The CCT Team

Woravit 'Wad' Rattanakit, Executive Director, Cultural Canvas Thailand

My dedication to volunteerism is rooted in my upbringing. My mother worked with impoverished, rural children in Northern Thailand. At the time I did not understand why she would choose to work in such dire conditions. As I have gotten older (and wiser) I realize the significance of helping others. My mother was personally rewarded by being a catalyst for change and believing that her students could rise above their socio-economic conditions. I, too, have found a passion and personal commitment to improving the lives of others through volunteerism.

In college I majored in English communication in order to be able to communicate and connect with people from other cultures. Communication is essential for being able to understand where other people are coming from and making a difference. However, it takes more than language or job skills to make a difference, you must also possess passion. I am very interested in a range of social and environmental issues, and after University I took the skills I gained and the interest I developed and went to volunteer teaching children in China.

Now, I spend my time working with many groups in Northern Thailand.  By connecting with people here, I am constantly expanding my idea of a global society. As the Executive Director of Cultural Canvas Thailand, I enjoy my unique role of introducing you the volunteer, to the people, organizations, and many facets of Thai culture. I know that you will have an unforgettable experience connecting with the people here and learning about Chiang Mai.

 

Emma Gabriel, Art Director, Art Relief International

Hello, my name is Emma Gabriel and I am the new Art Director for Cultural Canvas Thailand's Art Relief program. I come from Newfoundland, a small island in Eastern Canada and am happy to call Chiang Mai my new home.

Making the decision to move here has been exciting, as I love to travel and adapt to new settings, learn new cultures, and meet new people!

I have a background in languages and visual art focusing on an array of media throughout my studies, though my favourite being stained glass and pen and ink drawing. I also love experimenting with new media and have a current fascination with street art, stencils and spray paint.

The other aspect of this position that I love is the ability to help people in using art as therapy. It feels so amazing to create a sense of inclusion and community and to empower, inspire, and educate through art.

I also believe that being a member of a team creates a solid unity between everyone who is working together to achieve positive outcomes. I couldn't be happier to be part of this environment.

 

Dan Hales, Assistant Director, Cultural Canvas Thailand

Hi! I’m Dan. I’m from Adelaide, Australia. Here is a bit about my background…

I originally completed a Bachelor of Social Work in 2004, before undertaking roles in community development and counselling, predominantly with young people, the LGBTQ community and within HIV Prevention.

Having completed a Graduate Certificate in Tourism (Festival and Event Design and Management) in 2009, I have more recently been working as a Project Coordinator within the arts, festival and community cultural sector.

I am also a qualified Yoga Teacher and a trained performer, having created and performed in numerous dance and movement theatre shows across Adelaide and Australia.

I volunteered for three months with Art Relief International in 2014, after falling in love with Chiang Mai and Thailand during previous visits. I enjoyed my time so much I couldn’t help but apply for this position when I saw it advertised.

I am extremely passionate about social justice and human rights, and I plan to continue to forge a career in community cultural development and theatre outreach. I also love travelling, the beach and macadamia ice cream!

 

Piangta (Pepo) Leepatanakun, Coordinator, Art Relief International

It has always been a dream in my life to work for a non-profit organization.

My home town is Hang-Dong city in the Chiang Mai province, Thailand.  When I was young, there were many organizations that always came to do many things for us such as built the church, library, give us some clothes and so on. At that time, I hoped that one day I would work with a non-profit organization and now my dream has come true. I am the Volunteer Coordinator for Art Relief International.

I graduated with a bachelor's degree in English from Phayao University.  Phayao is a peaceful province in the northern part of Thailand, about a 3 hour drive from Chiang Mai. After I graduated I came back to live in Chiang Mai because I want to stay near my home town to take care of my parents.

I have previously worked as a receptionist at Sri-Pat Guest House, Chiang Mai. While working there I got good news from my teacher in primary school, she told me about this job with Art Relief International.  I decided that this was a good chance to follow my dream and improve my English skills.  The most important thing is that I can learn to do things which I never could do before. I have a great chance to learn about life, meet new friends, and a lot more about the world than I would ever before.

I am very proud to work for this Non Profit Organization and work with various volunteers from all over the world.  In my opinion, it is a great experience for everyone to, one time in their life, join us at Cultural Canvas Thailand and Art Relief International in Chiang Mai, Thailand.