Photo by Javier Lovera
“Success is yours to define.”
Growing up global
Actress. Model. Advocate. Call her what you will, Lisa Ray is more than all three. From being the host of Top Chef Canada to the face of Rado Watches, her travels mimic the span of her career. “I like to think of myself as more boho than corporate,” says the self-proclaimed “covert type A,” who began modeling at 16 in India. “In reality, I have a strong work ethic.”
In 2009, Ray was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a rare blood cancer. She established the Yellow Diaries, a blog that chronicled her experiences, and led her to explore concepts of beauty. Believing that the modern age suffers from ”pathology of perfection,” she embraced meaningful endeavours to inspire change. In a recent collaboration with Indian design house Satya Paul, Ray manifested her experience through silk and sequin. Her “Phoenix Rising” sari is one of many gorgeous creations, where portions of the proceeds are donated to Multiple Myeloma Research at Princess Margaret Hospital.
Diversity her strength
Known for her tenacious role as Sue (Sunita) Singh in Deepa Mehta’s Bollywood/Hollywood, Ray “proudly proclaims” her mixed heritage off screen. “I realized early on that my strength was my uniqueness,” she says of being born to Indian and Polish parents in 1970s Toronto. Ray aptly calls Canada a “cultural stew” that has shaped her outlook on life
Ray ultimately serves all, be it culture or people. This year, she was recognized for servicing her country with a Diamond Jubilee Medal. “After leaving Canada at 16 to live in India, Europe and the States, I have discovered a new sense of purpose and stability in Canada, which helps me give back in more effective and meaningful ways.”
You can catch a stunning Ray as the lead role in the theatre performance of Taj, which will hit stages across Canada in late October and the new season of Top Chef Canada next year.
This piece was originally published in the FALL 2013 issue of CHLOE Magazine