Pro Team Categories Archives: Youth Campus Education Centre Student Support

Ms. Stefanie Barnfather

Ms. Barnfather started at Calgary Arts Academy in 2018.

She received her Harmony Certification at Royal Conservatory of Music in 2002, and an advanced diploma in Music Theatre/Performance at Sheridan College in 2005.  She received for Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2011 and her Bachelor of Education degree in 2013, both at the University of Calgary.  She was a high school teacher from 2013 to 2018.

In her career, she was a dancer in the professional division at Alberta Ballet from 1992 to1996, and was a leading performer with Storybook Theatre and Front Row Centre Players from 1996 to 2001.  In addition, she was an extra and featured lead in several Film and television projects in Calgary from 1996 to 2008 and was part of the ensemble in “A Christmas Carol” with Theatre Calgary 1998.  She was also a singer/dancer with The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede from 1997 to 2002.

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Ms. Kelsey Gerwing

Kelsey recently graduated from the teaching program at the University of Calgary, with a focus in Physical Education. She completed her practicum at Calgary Arts Academy during the 2017-2018 school year and is excited to begin her teaching career in the same role!

Kelsey has been an avid Ringette player her entire life, having had the opportunity to represent Alberta on a provincial and national scale in the role of both athlete and coach. Her most notable moments in the sport have included participating at the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse, and winning gold at the 2012 Western Canadian Championships in Kelowna.

In her spare time, Kelsey loves camping, hiking, cooking, and spending as much time as possible in the mountains.

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Mr. Allen Doell

Allen is passionate about children and the arts and has been an active volunteer at Calgary Arts Academy for over 9 years, prior to taking on the position of Student Logistics Coordinator. As an enthusiastic supporter of CAA, he believes whole-heartedly in CAA’s education methods and community culture, having seen first-hand the incredible benefits his 3 sons have received from attending.

As a professional musician for over 35 years, Allen has many highlights including performing for the Prime Minister of Canada and touring internationally with country recording act Jo Hikk. He has shared the stage with some of music’s biggest names, earned 4 CCMA nominations and released several songs to radio and videos to CMT.

Allen has actively embraced opportunities that allow him to be a positive role model in children’s lives including his past experience as a school bus driver for 7 years. He enjoys providing a safe, supportive environment for the students at CAA and encourages random acts of kindness every chance he gets!

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Ms. Susanna Walker

Ms. Walker started at Calgary Arts Academy in 2017.

With the “Abitur” (High school matriculation equivalent / international baccalaureate) she earned an apprenticeship as a ladies’ custom tailor at the Hiberniaschule in Germany.

After studying violin privately in Amsterdam, Cologne and Berlin and playing in several orchestras, she focused more on chamber music and being a freelance violinist.

Teaching has always been a big part of her life and she gave private lessons.  She also earned a Teaching Certification as Junior High School English / Textile Science / Home Economics major at the Hochschule, a university in Freiburg, Germany.

She is very excited to teach at Calgary Arts Academy!

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Ms. Josie Drever Chu

Josie’s passion with art started on paper at the age of 2 and continues to intertwine in her everyday life. Her love for drawing, sculpture and photography has earned her a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Sculpture and Photography, as well as a Masters of Fine Art Graduate degree in Photography. Her extensive experience in photography is demonstrated in a portfolio of hundreds of portrait, weddings and events spanning 19 years of professional photography experience. Josie shares her love for photography, not only creatively but way of instruction at the University of Calgary as an instructor of  Film and Digital photography since 2000. She is a mother of two incredible boys and loves to document their everyday journeys with film and digital media and can be found in her studio shooting, editing, writing, creating photographic mixed media pieces, dancing like no one is watching and sipping on coconut lattes.

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Mr. Garrett Thorson

Mr. Thorson is thrilled to be kicking off another year at Calgary Arts Academy!

He began his CAA career as a student teacher in 2014, served as a Resident Artist/Homeroom teacher for the Year 4/5 team in 2015/16, and spent the past year working as the Glenmeadows Elementary Music Specialist. This year, Mr. Thorson returns in a combined role as a Year 4/5 Homeroom Facilitator and team leader for the CAA Middle School Music Program.

Mr. Thorson has earned degrees from the University of Alberta (Bachelor of Music), Dalhousie University (Master of Arts – Musicology), and the University of Calgary (Bachelor of Education.)  He has also been an active member of the Calgary music scene for several years, performing throughout Western Canada in groups such as Cowpuncher, Alright Gents, and The Sweets.

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Mr. Drew Smith

Mr. Smith joined Calgary Arts Academy in 2013.

He arrived in Calgary in 2006 and has enjoyed performing, arranging, conducting and singing locally with a variety of concert bands, jazz combos and big bands, pit orchestras and symphonies.  Recent international performances include tours to Austria,  Australia, France, England, New York, Nashville, Cuba and New Orleans.  His latest music projects include a live 8 piece funk R&B band “Get It!” and a jazzy swing combo, the Rhythm Barons.  At Calgary Arts Academy, Drew focuses on trumpet, trombone, F horn, tuba, baritone, drum kit, and bass guitar as a band instructor.

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