Challenging Imposter Syndrome: a discussion about success, going viral and self-compassion

Watch the discussion below

This roundtable is produced with the support of the City of Toronto through Toronto Arts Council.

The invisible emotional labour of Indigenous and Black artists employed as curators, artistic creatives, and cultural producers, is very much at the heart of the arts sector’s work today in Decolonization, Reconciliation, Indigenous Sovereignty and Black Liberation.

This panel aims to address and discuss questions such as: How do we take care of ourselves while also supporting the communities we belong to? How do we express our boundaries and create space for self-compassion? How do we carry emotional labour through our bodies?

World-renowned artists Yolanda Bonnell, Samson Bonkeabantu Brown and Ravyn Wngz discuss their own experiences with moderator Olivia Shortt.

Le travail émotionnel invisible des artistes Autochtones et Noir.e.s employé.e.s comme commissaires, créateur.trice.s artistiques et culturel.le.s, est au coeur du travail des secteurs des arts aujourd’hui dans la décolonisation, la réconciliation, la souveraineté autochtone et la libération des Noir.e.s.

Ce panel vise à aborder et discuter de questions telles que : comment prenons-soin de nous tout en soutenant les communautés auxquelles nous appartenons ? Comment exprimons-nous nos limites et créons des espaces pour l’auto-compassion ? Comment transportons-nous le travail émotionnel à travers nos corps ?



(They/She: Anishinaabe, Nipissing First Nation) Olivia Shortt is a Tkarón:to-based multidisciplinary performing artist. They are multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, noisemaker, improviser, composer, sound designer, curator, and producer.

Many highlights for Olivia include their film debut playing saxophone & acting in Atom Egoyan’s film Guest of Honour which premiered at the Venice Film Festival; their Lincoln Center (NYC) debut with the international Contemporary Ensemble and recording and album two kilometres underground with their duo Stereoscope in the SnoLAB (a Neutrino Lab in Northern Ontario, Canada).


Yolanda Bonnell (She/Her) is a Queer 2 Spirit Ojibwe and South Asian mixed performer, playwright and poet from Fort William First Nation in Thunder Bay, ON. Now based in Tkarón:to, and a graduate of Humber College’s Theatre Performance program, Yolanda and Michif (Métis) artist Cole Alvis began manidoons collective; a circle of artists creating Indigenous performance. In February 2020, Yolanda’s recently four-time Dora nominated solo show bug was remounted at Theatre Passe Muraille. She has performed on stages in institutions such as the Stratford Festival, the NAC and the Cultch on the unceded Coast Salish territory. She was recently nominated for a Dora award for her performance in Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gállábábartnit.

Samson Bonkeabantu Brown is a sangoma, hoodoo, traditional healer and multidisciplinary artist with a primary focus on spiritual healing, ancestral veneration, trans advocacy and the arts. He uses the arts (acting, playwriting, stage and production managing) to create visibility for men of trans experience, educate the general public on trans issues, and to shed light on how ancestral veneration can assist with living in our purpose.

Ravyn Wngz is an African, Bermudian, Mohawk, 2Spirit, queer and transcendent individual. Ravyn works to change all hierarchical mainstream arts and dance spaces by centering disability justice and advocating for representations of marginalized LGBTTIQQ2S communities. Ravyn is a co-founder of ILL NANA/DiverseCity Dance Company- a queer multiracial dance company that provides affirming accessible dance education to all LGBTTIQQ2S communities. Ravyn is the Artistic Director of OVA- Outrageous Victorious Africans Collective a Dance/Theatre collective that share the contemporary voices of African/Black and Queer/Self Identified storytellers. Ravyn is committed to eradicating all forms of anti-Black racism, supporting Black healing and liberating Black communities through their work.