Host & Adjudicators

 

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Scott Kvasni

Scott’s greatest passion is hosting and emceeing, which he has done at several events including private functions and competitions. He is no stranger to the stage having performed stand-up comedy all over Ontario at comedy venues such as Yuk Yuk’s and various fairs and festivals. He was also the creator and host of Brock TV’s popular University program “Scott Talk at Brock”.

As a man of many talents, Scott is also a Gold certified Ballroom and Latin dance instructor on the DVIDA syllabus and has been teaching across Ontario for eleven years. He also has an extensive background in Tap, Jazz and Ballet as a competitive dancer. Scott has been featured as a primary and background dancer in several music videos, including those for Much Music and CMT and has performed on and provided choreography for TFO’s music program, “BRBR”. He has worked with many artists including American rocker’s Black Pistol Fire, and Juno nominated artists Kristina Maria and Peter Katz. Scott has one film credit to his name when he appeared in “Pixels” with Adam Sandler

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Dale Russell

Dale Russell, an integral member of The Guess Who for seventeen years until May of 2000, is a multi-talented veteran with over fifty years experience in the music industry. Dale has received awards in Canada such as Producer of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and Instrumentalist of the Year.

On his musical journey he has worked with names like Buddy Knox, Leslie Gore, Rosemary Clooney, Del Shannon, Bill Kinney etc., Olivia Newton-John, southern rock legends Donnie and Johnny Van Zant (38 Special and Lynyrd Skynyrd), to name just a few.

Dale is now working in Ontario as Executive Director of S.A.S.S (the School Alliance of Student Songwriters) and is co-founder with Devon “Artemis” Chartier, helping young songwriters and performers along their path.

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Patricia Jarosz

Jarosz began her career, in 1970’s as a model, with agents in Paris, New York and Toronto. In 1980, she began her career as a highly respected agent and scout.  Sophie Blanpied, of ELLE FRANCE, and former agent with VIVA PARIS, FRANCE , “She is internationally recognized and respected scout, and has a good eye to spot new models.” Jarosz has appeared as an expert on shows like, Fashion Television, City Line & on Fashion File, Fashion Television, Entertainment Tonight and E Talk. As an agent, in the 80’s &90’s, Pat started & represented major talent including, CARRIE ANN MOSS- actress Matrix Trilogy film, PAULA DEVIQC- actress Party of Five, MOLLY SIMMS- actress Las Vegas ,LINDA EVANGELISTA – SUPER MODEL on one of her 1st covers 1984,MONIKA SCHNARRE- The World’s youngest Supermodel of the World, DAYLE HADDON- 20 year L’Oreal Spokesperson ,KELLY ROWAN – actress THE O.C., MARIE WILSON- actress As The World Turns, TONYA LEE WILLIMAS, actress The Young and the Restless, REAL ANDREWS – actor All My Children, to name a few.

In 2000, Jarosz was the North American scout for Aline Souliers, New York. Meeting so many people that spent tons of money to attend scouting events or classes, & many who have been taken advantage of, Jarosz began scouting events, in 2001, to introduce those who have an interest in modeling and acting to agents and clients. In 2008 Jarosz was presented with The Award of Recognition by Make a Difference Today, for mentoring and guiding individuals in the modeling and talent industries.

In 2009, Pat launched BOOKITTALENT and in a period of 6 months, people that Jarosz has discovered have been auditioning and working in all aspects of print advertising, music videos, TV. commercials, TV. series and films. Jarosz specializes in taking brand new actors into the industry, without experience and guides their careers. Many actors in starring roles booked these jobs on their first or second audition in the industry. Casting directors trust her word, that these brand new people can act.

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Thea MacNeil

Thea MacNeil’s professional background includes over 30 years in stage, television, recording and film. She played Jellylorum in the original production of CATS for 2 years, at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre. In 2009, she recorded her first original CD called LOVING AND LETTING GO, produced by Dale Russell and Patrick Dune, which sold at Chapters Indigo. Her song Down The Road had air play on CBC radio, and the single I Miss You, won best music video in 2011’s Tribute Magazine.

Thea is an honours graduate of George Brown College, Theatre Arts, and a first class honours graduate of The Royal Conservatory of Music in voice and theory. She is now teaching, writing and directing at G.B.M. and Durham Elementary Private School.

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Phillip Nero

Phillip’s career as a dancer, choreographer and dance educator has spanned over 2 decades. Discovering his passion for dance later in his life at the age of 18, Phillip became obsessed with training and learning as much as possible about the art of dance and credits not only his idols but his early dance teachers and mentors. After training at his home town studio in Markham Ontario, Phillip attended Sheridan College and graduated top of his class from the Musical Theatre program there. His first professional contract out of school was with The Stratford Festival’s production of West Side Story in 1999. In 2000 Phillip was lucky enough to be part of the Original Canadian Company of Disney’s The Lion King followed by a year as Dance Captain for the Toronto Company of Mamma Mia. His time with Mamma Mia lead to an offer to play the role of Pepper on the US National Tour of the show. It was around this time that Phillip started choreographing shows leading to productions of Beauty And the Beast, Wizard of Oz, Little Women, The Rocky Horror Show and The Sound of Music at The Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, Spamalot and Young Frankstein at Stage West Calgary. Chicago at Neptune Theatre in Halifax and The Rocky Horror Show in Fredericton NB. Phillip also choreographed and directed A Chorus Line at Stage West Mississauga where he also choreographed a production of West Side Story. As a director/choreographer Phillip has also done Cinderella at The Randolph Academy and an original work called Big Time Operator at Sheridan College. Phillip’s biggest credit remains his 2 year involvement with the stage adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. He was Dance and Fight Captain on the original Toronto Production and was then invited to be the Assistant Choreographer on the London West End Production. This was truly a high light. In the summer of 2015, along with his wife Kalie Hunter, Phillip took over ownership of Canada’s longest running open professional drop in studio, Metro Movement.

Phillip considers it an honour and a privilege to be able to give back to the art and the community that has given him so much over the last 20 years. Dance is a craft that can only be handed down from generation to generation…you can not learn it from a book, so Phillip is passionate about passing on all that he has learned over his long and interesting career. Phillip is excited to be part of this contest and looks forward to all the talent that will be hitting the stage!

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Artemis Chartier

Artemis Chartier is a professional flutist and singer-songwriter, with her own solo project “More Light”. She has also been a public high school educator with the Durham District School Board for 33 years. Artemis not only enjoys teaching but loves listening to the creative ideas of students. She believes both in the power of words and music and in the potential of young people to change the world with their Art. Artemis has spent most of her free time for the past 14 years volunteering with the program she co-founded with Dale Russell, “The School Alliance of Student Songwriters” which has offered free writers’ workshops, camps, concerts, contests, field trips, and built a welcoming community for young artists since 2003.

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Stephanie Dodson

Dance has been a part of Stephanie’s life for 25 years, she started dancing at the age of six and this will be her eighteenth year teaching dance. Stephanie grew up studying and teaching the BATD syllabus in tap and jazz, the CDTA syllabus in ballet and was recently introduced to the ADAPT syllabus in tap and jazz, as well. She has always received the highest achievement in all dance examinations. Stephanie has won numerous medals, trophies, scholarships, and special awards, both as a dancer and teacher. Her choreography has received top choreography awards at various competitions. Stephanie qualified for the World Dance Championships with tap dancing, held in Germany. As much as she loves the creative part of dance, she is first and foremost a teacher that concentrates on developing strong technique in her dancers. Stephanie is experienced in teaching all ages and levels in tap, jazz, musical theatre, open, lyrical, ballet, kinder dance and hip-hop and with tap being her personal specialty. Teaching is such an integral part of Stephanie’s personal philosophy which is shown by her achievement in receiving a Bachelor of Education degree at Lakehead University and her status as an Ontario Certified Teacher. Gathered from her experience as an artist and teacher, Stephanie has a keen eye and appreciation for superb technique, ambition and creativity! She looks forward to seeing youth shine on stage throughout this competition!

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Rob Laidlaw

Rob Laidlaw is a Juno nominated songwriter, producer and musician. He has toured and recorded with LEE Aaron, Kim Mitchell, Alana Myles, Platinum Blonde and many more! Having been in the business for 30 years developing and signing talented up and coming artists, Rob has much to offer ambitious and passionate youth within the arts

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Becky Choquette

With over a decade of experience in the Entertainment Industry, Becky Choquette has held several Titles. Her background includes: Event Producer of The Oshawa Jazz and Blues Festival, Event Producer of Bandwarz, Professor of Entertainment Management at Trebas Institute Event Manager of The Great Canadian Steak Cook Off, and several other community events as well as Artist Manager for several local bands within Durham Region. While holding the title of General Manager of Park Playhouse and Performing Arts Centre, Becky had the pleasure of working with artists such as April Wine, Ron Sexsmith, Joel Plaskett, Cowboy Junkies, Gerry Canyon, Doc Walker, Girlicious, The Stereos, Karl Wolf, Danny Fernandes and Comedian Ron James.

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Trudy Lee Gayle

Trudy Lee Gayle is a proud Toronto native and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Honours degree in Dance from York University, completed an Independent Study Program at The Ailey School in New York, NY. and is a certified barre fitness instructor. She has had the privilege of studying with artists who have been members of some of North America’s most influential dance companies such as Philadanco, Martha Graham Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballroom Dance Theater, Toronto Dance Theatre and The National Ballet of Canada.

As a guest artist and choreographer she has set works for the Toronto District School Board, Durham Catholic District School Board and also choreographed for SPLASH – Pride 2016 at the Palais Royale in Toronto. She regularly teaches classes in latin & ballroom, ladies’ styling for salsa, jazz, contemporary, afrofusion and fitness. Trudy Lee is also a member of both ACTRA and CAEA.

She has performed on many stages across Canada and works in commercial and voiceover for radio and television. Selected theatre credits include: Shrek The Musical (Rainbow Stage), The Wedding Singer (Mayfield), Hairspray (Drayton Ent.), and The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God (NAC & Centaur Theatre) for which she is a 2015-16 Montreal English Theatre Awards winner. The show received six METAs including, Outstanding Contribution to Theatre – chorus & Outstanding PACT Production.