our Team

An important part of building community is getting to know the friendly faces behind the initiative. Meet our hard-working staff members who assist in facilitating safe spaces to house artistic endeavours and mental health advocacy. We could not engage in such robust and dynamic arts and mental health programming without the collaboration of many individuals.

Thank you to our participants, alumni, volunteers, board members, funders, community partners, creative partners, health care workers, and many more who continue to build this community with us.

Operation Team

Uyen Pham

Executive Director

Uyen Pham (she/her) is Artbeat Studio's Executive Director and works to bring successful leadership, management, and delivery of programs, services, and initiatives that support the "voice" of Artbeat Studio.

Learn more about Uyen

Uyen’s excellent communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills were developed and honed through nearly 15 years of working in the nonprofit sector as an Accountant’s Assistant, Programs Manager, and Executive Assistant prior to coming to Artbeat. No stranger to wearing multiple hats, Uyen dons what’s necessary to aide in the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization to better serve its community and the health of its members.

Uyen earned her Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba, double majoring in Marketing and Human Resources Management. In her free time, Uyen enjoys trying new and different restaurants, exploring new countries, playing soccer, and spending time with family and friends.

What inspires your creative expression?

I was drawn to Realism as a kid, drawing still life in grade school and poring over small details to make sure I’ve got them all to make my picture as life-like as possible. Now, my creativeness is inspired by Anime, which is largely characterized by colourful graphics, vibrant characters, and fantastical themes – which is how I like to view my surroundings: brightly coloured filled with cool and complex beings with imagination to bring forth a better world.

headshot photograph by Joanie Peters

Lisa Obirek

Studio Facilitator

Lisa Obirek (she/her) is the Studio Facilitator. She oversees the artists in residence, facilitating group art sessions and mental health conversations, initiating outings and community connections, and connecting with the artists individually via mental health check-ins and goal-setting.

Learn more about Lisa

Lisa approaches her work from a diverse set of backgrounds. She is in the final stages of completing her art therapy certification through the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. For her final project she facilitated, in February 2020, group art therapy with newcomer adolescents and young adults in response to the nine chapters of Kent Monkman’s “Shame and Prejudice: a Story of Resilience. She is a dedicated artist, accomplished at a variety of media, including oil painting, printmaking, and encaustic collage. She has a long background in social services, which spans being a youth worker and running art camps in rural Manitoba, being an art and fourth grade teacher in Madagascar, social entrepreneurship experience in Lusaka and the Zambian copperbelt region, Mennonite – Shia Muslim dialogue in Iran, and volunteering with various NGO organizations in Winnipeg.

Lisa has provided various group and individual art therapy services to adults with and without intellectual disabilities through L’Arche Hamilton and L’Arche Saskatoon, and has facilitated group art workshops with the Children’s Rehabilitation Centre and the Art to Inspire program at the Winnipeg Art Gallery where she worked closely with people living with dementia or Alzheimers and their care partners.

What inspires your creative expression?

I’ve been driven to make and create art for as long as I can remember. No matter how much time I devote to it I can simply never keep up with the things I want to make. My first true artistic discipline was oil painting. Since I became a Mom five and a half years ago I’ve spent much of my artistic energy on printmaking, especially lino cutting. Art can be part of the healing and shaking-up that this world so badly needs – I am drawn to art that makes that kind of good work explicit. Over the last 5 years, some of the artists whose work I’ve most closely followed include Christi Belcourt, Isaac Murdoch, Kent Monkman, Kit King, and Aleah Chapin. Fritz Eichenberg is also simply awesome and I wish he was still alive.

headshot photograph by Rachel Wilson

Marissa Hoff

Art Program Director

Marissa Hoff (she/they) is the Art Program Director at Artbeat Studio, where she oversees the planning and daily operation of their urban arts centre, Studio Central. She acknowledges that creativity can be a vulnerable process, and values the opportunity to house a safe, accessible space where others can experience different forms of art through free workshops and establish a sense of belonging in their community.

Learn more about Marissa

With a B.EnvD. from the University Of Manitoba School Of Architecture, Marissa has developed her design education into an appreciation for the social make up of community and a concentration on how arts and culture strengthen the built environment. Within an aspect of social care, Marissa has been involved with working and volunteering at Siloam Mission, as well as multiple fundraising efforts for the MS Society. She is interested in the sense of community and vibrancy present in downtown Winnipeg, and values the individual creation and vitality which art can bring. Marissa practices visual art through paper collage, print layouts, and simple form sculpture.

What inspires your creative expression?

My inspiration stems from an appreciation of identity and space, as well as the exploration of new materials and methods to conceptualize ideas. The work of Louise Bourgeois, Frederick Kiesler, Isamu Noguchi, and David Umemoto greatly influence my creative process.

headshot photograph by Joanie Peters

James Dixon

Community Projects Coordinator

James Dixon (he/him) is the Community Projects Coordinator and works closely with alumni while engaging our central community. He is dedicated to creating space for creative growth and forging new partnerships that engage the public with Artbeat Studio's message of hope and recovery.

Learn more about James

James Dixon is an Indigenous filmmaker and artist based in Winnipeg. With a BA in Film and Indigenous Studies from the University of Manitoba, James’ work revolves around his personal process of decolonization. His films have been exhibited widely in Canada, broadcasted on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, and collected by the Alexander Street Press. 

James is an accomplished arts educator who has worked with Freeze Frame, the Winnipeg Film Group, and Camp Aurora, providing workshops on film history, documentary filmmaking, and painting for both youths and adults.? James brings his enthusiasm and creativity to Artbeat Studio, with demonstrated experience and knowledge working within community development, media arts and management.?


What inspires your creative expression?

I’ve always been drawn to the work of Canadian artist William Kurelek, his work is realistic and symbolic, an ongoing search for artistic identity through an idiosyncratic and deeply personal manner. 


headshot photograph by Joanie Peters

Oli Shank

Social Media Community Coordinator

Oli Shank (she/they) is the Social Media Community Coordinator, creating content for Artbeat Studio accounts and promoting the value of the organization including the art, events, and community.

Learn more about Oli

Oli graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Environmental Design. While they have long time had a passion for art, their studies allowed them to develop their design skills further. With an interest in photography, video production, graphic design, drawing, painting, and more, she uses her experience in various disciplines to contribute to many projects and ventures.

Over the years, Oli has spent time working and volunteering at various community organizations. With this experience, she has found value in interacting with and supporting different communities. Oli’s most prominent values are Kindness, Art, and Growth, and they intend to uphold these values with active efforts.

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Board Members

The Artbeat Studio Board meets monthly. The board is policy-driven and is active in addressing governance-related issues. The Executive Director makes presentations to the Board and informs the Board on governance-related issues.


Nick Reeves, BA, JD (Chair)
Sarah Phillips (Vice-Chair/Treasurer)
Claude Davis, BA (Past Chair)

Members at Large

Zephyra Vun, M.Arch, B.EnvD.
Rubab Fatima, BA
Rachelle Diddens
Kevin Grummett

Other Members

Friends of Artbeat

Dr. Lloyd Axworthy
Mona Brown, Honorary Council
Dr. Michael Eleff
Yude Henteleff Q.C.
Hon. Michael Kirby
Rt. Hon Ed Schreyer
Mrs. Lily Schreyer
Justice Murray Sinclair
Miriam Toews
Margaret Trudeau

Past Board Members

Renee El-Gabalawy, MA, Ph.D. (2019-2021)
Lucille Bart, BA (2019-2021)
Ernie Bart, MEd (2020-2021)
Sarah Joaquin, CPA (2020-2021)
Manfred Schulz (2012-2019)
Susan Holm (2011-2019)
Kyla Betker (2015-2018)
Sr. Edith Grenier (2009-2016)
Nancy Hutchison (2012-2015)
David Krindle (2008-2014)
Hildi Janzen (2011-2014)
Jack Cram (2004-2012)
Henri Magne (2004-2011)
Mary Anne Arndt (2006-2011)
John Marten (2008-2011)
Gordon Hoeschen (2004-2010)
Johonna Jonker Sr (2004-2009)
Tedd Tribe (2007-2008)
Jonathan Garwood (2005-2006)
Horst Peters (2004-2005)
Nigel Bart (2004-2004)

Your support will have a direct and positive impact on the Artbeat community.

If you share our values, we invite you to consider making a donation. To learn more about how you can donate, please visit our donation page. Thank you for your generosity.