Staff Bios - Nia Centre for the Arts

Staff Bios

Alica Hall
Executive Director

Alica Hall

Alica Hall has been working at the intersection of art, communications and community development for over a decade. As a leader with deep roots in the community, she has served as the Co-Chair of Pride Toronto, helping the organization expand its strategic and artistic infrastructure. She oversaw the expansion of the festival from 10-days to a month and led the development of the organization’s first strategic plan. Over the years, Alica has formalized her practice as a curator through community based spaces and partnerships. Her curatorial practice is driven by a desire to explore identity and power, excavate lesser-known stories and a commitment to expand visual narratives surrounding the Black experience. In 2018, she took on the role of Executive Director at Nia Centre for the Arts, a Toronto-based charity that supports and showcases arts from across the Black diaspora in Canada. In her time at the Centre, she has curated their first Art Fair, doubled the operating budget and raised $12-million in capital funding. In 2023, Alica opened the doors of the newly renovated Nia Centre for the Arts: a 14,000 sq. ft facility serving as Canada’s first professional, multidisciplinary Black arts centre. Located in historic Little Jamaica, the Centre is a gathering space for Black artists, young creatives and community to showcase, support and promote artistic traditions from Canada’s Black diaspora.



Namulinda Lester
Operation Manager

Namulinda Lester

Namulinda, a Ryerson University Arts and Contemporary Studies graduate majoring in Global Studies, seamlessly transitioned into the nonprofit sector as an affordable housing advocate. With a background managing Co-operative Housing Operations, she now contributes her skills as an Operations Manager at Nia Centre, aligning her passion for the arts with strategic development and supervision of operations strategies. Namulinda also serves as Vice-President on the Board of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto, continuing her advocacy for historically underserved communities.

Phone Extension : 700



Ikram Kabadeh
Youth Program Manager

Ikram Kabadeh

Ikram, a seasoned Child and Youth worker with over a decade of experience, specializes in designing programs supporting individuals and communities through pivotal life phases. Formerly a caseworker addressing addictions and mental health, she later served as Children’s Program Manager at Boys and Girls Club St. Alban’s, crafting developmentally appropriate initiatives. Ikram is dedicated to creating safe spaces for youth, fostering self-esteem and life skills through the arts. An art enthusiast, she promotes healing and culture through her therapeutic approach, while her adventurous spirit and love for shoes define her outside of work.

Phone Extension : 701



Sanique Walters
Youth Program Coordinator

Sanique Walters

Sanique holds a Master in Environmental Studies Degree and a Bachelor of Honours Degree in Social Science from York University. During her tenure at York University, Sanique served as a Senior Ambassador within the Residence Life Team and Diversity Peer Education Team, where she has gained extensive experience in administration, event management, mentorship and the development of student programs and initiatives. Since joining the Nia Centre team in the last year,  she has been responsible for coordinating the Creative Connect mentorship program, developing youth-targeted programming, workshops and events

Phone Extension : 1


Jalen Fairclough
Digital Marketing Coordinator

Jalen Fairclough

Jalen Jamaique Maurice Fairclough is a creative critical thinker with a Bachelor of Design from Toronto Metropolitan University. Making it his mission to ensure his creative endeavours have a positive & holistic lasting effect, he is in the process of receiving his Masters of Urban Development in Urban Planning & Design. Jalen is grateful to play a pivotal role in curating and amplifying our digital presence.


Tisania Francis Smith
Executive Assistant

Tisania Francis Smith

SpokenbyT is a spoken word poet and performing artist from Toronto ON. T uses the art of words and poetry in collaboration with hip hop jazz to explore her emotions and articulate her perspectives on the world around her. Her poetry has reached stages across the GTA including HISTORY, Massey Hall, and Metro Toronto Convention Centre. As of September 2023, T hit a record of 100 shows. She’s grown with non-profit organizations like Unity Charity and is an alumni of The Remix Project and T has continued to collaborate with numerous brands and organizations such as Footlocker Canada, Adidas and Daniels Corp and has performed on over 60 stages in front of more than 100,000 people thus far. 

Phone Extension: 703


Lloyd Smith
Youth Outreach Worker

Lloyd Smith

Lloyd, a Child and Youth Worker with Honors from Humber, holds the Julie Davey-Prior Memorial Award. With over 10 years in youth empowerment and program development, he excelled as the School-Age Program Supervisor at Evergreen Leadership Academy. Lloyd emphasizes individualized empowerment, employing active listening, empathy, and creating inclusive spaces for people’s unique stories and dreams at the Nia Centre.

Phone Extension 705


Fallona English
Youth Program Facilitator

Fallona English

Fallona English, a dedicated professional with over 8 years of experience in child and youth studies, is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at York University. Passionate about empowering children and youth, she advocates for the arts and has notable experiences in dance, modeling, and collaborations with Disney. Fallona aims to expand her expertise as a child youth worker, emphasizing the importance of creating a supportive community for black youth in the arts. Her vision centers on nurturing young minds and providing opportunities for them to thrive.

Phone Extension : 704


Nigel Hernandez
Tour & Event Producer

Nigel Hernandez

Nigel Hernandez is a Toronto-based Creative & Event Producer dedicated to curating spaces and experiences that shift the culture. Before joining the team at Nia Center as the Tour & Events Producer, Nigel worked in arts and community programming, collaborating with both local and international creators and industry leaders. Nigel is passionate about providing accessible space to young creatives, and currently leads the event operations at It’s OK* Studios, an independent black- led and operated, multipurpose arts space

Phone Extension : 4


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