Promoting conversations about individual and community health through media and art.
Ady is a non-binary queer settler who grew up in Vancouver, BC, before relocating to Yellowknife in 2017. After being involved with the project’s Action Planning Session, they were excited to be an active part in The Dope Experience and bring a collaborative arts approach to facilitating youth discussion around mental health and substance use. With a long history of involvement in youth arts work, Ady is passionate about creating conversation through art and play, as well as creating platforms that empower youth to share their views with their communities. Ady has a performance background in theatre, dance, drag, burlesque, and clowning, but can also knit a mean toque.
Aidan is an audio producer, editor and writer currently based in Yellowknife, NT. He was born in Toronto and has lived in Halifax until recently relocating to the subarctic. Aidan has cut and mixed for television, theatre, film, radio and the web. He started in sound volunteering at his campus radio so he’s always considered the microphone as an accessible way to build community. Aidan wanted to join The Dope Experience team because of his shared belief that the arts are a healthy way to address complexities that are too vague to take head on. For Aidan, this is a meaningful project because, as one of our participants said, it can teach and be fun, which is hard to do at the same time.
Ashley was born and raised in St John’s, NL as an adult has lived in France and Montreal. 6 years ago she moved to Yellowknife to seek new adventure. Ashley has spent the majority of her adult life as a preschool and Montessori Casa teacher. Ashley is a visual artist, professional DJ and an electronic music producer. Her passion is working with children and alternative education. Working with youth is an important part of her life and she takes it very seriously. Ashley is looking forward to learning from all the youth and community members she will be meeting in her travels. She is very grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to see what art will be created in the future.
Brian was raised in Bridgeport, Ontario and has lived in Yellowknife since 2012. Born into a musical family, he has always performed music. He is interested in continuing to work in healing environments and connecting artistic exploration and expression to important personal and social issues. Brian believes this work is important for cultivating a sense of autonomy and choice in the individual, in relation to substance use, healthy living, and in life generally.
Courtney was born and raised in Yellowknife, NT and she has a Diploma of Eastern Therapies and Bodywork, which allows her the opportunity to offer a unique approach to healing through alternative modalities and practices. Creative arts have always been a constant in her life and one of her main outlets for processing life’s ups and downs, and hopes to share her passion for creation with the youth she meets while touring with The Dope Experience.
Emily Blake is originally from Cayuga, Ont., located on Haldimand Treaty territory.She first moved north in January 2017 to Whitehorse, traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün and Ta’an Kwäch’än First Nation. In March 2018 she moved to Yellowknife, on Chief Drygeese Territory. Emily is a journalist and facilitator with The Dope Experience because she is passionate about community media and inspiring people with new media tools. She loves the North, meeting new people, making art and telling stories. The Dope Experience highlights the strengths of youth using creative arts and media and helps create safe spaces to discuss health and wellness, and substance use.
Grace-Ann Isiasee Nowdlak was born in Iqaluit, Nunavut but grew up in Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories from the age of five. When she was fortunate enough to be working as a production assistant on the set of Richard Van Camp’s “Three Feathers”, it inspired her to go to school for Television Production in Calgary, AB. Grace has joined us on tour with The Dope Experience and is excited to be working back home in the North, sharing what she has learned with youth across the territory.
Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Jade moved to Yellowknife six years ago on April Fool’s day, no joke. Jade joined the TDE team as it aligns perfectly with her own guiding trifecta: performance art (namely comedy), resiliency building, and youth outreach. AND we get to travel across the NWT! What more could you ask for?! Jade feels this kind of work is important because for her, resiliency is the key to our own personal freedom. What matters most in life is not what happens to us, our struggles or our setbacks, but how we cope. Jade is a self-taught standup comedienne and she has also dabbled in video, audio, and theatre.
Janna was raised in New Brunswick, and has called Yellowknife home for the past 9 years.
Growing up in a small town, the arts (music, writing, theatre) were essential to building her confidence and empowering my friends and I. The Dope Experience exposes participants to the transformative power of the arts and media production, building community and encouraging youth to be their own advocates. “When people help us to feel good about who we are, they are really helping us to love the meaning of what we create.” (Fred Rogers) Janna is a journalist / radio producer / media artist working in documentary, communications and live music production.
Jeremy Emerson is a filmmaker based out of Yellowknife, NT who splits his time as a videographer/ Producer and providing film training. He started his career shooting and editing independent music videos and working as a Production Assistant on Vancouver based Television shows.
Since then he has been a videographer and editor on dozens of short documentaries in remote locations across the NWT. In 2012 he worked as a B Camera operator and Key Grip on the feature thriller, Berkshire County based in Toronto.
Jeremy holds a BFA in New Media, set etiquette and protocols, Project management, and bookkeeping basics certificates. These skills give him the tools to produce independent productions and support southern productions who aim to shoot in the NWT, such as Red Snow (2017) and The Lesser Blessed (2012).
Elijah and the Rock Creature, is Jeremy’s first feature film as a producer. He just completed his latest film as producer and director, a feature documentary called, SOS Summer of Smoke.
Kirsten Murphy grew up in Vancouver and has worked as a photojournalist and radio producer in the NWT for almost two decades. The Dope Experience is a natural extension of Kirsten’s love of community connections and storytelling. “I’m working with people who have huge hearts and creative minds,” she says. Kirsten is excited to be part of The Dope Experience’s cutting edge approach to health and wellness. She is proud to promote the program’s message that maintaining healthy relationships with community, oneself, and the land can be a protective factor against substance misuse and harm.
Laura is a journalist, storyteller and snow artist living in Yellowknife, NT. As a guest in Denendeh since 2011, Laura has had the privilege of visiting and working in several communities. She is very much looking forward to passing on skills to Northern youth through the Dope Experience, and learning more about what ideas and stories they have and would like to share.
Lindsey McNeill is a creative writer and storyteller from Edmonton, Alberta. Just this past October she relocated to Yellowknife for love – the best reason to do anything – and now she’s answering another call of adventure this North of 60. Lindsey love helping people connect to the power of their story. Having recently written a memoir about her own healing journey, she was drawn to The Dope Experience to help young people navigate through the obstacles of trauma and addiction, and to use art as a healing practice. Through the telling of our stories, the myths we’ve been told and the ones we tell ourselves, we discover it’s not how we start… it’s how we finish.
Martin Rehak grew up in Ontario before spending more than a decade traveling, working, exploring and meeting people all over this massive piece of land we call Canada. It is in these “nomadic-esque” travels that Martin wound up in the great white North in late 2015 and at last found a community full of opportunity and interesting enough to be worthy of settling for a bit.
His community involvement has led him to take an active part in: The Snowcastle, NACC, Dead North, W.A.M.P. and The NWTPMA.
He joined the Dope Experience because of the opportunities to help others, connect with youth, and flex some of the creative skills and resourcefulness picked up in previous decades. Primarily a videographer making absurd, humorous and often animated short films, he also practices stage performance, visual arts and has a general enthusiasm for experimenting in all creative disciplines.
Nancy MacNeill was born in Iqaluit, and raised in Yellowknife. Nancy has worked across the NWT, Yukon, and Nunavut delivering sexual health education with FOXY and SMASH, and is now proud to be a part of The Dope Experience. She loves brains, making weird art, Leonard Cohen, and being cold. She dislikes spiders, olives, and dehydration. Ironically, Nancy is much better at writing bios for other people than she is at writing them for herself.
Sadetlo grew up from the age of 4 onwards in good ol’ Yellowknife. Growing up here,she always felt somewhat out of place. Sadetlo was a weird kid who liked weird films. So art became her outlet, she could use art to express the feelings she struggled to share or gain a different perspective on situations she didn’t know how to deal with. Sadetlo thinks The Dope Experience has this beautiful opportunity to show youth an alternative coping mechanism, one that she’s personally utilized over the years. Using art as the platform, makes talking about hard subjects seem less intimidating and more engaging. Sadetlo loves writing scripts, making short films, and taking photos. That’s her go-to medium. But she also dabbles in painting, sketching, drawing, and general art creation. She came from a background in film, having one Certificate in Cinematography and another in Motion Picture Production. Sadetlo also has a Certificate in Heritage and Culture through Yukon College. Studying anthropology, specifically cultural anthropology really opens your eyes to the significance of traditional art and expression. Art is something that people have been making and creating since time immemorial. So with all that said, she just loves art and thinks everyone should create it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, the more important thing is to make it and share it, express yourself in a healthy way.
Sami Blanco is an audio visual artist, an electronic music producer/DJ and an alternative educator for the past ten years. He was born in Montreal and currently live in Yellowknife where he focuses on music compositions and video productions while educating sound arts from our studio. Sami loves working with youth, teaching in the development of many artistic skills and creating projects sourcing from their passions and stories. He is looking forward to exploring your community and blossoming from the creative flow altogether. Let’s make art !
Scott was born in Ottawa but has called Hay River home since 2007. Scott has a passion for education and youth empowerment. He is excited to help young people unleash the power of their creativity through The Dope Experience. When not facilitating youth programs or working in Hay River’s schools, Scott is also a filmmaker and currently serves as Executive Director of the NWT’s film industry association.