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 

Tickets are selling fast!


The Shoe Project will be giving performances in Calgary on Saturday January 26 and Sunday January 27, as part of the High Performance Rodeo Festival. To learn more and to get tickets, go to

Save the Date!


The Shoe Project returns this spring at The George Ignatieff Theatre
on the campus of University of Toronto.

Mark your calendar. The Shoe Project’s next Toronto performance happens Sunday, March 31 & April 2, 2019 at the George Ignatieff Theatre on the campus of University of Toronto

Shoes accompany us on all our journeys. Experience the art of personal memoir and help empower female immigrants as they recount their amazing stories of journey and arrival to Canada.

The Shoe Project acknowledges the Toronto Arts Council for their generous support.

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 from Colombia, 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.

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 Umut Duygu Uzunel.

Q: What does Canada mean to you in three words?
A: Safety, serenity and tolerance.  

Learn more about our featured member and read her story.