Our Team

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 Kayla Borden | Program Director


Jamaican Canadian Resident of Halifax, Kayla Borden is a freelancer music promoter, event & social media coordinator and a talent scout for non for profit organizations such as Music Liberatory, Jamaican Cultural Association of Nova Scotia and the Emerging lens film festival just to name a few. Kayla enjoys working with young talent from low income communities on their goals for the future. She loves seeking out or creating opportunity for talent to be showcased and celebrated within a cultural background. She believes not forgetting where you come from and giving back is very important to our communities. And loves working with artists and other individuals that believe the same.


Nivie Dhami | Program Coordinator

NivieOriginally from Treaty 13, Nivie moved back to K’jipuktuk in May 2017. Nivie Identifies as an Indo, anti-capitalist, non-binary, qpoc. Nivie has been organizing in communities across Turtle Island for over eight years now. They are passionate about work around environmental justice, gender equity and sexual violence. Nivie is a support worker and facilitator who is actively facilitating for a community arts collective called The Untold Truth based in Toronto, where they help to facilitate panel discussions, art workshops and open mic nights.

Leena Alawaid | Festival Coordinator

Leena1Leena Alawaid was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia and got to pursue her artistic studies and explorations at NSCAD University.  After graduation in 2014, her main focus was to try and bring forth the concept of Creative Arts Therapy and draw attention to the process in her community. Leena is currently working together with several organizations in the community, including Ronald McDonald House and the IWK, where she offers art sessions to the children as a form of healing. Growing up in Halifax she got to experience first hand how much of a tight knit community the city has and she is thrilled to join the team here as Associate Producer at StART Fest Halifax.


Yalitsa Riden | Creative Director


Yalitsa is a queer Halifax-based Multimedia-Interdisciplinary artist and activist having worked and volunteered in the local community for over 6 years focusing on supporting a vibrant and inclusive arts community.  Their goals lie in supporting gender equality, connecting artists with local organizations throughout K’jipuktuk and Turtle Island and  promoting increased provincial funding, support and resources for the arts and artists!


Ryan Wilcox | Technical Director

Ryan Wilcox is studying Production Design and Technical Arts at the National Theatre School of Canada with focus on sound design, stage management, and technical direction. Ryan’s recent credits include playwright/director of Safe Haven with Terra Novella Theatre Company, Sound Designer of PEACE Project with Transitus Theatre Company, and Stage Manager of Colors of Courage with Anthony Sherwood Productions.