Mission: To promote and increase awareness of the variety of South Asian performing arts across Canada.
Why join the Movement?
Our instructors have won several EAC awards.
Our Artistic Director is a noteable community member with several accomplishments under her belt.
Our Board of Directors join us with a high level of achievement and strong connection to the performing arts.
Our primary goals as a performing arts institution are to increase the skill levels of our students and inspire them to become high achievers in all areas of their lives while imparting a cultural connection, and to encourage diversity and acceptance and reach the mainstream with our art forms.
Board of Directors:
Chair: Rejeita Kumar
Secretary: Sirisha Valupadas
Treasurer: Elliot Digby
Director of Community Relations: Vacant
Member-at-large: Shafeek Ali
The objects of the society are:
to encourage participation in and advancement of the South Asian arts in Edmonton;
to increase the profile, recognition and the awareness of the South Asian arts as a vital component of the Edmonton economy and community;
to encourage and develop an aesthetic appreciation of and for the South Asian arts in the Edmonton community
to increase the investment base for the South Asian arts through joint ventures, initiatives and partnerships with the business community and all levels of government;
to support the artistic endeavors of South Asian artists;
to collaborate with organizations and artists, both South Asian and non-South-Asian, to create new works for presentation to the public, thus helping the integration and promotion of South Asian Art in mainstream society;
to create new works of fusion arts – a combination of South Asian and non-South Asian art;
generally to support the development of the South Asian arts in Edmonton in order to promote artistic activities that educate and benefit the public; and
Artistic Director & Owner
& Bollywood Instructor,
Beyond Bollywood(TM) Workshop Facilitator
Class Program Coordinator & Instructor
Ashley Kumar is the Founding Artistic Director of SAAM & has been learning and performing East Indian Dance for 27 years. She is trained in Kathak, Bollywood, Bhangra, Gidda, Hip Hop Fusion, and other Indian Folk dance styles. She is the recipient of Edmonton's Top 40 Under 40 and recognized for her work with youth in the field of performing arts. As a certified Life Coach she uses specific techniques to empower her students; specifically challenging them in the areas of positive self-talk, power-shifting the mindset, and self-awareness. She is a DANCE COACH and wants students to see that they have the power to overcome any of their self-perceived obstacles. She has choreographed guest performances for Bollywood Stage shows including Heart Throbs in 2002, Miss Diwali Canada Pageant in 2003, and has performed on stage with actress Karisma Kapoor in Toronto in 2003. She also was a Choreographer for the short film Breakout of the Masala Kid that was shot in 2008 in Edmonton. She is a trained Actor who received training in Mumbai with special acting classes from veteran actor Mr. Anupam Kher. Ashley loves to create unique and edgy dance pieces that inspire and stir emotions within the audience and she wants to bring anyone open to this journey along for the ride!
Nupur is a passionate dancer who received formal training in Kathak in her early years. She has many years of experience in Bollywood but brings to her work the flavors of other styles she has trained in such as Salsa, Jazz and Contemporary and has performed at international events. She worked as a professional dance instructor in India for four years and has choreographed numerous events, weddings and festivals. She has continued her dancing journey in Canada and is excited to join SAAM as the Bollywood Dance Class Coordinator and Instructor.
The "Artists Helping Artists" program allows artists and artistic groups to retain a unique identity and name while harnessing the power and resources that SAAM has to offer with no upfront costs or investments. This program evolved from Ashley's beliefs that:
Collectivity in the Arts ensure success for all.
"Re-inventing” of the wheel doesn't help those trying to do good in the comunity and hinders the ability to pool resources.
Community Building initiatives lends strength to the promotion of the variety of South Asian Performing Arts.
Helping each other reduces stress and provides strength to artists wishing to share their art.
There is room for all of us in Edmonton in our respective areas of artistic creation.
Our current Artistic Groups under SAAM Management are:
A few of our many achievements: click on a photo to read more!
Click on a picture to read more....
Top 40 Under 40
In 2014 Ashley Anjlien Kumar, our Artistic Director, was awarded Top 40 Under 40 in Edmonton. From a pool of several hundred people, Ashley was chosen as a mover n' shaker' in Edmonton doing phenomenal work in the community by Avenue Magazine.
Ashley Kumar has been awarded the 2013 & 2014 CIP Travel Grant Awards and with support from the Edmonton Arts Council, undertook intensive Kathak training with Joanna De Souza, the Artistic Director of the MDO School of Kathak.
Additionally, Ashley was recognized and a photo of her appeared in the 2013 EAC Annual Report. (See page 30 & 31)
In 2012, Ashley Kumar nominated, one of our then instructors, the talented Aastha Khajuria for the Cultural Diversity in the Arts Award, which she subsequently won.
In 2012, Ashley Kumar was nominated for the John Poole Award for Business Promotion of the Arts and was recognized at the Mayor's Annual Gala for the Arts.
In 2012, we sent our first Kathak group to compete in the Dance Power Competition, and they came home with a GOLD medal.