Our Team


Founder | Executive Director

Tasneem is an artist, author, and illustrator. She loves to create worlds full of magic and warmth, focusing on themes of resilience, empathy, and love. She is a member of the Women’s Art Association of Canada and North York Visual Artists. Her work as an educator stems from the belief that art has the power to overcome ethnocultural boundaries that divide us. That is why she finds it so important to use her knowledge as an artist to connect and empower people. She is an OCAD graduate with a major in Drawing and Painting and a minor in English. You can visit http://www.tasneemdairywala.com to view her artwork.



Charlotte is an emerging arts manager with a passion for increasing public access to arts and culture. She holds a B.A. in Fine Art History & Religious Studies from the University of Toronto, and a Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration & Cultural Management from Humber College. She has applied her skills widely in museum, healthcare, and municipal settings across the GTA, and is driven to create engaging and accessible opportunities for arts participation.

Grant Writer

Cecília holds a BFA in film studies and has built a diverse portfolio working in the Brazilian film industry. After arriving in Canada in 2014, she received a diploma in arts management from Western University and has since volunteered with multiple arts organizations in Toronto. Currently, Cecília works at North York Arts, and Queen Gallery. She is thrilled to be at Art Ignite to help to build communities through the arts.


Board Chair

Owais Lightwala is an arts leader and creative producer. He is currently an Assistant Professor in Performance at the Creative School at Ryerson X University, where his teaching and research focused on creative producing and entrepreneurship in the arts. Prior to that, he spent 8 years as the Managing Director for Why Not Theatre, where he produced sold-out runs of award-winning new works, national and international tours, presentations from around the world, and co-helmed the creation of innovative new producing models like RISER. He advises many arts organizations (including theatre and dance companies, music presenters, film festivals and more) as a strategic consultant, particularly on finding better ways of doing things, changing who’s on stage and in the audience, and anything to do with numbers.  He is currently on the boards of TO LiveAMY Project, and Art Ignite. In addition to his work in the arts, he is a prolific web and graphic designer. A lifelong learner, he was selected for the Impact Program for Arts Leaders (Stanford Graduate School of Business), has completed the CORe program (Harvard Business School), was a 2018 DiverseCity Fellow (CivicAction), a fellow in the 2018 Leaders Lab (Toronto Arts Council/Banff Centre), is a graduate of York University’s Theatre program, and currently pursuing his MBA at Ryerson University.


Maggie is a Visual Artist, Writer and Educator.  Her work is in private collections throughout Canada, the US and the UK. She is on the OCAD University Board of Governors, President of OCADU Alumni Association, represented by Elaine Fleck Gallery, Muskoka Arts and Crafts member, Executive member at John B. Aird Gallery, and V.P. of Women’s Art Association.  Her paintings express passion and style, created in acrylic with brush and palette knife. The texture and movement capture the poetic spirit that is inherent in art. You can find her work at http://www.maggiebroda.com.


Zahra is a Registered Psychotherapist at Central Toronto Youth Services, a reputable children’s mental health agency, serving youth and their families to help foster healthier minds, hearts, and relationships. She holds a M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from the United States. She also co-chairs on the Committee for Anti-Racism and Oppression in her professional role to promote equity, inclusion, and anti-oppressive practices and policies for the communities served. Supporting others to further strengthen themselves, and appreciate their diverse backgrounds and stories is embedded into the nature of the work Zahra strives to engage in. She believes in the abundant capacity of the arts to help communities play, create, connect, and heal.

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