Co-op member profile: Domanique Grant

Domanique Grant has been busy.

Last fall, she brought her infectious love of housing co-ops to a series of new projects: a video paying tribute to the past, present, and future leaders of the co-operative movement, her debut album, and an interactive exhibit for Toronto’s Nuit Blanche.

Members who attended the 2017 CHF Canada AGM in Niagara Falls will remember Grant’s stirring musical performance there, which is now immortalized in a video showing her deep connection to the co-operative movement.

The singer/songwriter grew up in Toronto’s Atkinson Co-op, received a Diversity Scholarship, was elected president of her co‑op at age 19, and became president of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT) at 21.

Grant, who describes her music as “fun indie pop”, launched her debut album, Playhouse, which addresses serious topics. The central theme of Playhouse is the meaning of home, and in particular, the experiences of Millennials like her, whose paths are more uncertain than those of previous generations.

Grant’s Nuit Blanche debut was a success. She collaborated with a diverse team of architects, planners, scenic designers, and interactive designers on a 5,000 square foot exhibit. CHF Canada sponsored the exhibit, and collaborated with Grant on a cultural video project.

Grant’s project took inspiration from CHF Canada’s Think Young Strategy and the work of co-op leaders of the past, present, and future:

“I wanted to connect it to what we do every day: it’s our parents traveling hundreds of miles, it’s the neighbourhoods that are imagined before they’re built, it’s the opportunities like the Diversity Scholarship that I received – they show you there are people who believe in you.”

For Grant, exploring the intersections of co-operative living, music, and community engagement is a natural fit: “Everything I’m creating is a direct reflection of getting support through the Diversity Scholarship, and getting to visit so many communities across Canada through my work with CHF Canada and CHFT.”

Travel is on the agenda for Grant this year, as she plans visits to farther-flung locations like Uganda, where she wrote a portion of the album. For this young musician and advocate, it’s all connected.  As she puts it, “I’m learning that when you’re innovative, and you do what you love, somehow it all comes together!”

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