Katey Wattam

Katey Wattam is a director and creator of mixed English, Irish, Franco-Ontarian, and Anishinaabe ancestry. She is drawn to stories that connect with her ways of knowing while allowing space to explore and experiment with theatrical forms through an Indigenous lens. Through her corporeal based practice, she mines bodies for their blood memory, uncovering experiences and traumas to reclaim and decolonizing bodies, minds, and spaces. She is an alum of McGill University, MAI Alliance Program, and Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program. Katey is currently a part of Why Not Theatre’s ThisGen Fellowship. Within Alliance, Katey Wattam is developing a theatrical adaptation of Métis poet and novelist Katherena Vermette’s river woman, using language through the body to explore the epicenter of colonial grief through decolonial love.


Tanha Gomes

Tanha Gomes is the recipient of 2020-21 PWM + MAI joint support for artists* interested in working with a dramaturg.

Visual artist and cultural worker, Tanha Gomes has worked in several artist-run centres and art galleries in Montreal. Since 2011, she has been involved in initiatives that bring art to communities with people of all ages.

Born into a multicultural family in Brazil, she moved to Canada as a teenager and has since lived between these two worlds. Her immigration experience leads her to explore the links between displacement, death and memory. Fascinated by the traces of personal history on people’s bodies and trajectories, she uses photography in order to conduct intimate and delicate explorations of identity. She seeks to create contemplative works using time as raw material, often with long exposures that require bodies to remain still. Tanha’s images are marked by a performative aspect, through simple imprints or a promise of movement. Recently graduated from a master’s degree in Arts Education, she aspires to develop her artistic practice around cultural identity.

This partnership is supported by the Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal as part of l’Entente sur le Développement Culturel, and by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Photo credit: Daniele Barroso

Marbella Carlos

Marbella Carlos is a Manila-born visual artist based in Montreal, Canada. She holds an MA in Creative Arts Therapies (Art Therapy) from Concordia University, a BFA in Visual Arts (With Distinction) from the University of Calgary and a B.Ed. in Visual Arts Education (With Distinction) from the University of Toronto and has participated in artist residencies with Artscape Toronto and the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation. Her recent work focuses on using burlesque under the moniker Joy Rider as a medium to exercise control over one’s body and sexuality. By doing so, burlesque affords her the opportunity to create captivating comedic vignettes of performance art,  while interrogating issues such as the complexity of acculturation as an immigrant settler living in the diaspora. Marbella won the prestigious Bunny Competition at the Edmonton International Burlesque Festival. Her project within Alliance 2020-21 uses performance to create interpretations of pre-colonial folklore creatures from the Philippines. 

Diane Hau Yu Wong

Diane Hau Yu Wong is the recipient of 2020-22 articule + MAI joint support for curators.

Diane Hau Yu Wong is an emerging curator and art historian based in unceded Coast Salish Territories & Tiohtiá:ke territory. She graduated with a BFA in Art History from Concordia University in 2018. Her curatorial practice and research are largely based on her experience as a second-generation immigrant and the intersection between community and diasporic identity.  For the articule + MAI support for curators, Diane is examining digital futurism as a method to re-imagine a better world and sustainable solidarity among BIPOC communities through technoculture and speculative fiction. She most recently curated Centre A’s 2019 recent graduate exhibition titled (dis)location (dis)connect (dis)appearance, examining the loss of language, tradition, and culture in the diasporic community.

This partnership is supported by the Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal as part of l’Entente sur le Développement Culturel, and by the Canada Council for the Arts.


Saba Heravi

Saba Heravi is an Iranian-Canadian visual artist based in Tiohtiá:ke/ Montreal. Her art practice is concentrated on drawing, ceramics, and printmaking. She graduated with a BFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University in 2019. Her work explores the idea of home, memory, and identity and is ultimately an investigation of self. During the Alliance program, Heravi will investigate new techniques and approaches to help develop a project built around family archives.


Soroush Aram

Soroush Aram is the recipient of 2020-21 Mandoline hybride + MAI joint support for artists. He is an Iranian multidisciplinary visual artist working in Montreal. After completing a course in Fine Arts at the University of Tehran in 2002, Soroush developed a particular aesthetic that interweaves drawing and performative art and juggles between images of the past and dreams of the future. His work has been presented and recognized in Iran since 2010. Today, Soroush’s artistic career takes place mainly in Canada, where he gradually integrates the different spheres of contemporary Quebec art scene, by participating in exhibitions, residencies, workshops and artist support programs (DAM; Montréal en Arts; SKOL; Montréal Arts Interculturels). As part of Alliance, Soroush’s project Réminescence explores traces of the past and memory through a series of drawings of recovered objects from the music industry, a performance and videos from interviews conducted by the artist.
This partnership is supported by the Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal as part of l’Entente sur le Développement Culturel, and by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Nasim Lootij

Choreographer, performer, teacher and Laban notator, Nasim Lootij left Iran in 2006 to study dance in Paris. Since 2014 she lives and works in Montreal where she co-founded the collective Vâtchik Danse with Kiasa Nazeran, dramaturge and PHD in theatre. 

Their sources of inspiration: the art and socio-political history of Iran, the modern currents of the early twentieth century, including German expressionism.

Their creations: Moi-Me-Man (2017), La Chute (2019), L’Inconsistance (In progress). The latter is supported by MAI’s Alliance program, Dance-Cité, Maison de la culture Plateau-Mont-Royal and José Navas/Compagnie Flak.

Burcu Emeç

What does it mean to collaborate with someone or something? Burcu Emeç’s project within Alliance We were awkward at first but then it was ok subverts the tensions inherent in collaboration, while reckoning with the function of objects in performance.


Burcu is practicing care, political action and rigorous curiosity. As an interdisciplinary performance maker she blends social commentary, active listening, improvisation and visual art. Her work lives in the shifts between the highly poetic and unbearably banal, subverting codes of live performance and creating tensions between language and image. 

Burcu’s collaborative and independent projects have been presented in a wide range of settings in Montreal, Toronto and Germany, including the festivals OFFTA, SummerWorks and ZH, and venues such as Eastern Bloc, Never Apart and Montréal arts interculturels (MAI). Her recent awards include the Mécènes investis pour les arts, OFFTA Coup de coeur, OFFTA Hybridity Award, and five Montreal English Theatre Awards. She is curator in residence with Christopher Willes at Studio 303 and artist in delegate production with LA SERRE-arts vivants. Burcu is also a cultural worker and a coordinator at the artist-run centre articule. She holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Concordia University (2017).

Amir Sám Nakhjavani

Amir Sám Nakhjavani (he, him) is a META-Award nominated multilingual and multidisciplinary Montrealer of Azerbaijani-Iranian origin. As a theatre artist he has worked with the Segal Centre, Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal, Black Theatre Workshop, Tableau d’Hôte Theatre, Teesri Dunya Theatre and Infinithéâtre. He was a member of Black Theatre Workshop’s 2016-2017 Artist Mentorship Program ensemble; and participated in the DémART-MTL program through the Conseil des arts de Montréal, in collaboration with Centaur Theatre. He is currently working on a French-language translation of the Farsi-language classic, Aurash, by Bahram Beyza’ie, in collaboration with Modern Times Stage Company, in Toronto. His participation in the 2020-2021 MAI Alliance program is oriented towards an exploration of human-specific performance.

Ahmad Hamdan

Ahmad Hamdan is a Montreal-based actor who graduated from UQAM’s École supérieure de théâtre in 2017. He has performed his texts on several stages including La Licorne in the show Foirée Montréalaise. Parallel to his acting career, a storytelling and creation desire leads him to write short theatrical content. Within Alliance, he will tackle the long form to create a show that will explore, among other things, social mobility, the relationship to culture (in all senses of the word) and the conception of identity.