By Yazmeen Kanji

Composer, musical director, and artist educator Cathy Nosaty grew up in the “cultural cradle of Canada” also known as the city of Winnipeg. After finishing her undergraduate degree at the young age of 20, Cathy spent the first decade of her career freelancing in Winnipeg. Cathy calls some of the most enjoyable experiences of her career the “suitcase years” when she traveled to a number of Canadian cities writing music for theatre production.

Playing the piano for as long as she can remember and grew up with a variety of musical influences in her home, Cathy was confident that music would be in her future. She first took a chance improvising for a contemporary dance company and realized her interest for collaborative work when working “with new people in new contexts.” In particular, Cathy is passionate about Canadian content being created for stage performances and especially for young audiences. She appreciates the portrayal of Canadian characters and in taking a global perspective.

Tapestry Opera’s unique and diverse production content captured Cathy’s attention whose first engagement with the organization was in 2013. This is Cathy’s sixth year as a facilitator for Youth Inside Opera, a program she finds to be, “always fulfilling and interesting.” Cathy believes that it is critical for youth to have the opportunity to work collaboratively and to have the chance to see one another in new and different ways. Allowing kids to be personally invested in creating content can allow them to feel proud of themselves. Furthermore, “it’s extremely important for people of all ages to create original work rather than solely being consumers of the creation of others.”

Cathy appreciates seeing the participants taking part in something they never considered before. Youth Inside Opera allows young people to push past the fear of failure and to be vulnerable through self-expression. Cathy hopes that previous and future participants of Youth Inside Opera can learn to escape their comfort zones and build skills for collaborative work that can benefit others. No matter what the task at hand may be, a group of people working together, who are each personally invested in the creative process, have the power to make a positive difference in themselves and in those around them.

After all, “there’s no limit to what we can create if we can imagine it…our only restriction is time.”