The Women Founder alum series aim to highlight stories of women entrepreneurs and startups who were/are part of the Women in Leadership/Women Founder program at Parkdale Centre for Innovation. We hear from the founders on where they’re currently at with their business, some of the successes and challenges they’re facing, life, and everything in between.
In the summer of 2019, I participated in the Women in Leadership program at the Parkdale Centre for Innovation.
It was an amazing experience in terms of developing clarity and focus and helped me to fine-tune my offerings as an artist and entrepreneur. I received business acumen, insight, feedback and support from the Parkale Centre team and the other women in the program.
Create different opportunities for yourself
That fall, I flew off to a residency in Halifax at the University of Kings College to start a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Non-Fiction. I left with a revamped website, new business and a clear outline of my offerings as a writer. My work includes corporate communications, grant writing for creatives and creative non-fiction (magazines, articles, books, publications, essays, poetry, reviews etc.). I also incorporated giving talks, and ideas for including my spiritual leanings into writing workshops.
That winter, I was invited to give 3 readings in Toronto. By early 2020, I’d done my very first guest lecture at Ryerson University. I spoke in a course on the ethnomusicology of pop music about my experiences in the music industry.
2020 presented major challenges and opportunities. I wish to express my compassion for those who suffered deeply and continue to suffer the fallout of the COVID 19 scenario. My heart goes out in particular to mothers and their children.
On COVID19’s impact
I found living in lockdown very stressful and yet also a time of deep creativity. I created new works and found new outlets for them, including C.R.Y. Magazine. I was invited to collaborate with new organizations including the Draft Reading Series, where I will host a reading in late August.
Early next year I will be a featured writer and will also curate an evening of literary delights. I also had weekly online access to one of my favourite dance teachers. Irineu Nogueira who specializes in Afro-Brazilian dance, lives in Germany. Usually I would see him one every couple of years when he visited Toronto to teach. I also got really fit, as I walked my dog, Jazz, for hours every day, for months.
On the Black Lives Matter Movement
The Black Lives Matter movement has had a huge impact on me. Because of it, much of the community trauma and discussions that we have had in private, has become part of public discourse. I appreciate that others have shared their experiences on the physical and emotional impact of micro-aggressions, and seemingly innocuous ‘othering’ statements, compliments and behaviours. I also welcome the numerous articles, podcasts and protests that address the more overt expressions of anti-Black racism that occur in Canada and internationally.
Simultaneously, I felt a deep sense of dismay, as the limited mindsets of many who are a part of seemingly progressive social, cultural and academic environments, were revealed under duress.
The goal would be to assist in clearing ancestral patterns and transforming ourselves to create sustainable and joyful livesGloria Blizzard
In addition to continued work on my upcoming book of essays, I look forward to doing more public readings (both on-line and in-person one day). I also look forward to new opportunities to collaborate with others. One of my ideas is to develop a workshop that will combine my interests in energetic work and creative writing. The goal would be to assist in clearing ancestral patterns and transforming ourselves to create sustainable and joyful lives.
What can you do to support Gloria’s work?
Sign up for Gloria’s e-newsletter, to keep track of new writings, public readings, recordings, blog posts and workshops.
Contact Gloria (in late August) if you’d like to collaborate on any her established services or new projects and ideas: email@example.com
Gloria Blizzard is a communications specialist, grant and non-fiction writer, songwriter and a poet. You can reach her via email to collaborate and learn more about her work.