Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA)

Artwork Commissions

GVPTA invited three designers from the theatre community to offer a sketch or a drawing, along with a statement, reflecting on the 2023 Making a Scene conference theme of (re)connection.

Designers were asked to respond to the question "What does (re)connection mean for our theatre sector in 2023?"

A limited edition series of (re)connection 4"x6" artists' cards sets was printed. In-person conference attendees on June 26 were each gifted a set, and for a limited time, you can receive one too. 

See below for the (re)connection drawings, reflections, and the biographies of the three designers: 

  • CS Fergusson-Vaux
  • Melicia Zaini
  • Shizuka Kai

You can receive (or gift to a friend!) one set of limited edition printed artists' cards by making a minimum donation of $25 (one-time) or $5 monthly to GVPTAThe generous donations we receive allow us to continue building and strengthening the local theatre industry.

Designers' Statements & Biographies

CS Fergusson-Vaux

The disruption to our industry was not because of the pandemic darkening all but our ghostlights.

The disruption was an overwhelming call to remove the static caused by the disenfranchisement and harm suffered by many in our industry.

The disruption showed us where connections were no longer happening and galvanised us to get to the hard work of repair.

(re)connection to me is the logical next step- reaching past self-inflicted barriers, recognizing that the electricity of our stories, our art, our hearts and hands must travel freely. In considering this piece, I found myself doodling over and over again - hands meeting through a smashed pane, dark places being lit by that rescue. Ultimately, we as theatre artists are dependent upon each other’s compassion as much as our artistry.
CS Fergusson-Vaux (she/they) is a transnational Theatrical and Visual  Artivist, Organizer and Historian who works to decolonize our community and construct an ethical and inclusive artistic legacy. Works include projects with The Arts Club Theatre, Persephone Theatre, and Zee Zee Theatre. Fergie is Design Coordinator for The Stratford Festival and former Associate Artistic Director of the SUM Gallery + Queer Arts Festival. She gratefully labours in solidarity with both the Treaty Territories of the Attawandaron, Anishinaabeg, Wendat, and Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the qiqéyt (QayQayt), xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səlilw̓ ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Melicia Zaini

As a costume designer, my practice is rooted in community. It excites me how collaborative theatre design is. I love how each member of the cast and creative team can pick up different features of the same script in order to dream up disparate elements that result in one harmonious vision onstage.

To me, the magic of theatre lies in creating community in tandem with the creation of the new world we are birthing onstage, together. I love how each project brings me to meet new people, and at times, reveal new facets of the people I already know and love. The heart of my creative process is care. I genuinely love what I do, and I hope that translates to every step of my design process. By practicing compassion, showing up, and checking in, I connect deeper to the people I create with and in turn, connect deeper with each project I take on. 

I have illustrated various tools of the trade joined by several outstretched costumed arms, creating a circle illuminated by a ghost light. We are all working together with each other to create an unforgettable theatrical experience for our audience. By connecting and reconnecting with one another, we continue to uplift and strengthen our community.

Melicia (they/them) is a costume designer for stage and screen. Born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia to a family of Chinese ancestry, they are grateful to live and create on the unceded and ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, colonially known as Vancouver, BC. Recent theatre credits include costume design for Pacific Theatre, ZeeZee Theatre, vAct, Aenigma Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, and assistant costume design for Arts Club and Theatre Calgary. In addition to design, they channel their love for colours through painting, creating spreadsheets, writing a newsletter, and taking long walks guided by colours. Melicia is passionate about telling visually impactful stories through striking colour palettes, and is always inspired by their community to create art that uplifts and celebrates BIPOC, queer, and trans voices.

Shizuka Kai

(Re)connection… An old Japanese form of art kintsugi perfectly represents what I would hope as (re)connection for our theatre sector in 2023. Kintsugi or kintsukuroi (meaning “to join with gold”) is a 500-year-old Japanese tradition that repairs broken ceramics with lacquer mixed with powdered gold. It highlights imperfections rather than hiding them. As another writer put it; “it is a reminder of the beauty of human fragility, embracing the old and battered, a reminder to stay optimistic when things fall apart and to celebrate the flaws and missteps of life.” I see this, feel this, and want this for our community. From 2020 until now, it feels as though we have all shed multiple layers of old “skin” and we are in this state of a new and vulnerable self that we are all together and alone, learning. I think it is a time for reflection, education, forgiveness, reconciliation, patience, passion, emotion, compassion, empathy, healing, love, trust, and caution. I believe we have become stronger as a community and more conscious as we carefully move forward together, but there is also a strong sense of support and love that is there to catch a safety net. My artwork was created to interpret, as what I hope as a theatre artist and a member of this beautiful family, what our (re)connection will be.
Shizuka is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on set design and puppetry, with some work in tv/film puppeteering, illustration & graphic design, directing, and jewelry making. She has worked with many theatre companies including Arts Club, Théâtre la Seizième, Carousel Theatre for Young People, Electric Company, Rumble, Green Thumb, Neworld, Boca del Lupo, Theatre Newfoundland Labrador, and others. Shiz is a five-time Jessie Richardson Award winner with multiple nominations, Ovation Award winner, the recipient of the Earl Klein Memorial Scholarship / Bill Millerd Artist Fund / Steven B Jung Award, and a graduate of Studio 58. Portfolio website at

Limited Edition Artists' Cards Available

Interested in receiving a set of these printed artists' cards as a keepsake for yourself, or to gift to a friend? 

Click the button below to make a minimum donation of $25 (one-time) or $5 monthly to GVPTA, and we will mail you a set of three 4"x6" full colour (double-sided) cards. Cards are printed on a heavyweight linen-textured stock. Please ensure you do not select the anonymous donation option on the form so that we can be sure we receive your name and mailing address.

GVPTA is a registered Canadian charity and all donations are eligible for a tax receipt (Charitable Registration Number: 133986455 RR0001).  

The generous donations we receive allow us to continue building and strengthening the local theatre industry.