Originally from Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, Katrina was awarded music scholarships from a young age. Shaping her performance craft with plays, choirs, workshops, music programs, and competitions, she has also become a skilled guitarist and songwriter. Her versatile and powerful voice has been developed over years of classical and contemporary vocal training and recording. In 2010 Kadoski made the switch from musician back to playwright /actor and created her most recognized show, "Cougar Annie Tales”, a critically acclaimed one-woman musical drama, telling the wild life story of the B.C. trapper-pioneer-settler woman who homesteaded in the rainforest bog. It won Pick of the Fringe, in Victoria in 2012, in Port Alberni in 2013, and was a Victoria Critics Choice nominee for “Best New Play.”
In the last decade Katrina has created and performed in conjunction with many new works of theatre. Companies include William Head On Stage (W.H.O.S.). Sleeping Giants (2016), Here; A Captive Odyssey(2015), Fractured Fables(2014), and Time Waits for No-one; A Prison Play (2013). Kate Rubin's advanced teen drama school for the productions Metamorphosis (2013), Photophobia (2014), and Intrepid Theatre's for I have seen Beautiful Jim Key (2015) – by Janet Munsil. In 2017, she was asked to be an artist-in-residence at the Nelson Homestead, in Crisfield, ME, where Katrina wrote 10 original songs and created a one-woman show entitled "The Waterman's Daughter," about a women from a small east coast fishing town. She toured the show again in 2018 along the Chesapeake Bay up to the Maritimes. Most recently, on the songwriting front, Katrina has a recording project in the works with her band the Edgedwellers, as well as a new solo recording being released, "After the Shipwreck."
Drew Kemp is well known throughout Victoria and Vancouver Island for his theatrical and artistic endeavours. A graduate from the Banff School of Arts and Langara College of Performing Arts, Drew graduated from the University of British Columbia with an Education Degree majoring in Theatre Arts. Drew started his acting career in his late teens as an assistant to renowned hypnotist 'Reveen'. After traveling throughout Canada in the theatre world, he settled in Vancouver where he was involved as an actor in the Beachcombers series.
Prior to teaching high school, Drew also worked extensively with troubled youth at the Maples Adolescent Centre in Burnaby teaching theatre arts as well as painting and fabric arts. He also worked for the BC Ministry of Family and Children running a group home for youth in crisis.
Drew began teaching high school dance, drama, history and English in Victoria at Spectrum Community School in 1986. He then went on to teach at Oak Bay Senior Secondary where he helped develop a community theatre program, all the while continuing to work at his craft of performing and directing. Drew directed and acted in productions for Victoria Operatic Society, Langham Court Theatre, Duncan Musical Theatre, Shawnigan Lake Players and was head of the musical theatre component of Comox Valley Youth Music Centre in Comox/Courtenay for 17 years.
Amber Academy is thrilled to welcome Drew to our team of instructors.
Nicole was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia. Over the past 30 years she has mastered many artistic mediums such as stained and fused glass, bead work, collage, encaustic and silk screen printing. More recently she has designed and created her own line of women’s fashions.
Nicole has been creating costumes for the Sooke Dance Studio since 2007 and has been costume designer for Sooke Harbour Players’ and the Sooke Skating Club since 2016.
Since 2009, Nicole has been involved in many youth art projects such as teaching art workshops, volunteering in the schools, co-facilitating youth art camps, and co-facilitating three whole school mural projects in Sooke, B.C. Nicole was a Girl Guide and Pathfinder Leader from 2013 - 2018 and has been teaching at Amber Academy since September, 2017.
Deborah van Hattem-Koff is an illustrator and artist from Sooke, born in the Netherlands. She is also a member of the Sooke Arts Council. Deborah has been drawing, painting and illustrating from a very young age and has been taking art history, drawing and painting classes since the age of 12.
Deborah is also a workshop teacher. She organizes "Sip and Paint” art classes at the Artisan's Garden in Sooke, and also hosts painting classes for children. Additionally, Deborah is a henna artist, creating temporary body art using henna leaf paste.
Deborah's artwork has been displayed and sold in several shows in Victoria, Sooke, the Netherlands and Fort Langley. She recently worked on designing 100 hand illustrated cards for the cast and film crew of the popular Hallmark Channel TV series, "When Calls the Heart".
Deborah looks forward to passing on her artistic skills and sharing her creativity to the younger generation at Amber Academy. She loves to inspire and enable others to have fun creating and discovering the artist within.
Jill Warne was born and raised in Sooke BC. She attended Camosun College and Vancouver Island University. It was there that Jill studied Visual Arts, English Literature and History. She was able to explore and develop skills that continue to help her creative process today. After the birth of her first child, Jill returned to Sooke and resides there today with her family. She is a working artist and owner/creator of her own jewelry line.
Jill is thrilled to join Amber Academy and work firsthand with all the talented professionals and amazing children whose passion creates such an amazing organisation.
Daniel Baker is a local film producer, who has been filmmaking with his friends since he was 12 years old.
At the age of 17, the Sooke Rotary Club sponsored him to attend a film camp at the Powell River Film Festival where he learned more creative filmmaking skills. Since he was 8 years old, Daniel attended various acting classes, including a Shakespeare drama camp every summer until he graduated from EMCS in 2010. After high school he continued making films and fun videos, and began to focus professionally on his skills.
Daniel has has worked on a few local movie sets including “50 Shades Darker” and “A Dogs Purpose”. One of his short films titled “Trailor Movie” was aired on Shaw Cable Television in 2017.
Daniel has a certificate in Digital Marketing and has produced numerous videos for business, weddings, and music. Daniel’s favourite videos to make are creative story based, because the most important thing about filmmaking is to have fun.
Kristal Weening started training at age 5 at Stages Performing Arts School and has been teaching since the age of 15. She is formally trained in Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, Musical Theatre, Tap, Hip Hop, Modern, Lyrical, Flamenco and Acrobatics. She has performed in local productions of Babes in Toyland, The Wizard of Oz, Oliver, and Miracle on 34th Street. She also performed locally at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria and abroad in China.
In her early years Kristal studied Voice at The Victoria Conservatory of Music, also competing in music festivals and performing regularly in musical theatre productions at the MacPherson Playhouse during the Christmas seasons. Kristal has been teaching musical theatre since 2010 and has worked with several theatre companies as Choreographer.
James Emler was a significant force in the development of the photographic community in Vancouver, BC. He was Head Instructor at Focal Point for 6 years. He then taught at Vancouver Photo Workshops and finally moved to Vancouver Institute of Media Arts where he served as Department Head – Digital Photography. He has been instrumental in helping to establish the careers of a number of former students both locally and internationally.
His published work spans both the commercial arena as well as photographic publications. He is the author of numerous articles and 3 books on the subject. His commitment to photography has remained constant for over 45 years. His curatorial experience goes back to the early 80’s and the Floating Gallery in Winnipeg, the Exposure Gallery in Vancouver and numerous student, group and individual artist exhibitions.
James moved to Sooke in 2019 where he continues his love of photography, art and teaching.
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