Stitching Diaries

Program Overview

Stitching Diaries is a community-engaged textile art program for self-identified women, non-binary, and two spirit ages 16+ in Toronto’s Don Valley Village and Fairview neighbourhoods.

Using journaling as a central theme, participants will create stitched journals and a written piece to tell their personal stories while exploring textile and stitching techniques with Toronto-based textile artist, Cecília Garcia. Participants will also learn about creative writing and Indigenous Teachings with guest artists Tasneem Dairywala and Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone. Final artworks will be exhibited at the Toronto Public Library, Fairview branch in September 2022.

This program is for Toronto residents only and priority will be given to IBPOC women, non-binary, or two spririt living in or around Don Valley Village and Fairview.

If you are selected for the program you will receive a materials fee of $50 and a $50 honorarium for exhibiting your artwork.

Session Dates

This program will be delivered as 7 online sessions, in addition to 2 in-person stitching circles and a final exhibition at the Toronto Public Library, Fairview branch. 

Online Sessions | Saturdays 10:30am-12:30pm EDT

May 7, 2022 – Introduction 

May 14, 2022 – Indigenous Teachings with Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone

May 21, 2022 – No session due to Victoria Day 

May 28, 2022 – Creative writing and journaling with Tasneem Dairywala

June 4, 2022 – Textile art and stitches (part I)

June 11, 2022 – Textile art and stitches (part II)

June 18, 2022 – Create a written piece and bio with Tasneem Dairywala

June 25, 2022 – Creating together for the exhibition

July-August – Participants work independently on exhibition pieces

In-person Sessions

September 2022 (Date TBD) – Stitching Circle

September 2022 (Date TBD) – Stitching Circle

September 2022 (Date TBD) – Exhibition

Artist Facilitators

Cecília Garcia, Lead Artist | Cecília Garcia is the creator and lead artist of the Stitching Diaries program. She is an arts manager, community organizer, and emerging textile artist based in Toronto. Originally from Brazil, Cecília holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film studies and has built a diverse portfolio working in the arts sector. Currently, Cecília is the Program and Volunteer Manager at North York Arts, sits on the Board of Directors of CONOSER, and contributes as a grant writer and facilitator to Art Ignite. Her artistic practice has included film, media, community arts, and textile arts. Throughout her career, Cecília has had the immense privilege of being a part of organizations and projects that have helped build communities through the arts.

Tasneem Dairywala, Guest Artist |  Tasneem Dairywala is an award-winning visual artist, the Executive Director of Art Ignite, and a graduate of OCAD University’s 2015 Drawing and Painting program. Outside of her personal art practice, Tasneem works as an Arts Educator to bring inclusive visual arts programs to the Flemingdon Park neighbourhood. Her work stems from the belief that art has the power to overcome boundaries that divide us. That is why she finds it so important to use her knowledge as an artist to connect and empower people.

Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone, Guest Artist | Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone is a singer, songwriter, storyteller, dancer, actor, artist, and activist of a strong two-spirit Anishnaabe Kwe of mixed Ancestry; Ojibwe Métis with French and Scottish heritage. She is a hand drummer and hand drum maker and has shared her joy for drumming with the community in circles all over the country. During her tour of western Canada visiting many remote reserve communities and sharing her passion for storytelling, Aqua began writing her own stories and turned them into songs with the help of her hand drum. She then self-produced and released her EP Spirit Music. Soon she was signed to Tribal Spirit Music where she co-produced her album Hand Drum Stories. Aqua continues to work in her community in Tkaronto~Toronto. She leads hand drum circles for children, youth, and women in all parts of the city, sharing her healing medicine music with schools, community centres, shelters, harm-reduction programs, libraries, corporations and nonprofit organizations.

Application Deadline: April 24, 2022 at 11:55pm EDT

Interested applicants may apply by submitting this online form by the application deadline:

Selected participants will be notified of their acceptance into the program after the application deadline has passed and prior to the start of the program. Further details about participating in online sessions will be provided to successful applicants. For more information, please email

This project was supported through Toronto Arts Council Strategic Funding #poweredbyTAC

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