Monthly Archives: May, 2016


Meet Sonya Zhang:
Student, artist, human being at large

Sonya Zhang is a featured artist in this year’s WonderFest West At Clarke Hall in Mississauga. She will be reading some of her original work. A student still expanding her mind and exploring the world, Sonya is also part of Ink Movement,  a Canadian youth-led nonprofit organization that encourages youth to express what’s on their minds. Here are 11 things about Sonya… 🙂
1. I’m a student at White Oaks Secondary School. While I’m definitely passionate about furthering my education, I’d definitely say that most days I’d rather be at home writing or taking pictures.
2.Both the greatest challenge and reward of being a student is definitely being able to overcome challenges and achieve different goals in a safe space where it’s okay to make mistakes.
3. To me, being an artist is having the freedom to materialize whatever you’re feeling at the moment, and having the privilege of sharing it with others.
4. I definitely didn’t expect to be where I am right now five years ago. I was incredibly shy, self-conscious and I would do almost anything to not be noticed. Which is why it still surprises me today that I ever found the courage to get up on a stage and participate in an art form like spoken word that requires so much attention from the audience.
5. 5 years from now, I’d like to keep doing the things I love like photography, travelling and writing.
6. I would tell my 8 year old self that she doesn’t have to be good at everything. It’s ok if she didn’t make it to the soccer team. It’s ok if she failed that one math test. It’s ok if she didn’t get the lead role in the school play. She was ok then and she will be okay in the future as well.
7. I have so many questions for my 80 year old self. I really hope I end up as one of those cool grandmas with amazing cookies and inspirational life stories. Of course, I’d ask her what she did with her life and how she did it because I have no idea what I’m going to do with mine. Hopefully she’s nice and is still doing the things she loves.
8. I consider myself to be incredibly lucky. This sounds super cliché but I am so privileged to be born to a family of specific people, in a specific time in a specific country. I can only imagine how different my life would be if my parents hadn’t decided to immigrate to Canada all those years ago, or if I was born in a time where women didn’t have the right to an education.
9. Depending on who you’re asking, people would be super surprised to find out that I’m an introvert with too much to talk about. I have always, and still am super shy. However, if you can get me talking about something I’m passionate about I will literally never shut up.
10. I personally find the weirdest things funny. I find cat videos on YouTube funny. I find my 5 year old sister hilariously funny. Of course, I also find the American election this year hilarious.
11. I typically don’t put much thought into humanity and where it’s going because every time I do, as expected, I end up in a dark abyss questioning my humanity. Of course I wonder whether we’re all going to die if Donald Trump wins the election. I think about whether it was a mistake for Europeans to set foot onto that boat and “discover the new world”, killing millions of people and destroying cultures in the process. And even whether it was a mistake for our ancient ancestors to start that first fire, resulting in the creation of guns and bombs and wars. Of course, then I think about all the awesome things in life like puppies and Dr.Who and it all seems ok for a while.
12. My favourite quote is definitely: “We can complain because roses have thorns or rejoice because bushes have roses.” -Abraham Lincoln
I love that quote! What a thoughtful and Wonderful young lady Sonya is! Please come see her perform at WonderFest West on June 4th! I am so looking forward to her performance energy! What’s WonderFest West? This… 🙂

Let’s Make Good Productions presents WonderFest West,
spreading empowerment through art! All ORIGINAL work!

Workshop facilitated by top breakdancer
and instructor Frost from Ground Illusionz
4pm – 5:30 $PWYC

Concert/Performances by artists from music,
to poetry, spoken word, storytelling, comedy, and visual art!
Doors open at 6pm
Performances start at 7pm

$10 advanced tickets through EVENTBRITE
$15 at the door

Ticket link:


WonderFest Panel&Play May 1/16

Let’s Make Good Productions’ inaugural WonderFest Panel & Play happened last night at The Painted Lady in Toronto. And it was awesome! Who played along? These guys:

Tony Roost @OneFireMovement
Marc Anthony Sinagoga Insta/Twitter: @notmarcanthony
Signe Miranda Signe Miranda’s Veranda
Dagmar Morgan

Panelists speaking on following your dream and making it happen through DIY careers: Signe Miranda, Tony Roost, Dagmar Morgan, Marc Anthony Sinagoga; facilitator Kat Leonard. The panelists had some insights on the struggles and benefits of doing it yourself.

My takeaways:  It’s not really Do It Yourself. It’s really about finding a community of like-minded individuals who can help and encourage one another. The resources are out there and if your passion is strong enough, you will find a way. The panelists were open and inspiring, funny and endearing. I would love to tell you I could share it with you in our podcast. But as this Do It Yourselfer has learned… I need to delegate the technicals to a technophile. I effed the recording up by pressing one too many buttons. Usually I’m so good at pushing buttons. My deep apologies to all. The Panel & Play Podcast will be live and well very soon! Please stay tuned! In the meantime, please enjoy these still pictures as  a flavour slice of the evening that was… an evening of insights and laughter and community building. More than one strong connection of friendship and future collaboration was made tonight, and that’s what this is about. 🙂

Hosts Arlene Paculan and Kat Leonard. That’s us opening up the performance part of the night!  🙂 Then we performed Jockstrap.

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Comedian Marc Anthony Sinagoga

Marc is a storytelling comic, which I LOVE! He is personable and likeable, funny and open, regaling us with stories from his life with just enough dirt!

Open Micer Chris Veldhoven with Peaches

Chris regaled us of a tale of shepherds and peaches… in the dirtiest of ways. With a sparkly giggle, writer and performer Chris takes it to the spicy side and you like it!

Open Micer Harrison Fine

Producer Harrison Fine of Fine Productions is also a brilliant songwriter and performer. His acoustic bit was beautiful.

Musician Signe Miranda

Signe; musician, author and coach– she exudes such a humble and enthusiastic light. You want to be her friend and have her serenade you with her lovely strumming and honest lyrics. Love.

Open Micer Linda Wallace

Musician Linda Wallace is getting ready to pounce upon the world and she gave us such a wicked taste of what’s to come! Her voice is chilling and her musical storytelling a scene you feel a part of.

spoken Spoken Word artist Dagmar Morgan

Slam Poet champion, writer and motivational entertainer Dagmar took us to emotional levels high and low with her poignant words and epic performance. Totally engaging you can’t take your attention away from her. I can’t wait to see more from her!

Host, producer and musician Arlene Paculan

As always, Arlene Paculan soothes and invigorates us with her silky voice and unique musical expression. Arlene closed the show and topped off a glorious evening!

Stay tuned for more episodes of Panel & Play and the podcast (I swear I’ll make it work)!
If you would like to participate as a panellist or performer, or have ideas for topics you would like to see covered, please email LetsMakeGoodMail[at] or visit Let’s Make Good Production’s Facebook page.

Let’s Make Good Productions

Arlene Paculan
Twitter: @arlene_paculan Insta: @ourleanpea

Kat Leonard
Twitter/Insta: @katbandoo

#SpreadingEmpowermentThroughArt! 🙂