Flamenco is a living art form, originating in the south of Spain. It is a passionate expression of life involving intricate communication between four main components: Song, Dance, Guitar, and Rhythm. Characterized by driving rhythms and haunting melodies, it was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010 (www.unesco.org).
The Edmonton Flamenco Festival inspires awareness, understanding, and appreciation of traditional Spanish flamenco through an annual festival featuring performance, workshops, and outreach programs with high level international artists.
Our first festival took place March 9 – 12, 2017!
The festival is produced by the Edmonton Flamenco Festival Association, a registered not for profit society created for the purpose of producing an annual Flamenco Festival in Edmonton.
President – Meilai Ha
Meilai has held various leadership roles in corporate services with the City of Edmonton, Alberta Health Services, and Covenant Health. Currently, she is Project Manager, Strategic Implementation for the City of Edmonton. Her spare time is spent playing sports and enjoying the beautiful Edmonton patios.
Vice-President – Jane Ogilvie (see below)
Secretary – Lisa Guirguis
Lisa Guirguis is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta. She conducts pharmacy practice research that influences health policy and supports pharmacists’ roles in patient-centred care. At home, she enjoys piano and gardening.
Treasurer – Stephanie Ibach
Stephanie Ibach is an accountant, and teaches at MacEwan University where she is an Associate Professor in the department of Accounting and Finance. She also leads seminars for candidates in the CPA designation process, and develops materials for various publishers. Her spare time is spent playing the piano and flute.
Member at large – Bryce Stewart
Bryce Stewart has worked for the Government of Alberta since 2006. He has served in a number of executive roles and is currently Senior Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Treasury Board and Finance.
Member at large – Sue Lawrence
Sue Lawrence is the Outreach Nurse for the George Spady Society Clinical Access Team. She’s served as a volunteer in many different roles in Edmonton and abroad including crisis counsellor, blues music writer, and sports coach.
Artistic Director – Jane Ogilvie
Jane has been studying flamenco dance, song, piano, and percussion at home and abroad since 1997, travelling internationally to study and taking classes from visiting international teachers. She has been a teacher, performer, and leader in the flamenco community in Alberta since 2001 involved in bringing guest flamenco artists to both Edmonton and her former home of Calgary. Jane holds her ARCT in Piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Art) specializing in printmaking from the University of Calgary. (photo credit: Agata Raymond Photography)
Guitar Coordinator – Jim Findlay
Jim has been involved in music all of his adult life. He took many years of classical piano study in his youth and string bass in junior high with Mary Cockell. He studied guitar performance and theory Grant MacEwan University. Jim plays flamenco guitar and has two groups; Spiral Flamenco and Harmonic Flamenco. He is a member of the Edmonton Classical Guitar society and the Flamenco Society of Edmonton.
Community Partnership – Irena Dumicz
Irena works as an Area Manager for Pacesetter Homes in Edmonton. She has been studying flamenco art with local and international artist across Canada as well as prominent flamenco teachers in Spain. Throughout the years, Irena has also been involved in flamenco communities in Halifax(NS), Kelowna (BC), and Edmonton (AB) as a flamenco performer, teacher and organizer.
Community Partnership – Sandra Mattar
Sandra is an avid fan of Flamenco dance and music and is thrilled to be a part of the festival team. As a former business owner (Headcase Hats on Whyte Ave & Little Italy Café in Acheson), she knows the benefits of community involvement firsthand. Sandra’s passion is to connect business with community in ways that benefit everyone!
The Edmonton Flamenco Festival started as the the shared vision of co-founders Cat Moores and Jane Ogilvie. After more than a year of planning, the festival was officially founded in 2015. Cat served as the festival’s first Executive Director, and after our inaugural 2017 festival she moved on to other exciting adventures. We wish to express our gratitude for the incredible amount of foundational and operational work Cat contributed over our first 3 years that has made this festival a success. Thanks Cat! We wouldn’t be here without you.