2020 BC Culture Days Ambassadors
Coral Santana (Vancouver) is an Afro-Latina writer, producer, and activist born in the Dominican Republic. She is a 4th-year student at UBC, majoring in Film Studies with a minor in Creative Writing. In her work, Coral explores her mixed heritage and how colonialism has shaped her perception of self. Her writing is infused with memories from her childhood and how unlearning and relearning her history continues to shape her. As well, she is an avid advocate for gender, sex and sexuality empowerment, using her platforms to amplify the voices of resistance in her community. She is currently the director of Dive Into UBC, a student-run organization that focuses on highlighting UBC student artists and fostering the arts and culture community at the university.
Culture Days Event: Coral presented a virtual festival called Artivism: Sex and the Unheard, exploring themes around sex, sexuality and body ownership within marginalized communities. Activities included panel discussions, aphrodisiac cooking workshops, spoken word performances, burlesque, and Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture’s 10 x 5 Artist Talks.
Mentor: Writer, activist, Carmen Rodriguez.
INSTAGRAM: @arrecifede.coral // @dive.into.ubc
Damian John (Ymir) is an acrylic/graphic painter and poet with a focus on how to create beauty in the world. He has spent the last five years exploring art as a delivery system for beauty and cultural reflection, and it is a place of deep inspiration and solace for him. He is self-taught and inspired by nature, movement, and all his various cultural inputs. He is a member of the Tl’azt’en First Nation and his art reflects the deep influence of his First Nations culture in his life. He proudly represents his people in his art, always trying to bring to the table the quality of hard work and high level craftsmanship. His art reflects his mind in all its wildness and emotion, and tries to create a mirror in which the viewer can explore that same range of emotion. Jiu jitsu, growing food, creating good relationships, and exploring wild spaces fill his free time.
Culture Days Event: Damian presented Exploring Reconciliation Through Creativity, a live- streamed discussion on the history of Indigenous Peoples in BC, followed by a creative drawing workshop exploring themes of reconciliation and personal journeys.
Mentor: Indigenous Visual Artist, Sonny Assu.
Molly Beatrice (she/her) is a queer, experimental theatre artist living and creating in Vancouver, Canada: the traditional, unceded, and occupied territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She is a recent graduate of the Phoenix Theatre and primarily works as a director, deviser, puppeteer, and producer. Recent directing credits include Prey (Belfry Theatre’s Incubator Program 2020), Home (Impulse Theatre’s Peek Show 8), The Children (Belfry Theatre, Assistant Director 2019), The Lonelies (Belfry Theatre SPARK Mini Plays 2019), and Ernie and Bethy (Victoria Fringe 2018). Some favourite producing credits include serving as the Peek Fest Associate Producer (Impulse Theatre), BC Culture Days Ambassador, and Travelling Puppet Show Coordinator (IslandLink Library Federation). Molly is currently developing a new play on queer chosen family with the PTC’s Block A program.
Culture Days Event: Molly directed and produced Letters to Myself, a pre-recorded theatre performance by three Queer actors writing letters as adults to themselves as a youth.
Mentor: Theatre director, Anita Rochon.
Edward Fu-Chen Juan is an emerging artist based in Vancouver. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California Institute of the Arts (Calarts). His current practice is printmaking on paper with water-based ink extracted from natural ingredients. He forages endemic flora of the chosen region and extracts colour to create ink paste for silkscreen printmaking. The process was developed through his cultivation of an ongoing cultural exchange with artisans he has previously worked with in Oaxaca, Mexico. The knowledge of colour extraction was shared with him to further develop his art practice in new ways. It aligns with his passion as a nature lover and appreciation of traditional craftsmanship.
Culture Days Event: Edward presented a number of activities including: Plant Ink Extraction Outdoor Demo (Vancouver), Foraged Ink for Printmaking (Sechelt), Artist Panel and Ink Extraction Demo (Powell River), and Gallery Opening at Tidal Art Centre in Lund.
Mentor: Printmaker, Brigitte Potter-Mael.
Claudia Simon (Revelstoke) known by her artist name Bambi, is a French-Canadian artist and graphic designer. She graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design and an Art Certificate from University Laval, Quebec. Thriving on thrills, Bambi’s creation process starts the second she hops on her beloved snow, surf or skateboard, and infuses the feeling of happiness she gets from playing outside into her art. It’s with flamboyant colours and playful aesthetics that Bambi intends to make the viewers laugh, smile, and let their mind wander.
Culture Days Event: Bambi facilitated Behind the wall: The making of a collective mural, the process of which was recorded and presented online.
Mentor: Cartoonist, photographer, and former BC Culture Days Ambassador Rob Buchanan.