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
• Hamilton Gallery of Distinction inductee, 2017
Victoria received a BFA from McMaster University. After graduating she worked for the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts (HCA) supporting the Education and Visual Arts department. She is an original faculty member of the HCA Children’s Arts Exploration Program and Culture for Kids in the Arts Mentorship program which together introduced over 55,000 children from regional and local school boards to visual arts, dance, drama and music during her practice as a visual arts instructor from 1998 – 2010. Currently, Victoria is the Program Manager for Culture for Kids in the Arts, the charitable organization of the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, dedicated to providing access to arts programming for all children and youth in the greater Hamilton region. In her role at CKA, she supports the City of Hamilton Early Years and Youth Service Agency Network. Victoria has received recognition from the Industry Education Council Hamilton, 2010, accepted a YMCA Peace Medallion in 2011 on behalf of CKA, and received the City of Hamilton Arts Education Award in 2013.
Josefa Radman makes the arts accessible to kids by connecting arts organizations to the funding sources that make it happen.
Harold Sikkema is a new media artist, working with photography and code. He teaches Interaction Design at Sheridan College, and serves on the Board of Directors at Hamilton’s Factory Media Centre. Harold is energized by the creation of lightbulb moments together with young people at the nexus of arts and technology.
Devon Savas is an active musician, freelancer, composer/arranger, multi-instrumentalist, producer & educator based out of Hamilton, Ontario. Through an upbringing of musicality & creativity from his family & peers alike, he chose to solidify his passion into a trajectory by immersing himself into a wealth of opportunity within and outside of his postsecondary regiment. Upon completing an Advanced Diploma in Music at Mohawk College, followed by a recent Bachelor’s Degree in Music at Humber College (both as a bass major), Devon served a variety of freelance work & musical duties (Ellis, Leith Ross, Burs, self, etc) in conjunction with his work for CKA. He is honoured to have served as an educator for the Conservatory, is currently enthused to continue said partnership as a Communications Coordinator, and looks forward to what the future will hold!
Deeshani is a landscape painter from Hamilton, Ontario. Her work is inspired by memories and experiences in local natural landscapes. Her paintings act as a bridge from her personal perspective of the world immersed into the natural landscape where she is constantly discovering beauty and possibility. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from McMaster University and is currently a teacher candidate at Brock University.