August 2-5 2015  Montréal Canada

Registration | Dates | Key Presenters | Location | Member Presentations | Accomodations | Au Pain Doré

Identity Cabaret | Schedule

VASTA presented a lively, exciting conference in Montréal, Québec, Canada Aug 2-5, 2015. The theme was “Cirque des Voix/Circus of Voices” that reflected a wide variety of explorations and celebrations of the human voice. Keynote Speaker, François Grisé, opened our ceremonies with "To speak ma langue.” Inuit throat singers Heidi Langille and Lynda Brown performed and gave workshops; ‘Clowns of Horror’ Mump and Smoot performed their internationally acclaimed ‘Something’ with a follow-up panel on vocal use; and Master teacher Judith Koltai gave workshops on “The Pleasure of the Text.” Highlights also included many VASTA members who presented workshops, panels, and performances on voice and identity, dialects, speech, and text. It was a fantastic offering of expertise that promoted inspired learning. Watch the Montreal conference announcement video:



**As of 7/29/15 - Please note, although online registration is now closed, you can still attend the conference!  Please email Associate Conference Director, Kristi Dana:

Welcome to the VASTA 2015 Conference page! 

If you're reading this now, you're likely gearing up to join us on Sunday, August 2nd—and we can't wait to see you! Check out our Facebook page and find us on Twitter at #VASTAMontreal2015!

Check-in is from 1pm - 5:30pm in La Vitrine at Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth. If you need to check-in after 5:30pm, please join us for the festivities in the DB Clarke Theatre lobby at Concordia University. All location details can be found in the Workshop Schedule below. 

Workshop Schedule
Click here! 

Workshop Descriptions
Click here! 

Member Presenter Bios
Click here! 

Questions? Email us! 

Pamela Prather, Conference Director:

Kristi Dana, Associate Conference Director:


Sunday, August 2nd to Wednesday, August 5th

Check-in will be from 1-5:30pm in the La Vitrine room at Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth hotel. Opening reception with refreshments and hors d'oeuvres will begin at 5:30pm in the DB Clarke Theatre Lobby at Concordia University and will feature live, traditional Québécois music by Bardefou!

Key Presenters:

François Grisé - Special Opening Night Reception Presentation:

"To speak ma langue"


François Grisé is a trained actor, who works as a bilingual voice, speech, dialect and communication specialist. Born in St-Hyacinthe (Quebec), he studied, lived and worked in Toronto (Ontario) for ten years before coming back to Montreal where he now lives.

He completed his Voice and Speech Diploma at York University under the hospice of David Smukler and has been studying with Judith Koltai - founder of the Guild for Embodied Practice - since 1995. They are deeply influential teachers in his life and career.

He is now affiliated to the Theatre and Musical Theatre Program at Collège Lionel-Groulx. He is the founder and artistic director of Un et un font mille, a company that produces events where theatre, performance and visual arts amalgamate to create living tableaux in public spaces. (

Judith Koltai

Master Presenter - The Pleasure of the Text

Ms. Koltai has taught at universities,  conservatories and numerous professional  workshops and conferences in Canada and  abroad. She has presented her work in an array of national and international festivals, professional institutions and conferences including The Theatre of Changes in Greece, the Banff School of Fine Arts, Universitatea Babes Bolyai Cluj Faculty of Theatre and Television in Romania. As the director of Movement at Canada's National Voice Intensive since 1989, Koltai's Embodied Practice®  is one of the foundational pillars of the physical practice curricula. She has made a major contribution to Canadian actor training through her mentorship of voice instructors who are now teaching an integrated vocal and physical practice.

As her understanding and practice of Authentic Movement deepened, Ms. Koltai embarked on forging her own way and methodology. Her work with actors led to her pioneering approach in the application of Authentic Movement to the creative and performing arts, specifically to voice, text, writing and the initiation of original work. In her mid-70's now, Ms. Koltai continues to pursue her teaching and mentoring career. At this time in her life, she considers it her primary professional task to research, deepen and enhance the discipline of Embodied Practice® and to offer training and support to her students and followers who are committed to continue and expand on her teachings.


Mump & Smoot

Mump & Smoot in “SOMETHING” with Thug.

Show Description

Mump and Smoot inhabit a parallel Universe on planet Ummo, worship a god named Ummo and converse in their own gibberish language - Ummonian - which is nevertheless clear to the audience, all the while delighting in the chaos of a nightmarish world. In Something we find the intrepid duo Mump and Smoot prancing through the etiquette of a fine Cafe, the sorrow and despair of a Wake, and the pandemonium of the Doctor’s office.

“Mump and Smoot are a national treasure.”

The Edmonton Sun

This show is not for children!

Created and performed by Michael Kennard and John Turner

Directed by Karen Hines

Mump: Michael Kennard

Smoot: John Turner

Thug: tba

Michael Kennard (Mump)

For the past twenty-six years Michael has been a co-creator (with John Turner), performer and producer with internationally acclaimed clown duo Mump & Smoot. Michael is a graduate of the University Of Guelph Drama program and studied physical comedy, clown, mask, improv and movement with Richard Pochinko, Ian Wallace, Fiona Griffths, Philippe Gaulier and The Second City. He has taught at The Yale School of Drama, Tel Aviv University, California State University, University of Colorado, Guelph University, Bishops University, Equity Showcase, The SPACE, The Humber College Comedy program and currently is on Faculty at the University of Alberta. Michael’s directing credits include: The Christmas Carol, The Hobbit and The Wizard of Oz at The Globe Theatre in Regina, The Second City’s Family Circus Maximus and Insanity Fair in Toronto and co-directed Embryo’s on Ice in Chicago, Half a Sixpence and Alice Through the Looking Glass at Bishops’ University, The Hollow (independent) at Berkeley St Theatre and The Royal Pardon at The University of Alberta. Michael has been recognized for his work with a Dora award, two Canadian Comedy awards, a Boston Theatre award and a Drama Logue award (California) for his work.

John Turner (Smoot)

John is the co-creator (with Michael Kennard) of Mump & Smoot. He attended three universities but was never inspired to finish. He had jobs as a roughneck, orderly, painter, construction worker, frying pan salesman and bartender. John studied clown, mask and movement with Richard Pochinko, Ian Wallace, and Fiona Griffiths, bouffon with Philippe Gaulier, physical comedy with John Towsen and improv at Second City. His directing includes Karen Hines’ Citizen Pochsy, Michael Kennard’s Puzzle Me Red, Sandrine Lafond’s Little Lady, and De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre’s A Trickster Tale, and The Gulch. John teaches primarily on his farm, The Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance (a.k.a. The Clown Farm). Other teaching gigs include Yale, Laurentian University, California State University, University of Tel Aviv, University of Calgary, The SPACE, Equity Showcase, the Workman Theatre Project, the Centre For Indigenous Theater, and in De-ba-jeh-mu-jig’s outreach program. John has been recognized for his work with a Dora award, a Canadian Comedy award, a Boston Theatre award and a Drama Logue award (California).


Mump & Smoot are the comic creations of Michael Kennard and John Turner. They are also referred to as clowns of horror. They inhabit a parallel universe called Ummo, worship a god named Ummo and speak their own brand of gibberish, Ummonian. Together they challenge every convention about clowns in a series of darkly humorous shows that range from the zany to the macabre.

Michael and John met in 1986 in Second City(Toronto) workshops. As a duo they discovered they had a great connection, especially when doing gibberish exercises. It was also in Second City workshops that they met and began working with director Karen Hines, who has gone on to direct all of their shows and is integral from the developmental phase through to full production. Twenty six years ago, on Friday the 13th of May, 1988, Mump & Smoot were born in their first show Jump the Gun. Their distinctive style of clowning finds its roots deep within their work with Canadian clown master Richard Pochinko, with whom they worked extensively for the last two years of his life.

Apart from numerous short sketches their primary repertoire includes eight full length shows, Something-1989, Caged-1990, Ferno-1992, Tense-1997, Something Else-1998, Flux-2002, Cracked – 2010, and now Anything. Their critical acclaim and popularity was developed through consistent sell-outs in the fringe festival’s across Canada. They then went on to have successful runs at many major regional theatres including the La Jolla Playhouse, the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven where they were Associate Artists for seven years, the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Center Stage in Baltimore, the Dallas Theater Center, Alberta Theatre Project in Calgary, and at the Canadian Stage Berkeley Street in Toronto.

Mump & Smoot have also appeared Off-Broadway at the Astor Place Theater in New York, and at the Palestinian National Theatre and the Acco Theatre Festival in Israel. This dynamic duo won two Dora Mavor Moore awards in June 2003 - one for Outstanding Production (Mump & Smoot in Flux) and another to Karen Hines for Direction. They were also nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award for Comedic Play (Mump & Smoot in Flux) and are past recipients of a Canadian Comedy Award for Live Male Performance. They have also won the Outstanding Small Visiting Company Award at the Boston Theater Awards and have appeared in the Genie-Award winning film The Fairy Who Didn’t Want To Be A Fairy Anymore as well as their own Canadian Film Centre short The Princess Who Wouldn’t Smile.


Inuit Throat Singers Heidi Langille and Lynda Brown

Siqiniup Qilauta (Sunsdrum) has performed traditional Inuit Throatsinging, contemporary Inuit drumming, ayaya singing and Inuit games nationally and internationally for more than 7 years. Lynda is originally from Pangnirtung Nunavut and Heidi is an Urban Inuk with family roots in Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador).





1. Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

900 Rene Levesque Blvd. W.Montreal

Quebec Canada H3B 4A5

Getting there:

By Plane

Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport

Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport

975 Roméo-Vachon Blvd. North

Dorval, QC  H4Y 1H1


The closest airport to Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth is Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL). Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (domestic and international flights) is located 14 miles (22 km) from the hotel.
Telephone: (514) 394-7377

From Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth Hotel


Limousine transportation can be pre-arranged by the Hotel Concierge.

  • From Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport to Hotel (including meet & greet service): Starting at $125 one way
  • Transfers to Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport: starting at $75 one way.

There is a flat rate of $40 CAD to downtown hotels. Arrangements for a limousine transfer can be made with the hotel concierge upon request.


The hotel has direct access to the Bonaventure Metro Station. There is a hotel entrance from the metro station. Please follow signage.


The hotel is located directly above Central Station. There is a hotel entrance from the train station. Please follow signage.

747 Express Bus

Featuring nine stops in each direction, the 747 service operated by the City of Montréal is provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and offers transportation between downtown Montréal and Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

Tickets are purchased at the cost of $10 inside the terminal before boarding. When returning a $10 bus fare is paid aboard the bus (coins only, bills are not accepted). Tickets provide travellers with a transit pass valid on the STM bus and metro network for 24 hours. For more information, visit the STM website.

DRIVING - From Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth Hotel
  • Take Hwy 20 East to Hwy Ville Marie (Hwy 720), which brings you downtown.
  • To Exit #3 rue Guy. At first light, turn right onto René-Lévesque Blvd. Continue for approx. nine blocks up to 900 René-Levesque, corner Mansfield. The hotel is located on the right hand side.
  • Driving time is 20 to 25 minutes.


Valet Parking (250 Spaces)

Entrance on North side of Belmont Street or on Cathcart Street:

•       $29 per night, taxes extra, departure prior to 4:00 p.m. 

•       $22.75 taxes excluded for up to 12 hours 

•       $5 taxes excluded per 20 minutes

•       In and out 
Entrance on South side of Belmont Street

•       Fees must be paid at the parking pay stations. 

2. Concordia University

1455 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest

Montreal, QC H3G 1M8

By air

If you’re travelling by air, flights from North America and abroad now come into Montréal-Trudeau Airport, 22 km west of downtown Montreal. The Aérobus bus service to downtown Montreal costs $14 one way (as of June 2007). Upon arrival at the terminus on Berri and de Maisonneuve Sts., either take a taxi or the subway (métro) to the Welcome Centre, which is located in the J.W. McConnell Building, Room LB 185-40, 1400 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West (1400, boul. de Maisonneuve ouest). If you take the subway, travel in the Angrignon direction (green line) and exit at the Guy-Concordia stop; the Welcome Centre is one block east on De Maisonneuve.

Another option from the airport is to take the #204 public transit bus heading to the Dorval bus terminal, then take the #211 heading downtown. Get off at Lionel-Groulx métro (subway) station, and take the green line in the Honoré-Beaugrand direction, to Guy-Concordia station. Concordia’s Welcome Centre is the Welcome Centre is one block east on De Maisonneuve.

If you take a taxi from the airport to downtown there is a flat rate of $35.

See the Aéroports de Montréal website for further transportation information.

By train -  From Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to Concordia University (SGW Campus)

Travelling to Montreal by train will bring you to Central Station, which is just a few blocks from Concordia on René-Lévesque Blvd. West, near Mansfield Street (Blvd. Réné-Lévesque Ouest et rue Mansfield) You may either walk to the Welcome Centre, at the J.W. McConnell Building, Room LB 185-40, 1400 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West (1400, boul. de Maisonneuve ouest), or take a short taxi ride.

Train schedules are available online at VIA Rail (for journeys within Canada) and Amtrak (for journeys from the USA). Commuter train schedules are available from the the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT).

By bus or subway - From Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to Concordia University (SGW Campus)

The Berri-UQAM station is the final destination for all bus lines into the city. Upon arrival you may either take a taxi or take the métro (subway), which is located below the bus station. Travel in the Angrignon direction (green line) and exit at the Guy-Concordia stop; the Welcome Centre is one block east on De Maisonneuve (Room LB 185-40, 1400 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West).

By automobile (to Concordia University, SGW Campus)

  • If you’re coming to Montreal from the east or south (highways 10, 15, or 20), take the Décarie Expressway (Autoroute Décarie) to Sherbrooke St. West (rue Sherbrooke Ouest), exit 64.
  • If you’re coming to Montreal from the north or west (highways 15, 20, or 40), take the Décarie Expressway (Autoroute Décarie) to Sherbrooke St. West (rue Sherbrooke Ouest), exit 64.
  • To get to Sir George Williams from exit 64:
  • Drive east on Sherbrooke St. for 3.5 km and turn right onto Mackay St. (rue Mackay). Metered parking is available in the downtown core. There is a public parking lot in the J.W. McConnell Building. The entrance is on Mackay.

Daily indoor parking - Concordia University SGW Campus

LB garage entrance


Operating hours and costs:

Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. - midnight
  • $3.50 half an hour
  • $5.50 one hour
  • $7.75 one hour & a half
  • $10.75 Exit before 6 p.m.
  • $6.50 Entry after 5 p.m.
  • $13.00 Daily maximum
  • $20 for a lost ticket
Saturday (September to May) 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • $6.50 flat rate
Accepted forms of payment:
  • Cash
  • MasterCard
  • Visa

Faubourg garage entrance


Operating hours and costs:

Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. - midnight
  • $3.50 half an hour
  • $9.00 Early bird rate. Entry before 8:30 a.m.
  • $6.50 Entry after 4 p.m.
  • $13.00 Daily maximum
  • $20 for a lost ticket
Saturday (September to May) 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • $6.50 flat rate
Accepted forms of payment:
  • Cash
  • MasterCard
  • Visa

Member Presentations

The submissions for Member Presentations has been closed for this conference. Please contact Pamela Prather ( or Kristi Dana (, if you have any questions.

Member Presentation Bios 

Click here! 

Workshop Descriptions

Click here! 

Workshop Schedule

Click here! 


Each participant will arrange for their own accommodation plan. We highly recommend staying at Fairmont Queen Elizabeth for both convenience and affordability.

Make Your Reservation Now at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

The Official Hotel of Cirque des Voix/Circus of Voices!

We are pleased to announce that reservations can now be made for your stay in our exclusive block of rooms at the official hotel for VASTA Conference 2015, Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth:

A 4-Star Hotel, Fairmont is located above the train station (Via Rail & AMTRAK) and is connected to the extensive underground city of thousands of boutiques, restaurants and cafés, and is within walking distance to many cultural attractions.

The Fairmont is a 15-minute walk or a direct subway ride to Concordia University, our host this year. For those of you who plan to attend the ATHE Conference you can enjoy the convenience of remaining in the same, beautiful hotel for our conference. Attending the morning warm-ups will be as easy as rolling out of bed and heading to our very own, comfortable and spacious meeting room. Return to the Fairmont after a day of workshops to take a relaxing dip in the Health Club's indoor whirlpool. Ahhhh…

Fairmont is offering an excellent rate - $179CAD ($158USD) per night. This rate applies to both a Single (King or Queen) or a Double occupancy (Two Double Beds) room.

If you choose a Double occupancy room and to split the cost with another guest, the cost per night for each is only $89.50CAD ($79USD) per night! The site will allow you to fill out general information for both guests; however, one guest will be required to hold the reservation on her or his credit card.

Use this easy to navigate link to make your reservation at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth:

Additional Hotel Options:

Sheraton Centre Montreal

Novotel Montreal:

Best Western Ville Marie:

Best Western PLUS Montreal - Downtown Hotel Europa:

Airbnb (Rent unique places to stay from local hosts):

Questions? Contact Kristi Dana, Associate Conference Director,

Local Sponsor - Au Pain Doré

Au Pain Doré, a local, fantastic bakery and cafe, will be providing all VASTA attendees with free lunch bags and coupons! Check your swag bag upon registration and be sure to try the deliciousness that is Au Pain Doré! Only a 6-minute walk from Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth, and an 8-minute walk from Concordia University.

1415 Rue Peel, Montréal

Like them on Facebook! 

Identity Cabaret:

Last year in London, the Identity Cabaret, sponsored by The Diversity Committee, was a huge success at the VASTA conference. Members requested we try it again.

This is a performance opportunity for individuals to share a song, a poem, a monologue, or section of a play that celebrates your heritage, culture, background or identity.  This year, it will be organized by Judith Shahn

Performances should be no longer than five minutes.  A mic and a piano will be available. This will take place Tuesday, August 4th from 8:30 – 10:00 pm at Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in room Hochelaga 6. If there is time, we would like to offer a few “open mic” slots for those who want to participate more spontaneously. Contact Judy Shahn at for questions or sign up.  We want to make this a vital part of the conference and an annual event - please join us.



We look forward to welcoming you to VASTA’s annual Conference, August 2-5.  Please click on the link below for the most up to date schedule information.

Montreal Conference Schedule 2015


Online registration is closed, but you can still attend the conference! Please email Kristi Dana, Associate Conference Director,

Please remember that you must be a current member of VASTA in order to register for the conference. 

Registration Fee:

VASTA Member Registration Fee: $250.00 (Before 06/15/15); $300.00 (After 06/15/15)

VASTA Student, Retired, Distinguished Member Registration Fee: $150.00 (Before 06/15/15); $200.00 (After 06/15/15)Student must be enrolled in an academic institution.


If your plans change after you register, please contact VASTA's Treasurer Artemis Preeshl. ( After June 15th, you will only receive 50% of your original payment.






VASTA or PAVA Member $300.00
Student/Retired/Distinguished Member Price $200.00
Non-Member $380.00
Early Registration Discount $50.00
Early Registration Cutoff 2015-06-15
Conference Attendee’s Name

  Payment Information    Total $380.00
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