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WILDSEED
Staff

Jessica Kirk

Jessica Kirk  (She/Her)

Executive Director

Jessica Kirk is a community organizer and cultural curator based in Toronto, whose creative practice is rooted in racial justice and community care. Jessica is the Executive Director at Wildseed Centre for Art & Activism, an artist-run centre that serves as fertile ground for Black creativity and organizing in the city. During her previous time at the Writers’ Union of Canada, she initiated BIPOC Writers Connect, a literary mentorship program for emerging Black, Indigenous and racialized writers. She is also co-founder of multidisciplinary collective Way Past Kennedy Road. Jess is a recent MA thesis graduate in Social Justice Education from the University of Toronto (OISE). Her writing has appeared in The Canadian Geographer, Cartographies of Blackness and Black Indigeneities, and This Magazine.
Photo Credit: Angelyn Francis.

Imani Busby

Imani Busby  (She/Her)

Communications Coordinator

Imani Busby is an ambitious and multifaceted curator, visual artist, and entrepreneur. She is passionate about arts equity and aims to explore the ways in which the industry can be sustainable for Black artists and creatives.

She aims to use her curatorial and entrepreneurial skills to create engaging, interactive, and community-filled spaces that amplify emerging and mid-career artists. Through the creation of public art, exhibition pop-ups, and print publications, Imani aims to increase access to the arts for all communities. Additionally, through workshops and accessible resources, she aims to provide artists with business, legal, and professional development opportunities.

With roots in creativity and entrepreneurship, Imani is passionate about the art and fashion industries, representation, and community building.
Photo Credits: Vonny Lorde

Rochelle Ellar  (They/She)

Coordinator of Artistic Programming

Rochelle Ellar is a multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary artist & administrator. Canadian-Caribbean/West Indian Black, femme-nonbinary, Queer, and neurodivergent. Their artistic practice is primarily within the theatre, performance and literary arts. Whose practice includes creation, curation, facilitation, education, disability/mental health, and community advocacy. Their professional artistic practice significantly involves magical realism in the pursuit of restoration and radicalization of untold and underrepresented stories/perspectives. Rochelle actively and consciously comes from a trauma-informed, disability, and social justice framework, pursuing decolonizing and anti-oppressive practices through regular self-assessment and analysis of Western media and (pop )culture.

Venessa Harris

Venessa Harris  (She/Her)

Administrative Associate

Venessa Harris is a writer, creative, and arts management professional living and working in Toronto. Venessa has been involved with various membership-based arts organizations, in which she’s worked to uplift voices of marginalized artists, authors, illustrators, performers, filmmakers, and content creators. She has been working in the not-for-profit and charitable sector for over a decade, including positions at the Canadian Association of Community Health Centres, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario, among others. She is the producer of the Canadian Screen Award winning short film PICK (dir. Alicia K. Harris), which follows a young girl who wears her afro to school on picture day and must deal with the unexpected consequences.

headshot of Shorna James

Shorna James  (She/Her)

Operations and Finance Director

Shorna James has worked in the Charitable Non-Profit Sector in a Financial Management role since 2004. Shorna earned a diploma in Accountancy – Business studies from Humber College in 1996 and has pursued studies through the Chartered Professional Accountants – Toronto and through York University Bachelor degree program over the years.

She has worked in the Gender-based Violence, Mental Health, Addiction and Religious sectors, and with a Foundation that deals specifically with supporting Indigenous communities on Turtle Island by addressing environmental issues.

Danielle Gilmore

Danielle Gilmore  (She/Her)

Operations Manager

Danielle Gilmore is a Wellness Activist, Educator and Mindfulness Practitioner who believes in the healing powers of collective care. Her commitment to promoting wellness in communities who are oftentimes overlooked has allowed her to travel across the US and Canada presenting workshops on empathetic leadership, developing mindfulness practices and promoting holistic wellness.