2020-21 Rural Community Mentorships

Daniel McMillan is the author of Arc of The Hellion, Eve of Ascension, Deceptive Visions and More Deceptive Visions and The Lost Temple of Phoketh. He is a prolific writer and avid self-motivator. Dan doesn’t do things in small measure: he speaks multiple languages, plays several instruments and expresses his creativity through drawing, painting, sculpture and music. He started studying science, focusing on physics, and spirituality at age 11 and was curious about the overlap in these disparate areas of study. Sci-Fi is his go-to, but he isn’t one to limit himself and enjoys exploring writing in multiple genres. Dan is married to Tahera Yeasmin, inarguably one of his greatest accomplishments to date. https://www.vector11studio.com/

Tye Dandridge Evancio’s current artistic practice is the result of his experiences growing up in a largely conservative community without a visible LGBTQ role model to emulate in his development as an individual. The lack of queer representation left him with limited resources through which to experiment, define, and accept his identity. The exhibition is a platform through which he articulates his search for a queer presence in mainstream society.

Roland Deschambault is the Executive Director of Camera Nova, an organization that performs early, contemporary and Indigenous-infused vocal chamber concerts for local and national audiences. They offer audiences excellence, experimentation and collaboration. Roland brings experience as a musician, artist manager, music director and mentor, giving him deep insight into artist and industry needs and viewpoints. 

At 18 years old, Cohen Sieg has been writing and performing for almost half his life. Hailing from Sieg’s Corner, MB, he has become a local favourite while making his way to festivals, events, and open mics across the country. Cohen is a pop/folk singer-songwriter who is known for playing guitar, but is also a talented multi-instrumentalist playing a full band of instruments including bass, keyboard, saxophone, and percussion, to name a few. Cohen is a solo-musician but with the help of his looper, his captivating performances encompass the sounds and impact of a full band. Cohen has been receiving accolades since his humble beginnings in rural Manitoba, but has quickly expanded his reach, including Los Angeles, CA, where he holds a certificate from the Musicians Institute, College of Contemporary Music and Perth, WA, where he toured in the fall of 2018.

Anita Daher is an author and actor based in Winnipeg, MB. She has been entrenched in the book publishing industry since 1995, has fifteen (and counting) books published in print, audio and e-book format in Canada, the United States, and Europe, and is the current Chair of the Writers Union of Canada (TWUC). During non-Pandemic times, Anita presents at conferences and schools across Canada, and can occasionally be found inhabiting characters on stage and screen. Her most recent novel, You Don’t Have to Die in the End, was virtually launched during the Spring 2020 Covid-19 lockdown.

Danielle Somack is an aspiring novelist and artist from Starbuck Manitoba. She has been a part of her local 4-H club since 2013, and pre-COVID times was club president. Danielle is a current grade 11 International Baccalaureate student at Kelvin High School in Winnipeg, and is an active member of the school’s history club. When she isn’t doing IB homework, Danielle paints and draws art pieces as a member of Paradise Art’s masterclass. She also enjoys reading, listening to music (80s synth-pop, preferably) writing and taking walks. Danielle hopes to grow as a writer and to become a published novelist in early adulthood.