7 Women who REPRESENT. the change we want to see in Canadian media

Today, we want to celebrate some of the incredible women media-makers who inspire us and embody the spirit of REPRESENT. These women all have powerful, unique voices and approaches to media-making. And they are all working to create a Canadian media environment that represents us in all our diversity, complexity, and creativity.

These women REPRESENT.

Wendy Anderson

THE HOT FLASH TRAILER from Nealy Gone on Vimeo.

Wendy Anderson is an award-winning Canadian actor, a writer, director, producer, and most recently, a superhero! Having worked in film, TV, and theatre for years—she’s acted in Flashpoint, Rookie Blue, and Lost Girl among other series—she became increasingly frustrated by the lack of diversity in roles for women and the media’s obsession with youth.

When enough was enough, Anderson decided the world needed a caped crusader to bring diverse and complex roles for women actors. And so, she started work on The Hot Flash, a new web series, featuring a super hero, played by Anderson, whose superpowers emerge with the onset of menopause. We love it.


Colleen Cardinal

Media Representations of Indigenous Women in Canada from Media Action Média on Vimeo.

Featured in our REPRESENT. media literacy workshop on “Media Representations of Indigenous Women in Canada”, Colleen Cardinal is an emerging filmmaker with an incredible story to tell. Cardinal is currently working on a documentary sharing her own story and the stories of other survivors of Canada’s “Sixties Scoop,” The Sixties Scoop: A Hidden Generation.

“As a result of colonization and colonialism since European contact, my family has endured physical, sexual, emotional and cultural abuse that has lasted well into the present day. I have lost many loved ones because of forced policy created by the Canadian government to erase culture, language and identity of First Nations people in Canada. My documentary seeks to expose the hidden generation of Sixties Scoop survivors that have lived through experiences that impacted their lives but also continue to affect their children.” – ahiddengeneration.wordpress.com



Alena Peters and Joanne Gaskin are a hilarious mother and daughter sex education team known as Condoms&Candy. Eager to share the extraordinary communications skills they developed with each other during Alena’s teen years, they are working to facilitate fun and safe intergenerational conversations about sex through their workshops and YouTube videos. We had the pleasure of seeing this duo live at our REPRESENT. at Ryerson Media Forum in March. Check out their YouTube channel for a taste.

Alena is a feminist and passionate advocate for community-based education. Joanne, a life-coach, is a sex enthusiast and has passed this enthusiasm on to her daughter. Both mother and daughter believe the key to an empowered generation of women and girls lies in sex-education.



*Trigger Warning” Discussion of Sexual Violence

Lishai is a daughter of India’s Diaspora, who was raised in Europe and the Middle East. This award-winning poet uses her art to educate, connect and reflect. She has competed in national and international poetry slams, representing Toronto at the Women of the World Poetry Slam, The Vancouver International Poetry Festival, and the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. She is the 2012 National Spoken Word Slam Champion.

Lishai facilitates spoken word programming in schools throughout the GTA and is the coordinator of a group of 25 young artists who are leaders in their communities and the youth poetry scene.

You can find her at www.lishai.ca


Jenna Tenn-Yuk

This Ottawa-based spoken-word artist, singer-songwriter, and grad student is passionate about creating opportunities for people to find and speak their voice. Check out her blog for regular insights on discovering your voice, potential, and passions, as well as the complexities of identity and the politics of slam poetry.

Tenn-Yuk started a popular monthly poetry series, “Words to Live By”, at Pressed Café, delivers poetry workshops around Ottawa, and has lectured on poetry and activism at the University of Ottawa.

“Through expressing my own voice in poetry and music, I have seen how the scars of my past have become beautiful ways to connect with people’s hearts and stories. I hope you can connect with pieces of my story, and will discover the power of using your own voice.” – jennatennyuk.com


Liis Windischmann

Represent At Ryerson 2013 | Liis Windischmann on ‘Diverse Bodies in the Media’ from Media Action Média on Vimeo.

Also an entrepreneur and educator, Windischmann has worked in the fashion industry for over 20 years as a size 14 model and as Director of Ben Barry Agency, a Toronto-based modelling agency focused on diversifying representations of beauty.

She initiated the “Walk the Catwalk” campaign, which linked the singular sample size of clothing with the lack of diversity in fashion media, and she is a regular fashion commentator on body image and diversity in the fashion industry. Windischmann has been featured in magazines such as Flare and Lush, and has appeared on shows such as Entertainment Tonight. She was also a media panellist at our REPRESENT. at Ryerson Media Forum in March.


Do you have any suggestions to add to the list? Tweet us @RepresentMEdia!


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