The core purpose of EMMA Talks is to bring important stories by women identified* writers, activists, thinkers, storytellers, makers and doers, from the periphery to the public. Together their stories will build a powerful and engaging collection of talks, celebrating and building on the conversations, imaginings, and hard work of so many individuals, communities and movements, which will lead to a creative cross-pollination of ideas.
The evening starts at 6:00 PM with a pre-talk reception, where there will be light snacks and a cash bar. The Talks will begin at 7:00 PM sharp and will be followed by a 30 min social gathering.
Both social gatherings will be in place of a Q&A and will allow for folks to meet one another, to converse and share thoughts from the talks.
Vivek Shraya is a Toronto-based artist whose body of work includes several albums, films,and books. Her first book of poetry, even this page is white, won a 2017 Publisher Triangle Award and was longlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads. Her debut novel, She of the Mountains, was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books, and her first children’s picture book, The Boy & the Bindi, was featured on the National Post Bestseller List. Vivek has read and performed internationally at shows, festivals and post-secondary institutions, including sharing the stage with Tegan & Sara. She is one half of the music duo Too Attached and the founder of the publishing imprint VS. Books.
A four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, Vivek was a 2016 Pride Toronto Grand Marshal, and has received honours from Toronto Arts Foundation and The Writers’ Trust of Canada.
Anoushka Ratnarajah is a queer, mixed race femme of Sri Lankan and British ancestry, and an interdisciplinary and transnational artist and arts organizer. She has worked as a producer, performer, writer, facilitator and arts organizer with cultural and arts organizations in Vancouver, Montreal and New York.
Anoushka is invested in creating and supporting work that shines a light on histories and contemporary stories that are underrepresented in mainstream theatre and performance, and in collaborating and creating work with other women artists of colour, other queer and femme artists, and *trans artists. Anoushka’s solo written and performance work focuses on her queer, femme, mixed race body and identity as a site of contradiction, marked by histories of violence and silence, but also a canvas for play, questioning and empowerment.
She is an associate artist and producer with Kalik Arts, an interdisciplinary arts company and spaceship that forefronts the work of queer and trans people of colour in theatre, film, digital media and literature. She is also an associate artist and facilitator with Shapeshift Arts, which provides arts-based anti-oppression workshops for artists and non-artists alike. Anoushka is the co-Artistic Director at Out On Screen, which produces the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. Anoushka has been a fellow with The Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics and Voices of Our Nation Arts. She has a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and an MA in Arts Politics from NYU.