June 2021 Vol 3

This month we celebrated Black Music month & indulged in the cultures that have created music as we know it today. We focused on our local talent in Simcoe County with articles written on Alinka Angelova, Rhiannon Hoover, & other great musicians from across Canada.

However this month has uncovered some gruesome truths that started with the exploration of the residential school in Kamloops and the 215 juvenile souls discovered that Canada failed to protect.

This edition explores themes of Indigenous photography,  Truth & Reconciliation and how the Commission of Canada can use this pain to create a better future. Download a PNG version here.

Ryan came to Canada at the age of 19 to study at the University of Guelph where he majored in Environmental Engineering. While a university student, he and his sister made a trip to Ecuador to volunteer for the non-profit organization Solidarity in Action, and it was during this time he was introduced to the world of surfing.
Always a bit camera shy, Ryan preferred to take photos of family and friends as opposed to being the subject. He developed a serious interest in photography during his third year of university when he met his family in Iceland and took photos during the trip. This is when he truly began to appreciate photography.
The combination of surfing and photography came after the completion of his undergraduate degree. Ryan took a trip to Eastern Canada to surf in Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, during the trip, he tore his meniscus and was unable to surf for a while. While recovering, a friend invited him to discover Great Lakes surfing.

Ryan wasn’t able to ride the waves himself, but he could photograph the other surfers, and so, Ryan Osman, Surf Photographer, became official in 2016! Ryan mentioned the lack of diversity in surfing, and he is thinking of organizing surfing workshops for those members of underrepresented communities.
Ryan moved to Simcoe County two and a half years ago after completing a Master’s degree in Water Resources Engineering. He said he wanted to live close to water and to a francophone community. Ryan’s community contact has primarily been with the francophone community of Simcoe County. He describes this community as very welcoming, but notes from his own personal experience, he hasn’t seen much diversity, so becoming connected with Uplift Black is extremely exciting to him.
Ryan is the Water Resources Specialist and Field Photographer at Water First, a non-profit organization that works with Indigenous communities to address their local water challenges through education and training. (See! I told you – one of my heroes.)

UPlift Black Artists Collective presents our Black Artists of Simcoe County Spotlight:

Ryan Osman

Hey, Simcoe County! Yes, YOU! Did you know you have a surf photographer, who just HAPPENS to be a POC living in your midst? AND besides being a surf photographer, his ‘9 to 5’ job makes him one of my heroes – keep reading! (Oh! He also speaks three languages!)
Ryan Osman was born and raised in Vacoas, Mauritius. Vacoas is a city with a population of approximately 106,000. Mauritius is an Indian Ocean island nation located off the southeast coast of the African continent, east of Madagascar. The official language is English, but Mauritian Creole and French are widely spoken.

Follow Ryan on Instagram. Check out Ryan’s website.


Are you a ready to start making an impact in your city ? Well we are too and we want you to become apart of our society of artists, activists, advocates, business owners and just regular residents. We want to hear your input and we want to show up for you. We have a space for you to be heard and to help make a difference.

For more information, please email

As a non-profit organization supporting our community we understand the need to funnel resources back into Simcoe County’s Economy.
That is why we are putting on our 1st Annual BBQ Fundraiser so we can continue showing up for you and expanding the capacity of love we can share.

Our Adult Book Club is ending July 3rd until further notice. Rejoice in discussing themes surrounded around radical self love. We can’t wait to share our ideas on “The Body is Not an Apology” by the brilliant Sonya Renee Taylor.

To sign up for the book club fill out a form here. For more information please email

Over 1000+ unmarked graves have been uncovered since the beginning of June 2021 & we as a nation are in disbelief. How could something so atrocious happen without accountability and acknowledgement. We heard the horror stories and tales from survivors and have failed to grasp the severity of their truth.
The Canadian government has a duty to uphold its national values of unity and respect by consolidating the generational trauma and genocide of our Nation’s original people.