Category Archives: fundraising

Hosting the Body Love Ball!



I’m helping host the Body Love Ball this weekend!
Saturday December 2!  Come one, come all!

Dance soothes the soul! On Saturday December 2, inside the 519, Body Confidence Canada’s Body Love Ball dance fundraiser promises to ignite our senses as we dance the night away  celebrating our bodies. Come one come all to our dance space.

“What shall I wear,” you ask? You define your fabulousity. Begin your evening in the ballroom on our electric dance floor or take a moment to indulge in body positive art installations, the candy room, live music performances, inspirational speakers, a silent auction and more.

#BodyLoveBall is a fundraiser in support of The 519 Newcomer Settlement Services, Rainbow Camp supporting LGBT youth, families and allies andBody Confidence Canada Awards (BCCAs) which acknowledge Canada-based body equity champions and trailblazers. Join us as we celebrate our diverse and inclusive splendour and kick off the holiday season with us at the party that won’t stop until you do (okay, well 1:00am☺).

IG: Body Confidence Canada | Twitter: @BCCAwards

#BodyLoveBall – 7:00pm – 1:00am

Dress Code: Fabulously You!

Daniel Pillai
Kat Leonard 
Talli Osborne

Frizz Kid

Vanessa Lu
Tasheka Lavann

Feminist Art Conference (FAC)

DJ Maren Hancock
DJ Craig Dominic

Drinks*, Eats & Special Guests



Accessible venue
Gender neutral washrooms

Presenting Sponsor | TD Canada Trust
Bronze Sponsor | Coco & Cowe
Community Partner | Canadian Women’s Foundation
Media Sponsor | She Does The City | Xtra | FabUplusMagazine

Publicity Sponsor | Touchwood PR

The 519 is committed to the health, happiness and full participation of the LGBTQ community. Newcomer Settlement Services assists newcomers in settlement and integration in Canada

Rainbow Camp® is a one-week camp for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer questioning, 2 spirited (LGBTQ2+) and Allied youth, their siblings and children in Queer families

Body Confidence Canada Awards (BCCA’s) acknowledge Canada- based recipients who are trailblazers advocating for and creating more inclusive spaces for diverse bodies

*Drinks included based on ticket level


Facebook event here!

People Profile: Michael Oesch

Meet Michael Oesch:
Musician, digital media artist,
grant writer, walker and more!


Michael Oesch is a musician, digital media artist, grant writer and walker, among other things! Michael is BEACH DIGITAL MEDIA, working with musicians and spoken word artists to help them attain funding to record spoken word or musical projects.  This year’s successes include Cathy Petch for “Mel Malarky Gets the Bums Rush”, Richard Lett’s one-man show about men’s health “One Nut Only” and Valentino Assenza “Postcards From Sicily”.

One of Michael’s current big projects is his documentary Walking: The Wisdom of The Road in which he explores more than just our great nation during his trails. This guy doesn’t sit still for long, eh! Look at him go! I asked Michael some questions about himself and his walking mission.

What is your passion? I am passionate about creating and helping people use the creative process to find out more about themselves and more about their place in the world.

What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your passion/career?
In life there are always challenges and in the past I sometimes let fear stand in the way of me accomplishing my goals. I have come to learn that fear is mostly an illusion and the greatest reward is working past the fear with love, kindness and tolerance until I no longer am motivated by my negative thoughts and instead come at the projects in my life with love as the underlying principle to success.

What does it mean to be an artist? I used to think being an artist was staying up late at night and contemplating the unknowing questions and answers. By this method I almost killed myself.  I used to suffer for my art, and suffer I did. I have come to learn that being an artist today for me is more therapeutic. As artists we use our own experience to reflect the world around us. I have come to accept that pain in life is unavoidable, but suffering is an option. Through my art I have come to learn to let go of those things that would keep me up until the dawn. With my art I have learned that by working through the pain there is a sort of redemption that lightens my load and allows me to live in the moment. 

What would people be surprised to know about you? In 2002 in the state of suffering I decided I needed to get out of my life and find new stimuli. So I sold everything I owned and left my home here in Toronto and walked for eight months out to Labrador and back, covering 6800 km.  It was an amazing experience but it didn’t settle this restless soul of mine and in 2005 I set off once again on foot and walked from Toronto to Vancouver. In my spare time I was a slow-pitch baseball umpire for 20 years.

What makes you laugh? Children and animals make me laugh. Their honesty is so refreshing. Also, people who don’t take themselves so seriously are just a joy to be around.

What is fun for you? Playing music is fun.

What makes you question humanity? I used to be revolted by society and all the things in it. That’s why I went for my walk. But I’ve come to learn that we are all troubled souls and that we are all on our own journey of discovery. And the most we can do is to help those around us, and by doing so we make a little contribution to making this world a better place.

How lucky are you and why? I think I’m lucky because I have walked to the edge of the world and faced myself at the precipice and come back a stronger person through that experience. I’ve learnt not to sweat the small stuff and that in reality it’s all small stuff.

What would you say to your 8-year-old self? Live Learn and Love. 

What would you say to your 80-year-old self? Lay off the cheeseburgers.

What is your favourite quote?  “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.” – Stephen Grellet

What do you hope to achieve  through your documentary Walking: The Wisdom of The Road? Currently I have decided to share the experiences I had while walking. I have talked with others who have decided to go on long walks, and we have shared our collective wisdom. I am directing this documentary, and we propose exploring the spiritual, emotional, and physical benefits of walking. We intend to examine the motivation and collective consciousness these people have gathered on their journeys.

What is the most-challenging aspect of this project? The most-rewarding? In 2014 I started filming the documentary by following the Bhaktimagra Swami as he finished his fourth walk across Canada. The Walking Monk, as he is affectionately called, is a spiritual leader of the Hari Krishna’s here in Toronto. We also gathered some footage of Dana Meise, the first person to walk to all four oceans on the Trans Canada Trail. And of course I include myself in this project, but the challenge is how we can show the benefits to the ordinary person. This summer in 2016 we are following four participants on a pilgrimage in Quebec. The Chemin des Santuaires is an 18-day 375 km walking pilgrimage from St. Joseph Oratory in Montreal to Ste. Anne-de-Beaupré. We need to get an honest perspective by regular people to show that walking can benefit anyone. You don’t have to walk to the edge of the world like I did.

What are you most proud of with this project? The narrative of this documentary is taken from the journaling of walkers as they are on their travels. It allows the viewer to get an in-depth perspective of the thoughts of people when engaged in a pedestrian lifestyle. Because this documentary is all narrative and no one speaks to camera we plan on doing it in several languages, English and French to start and possibly several others.

What did you learn from doing your walk in the past? I learnt that you can walk almost anywhere if you are willing to take the time– and that only Jesus can walk on water… LOL 

What would people be surprised to know about your creative process? This documentary is unscripted – We aren’t trying to sell this to a major corporate television audience. We have some concepts that we want to explore and will work hard in the process, but we are willing to let go of expectations and outcomes and let the experiences of those involved create an authentic testament to the benefits of walking.

What words of advice would you give to anyone about creating art? About embarking on such an adventure? Coming up with the idea is usually easy. And the first steps on any journey are usually easy. It is only through good planning and perseverance do we really achieve our goals. Sometimes by working hard and letting go of controlling the process we end up with something better than we could have ever envisioned.


Some wise words there! If you would like to follow and/or contribute to Michael’s walking journey, please visit the Walking: The Wisdom of the Road crowd-funding site here. Good luck, Michael! Bon Voyage!

Love Kat





New Show Announced:Eating Disorder Awareness Week

EDAW 2016 SWE Event Poster

Thursday February 4th 2016 at 7:00pm 152 Augusta Avenue in Toronto

NEDIC (National Eating Disorder Information Centre) is hosting an evening of poetry, storytelling and music and I get to be a part of it! There’s even an open mic section, so you could be a part of the show!

NEDIC is a Canadian non-profit organization that provides resources on eating disorders & weight preoccupation. They have a wealth of information on their website at  and toll-free phone lines for communication as well. Please give them a look-see and pass along to anyone you feel may benefit from their service or you may be able to help the organization by getting involved and/or donating.

Hope to see you at the show on February 4th! I’ll be revealing a bit about Myselfie. 😉

Happy healthy eating, everybuddy!




New Show Announced: She’s Listening!

You heard it here, folks! She’s Listening at the Beaver! Are yoooooou? 🙂 Hope to see you in the new year! Join Kristine St-Pierre, Heather Hill, Jessica Speziale and Angela Saini and me at The Flying Beaver Pubaret as we once again raise some funds for Ovarian Cancer Canada– this time flying high at the Flying Beaver in Toronto! Come have some amazing food and fun-loving fundraising entertainment all rolled into one evening extravaganza! Ya! 🙂
Ovarian Cancer Poster Jan 2015 copy-1

She’s Listening II success: funds raised for Ovarian Cancer Canada!

She’s Listening II was a great success last week; they listened and we raised applause and funds for Ovarian Cancer Canada. 

Thank you to my wonderful co-horts and beautiful friends (from left to right) Angela Saini, Jessica Spezziale, Heather Hill, Melanie Peterson


Photography: Cate McKim

And thank you to Life With More Cowbell for this recap of the show!

What exactly does Ovarian Cancer Canada do?

Ovarian Cancer Canada is the only registered Canadian charity solely dedicated to overcoming ovarian cancer. They provide leadership by:

  • Supporting women living with the disease and their families
  • Raising awareness among the general public and health care professionals
  • Funding research to develop early detection techniques, improved treatments and, ultimately, a cure.

Ovarian Cancer Canada is funded by donations of the generous public and they could use your support. If you’d like to help, there are many ways to get involved; check them out here.  Among the ways: you can donate directly, volunteer, create an event such as She’s Listening, participate in a hike, dance or walk.  The annual Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope happens this year Sunday September 7th in cities all across Canada. Find one near you and register on the website.



Keeping giving, everybuddy!
Let’s fill the world with kindness and hope.

love Kat xoxox

She’s Listening II!

She’s Listening, and so is The Harlton Empire! They mentioned us in their blog!


The Harlton Empire promotes creative works by independent artists in the arts/entertainment industry and you should definitely check them out; learn about what’s going on in the community and make contact if you’re a lover of the arts!

Also you should definitely come check out She’s Listening II this Wed June 4 at 8pm at The Cameron House Toronto!




Upcoming Events: Sunday May 25: Climb For Cause

I am very proud to be a part of this fundraiser! I’ll be hosting and singing a couple ditties!

Tom Gancarz is on a mission to raise funds to provide clean water in Tanzania’s community, and he’s doing it in a unique and elevating way! Please check out the story here, connect and support any way you can! Climb For Cause



Microsoft Word - Clean Water for Africa.docx

Fundraiser: Baby It’s Warm Inside

Wontcha come on in?! This Sunday December 1st we bust into December raising funds and warming the cockles of the holiday spirit with some holiday tunes! Hope you can join us at The Cameron House 7pm! Ho! Ho! Ho!


Fundraiser extravaganza: Warm Coats, Warm Hearts!

In a week from now, on Sunday Nov 24th, let’s all come together for a night of fun, frolic and fundraising in order to spread some warmth! Have an old coat or two kicking around? Bring it, along with your quest for a good time! I’ll be singing my hit Santa’s Sack and others with Arlene Paculan as our duo Musedy Tag Team!

Happy Holidaze!


Four Winds: A songstorm of musical forces intertwined for the greater good!



The Four Winds Collective share their gifts of music as they gather to play a concert fundraiser at the Church of The Good Shepherd Sunday September 29, 2013 2pm-4pm. Who are the Four Winds Collective? Kat Leonard ( has training in Science, music, theatre and The Second City.  She performs feisty comedic pop.  Arlene Paculan ( was trained at Randolph Academy and Royal Conservatory of Music, and performs soulful jazzy pop.  Heather Hill ( trained at Royal Conservatory of Music as well as New York City and plays piano pop rock.  Meghan Morrison ( is a mover and a shaker. She started a successful music jam podcast and is an art rocker who plays Celtic groove music.

The Four Winds Collective is a songstorm of musical forces intertwined for the greater good. They travel together with their dynamic live shows in an aim to draw together a community to share joy and inspiration through music and storytelling.

Catch us Sunday September 29th 2pm in Wyebridge, Ontario!

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