FROM 8:00 P.M. TO 10:30 P.M. EST


Toronto, ON – June 25, 2021 – On Sunday July 18, FabCollab will present the third edition of its hit livestream festival, Women in Song. Only this time – and for the first time – it will be streamed to the world from a spectacular outdoor venue. The festival is presented in partnership with the Musicians’ Performance Trust Fund, the City of Toronto, Guild Festival Theatre, streaming partners Lula Lounge, Small World Music and the National Arts Centre, and with support from Canadian Heritage and the City of Toronto Arts and Culture SPARK Project. This will be the first Women in Song event held outdoors, under the stars, and among the breathtaking sculptural ruins of Guild Park in Scarborough, Ontario.

Hosted by Afro-Indigenous, 2Spirit, queer activist Nenookaasi OgichidaaWomen in Song: Summer Thunder features five of Toronto’s top global music performers: 2021 Juno-winners OKAN (Afro-Cuban roots and jazz), Meesha Shafi (NeoSufi/Folk), Aline Morales (Afro-Brazilian percussion and song), Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone (IndigiBlues), and salsa dancer Dailyn Martinez of Shum de Salsa. The performers will be backed by some of the city’s most sought-after musicians and will take the stage in four 20-minute live-stream sets throughout the evening, all completely free-of-charge and peppered with surprise performances. While the event is free, donations will be accepted through the FabCollab website, and 50% of all proceeds will go to Water First, an organization working to resolve water challenges in Indigenous communities.
The entire event will be live streamed only once and will never be rebroadcast. Viewers must tune in live from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. EST at either fabcollab.ca, FabCollab on Facebook, and on the Facebook pages of MPTFSmall World MusicLula Lounge, or the National Arts Centre to catch these incredible performances live. For a recap of the 2020 festival, watch the performances here, and learn more about the artists below.
“After a long winter, summer is finally here and what better way to celebrate our return to the great outdoors than with a thrilling set of performances from five of Toronto's most powerful women-identifying performers,” says FabCollab Executive Director Tamar Ilana. “One of the best things about summer is attending outdoor music festivals, so last year was a really tough one. We’re elated to be among the very first outdoor festivals to return to Toronto post-Covid, and to be able to present these outstanding artists under the stars and against the fabulous outdoor backdrop of Scarborough’s Guild Park.”
All of the artists will be accompanied by the world musical ensemble, Ventanas. The award-winning Toronto-based world music ensemble recently released their third album, MISTRÄ€L, and features the city’s finest world musicians. Sunday’s event will be the second of four Women in Song live streamed festivals that FabCollab will present this year.
Women in Song: Summer Thunder is presented by FabCollab, a new Toronto-based music and arts platform. Founded by five of Toronto’s key performing artists and arts advocates, FabCollab fosters artistic creation and collaboration with a focus on amplifying minority and underrepresented voices at a time when unprecedented circumstances have kept us physically apart. In addition to Women in Song, FabCollab also produces a weekly IGTV interview series called Curtain Call featuring conversations with powerful women in the arts, a monthly live interactive electronic-acoustic series on Bramble called Girls with Gear, and regularly hosts and supports community events and performances.
Sunday, July 18– 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. EST
Live streamed at: fabcollab.ca and FabCollab on Facebookas well as on the Facebook pages of Small World MusicMPTFLula Lounge, and the National Arts Centre.
8:30 p.m. — OKAN (Afro-Cuban roots and jazz) feat. dancer Dailyn Martinez (Salsa) 
9:05 p.m. — Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone (IndigiBlues)
9:30 p.m. — Meesha Shafi (NeoSufi/Folk)
9:55 p.m. — Aline Morales (Afro-Brazilian percussion and song)

For more interviews, high-res photos, links to music,
or any further information on the festival and FabCollab, please contact:
FabCollab Communications Director Lia Grainger: lia@fabcollab.ca
DOWNLOAD – Women In Song Event Poster
DOWNLOAD – Social Media Assets

Follow FabCollab:
#fabcollab #fabcollablive #womeninsong
About the artists:
Taking their name from the word for heart or soul in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, Juno-Award winning OKAN fuses Afro-Cuban roots with jazz, folk and global rhythms in songs about immigration, courage and love. Having recently worked with Bomba Estereo, Lido Pimienta, Hilario Duran and Telmary Diaz, OKAN has followed up on their Juno and Canadian Folk Music Award-nominated and Independent Music Award-winning debut album Sombras, with their sophomore release Espiral, (Lulaworld Records, 2020) Earning international acclaim from OkayAfrica, NPR and Songlines, Esprial debuted at the number one position on the !Earshot International charts and was included in CBC Music's top 20 and NPR's top 10 Alt Latino's albums of the year. www.okanmusica.com
Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone is a 2-Spirit Anishnaabe Métis with Irish and French heritage. She is an artist and activist who continues to drum, sing, dance, and live freely on this land while she learns how to heal herself, her ancestry, and her first mother, the earth. Aqua embodies these powerful teachings of living in harmony with all aspects of creation and who bear witness to this every time she steps on stage. www.aquamusic.ca
Meesha Shafi is a multi-hyphenate Canadian artist of PakistanI origin. Having already established herself as a highly sought after fashion model, she surprised not just the nation but global audiences as well when she revealed her previously unknown talent as an extremely versatile vocalist in 2010, debuting her solo career as a singer on the revolutionary musical platform, Coke Studio, Shafi made serious waves worldwide with her record breaking hits. Her collaboration with folk legend Arif Lohar went on to become the most viewed song ever exported by Pakistan. She has since, performed on the iconic Coke Studio 9 times, her last performance as yet being in December 2020. www.meeshashafi.com
Currently working on her sophomore release, Toadas de Norte. to be launched in 2021 on the Lulaworld Records label continues the exploration of Brazil's musical legacy as it intersects with contemporary forms and other folkloric traditions. Heavily influenced by música popular brasileira (MPB), the post-samba fusion combining Brazilian regional music with jazz, rock and pop that emerged in the artistically adventurous Brazil of the 60s, Aline continues to embrace new fusions between her rich Brazilian musical heritage and the various global influences that she and Arcus encounter as participants in Toronto's vibrant music scene. www.alinemorales.com
Dailyn Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba and is an experienced salsa performer and instructor based in Toronto. She has been sharing her passion for salsa for over twenty years on stage as well as teaching others the art of the dance. Dailyn has preformed with internationally recognized Cuban bands such as Van Van and Charanga Habanera and has shared the Cuban culture internationally by dancing in Poland, Germany and Australia. Dailyn is passionate about sharing her love of Cuban arts and culture with others. Since arriving in Toronto, she has been introducing others to Salsa and teaching individuals how to master the dance. www.shumdesalsa.com
About the host:
Nenookaasi is an Afro-Indigenous, 2Spirit, Queer activist of Black, Indigenous, and Queer rights. Residing in Treaty 13, Tkaronto, Neno is a song writer and a traditional hand drum singer. Neno is also the owner of Hummingbird Spirits, a Tkaronto-based business which provides traditional spiritual medicines with the intention of “Amplifying Community Wellness, Spirit by Spirit,” from a harm reduction approach, “Meeting folks where their spirit is at” with the lens of “Urban Healing." bit.ly/Nenookaasi
About Ventanas (House Band):
Ventanas has released three albums (2013, 2015, 2019) and been nominated for four Canadian Folk Music Awards, including Best Traditional Singer (Tamar Ilana) and Best Ensemble. Featuring some of the city’s finest musicians from across the globe, Ventanas has received multiple grants from the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts and have showcased at APAP, Pacific Contact, Mundial Montréal, and CINARS, resulting in cross-Canada tours as well as tours on both coasts of the US: In 2019 they performed at a sold-out show at the Skirball Centre in Los Angeles. www.ventanasmusic.com