Spinning With the Stars 2020 Lineup
Hali-Famous + Circus Artist
Hosted by CTV's Liz Rigney
Andy Filmore and candice j prior
Chalkmaster Dave and Alix Todd
Nathan Coleman and Jill Hackett
Sam Horak and Vanessa Furlong
Cavell Holland and SpiraLynn
Quentell Provo and Hilary Kate
Jody Wagstaff and Krista Collier Jarvis
Trayvone Clayton and Katelyn Rowe
Michelle Strum and Ethan Av
Rebecca Thomas and the Juggling Bubblers
Kim Munson and Kristin Langille Dahl
Holly Carr and Nathalie Thilbert
The inesS® Junior Aerial Team
OUR HOST FOR 2020-LIZ RIGNEY
Liz Rigney is best known for her time on CTV. She was a co-host on Breakfast Television for 8 years before moving to the newsroom in 2002 where she reported for the CTV Evening News and the CTV News at 5. In 2006 she became the producer/host of the nightly entertainment report Take Five. Liz is now “behind the scenes” at CTV, managing digital media, promotions and community relations.
Liz also studied music at Dalhousie University and worked for several years in music and theatre. Over the years she has collaborated with a variety of musicians and has released two CD’s - Red Petticoat and Chameleon. She performs at a variety of events including the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo and is honoured to appear regularly with The Stadacona Band of the Royal Canadian Navy. She is also a member of the 13-piece band The Sounds of Motown.
She’s been nominated for an ECMA both as a performer and a media personality and won the ECMA Industry Award for Media Person of the Year in 2007.
You can find Liz on Twitter: @LizRigneyCTV
Andy Fillmore is the Member of Parliament for Halifax and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. First elected in 2015, he previously served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions, and Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs. Before politics, Andy spent twenty years as an urban planner and community builder in the private, public, and academic sectors. He attended Acadia University and holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and Dalhousie University. Andy grew up in Halifax, and he is a proud, unrelenting champion for his hometown in Canada’s Parliament.
*** Andy will be performing pending no conflicts with his Parliamentary schedule.
"CHALKMASTER" DAVE JOHNSTON
We all know Dave! The Toronto born artist who came to his senses and immigrated to Nova Scotia! Street artist extraordinaire, you’d have most recently seen his sidewalk art promoting Cirque du Soleil’s Maritime Tour and FIN (Atlantic International Film Festival). What you probably didn’t know about Dave is that he’s had a long-standing desire to be known as one of Hali’s most sexy men! His appearance on our stage will no doubt offer him the opportunity to fulfill this desire, so why not come on out and help him reach his goal!
You can find his work on his Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=26216845
Nathan Coleman has been chasing blizzards around Atlantic Canada for The Weather Network since 2012. He knows Atlantic Canada well. Born in Newfoundland, he was raised in NB, went to university in Halifax and vacationed in PEI.
Winter is his busiest time of year so he’s looking forward to coming in from the cold for a night to warm up and perform on stage.
Sam Horak is a writer and a producer. Past highlights include The Coast’s “Best Of” bronze winner, Sissydude, a dandy rock musical, (Co-Producer, director, dramaturge), and Halifax Fringe awarding “Sit on my Face” (Co-Writer, producer and director). For the past few years Horak has been busy writing two full length scripts. Her first, Kitchen, a show about artists working in the restaurant industry, was workshopped last year through PARC with direction by Laura Vingoe-Cram. Her second features her love of feminist punk rock and the Riot Grrrl movement. Horak hopes to continue exploring the producing and writing side of storytelling while maintaining her strong interest in feminist narratives.
Cavell Holland is a young creative professional hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia. His artistry cannot be defined solely by one medium. Cavell uses dance, acting, and design as the primary vehicles for his self expression. Recently named Halifax's Best Choreographer and Dancer, Cavell has performed and choreographed works for screen and stage, for the likes Netflix/CTV's "I do Redo", of A Tribe Called Red, Neon Dreams, Halifax Pride and We Day. He currently instructs dance classes and co-directs the professional training program at House of Eights Dance Studio and the founded smallFORTUNE Dance Company.
In addition to dancing, Cavell uses his understanding of physicality to expand into other realms. He is an accomplished actor, featured in the ensemble of CBC’s Studio Black, which was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award, and received a NS Screen Award for “Best TV Series.” Recently, Cavell was featured in short film “W O | L F”, the official selection for numerous International Film Festivals, including Cannes Short Film Festival, Sydney Indie Festival, and OUT&LOUD Film Festival in Pune, India.
Mi'kmaw poet and activist who does not want to be a poet or activist. She just happens to be good enough at poetry and persuasion to get people to listen but her ultimate goal is to make Canada a better place for her Indigenous community because so many people tend to forget they were here first. She has accidentally found herself as the former Poet Laureate of Halifax. She has performed with a Tribe Called Red and has spoken and lectured at conferences and coffee houses from coast to coast. She writes kids books about growing up the child of a residential school survivor. She has written for the CBC, Washington Post, and Bon Appetite but has yet to make a chapbook. She pays her bills by working as a Senior Consultant for Diversity and Inclusion with the provincial government. She's collaborated with composer Laura Sgroi to bring together a three poem story and full orchestral score which had is debut with the Kitchener Waterloo symphony in the spring of 2019. She also feels real uncomfortable writing bios about herself. She's done some other things here and there but has reached her tolerance for hearing off her accomplishments listed off.”
JODY WAGSTAFF-AKA SCOUT
In a nutshell...the wheels are in full motion for this Frederictonian dj. From humble beginnings at CHSR and running the Capital’s weekly open mic hip hop night; this party rocking dj has been keeping feet moving on the dance floor for over 12 years. From festivals in Costa Rica to clubs in Halifax and everything in between, Scout has proven to rock every dancefloor.
Moving away from just playing pre recorded tunes, look for Scout to drop live remixes and mashups with everything from Otis Redding to Pete Rock, Daft Punk to Pretty lights. No style is out of bounds, no genre left unturned, grooves full of inspiration.
Chef Scout’s party recipe is to take ghetto funk, moomba, trap and bass music spiced with hip hop vocals and a pinch of 50’s swing, mixed with turntables and served hot. Getting hungry just thinking of it!
Calls home the caring community of Halifax’s Uniacke Square where he was raised. Paying forward a lesson he learned from his former coach Wade Smith, “each one, teach one”, Trayvone has served as Head Coach for the UPNext Basketball Team (Summer, 2019) and as Community Program Coordinator at the North End Community Health Centre (Summer, 2019). A third-year student studying Arts with a concentration on criminology at Saint Mary's University, Trayvone aspires to study law in the future. Presently, he is a member of the men's basketball team at Saint Mary’s University and a recreational basketball coach for the Community YMCA’s Under-12 boys’ team.
Trayvone is also an active community organizer and advocate. A member of 902 ManUP, while a youth under19 , Trayvone advocated for the organization to be made accessible to youth over 16 because of his perspective that experiences and youth voices are essential to the cause. Trayvone was instrumental in the community organizing to shed light on institutional and systemic anti-Black racism on Parliament Hill. While attending Black Voices on the Hill Day in February 2019, Trayvone was among African Canadian youth who were racially profiled by Parliamentary Protective Services. This incident galvanized him to speak out nationally against the racism he and his peers endured. His efforts, in collaboration with other African Nova Scotians, resulted in an apology from Prime Minister Trudeau during a visit to the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia. Trayvone used this opportunity to call on the Prime Minister to create positive opportunities for Black youth across the country. Trayvone also played an active role in the community movement to ban street checks. He continues to advocate for a change of relationship between the police and the African Nova Scotian community and to uproot anti-Black bias in policing. From his community, to the national and international stage, Trayvone is contributing his advocacy skills and experience to the cause for ending discrimination.
Has gained national acclaim for her unique style of silk painting. She has participated in numerous group and solo shows and continues to exhibit nationally. Holly has designed for theatre productions and large scale public installations. Most recently winning the Merritt Award in outstanding scenic design for “Half Cracked” a Neptune Theatre/Eastern Front Theatre production. Her most ambitious installation to date is a larger than life environment created out of painted silk, “Light in the Forest” for Acadia University Art Gallery. Recently on display at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History. Holly has turned “Light in the Forest” into a mental wellness, multimedia theatre production, a children’s book and is presently developing a companion app. The next production of “Light in the Forest” will be at the Festival Theatre in Wolfville on June 19th. Holly has branched out into performance art, where she paints large works live on stage. Working with numerous musicians and performers including a cross Canada tour with Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Café, as well as performances with world renowned violinist Min Lee in Singapore, the National Art Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and the Toledo Symphony in Ohio. Holly has also had successful performances with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and her own show with Symphony Nova Scotia where she painted an 8 x 32-foot painting live with the orchestra. Holly graduated from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design with a BFA and B.A.Ed. Holly’s work can be found in numerous private and public collections.
An award-winning anti-violence advocate and founder of Stop the Violence, Spread the Love movement, he started after the tragic killing of his close cousin. He took his hurt, pain, anger and frustration and turned it into something positive to create change & make a difference. He made history in 2016 as June 10 was proclaimed Stop The Violence Day in Nova Scotia, the first day of its kind in Canada. In 2019 he was the recipient of the Senate of Canada 150 Medal and was named one of the world's Top 100 Most Influential People of African Descent Under 40. Also in November 2019 he met one of his inspirational heroes President Obama. In January 2020 he was the recipient of the Indomitable Spirit Award at the Courage to Give Back Awards by Family SOS. Mr. Stop the Violence has also been featured in documentaries, podcasts, magazines, as well as school & university projects and presentations. But despite all the attention and coverage he gets, he remains humble and focused to continue to create positive change and make a difference. He continues to make a positive impact in the community by speaking and singing at schools, conferences and other events across Nova Scotia and Canada, and hosting Stop the Violence initiatives such as the STV Christmas Toy Drive, Stop the Violence Dance Party for School Supplies to name a few, as he continues to spread the message of love against violence and raise violence awareness throughout Nova Scotia, Canada and the world. He does all of this while balancing a full-time job with Veterans Affairs Canada. He believes if you’re passionate enough and care enough about a cause, you can and will make a difference.
As a clothing designer, Kim has been creating ethically produced garments for life and stage for over 20 years. Leaning heavily toward an aesthetic of the murky shadowside, Kim uses costume to illuminate the dim to create livery that can manifest and enhance emotional intent. Every essential creative must relinquish caution, balance and sensibility for its unhinged and frenzied kin. This reckless surrender is the artists way. Sometimes it is difficult to reemerge, and life becomes the medium. Every essential artist leads their creative by crossing over that line to investigate the darkest, murkiest arenas . With each release there will always be the driving need to dig a little deeper to dissever and hack open the next veiled unknown. Your costume enhances and distributes intent and your life is the show. Dress with gutsy grit and enterprising recklessness so you may foster a life of spirited hustle.
An entrepreneur with a passion for food, travel and hospitality. She has been providing Halifax with strong coffee and her famous breakfast sandwiches for nearly two decades. As the owner of Alteregos cafe and Halifax Backpackers, she has hosted thousands of international visitors seeking an authentic community experience during their vacations to Nova Scotia. Michelle is a fierce defender of the Gottingen street community and is committed to all forms of the arts, music, and entrepreneurial endeavours the area has to offer. Most recently, Michelle has created a micro-loan fund called NEST (north end start up and training) which supports and mentors black and indigenous businesses. Michelle generously shares her entrepreneurial expertise in a multitude of ways which help other women succeed and gain the power necessary to disrupt systems while creating meaningful change within local and global communities. Having a great love for circus arts, headstands, and figure skating, Michelle is especially excited to be participating in this year’s Spinning with the Stars.
Lee-Anne Poole is a Queer writer & arts producer from Halifax, Nova Scotia. The author of 7 plays; her work has toured Canada and Europe (Buddies in Bad Times, Hysteria Festival, The Paprika Festival, Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, OUT Stages). A recipient of the CFAT Media Arts Scholarship, RBC Emerging Artist Award, and a past winner of The Mayors Award for Emerging Theatre Artist.
Her first full-length play, Splinters, premiered at Plutonium Playhouse in 2010 and has been adapted into a feature film by Thom Fitzgerald. Splinters premiered at The Toronto International Film Festival and was the Opening Night Gala presentation at FIN The Atlantic International Film Festival. Plutonium Playhouse also produced her plays The Obedience and Talk Sexxxy.
Lee-Anne most recently toured to OUT Stages in Victoria with her solo show Country Song. Upcoming, she is writing a combination of theatre and film projects. Her work has been profiled in Canadian Theatre Review, SexLife Canada, and Naked City LA. She is the Festival Director for The Halifax Fringe Festival.
Paul Vienneau is a lifelong bass player and artist with a sidegig as portrait photographer. In the Winter of 2015 he grew tired of complaining about snow conditions and decided to “shine a light” as a citizen, on issues he saw affecting disabled and also able citizens.
His refusal to personalize this and instead reach out to the City has lead to a position at City Hall as the Chief Administrative Officer’s Accessibility Consultant, where he identifies issues affecting deaf and disabled citizens and gets to work on solutions with staff. He signed his contract under Jacques Dube, HRM’s CAO in Winter 2019.
He likes to say he sees his role as being the disabled canary in the accessibility coalmine for the City, but really loves that his work can help bring all citizens in to take part in their democracy.
Monique Ryan is a circus perfomer, dancer, and co-owner of Serpentine Studios in Halifax.
Her performance repertoire includes hula hoop, bellydance, partner acrobatics, and fire props. She has been a featured performer at Casino Nova Scotia, the International Bellydance Conference of Canada in Toronto, Tribal Massive in Las Vegas, and is a core performer with Atlantic Cirque. Monique has had the honour of winning "Best Dancer" and "Best Choreographer" in The Coast newspaper's Readers Choice Awards.
Monique has studied body movement and exercise in depth, holding a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Dalhousie University and a Yoga Teacher Training 200h certificate. She teaches weekly classes at Serepntine Studios in bellydance, hula hoop, barre, bootcamp and more!.
Photo by Kelly Lynn Martell