Trained as a ballet dancer in Poland, Vitek Wincza’s journey began when he defected to Hamilton while on a North American tour with his dance troupe in 1982. Despite his limited English, he began teaching dance and discovered that he loved it: “After a few classes I said maybe this could be my art. I love kids, I love working in a growing environment and I have always been a giver, so I thought ‘maybe I have something to offer through teaching’.” After 15 years as a dance instructor, Vitek founded the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts in 1997. He poured everything he owned into the Conservatory with the dream of creating a space where the practice of dance, music, drama and visual arts could grow together and shape one another. After seeing the impact that the arts had on children who attended classes at the Conservatory, Vitek founded Culture for Kids in the Arts (CKA) in 1999 with the goal of providing arts programming to children who face barriers that prevent them from participating in traditional arts practices. Through CKA, Vitek aims to expand the learning potential of young people and foster a lifelong love of the arts through programming that allows children and youth to engage in creative endeavours.
Choreographer and Producer:
• Babar the Elephant
• Carnival of the Animals
• Snow White
• Hamilton Nutcracker with the Kiev Ballet
• Pinocchio (with choreographer by Robert Desrosiers)
• Displacement (with choreographer Robert Glumbek, composer Christos Hatzis, and visual artist Vessna Perunovich)
Awards and Honours:
• Cultural Merit Award, Government of Poland, 1996
• Hamilton’s Vision 2020, 1998
• Honours from Moscow’s Diaghilev Foundation, 2003
• WNED and Steuben, Canadian Artist Award in Buffalo, NY, 2004
• City of Hamilton Award for Dance, 2004
• City of Hamilton, Community Arts Award, 2012
• Hamilton’s Citizen of the Year nominee, 2013
Victoria Long-Wincza is a local visual artist, art educator and McMaster University Studio Art Alumni. Victoria has worked with Culture for Kids in the Arts (CKA) for over 15 years and is committed to connecting kids to creativity to support a strong, healthy community. Victoria serves on the Hamilton Arts Council Arts Education Committee and the Hamilton Best Start Network’s Parent and Family Engagement Committee on behalf of CKA.
Awards and Honours:
• Hamilton Employer Champion Award, 2010
• YMCA Peace Medallion, 2011
• City of Hamilton Arts Education Award, 2013
Karly Dely is trained dancer and graduate of McMaster University. She has taught at various dance studios across the Greater Hamilton Area and currently serves as Captain of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Cheerleaders. Karly began working with Culture for Kids in the Arts in 2016 and serves in both an administrative capacity and on the frontlines of program delivery as an Arts Educator. She is passionate about providing children and youth with equal opportunity to reach their full potential, with a special interest in the field of Autism and Behavioural Science.