Artists and Artisans Development and Network

Platform of Immigrant and Refugee Artists and Artisans

Vipul Jani

(Board of Advisor)

Vipul Jani is Executive Director of  Canada India Foundation and President of Outreach for Canada.  

Vipul comes from a Media background and has worked in Print Media for 26 years. He has worked with some of the biggest media houses in India, Kenya and Uganda.

Vipul came to Canada in year 2000 and  owned 3 community newspapers of his own, also hosted a community Radio Show and organized many community events, entertainment and cultural events in GTA between 2002-2014.

Noura Zaina

​(Board of Advisor)

Noura holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and Information Systems from the French University in Egypt. For four years she worked in exciting marketing and sales positions at multinational and Fortune 500 companies. Due to her affinity to community and passion for people's development she delved into the non-profit sector and created herself the Public Relations and Development Officer role at the Canadian Arab Institute.

She co-founded and is a committee member of the Professional Canadian Arab Network (PCAN) and currently completing the Governance Training at DiverseCity on Board. She is tri-lingual and with a strong interest in issues related to identity, diversity, integration and development. Noura currently works at Ryerson University's DMZ, Canada's leading business incubator for technology start ups. 

Rodolfo Santibanez

​(Board of Advisor)

Rodolfo Santibanez is a film maker and photographer.  He’s been involved in diverse projects from advertisement, education, and documentary. 

Currently he works independently for different projects in North America and Mexico.  He is the Audiovisual Coordinator for the AluCine Latin American Arts & Film Festival.

Shirin Mandani 

(Co-founder & President)

Shirin has over 20 years of leadership experience in the Canadian and International not-for-profit organizations focussing on Social Enterprise. She has Master’s degree in Public Policy Administration and Law from York University, Master’s degree in Educational leadership from Mumbai University in India and a Post degree diploma in Not-for-Profit Management from University of Western Ontario.

She is CEO of GrantX Inc and CEOC and has served two terms as a national board of director for Aga Khan Education Services, in India, playing an active role in enhancement of primary education programs funded by European Union. She is Director of Disability Hub, Arab Community Centre of Toronto and is member of Toronto Food Policy Council.

Babita Ramlal

(Board of Director)

Babita is an experienced manager and public administrator with at least fifteen years service with the public sector. She  has  worked in the non-profit sector and volunteered with various Toronto organizations. 

Babita has a Bachelor of Sciences in Industrial Management, a Masters degree in Information Sciences, a Masters degree in Public Policy, Administration, Policy and Law. She is a also a certified project manager and an ITIL expert.

Soheila Tavallaei

(Board of Advisor)

Soheila Tavallaei was born and raised in Shiraz, Iran. She started learning Persian painting, miniatures, at the age of 15. She is deeply committed about the psychological situation of modern men and women, which led her to study Homeopathy, as an art of healing. Knowledge of Homeopathy, made her art elevated to the next level. 

 Her constant artistic and cultural exchange between Iran and Canada provides her an important role in her inspiration to portray the suffering of the human kind; fear, loneliness, darkness, anger and love.

Soheila has exhibited her work in group and solo exhibitions at many occassions in the United States, Iran and Canada and has won many awards.

Board of Directors & Advisors:

Naila Saeed

​(Board of Advisor)

​Naila is owner and Director of Market lane Early Learning Centre, Big Dreams Montessori, Early Years Education System( EYES). She is also  Managing Director of Abacus Early Learning Center.

President of AMU Alumni Association of Canada and Ansaar Foundation. She is currently serving on board of SAFSS (Settlement Assistance and Family Support Services) and Canadian Peace and Unity Foundation. 

Her academic background includes a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Early Childhood Educator. She has 18 years of childcare industry experience both as provider and center operator enhancing principles and practices of child learning and development. She has worked for Youth and Seniors with different  Not-for-Profit Organizations.

Nandasiri Gedarage

(Board of Director)

Nandasiri is a artist with many talents which includes ice carving, vegetable and fruit carving and fine arts.  He has won many awards at ice-fest competitions in Canada.  

Nandasiri was extremely successful and well known for his Art in Sri Lanka.  After immigrating to Canada, he has walked the sticky floor towards a decent employment yet retaining his talents as an entrepreneur and Artist.  He is currently owner of a small business which supplies decorations for events and festivals.

Zatoon Vania

(Board of Director)

Zatoon is retired senior who was employed by the North York Board of Education, as a first teacher in special education and later as a teacher of gifted children.   She also served as an adjunct professor at York University’s Faculty of Education for 8 years where she supervised the teacher interns in math and science education.  In 1991, she was seconded to York University as a full time associate professor in math education.  At McGill University for four years, she taught summer courses in gifted education to graduate students and teachers from all provinces in Canada.

 Zatoon was always a strong advocate for women’s issues such as, equity in the workforce, elimination of math anxiety in females, and empowering women to enter the science, mathematics and engineering fields.