Honouring International Women’s Day

The global day is here. 

Since 1911, International Women’s Day has put a spotlight on the achievements of women everywhere and a call to action for positive change when it comes to gender disparity. Here, we have rounded up some of the astonishing women recently featured in NUVO, who are exemplary in their respective industries. We invite you to read and celebrate them with us today.


Magdalene Odundo


The Kenyan British artist is one of the most celebrated living ceramicists, smashing through auction sale price records and with work in the collections of celebrated institutions like the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among many others. —Elia Essen





Kelly Mason


If Ontario’s Niagara region is a rising star in the wine world, then Mason is the gas that fuels its flame. She has worked at some of the region’s most esteemed wineries, where she is head winemaker to this day. And now, with her eponymous project, Mason Vineyard, the leading lady of Niagara is blazing her own trail, crafting wines that have both local winemakers and nerds revaluating just what the region’s potential is. —John Clegg





Sage Paul


Sage Paul is the executive and artistic director of Indigenous Fashion Arts (IFA), which she helped create as a space for dozens of Indigenous-led brands to showcase their work, connecting them with both customers and businesses. Her CV includes orchestrating capsule collaborations between Indigenous labels and the Quebec retailer Simons, designing costumes for legendary Cree artist Kent Monkman, and creating and teaching an Indigenous fashion course for George Brown College. —Caitlin Agnew




Kate Allen, Kristen Lien, and Kelly Morrison


When there’s a project with a story to be told, frankly, few can tell it better. The Calgary firm, which also runs a studio in Banff, is led by Kate Allen, Kristen Lien, and Kelly Morrison, who’ve together left their mark on Canada’s hospitality scene for well over a decade. With a holistic approach that reconsiders the connection between exterior and interior design, Frank is responsible for the types of venues that are outright destinations. —Keith Flanagan




Sharlène Clarke and Sandra Ngenge Dusabe


When Sharlène Clarke, founder of Hors Pair Social, an Ottawa Black social group, approached Sandra Ngenge Dusabe, founder of The Moving Art Gallery, with the idea of a Black hair art show, she was hesitant. “I thought that something only about hair would be too much,” she admits, but Dusabe was enthusiastic. They collaborated, using Dusabe’s curatorial background and Clarke’s event management expertise to create Crépu: Our DNA last year. Crépu (meaning curly or kinky) is a meditation on Black hair in all its forms, through education, visual arts, and innovation. —Ozioma Nwabuikwu




Evelyne Brochu


Plenty of international audiences have appreciated Brochu’s homegrown performances, which have earned her two Canadian Screen Awards nominations and a Tiburon International Film Festival win for best actor. Many of her most-loved films are Quebec productions, movies by the late Jean-Marc Vallée (Café de Flore), Denis Villeneuve (Polytechnique), and Xavier Dolan (Tom at the Farm). —Eve Thomas



Inuk Artist Shuvinai Ashoona Receives the Prestigious Governor’s General Award


Shuvinai Ashoona


Since starting to create art after encouragement from her sister over twenty years ago, Shuvinai Ashoona has received many accolades for her expressive body of work, including one of eight recipients of the prestigious Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. Hailing from Kinngait (also known as Cape Dorset), Nunavut, Ashoona’s colourful, otherworldly creations speak to Inuit culture through a contemporary lens. —Lauren Edwards




Fefe Dobson


Fefe Dobson knew it when, in high school, she told her friends that Justin Timberlake would know her name one day.Dobson’s 2003 self-titled debut, with furious anthems like “Take Me Away” and “Bye Bye Boyfriend,” cemented her as a once-in-a-generation artist and one of the few Black alternative women in the mainstream space. True to her word, Dobson opened for Timberlake on his European tour the following year. —Yasmine Shemesh




Hélène Darroze


On a cooking island that spans many metres, the chef of a fleet of high-powered restaurants with six Michelin stars among them is teaching us how to make cocotte lutée (pot-roasted turbot and clams with white beans). Darroze, who insists we call her Hélène, has been in Morocco with her team, whom she calls her “loyal soldiers,” for the better part of a month, finalizing details for her first project outside Europe. —Claudia Cusano




Sasha Plavsic


Today, Ilia has a range of products including priming serums, lipsticks, and eye shadows, with bestsellers the Super Serum Skin Tint, Limitless Lash Mascara, and Multi-Stick. The brand also launched Bright Start Retinol Alternative Eye Cream in January, which has quickly become one of Sephora’s best-selling eye creams. Clean beauty is now flourishing, and its customers are multiplying. —Lesa Hannah




Maria Qamar


In so many ways, Maria Qamar has changed the direction, the mark, of what success looks like for kids like us. By us, I mean the South Asian diaspora, an abstract global group hungry for reflection. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons Qamar’s work has been so lauded; there’s a distinction to what she does, an impact that’s felt and unfettered. With her consistent artistic fortitude, she’s shifted the immense possibilities that future generations of young South Asian kids can attain by creating an archive (an entirely new vernacular) for what that can be. —Fariha Róisín




Corri-Lynn Tetz


Corri-Lynn Tetz first big solo show opened in her hometown in November 2020: Art Lover at Contemporary Calgary. Since then, her exhibitions have included Heaven Goes On Forever and Ever at New York’s Arsenal Contemporary Art and Quiet Time at L.A.’s Anat Ebgi (that title, she notes, is traditionally a period set aside for spiritual contemplation). There have also been a generous collection of group shows, like Looking Like Fire at Sim Smith in London last fall. —Eve Thomas




Raquel Guiu


It was when she was studying advertising and graphic design that she noticed the storytelling power images carried and began experimenting with the ways photography could be used to explore a place. “I feel inspired by the daily details that make us different and those tiny parts that create the identity of the destination,” Guiu says. “No matter where the project takes me to, the images always end up giving a sense of humanity that feels the same in every corner of the world.” —Elia Essen




Katie Green and Kristen King


Of the 100 billion garments produced annually, 92 million tonnes of it ends up in landfills. “Sustainable apparel is one of the more challenging categories for us to enter, but it also is one that is in the most need of change,” Katie Green notes. Partnering with SuperCircle’s fibre-to-fibre recycling program, fashion brand &Or will take unwanted clothing to ensure responsible disposal. —Lauren Edwards




Elia Herrera


When Elia Herrera first came to Toronto from Mexico, she didn’t envision herself spending more than a year in Canada. Herrera’s move to Calgary is the product of the same self-assured vision that has guided her through some of Canada’s best kitchens, appearances on Top Chef Canada and Top Chef Mexico, and a career move that precipitated her rise to prominence. —Elia Essen





Tiffany Masterson


Drunk Elephant founder Tiffany Masterson  says “I still wake up every day and think, ‘What can I do today to propel the brand forward?’ ” A large part is continuing her consumer-first approach, and while the brand’s packaging is nearly all recyclable, Masterson understands the need to become more eco-friendly. “It’s super important, especially as we have these younger generations coming up fast wanting to use the brand,” she says, referring to the boom of skin-care enthusiasts among Gen Alpha. A decade on, and it seems Drunk Elephant is just getting started. —Lesa Hannah




Zeynep Boyan


In the almost three years since the self-taught creative began to explore clay, she has exhibited at design weeks and festivals in Milan, Dubai, the Netherlands, New York, London, and, closer to home, in Toronto at IDS and Montreal at Souk Mtl. —Elia Essen




Laurence Fortin-Côté


The French-Canadian creative, who now splits her time between Toronto and Paris, is known for her romantic aesthetic on @laurencefortincote. From plaids to prep, coats to one-pieces, and knits to suiting, there are plenty of wardrobe options this season. —Elia Essen




Leah Frances


Canadian-born photographer Leah Frances turns her lens to the humble diner in American Squares. Instead of the bustling hubs we might be used to seeing, it is the lack of people, the emptiness of the spaces, that stands out. Whether the pandemic or the more general decline of downtowns is to blame, Frances captures the melancholia of a space designed for people that finds itself without them. —Jack Lowe




Pascale Girardin


Artists at Atelier Pascale Girardin create contemporary ceramics ranging from tableware to striking installations that consist of hundreds or thousands of pieces. Notable clients include Four Seasons, Nobu, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Girardin’s decades-spanning career has earned several distinctions and awards. —Lauren Edwards




Fisun Ercan


At the age of 50, Ercan has owned two successful restaurants and is well on her way to opening a third—impressive for someone who only began cooking professionally in her 30s. But food and cooking are integral to her upbringing, her culture, her past, and her future. Until the 2019 season of Iron Chef Canada when Ercan tied with star chef Rob Feenie in a battle involving beef, she was relatively unknown, although Montreal gourmets have followed her career since she opened her first restaurant some 14 years ago. —Lesley Chesterman



Fiona Ackerman


Ackerman’s first major professional solo show came in 2009 at the Diane Farris Gallery in Vancouver. Now, represented by Vancouver’s Gallery Jones, Calgary’s Herringer Kiss Gallery, and Ontario’s Oeno Gallery, as well as a gallery in Berlin, her work has shown internationally. She has presented at art fairs from Seattle to Budapest, created murals for Arc’teryx and Vancouver’s City Centre Motor Hotel, and was longlisted for the National Gallery of Canada’s Sobey Art Award in 2015. —Elia Essen





Anya Moryoussef


Anya Moryoussef’s work stands out from the crowd. The Toronto-based architect has been leading Anya Moryoussef Architect since only 2016, but she has already received numerous accolades, including two Royal Architectural Institute of Canada medals. “Reinventing your home is an opportunity to fundamentally change the way you live—improve your quality of life,” Moryoussef says. —Lauren Edwards