Meet the 2024 Participants

We are excited to announce the upcoming cohort of artists for ArtWorksTO, an innovative equity, diversity, and inclusion workforce development program in collaboration with the Toronto Arts Foundation, City of Toronto, OCAD University, and The Remix Project. This initiative directly invests in Indigenous, Black racialized, and/or 2SLGBTQ+ youth media artists, offering paid contracts, continuing studies certificates from OCAD U, and industry mentorship from The Remix Project, ensuring their social and economic well-being and inclusion. 



The 2024 ArtWorksTO Cohort includes: 

Akeida Alexander is a Toronto-based second-generation Caribbean Canadian multidisciplinary artist with experience ranging from creative direction, video editing, social media management, and graphic design. With an educational background in Business Administration and marketing, she is able to combine business with the creative arts. She is currently the Social Media Coordinator for the Flaunt It Movement, through this organization she contributes to empowering youth in underserved communities to pursue artistic careers. Her passion for uniting communities and uplifting BIPOC women shines through her design work. Additionally, she finds personal fulfillment in expressing herself through visual arts and music, reflecting her deep connection to creativity and self-expression. Learn more about Akeida via her LinkedIN account.

Alissa De Rivera is a thoughtful and imaginative creator specializing in brand identity and illustration. Through her work she hopes to express her individuality and inspire unique, compelling, and purposeful design in other people. Known for her fascination for dark, whimsical and nostalgic stories, she draws inspiration from childhood books to showcase the powerful and immersive qualities of reading. From her studies in communication and corporate design, she hopes to demonstrate her love of learning, and make an active effort to pursue opportunities which promote diversity and underline the importance of accessible education.


Andrea Nirmala Widjajanto an Indonesian writer/director residing in Toronto. Her works explore genre films as a medium to depict the current condition surrounding political, social, and cultural issues. Filmography: Srikandi (TIFF ‘21, Sundance Asia ‘21, Vimeo Staff Pick), Shallots and Garlic (2022 Get Reel Filmmakers Scholarship recipient), Sawo Matang (TIFF ‘23, 2021 NFFTY Pitch Competition winner) Filipino-born and raised graphic designer and illustrator based in Toronto. She currently works as a production manager and graphic designer for Print 3 and is pursuing a career as a freelance tattoo artist. To find information about her work plea visit her website IG:@andreanirmala


Ayat Salih is a Sudanese visual artist, filmmaker and researcher with a Bachelor’s degree in Media Production from Toronto Metropolitan University. Ayat’s focus in justice-oriented politics, her Sudanese identity and using art as a tool to uplift communities has informed all avenues of her work. She has a love for visual arts and a strong belief in its ability to empower people and interrogate systems of power. Within academia and community initiatives, she is well-versed in arts-based research methods that centre immigrant narratives, decolonial education, queer placemaking and feminist media. Operating from a place of humanity, her art is an attempt to  document processes that are hidden and capture fleeting moments, hoping to uncover and reveal new perspectives. 



Darinka Ramos is a Graphic Designer with a strong business sense and creative visual design skills. Darinka's business sense influenced her to pursue a passion for advertising and graphic design; and to continuously explore her creativity within the graphic design industry. Darinka loves challenges when it comes to developing a visual identity and storytelling. She believes great designs help to create successful business ventures. As a graphic designer she is known for her skills in illustration and typography as a way to express herself and create her own stories. Moreover, although she was born and raised in Toronto,she's a proud advocate for the Latinx community. A proud Latina who loves to embody her appreciation for her culture through design. Darinka's culture is an inspiration via its colours, design style and storytelling. Darinka incorporates cultural elements towards her designs to generally pay homage to traditions within Latin American cultures. Website: IG: @darinka.designs


Gladys Lou (she/they) is a Hong Kong-Canadian artist and curator. Her practice utilizes experimental media and new technologies including video, sound, and new media to investigate and challenge the boundaries of sensory perception. Her work explores shifting perceptions of light, colour, and memory, visualizing emotions and the unconscious.   You can check out her work in her website: IG: @gladysgoldfish



Isabelle Leonardo Cruz a.k.a Belle Rose (she/her) is a queer, Filipino, Director and Production Designer driven not only by  passion for visual storytelling but also by a commitment to working alongside underrepresented communities. She exhibits a  keen eye for detail that showcases her unique style. She has a commitment to storytelling through Design, and recognizes the importance of diverse perspectives in storytelling. Belle's writing and directing work is inspired by personal experiences and connections with the people in her life. While her production design work tends to be influenced by the textures and colours of how she perceives the world around her. Things like nature, sunsets, architecture and relationships play into her work. With a focus of amplifying diverse voices, Belle aims to bring impactful and meaningful perspectives to the forefront of cinematic narratives. Her goal as an artist is to inspire others to be more vulnerable with their work. She belives the best work comes from real life experiences and feelings. Check out her work at IG: @b.ellerz 


Isatuu Lamarana is a proud Fulani photographer & videographer in Toronto. She captures life's moments with passion. Her photography ranges covering sports, events, and community related events. A multi-talented creative, Isatuu is a Community Outreach Associate at Flaunt It Movement, supporting creative initiatives. Through her creative work Isatuu is dedicated to showcasing athletes' achievements, inspiring others to chase their dreams fearlessly. Website and IG: @lamaranaa_



Jamera Dacosta is a Toronto-based artist. Jamera explores artistic concepts through acrylic, oil pastel and digital art. Her work is inspired by nature, music, culture, and spirituality. Through her art she aspires to engage audiences, and provoke thoughts in a new light. Se her creations in her website. IG/TikTok:




Jerome Duah-Kessie is a creative multidisciplinary artist that primarly works in digital animation and illustration.





Joy Adeola is a Nigerian-Canadian photographer based in the GTA. Through storytelling, she captures the vitality of life and human relationships, doumenting their changing rythms in ways that are dually universal and intimate. Check out her website and find her on IG @_joyadeola




Laira Macapagal (she/her) is a Toronto-based digital marketing artist. When she's not diving into marketing strategies, you’ll find her buried in a book or exploring Minecraft realms.  Laira obtained a B.A in Arts and Media Management from the University of Toronto, which supports her journey in seeking to be part of others’ first experiences with the arts, hoping to inspire and enrich their journey into the world of artistic expression and boundless inspiration. Laira eagerly embraces the chance to connect with fellow creatives. Connect with Laira via her LinkedIN and IG account @lairafayem



La-Vane Kelly is a Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Poet dedicated to creating spaces for marginalized communities and individuals with disabilities. His journey as an artist includes award-winning documentaries, workshop facilitation, and public exhibitions. He aims to empower artists and advocate for inclusivity. Kelly is committed to growth and fostering inclusive creative communities. 





Leyah Mirza is a multimedia artist based in Toronto. She was raised in the Rexdale community. Leyah graduated from the University of Guelph with a BA & Diploma in Media and Communications studies. She specialized in storytelling through journalism and other forms of digital communications. Since graduating, she has furthered her studies in multimedia design and development, and has worked in various social media projects. Leyah is passionate about using her knowledge and experience to continue sharing stories for underepresented voices and communities through a digital lens. Check out her Instagram @verystrawberry and LinkedIN



Mars Kaid (or just Mars) is a Toronto based storyteller, content creator, editor, and filmmaker. Mars has loved to film and edit videos since her childhood. She believes everyone's story deserves to be told, and she loves being on the creative end to help facilitate people's and client's visions and their stories for the public. Check out her portfolio; you can also find Mars using her IG handle @sweetlikemarsbar



Marine Oh is an emerging Ukrainian-Armenian multimedia artist working with mediums such as video, photo, and poetry. Her work emits the genuine, raw and somewhat nostalgic feeling of reality influenced by the experience in street photography. Her goal is to make a viewer feel like a fly on the wall. Having graduated with a sociology degree, shortly followed by her filmmaking studies, Marine raises difficult and multi-layered questions in many of her works. Since she fled the Russian invasion, her work explores topics of war, identity, memories, and exploration of a shadow self. Art is not just a poetry to her but an opportunity to tap into hidden, controversial sides of human nature.  


Midyan Samson, a photographer, creative director, and co-founder of 4 The West End, her versatile photography style is rooted in her curiosity and love for challenges. Through her work, she captures the stories of her community, valuing the ability to make others feel connected. In a world where we all navigate the complexities of human existence, she wants her work to remind others that we are not alone. Midyan's photographs have been displayed at TMU, Cloverdale Mall, and Albion Mall, showcasing her ability to translate the essence of human experience into visual narratives. In essence, Midyan's photography and her commitment to community-building intersect to form a powerful expression of creativity and connection. Check out her work at and  IG: @midyansamson 



Myuri Srikugan is an emerging Tamil-Canadian digital artist based in Scarborough, specializing in documentary exploration and emotional healing through digital media. As a recent graduate from the Studio Arts Program at the University of Toronto Scarborough, her artistic journey began with a fascination for cameras, evolving into a profound immersion in digital image-making, with photography and videography serving as her primary storytelling tools. Fuelled by a deep sentiment for family and community, her passion for documentation blossomed, revealing a profound connection to her environment through digital storytelling. By offering perspectives and experiences distinct from mainstream norms, she aims to bridge communities that share a common yearning for narratives that are often sidelined, fostering connections and understanding among them. 



Naansi Abdi, an Ethiopian Canadian content creator and aspiring data scientist based in Toronto. She embraces her diverse background to inspire others. Passionate about empowerment, Naansi advocates for breaking barriers and amplifying marginalized voices, particularly encouraging young girls and women to explore their potential without limits. With a keen interest in graphic design, Naansi merges creativity with technology, showcasing the limitless possibilities available to women in every field. She sees data as a powerful tool for understanding and insight, using it to fuel her endeavours while encouraging others to embrace their passions fearlessly. Professionally, Naansi dedicates herself to refining her content creation and data science skills, driven by the belief that there are no boundaries to what women can achieve. She strives to make a lasting impact, inspiring others to pursue their dreams unabashedly and redefine societal expectations. Check out her work at Iznaan and IG: @Iznaansimply


Raquel Keshane-Watetch is a Nehiyaw and Seaulteaux new media digital creative living on Treaty 13, animikii dodem. Raquel's self-taught multidisciplinary artistic practice is a dynamic fusion of their new media background in CG asset creation and illustrative storytelling. Raquel draws inspiration and explores themes from their teachings from family, spirituality, and Indigenous cultural traditions. Their work is full of life; vibrant, evoking and deliciously irreverent. They use their art practice as a tool of decolonization and reclamation of self, centering Indigenous love and joy in their work. The work invites the viewer to interact and imagine Indigenous futurism grounded in liberation through their media. When they're not found creating or playing on a digital screen, Raquel is exploring Toronto's trails and pockets of nature. They also explore the Beaches and the Don Valley with a cup of coffee and a playlist, equipped with no sense of direction, just vibes. Check out Raquel's work history and their IG:@_brownthunded

Rebecca Lacroix is is a queer French-Canadian, Toronto-based illustrator. A designer by trade, Rebecca uses digital linework, watercolour and brushwork to depict figures and identities often overlooked in our society. Coming from a traditional Western Art background Rebecca has spent many years working in and around art galleries and public institutions. Her work focuses on reclaiming the depictions of women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people from the male gaze and capturing them through a uniquely queer and female eye. This allows them to not only be seen in a society that often ignores their existence, but seen in a way they often are not, as the divine. This portrayal is not only one of representation but also one of self-acceptance and healing for herself on a personal scale.


Sage Bankasingh is a Toronto based digital media creator who thrives at the intersection of storytelling and creativity. Equipped with a broad range of digital media and communications skills, Sage is committed to amplifying voices of  marginalized communities. Her work crafts unique narratives that advocate, critique, engage, and inspire people. Connect with Sage on her LinkedIN!




Sin Tung Ng (Steffi) (she/her) is interested in disrupting the flattening term of Asian and Immigrants through writing, art-making, community-based curation and art facilitation. As a newcomer in Canada, she is also keen to explore different practices of relationship- and community-building, creating spaces for diverse cross-cultural encounters. Her work has been published in The Senses & Society, Intermission Magazine, Feels Magazine and so forth.  Born and raised in Hong Kong, Sin Tung/Steffi is currently based in Tkaronto/Toronto, pursuing her MFA Criticism and Curatorial Practice program at OCAD University. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science in London, UK. In her leisure time, Sin Tung/Steffi enjoys hiking, reading, and sipping (a considerable amount of) black coffee on daily basis. IG:@steffitung


Vincy (they) is a Chinese-Canadian non-binary lesbian disabled award winning cartoonist, multimedia illustrator, and workshop programmer. Striving for community care and connection to survivors by a fellow survivor, growing and learning to love and accept the love given to them wholeheartedly.





Yve Lu Trinh is a multidisciplinary artist passionate about storytelling, mental health, and community. Skilled in digital marketing and UX Design, they delve into AI's potential to enhance accessibility. As a DJ and sound healing practicioner in the community, Yve creates immersive experiences that foster connection and holistic wellness. Follow Yve's journey on IG @nnvyeuphony or connect via LinkedIN