Meet the Selection Committee of What the Pop! A Free Pop-Up Boutique, Gallery & Performance for All

This coming August - September 2021, we will be hosting four pop-up exhibitions as part of our What The Pop! art exhibition series. Each of the showcases, which will be held in Montreal neighborhoods known as hubs for arts and culture, will feature a different group of artists.

The response to our call for submissions was outstanding, with 145 submissions from creatives across Quebec! The selection committee, a jury of 4 local leaders in the arts and business community, is now hard at work choosing a total of 50 emerging artists to participate.

Artists will be revealed in early August; in the meantime, meet the selection committee responsible for reviewing the applications:

Muhanad Ali (he/him)
Cultural Manager, Curator, Translator

Muhanad Ali is a cultural manager, translator, and curator operating at the intersections of cultural production, society, and representation. Based in Montreal since 2020, Muhanad has been working on translating a selection of cultural anthropology articles from English to Arabic as part of a personal dedication to decolonial knowledge production and circulation.

Muhanad was the Arts Centre Director & Curator at Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre (DUCTAC) when he founded the East/East-East platform—a series of exhibitions, talks and workshops that explores shared geopolitical psychologies in the Global South through linking a variety of art narratives from different geographical “Easts”. A Cultural Leadership International Programme fellow (2010), Muhanad earned his BA in English Language and Literature at Damascus University (2002). He was the Special Projects Manager at Art Dubai and went on to co-manage and curate Dubai Culture’s artist-led fair and festival, SIKKA (2013). He headed the Artistic Production department at Damascus Opera House (2010) where he co-produced over 15 performances and festivals.   

Deborah Forde
director, dramaturge, playwright arts administrator

In 1999, after over 20 years in community development, Deborah’s work led her to the practice of professional community-engaged arts through the study of Theatre for Development at Concordia. Emerging first as a director, with Bryan James’s Terminal,Terminal and Rahul Varma’s State of Denial, Deborah went on to spend two years supporting other emerging artists through Black Theatre Workshop’s YouthWorks, and then 3 years serving the English-speaking theatre community as executive director for the Quebec Drama Federation. She has also recently directed the inaugural production of Canada’s first Muslim theatre company, Silk Road Institute and is the former coordinator for Teesri Duniya Theatre’s Fireworks program. 

Currently, Deborah is director of operations for ELAN and freelances with the goal of continuing to support emerging artists and facilitate community connection to, and through, theatre. 

Kakim Goh 
Visual Artist, Curator, and Cultural Worker 

Kakim Goh is a Singaporean-born Montreal-based visual artist, curator, and cultural worker who creates interdisciplinary painting, performance, and video installations. He has been exhibiting in Quebec and Mexico since 1993 and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from Concordia University. 

He has a long history of community engagement helping to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in the education, arts, and culture sectors. From 2019 to 2021, he lead The ABILITIES Project, a pilot project in inclusive practices that helped an artist with cerebral palsy integrate into the professional arts community in Montreal. 

Kakim served as Curator of the Visual Arts Program at Festival Accès Asie from 2014 - 2016 and was Vice-President on the Festival’s Board of Directors from 2014 - 2019. He is Treasurer of the Board of Directors at MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) and an Executive Member of the Board of Directors and Co-chair of the Inclusion Committee at the English-Language Arts Network (ELAN). Kakim is an appointed Member of the Evaluation Committee for New Artistic Practices and Multidisciplinary Sector at the Conseil des arts de Montréal. 
Photo credit: © Laurence Ly 

Caroline Gauthier
YES Artist Business Coach

Caroline first began her training as an opera singer, earning her music degree at Université de Montréal, before transitioning into theatre and film. Being of an entrepreneurial spirit, she soon began producing stage shows and short films and cofounding a film collective, where she saw her films selected in festivals in Canada, Europe and the United States. After a 12-year career in arts and media, realizing that managing and coordinating were among her core strengths, Caroline chose to pursue her passion for business by completing an MBA at HEC Montreal.  

Known for her practicality, empathy, and rigour as well as for her ability for analysis and synthesis, Caroline Gauthier has long combined her creative sensibilities with her highly rational mindset in order to move projects forward both in the artistic realm as well as in the non-profit sector. As an artist business coach, she brings to the table her knack for structure, forging a vision and seeing things through. She is thrilled to use her business and creative skills to put them at the service of artist-entrepreneurs and help them with their projects, from ideation to fruition. 

This project is funded by: 

Media partner: