Gilmore Deans, Toronto’s pre-eminent eighth grade music teacher in the late 90’s, Matthew found his sound and ran with it (this would later be referred to as his ‘Sgt. Pepper era’). Matthew plays acoustic guitar, synthesizer and games with girls’ hearts, all at a university level. With an ear for melody and the sensitivity of a woman, Henderson (appropriately nicknamed “Tendershot” by the now defunt group Skirtchaser) writes indie pop gems to melt the hearts of the masses. Please keep Matthew Henderson in your prayers. By 32 Flavor Freddy with files from Matt Henderson

Jenna Burke. Growing up in a musical family, Jenna has been greatly influenced by her mother, who is the Director of the Juno Award winning Toronto Mass Choir. Beginning with classical piano training from the age of 5, Jenna’s style was further developed through her study of jazz keyboards at the renowned Humber College and continues her study at York University. Her musical training firmly established, Jenna’s performance opportunities have included everything from intimate solo settings to touring with TMC throughout Canada, United States and Europe.

Jenna is a sought after studio vocalist as well as a prolific songwriter. Her music has received rave reviews from not only her audiences but from other recording artists who want to sing her songs. Her anticipated debut album, appropriately titled ‘Insight’, is a snapshot of the musical journey on which she finds herself. Listeners can expect to hear music which is both captivating and sincere. As you experience her music, your heart and soul will expand to embrace the wonder of the world as seen through this innovate, young artist.

“2x the Mono” (pronounced: two times the mono) is the musical voice of Randell Neudorf. A voice that might sing beautiful love songs one minute and scream anthems of protest the next.

Live, 2x the Mono is a one man band that takes you from an acoustic folk show into a wall of sound and back again. The set up is an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, synthesizer, and a host of other instruments through a “loop station”, as well as a foot controlled mono tape recorder that incorporates ambient sound effects, retro commercials, and radio static into the mix.

2x the Mono’s unique music can be cataloged under “Art Rock” or “Experimental Acoustic” with a sound that has been described as Beck meets Neil Young. /

Deb Whalen. Influences: My Dad, the deaf guy with the best record collection I ever saw. Plus everyone needs someone to harass them into practicing the guitar between lessons* Adam Duritz and the Counting Crows, who made me feel lyrics for the first time* J.S. Bach, who taught me about what talent really is* Alanis Morissette, who taught me to be honest and then write it down* Ani DiFranco, who removed my guilt for swearing when I sing. Oh. And also for being a woman who knew what she was doing* John Mayer, for making me look at my guitar like a new creature* Sarah Harmer and Feist; ladies who just do what they do and are damn good at it. Duke Special and Patrick Watson, my piano-driving vaudvillain heroes.

Ris (pronounced “reese”) listens to the rhythm of the heart as each song within explodes, evading a variety of passionate poetic truths. Classically trained on piano Ris grew up writing songs from a very young age. She was encouraged by her teacher that she would one day grow up to be a famous writer. Her songs are stories. Stories of the hearts she has met while touring with different art teams in Ontario; stories that come deep within her own soul. As a graduate from York University, from the music program, Ris is excited to explore the possibilities of furthering her music! As a new artist, yet to be discovered, she is constantly looking for new adventures and stories to write. On this evening she is thrilled to stand with an amazing talented band that will help support the stories from her heart.

Moment’s Notice. Vocals: Amy Bedford. Guitar: Jonathan Bluks. Bass: Jonathan Resnick.  Moment’s Notice. Everything happens in a moment.

Emmanuel Tibi. Also known as the spoken word artist Eze.

Velsie Mak.  Performing with Shu-Ling Lee and David Kentie.

Groove Therapy.
Hip hop collective, finding the groove as one.


Melani Pyke / Inspirational Oil & Acrylic Paintings

Based out of St. Catharines, Ontario, Melani particularly enjoys creating paintings live for events around Toronto and the Niagara region.  These are either imaginative pieces for a specific audience, or ‘plein air’ paintings of the surroundings.  Melani also welcomes commissioned work ranging from murals to portraits to graphic design.  Most of her paintings are created with oil or acrylic on canvas, but she also works with pastel, coloured pencil, and charcoal.  Her 3 years’ experience in custom framing has developed her eye for design, and committment to excell in customer service.

Born in Brantford, Ontario, Melani showed artistic talent from a young age. By the age of 13, Melani began to teach drawing and painting classes, and at 16 Melani began to exhibit her oil paintings locally in solo and group shows.
Melani received artistic training from Youth With a Mission’s School of Illustration program from 2000 to 2001. In 2003, she graduated with honours and awards from Mohawk College’s Graphic Design Production program. She is currently a member of St. Catharines Art Association and Niagara Artists Centre.

Philip Cheng. is a Chartered Accountant. When he grows up he wants to be a painter.

He is a strangely-conflicted yet spirited individual who has spent the last 12 years working on academic pursuits, professional designation, and tending career opportunties in the accounting field. He has worked in the Assurance Practice at KPMG LLP and is currently managing the Internal Audit function at Indigo Books & Music Inc. In spite of his adult professional life, he spent most of his childhood and adolescent years training in visual arts. After not being admitted into Sheridan College’s Classical Animation Program, he abandoned his pursuit of visual arts to take up his badge as a soldier of fortune. He stopped drawing and painting, but somewhere along the way, the collective encouragement of his friends, family and faith community have helped him realize that gifts are meant to be shared, and that broken dreams are the most beautiful.

He has spent the last several years working on his inspiriation, mustering the courage to paint once again. He believes in second chances, and he hopes you do too.

Here’s a recent piece.

Amanda Moodie, was born in Burlington Ontario. For a large part of her childhood she grew up in Dundas, and then for the second greater part,  she lived in Grimsby . She is a twin, the other half is a boy named Shawn. NO, they are not identical. Goodness. Amanda has two step siblings, and an older brother who lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Amanda is currently 21, attends McMaster University, and is going into her third year of Fine Arts and  History, a double major. Amanda quite enjoys art, but also loves running! Amanda is a member of McMaster’s Varsity Cross Country and Track team. Amanda loves what she studies, and running for Mac. You will often find her running, listening to music, cooking an elaborate meal, and laughing at and with her friends.

Alfred Lam is a Toronto based writer/speaker/ musician/photographer who believes each one of our lives contains a story and a message that can make the world a better place.  Art, in all its different forms helps us to discover that message and communicate it.

Alfred’s appreciation for the arts comes from going through his own “toxic experiences” in life.  He discovered that art helps filter out the “toxins”, enabling the artist to gain a useful message from the experiences that can encourage and inspire others.

Alfred’s passion is to use writing, speaking, photography and music to break down barriers between people.   His dream is to see that as we learn to embrace each other through our shared brokenness, we may be comforted, encouraged, and inspired to change the world.

Alfred is hubby to Anna and daddy to Taylor.  He enjoys sharing his thoughts at

Phil Irish. The practice of painting has become, for Phil Irish, a way of exploring the world, stimulating imagination, and of sparking deep exchange with others.

Irish received a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art and English Literature from the University of Guelph, in 1995.  His work has been featured in public museums, artist-run-centres, and commercial galleries across Canada. He has developed new work during residencies in Newfoundland, at the Symposium in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, and as the City of Kitchener’s Artist in Residence.  Irish applied his painterly vision to a web-based artwork for Oakville Galleries.  In 2007, his work was shortlisted for the Kingston Prize, Canada’s national portrait competition.  Here’s a teaser of his work.  Find more at

Vivian Lui, is an art teacher with the Toronto District School Board. She dabbles in encaustic painting (painting with wax), and has a background in oil portraiture and graphic design.

She believes that beauty and creativity are some of the strongest indicators that God exists – and that creating the connection between artists, storytellers and dreamers is time well spent.

Yvonne Ho is a graphic designer living in Toronto, ON. She has been in design programs for the past 7 years and is currently attending the York-Sheridan Joint Program in Design. She is a chronic doodler and has an obsession with black pens. Yvonne is also an avid film buff, television addict, and bookworm. She loves stories and would like to hear yours! To see some of her work, visit

Melissa Wong. Currently in a 3rd year honors bachelor program studying graphic design at York University joint with Sheridan College. Melissa has been doing art since she was a child and went to an art school specializing in music and visual arts. She enjoys mediums with acrylic, watercolour and oil, but especially watercolour and ink. Her work is more abstract and fast-paced and she tends not to go through the realistic route when doing an art piece.

Sheldon Spithoff.  I am 28 years old. Currently attending Tyndale Seminary and working towards an M.Div. in Counselling. I picked up painting in January of this year but have been a doodler and sketcher all my life.

Many more bios from aritsts at the show to be posted soon…

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