Jordan Farmer (he/him) | Creative Director
Jordan Farmer is the Creative Director for StART and the interim general manager of the Bus Stop Theatre Co-Op for 2021. Known professionally as Tempo, Jordan is a multifaceted creative entrepreneur. Starting as a dancer, Jordan worked with Concrete Roots and Unity Charity, developing a strong sense of community. Equipped with a thorough understanding and connection to music, this fuelled the need to take control of the very language that influenced his movement, ultimately resulting in the transition to production. Making the jump to music, the 2019 HopScotch All Styles winner has since dedicated his craft to becoming more involved in projects advocating for racial equality and artistic freedom throughout the Province.
Jordan will be one of the music and dance mentors for the 2021 StART Festival!
Israel Ekanem (he/him) | Program Director of Video and Multimedia
StART Festival welcomes Israel Ekanem, a storyteller, to the team. Isreal was introduced to the art of storytelling by his grandmother, Lydia and he fell in love with it. Storytelling has been his passion for years. The stories he initially shared would be spoken or written but he always felt the camera would give the stories more life. He got a camcorder as a birthday gift and he has been shooting and sharing stories ever since.
His films include the award-winning films “We Watched The Clouds Form Shapes” “Drown The Lovers”, “Dearg” and “Tale of the Man Who Whispered To Flowers”
He believes that a story, properly told can change the world, one person at a time. He hopes to keep telling stories for as long as he lives.
Israel will be the film mentor for the 2021 StART Festival!
Connor Brenton (he/him) | Audio Engineer
Connor Brenton, artistically known as apartment under Atlantis, is a social work student who is actively involved in volunteering with youth and housing programs around the city. An audio engineer, who spent two years training under Tempo (Jordan Farmer), specializing in vocal mixing he works with many local artists and community centres. His first solo album ‘Apartment Under Atlantis’ received 100k+ plays in it’s 1st year, followed by a successful collaborative single ‘ Into You’ 50k+ which was produced with Tempo. Continuing to collaborate they release another 23 tracks in 2020. He is currently in school, working sound tech for a local church doubling as a concert venue and attempting to find funding for future aid and artistic projects as program’s re-open with the pandemic. This year he will be facilitating recording and mixing for the music created by the music mentorship program.
JRDN (he/him) | Music Mentor
With his new Project, Untitled. Toronto-based R&B sensation JRDN is back from a hiatus with a new sound and energy in his music.
While away JRDN continued to work closely with Sebastian Kole (writer) Jazz Feezy (producer) Jenson Vaughn (writer) on new music that will show the growth of his artistry.
His 2010 breakthrough album, IAMJRDN yielded Gold singles ‘U Can Have It All’ and ‘Like Magic”. “Like Magic” received the 2012 SOCAN Urban Music Award, and went to #1 on the Much and MuchMore Music video charts, as well as the radio award for most spins on Canadian radio for R&B. IAMJRDN also garnered him 2 nominations for New Artist of the Year and R&B/ Soul Recording of the Year at the 2012 JUNO Awards. JRDN won the prestigious 2014 JUNO award for R&B/Soul recording of the year for his hit single “Can’t Choose” featuring Kardinal Offishall.
The increasing popularity of social media websites continues to impact how we interact with one another, and that includes how we communicate with our romantic partners. JRDN’s newest single #Rumors explains the ups and down of a relationship in the era of constant connection. Initiating the courting process has gone from bravely asking a person out to dinner on their doorstep to simply instant messaging the person or even liking their profile picture. We may wonder if that change is for better or worse. He is set to release his newest project in early 2021.
JRDN will be your music mentor for the 2021 StART Festival!
I’thandi Munro (she/her) – Drifted Collective | Dance Mentor
I’thandi Munro is a mixed Afro-Euro L’nu woman living in K’jipuktuk, Miꞌkmaꞌki, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. Munro is Professional performance and visual artist. In 2020 she completed her BFA earning a double major in Photography + Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing from NSCAD University. As a racialized person living in a postcolonial environment, Munro uses the representation of line and of lineage as the underlying concepts through her fine art, craft, and dance. Often merging mediums into finished pieces there is always a sense of multiness within her work. Melding notions of the digital within her craft Munro continuously seeks to learn new ways of making. she leaves space for her pieces to naturally evolve through reaction and discussion. This creates an ever changing flux body of work that can be continued, explored, and realized in many different ways.
I’thandi will be your dance mentor for the 2021 StART Festival!
Alex “Cunny” Ross (he/him) – Family Over Fame | Fashion Mentor
Alex “Cunny” Ross recorded an album titled “Family Over Fame” in 2015. As a result he wanted to make t-shirts to promote the release of the album. Starting with 15 t-shirts, the residents from Uniacke Square loved what the concept was all about when they made their purchase. A common realization was “this isn’t a message that just relates to us, this is a message that goes worldwide”. Once Alex heard that coming from residents in his community, he ran with the concept and turned it into a business. Since then it has become a widely recognized and valued brand we see in our community and others.
Alex has also received multiple news publications, created annual funds to give back to the community and launched a secondary brand within his clothing line. Additionally Alex hosts a free annual “Family over Fame day” event in Uniacke square. This event brings in hundreds of attendees, featuring community activists and local emerging artists as it’s focal point. As his success grows internationally, the core values remain the same. Always put family first, never forget where you came from and never put materialistic things over your family.
Alex, Founder of Family Over Fame will be your Fashion Mentor for the 2021 StART Festival!