Sandy Balugas

Sandy Balugas is a 20 years old and one of the Creative Kids Zone Coordinators for the Newmarket Jazz Festival this year. She is very immersive with the arts and is currently studying Integrated Media at OCAD Universitiy. Sandy is ecstatic to work with such an amazing team and hopes to bring her ideas to life. She hopes to contribute to the festival in any way necessary to make it a success.

3e48aa5Khizar Mir – Economic Impact Officer & Intern Coordinator

Khizar Mir has been a Newmarket resident for over eight years and has been part of the Newmarket Jazz+ Festival since 2014. Khizar is working towards his Bachelor of Commerce at Laurentian University and is currently a bank teller at TD Canada Trust.





Jason Wong – Visual Artists Coordinator

“My name is Jason Wong, I am a recent 2013 graduate from OCAD University, majoring in Environmental Design. As an architectural/ interior designer, my pursuit is creativity with a direction. It is my goal to design spaces and structures that solve design challenges. I approach design with creative yet functional solutions, while implementing sustainability, experience, and interaction.


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Erica Wang – Lions Halls 1-4 Manager/Promotions

I am a dual-degree student at Ivey Business School and Western University’s media studies program. Music is my main passion – I play the piano, guitar, flute, and I especially love to sing. I live and breathe arts and culture, especially anything media-and-entertainment-related. This is my first year involved with the Newmarket jazz+ Festival, and I am very excited to be part of such a fun and fantastic event!

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Anali Herr – Visual Artists Coordinator

Anali (ssidd) Herr is a graduate of OCADU Drawing and Painting program (2009) who has enjoyed many opportunities to work within York Region’s creative communities.  Anali has had experience working with musicals, comedies, theatre productions, and her forte Artistic endeavors across Canada and in her own backyard.

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Josh Gottlieb  – Sr. Stage Manager

Josh Gottlieb  is an independent event producer who planned and executed his first event while in high school and never looked back. After years of producing local concerts, Josh attended Harris Institute for The Arts, graduating their Recording Arts Management program with Honours. This led to stage management at many summer music festivals including Wakestock.

In 2010 Josh returned to school taking Centennial College’s Festival, Event and Conference Management Program where he graduated with High Honours.

Since then Josh has had the opportunity to work for Luminato, Just For Laughs, Gold Medal Plates and many other great events. Josh is currently in his second year as Festival Director of the Windfall Ecology Festival and will be involved in many other festivals this season. He is also the co-creator of North Town Music & Art Wars, an event which has been awarded a Newmarket Celebrates The Arts Grant twice during it’s three year history.

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Mathew Keating – Senior Economic Impact Officer & Chief Volunteer Coordinator

Mathew Keating is a new resident of Newmarket who has been part of the Newmarket Jazz+ Festival team for over a year. Mathew is a recent graduate of the Ted Rogers School of Management and is currently a consultant at the Newmarket Region Office of Investors Group.

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 Jessica Tse –  NJF Acoustic Stage Manager &  Music Administration

Richmond Hill native, Jessica Tse, recently graduated from Indiana University whereshe studied music and arts administration.She is a freelance clarinetist and teacher in the GTA. She is currently studying at the University of  Toronto on full scholarship to pursue a doctorate of musical arts in clarinet performance


Sophia Shek –  Sponsorship Coordinator for the 2014 NJF

Sophia Shek is working with the Newmarket Jazz+ Festival as a sponsorship coordinator. She is also a student who is studying a bachelor degree program in George Brown College, and majors in Hospitality Operation Management. Furthermore, she received a certification with honours from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. Sophia Shek lives in downtown Toronto, Ontario

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Dana Zinberg

I am Dana Zinberg—18 years young, an 11 year resident of Newmarket, an OCAD University student, and an individual passionate about the arts. Community involvement for me is ever so rewarding; it excites me and prides me greatly. Being a part of something as large as the Newmarket Jazz+ Festival I can’t even fathom.

As a young artist I am still learning and just now beginning to develop my personal style. I truly believe that “A real education for an artist consists of preparation for a pure research of the unknown.” We are forever learning.

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James Hoyes – Sound Tech

Having grown up in York Region, James hopes that all who attend this year’s  festival will see the opportunity that the festival brings to the area. He has been involved in the music scene from his teen years and has worked with some of the biggest sound companies in  the Gta. From large concert venues to huge corporate events he has brought his skills to the Jazz+ festival. Now working as a trucker,  he recently put his name up for election as Aurora Town councilor. James will be in his third year with the festival as one of the sound techs. Building on the success of the first newmarket Jazz + festival, he hopes to continue his involvement in the years to come.


Andrew Morrison-Gruza

Andrew Morrison-Gurza is one of the Social Media Coordinators for the 2nd year with the Newmarket jazz+ Festival.  He assists in managing all Social Media Accounts for the Festival.  He has extensive knowledge of both Twitter and Facebook campaigns.  He is excited to work alongside a great team to make the Newmarket jazz + Festival the best Festival in the GTA.  He also works as a Disability Awareness Consultant with an MA of Legal Studies from Carleton University specializing in Persons with Disabilities and the Law.  You can find out more about his work, and book him for speaking opportunities at


Scarlet Chen – Visual Artists Coordinator

Scarlet Chen is currently studying at Queen’s University where she is pursuing a degree in English Language and Literature. She working and engaging with the positive energy that the artistic community brings to the table and is very excited to be a part of such a vibrant community this summer at the Newmarket Jazz+ Festival team.


Tyler Freeman

Currently living in Toronto, Tyler is pursuing full time studies in Entertainment Management at Trebas Institute. He has recently worked with various festivals such as NXNE, CMW, The Junction Summer Solstice Festival, and many more.


Angela Gibbon – Vendor Co-ordinator

Angela Gibbon has been one of the vendor co-ordinators with NJF this year. Angela has also been working as a communications intern with the Canadian Baptist Women of Ontario and Quebec this summer. Angela has been a Vocal apprentice with the Thornhill Chamber Music Institute for the past several years, assisting with the choir and teaching Voice lessons. She has studied Voice with Dr. Gregory Servant at the Fountain School of the Performing Arts at Dalhousie University for two years and hopes to further her vocal studies with Catherine Robbin, OC at York University in September. Angela has also studied privately at the Contemporary Conservatory of Music and Arts for 8 years. Angela enjoys singing with choirs, as well as opera and song interpretation. She is looking to expand her teaching studio.


Hasheel Lodhia

Having initially wanted to become a medical doctor, Hasheel Lodhia completed BSc. prior to his career change. Now he can be defined in three words: an event manager, a hotelier, and a musician! Having finished a hospitality and tourism management degree, Hasheel serves as one of the volunteer coordinators for NJF 2015. He has over has over 11 years of public speaking and competitive debate experience and is a professional musician, singing and playing the Bansuri for over 20 years. Catch him at his next concert! Want to volunteer for the festival? Sign up online and shoot us an email at!!

Annemarie Lourenco

Annemarie Lourenco has been performing professionally in theater for over 15 years and is alumni of Toronto’s acclaimed Second City. She is also trained in clown, theater and buffont, through world renoun teachers of Cirque de Soliel, Soul Pepper and the National Theater School in Montreal. Credits include Second City’s March of Dames and the Womens Comedy Festival, as well as numerous performances for stage, film and television. Teaching credits include the York Region Public School Board, the award winning Children’s Arts Theater School in Toronto and private elementry schools in York Region. Annemarie also likes to write and working on short stories and several childrens books.

Phoebe Ng – Administrative Officer

Phoebe Ng is Newmarket jazz+ Festival’s Administrative Office and has been with the team since its first year. She is a graduate of the Art & Art History and Communications programs from University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College. She is currently involved with various artistic non-profits in York Region to further arts and culture within the community.


Darcy Piche

Darcy became involved with the jazz festival through his Aurora based trio Six Ways To Sunday. Having played the jazz festival he decided to volunteer knowing the need for help was great. Not only involved with his band he also works as a Child and Youth Worker with the Toronto Catholic District School Board and and works with the Father Henry Carr percussion ensemble.




Thomas Riess

Thomas Riess is a recent graduate from York University where he studied Professional Writing. He grew up in North York and moved to Newmarket when he was 16. In his spare time, he is a video game journalist and writes for Thomas also creates videos on YouTube which consist of gameplay high-jinks that you can find here


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Darlene Morrison

Darlene Morrison is a mother of four who resides in Newmarket, Ontario with her family. She loves event planning, fundraising, communications and does a lot of work for non-profit organizations. She has her Fundraising Management Certificate, is a Board of Director for the Newmarket Food Pantry, currently co-organizing the Aurora Terry Fox Run and coordinating volunteers for the Newmarket ​jazz+ Festival. Darlene writes her own blog and is currently a Communications Director for a Toronto cooking website. Darlene feels that when we work together, we can do amazing things. She is excited to bring her enthusiasm and energy to the Newmarket ​jazz+ Festival.