The Feminist Art Conference Toronto is a grassroots, not for profit, volunteered-based organization. While we actively seek and engage in a variety of partnerships, FAC functions as an independent base, not specifically affiliated with any corporation, university or non-governmental organization.
All planning for any FAC related activities and events happens through a general committee made up of a diverse group of academics, writers, artists, administrators, students, activists and parents. FAC embraces an intersectional and collaborative practice of feminist politics and reflects a committee of like-minded individuals. Participation in FAC organizing is done on a volunteer-basis, with tasks taken up by members with either related experience or interest in developing a new skill.
Aldeli Albán Reyna is the Outreach Coordinator for the Feminist Art Conference and has moderated various panels such as Black Exoticism: Fetishization of the black female body and Intersectionality: Collaboration, Cooperation, Community. She holds an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Women & Gender Studies, with a double minor in Spanish and Italian. Her passions for activism, equity and learning stem from a long history of volunteering, lived experiences, and desire for social change. As a Project & Research coordinator at YWCA Canada in Toronto, Aldeli is involved in numerous membership, advocacy and public policy campaigns such as the 4Rs Youth Movement and Homes for Women™. In her spare time, Aldeli is a Youth Advisor for the Toronto 2015: Pan American & Parapan American Games. Aldeli has also won the Norma Epstein Foundation Awards in Creative Writing for poetry.
Alex Raponi is a licensed Ontario and New York attorney, a feminist, activist, and writer. She holds a Masters in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art (NY) and the University of Manchester (UK). Her Masters thesis explored how New York City emerging artists navigate New York’s complex art market. She has worked in the New York contemporary art world in both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, and as an attorney as well. Alex is committed to advocating for women’s rights and gender equality. She is particularly interested in how the arts can serve as a conduit for highlighting and challenging inequitable cultural norms. She is an active member of the Toronto arts community and sits on The Roundtable Residency board of directors. Prior to this, she sat on the board of the artist-run center, Gallery 1313, and is now also a proud member of FAC’s Programming Committee.
Publication Coordinator/Curator/Grant Writer
A Feminist Art Historian Alla Myzelev is teaching Art History and Visual Culture in State University of New York at Geneseo. She has PhD. in Art History from Queens University in Kingston and M.A in Visual Culture from York University. Myzelev is a recipient of several research grants including one’s award by Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her research interests revolve around Third Wave Feminism, Feminist Activism, Role of Crafts in Activism and Feminist Histories of Fashion and Design. Myzelev has published extensively on contemporary and historical art and crafts in publications such as The Journal of Modern Craft, Textile, Material Culture and the Craft Journal. She just finished a manuscript on architecture, design and craft in early twentieth century Toronto. The book will appear in 2016 with Ashgate Publishers.
Administrative Director/Website Manager
Carissa identifies as a queer maker, nerd, organizer and arts administrator. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, she received a Bachelor of Design, majoring in Textiles. In recent years, her attention has been focused on the representation of women in the media which resulted in the creation of her blog, Mighty Damsels. It is there that her love of writing and entertainment merged, targeting typically male dominated genres such as horror, action and sci-fi.
Carly Friesen is a non-religious/cultural Mennonite and feminist. She works with textile and visual art and has a B.Eng in Environmental Engineering. Much of her art is informed by her past experiences as a woman in the construction and engineering industries. Currently working in project management she is passionate about using these skills to organize events around art and intersectional feminism.
Christina White an interdisciplinary critical designer whose work focuses on social innovation and activism. She has completed a Master of Design from Emily Carr in Art + Design, and a Bachelor of Graphic Design from OCADU. Her work explores materiality, methodological approaches, and the relationship between the designer, artifact and participant. Christina works with the belief that design can be used as a tool for social good as it can speculate, critique, and provide different points of view of topical issues. She writes, “Design is more than creating something aesthetically pleasing, it is about finding a balance between function, legacy, aesthetics, meaning, and usability so that a product or service can shape behavior in such a way that improves or challenges our lives.” Christina White has been a Graduate Scholar at the Eight International Conference on Design Principles and Practices, a Presenter at GRAND 2014, a part of the **FLAWLESS show curated by The Younger Than Beyonce Gallery, and Presenter at the Second International Conference on Advances in Women’s Studies.
Emmie Tsumura is a Japanese-Canadian illustrator and graphic designer with a particular eye towards pop culture, technology, and communication. She is an intersectional feminist with a background in art and cultural studies. Her heart and inspiration lie in the city of Hiroshima, where she lived and worked for most of the past decade.
Gabrielle holds a BA in English and French from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is currently working on her MA in Communication and Culture at York and Ryerson Universities. Her research interests include feminist humour and stand-up comedy and the political aesthetics of female self-representation in television. Gabrielle’s desire to be involved in the promotion and development of feminist spaces and events led her to the FAC committee. A newcomer to Toronto, she is excited to learn from and collaborate with such an amazing community of women
Founder/Coordinator/Sponsorship and Community Outreach
Ilene Sova is an artist, educator with black mixed race, indigenous and settler ancestry who lives with a disability. As such, she passionately identifies with the tenants of intersectional feminisms and has dedicated her life to “art-tivism”. She is the founder of both the Feminist Art Conference, and Blank Canvases and teaches in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University. She has an honours BFA from the University of Ottawa in Painting and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Windsor. With extensive solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad, Sova’s work has most notably been shown at MOCCA, the Department of Canadian Heritage, and at Mutuo Centro de Arte in Barcelona. Passionate about social justice issues, her exhibit the Missing Women Project garnered much attention around issues of violence against women in our local communities. Sova’s work has been featured in a variety of television, Internet and print media including features in The Toronto Star, CBC Radio, CTV Canada AM and The Toronto Standard. Sova’s work was internationally featured in the Nigerian Arts Journal, Tabula and the Italian feminist journal. Woman’O’Clock. Sova was also chosen to speak at the first TEDx Women event in Toronto where she gave a critical analysis of the Missing Women Project. She is also a member of the 3MW Art Collective which explores issues around mixed race identity through portraiture.
Performance Outreach Coordinator/Host
Jennifer McKinley is a cisgender intersectional feminist activist and a writer, performer, producer, educator and arts administrator. She received education and training in liberal, performing and creative arts and uses themes of personal and collective memory in her work. A fourth-generation Torontonian. Jennifer is committed to community and has done volunteer work with youth and families at Frontier College, Young People’s Theatre and the Toronto Public Library.
Jo Blakely is a Toronto artist working with themes of social justice and feminism. Her current work in mixed media is exploring the parasitic nature and economic violence of misogyny. Her work is an expression of her own experience of workplace trauma, sexual violence, and poverty and its impact on the physical, mental, and financial health of women in a patriarchal system.
Jordana Franklin is a curator and writer whose love of art, feminism, and collaboration brought her to FAC. She has an MA in Art History, where her research focus was on individual, institutional, and collective memory. Jordana has worked for art galleries on land and sea and sat on the board of a public art gallery and non-profit arts organization. She was recently a jury member for the Ontario Society of Artists and is a member of an international curatorial collective known as 7×8. She also co-founded a blog that examines critical curatorial practices. Jordana has curated exhibitions in Canada, Hungary, and Italy.
Julia is a day dreamer, traveler and activist. Using her educational background in project management; business marketing; and event planning, she manages a youth arts education program in Toronto known as UforChange. Believing that everyone should have equal opportunity to thrive, her job allows her to provide young people with mentorship opportunities and artistic and entrepreneurial programs that benefit them for future successes. In addition to her full-time job, she is the founder of DriveTO, a philanthropy-focused group that comes together to knit and host drives for shelters in the city, helping marginalized groups by donating necessary items such as warm clothes, soap and feminine hygiene products. Ultimately, Julia is passionate about learning what challenges exist in society, and how she can positively contribute to changing the world.
Justine Abigail Yu
Justine Abigail is an intersectional feminist and social justice activist committed to deepening allyship and solidarity work in all aspects of her life. Professionally, she is a communications and marketing strategist for the non-profit and international development sector. From human rights reporting to experiential education, from press freedom advocacy to women’s rights and LGBTI activism, Justine’s experience covers quite a range. Her expertise lies in drawing lessons from across disciplines and cultures to innovate with different communications strategies, tell meaningful stories, and ultimately build bridges and community.
Justine is currently the Communications and Marketing Director for Operation Groundswell, a non-profit organization that facilitates service learning programs on various social justice issues around the globe.
Inclusivity Outreach Coordinator
Kate is a queer crip community activist, artist and workshop presenter who received her undergraduate degree from York University in Sociology and Theatre and is now working on a Masters of Social Justice Education at University of Toronto. She is passionate about building communities of care and striving to create safer, anti-oppressive spaces. Living with both physical and episodic disabilities, Kate navigates complex realities and experiences through art, activism and community care. Kate’s interests include community building, intersectionality, disabilities, queer identities and knowledge sharing.
Kat Pruss is a Toronto-based queer-identifying artist and graphic designer. She is an advocate for genderfluidity and non-binary spaces. With a passion for burlesque aesthetic, underground French comics, and the grotesque, Pruss creates highly sexualized and detailed drawings that explore personal narrative and assertions on and expectations of the female body. She earned an Honours BA from the University of Toronto, where she majored in Visual Studies and English, and received an advanced diploma in Graphic Design from Seneca College. She has participated in numerous group shows, as well as a solo show of which an artist catalogue of her series “Free Agent” was published through the Steel Bananas collective with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Film Programming Coordinator
Lara is a writer, filmmaker and artist based in Toronto. Her films have played in festivals worldwide and she has written for television, including shows for MTV and The Movie Network. Lara has worked as a story-editor and rewritten feature scripts and television. She has chaired juries for the Academy of Film and Television and judged scripts for the Writer’s Guild of Canada and Telefilm. An alumna of the Canadian Film Centre, she holds a degree in Film from Simon Fraser University. She is also a painter and published author.
Performance Coordinator / Writing and Grant Research / Curatorial Team
Lauren Fournier is a cisgendered queer woman and settler who was born and raised in Saskatchewan in a working-class family. She was the first member of her family to attend University, and she is currently a PhD candidate at York University in the Department of English. She maintains an active art practice, and strives for intersectionality in her academic and artistic work. Her dissertation focuses on contemporary feminist practice across media, and her work often explores histories of hysteria. She has worked as a gallery facilitator, art writer, and community mental health and harm reduction worker. Her passion for mental health advocacy and issues of vicarious trauma and intergenerational trauma inflect her lived feminist practice. She is the curator and producer of “Self Care for Skeptics” and “Fermenting Feminism.” Her work has exhibited in galleries and screenings across Canada, the United States, and Berlin.
Her writing has been published in Canadian Art, Magenta Magazine, KAPSULA, The Journal of Comparative Media Arts, Ineffable Magazine, Canadian Journal of Woman Studies, and West Coast Line. She is an organizer of the Feminist Pedagogy Reading Group at OISE (UofT) and the Centre for Feminist Research (York). She recently took part in the
Luce Irigaray International Doctoral Seminar in Bristol, UK, and she will be performing with the League of Lady Wrestlers on Toronto Island in September.
Lynx Sainte-Marie is a disabled/chronically ill, non-binary/genderfluid, Afro+Goth Poet of the Jamaican diaspora with ancestral roots indigenous to Africa and the British Isles, living on stolen Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee and Huron-Wendat land (Greater Toronto Area). Lynx is the creator of #BlackSpoonieSpeak, a creative writing workshop series for Black disabled/chronically ill youth on the margins. Lynx has travelled throughout Canada performing poetry, developing and facilitating workshops, presenting on panels and lecturing at colleges, universities, conferences and various other spaces where it is welcome to interrogate structural oppression. Lynx has had the opportunity to train and educate a plethora of individuals – from social service providers, sex educators, high school and post-secondary students to university faculty and administration – on intersectionality, anti-oppression, queer and trans communities, accessibility, creative arts and allyship. Lynx has consulted for a number social service organizations and sits on various committees, seeking to challenge mainstream narratives around art creation.
Grant and Curatorial Committee
Maureen Da Silva is a Toronto-based second-generation Portuguese settler and cis-gendered community-driven artist and art professional committed to an intersectional feminist practice. She is a printmaker specializing in silk screen and lithography and dabbles in bookbinding as well. She has taken her love of print into the founding of the not-for-profit artist group The inPrint Collective, of which she is the Managing Director. Through the inPrint Collective, Maureen has been proud to showcase work in Scotiabank NuitBlanche (2012), Printopolis (2010), Culture Days (2010-present) and across the GTA as well as engage in a number of community-based projects with partners such as The Scarborough Museum, East End Arts, First Story Toronto and more. A 2008 graduate of York University’s B.F.A program, Maureen has also completed her Master’s of Arts at the University of Toronto (2009), as well as her Certificate in Museum Studies from the Ontario Museum Association (2013). Her research in her Women and Gender Studies Master’s program focused on the politics of inclusion within feminist art collectives, an interest which brought Maureen into the Feminist Art Conference committee. Her own practice in feminism and printmaking, as well as the artistic wealth of her print community has inspired Maureen to (hopefully) a lifetime of creativity and non-stop learning.
Curatorial Team / TFAP Coordinator
Natalie Majaba Waldburger received her B.A. specializing in Women’s Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. In 1996, she graduated with Honours from the Ontario College of Art and Design receiving the Drawing and Painting Department Medal. Currently she is the Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Painting and Print Media at the OCAD University where she is also assisting in building the Life Studies specialization. This new area of study is designed to explore the meaning of the human body as it relates to the notion of embodiment, feminism, issues of representation, and the interplay between science, technology and studio inquiries. She has also taught at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in the Media Arts Department where she completed an MFA in 2004. Natalie has exhibited widely in Canada, the U.S. and Europe; in cities such as Berlin, Florence, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami.
I am a queer, brown, intersectional feminist, managing mental illness, while living in Toronto. I graduated from York Universitiy with a BA hons in Sociology, and have dedicated over five years towards working within the animal welfare industry. My art projects are generally of a self reflective nature, exploring the relationship of themes such as vulnerability, love, sex, mental illness, and the ‘bad girl’. I aim to celebrate personal story telling while unpacking hierarchical interpretations of what it means to be an artist.
Nicole is a feminist in her final year at the University of Toronto completing a degree in Canadian Studies with a particular focus on the histories of ethno-cultural groups silenced from mainstream education. Nicole has volunteered internationally for a variety of organizations that work with women. In Tanzania, she managed the implementation of local microfinance groups for women and in Armenia worked with an organization promoting female entrepreneurship.
Salomé Viguier holds a BFA in Art History from the University of Toulouse (France) and a MA in performing arts administration from ENSATT National School of the Arts and Techniques of Theatre (France). She has worked for non-profit arts organizations both in Europe and Canada where she moved in 2010. Passionate by artistic proposals questioning the concept of identity and engaging reflexions on social issues, she has worked in different discipline. In Toronto, she advocated for the francophone artistic community as executive director of Le Labo, francophone media arts centre. She is currently working as administrative director for ATSA, multidisciplinary engaged collective in Montréal. She is also working as independent curator and administrator on project basis.
Salomeh Ahmadi is a creative community builder who focuses on meaningful impact by and for communities. She works at Pathways to Education in Rexdale/Jamestown where her passion for youth empowerment and cross-sector collaboration shine. Her experiences working with social profit groups for the past 7 years help her think critically, inspire new partnerships, and engage communities through participatory, social change processes. With her background in facilitation, project management, diversity and inclusion development, leading strategic innovation, she is passionate about critical social justice. She has worked with LAMP CHC, South Etobicoke Youth Assembly (SEYA), AVNU.ca, Feminist Art Conference Toronto, and the City of Toronto, to name a few. She founded the grassroots group Rexdale Lab in 2014 to catalyze community engaged projects. She is a Board Member at Lakeshore Arts, and in her spare time she enjoys fencing. Follow her on Twitter @SalomehA
Samaa Ahmed is an artist, blogger, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of ARTBOX Toronto, a monthly subscription box service that showcases the work of up-and-coming artists in the GTA. Samaa is a mixed media artist, drawing from her experiences as a Pakistani third culture kid growing up in diaspora. She is inspired by South Asian feminist works and traditional Pakistani patterns and handicrafts. She blogs at http://wearivebeen.com and sells her work at http://society6.com/wearivebeen. Hit her up on Twitter @hashtagsamaa or Instagram @wearivebeen
I am a queer and gender queer aspiring art director, practicing graphic designer, fire performer, and flow artist originally from Calgary, AB. I completed my BDes from Alberta College of Art + Design in 2012, and am working towards the completion of my MDes from York University. I am an intersectional feminist and approach my creative practice as an agent for social change. More specifically I am interested in the role visual communications can play in issues of human rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, animal rights and poverty alleviation.
Shailee is a very sleepy student and writer who spends as much time as possible sitting still. Her heart belongs to her fellow women of colour. She studies Equity Studies at UofT and will write her own sitcom one day, but till then, she works on freelance projects for places like EverydayFeminism, HelloGiggles, GUTS, and more. She is constantly fascinated, easily excited, in love with you, and sooo changeable! Follow her on Twitter @ssshailee or check out her posts on the zine she co-founded.
Vanessa Del Carpio
Curatorial Team, Writing, and Researching
A proud feminist, Vanessa Del Carpio is a communications professional by day and an academic at heart. She holds an MA in communication and culture from York and Ryerson universities and a BA in communication studies with a minor in business. She identifies as a cis-gendered first generation Canadian-Peruvian. Vanessa is interested in the intersections of media, visual culture, pop culture, fashion, misogyny, female-presenting bodies & people, and public/private space. Fascinated by the interplay between representation and control, Vanessa believes the best art poses more questions and provokes conversation. She is also the Communications Officer for Activate T.O., a non-profit speaker series featuring cultural activists and community outreach practitioners in Toronto