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South Delta artists featured in book celebrating Canadian women

Pursuit-365 being released on International Women's Day via Amazon

Four South Delta artists celebrate International Women’s Day today (March 8) by being featured in a book release that recognizes Canadian women who lead by example in the every-day pursuit of success, happiness and achievement.

Jan Rankin, Kathy Swift, Donelle Clarke and Mary Painter are included in Pursuit-365, a book co-authored by 365 women from the West Coast to the Maritimes.

The idea took shape a few years ago, when the founder of Fresh Magazine, Shelly Lynn Hughes was asked to speak at the UN in New York along with a delegate of fellow female Canadian Entrepreneurs. With COVID-19 putting a stop to all travel over the last year and a half, Hughes was inspired to publish the book, with each day of the year featuring one woman's story.

It’s a statement of what women can do when they collaborate generously and share their stories. The project features Canadian women of all ages, backgrounds, life stages, and interests revealing their personal journey in 365 words.

Contributors include musicians Jann Arden and Bif Naked, along with Mobina Jaffer, Canada’s first Muslim senator and Iranian-Canadian human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam.

A gallery owner approached Rankin and Swift about the project last summer. Rankin then brought Clarke and Painter onboard too.

“The whole premise behind it is there are of course 365 days in the year and there are 365 women from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island and each one of us have our own page in the book with 365 words. So Pursuit-365 takes on several different meanings,” explained Rankin. “We each have our own story to tell about our own experience with something. Something that may be pivotal, transformation, inspiration in our lives, that kind of thing.

“When you get 365 people there are some who are glamourous, others who are highly influential like Bif Naked and Jann Arden and then there are other people like us. It’s a real diverse group of women and the fact four of us from South Delta is pretty neat.”

Much of Rankin’s work comes from a connection with nature, a desire to protect and celebrate both flora and fauna - from Burns Bog, to the Orcas of the West Coast. She is the founder and organizer of For the Love of Art In South Delta - an annual art event held at Harris Barn.

Swift has been studying and practicing water-based mediums since 1988 with a focus on the joy of creating – and the question “What IF?”  Her work is included in private collections across Canada, the United States, and abroad.

Clarke is a retired nurse and former Director of Care at Nurse Next Door in Tsawwassen. These days she is running a small business making handmade, one of a kind artisan jewelry. 

Painter is an artisan metalsmith who creates hand crafted jewelry and decor from precious and semi-precious metals and stones. She credits her creative inclination to the legacy of her late mom Daphne Mavis, whose talents spanned many artistic mediums from lapidary to pottery. Her mom is honoured in the name of her business: Mavis and Mary Creative Arts.

Each woman used the talents of local photographer Radina Droumeva for their book portraits.

The digital release of the book is available, starting today through A soft cover printed edition will also be distributed through 65 Indigo stores sometime in April or May.

Throughout the year, all 365 co-authors also have their own day where they are featured on Fresh Magazine’s digital platform with a photo and bio. Most chose their birthday with Rankin first up among the South Delta co-authors on March 22.