Threads of Hope: Sistering’s Spun Studio

27 April 2022

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It’s a pre-pandemic day in an outwardly unassuming building on one of Toronto’s busiest streets. Barbara Aikman and Asunta “Sue” DiTrani, studio facilitators at Sistering’s Spun Studio, present one of the studio’s participants with a cheque—earnings from the sale of textiles the woman had created in the Spun Studio Entrepreneur program. She accepts the money with a whoop of joy that quickly turns to tears as she wraps Sue in a hug.

Related reading:
“SISTERING…”, a prose poem written by one of the program’s participants.

This piece of paper represents far, far more than a first payday: it represents validation.

To fully understand the impact of this moment, we must take a step back in time to a policy decision that redefined what it meant to be a marginalized person in Canada.

All images courtesy of Sistering/Spun Studio.

Copyright © Michelle Woodvine except as indicated.
Head shot of Michelle Woodvine

About Michelle Woodvine

Michelle Woodvine is a Toronto-based freelance writer and editor on a quest to never stop learning and making. When not wordsmithing for others, Michelle can usually be found working on her trilogy of speculative fiction novels, learning a new skill, or goofing around with her family (including her very own rocket scientist, two teenage boys, and one feisty ginger cat). Follow the weird, wonderful, and wordy adventures @woodvinewrites or visit

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