Doc on Wingspan disability, Deaf artist residency program Complete

Filming is complete for a documentary to showcase the artists and students in Wingspan Dis/Ability Arts, Culture & Public Pedagogy in three Canadian provinces.

For immediate release, Vancouver, BC.: Filmmaker and Award-winning NFB director Thomas Buchan of Entyre Films and Professor Dr. Leslie G. Roman, visionary for the Wingspan program, are pleased to announce that Entire Films has completed the filming of a documentary for Wingspan Dis/Ability Arts, Culture & Public Pedagogy, Canada’s first accessible and inclusive Disability and Deaf Artist Residency Program in Canada’s schools and UBC VPRI Excellence Cluster. In 2024, under the leadership of Dr. Leslie G. Roman, UBC Professor of Educational Studies, in collaboration with an interdisciplinary cluster of colleagues, asks: how can the aims of Canada’s Accessibility Act take center stage in the hearts and minds of students, teachers, and staff in partner K-12 schools? The documentary follows Wingspan artists and students in the schools of three Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario.  

Following the journey in the classrooms, Thomas Buchan is a Director and Director of Photography (DOP) for several feature documentaries, collaborating with the National Film Board (NFB), CBC, and the Knowledge Network. He is co-directing this film with Prof. Roman.

Filming the program began in February with a retreat at Loon Lake Lodge in Maple Ridge, BC, to co-train the teachers, artists, and staff. Students in schools have had the opportunity to have sustained learning experiences with artists with disabilities or Deafness in residencies. They have also been treated to experiences of touring artists and taken on field trips to art galleries to exhibit their art or hear the performances of Wingspan artists or perform alongside them. The showcase of celebrations of learning features the work of the Wingspan artists but, most importantly, what the students have learned from the role model artists in their classrooms in each Wing province.

Working with students in British Columbia is classical, folk, and rock singer Jugpreet Bajwa Jugpreet, who has gained worldwide recognition for performing with his motto of “Seeing the world through music.” Jugpreet’s musical journey began at the tender age of five. It evolved into a lifelong passion despite facing the adversity of Eye Cancer, to which he lost both of his eyes. Canadian audiences will know Jugpreet from his celebrity status as a televised performer of our national anthem at the Vancouver Canuck and Whitecap games. 

In Winnipeg, Wingspan students have had a rich learning opportunity to work first-hand with nationally and internationally regarded Dis/Deaf artists, from renowned jazz pianist and saxophonist Connor Derraugh to Métis artist Candace Lipischak, a multidisciplinary artist who hand-carves antler jewelry. They are joined by Wingspan touring artist Natalie Sluis, who turns her hearing loss into the language of contemporary performance dance.

Toronto artists include Felicia Byron, a Caribbean-Canadian multidisciplinary artist and photographer. As a Black Jamaican Canadian woman and neurodivergent artist living with cerebral palsy, Byron employs a cinematic approach to creating still imagery through light, colour, wardrobe, prop and set design elements to build worlds, weave stories and evoke feelings of familiarity. Danielle Hyde is a multi-disciplinary Tkaronto Treaty 13 Indigenous artist with lived experience of an invisible mental health disability. Her artwork spans many mediums, including new media, murals, painting, photography, and installations, all mixed with performance. In dialogue as four-dimensional beings of hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits, we co-create decolonial ecologies of community and accessibility.

Filming has been completed in all three provinces. Once the documentary is edited, plans are to contact TV networks and documentary festivals.For more information, interviews, and photographs, please get in touch with publicist Lesley Diana | | 604-726-5575