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The creative team and partners
on the original production of From the Heart

Will Weigler (Lead Artist)

Will is a Settler Canadian, born and raised on the territory of the Multnomah peoples in what is now Portland, Oregon. For the past 17 years he has been a visitor on traditional territories of the Coast Salish Peoples. Will is a theatre director, playwright, producer, and storyteller, and has written five books on different approaches to co-creating theatre with people in communities about the issues that matter to them. Much of his arts-based community engagement work is focused on advocacy for social justice, reducing stigma, giving voice to marginalized communities, and using performance to promote peer education about the legacy and impact of colonialism and the importance of supporting Indigenous communities and cultural resurgence. Will earned a PhD in Applied Theatre from the University of Victoria and is a graduate of the National Theatre Institute and Oberlin College in the US. To learn more about his work visit,

Krystal Cook (Co-facilitator).

Krystal is a Kwakwaka'wakw woman from the Namgis First Nation of Alert Bay, B.C.   She is  writer and performer of theatre and poetry, and has worked for many years as a facilitator of Healing through the Arts in the Aboriginal Community.  Krystal, who lives in Victoria, B.C. with her partner Nik, has three children: two sons, Kwasun & Rayn, and a daughter, Tesekla.  She is a graduate of the En'owkin International School of Writing at the University of Victoria, and the Native Theatre School Program at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre in Toronto. Krystal has performed her one-woman show Emergence at IMPACT Theatre Festival, Uno Fest, FemFest, and Puente Meli Festival. Krystal currently works in Aboriginal Education with the Aboriginal Nations Education Division in Victoria. She is a member of the Namgis Constitution Development Committee and local Kwak’wala language group committed to preserving Kwak’wala.

My passion and commitment to the preservation and restoration of my Native Language is the driving force behind my desire to support myself and others to pick up our creative tools for our voices of truth to be heard and healed through Poetry, Orature, Non-fiction, Chant, Song and Drama. Writing, particularly Poetry Performance, is very therapeutic for me. It has helped me to erase my own invisibility as a Kwakwaka'wakw woman, and given me a positive healthy platform to channel and transform my energies creatively. I have been writer and performer of theatre and poetry and a dancer for over 20 years, and have worked as a facilitator of Healing through the Arts in the Aboriginal Community for over ten years.  I feel truly honoured and blessed to have had the opportunity to train and work with a rich variety of Facilitators and Teachers who approach creativity, performance, writing and healing from a holistic perspective. Mask, Playback Theatre, Earth Based Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Sacred Clown training and performance have inspired me greatly. Among my teachers are: Floyd Favel, David Smuckler, Monique Mojica, Margo Kane, J. B. Joe, Kateri Ackawenzi-Damm, Eric Robertson, Banakonda Kennedy Kish-Bell, Jim Millan, Pat Sutton, Sharon Weiner, John Turner, Mike Kennard, Fiona Griffiths, and Sistah Caroline Outten. I hope to provide the project participants of From the Heart with a positive memorable experience of theatre and poetry as inspiring, uplifting and fun tools that can empower, give voice, explore, heal, and share. Gi'lakasla. In the Spirit of our Ancestors.

Bisia Belina (Vocal, Singing and Movement Coach)

Bisia is a recording artist, performer, and teacher. For the past 25 years she has been a practicing Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) specializing in alignment techniques, postural education, relaxation and therapeutic massage techniques. As the founder of VoiceWorks & VocalBody Arts in Victoria, Bisia offers weekly drop in classes, vocal body intensives, teacher development series as well as self–care intensives for professional and informal caregivers. Bisia strongly believes that expressive arts can have a huge influence on one’s mental, emotional and physical health.

My approach to learning incorporates movement, breathing, singing and composition to access the power of one’s personal creativity and connections with others, all while improving wellness, and vocal confidence. VoiceWorks and VocalBody Arts involve tuning into one’s vocal anatomy, understanding rhythm, time, harmony, and melody. In this collaborative work, vocal expression combined with breath, movement, imagery and sound become the method for reconnecting with one’s self and one’s community. BodyTalk involves self centering through recognizing the signs and symptoms of an overstressed anatomy, releasing unnecessary tension patterns, regaining breath, flexibility, composure and focus. Through Improvisational Movement, participants explore the interplay between sound, movement and attitude, and its energizing effect on the nervous system. Inspired by movement awareness patterns that increase range of motion, flexibility, co-ordination and grace, participants begin to move beyond feeling self-conscious and become able to create community works together that rejuvenate, recharge and transform. By expanding a sense of self and improving vocal confidence we become ready to access the power of our creativity and move forward in our work together.

Margot Johnson (Co-Vocal, Singing and Movement Coach)

Dr. Paulette Regan (consultant)

Paulette served as Senior Researcher for the Historical Memory and Reconciliation Project at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and has been a Research Fellow at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC. Her book, Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth-telling and Reconciliation in Canada (UBC Press, 2010) has been a non-fiction best seller in BC and was selected as a finalist for the 2012 Canada Prize by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

I have two roles in From the Heart. First, because this project is primarily based upon my book, I am working in close partnership with the professional artists on the team to provide them with guidance and support. As a scholar and practitioner, my academic studies and applied research projects over 25 years have focused on a wide range of unresolved and deeply-rooted historical conflicts between Indigenous peoples and the Canadian state. Since 2007, I have worked for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which is mandated to document the history and legacy of the Indian residential school system and provide policy recommendations to facilitate long-term reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and Canadian society. I have a particular interest in the role and responsibility of non-Indigenous people in the decolonization project and the potential of truth and reconciliation processes to either transform or re-inscribe colonial relations. I have been investigating how critical and Indigenous research methodologies and pedagogies, particularly the use of intercultural dialogue, auto/ethnography, story-telling, arts-based engagement, and witnessing practices, might facilitate the decolonization and transformation of settler historical memory and identity. For many years, with my colleague Brenda Ireland, I have been co-facilitating a workshop we call “Unsettling Dialogues of History and Hope” that turns these questions of methodology into embodied practice. My second role in From the Heart will be to spend two full weekends with the ensemble of community participants, co-facilitating this workshop with Brenda as a catalyst for generating the substance of the material they will develop, rehearse and perform in the show.

Brenda Ireland (Consultant).


Brenda is an Anishnaabe-Métis community-based professional and intercultural practitioner/facilitator with 18 years of leadership in social, education and community development initiatives. Currently the Executive Director for the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business (ICAB), and a member of the Board of Directors for the BC Human Rights Coalition, Brenda was formerly a Research Manager for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.  In addition to working with ICAB, she continues her interest in the education field and to work as an advocate for Aboriginal learners. She has two children and two granddaughters. The role of history, ceremony and story-telling are at the heart of Brenda’s work—essential to the transformative change necessary for ‘meaningful’ reconciliation.

Rob Wipond (Rapporteur)

Mark Lakeman (Labyrinth designer)

As the founder of Portland’s City Repair, Communitecture Architects, and the Planet Repair Institute, Mark’s visionary community-based design aesthetic has inspired communities across North America by demonstrating how architectural and civic design choices can play an active role in promoting people’s connections with one another and with the natural world. As a member of our artistic team, Mark will apply that knowledge to theatrical scenic design in an immersion theatre labyrinth that is both beautiful and inspires heartfelt community engagement.

Mar Rickets (Tensile fabric artist/ Labyrinth co-designer


Paula Jardine (associate artist)

Primary partners

The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) helps individuals and organizations to connect across cultures. We provide information, support and tools to help immigrants reach their goals. By engaging people through networks, education and arts programming we create a welcoming community. We offer services for newcomers, including settlement and integration counseling, translation and interpretation, English classes, mentoring, volunteer matching and peer support. We also provide outreach and education in the community through community arts programming, as well as community development workshops on anti-racism, multiculturalism, diversity awareness, immigration and human rights. ICA has a rich history of producing Inter-Cultural Arts events that celebrate and encourage community-focused artistic innovation and collaboration among diverse cultures. The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria website:

The Victoria International Development Education Association (VIDEA) has been inspiring thought and action on global issues" for over 30 years.  We actively involve youth, educators, and community partners in the development and implementation of international development, global education and youth and community engagement initiatives. In addition to an international internship programme, VIDEA also provides a range of work, learning and engagement opportunities for youth in Canada. We facilitate communication, cooperation and strategic networking among Canadian groups working for global justice, peace and sustainable development, linking local and international issues with community initiatives. VIDEA strives to create opportunities to link Indigenous peoples in the areas in which we work with projects that support the creative sharing of knowledge and experience.

The Victoria International Development Education Association website:

Supporting partners

First Metropolitan United Church seeks to be a centre for spiritual nurture and community engagement. Some of our community partnerships include a 74 unit special housing facility and the Out of the Rain program for Street Youth. The church began the Open Door outreach ministry which has evolved into Our Place. FirstMet is known for its annual Epiphany Explorations conference featuring presenters such as Stephen Lewis, Mary Ellen Turpel Lafond, Puente Theatre and Shelagh Rogers (Truth and Reconciliation Commission official witness). We invite others to share in our journey as we seek to be an effective ministry in our city and our world. We have been part of the downtown for more than 150 years, regularly renewing our vision and our activities.

First Metropolitan United Church website:

Funders and Supporters

The original production of From the Heart was generously funded by

Uptown Mall

Uptown is a proud community contributor pleased to donate space to From the Heart. Built as a  LEED gold Neighbourhood Development, Uptown has over 50 retail, services and offices currently open. Uptown hosts free community programming every weekend this summer in Town Plaza. Centrally located between Douglas and Blanshard. 


You will love shopping again.

Uptown Mall website:


Aboriginal Neighbours

Aboriginal Neighbours is an ecumenical organization initiated by the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia. As its name implies, the organization was formed out of its members’ concerns for the First Peoples and the future of aboriginal children. Present partners in Aboriginal Neighbours include the Anglican Church of Canada, British Columbia diocese; the United Church of Canada, Victoria Presbytery; and Vancouver Island Monthly Meeting of the Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers). Membership is drawn from Vancouver Island and includes Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, many of whom have considerable background working in these areas in British Columbia and elsewhere. We welcome people who share a desire to build relationships and trust between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal Neighbours website:

iD2 Communications, Inc.

iD2 has been providing award-winning communications services since 1997. Our Victoria-based firm specializes in sustainable solutions designed to help small businesses and organizations reach their marketing and communications objectives. We operate using an integrated quadruple bottom line business model. The quadruple bottom line adds culture to the “three pillars of sustainability” (people, planet, profit) and moves us from values to end goals through integration.

iD2 website:


Bayshore Home Health

Bayshore Home Health has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life, dignity and independence of Canadians in their homes since 1966. Canadian owned and operated, we are the country’s largest provider of home and community health care services, with more than 50 home care offices, 20 community care clinics and 8,000 employees.

Bayshore Home Health website:


Christine Lintott Architect

Principal, Architect AIBC, MRAIC, LEED AP
specializing in exceptional clients

Christine Lintott Architect website:



nrichmedia was founded by Nathaniel Richman in 2000. We create innovative and unique web sites and other multimedia for ethical and socially responsible businesses and organizations. We also offer green web hosting, web site maintenance, social media marketing, business card, brochure, and logo design, and more.

nrichmedia website:


UVic Department of Theatre and Phoenix Theatre

UVic’s Department of Theatre is proud of alumnus Will Weigler, a PhD graduate from our acclaimed Applied Theatre program. Applied Theatre educates students in the use of drama skills for the purposes of teaching, bringing about social change and building a sense of community, all of which Will has exercised in From the Heart. UVic’s comprehensive theatre curriculum blends academic study and practical experience in all aspects of theatre. Home to the Phoenix Theatre, students gain invaluable hands-on experience both on stage and behind the scenes of our mainstage productions. We welcome you to attend the Phoenix Theatre and experience the youth, talent and energy of our students!

Department of Theatre website:


Gumboot Productions

Gumboot Productions is a Canadian film and television production company situated in Victoria, Canada. Since 1991, the company has developed a strong reputation for story-telling excellence within the national and international broadcast community. 

Gumboot Productions website:

Silk Road Tea

Located in Victoria’s Historic Chinatown District, Silk Road is an award-winning tea destination! Explore the ‘Great Wall of Tea’, which contains over 100 locally made, organic loose teas. Discover an exquisite selection of teapost & teaware. Be rejuvenated at our award-wining in-store spa (Canada’s Best Organic Spa), and pamper yourself with our locally made, organic skin & bodycare products. Silk Road Teas are created and blended in Victoria. Fresh botanicals from around the world as well as the West coast are carefully prepared to yield a superb tea experience.

1624 Government Street,  Victoria, BC  Tel: 250 704-2688 (Retail store and Spa)

Silk Road website:


Thrifty Foods at Hillside

Located in central Victoria, our Hillside location offers you a wide selection of local, fresh and organic products as well as outstanding customer service. Open 6am to midnight seven days a week.  Tel: 250 370-9591.

Thrifty Foods website: Thrifty Foods at Hillside


Mount Doug Springs

Mount Doug Springs provides fresh bottled water delivery in the Greater Victoria BC area. We offer both filtered municipal and natural spring water (bottled at source) for your convenience. 100 Aldersmith Place Nelson Square, Victoria, BC  Tel: 250 381-2088

​​Mount Doug Springs website:


Kenmar Flower Farm

Kenmar Flower Farm is located at the entrance to the scenic Burnside Valley, just minutes north of Downtown Victoria and from the Victoria General Hospital. 1490 West Burnside Road
, Victoria. Tel: 250-727-6443 or 250-812-7866

 Kenmar Flower Farm website:


Van Isle Floral

Van Isle Floral Wholesale is a locally owned and operated company serving the floral industry on beautiful Vancouver Island since 1995.     5471 Hamsterly Road, Victoria. Tel: 250-658-1778

Van Isle Floral is no longer operating



A BC-based company established in 1915, we’ve been part of the Victoria community since 1986. 3510 Blanshard Street, 250-475-3300, and 100 – 172 Wilson Street.  Tel:250-389-6115

Save-On-Foods website 


Cook Street Castle Building Centre 

ocally-owned and operated, Cook Street Castle has provided the Victoria area with outstanding hardware products for 25 years. 1720 Cook Street, Victoria, BC  (250) 384-8181

Cook Street Castle Building Centre is no longer operating

Theatre Inconnu

Theatre Inconnu is the resident theatre company in the heritage designated Little Fernwood Hall in Victoria’s Fernwood neighbourhood,.  This historic building has been outfitted and renovated to make it one of Victoria’s most exciting venues in which to experience the richness of intimate theatre.   To date Theatre Inconnu has brought Victoria audiences over 100 productions, covering all genres of theatre and methods of presentation.

Theatre Inconnu website:

Wild Fire Organic Bakery and Cafe

Wild Fire is a small family-owned business that has been specializing in artisan baking since 1998. Our mission is to provide the community with high quality and nutritious foods and to make these foods as accessible as possible. Among our goals is to create a healthy working environment and to operate in a socially responsible manner. Our vision is to enhance and support a community that values humanity, health and nature.  1517 Quadra Street, Victoria (250) 381-FIRE (3473)

Wild Fire website:


Boston Pizza–Saanich

Boston Pizza restaurants offer a casual dining setting with over 100 menu items including gourmet pizzas made with our signature hand pressed dough. #102 – 3510 Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC, (250) 477-5561

Boston Pizza website


fol epi organic bread and pastry

Clif’s love for bread is evident in his commitment to producing the finest loaves around from his humble beginnings in his basement baking to his current digs at the Dockside. 101-398 Harbour Road, Victoria (Dockside Green, across the Johnson St. and Bay St. bridges). (250) 477-8882

 fol epi website:

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