Our Team

Kevin Gibson

Founder, President & CEO

As a retired police officer having served his community for 28 years, Kevin Gibson has encountered all walks of life and nationalities, rich and poor, young and old, good and bad, and through his eyes has seen the best and worst of the human condition.

As a father of 3 children, Kevin sincerely cares for the future of young people, having witnessed the increasing challenges to their safety, health and opportunities to discover their own potential.

As a lead vocalist and guitar player, Kevin has been writing, recording, and performing music since he was a teenager growing-up in Steinbach, Manitoba. In 1987 at the age of 19, Kevin produced and recorded his 1st original song titled “Looking Back” on good ol’ 45-rmp vinyl.

In 1988 Kevin became a member of the Winnipeg Police Service where he continued to pursue his passion for music by forming and fronting a band called “UNDERCOVER”. Back in the studio, Undercover recorded a full self-titled CD in 1997 with the 1st song “Looking Back”. During his time with Undercover, Kevin has had the privilege of working with many great artists who share the same passion and together use the power of music to inspire a better world for young people.

In 2006, 3 fellow police officers that Kevin had worked along side early in his career were shot and seriously wounded in the line of duty. To support these officers and their families, Kevin  created a concert event called “Brothers In Arms” on February 17, 2007, raising tens of thousands of dollars in support of the stricken officers, their families and various charities such as the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Since that time and with the retirement of Undercover (2007), Kevin has tirelessly pursued and proudly founded Status4 Inc, dedicated to enriching lives of young people while discovering support and hope through the gift of music and the arts.

“Be Yourself and Free Yourself”

– Kevin Lee Gibson

Michael Clark

Vice President / Secretary

Michael Clark practices mainly in the area of civil litigation, with a particular emphasis on employment law (wrongful dismissals in non-unionized work environments), personal injury, estate litigation and Aboriginal law. He has represented clients in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba, Manitoba Court of Appeal, Canada Labour Board Adjudications, Workers Compensation Appeal Commission Hearings, the Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal.

Michael has worked at Myers Weinberg LLP since the summer of 1999 when he started as a summer student. He articled with the firm in 2001 – 2002, was called to the Bar in 2002, and is currently an associate in the civil litigation department.

He volunteers his time as a judge for the moot court trials for the Advocacy course at the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba, and from 1999 – 2002 he volunteered for the Springfield Municipality Justice Committee.

In his spare time, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, reading history, traveling and playing hockey, golf and softball.

Michael Taylor

Treasurer / Chief Financial Officer

Presented with the 2016 Manitoba Credit Union Order of Merit Award, Michael is a Certified General Accountant and has worked in the credit union system in Manitoba for over 45 years. He is currently the soon to be retired General Manager of the Winnipeg Police Credit Union, a financial institution that is dedicated to serving the financial needs of police officers, their families and associates.

Michael served as a director of the Credit Union Managers Association of Manitoba in Manitoba for 27 years, including multiple terms as President and advisory to various Credit Union Central of Manitoba committees.

Michael and his three brothers, Robert, Jerry and Davy, joined forces with Status 4 founder Kevin Gibson and friend Ray Hope to form the band “UNDERCOVER”. The band recoded a CD of its music in 1997 and has performed at a number of charity events in the community since it was formed. Michael’s appreciation for music enabled him to recognize the value that Status 4 offers in enriching the lives of the youth in the community because of its focus on music and the arts.

Michael looks forward to the rewarding challenge of making a positive contribution to the ongoing development and success of Status 4 as an integral part of our community.

Gentil Misigaro

Executive Director – Cultural Liaison

Based on his life experiences, you might expect Gentil Misigaro to be bitter, frightened, and confrontational. In actuality, Gentil is quite the opposite. As his name connotes, Gentil is gentle and good. “I want to be a light for those who can’t be seen, a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves – to provide hope for the hopeless, and serve as an encouragement.”

After 5 years living as a refugee in Uganda, Gentil arrived in Canada, a country that the United Nations described as a very stable, peaceful place one can live their life and thrive in their endeavors.

Gentil is a talented multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer who has been involved in the development and instruction of all our music programs, that include, singing, rhythm, guitar, keyboards and recording.

“When you’re afraid of being killed most of your life, winter isn’t that bad.” – Gentil Misigaro

Volunteer Staff

Mark Galbon

Founding instructor of Status4  programs.

IMG_2982There are many ways to achieve success, but for Status4 the proven method has been having Mark Galbon’s support, enthusiasm and talent from the beginning. Helping the founder Kevin Gibson realize this dream, Mark is responsible for the rubber meeting the road on all Status4 programs, as he help start our music and TDK programs from its most humble beginning.  Mark continues to assist in further developing all Status4 programs and events.

Mark is the owner of Mar-Schell’s Music Inc., which is a local independent music retail and lesson center that was established in 1981. Mark studied music at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate and was certified through London College of Music. Mark has over 30 years experience in music instruction, performance and the business of music and has performed on classical guitar for weddings, as a solo act on acoustic guitar at Rumors Comedy Club and various other venues.

Mark has played in a variety of bands since the age of 15 and has been fronting the “Campfire Junkies” band for the past 15 years. The band consists mainly of my former guitar students and continues to perform at many local events and venues including senior homes, hospitals, Winnipeg Goldeye games, corporate and private parties. Money raised is donated to many different local charities.

Mark’s other interest includes Tae Kwon Do, which he has studied for 19 years and hold the rank of 4th degree Black Belt. Originally studying at the Jung Do Tae Kwon Do Academy, Mark has become certified through the World Tae Kwon Do Federation and since founded Sanshin Tae Kwon Do in Manitoba where he is the chief instructor.

 

Angela Rajfur

Music Instructor & Director
Vocal Group & Instruments

Angela works in the fields of psychology and counselling but also spends much of her time filmmaking, acting and writing and playing music. For Angela, music is a way of life – a way to celebrate beauty, connection and light, but also a way to deal during the difficult, rough and the dark. She believes that every person deserves the chance to experience music’s gifts. It’s not just learning notes, melody and rhythm – if you can get up and play and sing with passion – you can do anything.

 

Matt Rajfur

Drums & Percussion

Music has been a part of Matthew’s life since he was young. He learnt music theory and piano from the Music for Young Children program, and learned to play drums, bass, and guitar as a teenager. Matthew played drums and guitar in different bands since he was in high school. He currently backs local singer/songwriters on drums and is working on writing and producing his first solo project.

 

 

Lynne Williams

Executive Assistance   a.k.a Scooter

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Lynne recently received her Honours English degree from The University of Winnipeg and will be working towards her masters in cultural studies and community development in the near future. Lynne’s university program focused on understanding selfhood and community through the lens of literature, with a particular passion for storytelling in its myriad forms. While Lynne does not have a musical bone in her body, she appreciates the unique rhythms that beat within everyone and the importance of finding and walking to our own beat. Lynne brings to her work at Status4 a unique understanding and interest in transforming life experience into arts-based products that involve visual and musical expression and make connections between self and community.

“For me, it is about imagining potential, then getting the chance to develop it. Art is about expressing what lies in our imagination. And, imagination lies at the heart of transformation. Whatever kind of expression touches our hearts, it is through our art that we become free to be who we imagine ourselves to be. This is what Status4 is all about and I am so honoured to be one small part of it.”

Jayden Obirek

Guitar Instructor

Jayden

Jayden has been playing guitar and bass guitar from the age of 11. He has taken lessons from many different teachers and is now currently a student of the advanced guitar teacher at Status4, Mark Galbon. Jayden loves spreading the knowledge and passion of music and encourages students to be creative and find a sound that truly appeals to them. Remember, there is no such thing as a wrong note!

Shawn Porteous

Guitar Instructor

Shawn Porteus-1

Shawn believes that music is a very powerful and universal language.  Even though styles of music differ throughout the world, the love for music remains constant.  While his preferred style of music is rock/classic rock, he also delves into other musical styles such as Pop, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Celtic, Flamenco, and Techno.  Not only has this expanded his musical horizons, it has also helped him to become a better musician.  Shawn is very passionate about music, and has been so ever since he can remember.  Shawn is passionate about listening to music and learning how to play music, as well as supporting musicians. Music is a very powerful entity, and Shawn believes that every person who wants to learn how to play music should have the opportunity to do so.  This is one of the reasons why Shawn volunteers at Status 4: to ensure that children who want to learn how to play music get a chance to do so.

Vince Blanchette

Director of Taekwondo Programs

Vince -1 

Vince started taking Tae Kwon Do at age 15 in Ste. Anne, MB at “San Shin” Tae Kwon Do at the Ste. Anne French Immersion school under the instruction of Mark Galbon. Vince instantly became enveloped with TKD and was thrilled with the confidence he started to build and the lifestyle that accompanied Tae Kwon Do which helped him through the years in so many ways.  Gaining experience and training for several years,  Vince also started helping teach other students as well as occasionally teaching/helping classes.

Today, Vince is a 2nd degree black belt, a husband,  a proud father of his two children. We are grateful for the 5 years of dedicated TKD classes that he provide to the Status4 community and the life long positive impact that he along with his wife Meryelle and his brother Colin, had on so many children and their families.

Meryelle  Lagmay Rico Blanchette

Administrative Assistance

Meryelle-2

Meryelle was born and raised in Winnipeg, married to Vince Blanchette our Status4 TDK director, and a proud mother of their beautiful boy named Chase. Meryelle currently works as a Customer Service Administrator for Standard Aero, and also has a personal background in Taekwondo, Ballroom Dancing, Singing and other various sports.  Meryelle has been a major contributor of her skills and talents to the ongoing development and success of Status4 while pursuing many ambitions for her future.

Colin Blanchette

Taekwondo

Colin (left) 

Colin was 13 when he started Tae Kwon Do with his brother Vincent, and has lived the lifestyle it has taught him ever since. Tae Kwon Do is appealing for many reasons, but the one that has always stuck the most with Colin is the attitude of never giving up that it gives you. After 3 years Colin achieved my brown belt at San Shin Tae Kwon Do Academy under the instruction of Mark Galbon. Teaching Tae Kwon Do with Status4 is an amazing experience, and it allows me to give back to the community, as well as growing myself.

Will Kooistra

Recording/Audio Production

Will Koistra photo

Music has always been there in Will’s life, with his mother as a music teacher, Will began piano lessons at an early age. Moving into middle and high school, Will took up the saxophone in concert and jazz band. As Will began developing his own musical tastes, he decided to teach himself the guitar and drums.

When Will started writing his own music, the next logical step appeared to be recording it. This, coupled with his affection for technology, led him to the Mid Ocean School of Media Arts, where he studied the principles of acoustics, microphone techniques, and analogue and digital recording/mixing methods.

Will, a local Apple computer reseller, also applies his music knowledge with the operation of the computers and software as they  make recording  music possible. Will   can be found in the Status4 studio where lends his knowledge and passion for technology and recording.

 

Mayo Sowemino

Video Production

Passion can be defined as the energy that comes from bringing more of yourself into what you do. Mayo Sowemimo has never been short of activities that bring out that special energy. Among a list that includes a diverse educational background in community management & development, broadcasting and a range of experiences in youth work and event planning, videography takes centre stage. With experience as an editor and cameraman for various local artists and organizations, Mayo continues to gain valuable skills as he pushes forward in using his passion to make a difference.

 

Roger Montes

Video Production

Born in Nicaragua but raised here in Winnipeg, Roger Montes simply picked up a video camera one day and started shooting. He quickly learned to edit and instantly realized the power behind a story. His work now branches into several areas such as directing, editing, photography, graphic design. Originally a musician, Roger plays the guitar, bass guitar and drums and has experience in audio production and recording. Roger has worked with several youth organizations and events and enjoys lending his talents where possible. Roger is passionate about reaching his generation with a clear and positive message and understands the importance of media and the use of film and sound in achieving that goal. He also enjoys longs walks on the beach, but usually hates the walk back to the car.

Janine LeGal

Media Relations/Promotions Assistant

Janine LeGal is a freelance writer, community activist and the Communications Coordinator for the General Child and Family Services Authority.  She’s written stories for numerous magazines, websites, organizations, and newspapers including Canadian Immigrant and the Winnipeg Free Press.  She’s worked as program coordinator for the Canadian Authors Association, the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and is one of the three founders of the Writers’ Collective.  She’s also the founder and facilitator of Finding Your Voice, an ongoing creative writing program for new Canadians, a labour of love which brings people from all over the world into a classroom on Saturday mornings and empowers them to share their compelling stories of strength, resilience, and inspiring courage.  The Past is Another Country, volume one, edited by LeGal, is a collection of some of those stories.  Volume two is currently in progress.

 

LeGal has co-hosted and hosted programs on CJUM and CKUW Community Radio, her favourite featuring interviews with all kinds of fascinating people called ‘This Time It’s Personal’.  She’s collaborated with various community groups and activists on human rights, peace, justice, immigration and refugee advocacy projects.  As well she promotes musicians and anyone or anything with an interest in making the world a better place.  Much of the work she’s done both paid and unpaid over the last three decades has focused on building bridges between people, and creating opportunities for dialogue, with a special interest in creating inter-cultural understanding and breaking through stereotypes.  She loves to tell the untold stories of people who contribute to bringing more joy and love into the lives of others.  She is a self-described vegan, workaholic, wine lover who thrives on being over committed, especially when in the company of creative and intriguing people with amazing stories. LeGal hopes to one day fulfill her fantasy of being a rock and roll star just for a day

 

Volunteers

 

Ray Hope

Ray and Kevin have known each together for over 20 years, having met as students of Aikido. Both having a passion for music, Ray and Kevin played together in the band ‘UnderCover’ for almost 20 years.

Since retiring from UnderCover, Ray has continued his involvement in the music community by chairing the Board of Directors for the the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts. As Past President, Ray now works with a dedicated team to ensure the MCMA continues as a vibrant part of the music and outreach community. In 2011, Ray was honored to receive the Investors Group Arts & Culture Award for Volunteer Excellence for his work with the MCMA. Ray’s technical and creative talent was instrumental in developing the Status4 website and brand.

Jackie Hope

Jackie Hope has worked in a wide variety of industries, including consulting for small business, education and training, English as an Additional Language, communications, marketing, public relations, research, and fund development. During five years spent overseas, she traveled extensively in Japan, South East Asia and Australia and released her first full-length CD Treasure. After her return to Canada, Jackie spent two years in Northern Manitoba instructing college prep courses for adults and coordinating the Self Employment Assistance Program for residents of Northern Manitoba.

With over 20 years’ experience as a professional educator, Jackie founded KIBO Group in 2012, an organization committed developing curriculum and training solutions that are accessible, engaging, experiential, and tailored to learner needs.

As a singer/songwriter/pianist, Jackie is passionate about making musical education accessible to all. Her past community volunteer work has included Habitat for Humanity and the Manitoba Conservatory of Music & Arts, where she served as President for several years.

 

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Mark Debrincat

Mark DeBrincat is honored to support Status4 and always eager to lend his musical talents with a variety of Status4 related live performances.

Mark has owned and operated his own Sports Medicine Clinic for many years and his expertise lies in Orthopaediac Manual Physiotherapy. His entrepreneurial spirit has led him to treat many celebrities, who routinely fly in for treatment.  Mark is an extremely focused individual and studied classical guitar with Rodrigo Munos and Skender Sefa, however his passion is percussion. He is privileged to have extensively studies African percussion, Afro-Cuban, Japanese Taiko drumming and Brazilian percussion with Nii Tetty Teteh(Africa), Bruno Genero (Italy), Rodrigo Munos (Papa Mambo, Trio Bembe), and Scott Senor (The Duhks, Trio Bembe) and Jerry Steinholtz (California).

Mark Believes there is a new sound being ushered in by way of eclectic and creative percussion.

For the past two years, he has collaborated with Gentil Mis and has worked with Frank Rizzuto, Flo, Fresh IE and Emma Cloney.

Lisa Lacroix

LisaLaCroix

Lisa brings with her a solid background in helping people to find their voices. Straight out of high school she travelled Canada as the lead singer in a rock band and has since worked as a high school librarian, a support worker to adolescent offenders, a guidance counsellor in Winnipeg’s core, and presently as a case manager to women who have been in conflict with the law and who are transitioning out of federal and provincial correctional facilities.

 What drew Lisa to volunteer with Status4? “I believe in Status4’s vision. My background in social services has found me working with many broken spirited adults and children, each one of them questioning “where do I fit in?” As human beings we strive for connection. We long to feel that we are part of something – anything, and it is that want for belonging that makes gang life so attractive to our youth. With a depleted sense of value they tend to only succeed in envisioning their “fit” to be somewhere negative. I consider Status4 to be an oasis in the darkness for at-risk-youth. A place where they can access programming that they have only dreamed of, where they can feel a connection to something remarkable and progressive, and where they can shed false airs and embrace their true self.”

 

Jacob Okot

Video Production

Jacob Okot is an independent filmmaker living in Winnipeg, originally from South Sudan, Africa.

He studied film production at the Toronto film school, earning a diploma in film making, and is
currently completing his degree at the University Of Winnipeg. He is enamored by all the arts:
music, dance, photography, illustration & fine art, and especially literature. It is this passion
for stories that has lead him to purse a career in film making, because he believes stories are tools
by which people explain the world around them, impart lessons, share ideas and experiences; and
motion picture is just a modern day medium of this treasured tradition that has existed for countless
generation. It is his hope to share this unique perspective with all involved and participating in
Status 4, in order to encourage others to share their stories.

 

 

Jonathan Le

Video Production

A broadcast veteran with over a decades experience in the local post-production industry Jonathan Le has edited on virtually every system imaginable. Prior to his working career he completed a degree in Film Studies at the University of Manitoba as well as certificates in editing from New York University.

Jonathan travelled extensively before finally settling in Winnipeg where he currently resides with his lovely wife. He presently heads the video department of a local marketing company where he enjoys working daily on projects ranging from documentary to commercial.

 

 

Paul Katsnelson

Paul provided his professional and creative support to Status4, co-producing two Status4 audio launch productions, Woman in Chains (Be Yourself and Free Yourself) and Third of June.

Paul’s music and recording experience dates back to the height of the New Wave movement, when he played synthesizers and programmed rhythms in the synth-pop bands inspired by the sound of Alphaville, Secret Service, Duran Duran and Depeche Mode. He always found sequencing and mixing to be the most motivating parts of music creation and often stayed overnight in the studio experimenting with synthesizers and recording equipment.

After completing an education in Sound Engineering, Paul freelanced at recording studios including Creative Audio, Grassroots Sound, Isaac Stern’s music Centre, 441- Studios, Unison Studios and Strongfront A/V. His professional skills, positive attitude and creative ideas were highly valuable in different studios, from songwriting assistance and programming to recording, orchestration and mixing.

Paul’s production and mixing credits can be found on a number of critically and commercially acclaimed albums by international artists including Daily, Anne Champion, Sketch Williams, Ant Weiss, Wab Kinew, The Mechanical Theatre, X-Status, Catskill, Lost Priority and Sabrina.

To discover the services that Paul is able to provide for your own musical projects, visit Paul’s company website www.tranzista.com.

John Paul Peters

John Paul Peters established himself as a much sought-after producer/engineer while working freelance out of a variety of studios before joining Neil at Private Ear. JP is a classically-trained violinist also fluent on numerous other instruments including guitar, bass, drums, and keys. He has toured North America with his own bands and has worked with many artists since he started producing and engineering in 2002. Building on what he learned in the studio with his band, JP has honed his studio chops and has become a go-to producer for artists throughout Western Canada.

Neil Cameron

Neil Cameron is one of the original owners of Private Ear and came to recording from the world of live sound. He has toured the world with artists such as The Watchmen, Sam Roberts, Natalie McMaster, Leahy, Hugh Dillon, and many others. He has been nominated three times for Recording Engineer of the Year at the PMA’s and has both WCMA and Juno nominated and winning projects.



George Jacob

Trained at the Smithsonian, educated at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science formerly under the MIT-Ford Foundation collaboration, University of Toronto and Yale School of Management, George Jacob has been a Museum professional for the last 25 years. Known internationally for spearheading stellar museum planning and design-build assignments, he is one of the few Canadian museologists with a track record of $300 million in museum design-build projects worldwide. A Canadian Commonwealth Fellow, his international work includes museum assignments in Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan ROC, France, United Kingdom, United States, Indonesia, Egypt, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Canada. Founding Director of 3 museums in his career including the $30 million NASA-Ames Astronomy Education Center, his most recent project includes a mammoth 650,000 sq.ft. Heritage complex designed by Moshe Safdie on a 100-acre complex. He was honored to be the Project Director for production of the 1812 Star Spangled Banner permanent exhibit- Smithsonian’s most treasured national icon- re-dedicated to the nation by President George W. Bush at the National Museum of American History. He is the author of the popular books Museum Design: The Future (introduction by the Smithsonian) and its sequel Exhibit Design: The Future (introduction by the American Association of Museums) and currently teaches museum design at the University of Manitoba..

Liz Wreford Taylor (left)

Plain Project Team

Plain Projects is a Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design studio based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  We focus on the creation of beautiful and evocative places that integrate the natural environment with the urban framework.

Established in 2011, Plain Projects seeks to explore the prairie landscape and beyond through civic, residential, and commercial projects.

Liz is the Principal of Plain Projects and has more than ten years of experience as a Landscape Architect and designer. She has worked on many projects ranging from institutional and civic landscapes and plazas to neighbourhood parks and residences. Prior to establishing Plain Projects, Liz was a  registered Landscape Architect in the state of Washington, working at Murase Associates, a landscape architecture firm and public art studio in Seattle and Portland. At Murase Associates, Liz managed projects of varying size and scope throughout the United States, working closely with Architects, Engineers, and Client groups.  Liz has also worked as a Landscape Architect in Perth, Western Australia, and at the Living Prairie Museum’s tall grass prairie preserve in Winnipeg. She is currently a Sessional Instructor in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba.

Liz is a registered Landscape Architect in Manitoba and a member of the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. She has a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design from the University of Manitoba.

 

Gizem Naz

Gizem Naz is a passionate actress from Turkey, who has lived in Italy and New York City and now resides in Winnipeg. After earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Cinema and Television, Gizem’s travels brought her to Winnipeg where she studied acting. Gizem brings to Status4 a unique International perspective along with a wide range of experience both in theatre and film. Gizem played the Headmistress Hart-Payne in Spring Awakening at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. As well, she played Madam Aksakova in the movie The Trials of Rasputin, directed by Danishka Esterhazy. Gizem is currently involved with the project Women in Chain and looks forward to infusing Status4 with the same intensity and passion she gives her acting.

Adam Hurtig

Adam Hurtig has performance experience in an array of local and national film, television, and theatre productions, including working on the mini-series The Don Cherry Story II. As well, Adam has studied with several notable Winnipeg actors such as Rebecca Gibson and Nancy Drake. Along with his experience in larger productions, Adam brings to Status4 performance experience doing commercials, voiceovers, and an interest in singing and Improv.



Megan Haber

Megan Haber enjoys singing as a Mezzo Soprano and acting in film and theatre. Megan is developing her experience in both mediums at the University of Winnipeg and the Academy of Acting. She has studied with several notable actors, including Winnipeg Improv guru, Steve Sim of the International Improv Duo, Crumbs. Megan looks forward to engaging with youth at Status4, helping them develop their performance and leadership skills as she hones her own.

Matthew Stefanson

Matthew Stefanson has worked as a lead and principle actor in local and national film, television and theatre productions. For example, Matthew has appeared as Kyle in an episode of the critically acclaimed Canadian production of Todd and the Book of Pure Evil (2011). Matthew has received training through various institutions such as Film Training Manitoba, Academy of Broadcasting and Sky West Productions. As well, Matthew has studied several specialized performance techniques with industry professionals. Along with his professional expertise, Matthew brings unique juggling, improvisation and stage combat skills to the youth at Status4.

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