Arts, Culture & Heritage – Past, Present & Future
Meet the facilitator
Soni is a passionate consultant, educator and arts practitioner who uses yoga and somatics as pathways of self discovery, healing and artistic creation. (www.sonidasmohapatra.com)
Soni has built her career for over twenty years in the sectors of government, higher learning, non-profit, public education and philanthropy, across Canada and Internationally.
Currently she is a sessional instructor in the Arts and Cultural Management Department at MacEwan University. This term she is teaching AGAD 301, Cultural Policy and Diplomacy. Soni, has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta, a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Victoria and a certificate in gender studies and human rights from Oxford University, UK.
Soni, has been involved in the Alberta arts, cultural and Heritage sector since she was a child. She is a trained classical Indian Kathak dancer. Soni is a choreographer of folk and contemporary dances from India such as bhangra, and Bollywood. She has been a cultural administrator in the areas of Canadian Heritage and Arts in Alberta and Ontario.
In Toronto Soni was the Artistic Director of the Bhangra Diva’s an all-girl bhangra dance group whose mandate was to spread workshops on social justice. She was part of the organizing committee for the Toronto Masala Mehndi Masti Festival. She facilitated the project Peace Taxi that was created by the South Asian Visual Arts Collective (SAVAC). She was a project manager for the “Say No To Hate” film, community engagement project developed by the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA).
Since her return to Edmonton in 2017, she has collaborated with Skirts Afire to be a story teller in the documentary ” Covid Collections” that was featured in the 2021 Edmonton International Film Festival. As part of her community work in Edmonton she is a board member of Azimuth Theater. Soni also takes part in the Thirdspace Playback Company. In 2021 she attended the Postmarginal Edmonton theater retreat and continues to promote this work on building equitable space for arts in Edmonton. She has presented dance works at local Edmonton festivals such as the 2022 Magpie Festival held by Mile Zero Dance and the Thousand Faces Festival. Most recently she participated in the 2022 National Asian Heritage Month festival.
In order to understand the current Canadian Arts ecosystem as a collective, it is important to learn how we arrived at the current situation. This learning stream tracks the history in order to imagine a more equitable future for the sector and artists across Canada.
T.R.A.I.N was made possible by the Government of Canada through the Canadian Heritage Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund.
Workshops took place September 2022 – March 2023, live and asynchronous, and delivered in English, French, and ASL and were free to join.