Organizing Committee

Pooyan Tabatabaei, Photojournalist

Festival Curator and art director

With more than a decade of experience in photojournalism in Canada, University background in Art  and Management,  Pooyan Tabatabaei has contributed to push the boundaries in Canadian Visual Art by achieving international prestigious awards and receiving many nominations. While his photojournalistic images have been published in numerous international magazines and dailies, his artistic visionary has been appreciated by the art society and he has chosen to be a curator for the international festivals and exhibitions.


Mahmoud Meraji – Fine Art Artist

The remarkable career of artist Mahmoud Meraji extends beyond his completed works of art. Highly renowned as a painter, Meraji is also a master of portraiture.  Over the course of more than 30 years, he has pushed the boundaries of traditional painting in remarkable ways in both Canada and Iran, achieving many prestigious international awards. During the last decade Meraji has taught and collaborated with the Canadian Iranian community.


Ali Kamran  –  Graphic designer

Ali Kamran has been involved in design industry as a graphic designer and art director since 1997. His posters for the theatrical shows brought  local and international recognition for him. From 2006 Ali Kamran continued his art journey in Canada  and numerous  Canadian festivals, Music albums and theatre posters flourished by his style.


Levon Haftvan ,  Stage director and Actor

Levon Haftvan, artistic director of Lemaz Productions & Artists Management, is  a stage director, actor, dramaturg and  producer from Canada.  He works with various International performing arts festivals and venues as artistic adviser. Haftvan holds directing degrees from University of Tehran and Russian Academy of Theatrical Arts.  He is fluent in Farsi, Armenian, Russian and English languages.  During the last ten years, Lemaz Productions & Artists Management, has produced many theatre performances and helped Canadian performing artists to participate in International events.


Dr. Shahrzad Rahbar, industry executive and community builder

With two decades of executive experience in the gas industry in Canada, Shahrzad Rahbar has contributed to building a strong and efficient economy in Canada, and in shaping energy and innovation policy. She has also been recognized as a community builder for her role in launching a major new coalition for sustainable community energy solutions.  An art lover herself, Shahrzad is passionate about building a cultural presence for the Canadian Iranian Community.


Mahrokh Ahankhah –  Architect ,Queen Gallery’s owner and director

With more than a decade of experience in architecture while working as an Architect in Canada, Mahrokh Ahankhah took a bold step above and beyond her designated and expected job description and established Queen Gallery!

Queen Gallery is Mahrokh Ahankhah’s flag ship of diversity & innovation, which sailed beyond merely showcasing numerous international artists. She has taken upon herself to pursue the sacred task of converting mundane events into exciting cultural ones, transforming the corpses of spaces to lively, ambient ones accented by various artistic approaches!


Behnaz Rahbar ,   Director of  the “new vision productions  Inc.”

With the background of Nursing, Behnaz Rahabr has dedicated her life to service for patients in health care system of Canada for more than a decade. With a background of management and as a director of the New Vision Productions Inc. she has produced and supported many art events such as theatrical shows, visual exhibitions and short films in Canada in last 6 years.


Julie Oakes, multidisciplinary artist , writer and critic

festival artistic advisor

Born Julie Cowan in 1948, she married Sir Christopher Oakes to become Lady Oakes in 1978. Oakes has a Masters Degree in Visual Arts from New York University and a Masters Degree in Social and Political Science from The New School for Social Research in New York.

With a dual career as an artist and writer, she created Human Sacrifice, three exhibitions with accompanying novellas. In addition to writing for Vie des Arts Magazine, Canada, Oakes has written a novel titled Hooks published by Dundurn Press, 2012.

Oakes uses multi-disciplinary means such as painting, drawing, sculpture, video, performance and printmaking to support narrative imagery often with gender based or spiritual overtones. The Life Screen was made for the series The Buddha Composed. Swounds, her most recent exhibition at The Canadian Clay and Glass Museum in Canada, included an installation of porcelain and glass sparrows and the Sparrow Christi prints.

Oakes works are in public collections such as The Glenbow Museum, The Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, The Mendel Gallery, The Varley Art Gallery, The Vernon Performing Arts Center, The AGSO, The Kenderdine Gallery, UBCO and The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas.