ECiD Program Staff

Kirsty Burgum
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I trained and qualified, in England, as an Early Childhood Educator, and I have worked in a variety of settings caring for children ranging in age from two months to 14 years of age, both in the UK and Canada. I have volunteered with the Girl Guides of Canada and Oakville Soccer Club and in various elementary schools and libraries within Oakville. At the present moment I am involved with Acclaim Health as a Peer-to-Peer Bereavement Volunteer. During the past years I have deepened my artistic abilities by studying with numerous talented groups and artists. My work has been shown at several galleries in Oakville and Toronto. In 2014 I helped form a small network of artist that meet to exchange ideas, explore new mediums and show our work as a group. My passions continue to grow through my pursuit of travel, nature, photography, creative writing, meditation and Reiki. I have been involved with the Milkweed Collective as a facilitator with the Exploring Creativity In Depth™ (ECiD) program at Neilson Park Art Centre in Toronto since 2012. The learning process never ends and I continue to discover new ideas and techniques to bring life to my art and art into my life. Being part of the Milkweed Collective has enriched me in so many ways. I draw inspiration from both the facilitators and the students that attended the ECiD™ program. Witnessing students discover that they can be an artist in their own unique way has inspired me to broaden my own creative process. I am currently focusing on mixed media, fibre art and creating unique pieces using found objects.

Amy Capern secretary-treasurer

BA, Dip AT, CT, Art Therapist, Fabric artist
I was born and raised on the West Coast of British Columbia and am the mother of two. I completed my education as an Art and Play Therapist specializing in Grief and Bereavement Studies at the University of Western Ontario. I started working with the Milkweed Collective and the Exploring Creativity in Depth Program in 2007. I like to explore and express myself through all art media.

Austin Clarkson director

Ph.D., Prof. emeritus, York University
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Born in London (UK), I grew up and was educated in Toronto. With a B.A. in Science (University of Toronto), M.A. (Eastman School of Music), and Ph.D. (Columbia University), I became a music scholar and educator. While teaching music at various universities (University of Saskatchewan, Columbia University, Yale University, and York University, since 1972), I became aware of the need for a course on the creative imagination. With a team of instructors I directed Foundations of Creative Imagination for the first time in 1984 at Atkinson College, York University. The class of 1995 formed such a close-knit group that they remained together and formed the Milkweed Collective. As a consultant to the Art Gallery of Ontario I helped design the interpretive exhibit “Explore a Painting in Depth” (1993-2003). Since 2002 I have directed the program “Exploring Creativity in Depth” for the elementary schools of West Toronto and have given presentations on the program at conferences in England, Europe, South America, and the U.S.A. My writings on aesthetic experience, creativity and the creative imagination are listed in References. As a music scholar I was founding editor of the journal Current Musicology, and am general editor of the music and writings of the composer Stefan Wolpe. Essays on Wolpe and other 20th-century composers appear in various books and journals.
Beverly Clarkson
(no information at this time)

Dale Lang

ExAT, Painter, Expressive Arts Therapist
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Originally from the south of Montreal, I am currently living and painting in Mississauga. Formerly a theatre make-up artist, puppeteer, children’s programmer and storyteller, I have an H.B.A. Specialist Degree in Art and Art History with a minor in Women's/Gender Studies (University of Toronto) and a diploma in Art and Art History (Sheridan Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning). I am a graduate of I.S.I.S. Canada (Expressive Arts Therapy Program), where I am currently working as a Teaching Assistant. Practicum experience includes working in a correctional institute, a hospice and with Rhythmic by Nature (group drumming).

Carolanne MacLean

B.A., A.O.C.A.
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I am a painter, sculptor and music teacher. I obtained a B. A. degree from the University of Toronto in 1972, after which I immersed myself in motherhood and homemaking. While raising my three children I studied art at the then Ontario College of Art, one class a week, and graduated after sixteen years with an honours diploma in Fine Art. In 1998 I returned to the Royal Conservatory of Music and completed my Grade Ten exam in Piano Performance. I continue to teach piano and violin in my neighbourhood in the evenings while painting and sculpting during the day. I am exhibiting regularly, have several pieces in private collection, have been published three times in International Contemporary Artists and recently won an American Art Award in the Art Brut category. My experience at the ECiD workshops resonated deeply and reinforced my creative life.

Patricia McPhail associate director

BA, BEd, MLit, Educator, Mixed-media artist
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Born in Montreal, but residing in Mimico since the age of four, the sense of ‘community’ has always been important to me. I received a B.A. and B.Ed. from York University while working as an elementary teacher-librarian in Etobicoke. Because of the interests of my three children and now six grandchildren, I have been involved in and a supporter of the arts for many years. I never considered myself an artist until taking “Foundations of Creative Imagination,” which opened a whole new door in my life’s journey. Being a part of Milkweed has allowed me to recognize and expand ‘the creative’ within me, giving me the courage to create my own designs using fabric, needles, and thread as well as the wonders of the painted canvas. After a life-changing trip to Baffin Island and the Labrador Coast with my husband of 42 years, I have fallen in love with the Arctic and all things Northern and have returned several more times to photograph the land, the people and the wildlife (photography being my latest creative interest and adventure!). To look at life through the eyes of a small child or to become immersed in another culture are truly enlightening experiences. My sincere wish and hope is that these experiences will be reflected in my future work.
Mary Louise Meiers
(No information at this time)

Nancy Newton

BA, Painter, Teacher
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Over the past twenty years I have exhibited my drawings and paintings.  Landscapes, often viewed from above, provide the inspiration for markmaking in a variety of water media.  The last years of my career as a secondary school, visual arts teacher were spent in a half-time position which allowed me to develop as a painter.  I began my teaching career in the elementary panel and now enjoy working with youth in workshops.  I have participated in Arts Etobicoke's "Arts Discovery" program in elementary schools, in the Milkweed workshops, and am currently on the Board of Directors for Arts Etobicoke. In the fall of 2010 I gave a retrospective show at the Neilson Park Creative Centre.

Ina Puchala assistant director

AOCA, Painter, Educator
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I am a painter, an honors graduate from the Ontario College of Art, and an artist educator with accreditation from the Royal Conservatory of Music. I collaborated, devised, prepared and implemented several school projects through the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Roots and Branches program. I was Project Lead for Creativity Rocks! ArtsSmarts 21YCC. Other community art projects and programs have me working with a variety of populations; that of children, youth, adults and the intellectually disabled. I encourage the exploration of a range of mediums; drawing, painting, collage and three dimensional constructions. My own visual practice is driven by process, whose central themes are those to do with identity and home. The present course of works grapple with adaptations to limitations and change. I have been a recipient of grants from the Canada Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council. My association with Milkweed is gratifying. The intelligence of the creative imagination is our binding thread.