ARTISTA builds and empowers a community of Montreal young women and supports them through the early stages of their careers, whatever those may be. Artistic independence and confidence, as well as increased knowledge in artistic craftsmanship are acquired through mentorship, creative collaboration and performance training.



ARTISTA participants and mentors meet once a week from January to May, usually on Monday nights, for dinner, theatre training, and creation. Dinner time is an opportunity for participants, mentors, and special guests, invited professionals hailing from various fields, to chat, encounter one another, and collectively turn our minds toward the world.

After dinner, we enter the workshop portion of the evening which lasts three hours. Workshops are led by mentors and invited guest teachers and offer skills training in movement, voice, text creation, mask, and other performance disciplines. During this time, mentors support participants in crafting stories and performances.

ARTISTA mentors also take participants out to see professional productions in various performance venues around Montreal.

Artista culminates in a performance of the collectively created work, presented to friends, family and the professional theatre community.

Imago’s safe learning environment support participants in building skill in leadership, self-confidence, listening, physical confidence, vocal confidence and empathy.

Utmost care is placed on creating a supportive, brave environment for students to explore these life-lessons.

Upcoming Artista Session | January 21st – May 16th, 2019 
Applications available | November 2018 

Our ARTISTA OUTCOME will take place at the Georges-Vanier Cultural Centre on May 16, 2019
For more information contact ARTISTA’s Program Director, Joy Ross-Jones at

2018 Session | (In)Visibility



JOY ROSS-JONES | Program Director                                           DAYANE NTIBARIKURE | Associate Program Director          Joy Ross-Jones_Headshot                                                      Dayane-profile-700x464

JOY ROSS-JONES is an actor, puppeteer, improviser and theatre educator from Venezuela. She has been living in Montreal for 11 years. Her university studies include McGill University and Concordia University were she studied as Theatre and Theatre for Social Change, and an active Masters in Art Education at Concordia, which she aims to tie up in June of 2018. Joy loves being a part of the Imago Theatre team where she worked as Artistic and Administrative Associate (2013 – 2016), and is Program Director of ARTISTA, Imago’s free theatre mentorship program for young women, which has been growing and expanding since 2014. As a performer, Joy enjoys creating her own work and is currently focussing on Elsewhere, an original one-person show that uses mask and storytelling to share the stories 6 lives affected by the current crisis in Venezuela (Segal Centre Award Winner, Fringe 2017). Elsewhere will be touring during the 2018-2019 cultural season. Joy performs regularly at Montreal Improv and relishes the opportunity to dip into Bouffon with the Montreal troupe, Bouffon de la Belleville. She is proud to have recently joined the team at Glenn Talent where she is represented by Marc Elias.

DAYANE NTIBARIKURE is a multifaceted bilingual artist who tells stories with her voice, body, heart and soul! She created her own triple threat program by first completing a degree in classical voice at Vanier college, another one in dance at Cegep St-Laurent , while taking acting classes at Straeon Acting Studio ( formerly known as Carter Thor Acting Studios ). She has been perfoming in plays and musicals since high school and most recently in short films and television.

Our 2019 mentors will be announced soon!

2018 Mentors:

FELICIA SHULMAN | Artista Mentor               ALEXANDRIA HABER | Artista Mentor                   JANE WHEELER | Artista Mentor   felisha_square_small          alex1form2         Wheeler-Jane

FELICIA SHULMAN is a Black Belt certified Nia instructor and a versatile, passionate actress with over thirty years of international experience in theatre, film, television, voice and movement (jazz, modern, ballet, tap, Spanish, character). She has danced nationally in musicals and musical revues. Felicia has also been involved in and taught fitness since 1985. CALA certified, she loves dancing and teaching Yoga in the water! She is continually training in movement and fitness at various workshops and conferences worldwide: The Y.M.C.A.’s continuing education program, Fitforces, Canfit Pro, CALA, YogaFit, Miss Sugarpuss’s Burlesque Etiquette, 5 Rhythms, 5 Stages of Healing, and Misty Tripoli’s THEGROOVE. Felicia is an enthusiastic fun dynamic teacher who puts people at ease immediately, and cultivates the best in each individual.

ALEX HABER is an award winning playwright and actor. Her plays have been produced across Canada and include: Mouth to Mouth ( co- written with Ned Cox) produced at the Montreal Fringe Fest 2017 and The White Bear Theatre London, England. Alice and The World We Live In, second place winner Infinite Theatre’s Write-on- Q 2016 playwriting Competition. On This Day, written while in Tarragon Theatre’s Playwrights Unit in 2014 and produced at Centaur Theatre in February 2015. Life Here After, (Imago, Centaur Theatre’s Wildside 2012, 2010 winner of Infinite Theatre’s Write-on- Q! playwriting Competition) Closed for Urgent and Extraordinary Work, commissioned by Imago, produced by Theatre Yes in Edmonton, the National Elevator Play project. I Don’t like Mondays, A Christmas Carol (adapted Charles Dickens) and Game Changers, Geordie Theatre, Housekeeping & Homewrecking (Theatre Ste. Catherine, winner of the Best Ensemble MECCA in 2009) Ordinary Times, (Centaur wildside and Sarasvati’s Fem Fest) She has also written radio dramas produced by CBC.

JANE WHEELER is a Montreal actor whose work spans theatre, film, television and voice projects.  She has performed at Centaur, the Segal Centre, Theatre Lac Brome, Theatre New Brunswick and the Shaw Festival amongst others. Most recently, Jane had the pleasure of acting in ‘Mouth to Mouth’, a new play by Alexandria Haber and Ned Cox, which began at the Montreal Fringe Festival and journeyed all the way to London, UK. Favourite roles include Olivia in ‘Twelfth Night’, Chris in ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’, Ben Gunn in ‘Treasure Island ‘ and Sally Bowles in ‘Cabaret’. Film work includes Xavier Dolan’s soon-to-be-released ‘The Death and Life of John F. Donovan’, ‘Brad’s Status’, ‘A Motion Away’, ‘Brooklyn’, ‘Everything Will Be Fine’ and ‘I’m Not There’. Recent television credits include ‘Red Creek’, ‘This Life’ and ‘Exploding Sun’. Jane voices many commercials, documentaries, animation series and video games. She lives in Montreal with her husband and three children.

Our 2019 guest artists will be announced soon!

2018 guest artists:

           ANANA RYDVALD | Mask 
 Anana Rydvald_Small

Originally from Sweden, ANANA RYDVALD first came to Montreal to study at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens at the age of 12.  Since then she trained as an actress and mask artist in both Europe and Canada and eventually became a teacher at John Abbott College in Mime and Improvisation.  Before settling down in Montreal she worked as an actress for several years with the renowned Scandinavian Theatre group Cantabile 2 that creates site-specific performances around the world. She was last seen on stage as a mask performer in V-Cards at The Wildside Festvial, as Lady M. in Repercussion Theatre’s Macbeth, a pupeteer in Scapegoat Carnivale’s The Heretics of Bohemia and as Amanda in LoveULovecraft with The Other Theatre. She was awarded the Mecca revelation award for her self written mask show Section O in 2006 and is currently creatiing another solo show with masks that will mount in 2015.

Artista Participants


Olivia Dhepaganon
Bruna Florio
Sarah Lapointe
Tiernan Cornford
Katherine Chou


Ajah Richards
Adriana Cignola
Destiny Gregoire
Nickisha Thomas
Caitlin Heiligmann
Anouk Matte
Amanda Coochey


Violette Kay
Xin Shu
Samantha Bitonti
Jedidah Nabwangu
Phoebe Thompson
Cicely Austin
Victoria Hall
Avleen Mokha
Cayla Clarkson
Jayati Samar
Amanda Marra
Rilla Kingston
Alicia Fayet
Mercedeh Baroque
Esmée Cook


Lucy Nappatuk
Camille Deslauriers Ménard
Aya Elba
Mariia Bashmakova
Amelle Margarin
Abigail Drach
Laura Hernandez-Restrepo
Luyao Bella
Jennifer Nguyen
Maria Jimenez
Yuan Kelly
Gaelle Elma
Christina-Andrea Cretu
Hanin Fakih
Nicola Hanchet
Joanne Margetis


Artista is supported by


and by our partner