How Massy Books Uplifts Underrepresented Authors and Artists

This year, we have been featured at the 2022 Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). Our film, I Empower as a Mother, was played in two events, where we held question and answer periods. The film portrays a brief look into the life and accomplishments of Patricia Massy, an Indigenous business owner whose book store uplifts underrepresented authors and artists.

Patricia's bookstore is dedicated to promoting and selling books by underrepresented authors and artists. This includes books by Indigenous authors, people of colour, LGBTQ+ authors, and more. Patricia herself is an Indigenous business owner, so she knows firsthand how important it is to have a platform that celebrates diversity and amplifies unheard voices. By creating this type of safe space, Patricia has made it possible for many people to see themselves represented in literature for the first time. 

See: As A Mother Series

Massy Books is a living wage provider and Vancouver’s largest collection of Indigenous literature.

In addition to selling books, the Massy Arts Society is a non-profit that provides space for over excluded authors and artists to hold events for their works. Most are first-timers who are able to utilize the opportunity to add public events to their resume.

In our film, we explore not only the bookstore, but a glimpse into Patricia’s family and life as she had grown up between two backgrounds: Indigenous and European. Patricia’s story is rife with experiences that are shared amongst many Indigenous people who have grown up in rural Canadian society, challenged to find the balance between their heritage and a colonized upbringing. 

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Inder & Patricia Massy answering questions at VIFF 2022

Patricia is open, honest, raw, and poised in her interview in I Empower as a Mother, and it’s no wonder that the selection committee at VIFF was excited to feature our little movie in their lineup this year. 

Patricia Massy is an inspiring Indigenous business owner who has made it her mission to uplift underrepresented voices in her community. Through her bookstore—which sells secondhand books, supports local artists, and is eco-friendly—she has created a safe space for people of all backgrounds to come together and celebrate diversity. If you're ever in Vancouver, be sure to check out her store!

Inder & Tricia at VIFF 2022
Written By
Inder Nirwan
Co-Owner & Filmmaker