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.

As a community we decided on the phrase "all abilities" as we have a wide variety of ways that individuals in our community self-identify, including: disabled, a person with a disability, differently-abled, neurodivergent,  crip, chronically ill, d/Deaf, and non-disabled. 

 

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 and 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. In 2013, "Embrace Performing Arts" was born, which primarily consisted of community dance workshops. 

 

Over time we saw the demand for programs expand. Feeling the need to broaden the access to our programs, Embrace took the plunge and officially became a non-profit (Embrace Arts Foundation) in 2017. 

Now, in 2022, 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 multidisciplinary work. 

 

Our Staff Team

Tiffany smiles at the camera. She's a white woman with long curly hair brown and blonde hair. She wears a blue t-shirt. The background is an out of focus bush with pink flowers.

Tiffany Tjosvold

(She/Her)

Executive Director

(Part Time Staff)

Tiffany Tjosvold is a multidisciplinary artist whose work is heavily rooted in movement and play. Tiffany received her BFA in applied theatre at the University of Victoria. She also has her BEd in elementary education. Tiffany grew up training in a variety of dance styles and in 2013 trained she trained 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 young 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, and articulate 

Have questions about Embrace? Contact Tiffany here.

Erin smiles at the camera. She is a white woman with short dark brown hair. She wears thick rimmed square glasses and a turquoise t-shirt. The background is an out of focus bush with pink flowers

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.

 

In our community stream, Erin can be found making music magic or behind the scenes, putting her organizational skills into practice. With Embrace: Performance, Erin has been involved in the composition for music and soundscapes for Sylvia and the Cephalopod, Chilly and articulate. 

Have questions about our music programs? Contact Erin here.

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Claire Bruce

(She/Her)

Arts and Outreach Associate

(Part Time Staff)

Claire Bruce is a spicy Latina dance and theatre artist who has cerebral palsy. She has worked with Embrace on a number of original pieces. Claire was involved in the development and performance of Creature Caste, bloom, Sylvia and The Cephalopod, Chilly & articulate. 

 

Claire has also facilitated in schools and community organizations with both Embrace and Victoria Opportunities for Community Youth Leadership (VOCYL). Claire is a part of the InterdepenDance collective and has experience in creating audio descriptions with this collective.

Our Board

Interim Secretary

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

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Lydia Montgomery

Director At Large