Culture
Dec 23, 2015

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

By: Aliyah Shamsher

Author: Elle Canada

Culture
Dec 23, 2015

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

By: Aliyah Shamsher

Slideshow

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The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE IT GIRL: Mackenzie Davis

Catch Vancouver-born Mackenzie Davis in AMC’s summer hit Halt and Catch Fire (now in its second season), which features a small cast of highly combustible characters working in Silicon Prairie during Dallas’ 1980s communications boom. What Davis has to say about her punk character Cameron Howe: “Cameron loves to be hated, but that’s what I love about her!” READ MORE: The top Canadian female entrepreneurs you need to know

By: Aliyah Shamsher Source: Thomas Whiteside Credits: ELLE Canada

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE BREAKOUT ACT: Tei Shi

Tei Shi is going to be 2016’s Kiesza. The Vancouver-born 25-year-old’s new EP is one of the year’s most-buzzed-about alternative releases. The latest single, “Bassically,” has over a million listens on SoundCloud and a video racking up hundreds of thousands of views and is laden with the sort of promise that makes a massive first album a near-given. READ MORE: Prince Harry holding adorable animals

By: Sarah Laing Source: Eric White Credits: ELLE Canada

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE MVP OF RHYTHM: Kaytranada

This Port-au-Prince-born, Montreal-raised left-field-beats ambassador cooks up a banquet of uptempo neo-soul. His first international tour sold out in a hot minute, so expect Louis Kevin Celestin to spread his off-kilter beats far and wide this year. He has already logged studio time with Mobb Deep and teased us with news of an impending debut on British imprint XL Recordings (home to Adele and The xx). READ MORE: All the celebrity break ups in 2015

By: Michael-Oliver Harding Source: Getty Credits: ELLE Canada

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE SINGER-SONGWRITER: Allie X

Since that fated Katy Perry Twitter shout-out, Allie X has done what few fledgling artists have the courage to do: trust her instincts and roll out her multidisciplinary “Xperience” on her own terms. Plus, when the Toronto-based songwriter tells you that her four main influences are Tom Petty, Sia, Björk and ABBA, you know you’re in for a wild ride. READ MORE: The Queen looking angry in every picture

By: Michael-Oliver Harding Source: Instagram.com/allie_x_feeling_x Credits: ELLE Canada

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE CLUB KIDS: Majid Jordan

Toronto’s Majid Jordan (vocalist Majid Al Maskati and producer Jordan Ullman) serves up some of the sultriest, silkiest and most synth-soaked club rhythms this side of the equator. After co-producing Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” single, they signed with his label OVO Sound and released a hauntingly good EP. READ MORE: Kate Middleton is not the best dressed anymore

By: Michael-Oliver Harding Source: Instagram.com/majidjordan Credits: ELLE Canada

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE DREAMY DUO: Milk & Bone

Montreal’s Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin are old friends who first bonded at music school and then as touring musicians. That level of intimacy accounts for their disarming lyrical honesty. Little Mourning is a bass-achingly poignant debut album that is equally well suited to lakeside introspection and dance-floor intimacy. READ MORE: 11 times Crown Princess Mary had better style than Kate Middleton

By: Michael-Oliver Harding Source: Instagram.com/milknbone Credits: ELLE Canada

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE INSIDER: Shad

If anyone has their finger on the pulse of Canada’s music scene, it’s Shad, a rapper and the new host of CBC Radio’s culture flagship Q. Why he thinks the Canadian arts and culture scene is so hot right now? “People say ‘moody’ is something Toronto does really well, but in general, I don’t think Canada has a distinct sound, which is something that’s pretty cool about the music culture here. There’s a lot of creativity.” READ MORE: Every time Beyonce killed it

By: Sarah Laing Source: Billions Credits: ELLE Canada

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE PORTRAITIST: Kris Knight

An intoxicating mix of desire, sorrow and vulnerability can often be found in Toronto-based painter Kris Knight’s pastel portraits. This year Knight was asked by designer Christian Lacroix to create a painting for his exhibit, then Gucci had Knight reimagine the house’s iconic Flora pattern for its 2015 resort collection. Catch Knight’s solo exhibition this September at the Katharine Mulherin gallery in Toronto. READ MORE: Prince Harry is headed to America

By: Aliyah Shamsher Source: Jacyln Locke/Gucci Credits: ELLE Canada

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE ORIGINAL: Chloe Wise

Meet Chloe Wise, the Montreal-born, living in NYC artist who is all about making art with a sense of humour. She classifies her work as “mixed-media-Canadian-Jew-brat-comedy-art,” which has earned her two solo shows and she hasn’t even reached her 25th birthday. READ MORE: Interview with Outlander's Sam Heughan

By: Sarah Laing Source: Instagram.com/chloewise_ Credits: ELLE Canada

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE CRAFTER: Ele Willoughby

Toronto-based Ele Willoughby uses carving knives to create colourful block prints that are equal parts history lesson and tongue-in-cheek vintage Canadiana for her store Things From Secret Minouette Places. See Willoughby’s work at the Etsy: Made in Canada marketplace on September 26 where artisans set up shop across 34 Canadian cities. READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE Melissa McCarthy on confidence

By: Sarah Laing and Aliyah Shamsher Source: Instagram.com/the.minouette Credits: ELLE Canada

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE MODEL INSTAGRAMMER: Winnie Harlow

If you aren’t familiar with Winnie Harlow, you soon will be. The Toronto-based model is quickly becoming one of the world’s most-sought-after faces – and as a vitiligo spokesmodel, no less. Harlow’s 900,000+ Instagram account is a no-holds-barred look at the model’s life running through #the6ix. READ MORE: The most fashionable Snapchatters to follow now

By: Aliyah Shamsher Source: Instagram.com/winnieharlow Credits: ELLE Canada

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE LAUGH-OUT-LOUD TWEETER: Anne T. Donahue

Meet the next Kelly Oxford (a.k.a. the first Canadian Twitter star). Living in Toronto, Anne T. Donahue writes for Rookie and has her own newsletter, podcast and blog. But she’s best known for her LOL-worthy observations about pop culture, which she shares with her loyal followers on Twitter. READ MORE: 10 movies to watch this fall

By: Aliyah Shamsher Source: Instagram.com/annetdonahue Credits: ELLE Canada

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE SUPERWOMAN YOUTUBER: Lilly Singh

With more than six million subscribers, Toronto-based Lilly Singh isn’t just one of the top YouTubers in Canada – she’s one of the top in the world. And it’s easy to see why: Singh’s Seinfeldesque views are as relatable as they are hilarious. (Her video “Types of Sleepers” had us laughing for days.) READ MORE: The top ten Canadian YouTube stars to follow

By: Aliyah Shamsher Source: Instagram.com/IISuperwomanII Credits: ELLE Canada

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE MOTIVATIONAL SNAPCHATTER: Chris Carmichael

Creating lessons on everything from how to set goals to why failure is an illusion has led Toronto-born Chris Carmichael to amass over 100,000 followers on Snapchat (ChrisCarm), making him one of the first Snapchat superstars – ever. He’s now working with brands like the NHL and FOX to keep the good vibes going. READ MORE: 9 times George and Charlotte's cousin Mia was cooler than them

By: Aliyah Shamsher Source: Instagram.com/chriscarm Credits: ELLE Canada

The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know

THE NEXT BIG STORYTELLER: Monica Heisey

Lena Dunham wrote of Toronto-born Monica Heisey’s collection of short stories, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better: “It is the only humor book I ever want to own.” Dunham was spot-on in her assessment of this 27-year-old essayist’s smart way of poking fun while plumbing the depths of everything from sex to female friendship. Catch Heisey in ELLE Canada every month as our new humour columnist. READ MORE: Monica Heisey's anatomy of Canadian summer

By: Sarah Laing Source: Instagram.com/monicaheisey Credits: ELLE Canada
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The 15 coolest Canadians you need to know