Chilliwack Lions Club Music and Dance Festival




Please Note that ALL DANCE GROUPS have been cancelled due to COVID Restrictions


Amalia Schelhorn

Amalia Schelhorn is currently the chair of dance at the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, where she has taught ballet for the past 20 years.  She also teaches ballet at the Victoria Academy of Ballet, Raino Dance, and with the Vic Dance Collab, which offers online as well as in-studio classes.

Ms. Schelhorn received her early ballet training in Memphis, Tennessee. She came to Toronto at age 15 to attend Canada’s National Ballet School, where she received the prestigious Peter Dwyer Scholarship.  Upon graduation she was accepted into the National Ballet of Canada, where she achieved the rank of first soloist.  She had the privilege of touring North America and Europe performing a diverse repertoire of ballets by many of the greatest choreographers throughout ballet’s history.

Amalia continues to deepen her understanding of dance and of the body through the pursuit of yoga and through explorations of many different dance forms.  Her experience as a mother of 4 has also informed and enriched her teaching.


Sarah Switzer

Sarah Switzer was raised on a farm in northern Alberta where, in true Canadian fashion, her very first ballet class took place above the local curling rink.  She is fortunate to have parents who drove her to the city to take ballet lessons, to train under Tracy Kendus (from the School of Alberta Ballet), and to spend her summers dancing at The Banff Centre for Arts.

Though her first love was for ballet, her interest in modern and contemporary dance led her to pursue her education.  Sarah earned a Diploma in Modern Dance Performance and Composition from Grant McEwan College in Edmonton as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver; she also attained her teaching certification with the Royal Academy of Dance.  In Edmonton Sarah studied Limon and Cunningham technique under Brian Webb, and Heidi Bunting.  She broadened her training in Vancouver where she studied Graham with Judith Garay and Release Technique with Shannon McMurchy among others.  

Sarah has dedicated much of her life to the art of dance – she has been teaching modern dance and ballet on Vancouver Island for over 20 years. Currently Sarah divides her time between teaching at Innovate Dance Arts in Parksville, co-directing Bohemia Dance Productions with her business partner, Ivana Ho, and owning/operating Del Norte Dog Kennels with her husband and two daughters.  She loves the daily rewards that teaching brings as well as the opportunity to create work that is both challenging and accessible for students and audiences of all ages.


Josh Nitkin

Josh Nitkin is a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and holds certification with PAA (Professional Adjudicators Alliance), BATD (British Association of Teachers of Dancing) and PAEC (Performing Arts Educators of Canada) in Tap, Jazz and Urban with which he helped create the syllabus. 

Josh has 30 years of training and performance in Tap, Jazz, Acrobatics, Modern, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Musical Theatre and more!  With almost 20 years of teaching, Josh’s students have gone on to win numerous overall awards and have garnered choreography awards as well.  

Josh is a sought-after Adjudicator across Canada and the United States. Having adjudicated for Dance Masters of America (North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Houston, Great Lakes), American Dance Awards, Terpsichore Dance Celebration/Dance Starz, AmeriCup, Dance Xtreme Nationals, Millennium Productions Nationals, Peak Invitational and many others.

Josh is also a former dancer with Celebrity Cruise Lines and Corpus Dance Projects, having performed in Alaska, France, the UK, Belgium, Japan and all over Central and South America.

Currently you can find Josh on The DanceBUG Show every week, offering teaching tips to all dance students!


Tasha Lawson

Tasha Lawson is the founder and Artistic Director of Tri-Tone Productions.  She is a passionate educator whose company houses an ensemble, training youth to pre-professional dancers.  Tasha is also the founder and AD of Calgary’s Rhythm, Body and Soul Festival, a four-day event that celebrates, preserves, and promotes tap dance though education and concert presentation.

Tasha is a graduate of Grant MacEwan’s Dance Teacher Training and Dance Performance programs.  Tasha continued her studies at Simon Fraser University while working as a multi-form dancer in Vancouver.  She then relocated to New York for two years, furthering her training in tap and body percussion.

From 2002-2008, Tasha performed and toured with Tapestry Dance Company based in Austin, Texas, where she had the privilege of working with many legendary tap artists and was nominated for “Dancer of the Year” by the Austin Critics Table Awards in 2007 for her performance in Acia Gray’s, “Souls of Our Feet: a Tribute to American Tap Dance.”  During this time, Tasha also directed six new full-length concert works for Tapestry’s apprentice company, Visions in Rhythm.

Tasha has performed and taught at international festivals across Canada, the United States, Europe, and South America.  She has been an “artist-in-residence” at Capilano University and was a faculty member for the inaugural tap residency program at Jacob’s Pillow, under the direction of Dianne Walker. Tasha has taught body music classes in Las Vegas for Cirque Du Soleil, and toured with Cirque, as Assistant Artistic Director for Kooza, in the US and Japan in 2010-2011.

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Please note that BAND and CHORAL have been cancelled due to COVID Restrictions.


Nicola Davies

Pianist Nicola Davies divides her time between opera & musical theatre, recitals, teaching, and working behind the scenes in the arts.  Her theatre work encompasses well over thirty productions as music director and pianist, including with Opera Kelowna, Opera NUOVA, the University of Manitoba Musical Theatre Ensemble, and Manitoba Theatre for Young People.  She freelances as a collaborative pianist and has taught piano and voice for many years. 

Nicola has instigated various projects over the years including Secondary Characters Musical Theatre, for which she was Co-Artistic Director and Music Director for eight years.  She is now the Executive Director of Living Room Live, a classical house concert touring organization founded in 2018 to create intimate live music events across Canada.

As a participant at the Vancouver International Song Institute and the Franz Schubert Institute in Austria, she has studied with such teachers as Julius Drake, Roger Vignoles, Elly Ameling, and Margo Garrett.  Formal studies include a Masters in Collaborative Piano at the University of Manitoba with Dr. Laura Loewen and Dr. Judy Kehler Siebert, a Diploma in Voice Performance, a Certificate in Conducting, and a Bachelor of Science and an ARCT from Royal Conservatory of Toronto in Piano Performance.


Roger Buksa

As an experienced adjudicator, and member of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s College of Examiners, Roger Buksa has judged festivals throughout BC including the lower mainland.  His students regularly earn awards in regional and provincial competitions and have been selected to perform as concerto soloists with orchestra.

He has also participated in the Vancouver Conservatory of Music Summer Piano Academy as a teacher and performer and has performed in several concerts as part of the VCM Presents series, including with classical guitarist Dr. Alexander Dunn, and in an established duo-piano team with Anna Cal.

Roger Buksa studied with Eva Kinderman (at University of Victoria and in Berlin), Winifred Scott Wood (VCM), Dr. Robin Wood (VCM and UVic), and with Anton Kuerti (Orford Summer School), and also participated in master classes with György Sébok.

An active chamber musician, soloist, and vocal/instrumental accompanist, Roger Buksa has also collaborated with international singers Richard Margison and Kathleen Brett in performances of Tobin Stokes’s opera “Rattenbury” under Moscow Symphony conductor Arthur Arnold.  In addition to his Associate diploma of the Victoria Conservatory of Music (AVCM), Mr. Buksa holds Bachelor degrees in both Music, and in Education (with Distinction), and for several years was band and choir director in Victoria public schools.


Robert Rozek

The career of Robert Rozek has included performances and recordings with the greatest names in music.  As a violinist and conductor Mr. Rozek performed with singers such as Pavarotti and Carreras.  In New York, Rozek spent ten years in the Pop and Jazz field recording and performing with artists such as Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong.  In Miami, Mr. Rozek also recorded with many Latin Jazz and Pop stars, such as Julio and Enrique Iglesias and Gloria Estefan.  It was also in Miami that Mr. Rozek worked with Michael Jackson in some of his last recordings.

Robert Rozek is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music where he studied the violin with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy Delay. He continued his studies at the Accademia Chigiana of Siena, Italy.  There he studied violin with Franco Gulli and conducting with Sergiu Celibidache. Later he studied the violin with Nathan Milstein in New York, London and Zurich, Switzerland.  His formal concert debut was performed with Alexander Schneider conducting his chamber orchestra in New York. At 16, Rozek won the first prize in the New York All State Concertmaster Competition.  He was truly fortunate to come under the influence of Pablo Casals with whom he performed at the Marlboro Music Festival in the United States.  While a student at Juilliard, Mr. Rozek made his Carnegie Hall debut in the Mendelssohn concerto in 1967 with the Claremont Chamber Orchestra of New York.  He gave the first chamber music concert at New York’s Lincoln Center at the opening of Alice Tully Hall.  He also toured extensively in Italy as soloist with the Siena Summer Music Festival Orchestra.  

Early in his career, Mr. Rozek moved to Zurich, Switzerland to assume the post of Leader of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra.  With Nathan Milstein, Rozek restudied the entire violin repertoire.  While in Zurich as leader of the chamber orchestra, Mr. Rozek performed with most of the great artists of that time. He toured England with Yehudi Menuhin and was leader of the Menuhin Festival Orchestra in Gstaad Switzerland.

Mr. Rozek’s teaching career began in New York. He held positions at the Barlow School, Columbia University, the State University of New York, Hamilton College and Colgate University. In the 1990’s until 2003 Mr. Rozek was professor of violin at the University of Miami School of Music. From 2003 to 2010, Robert Rozek was Head of the Violin Department at the Vancouver Academy Music in Canada.  From September 2013, Mr. Rozek is Director of Strings and International Relations at the British Columbia Conservatory of Music.  

Recently Mr. Rozek has taught for the past 10 years at the Margess International School in Switzerland. He has also taught masterclasses in London for the Razumovsky Academy.  This season Mr. Rozek has conducted film music for Lion’s Gate Productions in Vancouver, Canada.  Later this season Mr. Rozek will be appearing in Europe in the role of teacher-performer on the violin in Oslo and Bergen, Norway at the Barratt Due Institute of Music.  


Karyn Way

Karyn is very active in Vancouver as a singer, adjudicator, director and music instructor.  Some of her favorite performances include Madame Giry in “The Phantom of the Opera”, Hansel in “Hansel and Gretel”, Eva Peron in “Evita” and the Second Lady in “The Magic Flute”.  Karyn was a member of the Vancouver Chamber Choir for 4 years under the direction of Jon Washburn.  She has also sung with the Vivaldi Chamber Choir and the Vancouver Bach Choir. She can frequently be seen in concert performing a mixture of musical theatre, pop, art song and opera. 

As a director, Karyn staged “Amahl and the Night Visitors” for the Vancouver Academy of Music as well as several evenings of opera scenes.  She was on the faculty at Capilano University as a voice instructor for four years and she was head of voice for Stagecraft Theatre School for eight years. Karyn currently teaches voice, piano and music theory at her home studio, Vocalis Music, the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and also teaches singing for Lights Up Theatre School.

Karyn continues to adjudicate and give masterclasses in voice and musical theatre at festivals across Canada including Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia.

At the University of British Columbia, Karyn earned a Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice Performance and a Master of Music in Opera.  She also earned Diplomas in Musical Theatre from Grant MacEwan College and the Banff School of Fine Arts

Karyn is a proud member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). She also has advanced certification as a voice teacher for the Royal Conservatory of Music and is a member of the RCM College of Examiners.


Very Important Volunteer Help Needed in a big way!

We Urgently need 2 Dance Co-ordinators; 1 for Acro, Tap, Stage and Song & Dance and also 1 for Ballet and Modern. Also needed for Music is 1 Vocal Co-ordinator. Small per diem honourarium is available!!!


For more Info. Contact Lesley Ward #604-799-0821 or [email protected] or Contact Laurie Hirschman @ 604-858-3147 or [email protected]


We also need 1 or two people to assist with Registrations. Small honourarium also available for this assistance. For more info. Contact Laurie Hirschman @ 604-858-3147 or [email protected]

Interested in helping in other ways?

Are you interested in supporting our music & dance students? We need you! A festival this size needs lots of volunteers from selling tickets, taking tickets at the door, working backstage with organizing the dancers, writing for our adjudicators, to assisting in set-up and take down at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre! If you can help in any way, please contact Delia Davies at 604-795-4780 or [email protected]