amandine gay

Director, author, and activist, Amandine Gay divides her time between research, creation, and “paper business”. She has been back in Tiohtià:ke / Montreal since June 2022 – after an eight-year immigration saga.

Following, Ouvrir La Voix – her first self-produced and self-distributed film giving the floor to twenty-four French-speaking Afro-descendant women – released in French, Belgian and Swiss cinemas in 2017 and Quebec in 2018; she directed a second documentary, A Story of Its Own. This archival film is on national adoption from the point of view of 5 adopted people, now adults. She is a regular speaker on Afro-feminism, film, intersectionality, and adoption. In 2018, she founded the Mois des Adoptées, a series of events: conferences, screenings, performances, workshops. This is held every year in November between France, Switzerland, and Quebec to allow adoptees to reclaim their narrative. In 2021, she published her first book at La Découverte (France) and Remue-Ménage (Quebec), Une poupée en chocolat, an autobiographical essay on adoption.

Its new projects aim to continue and deepen its dialogue between the world of research and art, through a multifaceted reflection-creation around white supremacy involving the writing of an essay, curation of an exhibition, and publication of an exhibition catalog. She also intends to rely on Alliance’s support to develop her career on the English-speaking side of North America, in particular by working on the translation and English-language edition of her first book.

Photo credits: Jean-Baptiste Demouy (Radio-Canada)

auro moura

Auro Moura is a singer/songwriter, composer, and music educator who has been working in the field of music for nearly 20 years. He holds a Master’s in Music and a degree in Music Education from the Federal University of Paraná (Curitiba, Brazil) as well as a diploma in Audiovisual Production from the Institut Grasset (Montréal). Auro has a long and prominent career as a music educator. He is currently the co-founder of the program Les Brasileirinhos, and music director to the “Choeur Scénique Brésilien”, both in TioTia:Ke/Montréal. As a researcher, Auro has published in congresses and symposiums in Brazil, Italy, Canada, and in magazines specialized in education. He published the book “Making Music with Children”, currently in its 3rd edition. As a musician, he has composed and performed music for 4 albums, 1 EP and 1 DVD. Besides his personal projects, Auro also works as a composer of songs and soundtracks for children’s projects, short films, and advertising, among others.


emilio wawatie

Emilio Wawatie is an Algonquin-Anishnabe from Kitigan Zibi and Barrier lake, Quebec, and is a musician, filmmaker, researcher, and educator. Born in Maniwaki and raised throughout Anishnabe Aki in parc la Verendrye, Abitibi, and Gatineau; he now resides in Moniak, where he studies at Concordia University in Music and First People’s Studies. Emilio began his musical journey when he discovered playing the guitar at the age of 12 through the influence of his grandfather and continued his passion for music and classical guitar studies at the age of 22. It was at Cambrian College where he began to build his musical foundation and received training on the Classical guitar with Mathew Gould and Alan Yzereef, where he prepared, organized, and performed a graduating recital. In the last few years, Emilio’s work has been geared towards research and creation with strong focus on Algonquian music and artistic styles of both traditional and contemporary practices. He is currently undertaking work on his first EP as an artist with InPath and composes for the Classical guitar.

natsumi sophia bellali

Natsumi Sophia Bellali was born in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, and raised by a Japanese mother, and a Moroccan father. She graduated from The Ailey School in New York, where she
cultivated her love and respect toward modern dance, amongst other styles the city showed her. She has performed with MICHIYAYA Dance and Ping Chong + Company,
and has been an understudy for the Mark Morris Dance Group. Bellali utilizes every platform directed her way as a vessel to share the wonders of her roots; from short works for competitive events, to large entertainment productions, to her own solo work Salam Tata currently in creation. She further shares her practice, and her passion to make people feel empowered in their bodies, by teaching in different settings such as wellness centers, yoga studios, pre-professional schools, and by supporting athletes of other disciplines through dance training. What is it to be a child of immigrants in Montreal? Salam Tata illustrates this unique and complex identity through telephone conversations with an aunt living in Morocco. The work addresses the themes of beauty standards, marriage, religion, and womanhood, through dance and theater.

zahra buali

Painter, printmaker, sculptor, and ceramist. From the figurative to the abstract, to the mixed media, she works with a multi-layered approach. Zahra is of Arabian/Persian origin and lives and works in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal. She is the founder of Atelier Inana, where she continues to create and teach art. She holds a BFA. from Concordia University 1996, Montreal, Canada, and a B.Sc. from the University of Arizona, 1983, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.. She combines mediums and techniques, challenges boundaries, and superimposes layers of form, color, and space. Her work is strongly linked to her constant search for identity, cultural history, and influences. Her artwork is exhibited locally and internationally and is part of public & private collections in Bahrain, Canada, China, Egypt, Iran, France, the K.S.A., Spain, U.A.E., the U.S.A., and the United Kingdom. Some partial list: Shen Zhen Print Museum, Shen Zhen, China, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt., Almansouria Foundation, Jeddah, K.S.A., & Hozeh Honari, Tehran, Iran.

Zahra participated in various International artist’s residencies, and workshops in Canada, the U.S.A., Spain, China, Jordan, Iran,Bahrain and K.S.A. Her project will consist of 16 works of art and a video installation, around the theme of displacement and re-rooting. At its center are two triptychs: a 3-panel mixed-media mural triptych, and a mixed-media ceramic triptych. The additional 14 pieces are mixed media and paintings, that vary in size from (40 x54cm) to (212 x 102cm). The video, approximately 5-8 minutes, will take the viewer on a visceral journey through the process of destruction of created artwork and re-creation from destruction. 

tam khoa vu

The PRIM Centre and the MAI have partnered to offer long-term joint support to an artist wishing to experiment, develop their skills and create work in the field of media arts. PRIM provides the artist with filming equipment and facilities for the production of a work in video art, documentary, fiction, and audio art. The selected artist will be offered the opportunity to present their work in the MAI spaces as part of the official program during the 23-24 season.

Tam Khoa Vu is an artist based in Tiohtià:ke / Montreal. His work challenges common representations and depictions of Vietnamese and Vietnamese-Canadian identity, while playfully opening up spaces of abundance, possibility, and nuance. Using various visual and digital art forms, his practice explores themes of production, manufacturing, power, representation, and identity by exploring the nuances of the “third space” resulting from the diasporic experience between Vietnam and Canada. Notable presentations of the artist’s works include MAI – Justice Project (2022), Montreal, QC (2022); ARTCH Emerging Artists Exhibition, Montreal, QC (2021), Eastern Bloc, Montreal, QC (2016). He has received grants from funding bodies and institutions such as OBORO (2022), Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (2022, 2021), and the MAI (2022). In 2017, he completed his BFA at Concordia University in Design and Computation Arts.

mona el husseini

Open to professional choreographers from culturally diverse backgrounds, the joint support is offered annually in partnership with the CAM,Conseil des arts de Montréal. This support aims to foster the development of a dance artist living in the territory of Montreal and to support them in a process of research, creation, and production of work. The selected artist will be offered the opportunity to present their work in the MAI spaces as part of the official program during the 23-24 season.

Mona El Husseini is an Egyptian Contemporary Dance artist based in Tiohtià:ke / Montreal. She completed her dance education at the Cairo Contemporary Dance Center in Egypt and studied International Business and Contemporary Dance at Concordia University. She teaches barre, Pilates, and contemporary dance in Montreal and Cairo. Mona is currently working on Monday or Tuesday: a solo search, and a mother-daughter duet titled Creatrix. In her creative process, Mona goes beyond the dance and traces the thread that weaves the different art forms she practices including Martial Arts, painting, and writing. In un-layering questions of personal identity and heritage, Mona is interested in how stories are transmitted, shared, and told through the body across generations. She finds the dance in the place where the inner and outer meet, the traditional and the contemporary converse, and in the encounter between the intimate and the collective. 

Creatrix started as an invitation to co-create a dance duet with her mother, Hala; a doctor, science teacher, and a mother of three who is not trained in dance. In this process, they dance through their genealogy in an attempt to get to know themselves and each other by meeting those who preceded them. Using tokens, photos, and letters passed down through generations, they reflect on their past; where they come from, and where they now find themselves. Mona and her mother visit home in their fluid memories and vivid childhoods. Mona tries to touch all that is fleeting and step on the intangible rhythms that animate their heritage. They bring their opposing worlds to one another and search for the common denominator in art and science, motherhood and girlhood, past and present. Her mother always wanted to write her memoirs, in return, this dance may count as a prelude to achieve this goal. 

nicole jacobs

Member of Curve Lake First Nation and Tiohtià:ke/Montréal based dance artist, Nicole Jacobs trained in ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, and musical theater prior to graduating from Concordia University with a BFA in contemporary dance, and a minor in psychology. Nicole is an experienced contact improvisation dancer and facilitator, having studied the dance form intensely through traveling, teaching, and assisting in the organization of contact improvisation festivals in India, Thailand, Portugal, and Germany. Nicole has participated in numerous projects both as a performer and facilitator throughout Quebec with Theatre Junction, St. Ambroise Montréal Fringe Festival, Take Up Space Dance, Chantiers Jeunesse, and Le Gros Orteil. Her teaching repertoire includes developing workshops that she has facilitated at BIGBANG, Extravadanse studio, Collège Sainte Anne, and private training. She also develops accessible dance classes for neuro-diverse populations that she has shared across Canada and England. Nicole’s current research is focused on the meeting points between contemporary dance, floorwork, acrobatics, and interpretation. She is interested in the merging of disciplines and drawing from her training in theater and circus arts to create work that is experiential and poetic in nature.

Photo credits: Robert-Majewski

marc-alain félix

Marc-Alain Félix is a Canadian painter of Haitian origin, living in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal. The artist’s favorite subject is the human being. Through his work, he explores relationships, as well as the issues of our society. He also describes the impact of the influences of popular culture on our daily lives. In his work, he uses bright colors and outrageous strokes. He paints on impulse with an intuitive approach. His work is a fusion of figurative and abstract art, which reflects his imagination and his perceptions of our times. Marc-Alain wants to convey feelings to the public, he wants to give them something to look at that they will remember. Sometimes disproportionate and dynamic, in order to give them a greater expressive intensity, the characters are placed in the foreground in his works. Navigating between reality and imagination, he makes his paintings speak through signs and symbols.

As part of the Alliance program, Marc-Alain Félix aims to improve his communication plan in order to create significant links with future collaborators, such as gallery managers, and curators. In addition, he will be accompanied by the MAI team and a network of partners for project writing and for professional development in the visual arts milieu.

Photo credits: @noiremouliom

marbella carlos + chloé seyrès

Marbella Carlos and Chloe Seyrès, are the queer performing arts collective Kozmic Joy –a collective which focuses on merging interdisciplinary practices, elevating marginal art forms and marginal artists.

Marbella Carlos is an interdisciplinary artist who was born in Manila, Philippines. In her practice, she uses burlesque to explore her experience as a racialized Canadian. Her work has led to multiple awards and performances including Bagel Burlesque Festival, Fierté Montreal 2019, Teaser Festival in New Orleans. She was the winner of the Best Debut category at the top burlesque competition in the world, the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.

Chloé Seyrès is a French queer roller dancer. A former high-level athlete, 4-time world champion, and ex-member of 2 national teams, she is now a movement artist and coach. She has performed in a variety of cabarets, corporate events and festivals, on-screen doing motion capture for the Rollerchampion video game, as a support dancer for TVA’s Les Chanteurs Masqués, and in music videos for The Sloe Gin Fizz, Raphaël Dénommé and Mike Clay. Most impressively, she has been contracted to showcase her skills in performances with Cirque Éloize, Montréal Complètement Cirque, and Fierté Montréal 2022.