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Image by Clique


Growing Into Feminism

In her book “Living a Feminist Life”, Sara Ahmed asked the question: “When did feminism become a word that not only spoke to you, but spoke you, spoke of your existence, spoke you into existence?”

In other words, how does someone reach a point when, without apology, you identify as a feminist? Especially when it seems the only place you can find courses on the subject are in university calendars?

Last week, CV Harquail, a colleague, shared this remarkable article with me: Amanda Sinclair’s Five movements in an embodied feminist: A memoir. Sinclair says we become feminists over time by experiencing physical and intellectual struggles thrown at us by a system that routinely subordinates women and gender minorities. She says our lived experiences and feelings lead us to feminism. We don’t seek it out. It finds us. 

I decided to consider my own journey and put this theory to the test.

My first awareness of feminism came in 1975, which coincided with the United Nations’ declaration of the Year of the Woman. I learned about Gloria Steinem. Morgentaler risking his life to open abortion clinics to make the procedure safe and more available to women in Canada. The Equal Rights Amendment in the United States (and a woman!) Phyliss Schafly fighting against the extension of women’s rights. Cheeky Iona Campagnolo who ran for leadership of the Canadian liberal party and endured a pat on the bum from the eventual winner…and returned it! Iris Rivera, who taught us you can get fired for not making your boss a cup of coffee.

When all this turbulent media coverage swept over me, I was 13 years old…

To continue reading VIEWPOINT, by LiisBeth Founder and Publisher, Petra Kassun-Mutch, click here.


Parachute Voltige (photo credit: Daniel Lepôt)

100% Feminine: 14 Women Reaching New Heights in Canadian Skydiving 

When it feels like the sky is falling, why not jump out of a plane? Lana Pesch takes us on her journey of setting a new Canadian skydiving record this past summer and the value of role modelscollaboration and discipline, and taking calculated risks. Read about the power of passion here.

Heads up! This is a longer than usual piece for us. 3200 words worth of adrenaline infused narrative. Buckle your seatbelts and enjoy the ride.


We love political T’s.

It’s how we discovered Jamie “Boots” Marshall’s t-shirt shop on Etsy. Marshall is an artist and graphic designer. In the past she’s worked as a freelance illustrator and art director, but her main focus has always been t-shirt design. Currently, she owns and runs Boots Tees, an online shop for her t-shirts, art, and other fun stuff. Her hobbies include: reading, board games, and fighting the patriarchy

We LOVE her work so we got her to help us create our first feminist entrepreneurship T-shirt!  LiisBeth is not in the T-shirt business. But Marshall is. So we promote and she gets the sales. A win-win collaboration!  #buywomenled

The shirt is available at $32.00 hereFor a 10% discount use the LiisBeth reader discount code: LIISBETH10

We will also be selling the shirts at the upcoming FAC “Framed by Feminists” market at the Gladstone Hotel, in Toronto, on Sunday, Oct 28th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come and see us! Sitting behind a computer gets a little lonely sometimes!


The 2018 Entrepreneurial Feminist Forum in Toronto is only 6 weeks away!

What’s in store this year? If the list above is too small to read on your phone, get the full speaker bios and session details here! The EFF 2018 includes three thought provoking foundational talks, three deep dive lab sessions, six 90 minute “think and do” workshops, two embodied movement classes, journaling and creative writing break rooms, a poster session, reception and more! Watch for updates and get your tickets here.

The early bird rate is $250 (till Oct 31st). Regular $299. Student rate is $99. FOR TWO WHOLE DAYS! 

Watch for news about our official transportation partner & childcare support!  And local dog walking services too! 


Biusual Studios


Did you miss LiisBeth’s Op Ed in the October 16th Globe and Mail Small Business Report online?

No worries, you can also read it here.

The main point?  We called on Mary Ng, the Canadian minister of small business and export promotion, to do something bold with the new $85M in funding for support for women entrepreneurs she announced in September. You can read the release here.

We would love your input and comments!

Design by Merian Media

What is the Story Behind LiisBeth’s Symbol?

When you start exploring LiisBeth, you will see our ¤ icon throughout and you might wonder, what does it represent? It is actually an adaptation of the international typographic symbol used to denote an unknown currency, which we thought was the perfect starting point for creating a graphic representation of LiisBeth’s inclusive and empowering ethos. And more!  To read the full story, click here.


Gender Equality Network Canada – Youth Panel Discussion – Sept 18 2017

Have You Heard about Canada’s Gender Equality Network (GEN)?

Well, we had, but weren’t exactly sure what it was. So we spoke with Ann Decter, Director of Community Initiatives & Gender Equality Network Canada at the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

GEN is a three-year project to create a network of 150 women across the country who are already working to advance gender equality. To be eligible to join the network, you have to be involved or leading a project that is funded by the Status of Women of Canada. The goal? To deliver a National Action Plan for the advancement of gender equality in about 1.5 years.

One of the key themes they are working on is to identify policies and ways in which women, who live longer than men, can become more economically secure given the accumulated effects of the gender wage gap.

We asked Decter if a recommendation related to support of women’s entrepreneurship might be one of the topics in the report. “You have to have some means to use entrerpreneurship to move yourself up. And it’s not the most secure way to go,” Decter said.  She believes that a universal childcare policy would be a key part of any plan looking to advance the economic security for all women. 

When asked about what keeps her up at night these days, Decter expressed concern over Canada’s Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s recent use of the notwithstanding clause to undermine rights guaranteed by the Charter of Rights, explaining that “unlike our American sisters, Canadian women’s rights are written into the Charter, but that means nothing if we continue to elect governments who choose to invoke the notwithstanding clause to override them.

To protect women’s rights that have already been won, Decter adds, “We need to do what we can to protect the Charter. The more we elect governments supportive of the Charter of Rights, the more safe we [women, women’s rights] are.

Partner (photo credit: Jennifer Hyc)

Venus Fest Round Up

The vibe at this year’s Venus Fest was excited, open, and connected. With close to 1000 people over 3 nights, attendance was up by 65% from last year! The music fest dedicated to celebrating feminism in the arts extended the event to 3 nights instead of one full day, and added a kick off show and panel, plus a stellar afterparty!

Feature acts included Maylee Todd who included a full harp for her performance and used her live programming skills to create an incredible show. Moor Mother brought the full intensity of her work to the stage and the audience was 100% entranced. On closing night, Partner (pictured above), fresh off their Polaris short-list performance, gave a high-energy Venus Fest-loving set.

Plans for Venus Fest 2019 are underway and you can bet it will as beautiful and treasured by the community as this year, featuring new artists who are paving the way and dancing to the beat of their own drum.


LiisBeth is giving away a ticket to WEConnect’s Power the Economy conference on October 26th in Toronto. Be the first person to email the names of the two keynote speakers here. Value: $400

Attention ALL women-owned businesses!
Less than 1% of large corporate and government spending goes to women-owned businesses… globally and WEConnect corporate members are committed to getting more money into the hands of women.

Join WEConnect to have networking opportunities in a global network of over 80 corporate buyers and thousands of businesses around the world. Matchmaking events expose you to leaders in supplier diversity and inclusion, business experts, and successful women business owners. You’ll get business leads, valuable contacts, and gain access to an incredible ecosystem.

Gender Physics: Flying on Both Wings

“Gender is social construct,” says Heggie, author of Gender Physics“We’re each made up of a myriad of characteristics. We should be using the actions and options available to us.” The book encourages people to let go of gender stereotypes and think of people as humans, not male or female.

Heggie sees the #metoo movement as a good example of using both masculine and feminine energies. The paradox is that masculinity is getting bashed because women are finding their masculine voice. Women are speaking out, a masculine trait, and also banding together in solidarity, a feminine characteristic that exists in all of us.

If you are in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan this Thursday, October 18th, join Heggie at her book launch at McNally Robinson’s book store, 7:00 pm CT.


We’re giving away SIX SIGNED COPIES of Gender Physics to the first six people who take the energy evaluation test. Let us know if your natural approach to life and relationships is controlled by Feminine or Masculine Energy! Email your answer here.


LiisBeth is giving away TWO tickets to the #MoveTheDial Summit being held on November 7th in Toronto. #Movethedial is an organization that seeks to advance women in STEM. Over 1000 women signed up to attend and the event is now sold out!

To earn these tickets, take a few minutes to complete LiisBeth’s reader survey here. The first two respondents to email and tell us they have completed the survey on the day the newsletter is released will be the lucky recipients. Value: $500/ticket


The Red Word is set in the 1990s but speaks directly to the present feminist moment. Sarah Henstra takes us into two worlds: that of Women’s Studies classes and lesbian pagan rituals, and of frat boys and S&M theme parties. As I watched Karen struggle with politics, power, and her own culpability in the fallout of it all, I could not put this book down.” —Darcey Steinke, author of Suicide Blonde and Sister Golden Hair

The job of cultural criticism is to examine the world and its stories, picking apart what is problematic and shining a light on unconscious or unexamined biases and attitudes….The timely, relevant topic of campus rape culture is addressed bravely; there aren’t enough works of fiction that tackle the material so honestly and prudently.” —Quill &Quire

Henstra will be on a panel discussing themes of feminism and power at the Toronto International Festival of Authors this month with Vivek Shraya and Rachel Giese.

Each of us will lead with masculine or feminine energy. We are socialized to be like our biological gender, but the reality is we are individuals, and there are lots of good reasons to use both energies.

Heggie wrote Gender Physics to create more awareness and acceptance around people exploring their energy options. The book includes a step by step system with exercises you can practice to build (like a muscle) the energy you may not be using to its full potential. The goal is, in part, to give up gender bias and encourage people to be themselves.

“If you are questioning what is correct behaviour at work and in life while wanting the freedom to express yourself and be successful on your own terms, Gender Physics is the book for you. It is a must read for everyone looking to be courageously authentic.”
– Dr. Marcia Reynolds, author of Outsmart Your Brain and Wander Woman


  • Use your voice and take our survey. We launched a unique survey last month because we want to hear from feminist entrepreneurs and innovators in your own words. Results we be shared when we reach 100 responses. We’re not there yet, but we will be with your help.
    Our survey takes 12 minutes 

  • Jonathan Hera, Founder of Marigold, an impact investing company, shares key points Marigold Capital looks for when deciding on investment placements.
    Download Marigold’s Feminist Entrepreneur Investment Checklist PDF here

  • The next Women’s March is scheduled for January 19, 2019 with the main protest in Washington, DC. Linda Sarsour, a chairwoman of the Women’s March says the 2019 march will call for a specific set of public policies they want enacted that will be announced in the coming weeks.

  • We’re In! LiisBeth Media is now an official member of the Women’s Enterprise Centres of Canada (WEOC)! WEOC is an umbrella group for organizations that interact with women entrepreneurs through their services which may include training, loans, advisory services or mentorship or networking. WEOC’S Chair Sandra Altner says, “Access to capital, access to markets, technology adoption, and women in STEM are just a few of the arenas in which we are challenged to level the playing field. These are the issues that WEOC members address…” 

  • Christine Hallquist is paving the way for trangender politicians as nominee for Vermont Governor. Watch her journey in this Her Stories VIDEO from Now This

  • Are diversity and inclusion in the tech industry just buzzwords? Read how the recent Elevate Tech Fest missed the mark in Nabeel Ahmed’s article in NOW Magazine 

That brings us to the end of our October newsletter. The next website refresh and newsletter is scheduled for mid-November, 2018.  

Did you read something of value in this newsletter?

LiisBeth is the only media voice in the world which supports the work of feminist entrepreneurs and innovators. We are 100% reader supported.

If you love what we do, become a donor subscriber to LiisBeth so we can continue to serve!

We humbly remind you that subscriptions are $3/month, $7/month or $10/month.

We are now also on Patreon!  You can choose to donate to us there!

Funds go directly towards paying writers, editors, proofreaders, photo permission fees, and illustrators. Building a more just future requires time, love—and financial support.

Happy Halloween! Peace out.

Activism & Action

LiisBeth’s #IWD2020 March Playlist: Marching On, Each for Equal

Image of rap star Haviah Mighty, black woman, singing.
Haviah Mighty wins the 2019 Polaris Music Prize for 13th Floor | Photo by HipHopCanada
Here are 10 new songs for us to march to on Sunday, March 8, for International Women’s Day. I believe that working towards equality is a balance between doing our own inner work and taking action in the world. We must be able to honour our pain and the learning we still need to do, and also look outwards to see where there is injustice in our communities and step forward proactively.

The artists below are each striving for equality in their own way, using their platforms and voices to help us all learn and grow. We are each here to contribute to that greater purpose. Let this #IWD2020 be an inspiration for us on how we can march forward, and what direction we are heading in.

Bikini Kill, “Girl Soldier”

Bikini Kill, known for pioneering the Riot Grrrl movement, was one of the first all-female bands in punk to speak out against abuse and misogyny. “Girl Soldier,” truly an anthem to march to, points to the irony of men fighting overseas when there is a war happening on our own homes against women, women’s lives, women’s bodies, women’s rights. Seen here in a live video from the early ’90s with “Turn Off Your TV” draped behind them, Bikini Kill inspired a revolution and called us all to action. 2020 sees them reuniting in a world that just might be ready for their message.

Haviah Mighty, “In Women Colour”

Brampton rapper Haviah Mighty made history in 2019 when she became the first female rapper to ever win a Polaris Prize. The opening track to her album, 13th Floor, cuts hard to the truth of how racist and misogynistic our world (let alone the music industry) still is. She tells her powerful story, how none of it could break her, and now as she breaks boundaries with her art, she is changing the landscape for Black women in this country.

Backxwash, “F.R.E.A.K.S”

Rising Montreal rapper Backxwash identifies as queer and a witch—two communities that have historically been broken through hateful, patriarchal culture. F.R.E.A.K.S is an anthem to all the incredible people existing in the margins of society who are changing our culture by showing up unapologetically. Historical change has always come from queer and marginalized communities, pushing the restricted boundaries of normalcy and redefining identity. Today we celebrate all the amazing freaks.

Riit, “qaumajuapik”

Riit, a Juno-nominated and rising artist from Nunavut, is an embodiment of the slow but real change beginning to happen in the music industry. Her Inuktitut lyrics and throat singing speak of her experience growing up in the Northern Territories, and the strength she has found as a woman through much of it. “qaumajuapik,” the first video from her 2019 album, landed her on many incredible shows and festival lineups, a massive hurdle for an artist living in such an isolated population. Making space for voices like Riit’s is the reason our individual actions matter.

Tei Shi, “Alone in the Universe”

Colombian-born singer Tei Shi often sings on themes of love and loss but her 2019 anthem “Alone in the Universe” is a song for us to march to. If there is a God, and if she is a woman, she’s dropping the ball, Tei Shi proclaims. She follows it by promising to speak up for the sake of others, where she hasn’t been able to speak up for herself. It’s a powerful reflection on the isolation of being a woman, and the importance of taking action on behalf of ourselves and others.

Lido Pimienta, “Eso Que Tu Haces”

Lido Pimienta returns this April with her first album following her 2017 Polaris Prize win, titled Miss Colombia. “Eso Que Tu Haces” depicts the magnificent colour, warmth, and dance tradition of San Basilio de Palenque, the first place of refuge for those fleeing slavery in the Colonial Americas. Her magnetic voice and storytelling has begged Canada for years now to be accountable to continued racism in the country, and this song is no different as she sets a boundary around what can be considered a “loving action,” and what is false.

Sudan Archives, “Glorious”

This video is Black Girl Magic personified as Brittney Parks imagines her own prayer to God in the style of old oral tradition hymns. Inspired by Aisha al-Fallatiyah, the first woman to ever perform in Sudan, “Glorious” prays for money, a foundation of life in our world. It is a stunning and raw nod to intersectional equality—if we want an equal world, we have to understand that it takes marginalized genders, races, and identities that much more effort to get what they need to survive in it.

Austra, “Risk It”

Austra returns this year with new music after four years when we last heard “Future Politics,” a plea for a more equal, utopian world. “Risk It” is a call to action that can be interpreted in our love lives, our political lives, or both (since there’s really no separation in the end, is there?). As we march to the beat of this song, we can contemplate risk as an essential part of growth and change. There are places where we all need to risk it in our lives in order to see equality grow in the world.

Black Belt Eagle Scout, “Indians Never Die”

This song is a beautifully haunting comment on our Earth and the Indigenous communities that have cared for it over many generations. Colonial violence is still painfully active and destructive in the 21st century, and we are each responsible for our part in ensuring that the land we live on and the individuals who continue to care for it do not waste away. Perhaps the physical earth can be part of our vision for equality, too.

Vagabon, “Every Woman”

Do not be deceived by the gentle strum of this song. In the lyrics lives a war cry, a proclamation that Laetitia Tamko is not afraid of the battle that women face every day to exist and be free. There is a solidarity in her lyrics as we understand the importance of every woman coming together in the name of equality. We may be tired, but there’s a ways to go still before we sit down.

Related Playlists

You can also find all our playlists on Spotify under LiisBeth.

Allied Arts & Media

LiisBeth's August 2019 Playlist: When Resistance Meets Possibilities

Vaselines live-LA TIMES

The Canadian music landscape has never sounded so exciting. Issues of gender, race, sexuality, identity and ability still require a tremendous amount of learning, and have yet to be truly considered in many important music spaces. But it’s also a time when those issues are starting to crack through the foundation of old structures that have protected some, and kept others bound from self-expression and support in their journey. Real change, if we are to get there, involves every level of the industry including media, audience, grant jurors, labels, booking agents, promoters, and festivals to be on board. In my heart I feel that this change is starting, but it is just the beginning. We have never had so much access to such a rich tapestry of lyrics, melodies, instruments, and languages, shared with us through the many identities that are drawn to expression through music. It is a truly exciting time to witness (and hear), and I look forward to seeing the deeper, more long-term possibilities these changes will open up. The following artists represent the complexity and powerful range of voices in a (mostly) Canadian landscape. Hear them live at Venus Fest this year, September 20-22 at The Opera House, in Toronto.
Tei Shi – Keep Running
Colombian-born Valerie Teicher is the force behind Tei Shi, emerging into the music industry only a few years ago with the distinct sound of her emotive voice over carefully hung grooves. Music fans with a stunningly far reach have been following her ever since, and awaiting her second LP which is due this fall. She is an inspiration to women and women of colour, and approaches her career with the commitment and integrity of a true artist.

Charlotte Cardin – Main Girl
No one could have anticipated the immediate and overwhelming response to Charlotte’s handful of singles and EPs in the last few years, although it’s not surprising when you hear her music. Filled with honesty, the depth of a woman’s experience, and the subdued cool of an August night, Charlotte Cardin has found her way into the heart of every Canadian music fan, and earned a place on some of the biggest festival stages in the country.

Han Han – World Gong Crazy (ft. Datu & Hataw)
Celebrated as one of Toronto’s most talented rappers in the game right now, Han Han raps predominantly in Filipino and is known for her live performances incorporating stunning movement pieces by Flipino-Canadian dance troupe Hataw. Haniely also works as a nurse, and is an involved activist and member of the local community. It’s been a few years since she released her last album, so fans are on the edge of their seats awaiting her new album due this fall.

TRP.P – Love, Calm Down
Originally known as 1/4 of Toronto rap collective, The Sorority, and independent producer and beatmaker Truss, Phoenix and Truss are now TRP.P – one of the hottest up and coming R&B groups in Toronto who are about to release their debut album. Their lyrics speak of caring and reciprocal love that uplifts around them, over deep grooves that pay homage to nostalgia-tinged legends like Ashanti.

Riit – Qaumajuapik
Riit, hailing from the beautiful and icy Panniqtuuq, Nunavut, brings a warmth and elegance to her songs that has her poised to shake up pop music in North America. Incorporating throat singing and Inuttitut lyrics alongside skillfully crafted synth pop, Riit’s highly anticipated debut album brings the listener on a deeply honest journey through her experience in Nunavut of intergenerational trauma, residential schools, sexual abuse, and isolation. But there is hope in her words as well, a hope possibly carried through her own career as an emerging young musician and the possibility of what lies ahead.

Too Attached – GratefulToo Attached is a project between Canadian writer, professor, model, and musician Vivek Shraya, and her wildly talented beatboxer/producer brother, Shamik Bilgi. The pair’s debut album, “Angry,” was critically acclaimed as one of Canada’s most radical, boundary-pushing and important albums, and was later nominated for the Polaris Prize. Like Shraya’s writing, the album is a boldly stark exposure of the hypocrisy behind many ‘inclusive’ spaces, and an honest perspective on what it would actually entail to create such places.

The Vaselines – Son Of A Gun
The Vaselines hail from a period in the music industry where women on stage were painfully sparse, even more so than today, and especially in the punk and grunge scenes. Known as Kurt Kobain’s favourite band (and singer Frances McKee as the namesake of his and Courtney Love’s daughter), The Vaselines were widely under-appreciated at the time of their initial emergence. Fast forward to 2019 and hear how the group has sustained an incredible and impactful career that has lasted more than three decades. They continue to be an inspiration for women in alternative, edgy music communities, and hold a special place in the heart of every grown up punk.

The Weather Station – Thirty
The video for “Thirty” depicts The Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman baring her deeply emotional lyrics before a nondescript and indifferent crowd of men. It proves to be a highly universal and relatable symbol for the experience of women everywhere, as well as a nod to the reality that women in music work ten times as hard to get half as far as men. But the lyrics also reveal a cyclical nature to our experience, and offer the possibility of hope for something new as the years pass.

Dorothea Paas – Container
Every time I hear Dorothea Paas sing I immediately think “voice of an angel,” and it’s not hard to see why. She represents the strength and incredible talent of the DIY music community in Toronto, and as such, the power of underrepresented voices who are slowly carving out space where they can. Dorothea’s songs speak of a vulnerability that is hard for most to admit, leaving the listener haunted by soft, arching melodies.

Fiver – Hair Of The Dead
Simone Schmidt (the storyteller behind Fiver) spent two years pouring over case files of people incarcerated at The Rockwood Asylum for the Criminally Insane between 1856-1881. “Audible Songs From Rockwood” is the result of their research; 11 songs that imagine fictional field recordings from that time. Schmidt is no stranger to this approach in their work, as they have been at the forefront of several of Canada’s best folk projects over the last two decades, and with each one they give voice to the silent and forgotten ones who live in the margins of society and are cast aside. This, to me, is the true spirit of folk music and a tradition that Schmidt carries well.

Playlist curator: Aerin Fogel, founder of Venus Fest. 
Did you enjoy this playlist? Consider making a small contribution so we can bring you more in the coming months! [direct-stripe value=”ds1554685140411″]

More LiisBeth Playlists!
LiisBeth playlists are also available on Spotify. Link to Aug 2019 playlist here:  at

Sample Newsletter Uncategorized



This year I ended up celebrating the winter solstice at Kensington Market in Toronto for the first time with new friends.  Paul, the initiator, described it to me as a sort of “mini-burning man”. It was an apt description. After a brief parade of giant puppets, pagan costumes and a few hundred urban revellers of all ages carrying homemade lanterns, the colourful, lit collective gathered with others in Alexandra Park, where a 20-foot high purpose-built sculpture was thereafter set on fire. The red embers floated up towards the sky while white snowflakes fell. There was drumming, dancing, and hot drinks.  The diverse crowd cheered while also stamping their feet and rubbing their mittened hands together for added warmth on this dark, minus 20 centigrade December night.

While watching the flame devour the papier-mâché and chicken wire animal god sculpture, I noticed the togetherness that the fire aroused in all of us. I was also struck by the fact that while the source of holiday light varies for different cultures and backgrounds—Christmas trees, menorahs, lanterns—there was a certain universality to how people practice the season; It almost always involves acts of generosity, goodwill, healing, and reconnection. Participating in the season in this way leaves you with a sense that renewal is not only possible-but on its way.

It was a welcome feeling that night.  And it still persists on this New Year’s Eve day.


Winter Solstice Playlist: Beginnings, Endings, and Bridges

LiisBeth is pleased to bring you this smoldering, contemplative and appropriately named new year playlist curated by Aerin Fogel, Toronto musician and founder of Venusfest, a Toronto-based feminist music festival.

The collection features some well-known artists like Bjork, as well as emerging artists like Lido Pimienta (below), a Columbian-Canadian musician and human rights advocate who won this year’s Polaris Music Prize for her album, La Papessa.

The Polaris Prize is based on artistic merit without regard to sales history or label affiliation. Winners are selected by  “a Grand Jury of 11 music media professionals drawn from the greater Polaris jury pool of almost 200 writers, editors, broadcasters, DJs and personalities from across the country.

You can listen to the playlist by clicking here.

It’s here!  The LiisBeth 2018 Feminist Entrepreneur Reading List!

After the entrepreneurial feminist forum in November, many attendees asked for a list of recommended readings to help them dig deeper into the concepts and topics introduced at the November 11 forum held in Toronto at the Ontario College of Art University.  We thought “Good idea!”  So here is the list which includes 20 books and five readings.

You can download it here.  Oh, and I think it goes without saying, don’t try to read them all at once!  S–p–a–c–e it out.

We hope it will give your feminist business practice what you need soar in 2018.

LiisBeth is Now on Patreon!

You may not realize this, but LiisBeth runs on passion diesel and volunteer time, plus the paid contributions of over 20 freelance contributors, editors, and visual artists.

Grants are hard to come by given what we do. (Feminist business practice is for some, still too niche or too scary to contemplate!). We are working on recruiting angel investors who are passionate about the cause. No luck yet. But we’re not giving up!

In the meantime, it’s really up to us, entrepreneurial feminists, to keep this conversation going and growing. 

This is our humble ask: If you have read, benefited from, shared, attended one of our events, heard us speak at a conference, or talked about LiisBeth’s work at least once, we would love to see you deepen your engagement with us by supporting this work not only with your attention and praise but with donations as well. 

We have lots of options. Our subscriptions range from $3 to $10 per month. Or, you can make a one time $5 or $100 donation. It’s up to you to determine what level of support works for your budget.

LiisBeth is open access regardless of how much you donate—and will remain so.

If cash is not an option, you can support us in other ways:

  • Share this newsletter with five friends and encourage them to sign up for our newsletter themselves.
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  • We are also interested in any in-kind hours of support in areas like social media production, volunteering at events, donated photos or artwork for articles, copyediting, and proofreading.
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To donate now, please click here or visit our Patreon site here. We are sincerely grateful for any and all types of support.

Are We Making A Difference?  Is Our Work Helping to Advance Gender Equity and Equality?

We have published over 129 articles and have hosted over 500 people at our various events, salons, and forum since we began in February 2016.

But are we having an impact?  Are we contributing to advancing gender justice through our work?

In December, LiisBeth decided to take stock, reflect and publish our findings.

You deserve to know if your contributions are helping us make a difference.

We need to know if we are using our resources in an optimal way given our mission.

Watch for the final report in early January.

In case you missed it!

  • Jan. 20: Innovation in Craft & Design
    A talk presented by Interior Designers of Canada.
    3:00PM–5:00PM, C536-43 Hanna Avenue, Toronto. Free. Register here.

  • April 10–11: Diversity Procurement Fair
    Presented by The Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC), Beanfield Centre, 105 Princes’ Blvd., Toronto

That brings us to the end of our last newsletter for 2017

Again, we hope you enjoyed it as well as our deeper reads at

Again, we could also really use your support. Please consider a donation, either as a lump sum ($5, $10, $100, anything will make a difference!) or monthly subscription between $3 to $10 dollars. Remember 100% of our dollars goes towards paying writers, editors, and creators a living wage rate for their work. You might even know a few of them!

The next newsletter is scheduled for mid-January.

Until then, we wish you a very happy, prosperous and generous new year.

Petra Kassun-Mutch
Founding Publisher, LiisBeth

Allied Arts & Media

Winter Solstice Playlist: Beginnings, Endings, and Bridges

Aerin Flogel, founder and producer of Venusfest, a feminist music festival in Toronto.
Each January, the start of a new calendar year is an opportunity to reflect on new beginnings (or endings) in our own lives. Sometimes we can use it as an opportunity to start something we’ve been waiting to start, create change, create stability, or shake things up if that’s what we need. Sometimes it’s a moment of letting go, of old patterns or relationships that might not serve us in the coming year. Ultimately the new year is a bridge, from one moment in time to another. Here are 10 songs that inspire me right now and honour something new, whether it is a beginning or an ending, and can bridge us into the new year.


Björk, “Utopia”

The notion of a utopia seems even more distant after 2017’s painful politics. But if there’s any artist creating work that still holds hope for humanity, it’s Björk. Her embrace of beauty through music and art has created a refuge for so many people. What might a utopia look like in 2018?


Ora Cogan, “Sea People”

Ora Cogan has been making spider web–like folk on the west coast for years, and has recently relocated to Montreal alongside the release of her new album. New beginnings from every angle are here for the new year!

Luna Li, “Opal Angel”

One of my favourite “new beginnings” is the wave of new art that emerges from the youth in a local scene. Luna Li are at the forefront of Toronto’s young music community and if their recent work is any indication, they will be around for some time.

A Tribe Called Red, “The Light II (feat. Lido Pimienta)”

One of the best collaborations of the year between Tribe and Lido, this video frames a beautiful song in an anti-colonial framework. “From the beginning for you,” Lido sings, “I’ll do it all again for you.” To me, this is a reminder for the year that even in the wake of a destructive culture we can keep starting again, keep finding a way to build something new.

TOKiMONSTA, “Don’t Call Me (feat. Yuna)”

A Yuna feature on a TOKi record is guaranteed to be a banger. This song also nods to the new year being as much of an ending of things that no longer serve us as it is a beginning for others.

Fever Ray, “Mustn’t Hurry”

Nearly 10 years since her first release as Fever Ray, Karin Dreijer returns with Plunge, an urgent and raw development in her ever-evolving sound. “Need some time but mustn’t hurry” will be my new year’s resolution, a reminder to take time to just be (even when that seems impossible) in a world that hurries through everything.

a l l i e, “Bad Habits (prod. Birthday Boy)”

a l l i e released her first LP, Nightshade, this past year and it’s been one of the best debuts I’ve heard in a long time. I hope 2018 continues to see a well-deserved rise in her career.

Maylee Todd, “Downtown”

This is a new song (and record) from a Toronto artist who has been solidly building her legacy for at least a decade, an artist who is still pushing the boundaries of her sound and craft amidst a long-standing career. That is truly something special.

Nezzy, “Spiraling”

I hope 2018 is the year of Nezzy and their candid honesty, graphic pop, and ’90s nostalgia riffs. Their lyrics seem to speak for an entire generation in need of a new emotional landscape.

Vivek Shraya, “I Take All The Blame (Tegan and Sara cover)”

The year of 2017 was the beginning of the Tegan and Sara Foundation, which will surely create a long-standing and powerful pillar of support for the LGBTQ community. They subsequently released The Con X: Covers, a cover record with an incredible lineup of musicians celebrating a decade since the original record’s release. Vivek Shraya sings my favourite track on Covers in her heartfelt cadence.

Activism & Action Allied Arts & Media

Honouring Labour Day: A Playlist That Pushes Boundaries

Aerin Fogel, founder of Venus Fest


Labour Day is upon us, and summer sure seems like a blur. To ease you into the fall and help you reflect on the labour movement’s important role in advancing women at work, LiisBeth is pleased to bring you this amazing playlist curated by Toronto musician and Venus Fest founder, Aerin Fogel.

Venus Fest is a one-day festival held at Artscape’s Daniels Spectrum building on September 30 with a lineup and staff composed entirely of women, genderqueer and trans people. Ticket prices are based on the honour system and range from $37 to $52. More than 40 musicians are involved.

“The festival has a lot to do with healing and creating spaces where we can come to celebrate and be joyful together,” says Fogel. “I don’t think it should be a novelty that women and non-binary people can come together to do that.”

In her 10 years in the music industry—her new band, Queen of Swords, will release an album on September 17—Fogel saw the need for greater diversity in Toronto’s music scene. “I noticed trans women, women of colour, and women in general had a hard time getting their work out,” she says, adding that connections are everything, and while the Internet has made it easier to get material out, it has also made it more challenging due to increased competition and noise.

Fogel says that as a feminist, her leadership style is open, collaborative, and not top down. The festival is entirely structured around the artists’ interests and fair pay for everyone. Strengthening this community, creating opportunity, and fostering connection is what it’s all about.

Weaves, “Shithole”

With the raw and honest power that singer Jasmyn Burke wields so well, “Shithole” shares the unraveling of an identity. The relatable struggle of adapting and discarding different personas makes this track a standout from Weaves’ debut record, and it places Burke at the forefront of indie front people.

U.S. Girls, “Damn That Valley”

Influenced by Sebastian Junger’s book War, “Damn That Valley” explores the anger and distress of a young widow whose husband died fighting for his country. As always, Meg Remy is able to locate the powerful emotions of an individual lost in the greater context of political and systemic restraint.


Phèdre, “In Decay”

Known for their intensely erratic and psychedelic pop, Phèdre brings us this vivid NSFW mixture of lovers in decay, in colour, in goop, and chains. Singer April Aliermo holds down an active role in countless Toronto community initiatives. With Daniel Lee, she brings a joyful and liberating live set.


Y La Bamba, “Libre”

On her fourth album Ojos Del Sol, Y La Bamba creator Luz Elena Mendoza returns to themes of searching, metamorphosis, shared humanity, and a faith that is greater than just religion. “I am thankful for all of my hardships. They have guided me to find rest in my soul time after time, over and over again,” Mendoza says. “Libre” is about universal love and about resting in freedom from chaos.


Lido Pimienta, “Agua”

Lido Pimienta has built a steady empire with her powerful words, poetry, and voice of strength and justice. “Agua” speaks about water as a basic right of all beings, and the hope and innocence that lies in our younger generations to carry a brighter torch into the future.


Madame Gandhi, “Her”

Known originally as the drummer for M.I.A. and the free-bleeding runner at the 2015 London Marathon, Madame Gandhi has quickly launched an explosive career with a mission to celebrate and elevate the female voice. “Her” is inspired by Margaret Atwood and was released while Hillary Clinton was still in the running to become the U.S. president. It’s an ode to female leadership.


Austra, “I Love You More Than You Love Yourself”

In this video, singer Katie Stelmanis takes on the complex story of Lisa Nowak, former NASA astronaut who experienced a psychological break and was charged for the resulting course of events. Austra’s third album, Future Politics, envisions how we might lean into a more utopian iteration of our world, while songs like this account for the distance we still stand from our utopia.

DIANA, “Born Again”

This is a line we need right now in our world: “Now’s the time for believing / Lay your hands on me I need healing / Born again tonight.” Front woman Carmen Elle has used her platform in DIANA to share her vulnerable struggle with anxiety and its relationship to her work as an artist. Time and again their songs let music be a moment of healing and a way to connect people through shared experience.


Emel Mathlouthi, “Ensen Dhaif”

After her music was banned in Tunisia when it spurned its own revolution during the Arab Spring, Emel Mathlouthi brought her magnificent force of healing and truth to New York for the release of the album Ensen. The video for “Ensen Dhaif” explores the revolution from varying states of oppression, be they circumstantial or internally imposed.


Ice Cream, “Material”

This standout from the debut album Love, Ice Cream show the molecular pop duo assembling supplies for a ladies’ weekend at a casino on the moon. Like the album, “Material” confronts the narrowness of a plastic culture while managing to embrace some of its edges.

Venus Fest is still looking for sponsorships. Contact Amy Saunders for more information.