2022 What’s Janice Doing
Jan 12, Classroom Visit, John F. Ross SS Guelph
Jan 26, Artist Statement Workshop, Suitcase in Point Theatre
Jan 27, Classroom Visit, 650 Laurelwood Drive SS, Waterloo
Jan 27, Distance as Keeping, Collaborative Music-Poetry Concert with Charlie Petch, Free More Info
Jan 31, Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harrassment Workshop, Theatre Passe Muraille
Feb 4, Classroom Visit, Earl Grey PS, Toronto
Feb 8, Identifying and Uprooting Internalized Racism, Workshop presented by University of Waterloo Equity Office More Info
Feb 15, New Embassy, Virtual Show curated by Kai Cheng Thom, with Sze-Yang Ade-Lam, Kama La Mackeral, Kim Ninkuru, Toronto International Festival of Authors More Info
March 8, Our Voice is Our Power: Stories of Survival, Community Building and Social Change, Wilfrid Laurier University
March 21, Musical Composition for Shaded, A Play by Nada Abousaleh
March 24, Wilfrid Laurier University, Queers Slay Wordplay, BA 110
March 29, Middlefield SS, Live Well, Take Action: Ambassador Program for East Asian Youth
March 31, Bayview SS, Live Well, Take Action: Ambassador Program for East Asian Youth
April 3, The Great Panorama, Virtual Concert
April 30, Out Niagara, Artist Statement Workshop
May 7, Toronto Biennial, Cafe at the End of the Future, Mississauga More Info
May 21, Folk Alliance International, Workshop: On the Mic, Off the Cuff More Info
2021 – Jan to Feb, Mikw Chiyam Music Residency, Cree School Board, Waskaganish More Info
2021 – Jan 21 Artspeaks Workshop: A Song Is A Little Fire Link
2021 – Jan 31 Mashed Poetics Guitar Wonders Vancouver Link
2021 – Feb 4 – Glow Orangeville Presentation
2021 – Feb 14 Palentine’s Day Music and Comedy Show Link
2021 – Feb 15 Watershed Writers on CKWR 98.5 FM Link
2021 – Feb 19 Antiracism Workshop for U of Waterloo Link
2021 – Feb 24 Folk Alliance International Panel
2021 – Feb 24 Folk Alliance International Showcase
2021 – April 1, East Asian Solidarity Healing Space, U of Waterloo More Link
2021 – April 15, Kitchener Waterloo Poetry Slam Goodbye Showcase Link
2021 – April 25, Will You Be My Friend, radio play premiere on Midtown Radio
2021 – May 30, Raising Asian Voices, PGSS McGill Link
2021 – June 10, Steelworkers Pride
2021 – June 12, National Theatre School Drama Fest, Deep Rooted
2021 – June 25, 2Rivers Festival, Guelph More Info
2021 – July 16, Cahoots Theatre Sing for Your Summer Concert Virtual
2021 – Aug 27-29, Taiwan Fest Dialogue with Asia: South Korea Virtual
2021 – Aug 3, Korean Harvest Festival, Dates Virtual
2021 – Aug 9-20, IBPOC Youth Musical Theatre Creation Lab More Info
2021 – Sept 26, Bouffon Panel Play the Fool Festival More Info
2021 – Oct 19, Vancouver Writer’s Fest “Word” Virtual More Info
2021 – Oct 31, Halloqueer Concert, Kitchener Tickets
2021 – Dec 14, Sounds Gay, Hamilton Concert, The Casbah Lounge
2021 – Dec 31, Lullabies for End Times, Virtual Concert Tickets
Janice Jo Lee, aka Sing Hey, is a contemporary folk artist of Korean ancestry. She is a folk-soul singer-songwriter, spoken word poet, actor and playwright from Kitchener, on Haldimand Tract treaty territory. Lee is an award-winning performer known for being disarmingly hilarious and off-the-cuff. On stage she creates looping landscapes with her voice, guitar, trumpet and Korean jangu drum. Lee is a hard femme, queer, radical, comedian, truth-teller and trickster. She is interested in using art to build flourishing communities based in justice and joy. Lee’s work explores gender justice, antiracism, friendship, community, ancestry and the Earth. Her latest compositions are Ancestor Songs, contemporary jazz-folk melodies full of truth and power. She is working on her upcoming albums Ancestor Song, Lonely is the Lullaby, and a new bouffon musical satire about the patriarchy.
Janice Jo Lee is a dynamic human being. She is an artist and activist, director and producer. She is an educator, facilitator and ensemble-creator. Bring her to your community for socially-conscious team-building, to facilitate difficult conversations and find the joy in collaboration.
Lee was born in Toronto on Treaty 13 / Williams Treaty Territory. She formed her early artist career living and organizing in Kitchener-Waterloo, on Haldimand Tract Treaty Territory. She has trained in spoken word with d’bi young anitafrika and Lillian Allen, has trained with Adam Lazarus in bouffon, and with MT Space in physical theatre.
In Waterloo Region, Janice Jo Lee was voted Best Performance Artist five years running from 2016 to 2020. She was the City of Kitchener’s Artist in Residence in 2015 and created four cinepoems with the community called Folk Myths of Kitchener. She is the founding artistic director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Poetry Slam and created its first Spoken Word Residency program for emerging professionals.
She has performed spoken word and music at festivals and series nationally including Victorious Voices (Victoria), Vancouver Writers Festival, Verses Festival of Words (Vancouver), ArtsWells Festival (Wells, BC), Breath In Poetry (Edmonton), The Banff Centre, Saskatoon Poetic Arts Festival, Word Up Regina, In the Soil Festival (St Catharines), Toronto Poetry Slam, Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (Guelph), Hillside (Guelph), IMPACT Theatre Festival (Kitchener), Queer Asian Youth (Toronto), Korean Harvest Festival (North York), Small World Music (Toronto), Pervers/cité (Montréal), Philadelphia Folk Festival and more. Janice has released two music albums Sing Hey (2016), Drown the Earth (2013) and two self-published poetry chapbooks. Her poems have been published by Ricepaper, Blueprint, the League of Canadian Poets, and choa magazine.
Lee’s one-woman musical satire Will You Be My Friend was developed and produced by Green Lights in Kitchener in 2017. The show made its Toronto debut at Theatre Passe Muraille in October 2018 to critical praise from The Toronto Star (¾), Mooney on Theatre and a 4/5 rating from Now Magazine. In Ontario her theatrical work has been produced with Green Light Arts, MT Space, Theatre Passe Muraille, and fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre.
Lee has worked as an educator for 8 years facilitating arts, anti-oppression and leadership workshops across Canada. In the last year she delivered arts workshops at Victoria Poetry Project, Vancouver Poetry House, Island Mountain Arts, Kwantlen Poetry Project, and Suitcase in Point St Catharines. She has facilitated anti-oppression workshops at University of Waterloo, Laurier Student Public Interest Research, Laurier Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto Faculty of Social Work and Folk Alliance International. Lee has helped young performers tell their own stories directing theatre programs with MT Space, The Family Centre (Kitchener), and Le Project N’we Jinan. Currently she is writing a new musical satire titled Apocalypse Earth.
Janice Jo Lee is a member of SOCAN, the League of Canadian Poets, and ACTRA.
“An iron fist in a slowly-removed velvet glove.”–Ilana Lucas, Mooney on Theatre
“Lee has a mischievous twinkle in her eye and a marvellous spontaneity”– Glenn Sumi, Now Toronto
“Lee is a remarkable, irresistible performer” – Drew Rowsome, My Gay Toronto
“A charismatic ball of energy, quirky jokes and charming music”- Ricepaper
I am a folk artist. An artist of the people! A storyteller. It is my responsibility as a folk artist to affirm our contemporary stories, emotions and ideas through art and carry these stories onward. Art is my tool to build just and joyful communities that are as free as possible from systemic oppression. My art comforts the struggling and challenges political complacency. As a writer and performing artist, I combine my literature, music and theatre background with my political activism to create art that engages through its truth, comedy, lyricism and power. Genres and artistic disciplines do not limit me when creating songs, poems, scenes and stories. On stage, it is important for me to demonstrate power in embodied performances, unrelenting honesty, rhythm and humility.
I am constantly learning and thinking critically about my position and cultural context within systems of oppression. I aim to decolonize myself and my art practice from oppressive ideas and practices. My art is subject to criticism and conversation. I do my best, allow room for error, and try to be kind to myself. As an artist and role model, I listen to and strive to be accountable to my community.
I seek communities and audiences where my best self, vitality, spirit and art are life-affirming. I want what I offer as a person to act as a spark or opening to emotional truth, social truth, untapped or forgotten joy, and self power. I seek to create an open space which reminds us that human connection is full of beauty, wonder, and a life worth living.