Laura Stinson


Mohan Thomas


Kimberly Barber


Mark Connolly

Colin Labadie

Morgan Lovell


Richard Burrows

Artistic Director

Richard has had a substantial career throughout North America, Europe, Mexico, Australia, and Asia. Starting out in his mother’s kitchen on pots and pans, and carrying around his trusty Fisher Price drum, Richard now prides himself having earned two Master’s degrees from the University of Toronto. These degrees have honed his craft to create a unique approach in both education and performance. Richard has studied and performed with numerous artists that include: NEXUS, and Nebosja Jovan Zivkovic, and has collaborated internationally with artists such as Evelyn Glennie (Scotland) and Synergy Percussion (Australia).  As an active freelance musician within his community and beyond, he has played with numerous orchestras throughout Ontario, performed and recorded with famed bass clarinetist Kathryn Ladano in their duo “Stealth,” and with new music projects for InterArtsMatrix.  In 2012, Richard curated his first festival with Open Ears entitled Environmental Rhythms. This musical weekend included a performance of 70+ percussionists in John Luther Adams’ epic masterpiece, Inuksuit. Richard is a past principal cast member with ScrapArtsMusic and a founding member of TorQ Percussion Quartet. With ScrapArtsMusic, Richard held a one-month residency in Melbourne, Australia to perform for the 2006 Commonwealth Games and was selected to perform in the Percussion All-stars Orchestra. With TorQ, he has performed throughout Canada, USA, and Europe, and competed as the sole Canadian percussion quartet for the International Percussion Ensemble Competition in Luxembourg, EU. TorQ has worked alongside famed Canadian composer Christos Hatzis as the ensemble-in-residence for “Composition for Percussion” at the University of Toronto. They have since commissioned over 100 new works for percussion and have released three albums with critical acclaim. Richard is an artist for Yamaha Canada Music, Innovative Percussion, Black Swamp Percussion, Remo Percussion and Dream Cymbals and Gongs.

Claudia Hasan-Nielsen

General Manager

Originally from Toronto, Claudia Hasan-Nielsen is a seasoned arts administrator and musician with more than twenty years of management and programming experience with major arts organizations across Canada including; the National Arts Centre, Mt Royal University Conservatory, The Banff Centre and most recently, the Atlantic Ballet of Canada.   She has dedicated her career to supporting and empowering artists, artistic endeavors and arts organizations in Canada.   She has worked with many internationally-acclaimed artists, as well as young and emerging artists in various disciplines including visual arts, literary arts, new media, dance, theatre and music.

Claudia brings strong leadership and arts management experience to the Open Ears Festival in the contract negotiation, community outreach and partnership development, strategic planning, logistics and event management.   Whether as an administrator or musician, she is a collaborator who loves teamwork, and supporting the creativity of others.   

Claudia enjoys spending time with her friends and family, playing tennis and practicing her cello. She is a big sports fan and a passionate supporter of the Montreal Canadiens.