We are excited to announce the third iteration of the Emerging Creators Incubator from May 16 to September 10, 2023. The Emerging Creators Incubator is designed to support six emerging artists between the ages of 18-30 who engage in performing, literary and visual arts and live on the Coast Salish territories colonially known as the Tri-Cities and Lower Mainland.  

This program is divided into three phases: Mentorship, Residency and Showcase. The Mentorship Phase provides an opportunity to work with professional artist mentors who have significant career experience and learn from the cohort and ECC staff. Mentors Rebecca Bair, Sammy Chien 簡上翔, and Sara Khan & Sandeep Johal will provide hands-on workshops and artist talks for participating emerging creators.

The Residency Phase includes access to ECC facilities for one month to develop individual work and/or collective creation, culminating in a professional public-facing showcase from August 03 – September 03, 2023 at the Art Gallery at Evergreen. Performing artists have the opportunity to perform a live version of their piece in our Studio Theatre on August 03, as well as the opportunity to have the archival footage screened in the gallery for the duration of the showcase. 

Image: Installation view of Open Invitations at the Art Gallery at Evergreen, 2022. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.

Meet the Artists


Alia Hijaab is a multidisciplinary media artist based on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh first nations. She is Syrian/American and grew up in Qatar before coming to Canada to pursue the arts. Hijaab makes art about boundaries that she has lived her life walking. From the social boundaries of race, culture, and sexuality to constructions of past and present, earthly and divine, she pries these open and casts light upon them. Combining food symbology, nostalgic colourscapes, and poetry, her work welcomes the viewer in and asks them to stay a while. 


Jordanna George is an artist of mixed T’Sou-ke and Ukrainian ancestry. Originally from their ancestral land in Sooke, BC, they now live on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Kwikwetlem nations. Since they received a BFA from the University of Victoria in 2019, they have primarily been making comics and illustrations, exploring themes of identity, belonging, and hope, and pulling influence from Indigeneity, queerness, and science fiction. The rest of George’s artistic practice involves painting and sculpture, following similar themes in their illustrative work. When they aren’t creating, they can be found playing RPGs or curled up with a book. 


Juan Alcuitas-Imperial is an emerging Filipino queer artist with roots in vogue and waacking. Since the age of 15, Juan has been dedicated to teaching, performing and supporting the overall growth of the ballroom and waacking communities. Imperial has taught for VancityWaack, VanVogueJam, FORM film festival, and Libby Leshgold Gallery among other spaces across the Lower Mainland. Since 2020, Imperial has been studying the intersection of street and contemporary dance in programs such as Barangay Project, Lunacy Phase and Modus Operandi’s MO Link program – leading them to creating their debut film “the meeting place” for F-O-R-M 2022’s commissioned artist program.  


Jullianna Oke (she/they) is an emerging interdisciplinary artist of Japanese-Canadian descent, working and playing in Vancouver on the unceded, ancestral, and occupied lands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Oke situates her work in relation to deep embodied listening, and adopts creation and movement practice from this place of slow processing. Finishing her BFA Honours in Dance from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Oke‘s interests lie in the passage of information and non-verbal communication expressed from one body to another through movement, sound and media. 


Pegah Ahmadi is an artist born in 1993 in Iran, and moved to Canada in 2018. She is based in Coquitlam today, on the unceded, traditional and ancestral core territory of the kʷikʷəƛ’əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation. She holds a Master of Art in Painting, Fine Arts, and a bachelor’s degree in Painting from Tehran University of Art. Painting is Ahmadi’s main medium. She has always been interested in working on small, detailed paintings. She represents repeated patterns, subjects, and compositions that are inspired from day-to-day life. The main theme of most of her works are memories, dreams and nostalgia. Ahmadi’s art practice explores her relationship with other people and herself, with past and the future.  


Samantha Walters is an emerging interdisciplinary performance artist and writer. Their most recent works examine ecological relationships and post-human spiritualities, with heavy favour towards the weird, the queer, the dark and the camp. Collaboration within communities and alongside non-human beings lies at the heart of her process. She grew up in England and Hong Kong and holds a BFA honours in Theatre Performance from SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts, Vancouver. Her work has been featured by the Arts Club LEAP Program, Or Festival, Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen, UNIT/PITT Society for Art and Critical Awareness and What Lab.  

Meet the Mentors

Rebecca Bair | Visual Artist

Rebecca Bair is an interdisciplinary artist working across installation, video, drawing and photography, who is based in Vancouver on the traditional and ancestral territories of the Coast Salish peoples. Her work contributes to a re-imagination of representation for Black women on Turtle Island. She uses signifiers like hair, skin, and the sun to examine legacies of settler colonialism and slavery, while contributing abstracted visualisations of refusal and resiliency.   

Bair has exhibited widely across the Lower Mainland, including group exhibitions at Vancouver Art Gallery and Surrey Art Gallery, and a solo exhibition at West Vancouver Art Museum. Her work continues to gain national recognition and has been featured in Canadian Art Magazine and NUVO magazine. She mentors artists with developmental disabilities and Black youth in Surrey, and teaches at Emily Carr University of Art and Design where she received her MFA in 2020. Bair is the founder The Black Arts Centre, a Black owned and operated artist run centre and community space in Surrey. 

Sammy Chien 簡上翔 of Chimerik 似不像 Collective | Performing Artist, Director 

Sammy Chien 簡上翔 is a Taiwanese-Canadian immigrant and queer artist-of-colour who is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist, director, performer, researcher and mentor in film, sound art, new media, movement and spiritual practice. With over 400 collaborative projects, many of which engage underrepresented communities, his work has been shown internationally at notable venues like Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing. Chien is the Co-Artistic Director of Chimerik 似不像 collective, an award-winning interdisciplinary arts collective/design team. He has been featured in magazines, TV and commercials such as Discorder, Keedan, CBC Arts and BenQ, and is currently leading a dance research project called We Were One, as well as a media arts project called Ritual-Spective 迴融 funded by Canada Council for the Arts and BC Arts Council. Chien is anofficial instructor of Isadora, a projection design software.  

Sandeep Johal & Sara Khan | Visual Artists & Collaborators 

Sandeep Johal and Sara Khan are artists and collaborators who merge their distinct visual vocabulary to create characters and vignettes based on the stories of South Asian women, yet steeped in the grandeur of myth and legend.  Sandeep Johal uses bold lines and vibrant colours in her collages, paintings and large-scale murals. She illustrates pressing human rights issues specific to her experience as a first-generation South Asian woman. Sara Khan’s practice spans intimate paintings to large-scale murals. Frequently using watercolours, the softness of the transparent paint and fantastic stories juxtapose the intensity of contrasting colours and grotesque imagery.  

Johal is Vancouver-based artist who has exhibited across Canada, including Vancouver Art Gallery’s inaugural #SpotlightVanArtRental project, Burrard Art Foundation and a large-scale collaborative mural project for Vancouver Mural Festival. She has been commissioned by Apple, the Vancouver Canucks, and many more, is the 2019 recipient of the Darpan Magazine Artistic Visionary Award. Johal holds a Diploma in Fine Arts from Langara College, and a Degree in Education from the University of British Columbia. 

Sara Khan is a Vancouver-based artist who was born in Birmingham, England and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. She holds a BFA from National College of Arts, Lahore. She has exhibited widely, including solo exhibitions at Seymour Art Gallery and The Reach Gallery Museum. She was selected for the Bag Art camp, an international art residency in Bergen, Norway, and commissioned by the Vancouver Mural Festival. 

Who is an Emerging Creator?

An emerging creator is defined as an artist who works in any discipline within the visual and performing arts. They are between the ages of 18 – 30, in the early stages of their professional career, and are committed to the development of their craft and practice.   

The Emerging Creators Incubator centers a multidisciplinary approach to the arts and will prioritize local emerging artists from the Tri-Cities area who engage in the performing, written and visual arts. Applications are also open to emerging creators from across the Vancouver Lower Mainland who are interested in engaging with this organization.  

We accept applications in a variety of formats, click on the application form to apply! We welcome and will prioritize applications from Black, Indigenous and racialized artists, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions (LGBTQ2S+), and any of these intersections. Please head to the application where you will find our Commitment to Justice, Equity and Inclusion to learn more about the concrete action we are taking.

Visit the Art Gallery at Evergreen

For over twenty years, the Art Gallery at Evergreen (AGE) has engaged visitors through curated exhibitions, and focuses on contemporary art and ideas explored by professional artists working in all mediums.



Situated on the shores of Lafarge Lake in Town Centre Park, Evergreen Cultural Centre (ECC) exists on the unceded, traditional and ancestral core territory of the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation, which lies within the shared territories of the səli̓lwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), qiqéyt (Qayqayt) and sq̓əc̓iy̓aɁɬ təməxʷ (Katzie), xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) nations in the region known today as the Tri-Cities.