Improvised Arts Society Staff & Board Members
Meredith Bates is a multiple award winning violinist based in Vancouver, B.C.
Her list of collaborative and solo projects is extensive and she’s thrilled to have worked with many of Canada’s most innovative musicians, performing, touring and recording.
Mentionable highlights include: touring internationally with Pugs & Crows, Peggy Lee’s Film in Music, Dyad, and Annie Lou, to name a few; sitting on the NOW Society board of directors; and, curating shows in both Vancouver and Halifax over the past two decades.
Spearheading VIAS is a culmination of her passion for improvisation and collaboration; she relishes any opportunity to join forces with other like-minded artists.
Elisa Thorn is a harpist, vocalist and composer living and working in Vancouver on the unceded territories of the Sḵwxw̱ ú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Interested in the intersection between composed and improvised music, she is involved with many projects including HUE, The Giving Shapes, and Gentle Party. Her values in community have led her towards work as a curator and presenter. She has co-produced a mixtape called Bitch Tapes featuring local women artists, ran an outdoor concert series called Woodland Patio Series, and worked with the Vancouver Parks Board as an artist in residence curating community events. Much like her artistic inquiries as a music creator, her inquest as a presenter focuses on how to make challenging and/or abstract art more accessible through intentional methods of presentation.
Ruby Singh was born in the Crow’s Nest Pass and now calls the lands of the Musqueam, Skxwú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh home (Vancouver BC). He is an interdisciplinary artist in the truest sense. Singh’s creativity crosses the boundaries of music, poetry, visual art, photography and film. His expressions engage with mythos, memory, identity, justice and fantasy; where the surreal can shatter the boundaries of the real. As a composer and sound designer he has worked with theatre and dance companies across Canada, as well as creating numerous scores for the National Film Board and other independent films. Singh’s personal and collaborative works have been presented across Turtle Island, India, Germany and the UK.
Alongside his work as an artist, Singh is a long time facilitator and educator working within the libratory practice of creativity. This work has been shared in universities, colleges, youth prisons and communities across Turtle Island, India and the UK.
Amélie Malissard has over ten years of experience in project development and management and is the project manager for the Vancouver Independent Music Centre (VIM). She previously worked as the office, logistics and promotion manager for the Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival and for the Casa del Popolo and Sala Rossa venues in Montreal. She was a founding member of the Lux Magna festival, and has been part of the Noisundaee collective in the DIY space “La Plante”.
She pays particular attention to issues that she deems crucial to nowadays’ music scenes, and especially to establishing international partnerships, building strong community roots and creating space and empowerment for under-represented artists (women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+). She believes that her work goes beyond simply organizing events. Being a music promoter is also about bringing people together and creating new possibilities, for the artists and for the audiences.
Joel DeStefano has worked in numerous capacities in arts and culture throughout his career. An active composer, performer and interdisciplinary artist, he has collaborated on a wide range of projects in film, dance, radio and theatre He’s a graduate of SFU’s MFA program in contemporary art and was a founding member and co-artistic director of Proximity Arts, an interdisciplinary arts collective.
His community work includes developing and leading workshops in music and performance art practice, acting as a consultant for community arts organizations and supporting the work of emerging artists as the theatre & literary arts programmer at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.Joel DeStefano has worked in numerous capacities in arts and culture throughout his career. An active composer, performer and interdisciplinary artist, he has collaborated on a wide range of projects in film, dance, radio and theatre He’s a graduate of SFU’s MFA program in contemporary art and was a founding member and co-artistic director of Proximity Arts, an interdisciplinary arts collective.
His community work includes developing and leading workshops in music and performance art practice, acting as a consultant for community arts organizations and supporting the work of emerging artists as the theatre & literary arts programmer at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.
Natalie Ord is a white settler who was born and (mostly) raised on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, səl̓ilwətaɁɬ, and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh territories. In her work and life she aims to create space for relationship building and learning around complex issues, ideas and feelings. She has worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade and holds a master’s degree in Urban Studies and a certificate in Social Innovation, both from Simon Fraser University. While not an artist herself, half her family are musicians which has made her an excellent audience member and overall supporter of the arts. She’s a voracious reader, enjoys hiking and swimming in the mountains and is friends with all the neighbourhood cats.