Fierce Females: Amanda

Amanda

What is it that empowers you most?
What empowers me most is trying to accomplish as many opportunities as I can while having the best time doing it (and trying to inspire others along the way!). My motto is work hard and have fun, if you’re not having fun then why are you doing it?

What is it that you love most about yourself?
My determination, work ethic, passion and sense of humour.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
I think self-confidence is key. Being involved in many initiatives and pushing myself to be the best I can be with everything I do contributes to my personal self-confidence.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
I have many role models who each embody different aspects that I want to see in myself; those who are driven, hard working, gracious, humble, assertive, willing to take risks, empathetic, flexible and generous.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
I look up to strong, independent, females who take risks and inspire other females to pursue their dreams. Some examples are Arlene Dickinson, Susan Gregg Koger and Rachel Mielke.

 

“As long as you work hard and believe in yourself, things will work out!”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Lagertha Lothbrok from Vikings! She has intellect, a strong spirit and kicks some serious butt!

What is your biggest life goal?
I have so many aspirations, however, I think my biggest goal would to be leave a positive mark on everyone I meet.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
I think to date, my biggest accomplishment has been starting Coal and Canary Candle Company with my best friend Tom, and getting our product into the swag bags for both the Oscars and GRAMMYS after our company had only been in business for 3 months.

What is your favourite quote?
Enjoy the journey, don’t think about the destination!

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
Don’t be afraid. As long as you work hard and believe in yourself, things will work out!

What does feminism mean to you?
To me, feminism means that there are no differences between what a man or a woman can believe and achieve.

Amanda is the Senior Graphic Designer, Ricki’s Canada & Co-Owner, Coal and Canary Candle Co. in Winnipeg, Canada.

Connect with Amanda: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Fierce Females: Amanda

Music: The Barr Brothers

The Barr Brothers

My favourite is when I get to share great bands from my homeland! So today I bring you The Barr Brothers, a folk quartet from Montreal, Quebec. Founded by brothers Andrew Barr (drums, percussion, vocals, keys) and Brad Barr (guitar, vocals) and adding Sarah Pagé (harp, vocals, percussion) and Andres Vial (keys, bass, vibes, percussion, vocals).

The band released a self titles album in 2011 with their single, “Beggar In The Morning“. This track is so peaceful and it definitely takes me back to Folk Fest days under the trees. “Even The Darkness Has Arms” seems to be the more popular song that you have probably heard, it is a track off of their 2014 album Sleeping Operator.

You can be cruel when you’re wise / You can be wise when you’re blue

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Fierce Females: Adrienne

Adrienne

What is it that empowers you most?
What empowers me most is believing in myself; I try to have faith that I will have the awareness and strength to meet every situation with an open mind.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I’m not sure if I can point out one bit that I love more than the rest. I really try to love it all, and to accept it all equally, even the stuff that stereotypically might be considered “ugly” or “bad.” I think all the parts of us serve a purpose, and so it is all worth loving.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
When I’ve just taken a shower and I’m clean! On a physical level, I feel most beautiful when I’m well rested and have something to smile about. Most importantly, I feel beautiful when I feel clear in my mind and open in my heart.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
I don’t really have one. I think it can become troublesome when we put other people on pedestals, because they are bound to fall. I think everyone is just trying to figure it out, and that is completely fine and human. There are people who demonstrate qualities that I admire, but I focus on embodying the quality, not the person. For instance, one of my friends who is in her 50s and has three daughters, a husband, two cats and a dog: I am so inspired by how she takes care of those around her and is willing to give her time and energy to support those she loves.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
When I was little, I really admired Athena, the Greek Goddess – I was inspired by her strength and fearlessness, which I felt I needed more of in myself.

 

“Don’t let people tell you that you are too young”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
It’s tempting to live in fantasy, but I think I’d rather be myself.

What is your biggest life goal?
To cultivate a state of being that is pure awareness, free of judgement or analysis. And eat lots of good food.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
I’m pretty pleased with myself when I am able to get out of bed every morning! I don’t know if I can choose that…I’d like to think that my biggest accomplishment is the next thing I do.

What is your favourite quote?
“Maitri karuna muditopeksanam sukha duhkha punyapunya visayanam bhavanatas citta prasadanam” – which is line 1.33 from the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. It translates to, “By cultivating an attitude of friendship towards those who are happy, compassion towards those in distress, joy toward those who are virtuous, and equanimity toward those who are non-virtuous, lucidity arises in the mind.” It clarifies for me that the yoga practice isn’t just about the physical, but about relationships and life.

If you could tell your 12-year-old self one thing what would it be?
Trust your intuition. Don’t let people tell you that you are too young, too this or too that. Trust yourself.

What does feminism mean to you?
Equality for all.

Adrienne is a Yoga Instructor, Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counsellor, Kirtan Wallah in Winnipeg, Canada.
Connect with Adrienne: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Blog

Fierce Females: Adrienne

Fierce Females: Amie

Amie

What is it that empowers you most?
I think what empowers me the most is my belief that I can do anything in the world. I’m very thankful that I live in a country that allows for freedom and independent thought. I can dream up a million dreams, lay out a plan, and go after it. Not a lot of people have those opportunities or believe they do. I’ve been really thankful to have also been raised to think “If you believe it, you can do it!” stuff most millennials are fed, but my dad always reminds me that it doesn’t happen overnight. If you want something it takes hard work and patience, which is something that has become my mantra.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I love my idealism, my creativity, and my passion the most. All three have some sort of downfall as well, like my idealism sometimes leads to strong feelings of disappointment, or I’m so passionate that it makes me terribly emotional. Overall though, I view these traits as something that makes me who I am, and I try to channel them into everything I do. I believe in the good in everything and everybody, so I’m usually positive going into every situation and dream really big dreams. I also love imagining new ideas and then I get really, really jazzed up about it. Oh, and I also LOVE connecting with people!

What makes you feel most beautiful?
Being active makes me feel beautiful. I probably don’t look very attractive while running a half marathon, but that’s the most beautiful I’ve ever felt. For example, I feel super beautiful in a hot yoga class and I look in the mirror and I just feel strong.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
I have some really awesome female mentors out there. Whether they’re teachers, bosses, or people I’ve worked with. I’ve been very fortunate to have met and connected with some smart and awesome women. I think building relationships with other women who have come before you (or on the journey with you), and looking up to them (and telling them that!) is super important. So I guess I don’t have one role model, I have a bunch that I deeply value.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Oprah. I have a framed picture of her at my desk in an all white suite looking all badass, and it just reminds me of our cultural meritocracy and my millennial believe that “if you can dream it you can do it!”

On a side note, I don’t think we have enough cultural heroines because this took me a longer time than I’m comfortable with to answer this question.

 

“I feel super beautiful in a hot yoga class and I look in the mirror and I just feel strong.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
I’d be Carmen Sandiego, so that I could travel the world literally in a day.

What is your biggest life goal?
My biggest life goal is to enjoy the moment. I’m constantly thinking ahead or worrying about the future, and I have to take a step back and be in the present. Even if it takes a lifetime of practice, I want to appreciate every moment for what it is and find happiness wherever I am.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Can I say it’s a bunch of small ‘winning’ moments? Like the time I got the job or finished school are great, but they often lead to other small opportunities that are just as fulfilling. Sometimes it’s just getting up everyday and finding courage to do my best no matter what that is my biggest accomplishment.

What is your favourite quote?
This week it’s: “Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.”
Ayn Rand

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
That it’s going to be okay. I still tell myself that everyday.

What does feminism mean to you?
I was listening to Sheryl Sanberg’s Lean In while driving back to Calgary for the zillionth time with my dad. There was a part in the book that specifically talked about how women often feel inadequate, and my dad stopped the recording and said he’s encountered those exact same sentiments throughout his life. In that moment I realized that feminism isn’t just about the equality of women, but it’s about us all working together to bring out the best in each other regardless of gender, race, or background. We should all work to encourage each other and judge less – we all have talents and deserve the right to share them with each other.

Amie is an account coordinator in Winnipeg, Canada.

Fierce Females: Amie

Fierce Females: Sirissa

Sirissa

What is it that empowers you most?
My children’s hugs for sure!

What is it that you love most about yourself?
That I’m never afraid to tell it like it is; but also that I’m never afraid to just TRY…

What makes you feel most beautiful?
When I see myself in my children I know I’m beautiful.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
My eldest daughter is my role model. She exudes calm and I honestly one of the kindest 15 year old I know. She actually listens, and she is humble.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Carrie Best. I’ve always been a writer and my first love is Journalism. She was the first black Canadian woman to start a newspaper. She was extremely brave.

 

“When I see myself in my children I know I’m beautiful.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
I would be Fish Mooney of Gotham. She is a take no prisoners type of woman. She is tough but sexy and fair.

What is your biggest life goal?
Own my own TV network.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
My children-bar none

What is your favourite quote?
“This is my face… Deal with it!” – The Women

If you could tell your 12-year-old self one thing what would it be?
Study!!! Study!!!

What does feminism mean to you?
It means teaching my girls that they are not fighting for equality they are fighting for the right to simply BE…

Sirissa is a Communications Specialist and Magazine Editor for SKNteen Experience in Charlestown, Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Connect with Sirissa
: Facebook and Twitter

Fierce Females: Sirissa

Fierce Females: Melissa

Melissa

What is it that empowers you most?
What empowers me the most is seeing the actions of the people I admire result in success. Observing a true trailblazer is what’s always made a huge impression on me my whole life.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I love the fact that I’m really not like everyone else. When I was younger I thought it was a disadvantage, turns out being authentic is the key to life.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
I love make-up and when I have a good solid look going I not only feel beautiful but feel very strong. Aside from the aesthetics, I feel the most beautiful inside when I’m around my family when they’re happy.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
I’ve always looked up to Frida Khalo because of her determination to do everything she wanted to on her terms despite her many obstacles.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
I’ll always love Tura Satana for breaking barriers as a woman in film who played strong roles, she’s a former Miss Japan pin up model. One of biggest hero’s of all time is John Waters, for being himself and shaking up the world while still maintaining humor, intelligence and hard work.

Brody Dalle, she’s a very talented songwriter and musician from Australia who followed her music dream when she was a teenager and has been living them out to this very day. She’s my all time favourite musician.

 

“being authentic is the key to life.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
I’d love to be Jem from Jem and the Holograms. I’ve wanted to be her since I was little, she’s what started the whole make-up thing for me and got me very interested in music at an early age.

What is your biggest life goal?
My biggest goal in life is to not settle for anything but extraordinary, do what I want and be respected.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment so far has been my radio career, I really didn’t think I’d end up where I am today, I really enjoy what I’m doing.

What is your favourite quote?
“Life is nothing if you’re not obsessed” – John Waters

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
I’d tell my 12 year old self to get a grip, everything’s going to work out.

What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism to me means standing up to all forms of female oppression. Having the guts to stand up and say something’s not right and going the distance.

Melissa is a Radio DJ and Program Coordinator at Rhythm 104.7FM in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Connect with Melissa
: Twitter

Fierce Females: Melissa

Fierce Females: Nikki

Nikki

What is it that empowers you most?
I think I feel most empowered when I’m doing what I love. It gives me a sense of purpose and allows my gifts to shine. More than anything, I think empowerment comes from a sense of mental freedom. There are many times in life when we feel like we have lost our power. Empowerment to me simply means remembering that our power was never lost, just forgotten. In this moment, we have the ability to take back our power and stand strongly in it. From this place we can make choices that makes us feel good; what we are all striving for in some way!

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I always work on loving and accepting myself, but I have never thought of one specific thing that I love most. If I were to choose something today, I would say I love my overly optimistic nature. In life there are setbacks, failures and losses, but I have this voice inside that always tells me that everything is going to be more than okay. A voice inside that tells me to trust the journey. A voice that assures me that everything happens for a reason. This optimistic characteristic has given me a sense of resiliency that has allowed me to bounce back from negative situations and still remain open to the world. I see a universe full of possibilities and I know deep down that anything great can happen.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
I think confidence is beautiful. Expanding on that, I think that living your purpose and doing what you truly love gives you confidence. When I am helping others, whether it is through coaching or teaching yoga, I feel beautiful. I also grew up as a dancer so when I dance, I feel alive and beautiful.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
This is an interesting question because I think that my role model changes all the time. When I find someone who is teaching a certain message or doing something that aligns with me in that moment, I tend to follow them and try to learn their ways of living. My role model for following your passion is Danielle LaPorte. She fires me up and makes me believe in myself. My role models also lie in the people I am closest with. My mother teaches me how to be caring. My father teaches me how to work hard. Every single person I meet seems to have something special to teach me in my life. I am definitely grateful for human connection!

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
My favourite cultural heroine is Mother Theresa. She makes the definition of selfless what it is today. She had such a caring heart and wanted to help so many people. In essence, she was here to serve and to give. I think about how the corporate world is structured and ran, while so many people in this world are suffering and realize there needs to be more people like Mother Theresa. If we all chose to give something to the world, the world would be a more thriving, beautiful and loving place. She inspires me to continue serving others as that is why I believe we are really here in the first place.

 

“I see a universe full of possibilities and I know deep down that anything great can happen.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
This may sound silly, but I would want to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I have always been fascinated by the ocean and all of its treasures. Since I was a kid, I was drawn to water. There is something so healing and magical about it. I would love to spend a day “under the sea,” freely swimming and enjoying a ‘world’ that still has so much yet to be discovered.

What is your biggest life goal?
My biggest life goal is to create a thriving business doing what I love. I think that there are so many women out there that are torn when it comes to choosing a career. “Do I do something predictable to get a predictable income, or do I take a chance on following my dreams?” For some of us, we may not know what that is. I want to coach women, teach yoga, host self-love workshops, write a novel and travel for motivational speaking. I know I have the ability to help so many women. Inspiring others fills my cup leading to a rewarding, fulfilling way to spend my life. It’s an exciting journey!

What is your biggest accomplishment?
I don’t know if I have had an accomplishment that is big, but maybe that is my post-perfectionism talking! I really value all of my little successes. The ones that I make along the way that contribute to the larger successes. I think for me, it would be doing what I love right now, in the present moment (coaching and teaching yoga). Many people wait their entire lives to start, but I took the leap and have been expanding it day by day. In the beginning, it was scary. Each day, I build on my skills and do one more thing that I’ve never done before (like this interview). I do guided meditations, host workshops, hold group coaching calls and it all started by taking a course three years ago that would certify me as a Life Coach. I think seeing my development and growth feels like a big accomplishment. I’ll be honest though, sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough credit.

What is your favourite quote?
My favourite quote is: “everything happens for a reason.” I have had many ups and downs in life and this quote has reminded me that it’s never the end of the world. It is simply a redirection to where I’m supposed to go next (even if I can’t see it). I like to call them “blessings in disguise”. Every situation and experience in my life (good or bad) has helped me in some way become the person I am today. For that, I am endlessly grateful!

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
I would tell my 12 year old self that she is loved, worthy and beautiful. It was an age for me when I felt awkward. I went through so many changes with my body and I felt very ashamed a lot of the time. I was shy and curious at the same time. I would want her to know that life is going to have ups and downs, but everything will always turn out for the best. I would tell her how special she is exactly as is. I would tell her to ignore people when they are mean or hurtful. I would tell her to do what she loves and that she can do anything her heart desires in this world. I would say, “dream big, Nikki”.

What does feminism mean to you?
To me, feminism is empowerment as a woman. I think it is important that women have the ability to fully express themselves in this world. Throughout history, there have been a lot of restrictions and I think feminism brings to light issues that need attention. I believe as humans, we are always dealing with some sort of oppression whether it is with race, class or gender. Our power lies in believing in ourselves and loving who we are fully. From that place, we, as women can collectively create a movement that is stronger than any law or regulation.

Nikki is a Life Coach and Yoga Instructor in Indio, California.
Connect with NikkiWebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram or Pinterest.

Fierce Females: Nikki

Arkells

Arkells

Today I share with you the indie rock band from Hamilton, Ontario, Arkells. I love when I find some great CAN CON! The band consists of Max Kerman (vocals, guitar), Mike DeAngelis (vocals, guitar), Nick Dika (bass), Tim Oxford (drums, percussion) and Anthony Carone (vocals, keyboard, guitar). Now, my cousin told me about Arkells a few years back but they have just released their third full length studio album titled High Noon. “Come to Light” and “Never Thought That This Would Happen” were the first singles released for this album but I have to say that my favourite is “11:11

Jackson Square and Michigan Left were the bands first two albums and they have always maintained their indie rock style. “Pullin’ Punches” is one of my favourites off of their previous albums. The band even paid tribute to their hometown football team the Hamilton Ticats with “Ticats Are Hummin’

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Fierce Females: Alex

Alex

What is it that empowers you most?
I am empowered by my ability to take control of what I’m feeling and create something from it. I surround myself with insanely creative people who turn parts of themselves into books, photographs, videos and games on the daily. They are constantly inspiring and empowering me to do the same.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I love my competitiveness, my drive and even my stubborness. I love that I can be hurt, but that I will always rub some dirt in it and move on. Also, my butt, I love my butt.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
I never feel sexier than when I’m dancing! On the stage, in the kitchen, the car, at my desk, it really doesn’t matter.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
My Grandmother, Mary Wagner never ceases to amaze me. She is kind to everyone (whether or not they deserve it), her time is always someone elses, she has battled, been scarred and continues to completely rock a pair of heels. Somehow she managed to raise a house of four girls and still find time to be a determined career woman. She is everything I hope to be one day. (Plus she looks like Meryl Streep’s more attractive sister.)

 

“I am empowered by my ability to take control of what I’m feeling and create something from it.”

 

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Clara Hughes: Not only is she the only athlete to ever win multiple medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games which is hella amazing. She now also works with mental health initiatives such as Bell Let’s Talk and Clara’s Big Ride. For her, success means that she is able to use her voice to reach out and help people, specifically those affected with mental illness the way she was affected by depression.

Misty Copeland: Long before becoming a soloist for the American Ballet Theatre and Under Armour campaign star Misty was told she had the wrong body type for ballet, and frankly at 13, was too old anyway. Nevertheless she quickly became a dance prodigy. She should be the answer inside every girls head when they tell themselves to quit.

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Samus Aran (the insanely badass chick from Metroid.) She had every trait of a true heroine, plus she still manages to be one of the least sexualized female characters in video games. I first started playing Metroid Zero Mission when I was a 5-foot-tall, flat chested, baggy jean wearing 14-year-old. The fact that the main character was a girl and that she bucked gender stereotypes long before Peach and Zelda ever shook the glitter out of their hair made me feel like maybe I wasn’t totally wrong.

What is your biggest life goal?
I’m going to pull a Beyonce here and go with “to be happy”. It’s taken me a long time to realize that I need to put my happiness at the forefront of all my goals. If I’m doing something because it makes me feel good then I can’t go wrong.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Hopefully I haven’t accomplished it yet. Is that a cop out? I think that at this stage in my life my biggest accomplishment was learning that it’s okay to go all out for what you want. And it’s okay to fall down a couple times in the process. I’m learning that only I can define success for myself, it’s not something that can be given. You have to get it all on your own.

What is your favourite quote?
“Show up. Shine. Let it go.” – Danielle LaPorte

This quote is simple and sweet, for me it is drive, openness and self-reflection/self-forgiveness.

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
Never try to be normal. People are going to spend their whole lives trying to make you feel like you should be less of what you are, embrace it. At least you’re not boring.

What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism means complete equality of the sexes. As a feminist I have every right to pursue and obtain anything that a man can. Access to education, choice in careers, ideas about sex, and society should be the same for both sexes.

Alex is the Communications Coordinator at Big Fizz Inc. and Gurevich Fine Art in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Connect with Alex
: Twitter

Fierce Females: Alex

Fierce Females: Michele

Michele

What is it that empowers you most?
What empowers me is knowing I can be who and what I want to be everyday. I can wake up and have the ability to go out and achieve all my hopes and dreams.

What is it that you love most about yourself?
I love my ability to find humour in almost any situation. Laughing really is the best medicine.

What makes you feel most beautiful?
I feel the most beautiful when I am dancing on stage. When the lights hit you and your heart practically leaps out of your skin and you are taken over by the movement and for those few minutes nothing else in the world matters.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
My role model is my mom. She has the biggest heart and wants to do everything she can to help others even if putting herself last.

Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Someone like Mia Michaels is definitely up there for me. She is a choreographer who doesn’t look like your typical dancer. She has a curvy figure and doesn’t pretend not to. She owns her movement and creates pieces that connect with your mind, body, and soul. She is a legend.

 

“When the lights hit you and your heart practically leaps out of your skin and you are taken over by the movement and for those few minutes nothing else in the world matters.”

 

If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Maybe Elphaba from Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the west. She is a character who is willing to give up her success for something she believes in. She is a different then everybody else but that doesn’t stop her following through on her dreams.

What is your biggest life goal?
I want to have a steady musical theatre career.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Winning The Young Choreographers Award and Best choreography in the same year.

What is your favourite quote?
“Great dancers aren’t great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” – Martha Graham

If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
Spend less time worrying you don’t look like everybody else and more time focusing on the things that make you different and therefore make your stand out.

What does feminism mean to you?
To me Feminism is the belief men and women should be given the same rights and opportunities and have their gender not enter into any equation. Not that one gender is better than the other it’s about equality.

Michele is a actor/choreographer/dancer/singer from Toronto, Ontario.
Connect with Michele
: Twitter

Fierce Females: Michele