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Bonsor’s Fine and Performing Arts Program offers more than 300 classes each season in dance, music and theatre; media, literary and visual arts; and ceramics, clay and pottery. We're certain you'll find something that speaks to your inner artist.
We have a full team of dedicated, experienced and talented instructors to help you express your creative side. Learn more about our dance and music instructors who teach programs in their biographies below. They’re part of our full complement of instructors who are skilled, dedicated and inspiring artists, eager to share their love of the arts with their students.
Did you know? Burnaby also offers Fine and Performing Arts classes at Edmonds Community Centre.
Laurie Jones-Tomé, Fine & Performing Arts Coordinator
Laurie holds a Recreation Diploma from Langara College. She began her career in West Vancouver in 1981, moving to the City of Burnaby soon after. In her years with the City, Laurie has worked with seniors as a recreation programmer at Confederation Seniors Centre; at City Hall as a community program coordinator; and at Shadbolt Centre for the Performing Arts as a program coordinator. She's been the fine arts coordinator at Bonsor Recreation Complex since it opened in 1987. Since then, Laurie has expanded Bonsor's arts programming from a seasonal complement of 30 classes to the current roster of up to 300 classes per season. She is an incredibly creative and inspiring team leader who believes anything is possible if you think outside the box!
Email: [email protected]
River Light, Fine Arts Leader
River holds a Bachelor of Arts in Fine and Performing Arts, Theatre Concentration from SFU. She has performed in many community productions, both on the Sunshine Coast and in Vancouver. River's 2-minute video "Please" won the UN pavilion’s Messages for Peace competition at Expo 86 in the senior audio/video category. She has written and produced for both stage and video, and currently writes short stories and poetic prose. River began her career at Bonsor in 1992 and now works full time at Bonsor as a fine arts leader.
Email: [email protected]
Jade's training with instructors from Latin America, North America and the Middle East, combined with her multicultural background, drives her to explore and choreograph dance fusions–particularly fusions of belly dance with flamenco, modern, samba and Persian dance. A professional belly dancer who performs at cultural events, Jade shares her deep passion for dance through teaching.
Sonja is a dancer/actor/singer from Fort St. John, BC with 20+ years of training in tap, ballet, jazz and contemporary dance, and has attended The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Alberta Ballet and Goh Ballet. Sonja taught jazz, tap and contemporary dance at the Move Dance Center before moving to Vancouver to attend Vancouver Film School in pursuit of an acting career. She's also taken part in several musical theatre productions with Broadway Live Broadway in Grande Prairie, Alberta–including The Little Mermaid, Tarzan and Fame. Sonja believes her training in acting enhances her artistry in dance.
Carman's training is classical ballet, following the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus. She's performed various important roles in ballet productions of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. She also auditioned and competed with UBC's Ballet Club’s competitive team for 3 consecutive years, winning many regional competitions with her teammates. For the past several years she's been teaching ballet classes and creating choreography in addition to her training obligations. Carmen wants to share her ballet training and instil her love of performance in her students.
Danielle has a strong passion for the arts–especially dance. She's trained in all styles, including hip-hop, tap, jazz, stage and acrobatics. The opportunity to teach students has taken Danielle's creativity to new heights. Ten years ago she brought her versatility and energy to teaching Acro Dance and Jazz Dance to Bonsor, and continues to be an integral part of the team.
Jhaymee is known and respected throughout the Lower Mainland as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. He's the artistic director of the Now or Never Crew Dance Company–the Westcoast Canadian Breaking Champions. The 'Crew' also performed in the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Jhaymee has been teaching dance for over 10 years. He teaches break dance, street dance and hip-hop at Bonsor.
Jenny graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts with a Diploma Enriched in Arts. Trained in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, modern/contemporary dance and acrobatics, Jenny has been dancing for over 13 years. She's expanded her talents to musical theatre, acting and hip-hop. Jenny has travelled to China to teach Performing Arts at a summer camp in Guangzhou and toured across BC and Alberta, performing in children’s theatre with Story Theatre Co. She learned American Sign Language (ASL) to share her love of arts with students who are deaf or who experience hearing loss. She's introduced ASL workshops into Story Theatre Co.'s school programs. Jenny teaches at both Bonsor Recreation Complex and Edmonds Community Centre.
Stephanie is a unique combination of singer, songwriter, flamenco dancer and cantaora (traditional flamenco singing). Based in Vancouver, Stephanie is originally from Colombia. She continues to immerse herself in her Colombian-Uruguayian roots of song and dance, specializing in teaching flamenco dance. Stephanie's original musical compositions are an honest reflection of her rich Latin American background. She released her first album titled "Where I Rest" in November 2011 and has been featured on CBC Radio and Roundhouse Radio. She is currently writing her second album. Stephanie performs, tours, collaborates with other artists and teaches workshops across Canada and internationally.
Silene holds a Bachelor of Contemporary Dance from Contempodanza School in Mexico City. She's is an award-winning professional performer who has danced internationally–with highlight performances in the Czech Republic, Japan, US, Mexico and Canada, and 2 concert tours through Japan as a Latin dancer with a mambo orchestra in 2015 and 2016. Silene is a versatile dancer, actor, and dance instructor who has worked in theatre, radio and television. She is currently dancing with The Body Orchestra Collective and working as an independent artist on different projects in the Lower Mainland. Silene teaches dance to all. She's passionate about creating choreography–infusing her jazz dance and street jazz with energy and a special focus on technique.
Sophia trained at Encore Dance Academy, where she completed her jazz, tap, and ballet examinations. She added acrobatics to her repertoire in 2013, going on to training at circus school in Langley for three summers and compete in dance and acrobatics competitions across the province. Sophia started with the City as an assistant instructor in dance and acro dance at Bonsor Recreation Complex in 2014. She continues to teach at Bonsor while she pursues studies in Psychology at UBC.
Ying Ying trained in Chinese Traditional Dance and dance choreography in China before immigrating to Canada and majoring in Contemporary Dance at SFU. She was the choreographer for World Vision Canada's production of "Chasing Love"–a musical drama that featured Hong Kong artists–and the Miss Chinese (Vancouver) Pageant. Ying Ying performed at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. She was choreographer and back-up dancer for K-pop star G.na, and many other artists from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Ying Ying continues to perform while working as a full-time dance instructor and choreographer. At Bonsor Recreation Complex, she teaches hip-hop, K-pop and Chinese traditional dance.
Kristina is an accomplished musician and dancer. She has completed the Royal Conservatory of Music graded exams and theory requirements and her Elementary and Intermediate Piano Pedagogy teaching certificates. She's in the process of completing her Advanced ARCT certification. In dance, Kristina has completed the Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D.) graded exams. This followed her childhood pursuit of the arts–she was trained by Kera Dothery at Staccatto Music Studios in piano; and by Rachael Poirier at Poirier Productions in ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern dance as well as musical theatre. Kristina has worked with many guest choreographers and performed in productions like Ballet Victoria’s “The Gift”, taken part in music festivals and community events, and achieved awards in various dance competitions. In recent years, Kristina has devoted herself to teaching both piano and dance. Seeing the growth and improvement in the students she instructs makes teaching a truly rewarding experience for Kristina.
Stephanie holds a fine arts degree majoring in painting from the Alberta College of Art and Design. She also achieved her Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 7 piano level. Before moving to the Lower Mainland, Stephanie worked as an art and music teacher for the South Shuswap Arts Council where she taught children age 4 and up. She loves sharing her passion for piano with young children–watching them sparkle with creativity and excitement–especially the 4-6 year olds! Stephanie joined the team at Bonsor Recreation Complex in 2017.
Guitar, Drums, Ukulele, Mandolin & Piano
Mark studied music at the Douglas Academy of Music under David Lund where he completed his Grade 7 Royal Conservatory of Music studies. He went on to study classical music at Douglas College and jazz at both Capilano University and Vancouver Community College. As a guitarist, drummer and keyboard player, Mark has toured and played across North America and Europe for over ten years with several different groups–most notably with world music pioneers Roots Roundup. He also travelled to Asia to study and experience the music and culture of India and Southeast Asia. Mark has been teaching since grade 12. For Mark, there are few experiences more rewarding than fuelling curiosity and a passion for learning–discovering each student’s unique gifts and guiding their musical journey.
Violin & Viola
Pavel holds a Masters of Music from the George Enesco University in Romania and has studied at the University of Victoria, taking Master’s level courses in violin and chamber music. He has a distinguished international career as a musician and a considerable reputation as a first class instructor whose students have won awards at local and provincial festivals and enjoyed great success in concerts and Royal Conservatory exams. Pavel's teaching is based on more than 30 years of study and research that includes Classical German from Carl Fleisch; the modern French from Ysaye; the Eastern European from Enerco and Oistrach; the North American from Ivan Galamian; and application of the Suzuki methods. Pavel teaches at both Bonsor Recreation Complex and Edmonds Community Centre.
Guitar, ukulele, banjo
Alex is a versatile guitarist--adept at rock, country, jazz, funk and fingerstyle technique. Alex has received accolades for his talent and he's won many awards, including a third place finish at the 2012 Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition. He's had extensive experience teaching both privately and at various studios and summer camps such as the UBC Summer Music Institute. Alex teaches to all ages and all levels in a wide variety of contemporary styles at both Bonsor Recreation Complex and Edmonds Community Centre.
Chironjeev (CJ) attends UBC studying both physics and music. At UBC's School of Music he's working toward a degree in Advanced Violin Performance under Canadian concert violinist Jasper Wood. He began his music studies at age 9 with Bonsor’s own Pavel Chiriac–first with the violin, then piano and then cello–becoming an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music ARCT while still in high school. Under the direction of Pavel Chiriac, he achieved a violin performers diploma at age 15 and a teachers diploma the following year.
CJ has expertise in both his chosen fields, with interests in hydrodynamic numerical modelling, MRI. He's currently working on research related to the acoustics of violins. CJ has an aptitude for teaching both science and music, and he has a passion for sharing his knowledge and experiences with others. He's been teaching violin and piano for several years, providing piano accompanist services and theory tutoring as a mentor with the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra, and acting as a teaching assistant at UBC in both physics and music courses. CJ follows a flexible teaching methodology, tailoring his teachings to the individual needs and skills of each student. Some of CJ's students have gone on to win awards at the Kiwanis and BC Conservatory of Music Festivals and through Royal Conservatory of Music exams.
Piano and Piano Basics
Michael holds a Diploma of Jazz Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Capilano University and UBC. He's taught music for over 10 years, including lessons for early learners ages 3 and up. He first gained experience as a side musician for multiple projects and has performed at many concerts, charity events, weddings, music festivals, conventions, and clubs. Michael has since launched his project in missingNo, a band that has gained a worldwide audience and recorded 3 albums and many music videos. He teaches Piano Basics and private piano at Bonsor Recreation Complex, Edmonds Community Centre and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.
Piano, saxophone (tenor, soprano, alto, baritone), flute, voice, clarinet and bass clarinet
John holds a Bachelor of Music from Capilano University (where he made the Dean’s list 3 years in a row) and a Masters of Music from the University of Toronto, where he studied with many of Canada’s top musicians. John started with piano as a child, adding woodwinds and singing as a teenager. For the last several years he's performed, toured and recorded as a freelance musician in Canada and the US–even composing and playing music for commercials and video games. John taught piano, saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute and voice to students of all ages privately for 10 years. He focuses on creating and enjoying music–but not at the expense of theory, the fundamentals of music or instrumental technique. John loves working with students of varying backgrounds and skill sets. He's very adaptable–able to accommodate the particular interests and expectations of both students and parents.
Angela holds a Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 10 Piano certification and an ABRSM Piano Diploma and she's working on a Bachelor of Music degree at Simon Fraser University. She has been playing the piano for over 20 years. Angela is a very involved teacher–she's always looking for new and unique ways to introduce music to the students. Watching them gain confidence as they improve their technique provides all the motivation she needs. Angela teaches piano at Edmonds Community Centre and Bonsor Recreation Complex.
Charmaine holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from UBC and an Associated Diploma in Performance and Piano Pedagogy from the Victoria Conservatory of Music. She's presently completing her Masters of Education degree at UBC. Her mentors of music and music education include Dr. Joy Innis, Mayling Kwok, Winifred Scott Wood, Dr. Ronald Morgan, Dr. Corey Hamm, Alice Enns, and Dr. Scott Goble. Charmaine has dedicated herself to music education for more than 10 years, as an early childhood educator and an independent piano teacher in communities across the Lower Mainland. She is also a certified Music Together instructor, exploring the wonders of multicultural music with her students. She believes inspiration, creativity and artistry are achieved through the collaborative process of community music-making.
Guitar, drums, ukulele and piano
Craig has been a professional musician and composer since 1990, playing guitar, bass and drums with many groups all across Canada. He earned his Jazz Performance Diploma from Calgary’s Mount Royal College in 1993. Craig has toured throughout the world, including a trip to Germany and Qatar in 2010 with Calgary artist Matt Masters. Presently he performs with the Washboard Union, Bella Monde and Frazey Ford. Craig teaches at Bonsor Recreation Complex and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.
Guitar, voice, ukulele, drums and piano
A guitarist, singer, and educator, Marc holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Guelph and a Diploma in Jazz Studies from Capilano University. Marc has performed professionally across Canada since 2013 for clients such as VIA Rail, Calgary Transit and, most recently, Trout Point Lodge in Nova Scotia. His guitar skills have led to sponsorship deals with Godin guitars and the Kyser Capo guitar series. He's also produced a solo album–"Breathe", and he leads a jazz-influenced folk band. As an instructor, Marc focuses on technique and repertoire development, taking care to position music as an enjoyable part of a child's overall development. Marc currently teaches at Bonsor Recreation Complex and Edmonds Community Centre.
Guitar, classical guitar, ukulele, banjo and mandolin
Daniel holds a Masters degree in guitar performance from the Royal College of Art in London, where he won the Salon Prize and the Guitar Major Award in 2006. A guitarist with exceptional musicality and technique, Daniel is noted for the attention to detail and provocative lyrical phrasing that bring his pieces to life. Daniel has performed in London, Manchester and Greater Vancouver, and for television shows, commercials and radio programs. He's also taught as well as conducted orchestra, band and choir since 2000. He began teaching with the City in 2018. Daniel's exceptional patience and extensive experience has helped students of all ages and skills learn a variety of musical styles.
Voice, ukulele, drumming and piano
Julia holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at Carleton University in Ottawa--specializing in musical theatre performance and a Bachelor of Music Therapy from Capilano University. She has been working for the City of Burnaby since 2014, teaching preschool music programs, choir, voice, private singing lessons, drumming, ukulele and piano. Julia also works with children, youth, adults and seniors, sharing her love of music all over the Lower Mainland. She was a starring member of the West African Drumming Ensemble in university and continues to perform regularly in musicals and with the West African rhythm ensemble Adanu Habobo.
Pearl has completed her grade 10 Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) studies in piano and theory, and now teaches various RCM levels to students. With 20+ years of teaching music, Pearl is a versatile instructor whose students appreciate her patient, creative, and confident teaching style. Whether she's helping students learn their favorite pieces or preparing students for exams, she loves to instill a deep appreciation of music in her students through theory and practice.