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TomoeArts' Board - Biographies

Maiko Behr
Japanese Art Consultant and Translator
Maiko is a freelance translator and consultant specializing in Japanese art and traditional culture. After receiving her M.A. in classical Japanese literature and visual culture in the Department of Asian Studies at UBC, she spent several years as a curator at museums and private collections of Japanese art in the US, before moving back to Vancouver in 2001. She currently provides Japanese to English translation for some of the most prestigious art and historical museums in Japan and North America and is a frequent interpreter for Japanese cultural presentations in the Vancouver area. Maiko is also a certified instructor of Japanese tea ceremony in the Omotesenke tradition and offers introductory courses as well as private instruction in this traditional Japanese art form.

Ryan Caron
Theatre Director and Producer
Ryan Caron is a Vancouver-based theatre director, producer, and designer. His work focuses on pop-culture theatre, interactive and improvised theatre, and character movement and physicality drawing on mask traditions, Laban movement analysis, and Japanese dance. Ryan holds a BA in Psychology from the University of British Columbia, and is in his sixth year of study of Nihon Buyoh/Japanese Classical Dance with TomoeArts.

Gary J. Matson
Lindsay Kenney, LLP
Gary's interest in Japan began about 1968 when he attempted to read every English language book available on Zen Buddhism. In 1972, he graduated from UBC with a B.A. in Asian Studies. He spent the next four years teaching English in Tokyo. In 1976, Gary returned to Vancouver to begin graduate studies in Modern Japanese Literature at UBC. A Mombusho Scholarship enabled him to do research studies at Hiroshima University from 1978 to 1980. Since his return to Vancouver in 1980, he has obtained an M.A. in Modern Japanese Literature and a law degree from UBC. Gary has been practicing law in Vancouver since 1986. Most of his clients are Japanese and since becoming a lawyer, he has been actively involved in local clubs and associations which have a Japan connection. He is legal counsel for the Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver and Kiyukai Vancouver Japanese Business Association. Gary is past president of the Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association of Greater Vancouver, the Japan-Canada Chamber of Commerce, Tonari Gumi Japanese Community Volunteers Association, and the Vancouver Mokuyokai Society.

Keiko Minato
Keiko was introduced to TomoeArts by a friend and has attended events and meetings over the past years. She was amazed and happy to see a group trying to extend the knowledge of Japanese culture here in Vancouver. She appreciated the work of TomoeArts and joined the board in order to help support the company's activities. Keiko has been a volunteer for the BCSPCA and the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House, where she has worked with seniors, children and differently-abled communities. She appreciates being able to be part of the TomoeArts' Board of Directors and will do her best to help make upcoming activities a success.

Wakana Nakajo
Executive Assistant, Listel Hospitality Group
Bio coming soon.

Julia Poissant
Credit Administrator, Kuehne + Nagel Services Ltd.
Bio coming soon.

Ryo Sugiyama
Curator, Nitobe Memorial Garden, UBC
Ryo Sugiyama is the curator and horticulturist for the Nitobe Memorial Garden at UBC. Ryo received his Bachelor and Master's degree in Horticulture from the Division of Environmental Science and Landscape Design at Chiba University in Japan and also holds a first level landscape gardening enforcement control technician certificate. His numerous work experience in Japan and Canada, includes various horticultural positions and also teaching landscape architecture at senior high school level. He loves spending time in Vancouver beautiful nature with his family and also enjoys playing soccer.

Ingrid Valou
Communications & Media Relations
Ingrid Valou is the Communications Specialist for the Vancouver Economic Commission, the economic development agency for the City of Vancouver. A flautist, singer and lyricist active in the Vancouver music scene, she lends her enthusiasm to the genres of indie-rock (Two Apple Tobacco), Arabic Jazz Fusion (Tarab), meditative & improvisational sound journeys (Naad), video game music (Runaway Four) and neo-progressive rock (Midnight Mangoes). A lover of sustainable business models in Vancouver's local food, music and artisan communities, Ingrid runs her custom jewellery design business out East Van, where she explores best practices in eco-friendly metalsmithing.