Black Canadians




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Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list )

 interview Page Main Template GENERAL shari 

BIO: Shari Sutherland is a professional make-up artist and owner of Sutherland Artistry. Having worked with cosmetic giants MAC and L’Oreal, she has lived, breathed and loved make-up for over a decade and has over 10 years of experience within the beauty industry.


Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Yves Saint-Laurent once said, "The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.” In life as in makeup you should always strive to be yourself! Makeup is a creative and artistic platform to express exactly who you are and what you represent!  A face is a canvas of endless possibilities. These values are what I and my freelance makeup artistry company, Sutherland Artistry, represent and incorporate into every service and product provided.

My passion has only grown overtime with extensive experience and training with major cosmetics giants such as MAC Cosmetics and L’Oreal. I have also been lucky to have worked with some extremely talented people such as Fefe Dobson and Bedouin Soundclash. I truly believe the key to happiness with oneself is to love what you do and by blurring the lines between work and play.

As a York University alumni with a B.A in English studies and a certification in marketing, I have been blessed to work with a variety of top companies within the beauty and automotive industries. I am also certified by the Canadian Beauty College in Mink eyelash extensions, basic skincare, and medical skincare. I have gained a variety of professional experiences which have allowed me to tailor myself into a well-rounded artist and business woman. I have over 10 years of experience in customer service and sales with 4 years of data entry and corporate administrative. I also spent over 2 years in contract processing and funding within the automotive industry while I’ve invested six years in marketing and brand management experience.  

Something people may not know about me is that when I was younger I always wanted to be a CSI. I got accepted into University for Criminology but never went.  Thank goodness I never ended up going because the sight of blood and dead bodies really freaks me out.

What's your inspiration or how do you get motivated?

My daughter is my inspiration and my motivation is making sure my family is good for the future.


How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect?

I got to this stage in my life through hard work, continuous education, self-improvement, commitment to my dream, passion in what I do, and believing in myself. Everyone can expect my new Sutherland Artistry website coming Fall 2013 and a few new services that I will be offering in 2014. I also have a couple of ventures in the works, so stay tuned because 2014 is going to be a fabulous year.


What would you like to be remembered for?

My positive outlook on life to live freely and fiercely with no regrets.


How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure? 

Through multitasking, writing everything down, and organization. You’ll never balance everything perfectly but as long as you know each one is a priority, you’ll make time.


What's your favorite food, book, music and movie?

Fave Food: Burrito Boyz whole wheat chicken and shrimp burrito.  
Fave Book: Twins by Caroline B. Cooney.
Fave Music: 90s RnB.
Fave Movie: Anything with Will Smith or Denzel Washington.


What's your experience as a Black person in Canada? (Also suggest solutions if any challenges of being black in Canada) 

I believe the challenge I face as a Black person in Canada is getting past the negative stereotypes and underlying racism apparent in today’s society. Once upon a time racism was more vocal now it’s been somewhat buried under stereotypical jokes and comments within the corporate, political, media and social world.  The fact is that black people typically face bigger obstacles to economic and political success.


To me I believe Black Canadians need to support each other more as a race. Help each other work together to grow and succeed as a community. Allow for education and professionalism in the work we showcase to the world, to represent something positive and valuable, other than the stereotypes that have plagued us for decades. Not every Black male I know wants to be a rapper.


What is the Black community doing right or wrong in Canada? 

I believe that there are many people and organizations that are doing a lot of positive things for the Black community. But I feel that there is no true unity in our community as a whole. We are easily turned against one another and tend to help others succeed and not our own.  We need to teach our children to love themselves even if their beauty is not what’s considered beautiful in the media. We need to be strong and to understand the only way to grow financially, spiritually, and emotionally is as a strong and unified community.


Do you agree we have musical artists in Canada that are as good or even better than those in the US.

Yes, I do! We are a multicultural country with the opportunity to learn from different cultures taking what we’ve experienced and making it ours. Canadian artists possess a unique sound only known as being Canadian. They are hidden gems that just need the right opportunity to showcase their talent to the world.


Please mention a few of your favorite Black Canadian Artists.

Kreesha Turner, Kim Davis, and Melanie Fiona.


What’s your understanding of Black History in Canada?

I feel that the Canadian educational system needs to focus more about educating Canadian youth on Black history and how they’ve contributed to the Canadian culture. Growing up I learned more about American history in general than I did Canadian. I think Canada needs to take more pride in their diverse multicultural country by truly educating and representing all cultures in the history which has led the country to where it is today.