Financial Literacy for Artists, Freelancers, and "Forced" Entrepreneurs

Financial Literacy for Artists, Freelancers, and "Forced" Entrepreneurs

Independent by choice
Often people choose to run a small organization as a freelancer, consultant, or artist because of the flexibility it provides for their life. As we developed our financial literacy program, we learned there’s another category too… many people are “forced” into contract life these days.

Ramping up the Cx Blog

   Caption: Image descriptions improve accessibility by making photos more readable for people using text-to-reading devices. The above image is a computer-drawn messy summary of the blog post’s points with two different faces speaking them to each other as thought bubbles to reflect the self talk

Caption: Image descriptions improve accessibility by making photos more readable for people using text-to-reading devices. The above image is a computer-drawn messy summary of the blog post’s points with two different faces speaking them to each other as thought bubbles to reflect the self talk

CatalystsX has been doing all sorts of work, but we aren’t always good at sharing what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and who we’re doing it with.

There are a few reasons which come to mind, at least for myself:

  • Fear / perfectionism - there are always 1000 ways anything we do could be better, and I worry it won’t be effective or may cause unintentional harm in some unforeseen way

  • Holding power, taking up space, equity - even as a tiny nonprofit, CatalystsX holds institutional power as a government-recognized entity. On a personal level, as a middle class person with light skin in a position of power even at a tiny organization, what space am I taking up that might detract from other voices which should be sought out?

  • Who cares? - while we’ve been urged by many people for us to share more about what we’re doing, I still find it hard to believe anyone would actually read any of this :)

Some thoughts in response to each of these:

  • Make sure someone else trusted and well versed in pro-liberation and current topics reviews any posts / content. Also, get over perfectionism. Of course everything could be done better. Experiment with mediums other than just typing.

  • Use our resources and humble platform to share the work and opinions of other people we work with in different ways, creating opportunities for others to share their work / create content / write blogs which are relevant to people we work with

  • There is something to be said for organizational memory, accountability, building trust and background so people can get a sense for people and an organization, and being transparent about some of our work and processes. If that is kept as the intent, and not an objective that a bunch of people read and share our work, we don’t have to worry too much about lots of people reading everything we share


So, here we go!  Stay tuned for hopefully a couple things a month from Cx and the people we are proud to be involved with in different ways.



Avengers, Assemble!

I’m kind of introverted, which is why I was surprised after doing some interviews for new positions through the Northern Lights Collaborative that I had one of the best weeks in memory. Everyone just being themselves made me so pumped and energized, it felt like everyone we met was the missing piece of a puzzle.


This team is co-designing and promoting the Northern Lights Collaborative launch event coming up at the end of the month. If you’re a youth from Northern Ontario, you’re invited! Learn more here and please register ASAP as spots are filling up!

That said, I’d love to share a little bit about some of the new Northern Lights Collaborative team members! This puzzle may be an infinite one as we keep growing….at least for now no borders in sight...



Mariah is from Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek and leads from Thunder Bay, Ontario. She’s working on her Honours Bachelor in Social Work with a major concentration in Indigenous learning. When Mariah joined she shared, “I want to see a world that works, where everyone helps each other for a greater good” and brings those good vibes to everything she does on the team! 


Jocelyn (Goose)

is from Whitefish Bay First Nation. She graduated from Baibom Beh Anishinabe School and received a General Arts and Science certificate from Confederation College. She has two sisters and 6 brothers, and is the youngest daugher to Andy and Caroline White. Since birth she was immersed in family culture and traditions. She loves to dance powwow with her jingle dress, the dance which was taught to to her by her gookum Maggie White. She will pass these teachings down to her two beautiful daughters. Having such a big family she had resources to bead, sew, play sports and was never bored growing up. To this day she still play volleyball and baseball. Keeping active and living a healthy lifestyle are goals she has for her and her family



was born and raised in Thunder Bay which is situated on the Robinson Superior Treaty land and was also home to the historical Métis Nation. He is also currently a Youth Reconciliation Initiative Team Lead. Devin has a background in Business Marketing from Confederation College. Through his education he has been able to work with local businesses by conducting research and strategic marketing campaigns to help them grow and achieve their goals. Devin believes in using the education and teachings he has obtained through his schooling and volunteering to help strive towards equity and equality by strengthening and empowering communities through knowledge and understanding.



Krista leads from Algoma region and is from the Mississaugi First Nation. It shows that Krista studied Community Economic and Social Development and Community Development at university, because she seems to bind everything together with down to earth and relatable stories at every point. Recently she ran a workshop in Sault Ste. Marie on using memes for social change, if that gives any insight into just how cool she is!



is from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg (formerly Pic River First Nation). She loves singing with her hand drum, and has been working as a youth amplifier and advocate ever since she could imagine. She was working before as a Teacher assistant at an elementary school for over five years and worked as a youth worker at Right to Play, running sports nights, crafts, baking, playing in the bush and basically anything the youth want to do. She’s currently studying early childhood education online.  As our launch event will be in Dayna’s community, she has been busily laying the foundation for us to learn about and meet the community in a good way.



Daryl was born and raised in Sudbury. Daryl became enamored with the collaboration of creative works and innovative progress. This includes formal education in Mechanical Engineering, a TEDx Talk on Art & Science, the co-founding of a rapid prototyping company within the Northern Ontario Research Centre for Advanced Technology, and a number of outreach & skills development program for high school students. He also completed the Studio [Y] Fellowship at the MaRS Discovery District and aims to tie in these systems change initiatives to his Northern focussed innovation work.



is a passionate community leader from Whitefish Bay First Nation near Kenora. He often works with youth through sport, and has coached and organized youth volleyball teams for many years. He’s also worked in different roles providing support and teaching students at Baibom Beh Anishinabe School, and trained as an apprentice in carpentry.


If you want to co-create more youth social innovation in Northern Ontario, learn more here and don’t forget to please register ASAP! Facebook message us if you have any questions!


PS. On one hand we are way cooler than the Avengers, and less um...violent I suppose? That said, every time we had an interview “AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!” shot through my head and immediately I would fistpump. #unapologeticnerd