Faisa Omer is a studio photographer and mental health professional. She was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. Her parents immigrated to Canada in the early 90s to escape the Somali Civil War. Faisa spent time at the Algonquin College Photography Program in Ottawa where she learned the technical aspects of studio photography.
Faisa's recognized work includes the "Reclaiming Ritchie" project that showcased the racial divide in the west-end Ottawa neighbourhood as well as "It's Different for Us" photo voice project with the South East Community Health Centre around south-end Ottawa neighbourhoods negatively affected by the pandemic.
Her educational background also includes two degrees in Neuroscience from Carleton University and a second Masters in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. Faisa's work has been shown at the Ottawa Art Gallery as part of Sheltered in Place: Portraits of Self, Family and Community. As well at the Art Gallery of Alberta with 5 Artists 1 Love.
In her spare time, Faisa enjoys biking and taking photos of friends and family in her dining room.
2021 – Sheltered in Place: Portraits of Self, Family and Community, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa - https://ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/the-arts-worlds-reckoning-how-ottawas-cultural-institutions-are-responding-to-pressure-for-more-diversity
2019 – Memories of Mogadishu, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa
Projects and Experience
2021 – “It’s Different of Us” Photo Voice Project with South-East Community Health Centre - https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/photos-youth-ottawa-south-end-pandemic-1.5917234
2020 – “Faces of Ritchie Street” Photography Series – https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/portraits-ritchie-black-men-instagram-1.5642580
Awards and Achievements
2021 – Explore and Create: Research and Creation Grant – Canada Council of the Arts
2021 – Equity & Access in the Arts: Exploration and Experimentation – Edmonton Arts Council
Public Speaking/Workshop Experience
2021 – Unpacking Systemic Racism in a School Setting - Queen Elizabeth High School, Edmonton
2021 – International Women’s Day Panel – Somali Canadian Women and Children’s Association, Edmonton2021 – Black Joy & Resilience – Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization, Ottawa
2020 – Bridging the Gap: Exploring the Cross-Cultural Intergenerational Gap Workshop – Muslim Mental Minds, Edmonton
2018 – Mental Health Workshop – YES Conference, Edmonton
2018 – #GirlsTalk “Empowerment” – British High Commission, Ottawa
2018 – SSA Somali Night Panel – Carleton University, Ottawa
2017 – Money Talks: Art of the Hustle – Somali Youth for Change, Ottawa