Toronto’s most inspirational women of 2019: Tanya Tagaq

Our annual look at Toronto’s record-breaking, change-making and all around amazing women

The musician

Throat singer Tanya Tagaq is an advocate for representation


I met Tanya Tagaq while waiting in line for the washroom on a plane heading for Iceland. She just sort of tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Hello, who are you?” I said, “I’m Jasmyn,” and then it was just like we were friends. That was in 2015.

We’ve been trying to work together for a couple of years. I feel like she’s a punk in a way. So it made sense to have her perform on our song “Scream.” She showed up and within 20 minutes she was in the booth throat singing, and I swear it was amazing. Her voice through the speakers, I felt like it was ripping my heart. It was this very weird sensation. It was really a magical day.

I just love that she’s so vocal about representation. Being women of colour is sometimes hard in Canada as we are not always at the forefront of conversations, not always seen on TV. I feel like she’s a person I can connect to and understands what it’s like to be an outsider. And I love that she’s a mother and a wife.

I have a lot of respect for her and the way she lives her life and expresses herself through multiple platforms. I think she’s really important for young women in our country to see because she’s not about being dainty and conforming to what people think she should be. And I think that’s inspiring to a lot of people in our country who maybe are fearful of stepping outside of their comfort zone.

Next on the list: Huda Idrees

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