Textile (formerly Textile Magazine) is a community arts collective that supports emerging writers and artists in Waterloo Region, Ontario, particularly those from historically excluded and marginalized groups.

Our scope of practice includes publishing, mentorship, curation, and residencies. We’re drawn to projects that are grounded in urgent questions animating our communities, and creative work that (re)imagines public memory.

Writing workshop with local highschool students

Rooted in community

To ensure our work remains relevant and strategic, we ground our approach in three core tenets:

place — everything we do is hyper-local, occurring within Waterloo Region

process — we make both time and space for mentorship and co-creative activities

production — our work spans a range of formats—literary and artistic creations, in-print and digital publishing, as well as curated exhibitions and events

Some of our partners and collaborators include:

  • Waterloo Region District School Board
  • Inter Arts Matrix
  • O:se Kenhionhata:tie (Land Back Camp)
  • The African Caribbean Black (ACB) Network of Waterloo Region
  • ReAllocate WR
  • Laurier Student Public Research Interest Group (LSPIRG)
  • IdeaExchange
  • Community Justice Initiatives (CJI)
  • City of Kitchener's Youth Drop-In program
  • KW Article Club
  • The KW Poetry Slam
  • Pins and Needles Fabric Company


Fitsum Areguy

Co-founder & Project Director

Fitsum Areguy is a writer, organizer, and researcher based in Kitchener, ON. His writing can be found in Red Noise Collective, Briarpatch Magazine, Canadian Dimension, New Sociology, and Korea Exposé, among others. Fitsum sits on the board for Multicultural Theatre Space and ACCKWA, and in his free time he enjoys playing pick-up ball with strangers and snacking on shawarma poutine.

Shalaka Jadhav

Curator, Projects

Shalaka spent their childhood between cities in India and in Dubai, before moving to a neighbourhood spitting distance from Ontario’s largest mall. They now join from Block 2 of the Haldimand Tract, splitting their time on Treaty 1 territory. Trained as an urban planner and practicing as a curator, Shalaka has worked across multiple roles, including audio journalism, in social innovation spaces, in urban planning departments, on rooftop gardens, and on farms. Across their work, they strive to apply an ecosystem approach of thinking, dreaming, and sustaining. Shalaka is an Emerging Curator as part of the inaugural University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery Visiting Curator Program, a member of the Relationships, Reciprocity, Exchange Collective at OCAD University, and works at the Blackwood Gallery. They’ll likely point out the names of “weeds” as you walk together, enjoy studying the menus of local restaurants, and always order dessert.

Natalie Vuong

Creative Director

Natalie Vuong is a queer, first-generation Vietnamese-Canadian graphic designer based in Kitchener, Ontario. Originally from Toronto, Natalie wandered along the Humber River as a child and subsequently found herself wandering through a degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Waterloo where her passion for ecological research continues to influence her work. Currently, she designs for local musicians and businesses. When she's not demonstrating poor posture in front of her laptop, Natalie likes to climb, read, and [poorly] identify birds.

Teneile Warren


Teneile Warren is a Jamaican-born, Black, non-binary, and queer playwright and activist living on Turtle Island. They are alumni of the Obsidian Playwrights' Unit, and Buddies in Bad Times Resident Artist. Their work has been staged independently and a part of various festivals across the country. Their art is a vehicle for social commentary and activism. Teneile holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph.

Sam Nabi

Web Advisor

Sam (he/him) is a community organizer and hip-hop artist living in downtown Kitchener.


Andy Myles

Co-Founder & Lead Editor

Andy (he/him) was the co-founder and lead editor for Textile. He earned his Master's degree in English at the University of Waterloo and has served on contest panels for The New Quarterly. For Andy, writing is an important way to learn deeply about others. Textile is an opportunity for him to learn about and highlight stories that have been underrepresented or dismissed while reconnecting with his hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo. Andy loves dance music, catching a pump, and quiet cups of tea.

Bashar Lulu Jabbour

Lead Poetry Editor

Bashar is an immigrant poet who uses the mundane to give you a glimpse of the complexities of leaving one home for another. Bashar is a storyteller, and his stories are deeply personal. He is a nationally competing poet & his poetry is a staple at many festivals including Cherry Festival and Latitudes Storytelling Festival. He was an opening act for artists such as Carlos Andres Gomez. His debut book has been funded by Ontario Arts Council and Waterloo Region Arts Fund and will be released in late 2019.

Since 2016, Bashar has been the co-artistic director of the Kitchener Waterloo Poetry Slam. In his role, he has focused on building community through consistent intimate events (poetry circles, writing circles, and workshops), as well as accountability and conversation.

Zainab Mahdi

Zainab is a poet, aspiring filmmaker and recent BSc graduate from the University of Waterloo. Born in KW to Somali parents, Zainab’s interest in poetry began after accidentally stumbling into the world of spoken word. Her work often engages with ideas around memory, migration and histories of loss. She has spent the last six years performing on various stages throughout KW and the GTA, while also spearheading initiatives to cultivate spaces for young muslim women to share their stories through poetry.

Yeabsera Agonfer

Yeabsera is currently in her 4th year at UW studying religious studies with a minor in sociology. Her roots trace back to Ethiopia but she was born in Sudan, spent her early childhood in Egypt and now lives in Kitchener. Although she has lived in Canada for majority of her life, her home is her ethiopian community. Given her background, she’s very passionate about empowering immigrants within her community and encouraging them to have a voice in this noise-ridden society.

One way she aims to empower people is through photography. She believes everyone has a unique story and through photography she is able to capture raw emotions and lead people into being comfortable in themselves. Textile provides a platform for her to extend her reach and tell more stories through her pictures.

Matthew Morales

Matthew (he/him) is a queer, Filipino man that first connected to the Earth on the archipelago of the Philippines. He currently lives and works on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Neutral Peoples and nations.

His current work involves using design and creativity as a way to navigate through uncertainty and complex problems that affect how people live in the world. He thinks a lot about how design can change how we work through conflict, can empower others in solidarity, and can help us move toward personal and spiritual growth.

Mary Ferguson

Mary (she/her) is a community organizer and advocate who grew up in Kitchener. Co-organizer of queer-centric events with Plan B Cooperative KW, Mary has put on clothing swaps, arts workshops, and social events. Mary is a textile/fibre artist and poet whose interests lie in themes of power, bodies, and madness. Mary is the liaison between Textile and OurStudio and will be mentoring the emerging writers in that space.

Taylor Small

Social Media Lead

Taylor Small (she/her) made Kitchener-Waterloo her home after growing up in a small town outside the GTA. She works in marketing and communications while pursuing her passions for community, connection and art.

Ashley Hynd


Ashley Hynd lives on the Haldimand Tract and respects the Manidoosh, Niiwozid, Bineshiinh, Gaa-babaamaadagewaad, Attawandron/Neutral Peoples, Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee relationships with the land. Her writing often grapples with the erasure of her history, both as an act of reclamation and a call of accountability for what has been lost. Founder and facilitator of Poets & Pancakes, Ashley also sits on the editorial board for Cathuis Literary Journal. Her work has appeared in ARC Poetry Magazine, Canthius, Room, PRISIM International, SubTerrain, Grain Magazine, Cv2, Vallum, TNQ and The Malahat Review. Her hobbies Include trampling the patriarchy, avoiding doing the dishes and getting lost in conversations.

Racheal Walser

Racheal has been a published author and poet since 2007. Focused on literary fiction she finds magic in the daily hum of others' lives. In her day to day life Racheal works with individuals living with experiences of homelessness, abuse, trauma, and active mental health and substance use challenges. She values time with her friends, pets and in nature.