Board of Directors:
Sabrina Pringle (President)
Melissa Fishman (Treasurer)
Estair Van Wagner (Vice President)
Artistic Director: Holly Treddenick
Technical Director: Peter Benedetti
Femmes du Feu Creations is a not-for-profit organization based in Welland, Ontario, founded in 2003 by Holly Treddenick (artistic director) and Lindsay Goodtimes as a fire dance company. Since 2007 we began creating and performing with aerial circus work. Since the inception, Femmes du Feu has been creating and presenting circus works, researching innovative ways to combine their contemporary dance and choreographic backgrounds with contemporary circus. We are always interested in how to blur the boundaries of the genre.
In 1999 Femmes du Feu created and produced their first full-length contemporary circus show, Head First, for the London, Toronto and Hamilton Fringe Festivals, winning Patron’s Pick and Best of Fringe in
Toronto. In 2010, Femmes du Feu created and produced their second full- length production, The Plank to sold out houses at the London, Toronto, and Winnipeg Fringe Festivals. The Plank was extremely well received by both audiences and critics, with 5-star reviews, and again winning The Fringe Festival’s Patron’s Pick in Toronto. In 2011 Femmes du Feu produced Airship for the Rhubarb Festival (2011), also to all sold out shows.
In 2012 Femmes du Feu presented BoB at the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival to great success. Airship was remounted and extended to a 60-minute full-length work and presented at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre as part of Queer Pride Toronto and then at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, all to sold out houses.
In 2016 Femmes du Feu presented BIND, an aerial and dance work at Rhubarb Festival.
In 2016 & 2017, Femmes du Feu co-curated the HarbourKids Circus Festival and produced a new 12-minute aerial dance work for the main stage. Through 2017 Femmes du Feu had many performance opportunities, including a 15-minute performance and Circus Sessions 2018 (the 4th season), both at The Harbourfront Centre Theatre.
Through 2016 and 2018, Femmes du Feu was generously supported by Theatre Direct, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council For The Arts in the development of TWEET TWEET, a circus show for early years (created with Lindsay Goodtimes, directed by Monica Dottor). TWEET TWEET premiered at WEEFestival May 2018. TWEET TWEET has since been presented at Soul Pepper Family Festival 2018, will return to WeeFestival Toronto 2019, Kids Fest Hamilton, and an Ontario tour for fall 2019. Through TWEET TWEET, Femmes du Feu have been able to undertake a research period, generously supported by The Canada Council For The Arts, investigating and integrating accessibility practices for the early years audience.
We are excited about moving into another development phase for ‘In The Fire’, generously supported by The Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council. ‘In The Fire’ was presented at a pitch session at Montreal Completement Cirque 2018 and Rhubarb Festival 2019 with great success.
The newest creation that Femmes du Feu has been involved with is Lonely Child Project, a collaboration with Stacie Dunlop and Angola Murdoch of Look Up Theatre. This is an aerial and operatic re-envisioning of Calude Vivier’s Lonely Child opera piece. A development phase and studio showing took place February 2019, generously supported by The Canada Council For The Arts.
Femmes du Feu is committed to diverse inclusion through their curation opportunities. We are committed to offering accessible tools such as audio description and ASL. This practice for the company began in April 2018. Femmes du Feu have several non-performative activities. Since 2011 Femmes du Feu have been producing Aer Time, a contemporary circus performance series. We often work as outside eye to other artists, work in a mentoring role to other circus artists. Circus Sessions (now in it’s
5th year) is another important activity we produce to connect and strengthen the Ontario circus sector.
Holly TreddenickArtistic Director, project lead (Toronto, ON)
SABRINA PRINGLEPerformer, collaborator, technical consultant, rigger, teacher
ANGOLA MURDOCHPerformer, collaborator, teacher
Peter BenedettiRigging & Fabrication
LINDSAY GOODTIMESCo-founder, performer, collaborator, teacher
NATALIE FULLERTONPerformer, collaborator, teacher
LARA EBATAPerformer, collaborator, teacher
Joanne Lynn GalliganPerformer, collaborator, teacher, graphic designer
CHARISSA WILCOXProduction Manager, Stage Manager
JAMES FISHERSound creation
MARC RICHARDDirector, dramaturge
Originally from Winnipeg, Holly moved to Toronto in 1995 to study at The School of
Toronto Dance Theatre. Holly has been dancing since she could walk, and has been in
circus for more than 16 years. Holly is artistic director and co-founder of Femmes du
Feu (founded in 2003), under which she produces several sector development projects
including Circus Sessions (since 2014), Aer Times (since 2010) and teaches
workshops. Through Femmes du Feu, Holly has been performing and creating new
contemporary circus works and presenting them across Canada and the USA. She is
passionate about community and art, both as a creator and interpreter. She believes art can inspire, educate, build community and catalyse transformation. Holly is also an osteopath (DOMP), and a mother of two beautiful girls.
Sabrina joined Femmes du Feu as co-artistic director in 2006. She has choreographed and performed in many venues across Toronto over the last four years. Sabrina is currently being seen in film festivals across Canada and on the Olympic website as a solo aerialist/dancer in Elif Isikozlu’s film “Let Go”. Beginning in 2002 she toured several different productions extensively in the United Stated and Europe as choreographer and performer with the Caravan Stage Barge. She was also co-founder, performer and choreographer with the dance company D.I.X from 1999-2001; producing two full-length shows in Toronto and touring to Portugal. As an aerialist, dancer, fire and stunt performer she has also worked with companies such as Circus Orange, Zero Gravity Circus, A2D2, DNA Theatre, and Company Blonde.Sabrina began as a ballet, jazz and modern dancer and went on to graduate from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 1999. Eight years ago, she began to focus on training in the circus arts with many different coaches throughout North America and completed the International Stunt School by the United Stuntmen’s Association in Seattle. Her aerial training includes silks, single and double pick harness, bungee, trapeze, dance trapeze, hoop and invented apparatuses. Sabrina is High Angle Rescue and Fall Arrest certified with experience rigging in theatres, conference halls, tall ships, high buildings (Toronto’s City Hall) and steep rock faces. Sabrina also performs with fire, spinning, manipulating, and even eating it, using a vast array of props and techniques. She can also do a full body fire burn, and is a licensed pyrotechnician. In 2005 Sabrina began running her own aerial silks school and now proudly has many students performing as professionals in the community.
Angola’s childhood was spent mostly upside down, dancing and doing gymnastics while growing up on her family farm in Grey County, Ontario. She has trained and performed in a multitude of movement disciplines including over fifteen years of capoeira, aerial circus and acrobatics. Her strength is creating new aerial equipment that make sense in a theatrical setting. Angola is an international performer. Some highlights include: Cirque Pacifica (Maui), Waiting for Calder (Art Gallery of Ontario), Planet Power (HarbourKids, Toronto), Maravilla (Second City, Toronto), Granmercy Theatre (NYC), Command Performance (Europe), and Zip Zap Circus (South Africa). Angola has graduated from the National Circus School in Montreal where she obtained the highest level of coaching certification for circus arts. She has taught all over the world offering social circus workshops and her unique master classes. Angola is thrilled and honoured to be part of the Femmes Du Feu team.
Peter Benedetti has been working in the entertainment production industry for more than 20 years. He specializes as a rigger and production manager. He has worked extensively as a sound technician in music and concerts across Canada and the USA. Peter has worked independently and for many companies including Frontier Sound And Light, Sound Plus, Christie Lights, and the IATSE union. Peter has production managed many productions including the OLG STage at Toronto Pride, Toronto Canada Day Woodbine Park, Veld Festival, Grey Cup Celebration Toronto, Hamilton SuperCrawl, He has toured as sound technician with bands such as I Mother Earth, Burton Cummings, Biff Naked, 54 40, and so many more.
Ten years ago, Peter began to move more and more towards circus rigging. As a rope access technician and circus rigger, Peter has worked extensively for companies such as Femmes du Feu Creations and other companies and independent artists through Ontario, he has toured with Cirque Musica, Kinky Boots, Rock Of Ages, he has installed arena shows for Cirque Du Soleil. Peter has rigged and production managed nearly two thousand corporate and special events in convention centres and banquet halls across Canada. Peter has built and installed rigging equipment for an Ontario Heritage Trust building- The Elgin And Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto.
Peters also has extensive experience in fabrication. His rigging experience led to requests for custom builds such as apparatuses, rigging systems, brackets and more. Peter is founder of Upstage Dynamics Inc, which specializes in design and building of circus apparatuses and equipment for the production industry.
Peter has recently relocated to Welland, Ontario, where he purchased an old bank with his wife, and is combining his skills in the creation of a new venue and circus centre.
Since the inception of Circus Sessions, Jackie Houghton has had the opportunity to combine her love of writing and circus. As a writer for Femmes du Feu and Circus Sessions, Jackie has had articles about the residency published in American Circus Educators (A.C.E.) magazine, on the website Circus Talk, and various blogs. She has also provided social media content for Circus Sessions and Circus Talk, on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
As a participant in Circus Voices, a writing workshop hosted by the U.K.’s Circus Diaries, at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Jackie has continued to build her writing and critiquing skills. She hopes to continue to use her voice to bring the world’s attention to the ever-burgeoning contemporary circus community in Toronto, Canada.
In her non-circus life, Jackie is an elementary school teacher. Before receiving her Masters of Education, she attended Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, receiving her B.A., Journalism in 2001. Outside of the classroom, Jackie has been training circus arts for the past 9 years, focusing her practice on aerial silks, but dabbling in a little bit of everything!
Alex Bulmer, BA, A.D.V.s. MA, is an award-winning writer, art maker and access consultant. She is originally from Canada and has worked internationally in theatre, film, radio and circus arts for over 25 years. Alex has created art with numerous organizations including Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, CBC, The National Arts Centre, Royal Court, Graeae Theatre Company, APAE Brazil, and the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
As a freelance access consultant, Alex has offered her guidance and expertise to numerous arts organizations including Arts Council England, Red Dress Productions, Ontario Arts Council, Harbourfront Centre, and Tangled Art and Disability.
As an advocate for change in her home province of Ontario, Alex has worked with the National Arts Centre, the British Council Toronto, Ryerson University, Theatre Centre and CBC television on numerous arts projects which focus on the increased cultural inclusion of people with disabilities.
Alex has been a participant in the disability movement in Ontario since 1993, working at DNet CBC, co-founding Toronto’s first disability cross arts organization Picasso Project, creating her groundbreaking stage play SMUDGE with Nightwood Theatre, and leading numerous public seminars on the subject of inclusion through Theatre Ontario, Actors Equity, The Abilities Centre, University of Guelph, Queens University, as well as publications in arts and academic journals.
Her artistic work in the UK has been recognized as she has been honoured as a fellow of The
Winston Churchill Trust and was named as one of the United Kingdom’s most influential disabled artists by Power Magazine in 2014.
Alex welcomes participatory design for a more inclusive world and celebrates the infusion of
the disabled experience into the arts.
Lindsay Goodtimes has been entertaining audiences for the past two decades. After graduating from Toronto Dance Theatre in 1998 she spent many years performing and choreographing in the US, Canada and abroad. Her travels took her to South East Asia where Lindsay trained at the Thai fire school. It was there she was first introduced to the circus arts. Upon returning from her travels she was impassioned with a great desire to incorporate fire arts in dance, it was at that time that Lindsay co-founded Femmes Du Feu with Holly Treddenick as a vehicle to explore this fusion. Lindsay was honoured to be a part of the Circus Orange team for many years and participated in their trade mark spectacle performances at JFL Montreal, Winterlude Ottawa and Cavalcade Toronto to name a few. She began her aerial training with Sabrina Pringle in 2006 and is thrilled with the new direction that Sabrina and Holly have guided FDF into. A women of many interests, Lindsay has been a member of multiple bands over the years from Punk Rock to Kindie, Lindsay utilizes different types of performance mediums to explore human expression with the ultimate goal of entertainment.
Natalie Fullerton is a classically trained dancer who also holds a BFA in dance from York University. After completing her degree she discovered the circus arts and has never looked back. In addition to co-directing her own fire and aerial company, Goodness Gracious…, she has also performed across Canada, the USA, Europe and Asia with various companies and choreographers. Most recently she has been working with Circus Orange, Femmes du Feu, Les Coquettes and Lady Luck Productions on selected events including, Airship with Femmes du Feu as part of the 2011 Rhubarb Festival, City of Toronto Wintercity Festival 2010, Femmes du Feuʼs production Head First, winner of Toronto Fringe Festival 2009 Best of Fringe award and Patronʼs Pick, The Calgary Stampede 2008 and Just For Laughs 2006 (Montreal), 2007 (Toronto) with Circus Orange, as well as an ongoing residency at Revival with Les Coquettes.
Lara has been a dancer for over 25 years. Her formative training began with ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance. An insatiable appetite for dance has led to studies in modern, jazz, Indian dance, Afro-Caribbean, hip hop, Latin ballroom, tap, fire dance, stilts, and various aerial apparatus. Since graduating from the York University Dance Program in 2000, Lara has performed across North America in festivals such as the Toronto Fringe Festival of Independent Dance Artists, Dusk Dances, the Toronto, Ottawa, London, & Hamilton Fringe Festivals, the Yonge St. Festival, Just for Laughs (Montreal & Toronto), Cavalcade of Lights, the Calgary Stampede, Wintercity, the Rhubarb Festival, and the Second City Late Night Cabaret. Lara has had the opportunity to work with Toronto circus companies such as Circus Orange, Femmes du Feu, A2D2, and Suspended Animation, and is co-artistic director of her own small fire dance company, Goodness Gracious…
Joanne Lynn Galligan
Joanne’s has been training in the aerial & acrobatic world for over 12 years. Her training began at the Toronto School of Circus. She has been lucky enough to study in Canada and the US with such artists as Megan Gendell (Philadelphia), Niff Nicholls (Secret Circus), Elsie Smith, Serenity Smith-Forchion, Aimee Hancock & Jamie Hodgson (all of NECCA), Fred Deb (France) and April Moore Skelton (Frequent Flyers, Boulder). Her Foundation Trapeze Teacher Training was completed at NECCA under the incredible guidance of Elsie Smith (former aerialist for Cirque du Soleil). She has also studied Movement Fundamentals from former gymnast Carl Paoli, and has her CF Gymnastics Certification.
She began her coaching career at the Toronto School of Circus Arts, and was the head coach for their Static Trapeze program from 2010 – 2016. Although Trapeze is her first love, she enjoys coaching a variety of other disciplines including Silks, Hoop, Chinese Poles, Spanish web and Partner Balancing. Joanne worked with Disney Cruiseline and Norwegian Cruiseline for over five years, travelling the globe to coach their artists and dancers in aerial circus, harness work, stunts and stage combat. She is also a personal trainer and calisthenics coach.
Joanne currently teaches circus arts at Hercinia Arts Collective (Toronto) and Strength & Bar, the calisthenics class she developed at Reebok CrossFit Liberty Village (Toronto).
Erin Ball is a circus artist and coach based in Kingston, Ontario and she is the owner of Kingston Circus Arts. Her disciplines include aerial silks and trapeze, both solo and duo, wheelchair acrobatics and aerial wheelchair, flexibility and hooping. Erin is also experienced with aerial hoop, partner acrobatics and hand-balancing. She took a year off in March 2014 due to life changing events that resulted in the loss of her lower legs. She has returned to her passion of training, coaching and performing. She loves adapting and creating new/different ways of executing skills.
She has trained at many schools in Ontario, the New England Center for Circus Arts, and many more. She has many movement certifications, including several Fabric and Trapeze Teacher Trainings (NECCA), Hooping Instructor (Body Hoops), Mat Pilates Instructor (Balanced Body), Yoga Teacher Training (The Yoga Studio, Toronto), Handstands (Deflying Fitness) and many others. She also received a diploma in Fitness and Lifestyle Management from George Brown College in Toronto.
Erin loves to move and to connect with others through movement and play. She performs and teaches regularly in Kingston and the surrounding areas. Erin teaches all bodies, shapes, sizes and situations. She has worked with amputees, people who use wheelchairs, Autism Ontario, etc. She also teaches a workshop called Flying Footless, a course for aerial coaches working with lower limb amputees.
Some of Erin’s current performance projects include LEGacy Circus with Vanessa Furlong (a show that is a combination of stilt dancing, prosthetic legs, synchronized acrobatics, partner acrobatics, duo trapeze and more) and Cyborg E.R.I.N , directed and co-created by Sonia Norris, aerial dramaturgy by Rebecca Leonard and performed with Chris Stroesser (a piece where Erin has various leg attachments such as smoke grenades, confetti cannons, light up legs etc and her cyborg character has been created by a scientist for the sole purpose of being an aerialist). Another project is called Creature, choreographed with Michele Frances (A combination of hand balancing, flexibility and hula hooping. The act explores a unique aesthetic and interesting physical possibilities that are created by amputation/ adaptability/innovation) and Cone Legs, a single point trapeze piece with leg extensions that are shaped like cones, choreographed with Aimée Hancock. Erin also regularly collaborates with Femme du Feu.
In early 2018, Erin began performing on her aerial wheelchair. The piece, called Suspended Disbelief, was choreographed and conceived by Heidi Latsky in collaboration with Erin and is an excerpt of the show D.I.S.P.L.A.Y.E.D.
Erin is interested in integrating accessibility for all into performances and has recently been working on creative audio description in her own work. She recently participated in Circus Sessions 2018, developing and performing creative audio description during the show, under the guidance of Alex Bulmer.
Erin also writes a column for The Kingston Whig Standard newspaper, called No Feet and a Heartbeat, about life since her accident.
Find out more about Erin’s classes and performances at https://kingstoncircusarts.com.
Charissa has worked at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre (BIBT) for the past fifteen years. She has been the Head of Production for this Queer Canadian Theatre since 2005 and currently holds the same position. In addition to working at BIBT; she has been a freelance production manager/technical director for Nightwood Theatre, Studio 180, Theatre Rusticle and Summerworks’ Theatre Festival. Her production stage management experience includes companies such as Outspoke Production, Operation Snatch and Cartier Danse. In 2010 Charissa joined Circus Orange Inc. as their production stage manager.
James Zirco Fisher is the Movement-Music Composer & the Blue-Prints Illustrator of the AIR SHIP. Zirco has a detailed history illustrating for numerous projects including the popular skeleton comic “Disifigures of Speech” featured monthly in Rue Morgue Magazine this past 7 years. Zirco completed the macabre soundtrack to his first feature film earlier this year called “Kenneyville”. Zirco is also the spearhead of the circus electro music project Squid Lid. This project combines his artistic and musical skills seamlessly along with a live stage spectacle that features glowing creatures. To hear and see more of James Zirco Fisher visit zircocircus.com.
Marc Richard is a multi-disciplinary artist. He is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, where he had the pleasure of working with many of this country’s finest choreographers. He worked for a time as an independent dancer and was seen in Bill James’ Big Pictures with Arraymusic. As an actor Marc has appeared in theatre productions across Canada including the World Stage Premiere of Anne Marie MacDonald’s Anything That Moves and Dorothy Dittrich’s When We Were Singing (Buddies, Belfry, National Art Centre). As a director and choreographer he has worked on over sixty professional productions across Canada including Evita (Persephone) Funny Business – The Musical (Toronto Fringe, Diesel Playhouse) The Last Resort, Nunsense, Jasper Station, I Love You, You’re Perfect (Drayton Entertainment) Plank (Toronto, London, Winnipeg Fringe) and Excuse me, would you like to buy a bar? (Toronto Fringe). As a writer he has written several full length scripts including Toad:The Anna Russell Story (Rhubarb Festival, Theatre Aquarius Stagewrite Series) Marc has taught in the Dance Department at York University and is currently a faculty member at Sheridan College in the Music Theatre Professional Training Program where he teaches, directs and choreographs (West Side Story, Berlin to Broadway, Company, Pippin). He holds a Master of Arts in Dance from York University with a specialization in dance education in elementary schools and is currently a PhD candidate in York’s Faculty of Education.