Shoes and Transforming Lives

Veteran to Newcomer, Page to Stage

How?  We empower women by teaching advanced English writing skills. We follow it with voice training and experience in public performance. 

What?  The Shoe Project holds writing workshops, exhibits and performances in which immigrant women tell their stories of arrival in, and adaptation to, a Canadian community through the lens of a pair of shoes.
Who?  Senior Canadian novelists and theatre artists share their skills with newcomers.
Why shoes?  Shoes cross cultures and are rich with stories.

News and Events

Our Shoes, Our Streets


The Shoe Project’s first visit to North York was met with excitement and gratitude. Our stories of arrival and adaption were especially meaningful to a resilient  community still processing the pain of the tragic van attack this past spring. In partnership with PEN Canada, audiences not only enjoyed hearing stories fromColombia, Nepal, Nigeria, Syria, Turkey, South Ossetia, China, Iran, and Sri Lanka but also a post-performance discussion about the power of the personal narrative moderated by the host of CBC’s IDEAS, Paul Kennedy.

More images from Our Shoes, Our Streets

The Shoe Project returns to Toronto next spring at the George Ignatieff Theatre. Interested in being a part of our next show? If so, make sure to drop us a line. Workshops begin soon.  

Photo credits: Alia Youssef

These performances have been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

Breaking Ground

On September 25, 2018, four immigrant women from the Vancouver chapter of The Shoe Project told their stories of arrival and adaptation—through a pair of shoes. The evening’s stories come from Eritrea, Tibet, Syria and Iraq. View some pictures from the highly successful event.

We have an Executive Director!
Lilie Zendel has spent over three decades translating vision into action in the arts. Prior to joining The Shoe Project, she worked at the City of Toronto, where she launched StreetARToronto (StART). Katherine will stay on as Artistic Director. Learn more about Lilie.

The second Shoe Project newsletter is now available.

Meet our Members

We are pleased to introduce Kiden Jonathan.

Q: What does Canada mean to you in three words??
Peace, tolerance and protection. 

Learn more about our featured member and read her story.