Brandon is an undergraduate student attending York University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Children, Childhood & Youth Studies. Brandon is an active member of the YorkU community, specifically within his college affiliation Vanier College and the Department of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LAPS). Brandon aspires to receive a Bachelor’s in Education (BEd) in the near future and teach elementary-age students. He has always been very enthusiastic and passionate about leadership and making positive impacts in any environment he finds himself in. Getting involved and inspiring others is always the goal for Brandon and he hopes to create safe and enriching learning opportunities for the students participating in Explore It! programming. He was born and raised in Scarborough, ON and attended Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts specializing in the Performing Arts with extensive experience in Performance Dance, Musical Theatre, Drama Focus, and Vocals. With these skills at hand, Brandon aspires to help boost curiosity, exploration and overall confidence of students in any program he is instructing or supporting! In his free time, Brandon enjoys listening to music, watching movies, hanging with his friends and improving on his newfound obsession with cooking!
Aaron is a visual artist with a B.A.,Hons. in Studio Arts from the University of Guelph. He currently resides in Toronto, where he produces art and teaches fine art (and many other) programs with Explore It! to children of all ages at schools throughout the GTA. Aaron is a veteran member of the Explore It! team and is highly appreciated for his positive attitude and ability to teach most any program. He's also a valuable asset in mentoring new instructors as they join the Explore It! team.
Kaela is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto with a HBSc in Neuroscience and Psychology. While they have always had a passion for studying the sciences, particularly biology, they absolutely love the arts and have plenty of experience in visual art and theatre. In their spare time, they delight in working on photography and textiles projects, dabbling in digital drawing, and exercising their creative muscles in a multitude of ways. While in school, they specialized in the topics of human biology, especially relating to the brain, mental health, and intersectionality in science. You can find their published scientific work in UofT’s Arbor Journal of Undergraduate Research and their artwork displayed in their parents’ dining room.
Alyssa is a filmmaker and artist with a BFA in Film Studies from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University). She works as a freelance editor on a variety of projects, including documentaries, short films, and music videos. She has a passion for writing and directing, with her short film, Fish Out of Water, screening at several film festivals around North America, awarded the Best Student Film at the Jersey Shore Film Festival and the People’s Choice Award at RUFF. She also pursues a number of personal projects combining her love of art, animation, and music, working with traditional, digital, and stop-motion animation. Alyssa loves to share her passion for the arts and is thrilled to be a part of the Explore It! team.
Maggie Koabel is a dancer, choreographer and dance historian. She is a graduate of York University where she completed an Honours Double Major with a BFA in Dance and a BA in Religious Studies. Prior to attending York University, Maggie liked to think of herself as a ballerina, achieving her Advanced One in Cecchetti examinations and spending five seasons with the Greater Niagara Ballet Company in Niagara Falls, New York. Here she performed both as a soloist and a member of the company’s corps de ballet, expanding her repertoire to include a wide variety of both classical and contemporary ballets. In more recent years Maggie has become interested in interdisciplinary and collaborative art performances. As a student she took every opportunity to choreograph and perform in extracurricular creations including All You Can Eat which premiered at the Winchester Street Theatre in collaboration with rock ’n’ roll band Our History of Cowboys. Maggie believes in pushing the boundaries of dance and making movement more accessible to wider audiences and participants. In recent works she has asked dancers to build with and jump from milk crates piled on a stage (Things are Happening… 2010), and has attempted to suspend herself from a pillar at the Deleon White Gallery (A Woman’s Work, 2010). Not to worry, both pieces required dancers to wear a helmet! Maggie is very excited to be an active part of the Explore It! community!
So this is Bianca- She's a passionate bilingual musical theatre performer and thrilled to be an instructor with the Explore It! team. She is a Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts graduate and has many years of experience in education/working with kids both in french and in english, which she hopes to continue for many years to come. Bianca believes in focus, discipline, learning from each other, having a laugh, and as Mrs. Frizzle would say; taking chances, making mistakes, and gettin' messy!
Meet Thomas! He's a maker of neat things like audio walks, podcasts, zines, buttons, and lots more. He's studied at Western and York University in media and performance studies, and usually has an ever-growing stack of books on the go. Community musical theatre is his jam - he got his start performing with Original Kids Theatre Company and has since performed in companies across London, ON. He has worked and volunteered for the London Fringe Festival, contributed articles and videos to LondonFuse, and has written walking tours for London's Woodland Cemetery.