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Jennifer Chan (she/her)

Storytelling Caretaker & CEO, Co-Founder

Jenn is second-generation Chinese-Canadian, a Mama, a partner, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a struggling idealist, a pandemic-induced extroverted introvert, and a recovering perfectionist aka super Virgo.

Jenn’s thinking was partially shaped by her Bachelors in Architectural Science from Ryerson University, her Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from the Ontario College of Art and Design and her life MBA of running her own design-driven community engagement consultancy since 2007.

Jenn finds joy in starting new crafty hobbies, gets a bit obsessive doing it as much as possible until she becomes bored and moves on. (She is also a fan of run-on sentences)

Mathura Mahendren (she/her)

Storytelling Caretaker and Minister of Memes & Meditation, previously Program Manager of The Stories of Us

Mathura is a design researcher by nurture, and a storyteller by nature. She holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences from McMaster University, and Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from the OCAD University.

From observing delegations at the World Health Assembly, to spending eight months embedded in The Gambian suburbia, and co-creating an adult summer camp digital detox in Haliburton, Ontario, Mathura’s desire to deeply understand the human experience has been her trusted compass on her winding trajectory to date. She believes in ways of being, doing, and leading that are equal parts soft and fierce, and is excited to experiment with what that might look like in The Stories of Us project.

In her spare time, Mathura is an old soul and enjoys engaging in old soul activities.

Ari Para (Manchari Paranthahan) (they/them)

Storytelling Caretaker, previously a Social Researcher for A Tale of Two Parks 

Ari is a second generation Sri-Lankan-Canadian, Hindu, non-binary, queer artivist based in Scarborough, Ontario. They are a theatre artist and a writer with a passion for reading and learning.

Ari completed an undergraduate in Business Communications at Brock University in St. Catharines, while also completing a minors in Women and Gender Studies and the Dramatic Arts. During their time in St. Catharines, Ari got involved with social justice organizations such as the Brock Student Justice Centre, OPIRG-Brock as well as The Brock Faith and Life Centre. Ari is currently completing a certificate in English Literature and Popular Culture at X University and their Masters of Education at York University. Ari has co-created a theatre show archiving their queer faith journey called That Power, a play focusing on queer interfaith dialogue that was highlighted in In The Soil Arts Festival 2020. They are currently working on adapting That Power as new life experiences impact their queer faith journey.

Ari is also working on publishing a book called Dear Body, a collection of poems about overcoming challenges in their lives without sacrificing who they are.

Elvin Velasco (they/them)

Storytelling Caretaker, previously Program Manager for A Tale of Two Parks 

Elvin is a 1.5 generation Filipinx-Canadian. They are a non-binary queer artivist, who migrated at a young age from the lush tropical motherland of Tarlac City, Philippines, grew up Scarborough, Ontario, and currently resides in Downtown Tkaronto.

They are passionate about using their artistic voice and vision in supporting, advocating, healing, and providing comfort for individuals and communities who have been traumatised by systems that do not serve them. They believe that people’s stories and lived experiences are integral in creating change and liberation of ourselves and the communities that we exist in.

They believe that advocacy through any artistic form are powerful modes of storytelling that can comfort the masses and disrupt the system. They believe that we all have the capacity to be creative and be advocates. It is their purpose and journey to empower people that this creative power of individual and community healing lives within all of us.

In their journey of being an advocate for various communities, they have experienced compassion fatigue and trauma. Whereby, they shifted their advocacy work from public endeavours to their personal circle of connections, as showing up for yourself in whatever capacity you can is in itself showing up for your commUNITY.

Elvin is currently in their 3rd year of the Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership program at George Brown College at X University. You can find them cooking & baking in the kitchen, while taking care of their plants.

Our work is not possible without the additional time, talent, treasures and testimonies of many.

Our Volunteers
Our Board of Directors
Our Ministry

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