Featured Vancouverite: Jazmin Sasky

Jazmin_SaskyHometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina

How long have you been a Vancouverite?
I’ve been living in Vancouver since 2004, so 11 years now. I left my hometown of Buenos Aires for Israel with only a suitcase when I was 19 years old. It’s been a long time since I left my country, but I am now proud (and lucky) to feel at home in three different countries.

Given your own personal experiences, your mission in your creative and professional work is to help support women’s advocacy through organizations in both Canada and the United States. Can you tell us a bit about your own story and how you are involved in these areas?
In 2013, I was struggling to find the purpose of my business and was asked by my coach to document my professional dreams over the coming five years. I sat down to do the exercise and my dream unfolded in front of my eyes. Luckily, this vision combined all of my talents and personal values including painting, storytelling, connecting with people, and influencing social change through art.

In the weeks following the writing of this exercise, things started to happen. Since that time, I have successfully managed to work with important organizations in the city and have launched art exhibitions that allow me to contribute thousands of dollars in support of these organizations.

For those who wish to become involved with these types of organizations in Vancouver, are there resources, meet ups or events that you would recommend that would help to facilitate these connections and opportunities?
Finding the right person to talk to in a big organization or non-profit can be overwhelming and frustrating, and finding the time to meet is also challenging. When I am able to connect, I try to pitch my ideas clearly, in a well-organized manner.

I am not familiar with any type of formal forum or resources since I’ve always done things on my own. I usually do research online and approach the organizations that fit the kind of work that I do. Tips that I recommend are sending an initial email, then the traditional phone call, and then looking up calendars for upcoming events and trying to attend events in order to connect with the right people.

Your personal and professional efforts have also been incorporated into collaborative art shows. Do you have any exhibitions or projects coming up over the next months?
My last art show was a collaboration with YWCA Greater Vancouver called “Home Is Love”. The exhibition supported YWCA Cause We Care House. The efforts of the project (and part of the profits) went to the construction of a new building in the downtown eastside of Vancouver that will provide safe and affordable housing to single mothers and their children. One painting will be on display in this new housing facility, and one at the new Vancouver Public Library, on the main floor.

I am currently working on an exhibition with a women’s organization that is located in Maui, Hawaii called Women Helping Women. The exhibition will open this October in Paia, Maui. I am also excited to be working a show with a children’s organization called Make-A-Wish in Vancouver. The art show will be called Because I am HAPPY and it is scheduled for 2016.

You have roots in Argentina. For a taste of Latin America in Vancouver, are there restaurants, grocery stores or festivals that you would recommend?
As a family, we enjoy the Carnaval Del Sol in downtown Vancouver for music, food and people from all Latin American countries. I shop for some Argentinian food items at La Grota Del Formaggio and Panaderia Latina on Commercial Drive. With this, I get to cook great Argentinian dishes at home for family and friends – empanadas de carne, torta de ricotta and alfajores de maizena are some of my specialties!

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