Faces of GRFF


Paul Tortolo

Faces of GRFF, NewsletterFall2016

September 23, 2016

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz

Every time the theatre goes dim and the screen lights up, it is as if we join Dorothy and leave our pedestrian lives behind for the magic of Oz. For Paul Tortolo this captures his life-long love of cinema. After retiring from a career as a special education teacher, he has had the opportunity to indulge his passion for film. He is a part-time student in Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University and a regular attendee at The Toronto International and Hot Docs Film Festivals as well as frequenting most of the movie theatres in Kitchener-Waterloo. While at home, he’s likely to be found at his computer searching out films as Chair of the Programming Committee (and board member) of The Grand River Film Festival.

Paul’s ideal films may amuse, awe, shock, or perplex but they will always inform about life’s constant elements: love and sorrow. These can be viewed in such disparate examples as 1945’s Rome, Open City and this year’s Sunset Song.

Paul holds a B. Sc. in Psychology and Linguistics from the University of Toronto. As well as revelling in his enthusiasm for film, he spends his time listening to music, reading, walking, swimming, watching Canadian football, and volunteering at Grand River Hospital.

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Kimberly Elworthy

Faces of GRFF, NewsletterFall2016

September 23, 2016

Kimberly was one of those children who probably spent too much time watching television and not enough time doing homework. it’s this deep relationship with the silver screen that has informed much of her education and career up to this point. A graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University’s film program, Kimberly has recently re-joined the Waterloo Region community after four years in Toronto’s lifestyle television industry. Kimberly is always looking for opportunities to share and encourage a love for film, creativity and art in others and is excited to create a wonderful program for 2014.

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Julie Burdett

Faces of GRFF, NewsletterSummer2016

July 11, 2016


When you visit the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, chances are the first person you’ll meet is Julie Burdett, KWAG’s Visitor Services & Volunteer Coordinator. Seen most days at the Reception Desk at the entrance to the Gallery, Julie not only recruits and coordinates the efforts of KWAG’s wonderful volunteers, she also ensures that everyone who comes through the Gallery doors has an optimal experience here.

When asked what she likes most about her work at KWAG, Julie is ebullient:  “I like everything! I like working in a place where I get to focus on what I’m passionate about, which is the arts.” She notes that interacting with volunteers is a particularly enjoyable part of her job, and she has transferred that passion to her own volunteer work in the community. At the Grand River Film Festival, Julie is a Board member and Chair of the Design committee. It’s a perfect fit as her love of art and design provides the festival with a talented lead ensuring GRFF looks good!

Julie holds an Honours B.A. in Fine Art from the University of Waterloo, where she honed her skills painting in oils. An active artist, she has participated in a number of exhibitions, most recently at the Gladstone Hotel and Gallery 1313, both in Toronto.  Her work can be seen on her website at

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