Gale Zoë Garnett

Zoe GarnettZoë writes {most forms}, acts {most forms, varied languages, over 150 plays}, leads workshops in improvisation and all aspects of public readings, narrates films, travels, cooks, learns languages, and ‘activistifies’. Born in New Zealand, 23 July 1949. Came to Canada at age 11. As Chair of International Affairs Committee, Writers’ Union of Canada, (2007-2013), sent 210 Canadian children’s books to Nyaka AIDS Orphans’ School, Uganda. Currently writing fifth novel, children’s book and first play. Recording audio book of Visible Amazement. Gave Keynote Presentation in Århus, Denmark {2011} re New Canadian Writing. Inducted in 2015, into Canadian Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. Canadian Film Awards {Genies} nominated for Tribute, 1980. Has thus far been published as author in Canada. USA, France, Germany, Denmark and Bulgaria. First poetry collection, Pomegranate Moments {LyricalMyrical,Canada, 2015}. Books include Room Tone, Visible Amazement, Transient Dancing and Savage Adoration. Member, officer and former councillor, Canadian Actors’ Equity; member and former councillor, ACTRA; Member SAGAFTRA; Member, PEN Canada. She is a founding member of ErgoArts Theatre {English and Greek}, and deeply honoured to be invited by Soheil Parsa as a new board member of the extraordinary and intercultural Modern Times Stage Company.


Ramin Jahanbegloo

Ramin Jahanbegloo PhotoRamin Jahanbegloo is an Iranian-Canadian philosopher. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy, History and Political Science and later his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University. In 1993 he taught at the Academy of Philosophy in Tehran. He has been a researcher at the French Institute for Iranian Studies and a fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. Ramin Jahanbegloo served as the head of the Department of Contemporary Studies of the Cultural Research Centre in Tehran and, in 2006-07, he was the Rajni Kothari Professor in Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, India. He is the author of more than 24 books in Persian, English, and French on philosophy, comparative politics and nonviolence. Among his books are Conversations with Isaiah Berlin (Phoenix, 2000), Iran: Between Tradition and Modernity (Lexington Books, 2004),Gandhi: Aux Sources de la Nonviolence (Felin 1999), Penser la Nonviolence ( UNESCO 1999), The Clash of Intolerances ( Har-Anand 2007), India Revisited (Oxford University Press, 2007) and The Spirit of India (Penguin 2008) Beyond Violence (Har-Anand 2009) The Gandhian Moment (Harvard University Press 2013),Democracy in Iran (Palgrave 2013) Introduction to Nonviolence (Palgrave 2014) and lately his autobiography entitled: Time Will Say Nothing (University of Regina Press). He was arrested in April 2006 at the Tehran airport as he was about to leave the country to attend an international conference. He was placed in solitary confinement in a security wing of Evin prison for 125 days. He is presently an Associate Professor of Political Science and a Noor-York Visiting Chair in Islamic Studies at York University and an advisory board member of PEN Canada. Ramin Jahanbegloo is the recipient of the 2009 Peace Prize awarded by the Association for the United Nations in Spain for his extensive academic works in promoting dialogue between cultures and his advocacy for non-violence.


Christine Moynihan – Chair

Christine MoynihanChristine Moynihan has spent the past forty years actively working in the performing arts  – as an actor, producer, technician, administrator and executive director.   She was the Artistic Producer of Equity Showcase Theatre (EST), from 1988 – 2002 and the Executive Director of the Dance Umbrella of Ontario from 2002- 2012. At both EST and DUO, she was responsible for the creation and implementation of a number of innovative programs and projects, including the Consulting Director Program, the Native Directors Workshops (at EST); the International Dance Day Celebrations (for DUO) and a series of highly successful audience outreach and education programs for Moonhorse Dance Theatre and Sashar Zarif Dance Projects. She has received both the Brenda Donoghue Award for Outstanding Service to the Theatre Community (1994 – presented as part of the Dora Awards) and The Harold Award (2000) also for Outstanding Service to the Theatre Community, this one presented by the “indie” theatre and dance community. She was a contract instructor at Ryerson University’s Theatre and Dance Department for 10 years, teaching arts administration courses. Ms Moynihan has worked as a consultant and manager with a number of Toronto’s most exciting dance companies including Claudia Moore’s Moonhorse Dance Theatre, Heidi Strauss’ adelheid dance projects, DanceMatters, ProArteDanza and Sashar Zarif Dance Theatre.


Lili Nabavi

Lili Nabavi PhotoLili Nabavi graduated with a Master’s Degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from National University of Iran. She later obtained a second degree in Landscape Architecture from Ryerson University. She has worked in the Ministry of Municipal Affair and Housing in Toronto as an Urban Planner and as a freelance designer in building and landscaping…
She teaches Persian Language to non-Persian speakers. Lili has been very active in the community and served on the board of directors of many organizations including the Canadian Society of Iranian Engineers and Architects (1992-1994), Center for Iranian Artists of Ontario (1992-1995), and Iranian Women Organization of Ontario (2007-2009). Her dedication to education has led her to run over 30 workshops and courses for Self-Esteem and Meditation since 1998 and teaching Persian literature in Toronto Farsi Schools. She has been an active volunteer for Children’s Aid Society and ran workshops for Iranian Cancer support group in Toronto as well. She was on the Tirgan executive board of Directors and served as the Operation Director on Tirgan Festival at Harbourfront Center on 2008 and as advisor and master of ceremony on 2011. Lili has been involved in the media in many contexts including hosting a weekly radio program for Radio SIT (since 2000). She hosted a TV program called Image of Iran TV which is about Women’s social difficulties in the world and Iran (since 2006- 2010). She is an avid researcher and writer in poetry and different areas of Mysticism, Sufism and Rumi’s poems, which are published in Sufi Magazine (published in London, England).


Richard Shimoda – Treasurer

RShimodaRichard served for nearly twenty years as director and treasurer of the Toronto Japanese Language School, one of the oldest privately funded Japanese schools in Canada. Richard is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CA) and lawyer who has worked in both a financial and legal capacity in the private and public sector, including the Ontario Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Sport. Richard practiced corporate and finance law at a major Canadian law firm and, since 2008, has been Senior Legal Counsel at The Bank of Nova Scotia where he deals with, among other things, the bank’s sponsorship of artistic and cultural activities as well as professional and amateur sports. Richard also specializes in social media legal issues and has spoken on the topic at various conferences.




charles c. smith


  • charles c. smith is a published poet, playwright and essayist who has written and edited twelve books.  He won second prize for his play Last Days for the Desperate from Black Theatre Canada, has edited three collections of poetry, has four published books of poetry – including Partial Lives- Williams Wallace Press, and travelogue of the bereaved, Mawanzi House (formerly TSAR Publications) – and his poetry has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Poetry Canada Review, the Quille and Quire, Descant, Dandelion, the Amethyst Review, Bywords, Canadian Ethnic Studies and others.  he has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council for both his poetry and for his work with the ‘wind in the leaves collective’ where he is artistic director of a multidisciplinary performance group involving dance, image, recorded and live music based on his poetry. 

charles has published articles with Stanford Law and Policy, University of Toronto Press, Alberta Law Review, Captus Press and his writings on racial profiling and Black lives in Canada have been published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. His research has been commissioned by several institutions including the African Canadian Community Coalition on Racial Profiling, the Court Challenges Program of Canada, the Chief Justice of Ontario (former) Task Force on Professional Responsibility, the Ontario Ministries of the Attorney General and Community Safety ‘Community Task Force on Hate Crimes’, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

He has presented papers at the Ottawa Faculty of Law, the Ministry of Multiculturalism Canada, the Alberta Law Society (100th Anniversary), Queen’s University and has been keynote at the Black Law Students Association, McGill and Concordia University ‘Ethno-Racial Art History’ and White Water Gallery Big Dream Conference.

charles is the Cultural Liaison in the Dean’s Office at the University of Toronto Scarborough where he lectures in the English Department/Creative Writing. he is the Executive Director for Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario and a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives where he has published four books (two edited) ranging in subjects from racial profiling to anti-racism in education and pluralism in the arts. his most recent book with the Centre is titled “The Dirty War: The Making of the Myth of Black Dangerousness”.