Yolanda Bonnell's bug is an enthralling journey into Indigenous women's lives

BUG by Yolanda Bonnell (Manidoons Collective/Theatre Passe Muraille/Native Earth Performing Arts). At Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson). Runs to February 22. $17-$38. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.ca. See listing. Rating: Yolanda Bonnell’s solo show bug is an enthralling journey into the struggles of two Indigenous women – and their vices. The character we spend the most time with is the Girl, who starts out naive and hopeful, full of love for fireflies and wishing she, too, could glow.

Toronto prof creates app to help Brazilian trans women avoid violence

Maria Clara de Sena has lived in Toronto for two and a half years, but still receives calls from her home country Brazil with news of another trans person who has been murdered. “The process in Brazil now is to kill us one by one,” she says during an interview at the cafe in the 519 Community Centre. “Many Trans woman have to go to the street every single day to work as sex workers to survive.” Born in the northeastern city Pernambuco, she’s suffered abuse for her gender identity and witnessed


Racism in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms is a fact of life for Indigenous people living in the GTA. But this trio of women – a communications mastermind, a doctor and strategist, and an Elder in residence – have set out to change that Several years ago, Joy Henderson was at home alone, indulging in a rare nap, when a cyst in her ovary ruptured. As her symptoms intensified, her in-laws happened to drop in, and they drove her to Scarborough General Hospital.

Hire old, hire young, hire diverse

The kids entertainment industry has recently seen the launch of new streaming services, big platforms locking down talent and kids shows becoming more high profile than ever. While it seems like a time of upheaval, as we look to the next decade, that generally means there’s an opportunity for much-needed fresh voices to bring diverse storytelling to the forefront. The numbers from the Landscape of Children’s Television in the US & Canada reveal that males dominate in director, writer and creato

Raising A Strong Daughter

When I was a kid, I was a bookworm that only stepped into the sports world briefly with a toe pick. I spent probably one year in figure skating, and never ventured into the sports that my brother, dad and male cousins were well versed in – hockey, golf, and track and field. While I’m happy to have had all those years of escaping into the worlds of babysitters clubs and more, I wanted to give my daughter a few more opportunities to find an activity she might like. She’s tried gymnastics and bal

Where to study climate change in Ontario

Flooding, melting icecaps and wildfires are some of the effects of climate change that grab headlines. If you’re more interested in doing something about it than watching the news, several post-secondary schools in Ontario are now offering climate-change-focused courses and programs. Altaf Arain, director of McMaster University’s Centre for Climate Change, says that universities around the world are incorporating climate change across faculties, from master’s degrees to one-off continuing ed co

25 Inspiring Indigenous American Activist Accounts to Follow to Learn About Indigenous People, Issues and Life

While Instagram can often show the glossy side of life—the beautiful vacations, the impeccable farm homes, and private jet life—it also offers the opportunity to gain knowledge about un-glossy, but important issues. As a Mohawk woman, I greatly respect the Indigenous women and men who put their daily lives on hold, endanger their physical and mental well-beings to protect the sacred dormant volcano of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, the water systems of Standing Rock Sioux reservation and lands surroundin

An Indigenous-led youth mural goes on permanent display at the ROM

The Royal Ontario Museum’s iconic Nisga’a and Haida Crest totem poles have a new companion: a permanent mural created by the ROM’s Youth Cabinet that represents the Indigenous knowledge they’ve learned and pays tribute to a fallen warrior. In 2016, Kiowa Wind McComb helped form the youth cabinet. Then the Indigenous Youth Intern, the George Brown College student ran the cabinet alongside coordinator Leslie McCue, who also serves as the ROM’s Indigenous Knowledge Resource Teacher Jessie Jakumeit

Talking With: Chief Lady Bird

If you follow Chief Lady Bird’s Instagram, which I highly recommend, you’ll find an amazing mix of erotic artwork and selfies of the tattooed and expertly eye-lined badass Indigenous artist. Her feed is dominated by her sexuality, which oozes into many facets of her life and her career. For example scenes from a photo shoot of Chief Lady Bird sensually eating pickerel and berries pop up later, turned into a mixed media illustration that was displayed at an art exhibition. I met up with her at

Toronto hotels turn to high schools to address labour shortage

In high school, Christine Cutamora entered a co-op program that took her from shadowing housekeeping attendants in a downtown Toronto hotel to hunting down a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes for a guest. Originally, she wanted to go into the events field in post-secondary, but pivoted to hospitality and now works as a reservations agent at the Hazelton Hotel, making $21 an hour while attending George Brown College’s tourism and hospitality management program. “If it weren’t for the Be Our Gue

For The Love Of Fashion (Shows)

I recently had the pleasure of attending Lesley Hampton’s fashion show during Toronto Fashion Week and from start to finish, it was an amazing experience. A fashion show is an event, with an entire team of people working together to pull it off, from the music and lighting to the designer and the make up artists. I love the spectacle and the multitude of deliberate decisions that have gone into every stitch and step. The venue was a museum with soaring ceilings, that had swapped out its audien

Chelsea Winstanley is taking Indigenous women directors global

FORGIVE ME as part of the program Perceptions at ImagineNative at TIFF Bell Lightbox (360 King West), Friday (October 25), 10:30 am. Free. imaginative.org. Chelsea Winstanley is “somewhere between Hamilton and Guelph” on the set of Danis Goulet’s first feature, Night Raiders. The Indigenous female-fronted sci-fi film is reminiscent of the projects the L.A.-based Maori producer/director has worked on like Merata Mita’s Saving Grace, Te Whakarauora Tangata and Waru, an anthology feature made by n

Fall Jacket Appreciation

I live in a place that fully experiences every single season – the snowy winters, the sweltering heat of the summer, and the spring deluge of rain, and my heart has a special place for the cool fall days. The joy for me lies in the moments of preparation to step outside the front door and experience the autumnal weather. With winter, we’ve got layers – scarves and hats and gloves which will eventually go missing throughout the winter (this is a problem that I share with my pre-school aged chil

Gender parity on kids TV achieved

The annual report from Geena Davis Institute on Gender reveals that children’s television has achieved historic gender parity, but female and LGBTQ+ representation are still in need of improvement. The “See Jane 2019″ study analyzed representations of gender, race, LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities in popular entertainment media in 2018, and concluded that in children’s television, the number of female leads and co-leads rose to 52%, from 42%, over the past decade. The analysis also reveals t

For The Love Of Film Festivals

My retirement dream has nothing to do with lounging on beaches or travelling around the world – it’s a film festival pass. As a retiree – hopefully with sufficient means – I imagine myself without responsibilities and a wide open schedule where I’m free to fill my schedule with countless movies. It’s my ideal way to spend my time because I love movies, popcorn, and being among people who also love movies and popcorn. While I’ve been to film festivals across Europe, the United States and Canada

I'm Lucky To Come From A Culture That Values Elders

I often think back to what my body could do when I was 24. At that point I was co-captain of the Canadian water polo team and training six hours a day. I was about 165 pounds of muscle and could bench-press almost my body weight. I didn’t have a six-pack—I had an eight-pack. My body changed drastically when, at age 34, I had the first of my three kids. With each one I’d gain some 70 pounds, even though I exercised up until two weeks before giving birth, doing spinning classes and weight- lifti

Cartoon Network kicks off pilot mentorship program

Following fellowship initiatives at Netflix and Sesame Street, Cartoon Network Studios has launched a mentorship program with Exceptional Minds, an LA-based non-profit for individuals on the autism spectrum that provides skills training in animation, post-production and visual effects. In the three-month long initiative, which launches today, the inaugural digital arts mentorship program links more than 20 Exceptional Minds students with an expert in fields from storyboarding to prop design at
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