TORONTO — An uplifting night of empowerment, inspiration and redefining what it means to be beautiful at the third annual Body Confidence Canada Awards (BCCA) 2015 on Wednesday Oct. 7.

Women of all ages, all shapes and sizes filled the positive space at The 519. The event was charged with good energy as host Zahra Dhanani encouraged the audience to own the night. Beautiful women graced the stage — “This is dessert in motion,” Dhanani commented enthusiastically, “Hashtag that.”

Confidence was in the air.

Girls Action Foundation’s Dvorah Silverman presented the youth awards to Maya McDonald and Erin Huston, who have both done their parts to promote body love.

“We believe girls are experts in their own experiences,” Silverman said, “Women representing themselves in the way they want. Beauty ideals are based on our own stories — can’t be what we can’t see.”

Other award recipients were acupuncturist Amrit Singh, entrepreneur Alicia Vianga, founder of Yoga for Round Bodies Tiina Veer and fashion focused writer Mo Handahu. All the winners shared words that promoted positive body image and encouraged everyone to love their own.

The audience was also treated to a powerful live performance by five time Juno Award winner Simone Denny from Canadian dance-pop 90’s band Love Inc.

“What I love about this community is sisterhood, empowerment — confidence is everything as a woman,” Denny told The singer is debuting a full-length solo album The Stereo Dynamine Sessions Vol.1 on Oct. 16, but still made it to the BCCAs to do a couple memorable numbers. “Being apart of this community is everything. I’m honoured to be here.”

Founded by Jill Andrew and Aisha Fairelough, the BCCAs fight against stereotypes, judgments and discrimination. With strong values and ideals, these two have a healthy vision that should reach far beyond the social justice community and benefit the body and minds of the mainstream.

How beautiful would it be if everyone felt confident in their bodies?

But this night, Andrew just wanted everyone to leave feeling alive. “Being alive is all we need — to achieve greatness regardless of changes. When we’re alive we can be better — we can be.”

The BCCAs felt right.



Photography by’s Nancy Kim (nsbkim photography)