Board of Directors

Mary Jane Warner, Chair

Professor Emerita (York University), Dr. Mary Jane Warner has extensive teaching experience at all levels, from elementary to graduate school. At York University, she taught courses in dance history, notation, repertory, movement analysis, ballet and dance education. She has served as Chair of the Dance Department, director of the Graduate Program in Dance and associate dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts. Her expertise in dance pedagogy brought her onto the development team for the Province of Ontario high school dance curriculum.She was the founder of the historical dance group Entrée Dance, which performed Renaissance and Baroque dance in schools and other community settings in the American Midwest, and directed the dance program at Kirkland College in Clinton, New York for six years before returning to Canada in 1980. Dr. Warner is a Fellow of the International Council of Kinetography Laban and a certified notation teacher and author of Laban Notation Scores: An International Bibliography, Volumes I – IV. She has provided certified checking for notation scores including works by Anna Sokolow and Leonide Massine, and has reconstructed works by Doris Humphrey and Marion Scott. She was the primary organizer and administrator of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies Program at York University.An authority on Canadian dance, Professor Warner published the bookToronto Dance Teachers: 1825-1925 as well as numerous articles on dance in Toronto. With colleague Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt, she developed a CD titled Shadow on the Prairie an interactive multimedia dance history tutorial that was released on the York Fine Arts recording label in 1997 – the first dance history CD-ROM ever published. Working in collaboration with York dance professor Selma Odom, she completed Canadian Dance: Visions and Stories, an anthology of Canadian dance published by Dance Collection Danse.

Fethi Karakecili, Vice Chair

Fethi Karakecili is a specialist in Kurdish, Turkish, Middle-Eastern and several European folk dances, having studied at Gaziantep State Conservatory and Istanbul Technical Conservatory in Turkey. He has performed in folk dance festivals and competitions across Europe and North America. In Turkey he hosted and attended a number of folk dance competitions as a juror and also participated in short films and television shows. He was also on faculty at Gaziantep University and led professional folk dance troupes. Upon immigrating to Canada in 2001, Mr. Karakecili quickly became well-known in Toronto’s folk dance community, not only as a dancer and workshop leader, but also as an active member of several organizations, including the Community Folk Arts Council, where he has served as a board member since 2005. He did a second Master’s, in Dance Studies, at York, where he is currently completing his Ph.D. dissertation in Ethnomusicology, on Kurdish wedding rituals, dance and music. With his “Dilan Dance Company”, he premiered the first known Kurdish ballet anywhere, “Mem u Zin”, at Toronto’s Bader Theatre, and, in 2014, “The Dance of Colours.” He has hosted Kurdish festivals and was interviewed by Voice of America representing Dilan Dance Company. Most recently, Fethi was the festival director for the CFAC International Folk Dance and Music Festival 2021.

Catherine Limbertie, Secretary/Treasurer

A Ph.D candidate in the Dance Department at the School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design at York University, Toronto, Catherine Limbertie is a practicing teacher, dancer, folklorist and historian. She has presented her research at many conferences; most recently at UPEI in May 2018 for Folklore Association of Canada. Her work is published in Dance Education around the World : Perspectives on Dance, Young People and Change, foreword by Sir Ken Robinson; Charlotte Svendler Nielsen and Stephanie Burridge (eds.). Abingdon : Routledge 2015. Prior to entering the academy, she was executive director of the Community Folk Art Council of Toronto, an organisation formed by members of Toronto’s many cultural communities to further the interests of maintaining multiple identities through dance.

Odette Aguinaldo

Odette comes with lifelong and immersive experience in the folk arts as her father was the co-founder of Fiesta Filipina Dance Troupe: the first Filipino dance group in Canada in 1966 which has since performed nationally and internationally. Odette began first as a dancer, then musician, then Executive Producer, ending up as President of the Fiesta Filipina Dance troupe. From her experience with Fiesta, Odette lends her knowledge and skill to other organizations. Since 2010, she has been one of the organizing members for Philippine Festival Mississauga and for the last 5 years has been acting Assistant Program Director for the festival. She is also an Affiliate Member with Folklore Canada International since 2007. Odette is honoured and proud to be a member of the Community Folk Art Council of Toronto knowing that she is the 2nd generation to carry on the mission of CFAC, just as fellow member Ineke (Catherine) Limbertie, whose mother was the past President (Aleida Limberte).

Grace Lyons

Grace Lyons is the Founder and Music Director of Heritage Singers (Canada) founded October 1977. The Group has performed extensively worldwide representing Canada at International Folk Festivals under the auspices of The Sivo International Dance Folk Festival and other hosts. In Toronto they have performed/appeared at just about any venue you could think of including the Roy Thompson Hall, Toronto Centre of The Arts, PC Ho Theatre, Sick Kids Hospital, the Granite Club, Churches, Schools, CBC and City TV-Breakfast Television. Grace Lyons is currently an award-winning real estate professional and has a background in management within the banking system. She is the recipient of many awards including newspaper articles and was featured in a Toronto Star article as Parent of the Year July 2003. She has received the Harry Jerome Award for Business Excellence, Pacesetter Award for Dedicated Service for the Advancement of Early Childhood Education both in Jamaica and Canada, and the Police and Community Award of Excellence February 23rd 2014.

Susan Ficek


Paromita Kar, Executive Director

Photo: John Markle

Dancer, choreographer and currently serving as the Executive Director of Community Folk Art Council of Toronto, Paromita Kar holds a Ph.D. in Dance Studies from the Department of Dance, York University. A performer of numerous world dance styles, she attributes her core training in dance to classical Indian Odissi dance, and is a student of Guru Durgacharan Ranbir of Orissa, India. She has performed in Europe, North America and Asia, performed in a number of music videos, and hosted several international collaborations with Ensemble Topaz , a Toronto-based music and dance ensemble dedicated to traditions of Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East. Paromita is the recipient of a Canada Council Grant to Professional Dancers (2015), Ontario Arts Council Artist in Education grant (2016), Chalmer’s Fellowship (Ontario Arts Council, 2016), Shastri Indo-Canadian Fine Arts Fellowship for Dance (2012), and an Ontario Arts Council grant (2019-2020) to pursue professional development in Iranian dance. While performing actively, Paromita is also actively involved in dance research and scholarship. Her dance research appears as the title chapter in Geographies of Dance, Vol 1 (2013, Lexington Publishers) and she has also been published in Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies (2018) and Zaghareet Magazine (2014).

Mike Anklewicz, Technical Director

Photo: Catherine Zhang

Mike Anklewicz is a Toronto-based musician and educator who has performed and recorded around the world, including in Canada, the USA, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Germany and India. Having extensively studied classical music on the saxophone, he also performs jazz, klezmer, rock, R&B, Balkan and Indian music and studied the Alghoza and Poongi in Rajasthan, India with the support of a Chalmers Professional Development Grant from the Ontario Arts Council. Anklewicz holds a Ph.D. in musicology and ethnomusicology from York University in Toronto, Ontario. As an educator, Anklewicz has taught for over 20 years in Canada, the USA and Germany and has been a faculty member at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto since 2005. He is the Managing Director of Ensemble Topaz and has served as Technical Director of several international online arts projects since the pandemic including Global Rhythms Live (Canada), India Association of Greater Charleston (USA), Seattle-Tashkent Sister Society and Eurasia Virtual Academy (USA/Uzbekistan) and Community Folk Art Council of Toronto (Canada).