Past Artists

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. 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.

euphoric-headEuphoric Head. Euphorichead’s two band members both have heads. But besides that, Harry and Carol also share a common passion for music. Although they have not studied music formally, they will put just about anything they have at disposal into creating sounds that will hopefully bring euphoria to your ears. (Photography: Claudia Hung)

velsie-mak-bio-photoVelsie Mak is an aspiring and talented local singer/songwriter in Toronto, Canada. Since age 12 when she began writing her own music, Velsie has been singing and playing at private functions, arts events and fundraising galas all over the city. With musical influences like Ella Fitzgerald, Corinne Bailey Rae, John Mayer and Alicia Keys, she is continually refining her vocal style and musical sensibilities, aspiring to touch the hearts of anyone listening with her music. (John Poon: Bass, Roland Hunter: Guitar, Adam Teixeira: Drums)

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.

alyssa-bistonathAlyssa Bistonath is a freelance photographer who lives and works in Toronto Canada. She studied at Ryerson University where she received a Bachelor’s of Fine Art with a specialization in New Media. After graduating, she was recognized with an award from the Magenta Foundation and was listed as one of the top emerging photographers from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Most recently she has won awards from the Canadian Church Press for her photojournalism published in Child View Magazine about female genital mutilation in Ethiopia. As well as shooting for a variety of magazines, she has also exhibited a number of fine art series including “The Goodbye Books”, “Kingdom”, “Portraits & Paper: Memories of Thomas and Isabelle Wilson”, and most recently a photo from the series “Urban Jealousy” has been put on display by the ParkinGallery in Turkey and Germany. Alyssa’s passion for international development and social justice has led her travels to five continents, and to work with World Vision. She believes that narratives told through the lens are powerful and can create positive change within the international community.

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.

hanna-kaye-smithHanna-Kaye Smith. I am a third visual arts and education student at York University.I enjoy painting, dancing, singing, reading, laughing,shopping,and spending time with my friends.I am currently beginning a series of work that reflect freedom in the Presence of my Father, Friend,King, and Dearly Beloved who is seated and working in the Heavenly Place. My duty is to utilize my strengths,passions, and gifts to usher souls into His Presence. He has annointed my hands, and carefully put within a new season to serve and delight in His Presence.When His Love came down, freedom and victory was indeed mine!

robin-maRobin Ma. Graduated with BA/ Honours in Fine Arts from University of Waterloo, is now attending OCAD for BFA in Advertising.

My work talks about how we are deeply immersed in the consumer world where our desires run dry, chasing after the materialistic things in life. Much like handbags, we often want to get our hands on the newest and latest line of product that is to hit the market. We find ourselves tightly wrapped in the superficial realms of buying and purchasing that we overlook the more important things in our life. I have devoted my attention to luxurious handbags and purses. In particular, I focus on the decadently expensive looking bags that are sometimes featured in magazine ads. The light plays an important role in illuminating the surface, creating contrasting lights and darks. I am interested in the surface texture such as the glossy sheen or how light skims over and catches the highlighted folds. The emphasis would be on detail and depiction of matter through realism. With every piece I have incorporated the element of the hands into the image, which is dehumanized and overshadowed by the inanimate.

ivania-erazoIvania Erazo. Ivania is a 3rd year peace studies student at McMaster Univeristy in Hamilton she’s working on a degree called Human Rights Diplomacy and law- when she’s finished she hopes to go to the university for peace in Costa Rica ( the UN university). Ivania’s heart for social jusitice has shaped her life tremendously. everything from music, books, art, and writing eventuallyy tie back into the inspiration she finds in the people she meets in her development trips.

She works for an organization called Global Youth Network- (

an organization that sends university students on leadership/mission trips to diverse places around the world.

She has visited -Nova Scotia, Brazil, Tanzania- and will be leading a trip to Venezuela in May.

She does these trips mainly because she believes in the true sense of intercconection- being able to share her life and in return bringing back a story of someone she has met on these trips- can change the way people look at the world.

She hopes to work for the UN one day- and bring it back to a grass roots movement, all about the people, less about the power and money

tkTK has been dancing for 10 years and recently discovered reasons to pop for higher purposes.

willowWillow is a musician and spoken word artist with Sketch.

sketch_011Artists from Sketch. Sketch creates opportunities for street involved and homeless people ages 15-29, to engage in the arts in a cross-discipline studio environment or in the community.

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.

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