faith nolan

Toronto’s most inspiring women of 2020: Faith Nolan

For our annual showcase of the city’s most inspirational women, we are highlighting the outstanding achievements and barrier-breaking accomplishments of Black women in Toronto.

The Activist

Faith Nolan is a folk and jazz singer-songwriter with a decades-long music career, as well as a social activist. Nolan proudly identifies as a lesbian woman and has given voice to feminist struggles. She has advocated for workers’ and children’s rights, and has raised awareness of the disproportionate number of Black and Indigenous women who are imprisoned in Canada. 

By Dalannah Gail-Bowen | MUSICIAN

If you sit quietly and listen to Faith Nolan sing, you will hear a kind and weathered voice. If you listen closer, you will hear the many miles travelled and the life experience that came with every step.

It’s not a voice of reconciling with what is and acceptance for less than. It is a voice that speaks to you in the best way with suggestive undercurrents of possibilities for what can be.

Faith has been rooted in the idea of possibilities for most of her career. The idea of possibilities is the idea that you can influence change in a situation or experience through making a statement, subtle influences or in your face action with protests. Her power is that she knows when to do what.

It does come with the understanding that this is going to be part of life for the duration…. You can’t care about the human condition some of the time and then just shut it off … at least Faith cannot.

Finding the ways and means to support everything, from women’s prisons, Black ideologies and equality to homelessness and being actively cognizant of the many inequalities in the world, is both a passion and a mission for Faith.

Her many self-mobilized initiatives are a testament. In thinking of music as a vehicle/tool for communication and change, we are most fortunate that Faith Nolan is one of our artistic leaders as “an ambassador for change.”

See our full list of Toronto’s most inspiring women of 2020 here. 

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO