2019 International Student Festival

On August 9th, 2019 we held our second annual Arts Festival at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.

During this event we celebrated the talents on youth both locally and internationally. We also had a special guest appearance from Mark Henry Roswell as known by his Chinese stage name ‘Dashan’. Below is a list of all of our performers as well as photos from that evening. The Arts Festival is held once a year and is free to the public.

Swaramudra Dance Academy

Currently based in Ontario, Canada, Swaramudra Dance Academy was founded and run in Abu Dhabi, UAE, for almost two decades by its Creative Director Sujatha Suresh. Swaramudra specializes in the Indian dance forms of Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiyattom and other folk forms. Training over four batches of students from different age groups, currently, Swaramudra Dance Academy runs classes in Hamilton and Burlington.

Burlington Dance Company

Burlington Dance Company is located in Burlington, Ontario Canada and runs under the current Artistic Director, Kari Bodrug, BDC is consistently recognized for its’ unique choreography and outstanding performance quality, receiving several awards for excellence, including Overall High Score, Best Choreography, Creative Concept, Best Dance Presentation, Adjudicators’ Choice and Dance Ambassador Awards. In addition to providing a fun and nurturing environment for the first time and junior dancers, the School also provides Master Classes for serious students who qualify. Students of BDC have been accepted into the programs of York University, Ryerson University, University of Calgary, George Brown College, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Quinte Ballet School of Canada and Sheridan College majoring in dance performance, with several graduates currently pursuing professional dance careers.

Tyrsa Ukrainian Dance Team

Tyrsa Ukrainian Dance School was formed in 1977 by a group of young Canadians wishing to keep their Ukrainian culture alive. Tyrsa means a wild grass that grows in Ukraine. In the past, the group has performed at a variety of festivals in Canada such as Expo 86, The United States and a tour of Ukraine. Their mission statement is to develop youth through the instruction of Ukrainian dance, song, and arts in an atmosphere that promotes responsibility instils self-confidence, and cultivates an appreciation for the art and brilliance, of Ukrainian Culture, with the intent of contributing to the Canadian multicultural mosaic. The school is open to the general public, Ukrainian fluency or ancestry, are not required. Over the years, Tyrsa has hosted a number of talented choreographers whose vision and dedication enhanced the lives and enriched the Ukrainian culture of the students. Today they have 3 levels of classes ranging from ages 3 to 17 and now offer folklore music instruction on the Bandura. Call (905) 331-8931 for more information.

Jordan Goodridge

Through the arts, Jorndan has garnered ample success as a recipient of a number of individual accomplishments including being named Brantford’s ambassador for the arts (2014) as well as earning the title of overall high score national champion in 2013, Teen Mr. Dance of Western New York in 2014, America’s teen Male Dancer of the Year (Regional) in 2014, America’s Male Dancer of the Year in 2016 and Senior Mr. Dance Champion (National) in 2018. He has had a successful dance career thus far, but that’s not all. He began singing about seven years ago after engaging in community theatre as a child and constantly being told, “you should do something with that voice of yours”. So here he is today, happy to reflect on his growth and accomplishments in voice such as headlining south coast jazz festival 2018 and opening for six time grammy award winner, David Sanborn. as for accolades, he has had the honour of receiving the prestigious Keighley’s Jewellers Junior Rose Bowl for classical voice (2019) and The Wolves in Song Trophy for Musical theatre (2019).

Barry Feng

Feng Yuxuan, 17, a sophomore in high school, began to learn to play the drums and electric bass in 2011 under the guidance of Qin Xun, the teaching director of Nine beats Zhuhai. In 2014 he was admitted to the modern music department of the high school affiliated to Tianjin Music College. He majored in modern percussion and electric bass, and studied under Mr. Li Hongyu and Mr. Sun rui respectively. He learned bass, guitar, drum, marimba, snare drum and other musical instruments. During the summers of 2015 and 2016, Feng Yuxuan participated in the sixth Nine-Beat international Drummer Festival, during which he was invited by nine-beat artist and international jazz drum artist Rick Latham to play bass accompaniment at the masters presentation. In April 2016, he served as the special guest of International Jazz Master Dave Wecker Band World Tour 2016 in Tianjin, China. From 2016-2017 Feng Yuxuan has received awards in the MIDI national children’s band (musicians) competition, Beijing division junior group champion New Year’s day MIDI national children’s band (musicians) competition, and was named national finals junior group champion. He currently attends the Burlington Royal Arts Academy where he is pursuing a study of Bass.

Burlington Student Theatre

Their programs focus on the wellness and development of our young people, fostering empathy, courage and critical thinking within a safe and nurturing environment Participants practice the tools and transferrable skills they need to feel good about themselves and act with confidence in their everyday lives.

Trenyce Williams-Sweeney

Trenyce Williams-Sweeney a 15 years old steel drum player. She is currently in grade 10 at a high school for the Arts in Toronto. She has been playing the steel pan since she was 3 years old. She can also play other instruments such as the saxophone and the keyboard. She has played in bands in many places across Canada, such as in the Montreal Panorama, the Pan Alive Competitions and Caribana Parades in Toronto, also in Santa Claus parades in various cities across Ontario. She has also played alone on several occasions such as at weddings including in Jamaica, at birthday parties, wedding anniversaries, and funerals. Some of the organizations that she has played for are The York Region Police, The Jamaica Canadian Association, The Congress of Black Women of Canada and at The Ajax Welcoming Center for New Immigrants to Canada. I play a wide variety of songs and to suit all ages. She was the youngest member of a “Parang” band called “Los Amigos”. Most memorably, she played with one of Canada’s champion bands Salah’s Steelpan Academy at the World Steel Band Competition Festival in Trinidad in 2015. In 2017, she opened up the annual Caribbean Carnival with the Canadian Anthem Also in 2017 and 2018, she was 1 of 4 participants from Forest Creek Steel Orchestra playing the Anthem at the opening ceremony at the Kiddies Caribbean Carnival. When she grows up, she would like to be a Music Professor. The steel pan is a part of her culture and culture is very important to her.

Julia Zhou

Julia will be a new student at Burlington Royal Arts Academy this fall. She is orignally from China. This is her second-year of study in Canada. She started to play the piano when she was 3 years old. Julia has travelled to many different countries for piano competitions, music is her passion. In 2011 she attended the Twenty-First Italy Barrett International Young Pianists Competition where she recevied a gold prize. In 2012 Julia won the silver prize in the Fifteenth Italy Milan Val Te Dorn International Music Competition. When she was younger her dream was to be a pianist, but as she grew up she has decided that she would like to pursue different areas of music. She is looking into becoming a composer who uses different technologies to make music or a music therapist.

Special Performance by Dashan (Mark Henry Rowswell)

Dashan ⼤山

Dashan (aka Mark Rowswell) has been called “the most famous foreigner in China”, where he has worked as a media personality and cultural ambassador for over 25 years.

Born and raised in Canada, Rowswell began studying Chinese in the mid-1980s, first at the University of Toronto and later at Peking University. While in Beijing, he became interested in xiangsheng (she-ang shung), a revered form of traditional comedic dialogue in China, and was soon appearing on national television under the stage name “Dashan”.

Repeated performances to hundreds of millions of television viewers turned “Dashan” into a household name across China, and his media career expanded from comedy to dramatic acting to hosting cultural, diplomatic, educational and commercial programs & live events. Over time, Dashan came to be seen as an all-around cultural ambassador between China and the West and as a symbol of finding common ground between cultures, “a foreigner but not an outsider” according to the People’s Daily.

Dashan is the only non-Chinese performer to have appeared four times on the CCTV Spring Festival Gala, the largest annual television extravaganza in China with an estimated audience of over 800 million viewers.

Dashan served as Canada’s Team Attache during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and as Canada’s Commissioner General for Expo 2010 in Shanghai. In 2006 he was inducted into the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour. In 2012 Dashan was named “Goodwill Ambassador to China” by Canada’s Prime Minister.

In recent years Dashan has returned to his comedic roots, combining traditional Chinese comedy with Western stand-up in a ground-breaking solo show “Dashan Live”. Chinese audiences all know the character “Dashan” from TV; over this 60-minute