Creative Incubator – Adopt an Artist


The 4th annual Creative Incubator hosted by Good Women Dance will soon be underway. In this week-long creatio workshop, artists of a variety of disciplines will bring their current ideas and inspirations, and work surrounded by the creative energy and input of their community. Facilitated by dance+theater artist Amber Borotsik, the artists will participate in exercises, sharing, discussions and collaboration as well as an informal public showing at the end of the week.

This year’s Incubator will inspire several fabulous artists to forge on with their creative endeavors while providing support and comradery for one week of Creative Incubation. For many of these artists, this is just the beginning – the place and time where the ideas are explored and defined before being launched into full projects.

We love these artists and want to give them a strong start! So this year we are launching our first ever Adopt an Artist Fundraiser in connection with the Creative Incubator. Your donations will help ensure that the CI continues to provide space and support for the emergence of new voices and ideas through the arts!

Stay tuned to social media for updates about the artists and their work as well as a sneak peek into the CI as the artists dig into their process and shar either findings!

For only $100 you can adopt one of these fabulous artists and ensure that programs like the Creative Incubator continue to support their growth! Simply e transfer your donation to adopt an artist to and include the name of the artist you would like to adopt in the subject line!

Here are some of this year’s fabulous artists!

Phillip Hackborn
Philip Hackborn is an emerging performance artist and poet situated in Amiskwaciwâskahikan. They exist and make art at the intersections of race (biracial- east-asian and white), gender (genderqueer/nonbinary), and madness. In their time they have assisted theatre productions in abandoned warehouses, played voice-over characters that improvised live with the players/audience of escape rooms, and performed in more Shakespeare than they thought they would have by this point in their life. The back-burners of their brain are always stewing up their next over-ambitious clown/mask project. While they mostly have written poetry as a private
exercise, they share bits and pieces of their writing through an ongoing project known as Frag/ments: which at one point saw little snippets of poetry and philosophy stuffed into old pill bottles and sold out of a vending machine.

Maigan van der Giessen- ADOPTED by Terry Josey
Tzadeka makes music that is unpredictable, clever and magnetic. Female-fronted, Experimental Prairie Hip hop/Soul spoken word that’s fresh-as-hell! Tzadeka (TZA-deka) is Maigan van der Giessen, an Edmonton based emcee who has been pushing the boundaries of music since putting out her first tracks with hip hop collective Eshod ibn Wyza (2003). Maigan’s spicy vocals and intricate rhymes blend with long-time producer Marek Czuba’s masterful beat-making to create music that is distinct and fresh; with hints of jazz, punk, politics and the blues. Forever evolving,Tzadeka recently released Cities on Fire (2021); joining forces with local horn players Audrey Ochoa (trombone), Allison Ochoa (baritone sax), and Kirsten Elliot (flute). Resulting in a fresh and full-bodied musical release that further illuminates that classic Tzadeka sound.

Maigan van der Giessen is a poet, vocalist, artist, activist, mother and youth advocate working within Edmonton’s diverse communities since 2010. A local hip hop pioneer, creating art and music since the early 2000s, Maigan is a performer, community-builder, innovator and all around rabble rouser.

Sandra Olarte
Sandra Olarte is an aerialist who has performed in Canada, USA, France, and Costa Rica. In Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) she has performed with Firefly Theatre and Circus, with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and for many theatre productions, festivals, and events. As an aerial performer she strives to create a deep and meaningful connection with her audience, highlight the relevance of diversity and inclusion in the arts, educate, and create social change.

Kathleen Hughes
My dance works are intended to communicate sympathetic emotions of the character I am portraying, so that the dance piece can be relatable. I try to create thoughtful movements that are intended to speak to the audience’s sentiments. Being a traditionalist, I’ve often couple stories of our ancestors with those of my own to create my work. However, as of late I’ve had many an opportunity to create dance pieces on non-professional dance artists and have been challenged to create out of my comfort zone. It’s been such a rewarding experience watching the process- starting with one idea and finish with something completely different.

Accommodating movement and themes to suit the dancer in front of me has been a great skill I’m very grateful to have acquired. As a dancer, I strive to perform by staying true to the techniques I’ve been brought up with and to express emotion with movements that are initiated from a rooted focus which spans out in a conscious manner throughout the body. While performing, I seek to activate my entire sense of self to share my story with as much clarity as possible. In the hopes the audience can see, feel or sense my movements, making the dance a combined experience for all involved in that moment. Instructing and choreographing dancers of variety of skill, has given me an understanding on how to work best with their strengths no matter what dance experience they may have. I try and make an effort to be sensitive to what the dancer is feeling (energetically, emotionally and physically) to make the movement feel more natural to themselves so the dancer has the freedom to bring out their own unique style and personality-empowering the dancer to make the movement their own.

Kevin Jesuino- ADOPTED by Cathy Towne
Kevin Jesuino is a Portuguese-Canadian queer performance artist, applied theatre/dance/visual art facilitator, placemaking and art-for-social change educator and somatic practitioner. His work is oftentimes collaborative, site-specific, participatory, and
process-oriented. His practice explores relationality, the body and the transformative ability of the arts. He draws from research in queer performance, deep ecology, antifragility and modes of being together in his solo performance work. His community-embedded projects engage participants in performative actions, discussions, creative interventions, activations and other forms of organizing.

He is the Co-Artistic Director of TRAction, a dynamic collective of interdisciplinary artists who engage communities in art-making to address issues of climate justice. Besides developing artistic projects under this group, he is also passionate about facilitating applied theatre (Playback/Forum Theatre) conversations around climate justice and the ecological crisis.Kevin splits his time between Amiskwacîwâskahikan (also known as Edmonton, Alberta) and Mohkinstis (also known as Calgary, Alberta.) More information can be found at

Marynia Fekecz
I am a dancer, performing artist, choreographer and dance educator. I create multi disciplinary and socially engaging dance for theater, stage and the public space. I use the body, visual imagery, technology and props to create thought provoking and visually stimulating dance experiences.
I create dance theater, dance films and multi-disciplinary performances and I am passionate about dance and its ability to empower people, communities and societies. I am passionate about bringing dance into the public, exposing new audiences.

I have many years of experience in the field of contemporary dance, improvisation and performance art gained while studying at the Poznan School of Social Sciences majoring in Dance, and through participation in a variety of dance projects. When I finished my studies in Poland I decided to come to Calgary, and practice in dance group WM2 in W&M Physical Theatre. I had the opportunity as well to take classes with Wojciech Mochniej and Melissa Monteros at the University of Calgary. I was dancing in W&M Physical Theatre with different choreographers such as: Wojciech Mochniej, Tania Alvarado, Marie France.
All of the experience I have gathered through different events have allowed me to build my own practice. This practice is a compilation of physical floor work which helps to explore the idea of gravity and weight. As well I am developing the idea of the body as an object of weight which reacts on physical impulses – how our body sees and reacts to impulses. I am interested in discovering and exploring the reasons and impulses causing movement.

Alison Kause- ADOPTED by Marc Chalifoux
Alison Kause is a founding member of the Good Women Dance Collective and a teacher in Dance Education with Edmonton Public Schools. She is a graduate of the Grant MacEwan Dance Program and the School of Contemporary Dance at SFU, as well as the Education program at the University of Alberta. She has trained and performed across Canada and been inspired by work with local and international colleagues. Alison is inspired by the challenge of finding an intersection between being an artist, mother and teacher – these roles constantly demand attention, inform one another and provide diverse perspectives.

Phany Peeña- ADOPTED by Deviani Bonilla
I am an emerging artist who, after immigrating to Edmonton and coping with a global pandemic, is determined to immerse myself in my dancing skills and artistic creation. I have practiced several dancing techniques, prominent among them are: classical ballet, Polynesian dance, and a few contemporary styles. These techniques have very precise forms of expression that sometimes wouldn’t fulfill what I am trying to express, so that emboldened me to incorporate the study of performance techniques that would contribute to my artistic statements as part of my creative process.

I understand art as a communication channel that the artists use to express themselves, make a point, or encourage the audience to wonder about a topic. Having said this, I’m determined to use my artistic knowledge and talents on telling stories and drawing attention to topics that harass and disappoint us as a society but also those that make us full of joy and hope. Once I am clear in what I want to communicate, I find inspiration in the people; more specifically in their everyday lives or in how they (or we) overcome these feelings. My constant search for moving techniques and ways to express myself with the body has strengthened me to use dance as a language that is always evolving and find ways to connect with other artists, and especially with the spectators.

My obsessive attention to detail is the main reason that motivated me to apply for the incubator, as there are a lot of things that still need to be established or figured out. I will like to have a third party’s opinion and create networks with other artists that will be interested in collaborating or contributing to the project. Also, I use it as a very needed self-motivation step to actually work on this project and not leave it Behind.

Lauren Murray
My name is Lauren (pronouns: She/Her) and I am a woman in my mid 20s, looking to unlearn my way back to myself. This is informing my direction as an artist just as my creative pursuits inform my personal development because my desire to create is overcoming my underlying fears of criticism or falling short of expectations, and there is a wonderful strength and excitement in that! I am interested in exploring the interconnection of the world around us; between people, things, ideas, the symbiotic tangle that is the world that we live in! I believe showing and sharing these connections through movement can express certain ideas more tangibly than words, and to share something that could bring people joy would be a joy in itself.