Tia Ashley Kushniruk (亚 女弟) is a queer woman of Chinese-Eastern European settler heritage from the Treaty 6 Territory of Amiskwaciwâskahikan/Edmonton. Since 2013 she has been affiliated with the Cirque du Soleil and is a frequent collaborator of Jake W. Hastey (Toy Guns Dance Theatre). She graduated from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 2017, receiving the Kathryn Ash Scholarship in 2016. Recognized by Now Magazine as one of 2017’s breakthrough Toronto stage artists, she has had the pleasure of performing works of Antony Hamilton, Paul Andre-Fortier, Peggy Baker, Aria Evans, Christopher House, Shay Kuebler, Christianne Ullmark, Susie Burpee and Jasmyn Fyffe. She is an illustrator, a curator, a moderator, an animator, an improv comedian and writer. She is the inaugural recipient of the CONFLUENCE Fellowship from Catalyst Theatre in Edmonton.