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October 08, 2018

Welcome to our New Director of Finance & Administration, Ayesha Kanjee!

We're thrilled to welcome another incredibly skilled individual to the ArtStarts team. Meet our new Director of Finance and Administration, Ayesha Kanjee. We are about to unlock a new level of efficiency behind the scenes thanks to her! Get to know her little better and why she believes #artisessential!

1. What are three words to best describe you?

Calm, Mature, Serious


2. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a mom of 3. We very recently immigrated to Canada from South Africa. We left a very close family and extended family, comfortable jobs and beautiful beaches because of the incredibly high crime rate and corruption that South Africa is currently facing. At the moment, we are trying to settle in and experience all the beauty that Vancouver has to offer, in terms of its freedoms, people and nature.


3. What is your role at ArtStarts? What do you do in your role?

I am the Director of Finance and Operations. I oversee, billing, payments, and other reporting.  My main project is to overhaul the current systems and processes we have in place to allow the organization to function more efficiently and effectively from an admin point of view, freeing up time to focus on our mission.


4. Where did art start for you?

Very late in my life. My parents grew up during Apartheid and we were still exposed to the consequences thereof ( i.e we attended schools with very little resources and art and sport were seen as extra). Becoming a Chartered Account, Doctor, Lawyer or Engineer was seen as a success and to some extent, it was because it allowed us to send our kids to better, more equipped schools.

After having my kids, I started to realize that they each had different personalities and learned differently. My eldest was detailed, orderly, persistent and competitive, like me whereas my second daughter is playful, sociable, talkative, lively and imaginative. Both tend to be leaders but to help my second daughter reach her true potential, we needed to adapt our parenting style and teaching style.  We found that exposure to art and sport allowed her to excel at academics too. As this was not something that was familiar to me, it meant loads of researching and processing.


5. What is your favorite childhood memory?

Road trips through various parts of South Africa with my cousins and sleepovers at my Aunt and Uncles place in the countryside.


6. What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?

I hadn’t left my country until 2013.  Since then I had only traveled twice before moving halfway across the world without my mom and dad and I am generally ok.  I think that we are a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for. I also believe that allowing yourself to be exposed to different cultures and social environments help you to broaden your knowledge, experience, and understanding.


7. What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?

I love kickboxing.  I enjoy spending time in the mountains and by the ocean with my family.  I enjoy trail running. I started learning to speak and understand Arabic. We love entertaining and having a house full of people. I have crocheted and quilted in the past.

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