Haley Toll is a painter, art therapist and certified Canadian Counsellor who has worked with diverse clients in Alberta, Quebec, British Columbia and Botswana. Haley currently works as an art therapist at the Cross Cancer Institute for Alberta Health Services and as an instructor at the Canadian International Institute of Art Therapy. She also exhibits her paintings in galleries across Canada and the United States and paints commissioned artwork. Haley completed her MA in Creative Arts Therapies and BA in Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montreal. For the past three years, Haley was the Communications Committee Director and coordinated the association’s newsletter, journal, website and marketing/promotion committees. Her diverse experiences and program development skills inform her goals to increase understandings of art therapy on a national platform, support research in art therapy and increase a sense of supportive community for art therapists across Canada.
Past President Ex Officio
Mehdi is an artist, art teacher, art therapist, and a graduate of VATI with a background in the visual arts (UQAM) and a master’s degree in counselling psychology from Yorkville U. He has extensive training in play therapy and verbal therapies. Mehdi has been active in the field of professional art therapy as a board member of the Canadian Art Therapy Association since 2003. Previously he has been the newsletter editor, membership chair, ethics chair, and is currently serving his second term as President. Mehdi counts sculpting the human figure, writing, and gardening as three of his favourite things.
Michelle is an artist, art therapist, art therapy teacher and supervisor. She is committed to the creative process in many forms, including shaping and supporting CATA. Previously she has been the Education Chair and VP of CATA, and currently is on her second term. She also teaches at VATI in Vancouver, and co-directs Canadian International Institute of Art Therapy with programs in Bangkok and Tokyo. Michelle has previously taught at Loyola Marymount University and is the past ED of BCSAT. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University with an MA in Clinical Art Therapy and has also worked in California and BC in diverse settings spanning from hospitals and schools to community agencies. She has also completed a fellowship in Infant-Parent Mental Health at Harvard Children’s Hospital and is the co-author with Dr. Maxine Junge of Graphic Facilitation and Art Therapy: Imagery and Metaphor in Organizational Development.
Sharona is a Registered Art Therapist, Registered Psychotherapist and has been practicing for 24 years, specializing in geriatrics, palliation and cancer care. She divides her time between working full-time at Sunnybrook HSC, managing her business InnerArt Inc., and being a Mom to three boys. She also provides clinical supervision to art therapists in the community. Sharona had previously been on the CATA board for 9 years in the roles of VP, Councilor and Treasurer (1996-2005). She is also a previous TATI instructor and clinical supervisor. Sharona recently completed her MBA in Innovation Leadership and is eager to put her newfound knowledge to good use.
Along with her Art Therapy training and practice, Mary brings over two decades of experience as an adult educator in community, university and government settings to her role as Education Chair. She currently facilitates a community-based Creative Arts Therapies project and maintains a private Art Therapy practice. She co-chaired the 2012 CATA conference, serves on the CATA Editorial Committee, and is a member of the Master in Psychotherapy and Spirituality Committee, St. Stephen’s College. Mary holds a PhD (Education) and a Spiritually Informed Post Graduate Certificate in Art Therapy.
Government Relations and Governance
Waqas Yousafzai is a policy professional with experience in policy development and governance. He has previously worked at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels in Canada and has been supporting CATA-ACAT’s work since 2014 in the realms of by-laws, policies and procedures, privacy, ethics, and stakeholder relations. He holds a Bachelors in Environment and Business from the University of Waterloo, an MA in Public Policy and International Affairs from the University of Ottawa and holds a graduate certificate in Project Management from Royal Roads University in Victoria. He is an avid traveller and seeks to live an experience-rich life. Waqas was voted Director at the AGM in Halifax for a term of 2 years and also sits on the national board of the World University Service of Canada.
Research and Publications Director
Erika is a newcomer to Canada. She was previously a passionate art therapist in New York city for 9 years, where she earned her masters degree in Clinical Art Therapy from Long Island University and directed the university department newsletter. Her work has reached unique populations such as inmates inside a NY prison, social groups for autistic children, pediatric intensive care, educational settings, in-home family therapy for abused children and summer camps for special needs. She was also a successful graphic designer in California where she worked on magazines, movies and video games. Erika has brought digital technology to the art therapy world by way of computer animation. She has been volunteering since 1994 with children and groups, making a difference across the world, providing experiential creative arts in foreign cities. Her interest in diversity has lead her to travel to nearly 50 countries and bring cultural sensitivity and awareness into her practice. She is excited to be on the CATA board as the Research and Publications Director, and bring her world knowledge, design background and passion for creative arts to the forefront of each publication.
Amanda is an artist and art therapist living and working in Toronto. She currently works at a community living organization providing art therapy to individuals with intellectual disabilities and dual diagnosis. Amanda is new to the board as the Membership Chair, and has just begun a two-year term. She is committed to promoting the field of art therapy through presenting and publishing at every opportunity. Amanda completed her BFA at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and her art therapy training at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. She is registered with both the Canadian Art Therapy Association and the Ontario College of Registered Psychotherapists. Originally from the Maritimes, Amanda spends her spare time drawing, sewing and playing outside with her family.
Rajni completed her art therapy graduate degree from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. Her thesis was with a group of adolescent immigrant / first generation females and using art making and storytelling to discuss themes of cultural identity. She is currently working as an art therapist at Youthdale Treatment Centre in Toronto that offers support services for adolescents. In addition, the Director of Development, Partnerships, and Communications at Unity Charity, which is an organization that inspires and engages youth to be leaders in their communities through hip-hop based programming. She is also working on her Master Degree in Counselling Psychology through Yorkville University. Her personal drive of working with people led her to the art therapy profession, which allows her to create space for healing and connections through art and story-telling.
You can read all about each committee and the various positions in our JOB DESCRIPTION sections.