What: Project Tsehigh
Who: Grace Mahary
When Edmonton-native Grace Mahary isn't busy modelling—you know, hitting runways for Chanel, Dior and the pages of ELLE Canada—she is committed to her philanthropic work. The Eritrean-Canadian founded her non-profit Project Tsehigh in 2015, aiming to provide sustainable and renewable energy to impoverished communities. Last year, the NPO teamed up with footwear brand Suns to create the most fun pair of sneaks that go from white to blue when exposed to sunlight (with a portion of the proceeds going to renewable-energy products, of course).
What: Washington Black
Who: Esi Edugyan
It's no secret that the ELLE Canada team loves Calgary-born writer Esi Edugyan. She wowed us all when her latest book, the 1830s-set Washington Black about an 11-year-old slave seeking his true identity in a world that forbids him to have one, dropped last year. And we weren't the only ones blown away: it landed Edugyan her second Giller Prize in November (the first being for Half-Blood Blues in 2011).
What: Reflections of Love
Who: Ashley McKenzie-Barnes
As part of Kuumba, Harbourfront Centre's annual Black History Month festival, Scarborough-native Ashley McKenzie-Barnes curated a photography exhibit exploring the many forms of love in the black community. Featuring works from creatives like Daniel Caesar collaborator Sean Brown and Nigeria-born, Toronto-raised visual artist Stella Fakiyesi, Reflections of Love runs all month at the Marilyn Brew Community Space.