About Us

Embrace is an organization devoted to creating meaningful artistic opportunities for individuals of all abilities. We run classes, camps, school programs, shows, and community events on Vancouver Island. Embrace strives to build safe places of connection through movement, music, and artistic expression.

 

Our Story

Embrace began with the simple desire to make more opportunities for people to dance and create together. Through founder Tiffany Tjosvold's own lived experience of chronic illness, as well as her connections within the broader disability community on Vancouver Island, she had become increasingly aware of the inaccessibility of the performing arts in the area. She wanted to make more spaces for people to be able to meaningfully engage with the arts. After receiving encouragement from the community  (including one particularly fateful conversation with original board member Luka Garvin), Tiffany sought to broaden her artistic training in inclusive practices.

 

Returning from her initial training, Tiffany began 'Embrace Performing Arts'. Over time we saw the demand for programs expand. Feeling the need to broaden access to our programs, Embrace took the plunge and officially became a non-profit (Embrace Arts Foundation) in 2017.  While Embrace is comprised of a small team, we love to serve  our community to the best of our abilities. 

Now, in 2021, Embrace runs two primary streams:

Embrace: Community - Where we run classes, camps, school programs, and community events for individuals of all abilities.

and

Embrace: Performance - For professional and pre-professional artists with and without disabilities to develop new and innovative interdisciplinary work. 

 

Our Staff Team

A close up of Tiffany laughing outdoors. Her head is tilted and her curly streaked hair is swept to one side. She is wearing a royal blue sweater.

Tiffany Tjosvold

(She/Her)

Executive Director

(Part Time Staff)

Tiffany Tjosvold is a multidisciplinary artist whose work is heavily rooted in dance and theatre practice. Tiffany received her BFA in applied theatre at the University of Victoria. She also has her BEd in elementary education. Tiffany also received her certification in mixed ability dance teaching with DanceAbility International.

 

Tiffany has a deep love of working with individuals of all ages and abilities. Whether it is facilitating dance improv workshops for adults, summer camps for children, or seated dance fitness for seniors – Tiffany is always happiest to be moving and creating with the community.

 

With Embrace’s performance stream, Tiffany has recently directed a number of original shows including bloom, Creature Caste, and Sylvia & The Cephalopod. She also co-created and performed in Embrace’s most recent pieces: S___PACE & Chilly. Outside of Embrace, Tiffany has been involved with a number of different projects including the Dance Alchemy Project and Impulse Theatre’s Wee Peeks.

Have questions about Embrace? Contact Tiffany here.

A black and white image of a Erin outdoors. She has short dark hair, glasses, and a long beaded necklace.

Erin Koop

(She/Her)

Director of Music Programming

(Part Time Staff)

Erin Koop received her Bachelor of Music Therapy at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg and is accredited through the Canadian Association of Music Therapists (2010).

 

As a self-employed music therapist, she works in a variety of settings, providing group or individual Music Therapy sessions for people of all ages and abilities. For more information about her work, check out www.erinkoop.com.

 

Erin can be found at our camps and community events making music magic or behind the scenes, putting her organizational skills into practice as Embrace's resident production manager. 

Have questions about our music programs? Contact Erin here.

Our Summer Team

Melissa is a white woman with long, straight dirty blonde hair wearing a black T-shirt. She is posed smiling with her mouth closed from the chest up. She is outside on a sandy beach with the ocean and mountains behind her.

Melissa

(She/Her)

Mina is a white woman with long straight dark brown hair. She is wearing a black shirt. She is smiling. She’s standing in front of a wall of deep green leaves.

Mina

(She/Her)

These fine folks will be joining us on short term contracts to bring their expertise to Embrace's community this summer. 

 

Our Board

Lauren Goodmanson

Interim Secretary

Lydia Montgomery

Director At Large

 
A close up picture of Zelda. She is a white woman with blond hair that is pulled into a half ponytail. She smiles wide.

Zelda Coertze

President

A close up shot of Rahel's smiling face. She has short grey and brown hair that is parted down the centre

Rahel Umpherson

Treasurer