It’s an organization born out of a love for the arts.
Tiffany Tjosvold started the Embrace Arts Foundation in 2017 as a way to overcome her own chronic illness and give back to the disabled community.
“I had been a really active dancer and I was in my theatre degree and doing all these things and suddenly I wasn’t able to take any of the classes,” says Tjosvold.
“At the same time I started doing a bunch of work within the broader disability community, so everything just kind of converged nicely together.”
The foundation offers different art programs for people of all abilities, from dance to music. During the pandemic, the organization has introduced several virtual classes as well.
“We now offer a number of programs online in our dance and music streams,” says Tjosvold.
“For our performance company, we moved from doing a lot of in-person shows to creating digital work.”
Over the course of five years, plenty of students has come and gone through the program, with some even taking a hands-on role in teaching others.
“It [volunteering] kind of molded into a staff position over time, so it felt very natural,” says former student turned part-time staff member Claire Bruce.
“There’s so many wonderful things that we have done separately and together as Embrace.”
As for what is next for Embrace, the foundation is currently preparing to film a new student dance video.
“We are doing a show called Articulate, which is a dance piece set to an original score created by three non-speaking youth in the community,” says Tjosvold.
To learn more about the foundation, visit the Embrace Arts website.