The movement to empower women and to celebrate their achievements is growing. Peterborough photographer Heather Doughty launched Inspire: The Women’s Portrait Project in early 2018. Her goal is to recognize women in communities across Canada with a professional photo and a brief 300-word story or statement written by the woman being featured.
“INSPIRE is a photographic celebration of the amazing women in Canadian communities who empower, inspire, uplift and support those around them. It is a completely organic, community-driven selection of diverse women all across Canada,” the website explains. The women featured in Inspire have all been nominated for the honour by members of their communities.
The project launched in Heather’s home town of Peterborough and currently features 75 local women of all ages and backgrounds. “I have a vision,” she says. “I want to visit amazing communities all across Canada, meeting the inspirational women that call these places home, hear their stories and celebrate them in the Inspire project.”
The nomination of local photographer and community ambassador Montse Alvarado led to a collaboration between Inspire and Forte to spearhead the nomination process in Trent Hills. A number of deserving women have been nominated in the first round, 15 so far, and photo shoots are being booked for March. There will be another round of nominations before Inspire moves on to its next destination, Cobourg, in the spring. Forte has been instrumental in this as well, by connecting Heather with Thelma Dillon, founder of the Northumberland Multicultural Dance Troupe, to expand the project throughout the county.
Heather is backed by a team of three, including certified makeup artist Selena K. Wilson and freelance writer Paula Cassidy, who pens “Kitchen Table Talks”, blogs intended to uplift and inspire.
“The project began as a very simple idea,” she says. “Over the course of a year, I wanted to create a series of portraits of some of the remarkable women in this community and perhaps celebrate these women with an end of project gala that could be a charity fund-raiser. I am completely floored by the reception to the Inspire Project; the nominees have embraced this little idea with so much enthusiasm and support that my little idea has grown into a wonderful celebration of women who deserve this wonderful recognition.”
Our inspiring Trent Hills women are honoured to support this project and be a part of it!
Inspire: The Women's Portrait Project
Inspire on Facebook
Forte story, Montse Alvarado
Forte story, Thelma Dillon