Each and every day I see women - mothers, daughters, sisters and aunts without fame or fortune, commit acts of strength and love that impact people's lives; unseen and with quiet courage.
Every mother is a working-woman, every daughter a caregiver to someone, every sister a friend, and every grandmother a mentor. With small gestures and sometimes Herculean efforts they change, for the better, the lives around them.
Both the women in the limelight and the women whose names I do not know are the 'keel' in the ship of humanity.
My portraits salute those female warriors who went before, are working for the cause of equality and love of community now, and the everyday woman who quietly inspires, engages and is a trailblazer.
And to those they may call 'ordinary' as they have neither accolades, medals, or recognition, I say you are: extraordinary!
This is my journey through Asking.
Mary-Lynne Howell: mother, farmer, teacher, leader and mentor of youth, Jerseygirl, agriculture and environment advocate, adventurer, finder of fun, pioneer, nurturer, lover of life, loyal friend and extremely blessed.
Ren Navarro: fan of cats, tattoos and craft beer. Resident trouble maker. Giver of epic hugs. Talk a LOT about the ongoing need for diversity in beer.
Mary Walsh: mental health and addiction advocate, novelist, actor, satirist, director, mother, Newfoundlander
Zhashkwabino Kwe – Blue Sky in the Morning Woman. Daughter of Art and Mary Nahwegahbow, sister to ten siblings, aunty to many, and citizen of Whitefish River First Nation where I grew up. All my life, I have believed in the beauty of our people and our culture and have conducted myself personally and professionally according to this belief. I describe myself as a community organizer, cultural activist, writer, jewellery artist, supporter of Indigenous artists, and loyal friend.
Mimi O'Bonsawin: dragonfly lady, Abenakis, Francophone, songstress, music maker - "I write songs and I share them", part time faerie, full time entrepreneur. www.mimi.ca
Thea Munster is the creator of the Toronto Zombie Walk, the first event of its kind, spawning zombie walks around the world. When not organizing odd occurrences Thea is a videographer, writer, traveller, tarot reader and aspiring thereminist - my1000moons.com
Vanessa Arscott: Plan V. Lover of live music. Coordinator of things. Auntie, sister, daughter, friend - planvproductions.com
Rae Ellen Bodie: learner, teacher, meditator, breather, noise-maker, lover, fighter, crone - raeellenbodie.com
Ashley Jacot De Boinod: food soldier, professional giggler, peppery, fungi enthusiast, lover of beasts, servant to all those in need, shop mum, pro cyclist wannabe, authentically me, hobbit, comedy addict - gloryholedoughnuts.com
Joanne Ramolo: woman, partner, mother, friend, kind, compassionate, brave, resilient, cancer survivor
Savoy Howe: boxing name Kapow! Howe, boxing coach, New Brunswicker, former comedian, instigator, activist, out of the box thinker, safe space provider, softy - torontonewsgirls.com
Ellie Arscott: mom, artist, creator, nurturer, hopeful feminist, listener, connector, sister, daughter, friend - elliearscott.com
Bif Naked: performing artist, poet, bare-knuckle fighter, human and animal rights activist, goddess, survivor - bifnaked.com
Annelise Noronha: Engineer, producer, composer. Teacher and mentor. Hopeful for the future of the Canadian Music Industry.
Laurie Brown: mother, music journalist, radio host, writer, podcaster, dreamer - pondercast.ca
Helen Paddle: first female car salesperson in Toronto, sensible farm girl, snappy dresser, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, frugal, tenacious, prudent, no-bullshit, excellent laugher
Sharon Lewis: artist, rebel, filmmaker, tv maker, performer, caribbean-canadian, mother, I tell stories but they aren’t lies thesharonlewis.com
Measha Brueggergosman: Servant. Diva. Muse. Mother. Flawed. Magnetic. Gobsmacked. Canadian. Inspired. Turnt up. Saved by grace measha.com
Bet Smith: artist-blacksmith, singer-songwriter, band member, craftsperson, devoted lover of the earth, betty of all trades - PersephoneForge.com
Kayt Lucas: high steel rigger, singer songwriter, industrial designer, waitress, retired dancer - kaytlucas.com
Gael Hannan: hearing loss consultant, author, advocate, public speaker - gaelhannan.com
Hon. Jean Augustine: the first black female MP and Cabinet Minister, Fairness Commissioner, social justice advocate, trendsetter, teacher, principal, trailblazer. Dr. Augustine's legacy includes the successful 1995 motion declaring February as Black History Month in Canada. A pioneer of the modern day era, at eighty! jeanaugustinecentre.ca
Kate Drummond: professional storyteller, actor, writer, former school teacher, inspirational speaker, philanthropist, animal lover, dreamer *RIP Jacksonkatedrummond.com
Denise Donlon: as fearless as possible, author
Sook-Yin Lee: broadcaster, musician, actor, filmmaker
Kim Petrie: tiny, soft spoken, determined, strong, feisty. Taking Parkinson's disease head on. lets-shake.com
Marnie McBean: olympic gold medalist, mentor, speaker, author - marniemcbean.ca
Suzanne Smoke: ginew kwe, golden eagle woman, mukwa dodem, sits with the bear clan, mother and life giver, water carrier, water protector, land defender
Jill Hall: barber, yogi, partner, supporter, lover, steadfast, hopeful - theniteowl.ca
Rosanne Cash: singer, songwriter, author, activist, embassador
Angela Demontigny: designer, advocate, mom, pioneer, mentor, zumba instructor - angelademontigny.com
Lynne Kittredge-Fox: virtuous rebel, life creator, author, literacy advocate, producer, fan of audacious experience, gratefully mighty, bam a lam
Dorothy Onyango: co-founder and executive director of Women Fighting AIDS in Kenya - wofak.org
Piper and Maggie Hayes: exuberant, passionate, inclusive, whimsical, abundant - pipersings.com
Alysha Brilla: artist, producer, yoga instructor, social activist, eternal optimist - alyshabrilla.com
Lisa Humber: stage manager, producer, dreamer
Hope Chigudu: co-founder of the Zimbabwe Women's Resource Centre and Network - zwrcn.org.zw
Robin Zee: artist, mother, performer, writer, survivor, life skills coach who believes never underestimating someones ability to shine - robinzee.com
Tamoyah Morgan: boozhoo, positive, pilot in training, books, hard-worker, spirit indestructible, determined, tea lover, self love, music, honour & respect, resilient, happy, god, family, friends
Lizzie Violet: writer, ghost stories, horror fiend, redheaded girl with the crooked smile - lizzieviolet.com
Anne Innis Dagg: a life dedicated to the study of giraffes, scientist, feminist, activist, author - annedagg.net
Alex Pangman: singer, equestrian, organ transplant advocate/recipient - alexpangman.com
Jocelyn Richards: photographer, lover of all things groovy, kick ass MS warrior
Dawn Maracle: inspired, Mohawk, woman, mother, cancer survivor, educator, advocate, author, dancer, photographer, muse, cliff-jumper, public speaker, scanner. Indigenous and disability rights activist and consultant. https://www.facebook.com/dawn.maracle.12
Hannah Alper: blogger, speaker, activist, anti-bullying advocate, kind raiser - callmehannah.ca
Margaret Wright: optimist, blessed, kind, grounded, loved, survivor
Christa Couture: singer, songwriter, mom, non-fiction writer, digital producer, mother of lost ones, cyborg, halfbreed, and then some - christacouture.com
Vuyiseka Dubula: former general secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa - tac.org.za
Ashley Rowley: luthier, music teacher, problem solver, animal lover, organic gardener, listener, sensitive, accepting, camper, happy laidback hippie
Joshna Maharaj: chef, activist, teacher, taste chaser, lover of the good life, happy wanderer - joshnamaharaj.com
Madeline Wilson Shaw: arts advocate, feminist, Mohawk, music lover, band manager, mother, bohemian, hamiltonianfrontroomentertainment.com
Kelly Grace: maker, hustler, enthusiast, brushpusher, stylist, time traveller, carnie - kellygracefineart.com
Jill Miwa: physicist, traveller, photographer
Ellen Davidson: outlier, gambler on ideas & people, paylancer, mentor, mum x 3, honey over vinegar...most times
Andrea Ramolo: musician, teacher, tap dancer, actress, road dog - andrearamolo.com
Courtney Lee Yip: photo & film maker, writer, Babes Boardroom founder, California soul, Ontarian heart - https://www.instagram.com/coco_mccracken
Hill Kourkoutis: recording artist, producer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, director, actor, lightworker, alien trapped in a carbon-based molecular structure, coffee snob turned tea aficionado, gear nerd, proud auntie, lover of food, art, dreams, moondust, stars and space (the place) - hillkourkoutis.com
Martha Johnson: music creator and collaborator, mother, rock steady boxer, golden rule believer, adaptor
Helene Hadfield: optimist, animal lover, creator, wife, mother, grandmother, thinker, maker
Sandy Shaw: grateful, woke, feminist, nan, rock&roll mom, political pundit, governance guru, fair-weather sailor
Candace Alper: mom, partner, writer, educator, brain-stormer, global citizen, coffee-lover
Peres Abeka: chairperson and co-founder of Young Women Campaign Against AIDS in Kenya - ywcaaids.org
Jo-Anne Mcarthur: award winning photojournalist/author, animal activist, advocate - weanimals.org
Genna Bauder: creative free spirit, social innovator
Norah Jackson: entrepreneur, skateboard builder, volunteer, windsurfer, kettle bells, persian cats, making pies - roarockit.com
Kelly Hadfield: global health change-maker, boundary pusher, adventurer, naturalist, canoer, basketballer - ghanamedicalhelp.com
Dorothy Aitchison: mom, grandma, artist, milliner, baker
India Amara: tattoo artist, yogi, globe trotter, motorcyclist, wild at heart - indiaamara.com
Collis Robinson: grandmother, mawm, singer, actress, activist, funny, humble
Natalie Panek: rocket scientist, explorer, champion for women in tech -thepanekroom.com
Annaleise Carr: swimmer, record holder, author, fundraiser, volunteer - annaleisecarr.com
Mary Neilans: mother, health care educator and advocate, champion for Parkinson’s research, reader and writer - rocksteadyboxingtoronto.org
Lisa S. Johnson: photographer/author 108 Rock Star Guitars, yoga enthusiast, entrepreneur - 108rockstarguitars.com