So, two 20-something fashion designers, a 23-year-old activist-artist and a 26-year-old non-profit founder walk into a bar. What happens next? We buy them a round, of course, and pick their brains about how they got to be so awesome, so fast. Sadly, we couldn’t go drinking with all 60 boss babes in this feature—though, ladies, if you’re ever in Toronto, the offer stands—but we can raise a metaphorical glass to their amazing successes (dressing Gaga and Selena! calling out Instagram on period shaming! creating apps to help farmers in developing countries!) and be motivated to achieve our own. Read on for the ultimate work-art-life inspo.
Ultimate multi-hyphenate Shay Mitchell (Pretty Little Liars actor/author/social media maven/spokesperson)headlines our 60 Under 30 list! Read on for an exclusive excerpt from the interview—and click here for the full shebang
There are two types of people in this world,” Shay Mitchell tells me. “Those that take their pictures in the camera roll and the ones that take them in the Instagram app.” It’s 10 minutes into my interview with the Pretty Little Liars star, and we both laugh at the of-the-times dichotomy. As we continue to chat, I can’t help but mentally scroll through my feed, noting the friends who throw up hastily snapped shots with total abandon and those who post only carefully edited, magazine-worthy images. It’s easy to attribute the difference to a certain level of vanity, but later, when I watch Mitchell as she searches for the best possible lighting, adjusts her poses and tries various angles while documenting her FLARE shoot for our Snapchat, I realize it all boils down to being driven by either impulse or control. Mitchell (who has 11.3 million Instagram followers, plus 4.8 million on Facebook and 3.2 million on Twitter, along with 1.1 million YouTube subscribers) falls into the latter category; she’s deliberate about every single thing she does. And that’s what has enabled her to amass so many titles—actor, model, author, social entrepreneur and, most recently, Bioré ambassador—by the dewy age of 29 and stay sane in the process. Just in time for Mitchell’s latest accomplishment—her first feature film, Mother’s Day, hits theatres this month—here are five things you need to know about the quintuple (and counting) threat.
While hustling toward that big break, Shay made ends meet by working at the now-closed Toronto nightclubs Circa and The Guvernment. “I might have been the worst bartender in history. I didn’t enjoy it,” she admits. “But that’s the work I had to put in to get where I am today.”
She knew from a young age that she wanted to act—specifically in dramas. “Renting movies with my dad was always one of my favourite things. I loved how actors can make you feel and knew that at some point that’s what I would do for other people.”
This spring, she’ll be deep into taping the seventh, possibly final season of Pretty Little Liars. Looking back, Mitchell says, she’s proud of playing Emily Fields: “A lot of the time in TV and movies, lesbian relationships are overly sexualized. But Emily’s were always very sincere. Our show was a trailblazer in that way.”
Girl loves to travel. Her insatiable appetite for it is a topic we keep circling back to, and I get the sense she could talk about it for hours. See: Shaycations, one of the 13 playlists on her YouTube channel, which also features fashion DIYs, recipe demos and ask-me-anything-style Q&As. Since launching Shaycations a year ago, she’s taken viewers on tours of Bali, Hong Kong and, her fave destination so far, Morocco.
She’s super close with her family—she even channelled aspects of her own mother for her role as Tina, stepmom to Jennifer Aniston’s character’s kids, in Mother’s Day. “Even when my brother and I were in trouble, she’d smile—but sometimes you knew a certain smile was an angry one.”
She admits to editing her photos…a little. “Sure, I’m guilty of taking out a blemish here and there,” she says. “And I’m also not afraid to tell people, ‘Oh, to get that one good photo, I took 5,000.’ These photos are going to be out there forever.”
8 a.m.: Wakes up and cuddles with her half-Yorkie, Baby.
8:30 a.m.: Gets dressed. “I think there’s a misconception that I’m super glam and super out there, but I’m a casual girl during the day. Just regular Adidas or Converse and a simple little black body-con dress.”
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Shoots spontaneous video (“What’s in my Birkin?”) for her YouTube channel. “I’m a one-woman team—I do all the editing and shooting myself.”
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Gets nails done at Painted Woman on Santa Monica, then lunches (tuna tartare!) at Fred’s on top of Barneys Beverly Hills.
3 p.m.: Meets with stylist Shelby Scudder to choose a look for tonight’s event. (They land on a red Zeynep Erdogan dress.)
5 p.m. to midnight: Attends An Evening with Canada’s Stars at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, where she walks the red (er, white) carpet.
1 a.m.: Home to bed: “ It’s super important to take off your makeup, even if you’ve been out partying, and get a good night’s sleep. Your skin reflects everything.”
The former model’s illustrations can be seen in hip storefronts across Toronto (The Drake Hotel, Victoire), and she just paired up with cool-kid florist Timberlost to create stunning plant murals under the name Wild Altar.
Calgary-born, N.Y.C.-based Emily Oberg runs her own athleisure label, Sporty & Rich, and shows off her gym-ready style on the reg to her 150K Insta followers—on top of her full-time gig at street-culture media brand Complex.
Better known by her YouTube alias, CutePolish, the Newfoundland native teaches her two-million-plus subscribers how to replicate v. complicated Angry Birds and newspaper-inspired manis. Last fall, she also released her own video game; Polish Blast is like Candy Crush but with nail polish and had 65,000 downloads in its first week.
Marilou Champagne was already a household name in Quebec by the time she conquered the rest of Canada with her gorgeous cookbook, Three Times a Day, in 2015. It’s based on the recipes she whips up for her food blog of the same name—a passion project about overcoming anorexia.
Known for her skin-peeling essays about Muslim identity and womanhood, Fariha Róisín is also a veteran podcaster who shares pop-culture musings as co-host of Two Brown Girls and recently launched Yo, Adrian, a film podcast, with fellow 60 Under 30 babe Kiva Reardon.
Kiva Reardon’s jam is putting badass women centre screen (case in point: last fall she helped bring Pam Grier to Toronto for a screening of her ’70s action flicks). Reardon is also the founding editor of Cléo, an online journal full of heady feminist film criticism
Nafisa Kaptownwala has creative directed shoots for Nylon, i-D and Dazed; she also founded Lorde Inc., the world’s first agency for models of colour, to encourage more diversity in fashion editorials.
PHOTOGRAPHY: MAYA FUHR (GORGEOUS), RAGHED CHARABATY (Róisín), WYNNE NEILLY (VAN RIJN), CARLY BANGS (KAPTOWNWALA), ALEXANDRA GAVILLET (OBERG). ON GORGEOUS: DRESS, CARVEN, HUDSON’S BAY. STYLING: PEGHAH MALEKNEJAD. HAIR AND MAKEUP: VANESSA JARMAN, ORIBE/CHARLOTTE TILBURY COSMETICS, P1M.CA.
Things have gotten pretty major for the Toronto-based Beaufille designers in the past year: they presented their fall ’16 line during New York Fashion Week, received kudos for it on vogue.com and had two of the biggest stars on the planet step out in spring pieces. Here’s what that felt like.
Beaufille made headlines when Lady Gaga wore one of your spring ’16 suits last December. How did this happen?
Parris (left): Her stylist team reached out a few months after our lookbook went on vogue.com. One day we logged on to the computer, and she had just walked out of her apartment in our clothes.
Chloé: Her stylist’s assistant tagged us in a post on Instagram, which was amazing. We definitely got a few hundred new followers.
Not long after, Selena Gomez wore one of your dresses in a video for Victoria’s Secret.
Chloé: That was good because we established a relationship with her stylist, Chris Classen. We definitely plan to continue to dress her.
Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon has also been seen in your designs. Clearly the Beaufille woman isn’t one to be typecast.
Parris: I think the common line is being really accessible to women of a broad range of ages.
Chloé: Our grandmother is 92, and she ordered the full Lady Gaga outfit.
Dare I ask who wore it better?
Chloé: Ha! We can’t choose.
Backstory: A self-professed non-girly-girl, Lauren Klassen never wore jewellery until she started making it, finding herself inspired by everyday objects like safety pins, paper clips and nails.
Signature product: The Montrealer’s screw-on nail earring in rose gold is a perfect example of her industrial-chic aesthetic.
A-list endorsement: Madonna wore (and actually blew on) one of Klassen’s whistle necklaces during an appearance on Jimmy Fallon.
Quote, unquote: “I’m known as a pain in the ass because I want these super tiny details. I think to be successful, you have to be.”
Backstory: While studying fashion communications at Ryerson University, Mary Young noticed women’s undergarments were either granny-appropriate or as-seen-in-Maxim. Her lingerie line is about filling the space in between.
Signature product: The Contrast bra (a combination of solid bamboo jersey and mesh) is sexy-comfy-cool and available in four colour combos.
A-list endorsement: Her black-and-white leopard-print bra and undies set was called the best of the season in Teen Vogue.
Quote, unquote: “So much lingerie tries to contort a woman’s body into this version of what we’re told is sexy. I want to give women something that makes them feel comfortable and confident. That is sexy.”
Backstory: In 2013, dry skin issues caused Fran Miller, then a fashion communications student at Ryerson, to concoct her own miracle potion from 15 different oils, including rose hip, evening primrose, neroli and jasmine.
Signature product: The Face Oil is good for all skin types and gives that dewy off-duty supermodel glow.
A-list endorsement: Mari Giudicelli (an NYC street-style star who is, according to Vogue, “the face of downtown cool circa 2016”) named the Face Oil one of the things you’ll always find in her purse.
Quote, unquote: “If you’re passionate about an idea that inspires you, don’t sit on it—take the risk.”
Backstory: The Parsons grad discovered her love of regional craftwork while travelling through South America and southeast Asia. The Torontonian’s eponymous line of ethically produced garments is proof that slow fashion is worth the wait.
Signature product: Flowy, hand-dyed and hand-beaded caftans reflect her casual boho sensibility.
A-list endorsement: Eternal it-girl Alexa Chung is one of the many stylish supporters involved in Siegel’s Project 1127, a line of handwoven scarves that is raising money for victims of the Rana Plaza disaster.
Quote, unquote: “There’s a lot of ethical fashion out there that falls into that crunchy-granola category. I want to design a good product people want to wear.”
Backstory: Hayley Elsaesser moved from Toronto to Brisbane to study fashion at the Queensland University of Technology, and won its National Graduate Showcase award for her Candy Coated Voodoo collection. In 2014, she moved back to the 6; in 2015, she opened her first store.
Signature product: Her neoprene serpentine zip-up dress is a master class in power clashing.
A-list endorsement: Katy Perry is a repeat customer.
Quote, unquote: “I believe it’s my responsibility to create clothing that goes beyond sample sizes. There’s so much beauty in the world. To only celebrate one tiny percentage of it just seems crazy.
photography: maya fuhr (gordons), darren curtis (klassen). on gordons: all clothing, beaufille. stylist: peghah maleknejad. hair and makeup: vanessa jarman, oribe/charlotte tilbury cosmetics, p1m.ca.
“Heather and I have been there for each other through all the ups and downs of being entrepreneurs. It’s so much more valuable than that initial investment of money.”
—Katherine Hague, who at 21 quit her day job to found ShopLocket, an e-commerce platform that would go on to be acquired for millions in 2014. But, at the start, all she had was a prototype and a dream; Payne, a fellow aspiring entrepreneur, decided to use her savings to help fund it. The two have been disrupting the male-dominated worlds of tech and investing ever since. On the same day ShopLocket launched, Payne founded Ladies Learning Code, a non-profit that hosts volunteer-led inclusive workshops in more than 22 communities across Canada. She’s now also the CEO of HackerYou, a coding school with a student body that’s about 70 percent female. And Hague has become an angel investor focused on female-led start-ups—right now, less than three percent of venture financing goes to lady CEOs—and also launched Female Funders, a community that supports and educates female angel investors and entrepreneurs.
While working as a project manager at a Fortune 500 company, Chakameh Shafii sought help for anxiety. Psychotherapy changed her life, but she soon realized that not everyone has easy, affordable access to it. So she founded TranQool, an Airbnb-like platform that matches users with accredited therapists who conduct video sessions for $60 a pop. TranQool currently works only with therapists licensed to practise in Ontario, but Shafii plans to expand it across North America. “Therapy gives you a PhD in yourself,” she says. “That’s the best gift anyone can give you.”
“We don’t need another app to make our lives cushier. We need apps that help people around the world with the basics.”
The idea for Devs Without Borders, a platform that connects software developers with international development projects, struck Thé while she was trekking in Peru and saw an indigenous woman dressed in traditional clothes texting on a flip phone. The Toronto-based non-profit also hosts hackathons that let devs from developed and developing nations combine expertise. Their most recent event resulted in an app that will provide Kenyan farmers with reliable agricultural info, such as how to calculate crop yields.
The Alberta-born “farm girl at heart” has already founded four start-ups (including e-commerce site SnapSaves, which was acquired by Groupon in 2014). Here, her ground rules for getting started.
1. Don’t wait to pay your dues. “The most important thing is to start now. You’ll learn along the way.”
2. But don’t be precious. “As the CEO of a start-up, you have to do everything.
I once cleaned a bathroom before we had a big client come in.”
3. Ignore the haters. “Founders work through constant barriers. For every moment I could have devoted to what wasn’t fair, I chose to focus my energy on finding the next million-dollar idea.”
Presenting your start-up at a male-dominated tech incubator takes guts. Doing it in a poofy skirt and heels? That’s straight-up heroic. “I just killed it,” says Jaclyn Ling about pitching Blynk, the Tinder-style app she co-founded that recommends shoppable outfits. The McGill University grad came up with the idea while in a program for student entrepreneurs and convinced her co-founder to join forces by taking him shopping. Their work paid off in December when Blynk was acquired by the messaging platform Kik. (Ling bought a Burberry Banner tote to celebrate.)
PHOTOGRAPHY: NATHAN CYPRYS. ON HAGUE: TOP, MSGM, HOLT RENFREW. ON PAYNE: VEST, HELMUT LANG, AND TOP, JOSEPH, BOTH HOLT RENFREW. NECKLACE, JENNY BIRD, JENNY-BIRD.COM. ON THé: JACKET AND TOP, BOTH WINNERS. NECKLACE, SWAROVSKI. ON SHAFII: DRESS, RAG & BONE, HOLT RENFREW. BRACELETS, THOMAS SABO, THOMASSABO.COM. STYLING: PEGHAH MALEKNEJAD. HAIR AND MAKEUP: SABRINA RINALDI, P1M.CA.
“apparently, it is ungraceful of me/
to mention my period in public/
cause the actual biology/
of my body is too real”
Having become “addicted” to spoken word as a young teen, Rupi Kaur racked up a massive social media audience in 2015 for her bleeding-heart micropoetry—both Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande are fans—and a college photography project about the menstruation taboo that went gangbusters viral.
Poetry excerpted from Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur Copyright © 2015 by Rupi Kaur
Until last July, tampons and pads were taxed by the Canadian government (unlike cocktail cherries and wedding cakes, both apparently more essential to a woman’s well-being). But with the one-two punch of private member’s bill C-282 and a Change.org petition created by Canadian Menstruators founder Jill Piebiak—and signed by more than 74,000 period sympathizers—the tax was formally kiboshed. Piebiak, an Albertan poli-sci grad, says the “sexy” shock value of the subject may have buoyed her cause in the end, by spotlighting “which bodies our laws are actually made for.” (Read: the ones belonging to dudes.)
Near the end of last year’s federal election, Zunera Ishaq found herself at the centre of a loaded political debate. The pain point? Her request to wear her niqab as she took the oath of Canadian citizenship—an act banned by the then-Conservative government. News watchers know the rest: the Mississauga, Ont., resident was able to remain veiled at her swearing-in; 10 days later, Stephen Harper lost the election. Still, what she calls the “strange” controversy kicked up latent Islamophobic sentiment across the country. Ishaq—who now volunteers with newly landed Syrian families—may not view herself as a Charter-defending heroine, but her case underscores what she calls our “true Canadian value”: “How we give freedom and respect to all cultures.”
Q: You were refused entry to China—and, consequently, the 2015 Miss World Pageant—for speaking out against human rights abuses committed by the country’s government. How has the experience changed your activism?
A: Now I genuinely get to advocate on behalf of Chinese people: I went to speak at the 2016 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and I gave testimony in the U.K. Parliament on the conditions in China; and I’ll be speaking at the Oslo Freedom Forum in late May. There’s only so much I can do—but I want to use this platform to do something more.
“Women who enter politics are subject to a different level of scrutiny and sexism … Change will happen, but we have to be willing to say, ‘No, I’m not taking this anymore.’”
Melissa Kate Wheeler, 26—former president of Concordia University’s student union—founded Not Safe at Concordia, a private online forum in which survivors of sexual and racial harassment could safely air their stories, in 2015 after getting fed up with the free-for-all touching and crass commentary inherent to most campus cultures. Wheeler, now an executive member of the Green Party of Quebec, has plans to start a blog of women’s experiences in the workplace, carrying on the spirit of NSAC’s mandate.
“I always tell people that politics is just a pageant in suits.”
—Ashley Callingbull, 26, Mrs. Universe 2015, human rights activist
PHOTOGRAPHY: NATHAN CYPRYS (KAUR), GETTY IMAGES (LI), AMANDA DIAZ (CALLINGBULL), KRISTA FROHLICH (PIEBIAK), CANADIAN PRESS (ISHAQ). ON KAUR: JACKET, ALICE + OLIVIA, AND TOP, THEORY, BOTH SAKS FIFTH AVENUE. STYLING: PEGHAH MALEKNEJAD. HAIR AND MAKEUP: NATALIE VENTOLA, ORIBE/M.A.C COSMETICS, P1M.CA.
Laurence Lafond-Beaulne, 25, (left), and Camille Poliquin, 23, the babes behind synth-pop duo Milk & Bone, are on a roll. Their debut album, Little Mourning, was longlisted for the 2015 Polaris Music Prize, garnered Twitter love from Chloë Grace Moretz and earned the Montreal musicians a Juno nom. The secret to their success may well be their BFF synergy, so we asked the talented twosome to interview each other.
LAURENCE: If you had to describe your personal style in one word, what would it be?
LAURENCE: How would you describe me in three words?
CAMILLE: Loving, sensitive, talented.
LAURENCE: Wow, I did not expect that! What new instrument would you like to learn how to play?
CAMILLE: The oboe! If you had a dog, what would you call it?
CAMILLE: What tabs are open on your computer right now?
LAURENCE: Netflix, a website on how to print a picture on a cake, Sydney Krause’s website (an artist I just discovered), Bruce Nauman’s Wikipedia page and … a Google search for “seven places to find porn you actually like.” Haha! Your turn: what tabs do you have open?
CAMILLE: Mostly shopping. Saks, Barneys, Ssense and Cahier d’Exercices.
LAURENCE: Trying to find your perfect dress for the Junos?
As you might have guessed from bingeing Schitt’s Creek, the Dan and Eugene Levy–led comedic crown jewel of the CBC, Annie Murphy, who plays Alexis, is a true Everygirl. As an aspiring thesp in Canada’s tough TV industry, she auditioned relentlessly for nearly 10 years before landing Schitt’s Creek in 2014. “My ritual is to get soul-shatteringly nervous before an audition,” she laughs. She describes her reaction to her Canadian Screen Award nomination this past March in emojis: “A confused-looking face and then the hands that are radiating excitement.”
In 2014, Edmonton-born Ruth B posted a Vine of herself singing a sweet original verse called “Lost Boy.” It racked up 84,000 likes within a week and eventually earned her a deal with Columbia Records, with whom she made her debut EP, called The Intro. We crunched the numbers on her epic rise to fame.
0: dollar amount invested in promoting “Lost Boy.” before it broke into the iTunes Top 100
4: number of songs on Ruth B’s debut EP, The Intro
1.1 million: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers combined
2.2 million: Vine followers
1.6 million (and counting): views of “Lost Boy.” on YouTube
In just one year, this Brampton, Ont., girl has become the fastest-rising pop star of her up-and-coming crew—and she has the Juno (for breakthrough artist) to prove it. But we’re not sure she’s doing much celebrating. In the video for “Here,” she’s an introvert in the corner, observing a house party through the pot-smoke haze. In “I’m Yours,” which Cara shot using a selfie stick, she’s a tomboy who doesn’t want to fall in love. And in her latest, “Wild Things,” she leads a band of outsiders who don’t care what the cool kids think. Collected on her first album, Know-It-All (Def Jam), Cara’s soulful songs let you know it’s OK to be weird, shy, angsty or anything else.
As Monica, the lone girl in a gaggle of nerdy computer programmers on HBO’s Silicon Valley (returns April 24), Amanda Crew is the straight-woman standout; IRL she’s an artsy multi-hyphenate who also dabbles in photography (selling her prints at society6.com) and writing (interviewing industry pals like Mary Elizabeth Winstead for her site, frankbefrank.com). Crew was born in Langley, B.C., but currently lives in Los Angeles. She recently wrapped the upcoming Duplass brothers film Table 19, alongside fellow overachiever Anna Kendrick.
She has the quirky beauty of a would-be Miu Miu model, the brains of a McGill grad and the wisdom of an industry vet. Mackenzie Davis, a Vancouver native, got her break in AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire playing a computer programming prodigy (the show returns for its third season this summer), and an even bigger break last year when she acted alongside Matt Damon in The Martian. “I’m deeply comforted by the coldness of my industry,” she says of show biz. “It doesn’t feel personal, even though the pursuit is very personal.”
Keep an ear out for Toronto musicians Kai (born Alessia De Gasperis Brigante) and Kiki Rowe (born Keandra Shan Lal) this year; both are destined to break big. Kai’s dance sound has caught the attention of collaborators like Diplo, Skrillex and Childish Gambino, while Rowe’s mellow R&B-meets-indie-pop got her noticed by DJ Mustard. They’re also our go-to ladies for a little lyrical empowerment—case in point:
KIKI ROWE, “Go-Getta”
I know I can do it/
I feel it and believein myself/
Believe in myself /
Cause I’m a go-getta/
If you don’t believe me/
Then you just better get out
KAI, “I Choose Me”
I love myself/
More than anybody else/
For next time/
Choose a woman that’ll say that’s fine
This soprano superstar is so eloquent over the phone, you might assume she was born and raised in an opera house. In reality, she didn’t discover her profession until her teens. She’d hired a voice coach (which she bankrolled with her Dairy Queen earnings, like a #boss) in hopes of becoming a jazz singer. But when her coach heard how crazy high her voice could go, she suggested Osborne try an aria instead. Nearly 10 years and 25 leading roles later, she’s one of the most exciting voices in the Canadian Opera Company. We chatted in the lead-up to her turn as Micaela in Carmen, which runs from April 12 to May 15 in Toronto. Here, five truths about what it’s really like to be an opera singer.
#1 THE DAILY GRIND ISN’T 24-7 GLAM
“It’s a life of ups and downs: couture gowns, and then yoga pants!”
#2 BUT THEY DO TRAVEL TO CHIC LOCALES
“I performed at an incredible new opera house in Oman, and it was built entirely of white marble. It was technically a palace.”
#3 THEY CAN EAT LIKE TRUCKERS
When Osborne sang the lead in Lucia di Lammermoor, she had a mad 20-minute scene in which she had to sing up into the stratosphere, perfectly in pitch with a flute. “I would have to eat a steak the night before a performance,” she says, “and really load up on carbs and proteins, because otherwise I would get to intermission and be exhausted and starving.”
#4 THEY’RE NOT IMMUNE TO SLOTHING
“I try to keep things pretty quiet on the morning of [a performance]. I sleep in as late as possible.”
#5 THEY STRUGGLE WITH WORK-LIFE BALANCE, TOO
“I’ve just come off a month-long U.S. tour, so I’ve had to plan my wedding one night at a time, alone, in hotel rooms.”
PHOTOGRAPHY: LM CHABOT (MILK & BONE), CAITLIN CRONENBERG (MURPHY), GETTY IMAGES (DAVIS), JUSTIN WILCZYNSKI (CREW). ON LAURENCE: DRESS, COS. ON CAMILLE: DRESS, ABSTRUSE, IBIKI, MONTREAL. STYLING: MELODIE WRONSKI. HAIR AND MAKEUP: ALPER SISTERS, BUMBLE & BUMBLE/M.A.C COSMETICS, DULCEDO. EDITORS: RACHEL HEINRICHS AND BRIONY SMITH.
SCAACHI: Monica, what is your favourite thing about you?
MONICA: It’s probably a tie between my sexual magnetism and the way my huge feet make it easy to buy shoes on sale. What’s the most accurate compliment you’ve received?
SCAACHI: I once had a friend tell me that sometimes people avoid talking to me because I am intimidating. I don’t think it was intended as a compliment, but I am taking it that way because I am a stone-cold bitch, and yes, you should be afraid of me. I have teeth all over my body, buddy. I also have great hair.
MONICA: I would never argue with you about your hair, partially because I’m scared of you, but also because it’s just true. So silky.
SCAACHI: Have you ever gotten a compliment that did not actually feel like a compliment to you?
MONICA: Oh, all the time! I get a lot of compliments about how great I am at dressing for my body.
SCAACHI: Oh, Christ.
MONICA: It’s like, "Don’t know how you manage it, but congratulations on finding a loose ship’s sail and reworking it into a charming dress."
SCAACHI: Well, I think you are so brave for even leaving the house
MONICA: Honestly, I am a model for size 10 women everywhere.
SCAACHI: I feel like you and I would make a great superhero team, where you would fight people with your feet and then I’d show up and say something horrific, like, "This is why you were put up for adoption."
No, Sam Maggs does not resemble the pallid, basement-dwelling nerd stereotype popularized by sitcoms, but she is still truly, madly geeky. "Women have always liked Star Trek and gaming, but have not always felt welcome in the spaces in which those passions are traditionally accepted," says Maggs, who secretly embraced comics and Stargate SG-1 as a kid. As such, she’s hellbent on opening the ranks. The Torontonian has taken on a writing gig at BioWare, an Edmonton-based game developer, and penned two books to galvanize her fellow lady nerds: 2015’s The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy (recently optioned for TV) and the forthcoming Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History.
Chapter one: A teen drops out of high school. Chapter two: She becomes a full-time writer. Rather than spiralling into, well, every parent’s nightmare, the Eastern Ontario–based storyteller went on to capture the angst, magic and oft-overlooked complexity of teenage girldom in four novels, the latest of which, All the Rage, parses the bleak aftermath of sexual assault.
“A lot of art magazines can be pretty by-the-book. I’m bored of all that. I like to think of Editorial as being completely free—as not having any rules.”
—Claire Milbrath, 26, painter, editor-in-chief of The Editorial Magazine, a DIY quarterly anthology of art, interviews, essays and fashion | editorialmag
Q: Your Hatecopy series is essentially a pop-art Instagram soap opera that mashes up and sends up western and South Asian cultures. What was the genesis of that idea?
A: Before I decided to pursue art full time, I looked up a piece by Roy Lichtenstein to get in the mindset of a guy who was dedicated to his style. He had drawn a white lady crying in distress. The woman I drew looked like an auntie—she had round features, a curved nose, fuller lips. I added big gold earrings, a bindi and flowing brown hair. I thought of the speech bubble—what would an auntie be saying? "I burnt the rotis," of course. Little by little, my auntie drawings became a portfolio of work. And that was where the world of Hatecopy began.
Part of the same circle as Tavi Gevinson and Petra Collins, the 26-year-old Toronto photog has hustled her way to a crazy-beautiful portfolio that has caught the attention of Vice, Rookie and FLARE (she shot Gigi Gorgeous and Chloé and Parris Gordon for this package). "I have a nice balance between personal and commissioned work," she says, fresh off a flight from Tel Aviv, where she was re-exhibiting "Garbage Girls," a Vice shoot—and also took plenty of her own photos. Next up, Fuhr plans to compile her Tel Aviv shots into a book or ’zine, and will co-curate "Body Talk," an exhibit on the female perspective of body image and sexuality, during May’s Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.
In the age of hot takes, Durga Chew-Bose stands apart. The Montrealer’s lengthy, thoughtful musings on race, culture and identity politics have been published by Buzzfeed, Hazlitt and Adult Magazine. Not satisfied by her own success in a whitewashed industry, she co-founded Writers of Color, a database that aims to help more writers break through the homogeneous fourth estate.
“I think some people are born gay, some achieve gayness, and some have gayness thrust upon them.”
—Mae Martin, 28, the Canadian-born, Britain-based stand-up whose work addresses gender and sexuality @themaemartin
PHOTOGRAPHY: NATHAN CYPRYS (KOUL AND HEISEY), REBECCA STORM (MILBRATH), GETTY IMAGES (QAMAR), SUN LEE FOR THE INVISIBLE DOT (MARTIN). ON KOUL: DRESS, OPENING CEREMONY, HOLT RENFREW. EARRINGS, JENNY BIRD, JENNY-BIRD.COM. ON HEISEY: TOP, ACNE STUDIOS, HOLT RENFREW. STYLIST: PEGHAH MALEKNEJAD. HAIR AND MAKEUP: SABRINA RINALDI, P1M.CA.
“If I had been told I would reach this level of international athletics, I would have been shocked,” says Calgary-based Morgan Bird, who was born with cerebral palsy that affects the left side of her body. As a kid, she found it difficult to keep up with her physio, so her parents put her into para-swimming. She made her first world championship team in 2009 and competed in the 2012 Paralympics. But it was the 2015 Parapan Am Games where she really outdid herself. “I just wanted to swim my best and make the podium,” Bird says. She ended up winning two golds and a silver in the 400-, 50- and 100-metre freestyle, respectively. With those kinds of results, the pressure’s on for the Olympic para-swimming trials in Toronto this spring. “This is do or die,” says Bird. “It’s the biggest team you can make.”
Brooke Henderson—who grew up in Smith’s Falls, Ont.—started golfing at age three alongside her older sister, Brittany (also a pro golfer and Brooke’s occasional caddy). Last year, the phenom earned her LPGA membership and her first tour win; now ranked seventh in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, she’ll also be teeing off in Rio—where golf will return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.
“We’ve played together our whole lives. We play well together. We don’t have to talk as much as other teams because we’re twins.” —Megan and Nicole McNamara, both 18, B.C.-born top-ranked beach volleyball players who fell in love with the sport at the age of nine, on a family vacation in Mexico
At 16, Natalie Achonwa became the youngest lady baller to play for Team Canada. Since a surprise eighth-place finish at the 2012 Olympics, the team has been on a steady rise. (Last summer, it beat the U.S. for top honours at the Pan-Am Games—our first basketball gold in the Games’ history!) Achonwa is now kicking off her second season with the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, but she’ll don the red and white once more this summer in Rio.
The Montreal-based power duo won World Cup silver in the three-metre synchro event this past February and is aiming to repeat (or better) that this summer at the big dance: Rio 2016. We asked Abel and Ware to talk about what it was like to grow up together at the pool.
PAMELA: Jenn, when did you start diving?
JENNIFER: When I was four, because my parents wanted my brother and me to learn how to swim. I was doing synchronized swimming and swimming, and my brother was doing swimming and diving, but I wanted to be the coolest little sister, who did the same thing as my older brother.
JENN: Do you remember the first time we met?
PAM: Honestly, no, but it was probably 16 years ago.
JENN: It was definitely at the Camo Diving Club in Montreal. We were super young; our mothers were friends as well so we were having fun outside of the pool too. Pam, it will be your first Olympic Games. How excited are you?
PAM: I’m really, really excited. We have two sets of teams, I find, within the diving team. We have the experienced ones, and they’ll guide the rest of us through the village. Are you excited?
JENN: It will be my third Games [she debuted at Beijing and took home a bronze in London], so I’m not nervous. I’m looking forward to our families coming and sharing our experiences with us.
“No one’s selfish and trying to do her own thing. We all want the same thing, so we try to help each other.” —Kadeisha Buchanan on #squad goals. The 20-year-old soccer player was the only Canadian to make the 2015 World Cup all-star team and the winner of that tournament’s Young Player Award. Next up? Rio.
She wore a tank top and ripped jeans to school and got sent home to change her clothes. Instead, LAURA ANDERSON, 18, launched #mybodymybusiness, a campaign to speak out against the objectification of teen girls that went viral. At science camp, NICOLE TICEA, now 17, asked herself a complex question: “How can I make the biggest impact on the HIV epidemic?” Her answer was to create a simple, electricity-free and disposable HIV test that costs just $5 to administer. “Kids are well positioned to do research,” Ticea says, “because of our stubbornness and desire to play.” Since RACHEL PARENT started Kids Right to Know, which advocates for mandatory GMO labelling on food, the now 17-year-old has given a TEDx Talk, debated Kevin O’Leary on national TV and met with members of Parliament about the health and environmental impacts of GMOs. TESSA HILL, 15, and LIA VALENTE, 14, were shocked to learn that consent wasn’t covered in Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum. So they used a film they made about rape culture to launch We Give Consent, a campaign and petition to get the subject taught in health class. They gathered more than 40,000 signatures, scored a meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne and succeeded in getting consent included in the updated curriculum. “The reactions Lia and I have gotten make me hopeful,” says Hill, “because it shows we’re moving toward a society where young people have a legitimate seat at the table.”
PHOTOGRAPHY: TYLER STALMAN (BIRD), GABRIEL ROUX (HENDERSON), COURTESY CANADA SOCCER (BUCHANAN), GETTY IMAGES (MCNAMARAS), COURTESY INDIANA FEVER (ACHONWA). ON BIRD: JUMPSUIT, BLACK CRANE, AND SHOES, SOL SANA, BOTH LEO BOUTIQUE, CALGARY. STYLING: ANIA BONIECKA. HAIR AND MAKEUP: TESLIN WARD.