Peterborough photographer Heather Doughty has a vision – to recognize outstanding Canadian women who enrich their communities every day.

Heather Doughty

Inspire: The Women’s Portrait Project began as a four-month photographic celebration of women from the area who were nominated to participate. Overwhelmed by the response, and by the possibilities of expanding the timeframe and geographic scope, Ms. Doughty has set her sights on reaching right across the country.

Doughty works with makeup artist Selena K. Wilson and freelance writer Paula Cassidy to develop an up-close-and-personal vignette of each exceptional woman who has been nominated. “Each photo not only celebrates an extraordinary woman but showcases the strength of community that happens when people uplift and support each other,” Doughty explained at the recent Women’s Expo Peterborough.

The project’s website currently features 62 women, including:

Hanji Hos with big group of people
Hanji Hos

Hajni Hos – Executive Director at the New Canadians Centre, Peterborough: “…I am a mom, lead a non-profit, but I am also a lawyer and a teacher. I lead a community choir. I moved to the other side of the world because of a handsome fellow with a good heart…I learned 6 languages and don’t speak any of them properly…I love people, music, humour and sheep. I love to cook and I love to love. My faith is my strength and humour is my tool. I am way too direct and blunt…I don’t fit in a box.”

Peyton Henry – Dancey – 8-year-old philanthropist, big sister to twin brothers, and future paleontologist: “I don’t ask for birthday presents because I have everything I need. Instead I ask for donations and donate them to local shelters, like the humane society and the warming room.”

Selena Wilson

Cancer survivors, area ambassadors, professionals, artists, musicians, women with dreams, women with vision, from different walks of life – women who have overcome personal tragedies and reinvented themselves out of necessity, women who have filled a need where none existed, and who empower others by the very nature of their individual and collective spirits – these are the women of Inspire.

To learn more, to submit a nomination or find out how to bring the project to your community, visit

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