8 Women in Toronto Making a Difference Through Creativity

If you’re a creative person, chances are at some point in your life you were made to believe that your creative skill couldn’t make a valid career or life path. Maybe you heard that it was in the realm of “soft skills” or it wasn’t very “important.” In this magical digital age we all find ourselves in now, however, creativity can be a really powerful force.

Today, our creative output can effect real change. Communities, dialogues, movements, can start, or spread, online. We can use our creativity for good, positive change. Here are eight women that serve as stellar examples of where a creative life path can lead — and what good it can do for a city:

Sheila Sampath: OCAD professor, activist, writer

Sheila is an OCAD professor, the editorial director of Shameless Magazine and creative director at activist design studio The Public (who’s done design work for Planned Parenthood, Ontario Women’s Health Network and more). From her tweets to the content in the well-loved progressive magazine for young women and trans youth, Sheila is an engaging and effective educator.

Rania El Mugammar: Artist and equity, anti-oppression and inclusion educator

This Sudanese Canadian creatrix has an artistic agenda for inclusion. She facilitates workshops on being an ally, one of which is called Shut It Uncle Bob! A workshop on dealing with racism from your loved ones. Catch the next one on March 11th at the Centre for Social Innovation at Regent Park, and learn how to effectively handle less-than-loving remarks from loved ones.

Nour Hadidi: Comedian, writer

Nour is the award-winning comedienne of CBC’s The Debaters who brings LOLs to audiences while also making a statement about feminism, being Muslim in Canada and the general state of the world. She’s hilarious and smart and poignant. Follow her for upcoming shows in the city.

Sonja JF Barrett: Sexual health educatrix

Sonja co-founded the original Slutwalk back in 2011 (alongside Heather Jarvis), as a way to combat victim-blaming and sexual profiling, and started a worldwide movement. Barrett continues to champion (primarily) women’s sexual rights through her sex education work, film-making and speaking. 

Sonja Seiler: Founder of Nurture Retreats

The overwork and burnout cycle is so commonplace these days it’s easy to think the grind is the only way to succeed in 2017. Sonja’s work is about changing that. Nurture Retreats is a creative sanctuary and self-care community for entrepreneurs. She shares honest and supportive content about staying healthy and grounded on the entrepreneurial journey on the Nurture blog.

Emily Rose: Founder of Shecosystem

Emily is the lady behind Shecosystem, a new co-working and wellness community in Toronto. She works to cultivate a supportive, collaborative sisterhood where female entrepreneurs and freelancers can show up authentically, kick ass in their work and not sacrifice their health. This space is home to a ton of skilled women — look here if you’re ISO of a photographer, personal trainer, reiki healer and more.

Erika A. Iserhoff & Sage Paul: Co-artistic director and co-founder of Setsune Fashion Incubator

Setsune Fashion Incubator is an organization that collaborates with Indigenous artists to foster the creation and exhibition of their work in fashion, textiles and crafts. Setsune, which means grandmother in the Dene language, is all about revitalizing traditional Indigenous cultural practices and they hold some really unique programming (think: hide-tanning workshops, pop-up markets and more).

Main image via Nour Hadidi

Tags: comedian, Creativity, emily rose, feminism, International Women's Day, nour hadidi, rania el mugammar, shecosystem, sheila sampath, sonja seiler, women in toronto, writer

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