Hali-Famous Stars 2018
My name is Leigh MacInnis. You may know me better as Don/Donna off of Trailer Park Boys or from Swearnet's Trippin with Leigh. I am doing Spinning with the Stars to support a great cause. Mental Illness affects 1 out of every 5 Nova Scotians.
That's about 250,000 people.
Together we can help.
Seven years ago, while doing the national tour of The Backyardigans, I stepped foot in Halifax for the first time and IMMEDIATELY knew I was home. It ended up taking two major career changes, 7 moves, and three provinces but I MADE IT, Halifax, and now you're never getting rid of me!
I’m the pint-size, energetic, and emotional hurricane on the C100 Morning Show – if we haven’t met yet, PLEASE come say hi! But be prepared...I’m socially awkward.
With over a decade of experience in the music industry at 23 years old, T. Thomason is a force to be reckoned with in the Canadian music scene.
T. has garnered multiple ECMA and Music Nova Scotia nominations, placements on Degrassi, songwriting awards and recognition as one of Canada’s Top 25 Under 25 by CBC Music. He has shared the stage with The Trews, Joel Plaskett, Gord Downie and the Sadies, Collective Soul, Fefe Dobson, Dragonette, and Carly Rae Jepsen, to name a few.
In 2015 and early 2016, Thomason took personal time off to hone his musical direction and develop his EP, “sweet baby”, with producer Dave Henriques (Justin Nozuka / Hunter Valetine). The EP was released independently online in 2016, and re-released in May, 2017 on COAX Records. A conglomerate of Thomason’s songwriting sensibilities and reverb-y indie rock anthemic choruses, “sweet baby” garnered him a 2017 nomination for Rock Recording of the Year at the Nova Scotia Music Awards.
In November 2017, T. and Dave embarked on a new collaborative journey developing the pop/electronic sound of Thomason’s first full length record under his new name, featuring his new voice. Single releases are scheduled fall 2018, with the album dropping early 2019.
Makeup Artist by day, drag queen by night. Cynthia was born 4 years ago where she walked her stilts into the Halifax drag scene, and heads have turned ever since. From her striking looks to her silly ways, you'll be sure to have a blast.
Joee Smith is the current reigning Mx Queen of Pride 2k17. A Queer performance artist, Joee incorporates both old and new styles of voguing into their work, as well as gymnastics, wacking and drag. They also perform as a drag king under the name 'Manny Dingo', winner of Mr. Fallfest 2015, as well as the gender bending drag queen, 'Joe Da'manuare'.
Arsoniste (pronounced "R Sun East") is the stage name of Rachel Sunter, a piano-singer-songwriter and model in Halifax, NS. She started writing songs when she was 15, and performing and touring at 21. After hospitalization and recovery from PTSD and an eating disorder, she began her solo career as Arsoniste. Her lyrics are often autobiographical, telling stories of mental illness, troubled relationships, and healing. She is currently writing new material and teaching students from her North End home, while performing regularly at piano bars and acoustic venues in Halifax.
Katie Whitlock wears a few different hats within the Halifax community.
She is the Events Coordinator & Brewery Tour Coordinator at Good Robot Brewing Company, Halifax's most questionable brewery. This role allows her to pair unique, creative events with safe, inclusive spaces. Katie also volunteers at Out of the Cold Emergency Shelter and Big Brother’s Big Sisters, and has found opportunities to introduce yoga programs to both of these organizations. Inspired by her students at the shelter, she founded her own program 'Street Yoga' which brings free accessible yoga classes to the homeless & low income populations within the HRM. Katie has a passion for teaching the importance of community, health, empathy, adventure, silliness, and SELF LOVE.
If you see her boppin’ around Halifax, always feel free to stop and say hi!
It may be a ceilidh or it may be a club, but six or half a dozen ‘cause either way, Rankin will be up there shaking, a'playing and kissing the mic! A man of many instruments, Rankin is at home both deep in his Cape Breton roots - playing the bagpipes, or, singing and sparking dance floors behind his keys - most often with his band Party Boots. Keep open your ears as there is a lot of good music about to come from this man.
Photo By NJYoungImages
I wouldn't really consider myself Hali-famous, but I have lived here my whole life and have always made it a part to stand out. Spinning with the stars is a perfect outlet for me because it combines two of my passions: fitness and mental health. Fitness has been a lifelong endeavour, first as a gymnast (national all around champion), education (MSc in Kinesiology), and profession. Recently I have become involved in starting up fitness programming for lgbtq+ youth to help them become comfortable and confident in settings typically considered heteronormative. In doing so it sets them up to receive physical and mental health benefits. I am a huge advocate for mental health awareness. I suffer and am in treatment for borderline personality disorder. I know how important it is to both raise funds for and talk openly about mental illness. Since beginning SWTS I have fallen in love with pole fitness and It will be a part of my regimen long after the show is over. It is a therapeutic outlet that permits me to express myself and use my acrobatic background. I hope you enjoy the performance!
Anchor City Rollers
The league was founded in August 2010 by a group of dedicated, enthusiastic, tough folks who decided to jump on quad skates and hit the pavement. Since then, the league has grown and evolved into a rockin’, riotous and remarkable creature. We held our first bout in June 2011, in front of 700+ spectators.
We are a non-profit organization. Each Anchor City Rollers event is 100% dependent on volunteer time and energy, and any money we raise goes back to the league to help pay for things like practice space and supplies. Our league is successful thanks to the support of our friends, family and community.
Elaine Fitzgerald Muse
Elaine has been teaching fitness for 25+ years. During her fitness career she has been recognized as a top performer, mentor and fitness leader. She truly inspires her participants to keep moving and have fun with fitness. Elaine began her fitness career right out of high school and continues to train and inspire people to be fit and healthy as they age - she believes we need to help the general population think of healthcare as preventative care - get active and stay active to be healthy and relieve the strain on our healthcare system in Nova Scotia. Elaine is the creator, producer and organizer of the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Zumba4Heart Event which raised over $100,000 in five years. Elaine teaches five International programs at Goodlife Fitness as well as Zumba, Zumba Toning & Body Shred. She piloted the Goodlife Kids Foundation School Program bringing fitness and fun to elementary schools in HRM, the children could not get enough. Elaine leads many fundraisers and events promoting healthy living and fitness in the community.
Elaine accomplishments and awards:
Top 3 - Can Fit Pro Fitness Instructor Professional of the Year 2015 and again top 5 in 2017
Regional Goodlife Fitness Instructor of the Year in 2010 and 2015 putting her in the top 500 Goodlife Employees in Canada
Heart & Stroke 2014 Community Champion Award
Canada 150 Top 20 Award in 2017
During the day Elaine is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Hearthstone Hospitality.
Andrew Maggio has worked the past two years in the city as a firefighter and the past seven years as a paramedic. An avid fitness enthusiast, he can be found training at CrossFit Kinetics, Swimming at Centennial Pool or out running through Shubi Park. This will be Andrew’s first year taking part in Spinning with the Stars and is very excited to display his amateur talent.