Read about who the Friends are, and why they support Inspirations Studio.

The twenty-five year story of Inspirations Studio’s creators and potters is a story of hope and possibility. Please join us in building a solid foundation for the next twenty-five years.
— Ann Ball, Community member
I support Inspirations Studio because I understand what a profound impact it has on people. Inspirations ignites passion, purpose and pride in the people who participate; the ingredients we all need to make progress in our lives. The members gain an income, a place in the community and an avenue for expression. The combined impact on the members is fundamental and transformational. This is how lasting change happens.
— Brandur Olafsson, Vice President, Finance & Business Operations at Special Olympics Canada
I love the arts, including crafts, and that I know that this program has literally saved some women’s lives, and they make some truly beautiful work.
— Celia Harte, Friend of Inspirations
I’ve never come across a program quite like Inspirations Studio before. I believe cities should take care of the vulnerable or marginalised people who live in them, beyond providing shelter and food. Everyone should have access to creativity, purpose, and joy, and all can be found at Inspirations Studio.
— Emily Parr, Artist & volunteer
I’m proud to have recently become a member of the Friends of Inspirations Studio. The work of social enterprises such as Inspirations Studio is critical to ensuring women impacted by poverty, trauma and homelessness have a safe place to express themselves and an opportunity to make a living by selling their work. The organization is helping to build a community of exceptional entrepreneurial women artists.
— Isabella Tatar, Community supporter
I support Inspirations because their pottery is beautiful and it is helping the women who make the pottery to help themselves. Inspirations is a business whose purpose is about much more than making money.
— Jack Quarter, Professor, OISE, University of Toronto
The Studio is important to me as I want to give back by serving vulnerable peoples in the capacity of how they ‘show-up’, as I have made lifelong commitment of supporting the arts and the opportunities of learning art for everyone.
— Maria Garcia, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Coordinator, Schizophrenia Society of Ontario
I support Inspirations Studio because it provides a service that the women who make art there tell me they need: The studio is a space where women can find structure and stability as well as a supportive artistic community and a little supplemental income to boot. As social funding increasingly gets redirected towards emergency care, there are fewer and fewer of these sorts of programs which help women move beyond crisis and transition to a more rewarding life. Why can’t we have nice things like this anymore?
— Marnie Bjornson, Community supporter
We have enormous appreciation and respect for Inspirations Studio. Not only do they make incredibly beautiful and soulful pottery—they make the city healthier, happier and stronger.
— Mazyar Mortazavi, President & CEO, TAS
Inspirations Studio is a testament to the power of making. I have seen how the place and its practice have transformed lives. Besides the incalculable benefits to the members, by sharing these lively ceramics with the public, the Studio bridges worlds and fosters community building. This feels especially salient at a time when social and economic barriers seem to be on the rise. Toronto and the world would be much poorer without Inspirations Studio.
— Mia Hunt, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto
I’ve loved observing the progression of Inspirations Studio as a long-time advisory member. Each year the women produce even more beautiful work. It makes me so happy that the program supports women to change their social situation through a creative endeavour.
— Monique V. Chan, Jewellery designer
I support Inspirations Studio as it helps impoverished women earn revenue through their own creative and entrepreneurial spirit.
— Natalie Wood, Artist, Co-ordinator of the Social Innovation Hub, & Professor in the SSW Program at GBC
While living in the neighbourhood I met some of the women and today I am proud to be one of the Friends of Inspiration Studio. Innovative right from the start, it remains a vital programme which is definitely worth supporting.
— Rahna Moreau, Artist
Inspirations Studio is a haven for a wonderful group of women who come together in support and sharing. It is the essence of what a community should be and needs. A place one always feels welcome.
— Sandra Tarantino, Arts Professional
Although first responding to crisis and homelessness in our city with beds and emergency services is crucial - the spirit cannot heal without learning creative skills. Making art helps people cope, it offers a new language to express themselves, it is a path to purpose and self-esteem. A society without art is a society without imagination or meaning. As labour activist Rose Schneiderman so famously said: ”The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.”
— Shary Boyle, Artist and volunteer
Clay as an art form is such an accessible medium. I have seen people from beginner students, to established artists create wonderful pieces or art.  Without setting out to do, the very nature of clay is therapeutic.  It is so important to support a place like Inspiration Studio as it gives an outlet for women to be creative and escape from day to day worries and stresses of life.
— Siobhan Boyd, Senior Manager of Education and Programs/ Adjunct Curator, Gardiner Museum
I have worked to support the ceramics community for 25 years. When you are a maker, in a broad sense, the process you use to create helps you to work through challenges. Seeing your work finished is encouraging and gives a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Exhibiting and selling your work begins a dialogue with the community. I work with Inspirations Studio because it provides members with opportunity to experience joy in creating, raising self-worth, and allows a level of connection to community life.
— Susan Card, Ceramic artist (
Inspirations studio is a place like none other, where marginalized women can create art and change their lives. As an advisory member, I’ve seen the positive impact a studio like this has in participant’s lives – in everyone’s lives, each time we use one of their beautiful pieces.
— Yasmin Louis, Silkscreen artist