Our faculty is drawn from across Canada and the United States. Each of our instructors has pioneered, practiced and published in the field of expressive arts and has met the required and specialized standard of post masters education at the European Graduate School, or has a PhD qualification in a related field.
Each of our adjunct instructors has a masters degree in expressive arts therapy. In addition to a commitment to advancing the opportunity for expressive arts locally, faculty at Vancouver Expressive Arts teach globally and present at symposiums and conferences around the world.
Heather Dawson has been an art-maker, a therapist, a group leader and an explorer of the uniqueness and the mystery of human beings for over thirty years. She trained as an art therapist, a body centered psychotherapist (the Hakomi Method), and has a Masters degree in expressive arts therapy and psychology. Her teachers are among the pioneers in each of these fields.
Heather has led the studio based course at the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute, and has been in private practice since 1994; she is also an instructor at St. Stephen's College in Edmonton, Alberta. She continues to facilitate individual and group supervision for graduate therapists working in agencies throughout the lower mainland and across Canada. Heather has also traveled throughout Canada and to Europe and Ireland as a workshop facilitator.
For many years she worked in agency settings alongside youth, women, families and children as they processed the difficulties associated with traumatic circumstances. She considers this work to be among the most profound and humbling experiences of her life, and credits the courage of these people as her greatest teacher. Her work is further deepened by her own life's journey as a mother, a companion and a seeker.
Heather has enormous respect for the lifelong journey of discovery and learning which each human being is part of, and continues to live her own life with a joy for creating and adventure. Inspired by the appreciation gained through sharing the beauty and the complexity that is found in the intimacy of creative work, she offers group and individual sessions that support taking the next step into the unknown.
Carrie MacLeod, Ph.D. candidate, has applied an arts-based approach in education, advocacy and social action programs for two decades. Her work has focused on peace and reconciliation initiatives in post-war contexts abroad and within refugee resettlement programs in Canada. In Vancouver Carrie is currently the Community Coordinator for the Enacting Resilience project in the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia and is on the core faculty of the Vancouver Expressive Arts Program. At the European Graduate School in Switzerland she is on the Faculty of the MA Program in Expressive Arts in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding and is the Director of the International Centre for Arts in Peacebuilding. She continues to facilitate Expressive Arts and Conflict Transformation trainings to organizations worldwide. Carrie has published articles in a range of international journals and contributed chapters to several texts in the field of Expressive Arts and Conflict Transformation. Her latest co-edited book The Choreography of Resolution - Conflict, Movement and Neuroscience has just been released by the American Bar Association.
Sabine Silberberg is a Registered Art Therapist and Expressive Arts Therapist. She works in inner-city community based healthcare at the Dr. Peter Centre In Vancouver, an AIDS service organization, with mostly marginalized and often drug-involved clients in a harm reduction model. Sabine likes to use photography to facilitate connections through flexible and responsive approaches to unique life circumstances, within a social justice framework.
As a local and international learner and teacher, she is on the faculty of the Vancouver Expressive Arts Program, adjunct faculty at Adler University in MA in Art Therapy Program, teaches at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in “Social Practice and Community Engagement,” and is involved with other programs related to arts, health, and social justice.
Bonnie Nish is founder and Executive Director of Pandora’s Collective Outreach Society. She is also Executive Producer of the Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival. Bonnie has been widely published worldwide in such places as The Ottawa Arts Review, The Danforth Review, Haunted Waters Press, Illness Crisis & Loss Journal Volume 24 and The Blue Print Review. Bonnie is a certified Expressive Arts Therapist who has worked extensively with atrisk populations. She has a Masters in Arts Education from Simon Fraser University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Expressive Arts: Therapy, Coaching, Consulting & Education, Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding at the European Graduate School.
Mary Reich has been choreographing, performing, improvising and researching movement for 35 years. In San Diego, she co-founded Lower Left, a dance theatre group and was a member of the practice/performance group, collaborative dance theatre LIVE. Mary currently teaches movement at The La Jolla Playhouse Summer Conservatory Program, Canyon Crest Academy, Expressive Arts Institute of San Diego and Vancouver Institute of Expressive Arts. She has taught improvisation and dance at numerous festivals and universities on the West Coast. She has performed her work in California, Texas and Washington and internationally in France , Germany, Mexico, Switzerland and Russia. Her work is informed by experiences as a practitioner of the Feldenkrais method, a graduate from the European Graduate School in Switzerland and various studies with artists such as Jerzy Grotowski, Suzanne Lacy, Nina Martin, Deborah Hay, Karen Schaffman, and dozens of post modern teachers dealing with the senses, spontaneity and place. She maintains a private practice as an Expressive Arts therapist/educator in San Diego.