Winnipeg 'Instagram-land' backs up BIPOC makers, inspiring free online workshops

CBC Manitoba is turning over its live streams for Aug. 21 and 28 on Facebook and Instagram to get to know local BIPOC artists Poppy Joy Pompoms and Monias Beads. Find out what brings these makers joy and learn how to make your own custom craft.

Grab your supplies, cozy up to a computer and find out what brings these makers joy

Get to know local BIPOC makers @PoppyJoyPompoms and @MoniasBeads with a free maker workshop on CBC Manitoba's Facebook and Instagram live streams on Aug. 21 and Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. CT. (/CBC)

"To me personally, it was an acknowledgement in my privilege," said Miriam Delos Santos, the entrepreneur and maker behind the Winnipeg label Hello Darling. 

In June, the artist turned over the reins of her popular Instagram account to lift up the talents of local Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) artists and makers in Manitoba.

"I'm really lucky to be a part of this powerful group chat with makers and artists who are my friends and peers," said Delos Santos, who emphasized that the idea really was a community effort.

In March, the Hello Darling maker was awarded the new artisan scholarship — recognizing makers practising their art for less than five years — by OOAK, the One of a Kind Show in Toronto, which is one of the biggest markets in Canada. 

"We were kind of seeing all the movement on Instagram and so we questioned ourselves. We were like, what are we missing? What can we do to highlight our friends? And you know, support them?"

Meanwhile, in another part of the country and also in June, Toronto-born designer Aurora James challenged Canadian brands and designers to take what she calls the 15 Per Cent Pledge — asking retailers to do a better job of supporting brands owned by Black, Indigenous and other people of colour.

Specifically, the stores and online marketplaces are asked to turn over shelf space to better reflect the 22.3 per cent of Canada's population that identifies as a visible minority, including 3.5 per cent that are Black and four per cent that are Indigenous. 

Miriam Delos Santos is Filipina. In Winnipeg, the Filipino community makes up nearly 40 per cent of the visible minority population. 

"I'm in Instagram-land, you know, we post for business, but really you have an opportunity to use your voice and your platform for awareness, for education, for things that you feel a passion about," said Delos Santos. 

"We wanted to support and just show our respect by how we backed up our maker family and community, specifically the Black and Indigenous makers."

And it's on that inspiring note that CBC Manitoba is turning over our Instagram and Facebook live streams to launch the "Begin Anywhere" series with local BIPOC makers.

Stay in and start crafting

Discover what brings these local BIPOC makers joy. Learn from their experiences as they guide you to make one-of-a-kind pieces.

Each personal craft tutorial takes place by live stream on CBC Manitoba's Instagram and Facebook channels. You can ask questions of the makers in real time.

Share your completed creations with us on social media by tagging @cbcmanitoba.

@MoniasBeads with Catriona Dooley

Make a beaded feather pendant with options to turn the pendant into a key chain or earrings

Below is a list of supplies that you will need:

  • Paper with printed or drawn out design, cut to size or ready to trace.
  • Bonded nylon thread (About 3 ft, but spool is good to have).
  • Beading Needles, size 10 (sewing may work but not as suitable).
  • Seed Beads; size 10, in at least three different colours (or other size/style if desired).
  • Small pliers, for edging & jump ring.
  • Two 8-10mm jump rings.
  • Fabric Stabilizer to bead on; or suitable dense fabric, such as thick felt, melton wool, thin denim, etc.
  • Backing material such as animal hide, leather, faux leather, felt, etc.
  • Tacky glue (or light glue), to mounting materials & design to fabric.
  • Scissors.
  • Pen or pencil.
  • Thimble (optional).
  • Key ring (optional).
  • Chain (optional).
  • Two earring hooks are also optional if you decide to do this pattern twice for earrings (optional).

Download printable instructions here.

Cultural appropriation of Indigenous art: A note about why it's important

"I know that there are some people who may be acquainted with cultural appropriation sensitivities and others that are not familiar at all," said Catriona Dooley, who is a part of the sister collective Monias Beads.

She explains, "Credit the artist where [participants] learned or were inspired and then invent in your own style if the artist is aware and allows the use of techniques they have taught."

Monias Beads is named after Dooley's late kookim (grandmother), who first taught the techniques to her daughters. 

"The feather design is gifted for use and will include a diamond design, too," said Dooley.

"Creating spaces and supporting Indigenous artists is important, which can come from non-Indigenous people, too, and be done in respectful ways."

About Catriona Dooley, Monias Beads 

Being Anishininew (Oji-Cree), my experiences of observing certain pieces, patterns and techniques are that they can tie into a beadworker's personal identity, family and surroundings. This is why I bead in a collective as "Monias Beads" with my sister Niamh Dooley, as that is our mother's maiden name. While I beaded and did other art as a teen, it was not until I was an adult that I made more beaded pieces, such as regalia for my sons, my wedding, Bar Calls and for solemn times for funerals. There are contemporary styles now emerging and can bring honour to the craft in new ways, something my sister, Niamh, has done with her use of beadwork on canvas in family patterns.

@PoppyJoyPompoms with Dionne Friesen

Make a double pompom door hanger. Below is a list of supplies that you will need.

  • Pompom maker. Dionne will be using the 'Loome' tool, which is available at Wolseley Wool, but there are various types of pompom makers that can be found at Michaels or Walmart.
  • 2-3 different colours of yarn. One should be a thinner yarn.
  • Good scissors.
  • Yarn needle.

About Dionne Friesen, Poppy Joy Pompoms

A graduate from the University of Manitoba's School of Fine Arts, Dionne started Poppy Joy Pompoms to funnel her creative energy while working in the insurance industry. She hand makes pompom accessories and decor that add a touch of whimsy to your life. Her products range from key chains that can clip your bag or keys to garlands to decorate your home or parties for years to come.

About Community Engagement at CBC Manitoba

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For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

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