Carlos is a multiple-creative driven by his curiosity and desire to learn, play, enchant and amuse himself with moments of magic.
Singing & Acting
Having previously studied classical voice as a baritone, Carlos studied as a tenor with Diane King at the VSO School of Music opera arias with some musical theatre and art song. In contrast, his formative musical experiences were of singing in many vocal jazz ensembles ranging from trios to sextets; common to both are his love of singing. As a member of the VSO School of Music’s Opera Ensemble, he developed scenes from various operas in a workshop environment. His performance highlights included scenes from Bizet’s Carmen with Olesia Shewchuk as Carmen and Carlos as Don Jose and the Love Duet from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with Diana Walsh.
Carlos has most recently played the mysterious and charming bandit El Gallo in Stage 43's production of The Fantasticks. He is now preparing for his upcoming role of Lancelot in Camelot for Deep Cove Stage in June of 2018.
His vocal jazz background - and newly found Tap Dancing skills! - were on display as a Quartet Sailor in the Royal City Musical Theatre production of Cole Porter's Anything Goes.
Carlos sang selections from West Side Story, The Merry Widow, Camelot with several members of the North Shore Light Opera at the Kitsilano Showboat. A beautiful evening for an outdoor concert!
Of Carlos’ performance as Danilo in The Merry Widow (North Shore Light Opera Society), Opera Canada notes “Vela-Martinez has the perfect light baritone for the role [of Danilo], as well as the requisite acting ability for every mood and situation. …the dancing through the show was outstanding, with Vela-Martinez and [Olesia] Shewchuk capturing audience hearts with their final waltz number.”
Carlos’ solo work includes a full solo concert featuring a selection of art song, musical theatre and Mexican folk song. He has twice sung under Maestro Bramwell Tovey at the VSO School of Music Orpheum Showcase and with the Sinfonietta String Ensemble.
Studying sculpture at Emily Carr in Vancouver, Carlos became interested in creating art that exhibits behaviour. He taught himself to program micro-controllers to react to light, sound and touch sensor inputs with servo mechanisms and other devices. He was the recipient of a Canada Council Grant to develop his electronic skills further at the inaugural residency at Surrey Gallery Media Lab. Able to speak both ‘art’ and ‘tech’, he designed and built electronic and mechanical systems for other artists, travelling to New York, Montreal, London and other cities to set up interactive art installations.
In recent years, Carlos enjoys the tactility and immediacy of sculpting by hand. After building the original sculpt, he makes silicone molds to cast multiples of each piece in resin or plaster. This allows him to experiment with colour and surface treatments so even pieces from the same mold look different. Each piece is unique and suggests its own story, giving the viewer an opportunity to complete the world for themselves.
His work has shown at various galleries including BIAC Gallery and Artspeak Gallery and is collected by a growing number of patrons.
A selection of his work will soon be available at the Catching Stars gallery on Bowen Island.
When Vela-Martinez and his wife Joanne Mogridge moved to Bowen Island, the couple started both a business, Cocoa West Chocolatier, and a family. He’s a proud father, and also the co-owner of a successful chocolate café, thanks to Joanne’s business acumen. The flexibility of his work in the business allows him to pursue his creative endeavours.
Carlos is a 3rd Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo, having been a practitioner for over 9 years. He’s broken many wooden boards and even concrete with his bare hand - demonstrating that with the right mindset, coordinated with action, obstacles can be overcome.
He has completed two Tough Mudders at the Whistler Olympic Park, a gruelling 19km alpine run with military-style obstacles that tests endurance, strength and willpower. He’s run through dangling live electrical wires, belly-crawled through mud under barbed wire fields, scaled 12-foot walls and been immersed in freezing water.