5 Strong and Influential Women in Brampton

On International Women's Day, it's important to reflect on two things:

Firstly, how many women still need help and support worldwide to grow and thrive in their communities and secondly, how many incredible women have already made a lasting impact on the world around them.

Brampton, fortunately, is a great city for women. Some profoundly gifted and talented women have gone on to make their mark in music, film, politics and literature. Whether it's drawing the world into an uncomfortable conversation about biological truths, leading a complicated city, representing people or making waves in the music world, so many women in the city are making us proud every day.

Here are 5 strong women in Brampton.

Trey Anthony

Trey Anthony, the acclaimed comedian and playwright behind the popular television and theatrical production 'da Kink in my Hair, spent her high school years at Notre Dame Secondary School in Brampton and still visits the school regularly. She's been referred to as the Oprah of the Canadian theatre scene and volunteers with youth groups. She also founded The Trey [email protected] Centre in Toronto, a woman-focused, creative wellness facility, in 2009.

Kiran Rai

In a city as diverse as Brampton, varied representation is important. For that reason, Brampton is pretty excited to have helped shape the career of actress Kiran Rai, a woman who plays the titular character in her YouTube series Anarkali.

The series is centered on a young South Asian woman attempting to date in a world where she has to consider two different sets of cultural expectations.

We don’t get to see what it’s like to be dating on-screen in the diaspora,” Rai told CBC’s Our Toronto. “So I think for me, Anarkali is basically everyone I know, it’s their story. Everyone’s been Anarkali at one point in their life, and I think that’s why everyone relates to her.”

Beyond the YouTube series, Rai has worked to carve out an incredible niche for herself, generating a vast social media following (she boasts over 50,000 followers on Instagram) and producing a ton of popular—and funny—YouTube videos.

Linda Jeffrey

As you've probably gathered if you've been paying attention, the overall Region of Peel is encouragingly woman-friendly. Over half of all councillors who serve on Peel Regional Council are women—as are Peel's Commissioners of Corporate Services, Human Services, Health Services and more. Brampton council is also diverse when it comes to gender-representation and, as you surely know, the city has been governed by Mayor Linda Jeffrey—a former MPP who resigned from her post to run for mayor—since 2014.

While serving any city is a challenge, Brampton has always had a lot on its plate as one of the country's most rapidly growing communities. Now, the city has been tasked with ensuring it transitions smoothly from a sleepy bedroom community to a thriving big city—one complete with a brand new LRT and highly-anticipated university.

Agree or disagree with her policies, Jeffrey has often championed a bigger, better and bolder Brampton, and that kind of ambition shows great optimism and love for Canada's ninth largest city.

Alessia Cara

After generating intense love for her breakout single “Here” in 2015, the Brampton-based pop star took the world by storm. The song sampled some classic Isaac Hayes, and was a destined hit due to its catchy melodies and deep lyrics. Since then, she’s toured with big-name bands, performed on Saturday Night Live and earned a slew of prestigious Juno nominations.

After Here, she went from selling out shows at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall to opening for Coldplay over the summer and hitting Gold with her debut "Know-It-All."

Cara has since been recognized big time far beyond Brampton! Cara has won a Juno award, two MMVAs, and even an exciting Grammy award, which she scored this year.

Alessia Cara definitely makes her mark wherever she goes and we can't wait to see how her career progresses.

Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur, Brampton-raised poet and artist known for penning Milk and Honey and now the Sun and Her Flowers, has been drawing since the age of five and writing and performing since her teen years. The artist caused a considerable—but ultimately thought-provoking—stir when an Instagram photo of her sleeping with a menstrual bloodstain on her pajamas went viral in 2015.

It was an Instagram post made to dissect the way different forms of media embrace a piece of visual rhetoric. It should not have been a big deal. It should not have been a brave, nasty, or terrible thing to do. A school project should never have turned into a protest," Kaur wrote in a personal piece for Huffington Post in the wake of the photo's monumental spread.

The incident prompted discussions about feminism and biology, with Kaur openly asking women why they hide their tampons and whisper the word "period" while hurling sexist insults at one another openly.

Love or hate the photo, it did generate incredible discussion and solidify Kaur as an artist who is unafraid to broach tough topics.

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