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. We strive to build safe places of connection through movement, music, and artistic expression.
Embrace began with the simple desire to create more opportunities for people to dance. Through her own experience with chronic illness, as well as her time working in different contexts within the disability community, founder Tiffany Tjosvold had become increasingly aware of the inaccessibility of the performing arts in the Greater Victoria area and wanted to make more spaces for people to be able to engage with the arts. After receiving encouragement from the community (including one particularly fateful conversation with current board member Luka Garvin), Tiffany sought to broaden her artistic training, and began studying in the field of mixed ability dance.
Returning from her initial training, Tiffany began running workshops and creating performances as 'Embrace Performing Arts'. Over time working informally as Embrace Performing Arts, as well as through our fantastic partnership with Dance On It Studios, 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.
Now, in 2020, Embrace runs two primary streams:
Embrace: Community - Where we run classes, camps, school programs, and community events.
Embrace: Performance - For professional and pre-professional artists of all abilities to develop new and innovative interdisciplinary work.
Tiffany Tjosvold studied at the University of Victoria, where she received both her Bachelor's in Education, as well as her BFA in Applied Theatre with a focus on accessibility in drama and dance. She also completed teacher certification with DanceAbility International in Uruguay (2013).
She’s been involved in a variety of inclusive dance projects including choreographing the mixed ability dance shows Familiar Embraces and Threads, leading an informal street parade as a part of the Thinklandia festival and working on the Dance Alchemy Project.
Most recently, Tiffany has been involved with the creation of a number of new shows with Embrace including Creature Caste (2018), bloom (2018), Sylvia & The Cephalopod (2019) and S___PACE (2019)
Director of Music Programming
Erin Koop received her Bachelor of Music Therapy at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg and is accredited through the Canadian Association of Music Therapists.
As a self-employed music therapist, she works in a variety of settings, designing and facilitating 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 is so excited to be joining the Embrace team - using her skills to support our camps, community events, and the brand new "Stories Unfold" schools program.