St. John’s native, Sheilagh O’Leary is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker and art educator. As a small business owner. Sheilagh is experienced in the areas of visual media including film, video and stills production, radio broadcasting, education, and not-for profit organizations specializing in areas of diversity and inclusion.
In her many years of advocacy, Sheilagh O’Leary has been a strong, passionate voice in supporting positive change in our communities. She has been an energetic volunteer for over 25 years, a nature enthusiast and a mother of three. As a member of the Qalipu M’ikmaq First Nations Band, issues of cultural diversity and respect are paramount in Sheilagh’s work.
She has been active on numerous boards, including North East Avalon Atlantic Coastal Action Program, The Irish Newfoundland Association of NL, The Canadian Mental Health Association of NL, Clean & Beautiful, The St. John’s Native Friendship Centre, and Equal Voice NL, where she presently sits as Chapter Chair. With a bucket list wish to swim the five kilometres from Portugal Cove to Bell Island colloquially know as the Tickle, Sheilagh conceived and established the ‘Tickle Swim for Mental Health’, a fundraising, awareness campaign for The Canadian Mental Health Association NL, now in its 4th year. Sheilagh is presently active on several committees of City Council where she sits as Council representative to the Environmental Advisory Committee.
She has run a successful business for over 20 years. Her work has been exhibited and collected internationally, appearing in numerous art journals and publications. She published two books including NL Book award winner “Island Maid: Voices of Outport Women”, which documents rural women’s lives pre-fishing moratorium.