Emily Bridle is a Toronto-based singer/songwriter, performer, yoga teacher, and forever-student. This October, her organization, SheWork, will continue the Our Bodies Our Work series, which combines music, art, and community outreach. Funds raised will go to support Sistering, a multi-service agency for at-risk, socially isolated women in Toronto who are homeless or precariously housed.
We asked her about the project this week.
SDTC: Why did you want to throw this event?
EB: I’ve always been big on promoting female musicians. Ever since I began booking my own shows, I’ve chosen to put together female-fronted lineups. From my own experience in the industry, I know how intimidating the music scene can be (and significantly male-saturated!), so I wanted to create events that bring female artists together, putting them at the forefront and creating a platform for them to be seen and heard. Then I began to think how a show like that had the possibility of being something bigger, something that supports women beyond the music community. As the idea of doing a charity event for a women’s shelter was blossoming, I booked The Painted Lady for the first time (a venue run entirely by women). It seemed like the perfect opportunity, and everything from then on seemed to fall into place.
Why do you want to support Sistering?
Being a vulnerable and self-expressed female artist is hard enough in a male-dominated industry. It takes courage. I can’t even begin to imagine the courage needed just to live day to day as a woman who is homeless and/or suffering from addiction or mental illness. And Sistering is there, on the ground, by their side, helping as many women as they can. They deserve all the support we can give them for the work they do. Also, they are my community! I bike by their 24-hour drop-in all the time, so when I decided to do this event, they immediately came to mind. I think now, more than ever, we need to look to our immediate communities for meaningful connections and ways of living that will sustain us into the future. With the Our Bodies Our Work series and my company, SheWork, I’m trying to do just that. Sistering is an integral part of my community and I feel shares these values.
How did you select the artists involved?
It’s an ever-evolving process! It started with just asking friends initially, then inviting other artists I knew of from the Independent Music Program I took at Seneca. From there I began expanding my network, asking for suggestions from friends of friends, and eventually reaching out to completely new and intriguing artists I saw on social media or at live gigs. I always look for either a performance quality the moves me in some way, or people who I find that are active in cultivating similar goals and values through their music and platform as an artist.
What should we expect at this event?
We’re on the third instalment of OBOW, and each time I try to incorporate some new and exciting things! On top of a diverse lineup of leading ladies (which this coming month will be Bex and the Disappointment, Mya Gomez, The Honeycomb Flyers, and myself, EmilyB), there will be an artist stationed in the crowd, doing live painting throughout the night, which will then be auctioned off for the cause. There will be an artisan booth selling her wares, with pieces being contributed to a raffle! There will also be a surprise feature performer! (last event’s was burlesque) We are also fortunate to have a representative of Sistering coming to share first-hand about what they do.
Anything else you want us to know?
I would love to give a shout out to The Painted Lady for hosting this event. The first one in June had the rough luck of falling on the same night as the final Raps game…so even though the competition was tough, they really wanted to support the idea and see it grow, We are now on show 3, with more to come, and have since raised over $1000 for Sistering. So, thank you, Painted Lady, and all who have contributed!
Our Bodies Our Work III happens on Thursday, October 10 at The Painted Lady (218 Ossington Ave). Tickets are $15, available at the door. Doors 7:30 p.m. Get info here.