Holly Dignard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Holly Elissa
Born Holly Elissa Dignard
(1981-10-01) 1 October 1981 (age 33)
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Occupation Actor, artist, activist, filmmaker.
Years active 2000 – present
Website
http://www.hollyelissa.com
http://www.calebshope.org

Holly Elissa (born on 1 October 1981 in Moncton, New Brunswick), is a Canadian artist, actress, filmmaker and activist. She is an activist for women's rights, child welfare, social injustice and discrimination as well as a supporter of animal and environmental welfare. She is an advocate for responsible foreign investment and social enterprise in African nations as well as supporting social enterprise for lower-income communities in the USA.

She made her TV debut on the Sci-Fi Channel's hit series Outer Limits in 2000. Her other credits include The Chris Isaak Show, Stargate SG-1, Voyage of the Unicorn, Stargate Atlantis, The L Word, Battlestar Galactica, Kyle X/Y, Eureka, Supernatural, Kill Switch and Polar Shift. She was one of the stars of the Canadian series Whistler.

Education[edit]

Elissa began studying the flute and piano at age 12. Excelling in flute, she competed at local and provincial music festivals with her school music program. Elissa's original career path was to either enter the fine arts, literary arts or performing arts as a classical musician and composer. Her first exposure to theatre was while in attendance at Moncton High School. As a teenager she won her first awards for Best Director and Best New Play at provincial drama festivals.[1]

Elissa attended Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with the intention of acquiring a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Theatre. After completing her first year, Elissa transferred to Vancouver Film School where she graduated with top honours.

Activism[edit]

In 1991, Elissa read No Easy Walk to Freedom. which was her first real introduction to Nelson Mandela and apartheid in South Africa. In April 1994 she watched television news coverage of the historical South African General Election. In 1995, she watched the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech on a DVD-Rom encyclopedia at the school library. Both of these movements had a strong impact on Elissa's path as an activist.[2]

In 1996, at age 16 she volunteered for SIDA/AIDS Moncton. Elissa canvassed high schools to participate in the 1996 AIDS Walk. Due to extreme homophobia and stigma with AIDS no school agreed except her own, Moncton High School. 19 students including Holly signed up and completed the AIDS Walk.[3]

During her time at Dalhousie University, Elissa joined Students for a Free Tibet and participated in marches, peaceful vigils and protests.

In May of 2002, she attended the Paul Robeson 50th Anniversary Memorial held at the Peace Arch Park[4] to commemorate the May 18th act of protest of singer, actor and civil rights activist Paul Robeson. The following year she marched in the February 15, 2003 anti-war protest.

In 2007, Elissa established a humanitarian organization called Caleb's Hope to focus on woman and child welfare, protection, and empowerment specifically in Uganda. Caleb's Hope received non-profit status in 2008 and charity status in 2010. In 2011, she was given the Acholi name Lamaro, which means "having a love for people, a love for humanity".[5]

Through Caleb's Hope, Elissa's worked with refugee women and children in Atiak region of Northern Uganda - widows, former child soldiers, sex slaves, PLWHA, and child headed households. With the ongoing assistance of local leaders and experts, they developed the Atiak Women's Business Group; a women’s social enterprise group focused on sustainable economic independence and child welfare and education. AWBG currently focuses on farming as their sustainable industry of choice with many having dreams to expand their farming productions while others use funds to complete school or plan to use profits as start-up capital for other business endeavors.

Elissa and Caleb's Hope were one of the early grassroots campaigners in the west to aid in blocking the infamous Kill the Gays/Anti-Gay bill in Uganda by online petition canvassing. She launched a petition on GoPetition on December 9 2009.[6] The bill was approved 20 December 2013. Sexual Minorities Uganda and Ugandan LGBTQQ activists continue to lead the fight for equal rights in Uganda.

In 2010, the trial of serial rapist and pedophile, Kenneth Robert Klassen, an international art dealer was brought to Elissa's attention via a supporter of Caleb's Hope. The supporter was worried that Klassen, an active participant in illegal sex tourism that raped girls under the age of 14 in Cambodia, Columbia and Philippines would not be charged for his crimes and felt that if more people knew, it would create pressure for the court to do the right thing. Elissa and Caleb's Hope began an immediate local campaign and press interviews[7][8][9] to shine light on the trial. Alongside the Vancouver Rape Relief, they attended Klassen's court trial. Klassen was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

In 2014 due to the deeply flawed structure of foreign aid, Elissa and Caleb's Hope board of directors made the decision to end all programs in Atiak and shifted to 'zero cultural footprint' support of community-based organizations involved with women and youth leadership development. Caleb's Hope is currently expanding to different regions of the world including the USA maintaining their original focus of gender-based violence while also expanding their umbrella to include racial and ethnic based violence and deprivation of human rights.[10]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Seeking Winonas Waitress
2003 Spook Bar Girl
2006 Fool's Gold Woman Short film
2006 Alien Incursion Honey
2008 Kill Switch Frankie Miller Video
2010 Weekend to Remember, AA Weekend to Remember Katherine Taylor Short film
2011 Textuality Kara
2014 hero.traitor.patriot Actor
2014 The Bus Driver Dylan
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2000 Call of the Wild Ariella Rossmore Episode: "Betrayal"
2000 Outer Limits, TheThe Outer Limits Cindy Episode: "Revival"
2001 Voyage of the Unicorn Berty TV movie
2001 Chris Isaak Show, TheThe Chris Isaak Show Saleswoman #1 Episode: "T&A"
2004 Stargate SG-1 President's Aide Episode: "Inauguration"
Episode: "Lost City: Part 1"
2004 Stargate: Atlantis Old Weir (uncredited) Episode: "Before I Sleep"
2006 Battlestar Galactica Asha Janik Episode: "Epiphanies"
2006 L Word, TheThe L Word Chandra Episode: "Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way"
2006 Kyle XY Female Camper Episode: "Pilot"
2006-2007 Whistler Nicole Miller 26 episodes
2008 Flash Gordon Brini Episode: "Cold Day in Hell"
2008 Eureka Dr. Tracy Fox Episode "Best in Faux"
2008 Supernatural Lucy Episode: "Monster Movie"
2009 Polar Storm Cynthia Mayfield TV movie
2009 Psych Nyna Phillips Episode "He Dead"
2009 Something Evil Comes Serena TV movie
2010 Fringe Danielle Rose Episode: "Amber 31422"
2010 Ice Quake Emily Webster TV movie
2010 Hellcats Kelsey Curtis Episode: "Back of a Car"
2011 Hellcats Kelsey Curtis Episode: "Woke Up Dead"
2011 He Loves Me Charlotte TV movie
2012 12 Disasters of Christmas, TheThe 12 Disasters of Christmas Mary TV movie, post-production

References[edit]

  1. ^ Official website bio http://hollyelissa.com/about/
  2. ^ Official website bio http://hollyelissa.com/about/
  3. ^ Official website bio http://hollyelissa.com/about/
  4. ^ University of Chicago press release http://www.cpsr.cs.uchicago.edu/robeson/peacearch.html
  5. ^ Urban Rush, Shaw TV, "Interview with Fiona Forbes and Michael Eckford", 2 May 2011
  6. ^ Go Petition: Say Not to Anti-Human Rights Bill in Uganda http://mamaboolj.dreamwidth.org/210991.html
  7. ^ CBC "Bail for Sex Tourist Angers Advocate" http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bail-for-sex-tourist-angers-advocate-1.877349
  8. ^ Art dealer under police watch after admitting to sex tourism http://www.canada.com/story_print.html?id=c28f4ff0-50c7-42b1-b391-967d25a931f1&sponsor=
  9. ^ 24H Vancouver "For the Love of Children" http://dharmmakwana.blogspot.com/2010/06/call-for-maximum-sentence.html
  10. ^ Official website biography http://hollyelissa.com/about/

External links[edit]