Abilities project


ABILITIES is a pilot project in inclusive practices whose aim is to provide support in the form of training, professional development and adapted accommodations for Azalia Kaviani, an artist living with cerebral palsy so that she can produce a solo exhibition of visual art, a dance performance and share her experience during a conference with the team that accompanies her.
The aim of the project is to highlight the qualities of artists with disabilities in the hope of recognizing their skills and promoting their integration into the fabric of our society.
This project, presented by the Festival Accès Asie, is financially supported by the Conseil des arts de Montréal.

The artist and the project are supported by MAI (Montreal Arts Interculturels) in the form of an artistic residency in rehearsal studios.

Azalia Kaviani - Visual Artist and Dancer

Originally from Iran, Azalia Kaviani immigrated to Montreal in 2006. She is a visual artist and dancer who has been living with cerebral palsy since childhood. She is a graduate of Concordia University and McGill University, and also attended Dawson College. Azalia exhibited her paintings in 2018 at Galerie Mekic in the double exhibition Les Visages and at the SalonEsque collective exhibition at the MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) in 2015. From 2015 to 2017, Azalia was supported by the MAI Complices program. Her first solo exhibition Les nocturnes is the result of a year of work in Project HABILITÉS, an inclusive project that provides Azalia with dance training, professional development tools, and accommodation adapted to her needs so that she can achieve her artistic and professional goals. Through her art, Azalia is motivated by the desire ‘’to inspire people with disabilities to pursue their ambitions, to encourage them not to marginalize themselves.’’

Kakim Goh – Curator and Project Manager /
Professional Development Advisor

Kakim Goh is a Singaporean-born Montreal-based visual artist, curator, and cultural worker. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from Concordia University. Kakim has a long history of community engagement helping to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in the education, arts, and culture sectors. Kakim is an appointed Member of the Evaluation Committee for New Artistic Practices and Multidisciplinary Sector at the Conseil des arts de Montréal. He is Treasurer, Executive Member of the Board of Directors, and Chair of the Inclusion Committee at the English-Language Arts Network (ELAN). He served as Curator of the Visual Arts Program at Festival Accès Asie from 2014 to 2016 and was Vice-President on the Festival’s Board of Directors from 2014 to 2019. In everyday life, Kakim works as the Business Development Officer at Dawson College’s Continuing Education and Community Services.

Irem Bekter – Trainer, Choreographer / Dance Partner

Irem Bekter, woman of theater, of music, and dance, was born in Istanbul. At the age of eight, she left for England where she graduated in classical dance and jazz from the Elmhurst Ballet School in Camberley, and studied at the Royal Academy of Dance in London. She holds a bachelor's degree from the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts where she studied theater, radio, television, direction, and singing. Since her arrival in Montreal in 2007, she has served as a movement coach at Infinitheatre and offers workshops within the Center for the Arts in Human Development program at Concordia University for people facing developmental challenges and individuals with special needs. In 2015, Irem carried out ‘Rhythm and Body’ workshops in Gibsons, BC, as part of the ANCA World Autism Festival.

Elise Andreoli - Health Advisor / Nurse Clinician

Elise Andreoli was born in Sainte-Catherine, Quebec; she is of Italian and Quebecoise origin . Elise holds a DEC in Nursing from Cégep André-Laurendeau and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Montreal, and has become an experienced clinical nurse. Currently, she is doing a certificate in Public Health in continuing education at the University of Montreal. Since 2000, she has been a nurse at the University of Montreal Hospital Center. Elise is passionate about challenges and art therapy, and says she is inspired by her patients on a daily basis.

Laurence Ly – Director and photographer

Laurence Ly is a Cambodian and Vietnamese director, editor, and screenwriter. Born in a refugee camp in Thailand, he has been a Canadian citizen since the age of two. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) in 2014, Laurence began a self-funded feature film, Marche avec moi (Walk with me), and participated in the "Rendez-vous Québec Cinéma". In 2017, he obtained a master's degree at UQAM in communication with a concentration in film and moving images. A devoted filmmaker, director, screenwriter, editor, and producer, Laurence was also a film programmer for the Festival Nomade de Montréal from 2013 to 2018. Today, he is a videographer and photographer for Festival Accès-Asie and also works at Main Film.