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This Canada Day, we’re celebrating our kickass country by highlighting some of the best talent the land has to offer. Check out this list of 10 Canadian creatives—from musicians to filmmakers to bloggers to chefs to more—from 10 different cities across our home and native land.
Windsor, ON: Kris Knight, Painter
Windsor-born visual artist Kris Knight made headlines back in 2013 after he was invited to Rome by Gucci’s Creative Director, Frida Giannini. That fall, Giannini cited Knight’s dreamy pastel portraits of androgynous men for that collection. Since then, his work has been shown in Paris, San Francisco, Art Basel in Miami and Toronto.
Ajax, ON: Sean Leon, Rapper/Producer
Sean Leon founded his own artist collective, called the IXXI initiative, a body he describes as “a machine that empowers creatives” which boasts many notable talents, including up-and-comer Daniel Caesar. While he does make some infectious music, what sets this rapper apart from other Toronto acts is his relentless obsession with music and his desire to create something groundbreaking.
Vancouver, BC: Brian Skinner, Chef
If you had any doubts that a chef counts as a creative, scroll through Brian Skinner’s Instagram feed and you’ll see all the works of art he’s managed to create with vegetables. The West-Coaster is a plant-based and vegetarian chef, culinary educator and restauranteur. He opened the award-winning The Acorn in Vancouver, which caters to raw, vegetarian and gluten-free diets. Though it was sold in 2014, Skinner plans to launch a new project this very summer.
Montreal, QC: Chloe Wise, Artist
A photo posted by Chloe Wise (@chloewise_) on
Mixed-media artist Chloe Wise turned heads in the art world with her “Bread Bag” series, where she made carb-heavy appropriations of designer purses out of bread. This Internet darling uses self-deprecating humour that criticizes consumerism all while being an active participant of it. She’s had three solo exhibitions, with another planned this year in Montreal.
Mississauga, ON: Amanda Strong, Filmmaker
Indigenous creative Amanda Strong paints, sculpts, photographs, and animates, but her true passion is in filmmaking. Her 2014 stop-motion film, Indigo, has shown at multiple film festivals, most notably, TIFF and Cannes. She connects to her indigenous identity through her projects and has two native-centric films, How to Steal a Canoe and Four Faces of the Moon forthcoming.
Edmonton, AB: Malorie Urbanovitch, Designer
You might not consider Alberta the fashion capital of the nation, but the Globe calls Edmonton-native Malorie Urbanovitch a “cross-Canada success story.” After appearing at World MasterCard Fashion Week five times, her 2015 show landed her a deal with Quebec-based retailer, Simons. This ethically-conscious designer’s clothes have been rocked by the likes of Carly Rae Jepsen and Gigi Hadid.
Calgary, AB: Richard Kelly Kemick, Writer/Poet
Richard Kelly Kemick’s award-winning work has appeared in The Walrus, Maisonneuve, The Fiddlehead, and Tin House. Last year, He won a National Magazine Award for his poignant memoir, “Playing God,” a surprising tale of his obsession with miniature Christmas villages. His latest work is a collection of poems, titled Caribou Run, in which he follows a herd of porcupine caribou through migration and has been dubbed one of 15 must-read poetry collections by CBC.
Merritt B.C. / Stouffville, ON: Coleman Molnar and Lisa Felepchuk, Lifestyle Bloggers
Lisa Felepchuk and Coleman Molnar, known as the lifestyle blog Li et Co, uprooted their cushy, city lives to go on an indefinite road trip across North America. Now residing in an ‘83 Westfalia, these two journalists share their #vanlife adventures from a 50-square-foot Volkswagen and make life in the slow lane look pretty damn appealing.