Tama Ward

Founder, Storyteller, Director

Tama is the vision holder behind Sacred Canopy and its unique approach to immersing children and youth in sacred story traditions and cultural heritage using theatre arts. She is the lead storyteller, playwright, artistic director and curriculum writer for all of the Sacred Canopy initiatives.

Tama grew up in Kenya, East Africa where she was first introduced the ancient art of oral storytelling. After completing a BA in English and Anthropology at Trent University she went on to complete an MDiv from McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) and served as a preaching pastor and religious educator with the Canadians Baptist of Western Canada for twenty years.

In 2010, following her most formative teachers (Dorothy Day, Oscar Romero, Richard Rohr, Mother Teresa, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Merton) Tama joined the wide and storied landscape of the Catholic Church. She currently works as a religious educator with Canadian Memorial United Church in Vancouver.

Ricardo Pequenino

Music Director (Burrard St. Story Guild)

Ricardo never planned to be a composer. However, as he looked back on his life experiences he had growing up, it lead him to believe that he would.

He was always the chatterbox type of kid, filling every classroom with energy and an infectious smile. He had a sense of rhythm from a very young age. As an immigrant child to Canada, he found creative ways to interact with classmates growing up as he learned English. He would connect with others through music in school and dance classes in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. He always excelled at music, starting with the percussion instruments at school. As he went through Elementary school, he joined the handbell club, recorder club, and started doing little short plays in church fuelling his creative spirit.

Larisse Campbell

Theatre Arts Director (Burrard St. Story Guild)

Larisse Campbell is a director, theatre artist and educator. She currently lives and creates on the unceded, ancestral, and occupied, traditional lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Watuth), Stó:lō, Shíshálh (Sechelt) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations of the Coast Salish peoples. She holds a B. Ed in Drama from the University of Alberta and in 2017 co-created the independent theatre company, The Ordinary Productions, with the mission of producing and presenting contemporary works that reflect the community which she is from. Select Creative Credits: Over Coffee (The Ordinary Production, 2020 – Postponed due to Covid); Doors and Windows (OR Festival – Post-ponded due to Covid); Last will and Testament, by Jen (BNPR UBC, 2020); Table for Two (BNPR UBC 2019); Women and War (United Players 2018)

Larisse was most recently a member of the 2020 Director’s Lab North Cohort.

Abigail Balisky

Director of Communications

Abigail is currently an undergraduate student at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, getting her Bachelors degree in Visual Arts. Born and raised in Vancouver B.C., she abides, creates, and storytells on the unceded traditional lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm , Səl̓ílwətaʔ, Stó:lō, Shíshálh and Skwxwú7mesh peoples. Growing up in the Story Guild community has formed a deep connection to sacred stories within her, and these inner knowings have been imperative as she grows, learns, and creates. She is very excited about helping grow Sacred Canopy and to be watching the love she received from this program manifest in a next generation of storytellers.