Indigenous Fashion Arts (IFA) is thrilled to announce the hiring of Lesley Beardy in the Program Coordinator role. Lesley is an administrator, community worker, and artist who brings a great deal of experience, commitment and knowledge from her work and connections with Indigenous communities and the arts. She is Anishinaabe from Skownan First Nation and Inninew from the Missipawistic Cree Nation and lives in Winnipeg. In 2022, Lesley was the curator of the Manitoba Spotlight in the IFA marketplace before joining the IFA team as Program Coordinator.
The Program Coordinator is an integral member of the IFA team in a position of trust and integrity. In this role, Lesley is responsible for managing communications between artists, designers and IFA, implementing administrative procedures and policies for IFA programming and supporting event production. Lesley’s experience in the arts, academia and social services suits her to carry out this work.
“I would first like to acknowledge my ancestors, as well as all the Indigenous designers, artists, and curators that have paved the way for us today. We are currently in a resurgence; We are empowered, healing, and utilizing our inherent talent and skills to keep our culture and traditions alive. It is an honor to be in this role, working with Indigenous designers and artists and supporting them in their beautiful craft, while bringing it to the mainstream fashion world. It is a powerful time to be Indigenous.”
Lesley BeardyProgram Coordinator
Lesley holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Winnipeg, where she later was a Research Assistant. She has also worked with the GLAM Collective, Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc., and Southeast Resource Development Council Corporation. Lesley has also received training in leadership, traditional practices and social services from various institutions and mentorships. Passionately, Lesley is a Southeast Prevention Unit worker for Indigenous families and an Action Therapist for Indigenous youth experiencing challenges. She is committed to conducting research with young and emerging Indigenous artists to support them further. She is also a published photographer. As a volunteer, Lesley sits on the board of directors for an Indigenous youth organization in the North-end of Winnipeg and has been a juror for Flash Forward.
“Lesley’s commitment to fashion, the arts and the wellbeing of Indigenous people will be holistically impactful for the success of IFA programming and the artists we work with. We are grateful to have Lesley join the team, and I am optimistic about our work together as IFA continues to grow.”
– Sage Paul, Executive & Artistic Director
Lesley started as Program Coordinator on August 29, 2022, and successfully coordinated IFA’s fashion installation Ho’reh Ti Ye Kuh at Nuit Blanche Toronto on October 2. She joined a team of one full-time staff, several long-term contractors, a board of directors and many artists. The upcoming projects Lesley will coordinate include the IFA Trade Program, which goes to White Milano in February 2023 and the IFA Festival Call for Applications in January 2023.