Andrew is a versatile dancer as well as musician, singer and actor. He is one of the leading Tap dance artists in Canada, teaching and choreographing around the world. He is an award-winning actor, composer and writer, having had his last self-produced short film officially selected in 12 festivals around the world and winning 4 awards including BEST SHORT FILM. Recent TV/Film credits include Disney’s film SPIN, the television series THE HOT ZONE: ANTHRAX, a principal recurring on the new series LARRY and a fun jaunt in BLUES CLUES AND YOU with his son. On stage he’s been a featured singer and dancer on the 20th Anniversary World Tour of RIVERDANCE, originated a role in Mira Nair’s MONSOON WEDDING musical at Berkeley Rep Theatre, played Cogsworth in Young People’s Theatre’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Billy in ONCE THE MUSICAL at Theatre St John’s in Newfoundland, Boutons in Neptune Theatre’s CINDERELLA where he won a MERRITT AWARD for OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR. After doing HOLIDAY INN at the Shaw Festival he made his Stratford Festival debut with his One- Person show ONE STEP AT A TIME. It is a critically acclaimed, multi-medium show (Tap dance, acting, singing, video) chronicling his family’s journey with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and has been presented by schools and theatres, raising $11,500 (to date) for SickKids Hospital and ErinOak Kids. He recently finished playing The Beadle Bamford in Talk Is Free Theatre’s multi-DORA AWARD nominated production of SWEENEY TODD. Andrew is a graduate of the University of Toronto at Mississauga with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Performance as well as French Literature.
Angie Reid has appeared in several films, and television productions. She is set to appear as “sketch”, the lead character in episode 9, season 4 in the critically acclaimed television series, Coroner. You may have also seen her in Tracy Deer’s Official TIFF selected film “BEANS”, a lead character in prominent director Alison Duke’s multi-award-winning film “Promise Me” and as the producer/director/narrator of her recently released documentary “The Sick in the Six” – an in depth look into the lives of the homeless, the mentally ill, and the drug addicted currently making its debut in several film festivals, to name just a few. Angie Reid’s ability to bring life to her characterizations as an actor and as an advocate for the less fortunate to the has been recognized by various producers and directors as well as her peers.
A native of Toronto, Canada, where she currently resides, Angie is a keen supporter of the Canadian entertainment industry.
Cameron is a teacher, actor, writer, and poet. She has worked in the entertainment industry as an actor and writer for the past 20 years. She began her career as model with Ford then pursued her theatre degree at Concordia University, and consecutively her Master of Arts at The University of Toronto. She has taught high school dramatic arts and co-authored a dramatic arts textbook with Emond Publishing. Cameron studies acting at Lonsdale Smith Studios and is currently writing a series set to begin production sometime next year. She is passionate about acting and film making and is excited to be a part of this year’s Nova Star Awards judging panel!
A Montreal native, Carly Granovsky graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Her strong interest in storytelling led her to enroll in acting workshops at the Edgemar Center for the Arts as well as the Meisner technique under Jacqueline McClintock. She gained considerable experience casting short films and working as a casting assistant for The Montreal Casting Company. After assisting some of the leading Canadian Casting Directors, Carly relocated to Toronto and set up the eponymous Carly Granovsky Casting.
Carly has a keen eye and an intuitive sense when it comes to finding talent. With over ten years of experience, she brings her unique perspective and sharply honed vision to each project. Carly uses her creativity and ability to draw out genuine and authentic audition performances to bring one’s vision to life.
Her recent credits include: Tales From The Territories (VICE TV), The Unseen (Lakefront Pictures), A Christmas Letter (180 Sisterhood Productions), Woodland Grey (Franky Films), and Infinite Light (Dubois Films).
Celestine Caravaggio is a Filipina-Canadian, ACTRA member based in Toronto. She won Best Actress at Singkwento International Film Festival 2019 in Manila, Philippines for her role in the independent film, Pur Laine. She has been featured in several international movies, TV series, commercial and print ads. In her spare time, she is active in supporting various not-for-profit initiatives for special needs children and families.
Charlie Hidalgo is a Colombian-Canadian film curator, trans media consultant, and filmmaker, graduated from the Canadian Film Centre’s Producer Lab. He is committed to combatting the erasure of 2SLGBTQIA+ BIPOC identities in the media by curating and creating stories that question culture and empower queer and trans BIPOC communities. He is the Artistic Director of Out On Screen, and has programmed for Urbanworld, Slamdance, Cucalorus, Tribeca, Inside Out, Outfest, NewFest, and Athena Film Festivals. His work has screened at TIFF, SXSW, Slamdance, BFI, VIFF, Inside Out, Outfest, and NewFest.
Vancouver Casting Founder
Deborah Barnes- Co-Founder of Vancouver Casting, Actor & Mentor to newer actors wanting to step up their game.
Deb has been in the industry for over 30 years, and uses both acting & 20 years of casting experience to deliver knowledgeable, heartfelt and meaningful guidance for actors at the beginning of their journey. Her approach is organic, wise and focused on the individual. Hundreds of new actors have enjoyed Deb’s unique ability to bring calmness and life to their auditions. Many have gone on to have wonderfully successful careers!
Dwayne Morgan began his career in the spoken word in 1993. Affectionally called the Godfather of Canadian spoken word by his peers, Morgan is the author of 14 published and 9 audio collections of his work. Morgan is a 2022 winner of the Toronto Arts Foundation Celebration of Cultural Life award, 2016 finalist for the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and a 2013 inductee into the Scarborough Walk of Fame. To date Morgan has shared his work in 18 countries internationally.
Actress/Youth Acting Coach
As a multi-faceted actor Elana Dunkelman is often found in front of the camera or in the studio behind the microphone. Over the last 15 years Elana has played a wide variety of roles ranging from a ‘sugar crazed unicorn’ (Fingerlings Tales) to a ‘vengeful murderous wife’ (Murdoch Mysteries) to a ‘quirky, supportive best friend’ (Road Trip Romance, One Delicious Christmas). She is best known for her Canadian Game Award nominated performance in the titular role Fenyx in Ubisoft’s Immortals Fenyx Rising. She also coaches actors on their craft and auditions through Sumach Studios, which she opened in 2016. When she’s not acting, she’s intently watching The Real Housewives of Orange County, cuddling with her large cat, and/or penning romance screenplays with her writing partner.
Emerson Wong is an owner of multiple martial arts schools in Toronto, a stuntman, and film producer. Holding a 5th degree black belt in taekwondo Emerson has worked in such movies as Pacific Rim, Deadpool 2, Nikita, Total Recall, and has been the stunt double on the hit TV show Titans for the past 4 seasons.
With over several hundred students, his passion for teaching kids has led to building 2 world champions and videos of his student @savino.quatela garner
Emerson has also been awarded the Canada 150 Medal for his humanitarian work in Haiti where he has built a 2,000 sq feet taekwondo school that is free to anyone who trains there.
Movement Director/Choreographer/Acting Coach
Erin Michell is a movement director, choreographer and acting instructor based in Vancouver, BC. She works with actors in film and theatre on a global scale from the beginner level to working professionals with LeBlanc School of Acting. Recently she provided movement direction to Oscar nominated actors Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun. She has choreographed for film and TV productions with Kickstart Entertainment, MATTEL Inc., and various short films and music videos. Select choreography credits for film include The Ways To Love You (singer/songwriter Justin Hewitt), Lift A Finger (singer/ songwriter Tissa Rahim), #ThisisAna – Ep 109 (webseries). Select choreography and directorial credits for stage include Cock (Theatre Inconnu), The 25th Ann. Putnam County Spelling Bee (StageNewWest & FCP – CTC nomination for best choreography), Matilda JR. (StageNewWest). Her new play The Very First Circus designed for preschool audiences toured Vancouver Island in Spring of 2022 with the The Story Theatre Company. Erin has partnered with Notable Content Inc. and Studio 604 Entertainment to develop a new children’s TV series centered around inclusivity of dance and movement for kids. Erin loves her role as an instructor/ coach in this industry and enjoys sharing her passion for storytelling with her students. She is excited to be a part of the 2023 Nova Awards judging panel!
Pursuant to his long time love for the arts, George has been a professional dancer and choreographer for over 15 years. He has been training in all genres of dance – Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap and Contemporary.
He was born and raised in Ottawa, ON where he did most of his training which includes A.D.A.P.T and R.A.D.
He first landed a job working for Carnival Cruise Lines. shortly after that he danced for International Artist PSY, Deborah Cox, Kreesha Turner, Fefe Dobson, Aleesia and Classified, to name a few.
George performed and appeared on several television shows and commercials; he appeared on Once Upon A Time, Handmaid’s Tale, Shitt’s Creek, Breakfast Television, “Threads” a short film as a news anchor, and just recently appeared on PBS Kids, Let’s Go Luna as “Hakim” a principal role. He appeared on Cineplex commercials and Tim Horton’s Web Commercials. He also performed in a world wide TV broadcast for The 2015 Pan Am Opening Ceremonies with Cirque Du Soleil and The 2015 Pan Am Closing Ceremonies both for 50,000 plus audience.
George is currently the Artistic Director and Choreographer of T.D.C Entertainment catering to main event functions and corporate events such as Illuminute, The Luminato Festival, The Teddy Bear and The Bell Celebrity Gala.
In late 2016 George made his debut in the theatre with the musical Beauty And The Beast, in Halifax, NS. Soon after, George traveled to Kamloops, BC and Aquarius Theatre in Hamilton, ON to perform a role in Mamma Mia, where he also acted as Dance Captain and Assistant Choreographer. He also played the role of Jimmy and ensemble with the musical Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, Sleeping Beauty The Panto, the role of Buttons in the musical Newsies. This year he will play the role of one of the angels and dance captain for the regional premiere of the musical Kinky Boots with Drayton Entertainment.
You can catch George teaching drop in classes at various dance studios in the downtown Toronto area. George believes that with hard work and determination you can conquer anything in life.
Actor/ACTRA Council Member
George Alevizos is a professional actor living in Toronto. Being a graduate of the joint Theatre and Drama Studies program with the University of Toronto/Sheridan College, he has gone to work on multiple on camera projects including the new Gen V show with Amazon Prime, a recurring role on a new CBC TV show coming out in 2023, a guest starring role on Hudson and Rex (CItyTV) and being featured on Star Trek: Discovery, among a lot of commercial work. On top of his on-camera roles, he’s gone to work with multiple live theatre companies in Ontario including Drayton Entertainment, Cahoots Theatre, LemonTree Creations, Shakespeare in the Ruff, EveryBODY on Stage, and the acclaimed queer theatre director Sky Gilbert. On top of being an actor, he also serves as an ACTRA Toronto Council Member, and also an ACTRA National Council Member too.
He is excited to be asked to be a judge again and to help inspire youth!
Janice Mendes is a Toronto based actor, host and speaker with a passion for storytelling and adventure. She’s worked in aspects of the Film and Television Industry from development, production and post production spanning 17 years. Eventually in 2018 Janice ventured in front of the camera where she completed almost 100 commercial, TV and film projects combined.
Believing every journey has a compelling side to it inspires Janice to connect with people to gain a deeper understanding of life experience. Described as an outgoing, venturesum spirit, she’s always up for stepping outside her comfort zone to expand her awareness of life’s precious moments.
Jason Piao Pai
With 50 years behind the screen as an actor and stunt performer, he has successfully earned over 80 credits! Jason recently won best supporting actor in Hong Kong Love Stories in 2020!
He is known for countless Big screen and small screen roles, including Seven Swords (2005), Sun diu hap lui (1995) and The Emperor and His Brother (1981). Jason is thrilled to be a part of Nova Star Awards!
Jinny Wong is a Canadian Actor, Acting Coach, and a mom of two boys.
Jinny started her professional acting career in theatre and travelled from Florida to the Mediterranean, performing on stage for the Disney Cruise Line. After taking a few years off to start her family, Jinny’s focus shifted to TV & Film.
Since then Jinny has had the pleasure of working on many TV/Film projects including appearances on Stolen By Their Father, Ruby and The Well, Unlocking Christmas, Candy Cane Candidate, The Parker Anderson’s & Cutie Pugs.
When Jinny is not on set, she’s busy raising feminists, deep-diving into personal development, and motivating fellow actors to follow their dreams.
He has had the opportunity to work extensively in the U.K., the United States and Canada. Thanks to his holistic approach to working with actors, his clients are flourishing in their respective markets.
John’s unique perspective combines a healthy dose of business coaching and artistic guidance.
“So often really great artists come to me, but they have no idea how the industry operates. So, I give them the tools and knowledge to make their artistic side profitable. On the other end of the spectrum, I have great business minds come to me to develop their artistic abilities to match their level of marketing savvy. You must master both sides for your career to have traction and longevity” ~John Stevens
Kristen Da Silva
Kristen Da Silva was born in Oakville, Ontario and raised in Nobleton, Ontario. She is a graduate of York University where she was a founding member of the Vanier Improv Company at Vanier College. She works as an actor, writer and director and is best known for her plays WHERE YOU ARE (Theatre Orangeville, Upper Canada Playhouse, Theatre Baddeck, Victoria Playhouse (PEI), Peterborough Players (New Hampshire), Theatre Ravensburg (Germany), Festival Borgio de Verezzi (Italy)); SUGAR ROAD (Theatre Orangeville, Globus Theatre, Lighthouse Festival Theatre, Cow Patti (Alberta), Upper Canada Playhouse), HURRY HARD (Lighthouse Festival Theatre, Showboat Festival Theatre), BEYOND THE SEA (Lighthouse Festival Theatre, Showboat Festival Theatre, Victoria Playhouse (PEI), Mulgrave Road Theatre, Festival Players of Prince Edward County) and THE RULES OF PLAYING RISK (Theatre Orangeville online). Her recent acting credits include Janine in HALFWAY THERE, Lighthouse Festival Theatre; Beth in WHERE YOU ARE, Theatre Orangeville; Tina in LAST RESORT (Paper Padlock Productions) and Patrice in FUGUE (RockStreet North Films). She is a two-time winner of the Playwrights Guild New Comedy Award.
Linds works hard and laughs louder. Their fun and youthful approach to the casting process has been met with positivity, allowing them to grow their social presence and work on both national and international projects. With traditional casting, Linds has worked on several films, music videos, and ad campaigns. As a “real people” casting professional, they have worked on major projects such as Gillette Venus & Dove campaigns, and reality shows such as Canada’s Got Talent and Family Feud Canada! As a Master of Digital Media, Linds hopes to develop new systems within the casting world to mediate longstanding trust issues between talent and decision makers, and create a more inclusive environment.
Lisa Michelle Cornelius
Lisa Michelle Cornelius is an actor, singer and producer with a vast resume of lead and supporting roles on Canadian and American film & television.
In 2021, she was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for her lead role on the comedy series Band Ladies (Highball TV). That same year, she starred alongside Deborah Joy Winans in “A Sisterly Christmas” on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
Most recently, Lisa Michelle landed a recurring role in Julien ‘Director X’ Lutz’ upcoming dramatic series Robyn Hood, playing the title character’s mother, Tressie. The highly-anticipated project is slated for release on Global TV in 2023.
Some of her other notable acting credits include Chuckie (SyFy), Star Trek:Short Treks (CBS), Black Mirror (Netflix), Handmaid’s Tale (CTV/Hulu), The Color of Love (Lifetime) and more.
Lisa Michelle’s artistic career has expanded beyond performance to include a growing list of credits as a film producer as well. Her co-producer credits include the short film Rainbow Baby (official selection of the Berlin Art Film Festival selection, Miami Film Awards and more), and Pattern (official selection of the Montreal Black Film Fest, Reelworld Film Festival and counting).
Marisa Rocha studied Theatre, Kinesiology and Dance at York University. She has been teaching drama and dance to high school students for 25 years. Before becoming a teacher, Marisa was employed as a theatre and dance co-ordinator with the St. Jude’s Academy of the Arts Inclusive Arts Program. While there, she thoroughly enjoyed working collaboratively with differently abled teens and young adults in creating and performing various dance and drama pieces. While teaching for the Dufferin Peel and Waterloo Catholic District School Boards, Marisa has directed, choreographed, produced, and written more shows than she can remember! Some of her favourites to work on were Our Town, The Diary of Anne Frank, Juvie and The Passion Play. She is passionate about social justice issues and uses the performing arts as a tool for teaching and spreading awareness. Marisa continued to perform while she was teaching full time by involving herself in local theatre productions. Some of her most memorable roles include the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, Blue Fairy in Pinocchio and Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
Marisa has recently been dedicating more time to her professional acting career and has been enjoying the on set roles and in studio voiceover gigs. She especially loves sharing her new found industry experience and knowledge with her high school students.
Maynuka Sarwar is an actress based in Toronto, Canada. She is known for There Are No Children Here (2022) and Quickening (2021). She has been pursuing the arts since a young age and is constantly working on improving her craft. She has trained at LB Acting Studios, The Second City, and Armstrong Acting Studios.
Michelle D’Alessandro Hatt
Michelle D’Alessandro Hatt is a Toronto-based filmmaker and actor with a background in theatre performance, production and playwriting. Brave Little Army, her directorial debut, was made with an all-female crew under her shingle, Black Lab Film Company. The story of how four girls become lifelong friends in the aftermath of domestic violence, Brave Little Army premiered at the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival in 2018 and has since been a selection of over 40 film festivals and garnered several awards. The next film in her trilogy, Brave Rebel Army, is going to camera in 2023 with the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Michelle is proud to be a voting member of the Canadian Screen Academy, and a member of Women in Film & Television Toronto. She has served on the selection committee for Berlin Feminist Film Week and recently joined the board of directors for Breakthroughs Film Festival.
Niqa Bailey is an upcoming ACTRA member Actor known to be originally singing covers, performing and creating music over the years here in Toronto. The Singer decided to take a break & focus on her other passion (Acting). Where in 2019 things took a positive turn for her and has since been in commercials, (GoodLife, Scotiabank, Sobeys to name a few), Print ads, tv show appearances, (2020) seen on OWN’s Song & Story: Amazing Grace TV movie & recently seen in feature film “Bite of a Mango” that was showcased at the Reelworld film festival.
When not working on set or perfecting her craft, the focus has been influencing & inspiring other women, especially mothers, to look and feel their best on her social media platform. As having a child doesn’t mean life is over, learning to balancing the journey is equally as important.
Niqa is excited yet again to be apart of the Nova Stars judge panel for her 2nd year. A goal for her was to continue learning & exploring in the industry and she is doing exactly that. The passionate actor loves her job & has a special kind of love for kids being a mother herself and can’t wait to watch everyone’s fantastic submissions.
Rhoslynne Bugay is a Canadian-born actress and singer raised between Southern Ontario and Bataan, Philippines. Rhoslynne appears as recurring cast in season 3 of the Apple TV+ produced series Ghostwriter (2022), as Danielle Ramos. Recent credits include Topline (2022), Murdoch Mysteries (2022), Private Eyes (2021), The Parker Anderson’s (2021), and Kim’s Convenience (2019), with some exciting upcoming projects to be released soon! She has also performed in theaters across Canada. Notably, her favorite performances have been in Miss Saigon (Drayton Festival), Aladdin (Ross Petty), and Nala in Disney’s The Lion King (Mirvish).
Latin-Canadian actress and producer, Sandra Aguilar was born in Toronto. In 2021, she landed a role in Season 1 of “Mayor of Kingstown” on the Paramount Plus network where she filmed alongside Hollywood actor, Jeremy Renner. Throughout her career, she has worked with clients such as Canadian Tire, Nivea, Honey Nut Cheerios, Frito Lay, Whirlpool, Microsoft and MasterCard to name a few.
Sandra is also no stranger to the stage. She played the lead role of Mariela in the theater production of “Climb The Live Album”, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August of 2019. The show received 4 stars from Musical Theatre Review, along with a ‘Hidden Gem’ from Fringe Review.
Sandra’s artistic career has expanded beyond performance, to include a short film producer credit for, “If I only had a Name”, which premiered at the Lakeshorts Film Festival in 2022.
Actress, Youth Acting Coach
Actress Sarah Gnocato is the Head Resident Youth Coach and Head of Youth Outreach and Development at Armstrong Acting Studios, one of Canada’s premier on-camera training facilities. Sarah is best known for her role’s in eOne’s “The Millenials”, YTV’s second season of “Undercover High” and Tribeca Film Festival’s official selection “Bunker Burger.” She has been in the TV and film industry since 2010, when she transitioned from stage, after over 10 years of theater training, including five years at Oakville’s West End Studio Theater. Sarah has trained at Second City over the past 9 years, performing on the Second City stage and participating in the Big City Improv Fest where she received recognition as a prominent female improviser. Sarah’s enthusiasm and passion for the craft is what drives her current role. She loves guiding young actors breaking into the industry and cultivating a love for the work.
Troy Crossfield is the founder and President of award winning Crossfield House Productions (CHP), a production company that brings to the world the stories of Black Canadians through the art of theatre and film. CHP started in 2016, and since then has had over 10 sold out shows performed in front of thousands of audience members. With current short films Soap Dish and Out of order selected in various festivals. Troy has been featured in numerous plays as a lead actor, signed to OAZ talent agency Troy has been featured in commercials and various films. Troy has a major songwriting pub deal with U.S recording label Sony ATV and rapper-actor Ludacris’ DTP (Disturbing the Peace) label. He has penned for artists such as Kardinal Official, Natalie LaRose, and Shareefa and is also the manager for rising music stars Jaiden Lewis and Swagger Rite.
2021 Best Actor – Candian Diversity Film Festival – Talk Film
2020 By Black Peoples Choice Actor Award Winner
2018 People’s Choice Award Winner Stage Production Of the Year ‘A Little Black Lie’
2018 Peoples Choice Award Winner Theatre Company Crossfield House Productions.