10 ways to celebrate International Women’s Day in Toronto

It’s palpable, this groundswell of sisterhood in the 6ix.

For 35 years of my life I’ve been inundated with stories and images of leaders and change-makers who are male and white. Finally I’m seeing and hearing about a gorgeous diversity of women in this city who are galvanizing and working their asses off to manifest a more positive future.  It’s not an echo chamber or an algorithm, because this goes way beyond social media.

But for all of the positive impacts women are having, and for all of the support we are feeling in our communities, celebration is underscored with struggle. It’s impossible to deny that the feminine is rising, and it’s equally impossible to ignore what it’s rising against.  

So this year on International Women’s Day, I celebrate, and struggle with, the women of Toronto who are courageously carving greater and greater pieces of this city into safe spaces. Spaces where we can enjoy the rights that we deserve, express ourselves authentically and vulnerably, wield power as  responsibility, build relationships with empathy, and change the world.

Here’s our list of 1o ways Toronto women are making it happen on or around March 8


1. Organize! The Women’s March wasn’t just a parade… | March 6


The Women’s March Committee is hosting a Town Hall event to bring together community organizations who are at the forefront of advocacy and activism in Toronto. The organizers are hoping to have around 10 organizations on board including Idle No More, International Women’s Day Committee,  and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.  This is a chance to listen and learn and to find opportunities to get involved.


2. Party with some Nasty Women at the AGO | March 2


For this month’s First Thursdays, the AGO partners with OCAD to explore, through a feminist lens, a future that imagines possibilities for diversity of representation and experiences—a future that is more open, more free, more feminist, and non-deterministic. Headlined by d’bi.young anitafrika and featuring performances and installations throughout the gallery.


3. Gather to sustain yourself, your business, and the environment (because after all, they’re the same thing) | March 9-10


Studio.89 and Raine Network present the second annual Power of Women (POW) Symposium, a two-day celebration incorporating community, collaboration, conscious living, mentorship, and networking. In support of Studio.89’s youth and community programming, the symposium features power-mentorship sessions, professional development workshops, keynotes and an onsite female artisan market! It’s also the launch of their 2nd annual #WritesForWomen campaign!


4. Give Marginalized voices the spotlight | March 1


Celebrating Our Voices highlights the contributions of diverse young Black, Indigenous, women and trans-feminine people of colour to Ryerson and the broader Toronto community. As a part of Fondation filles d’action – Girls Action Foundation National Day of Action activities, this event aims to understand young women and trans-feminine peoples’ histories and cultural diversity, empowering them to become leaders for change in our communities. Featuring speakers from Black Lives Matter, Ryerson’s Newcomer Students’ Association, RyePride  and more.


5. Seal the Deal with Women Entrepreneurs & VCs | March 8

Startup Toronto has gathered a panel of Women Venture Capitalists and Successful Entrepreneurs who will give you their best advice on how to Seal the Deal and get the financing you need.  


6. Feel the goddess energy an interactive art performance | March 4


Woman Unmasked promises to be a visceral experience, commemorating International Women’s day through a series of performance pieces, live installations, and visual art. Described as “very sensual, goddess oriented,” the show will transform a Geary Ave warehouse into a dreamscape featuring the National Ballet of Canada’s First Soloist Chelsy Meiss, aerial performance, and live music. The event is a fundraiser for The Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness.


7. Join in Resisterhood at the annual IWD March | March 11


IWD has been celebrated for more than 100 years, with the first march in New York in 1909. March with thousands of social justice, labour, health and women’s rights activists. Join the rally at King’s College Circle, march in solidarity, and attend an info fair at the Ryerson Student Learning Centre.


8. Raise the sisterhood vibration with a global meditation | March 8


Join a worldwide synchronized meditation for International Women’s Day! Thousands of women worldwide unify through an online broadcast of a Sacred Sisterhood Heart Meditation, transforming ourselves and transforming the world. There are a couple of live gatherings around Toronto – check the website for locations.

9. Write Her-story (or at least edit it) | March 4


Join the local international Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon. Bring your laptop and your Wikipedia account, and put the AGO’s thousands of artist files and books to use as reference material for building up Wikipedia content on topics related to art and feminism.


10. Share our space for the day | March 8

This year’s IWD theme is Be Bold For Change, and Shecosystem is boldly changing the face of entrepreneurship.  Spend the day being Bold for Change at a free coworking + Wellness open house, with our regular opening and closing circles, a lunchtime Potluck & Perspectives, an afternoon movement break, and lots of time to connect, get your work done, or just exist in this safe space for a day. See you at Shecosystem!