Laura Beeston is a Winnipeg-born, Montréal-bred, Toronto based writer.

She recently returned to the 6ix from a data collection mission in the high Arctic, an environmental reportage retreat at The Banff Centre and Lac-Mégantic, Québec. Her work has appeared in the Star, The Globe and Mail, The Montreal Gazette and The Winnipeg Free Press, and she was an editor at this year's C2 Montréal.

Laura is passionate about "weird" people, things and stories and writes with a cultural bent. A big believer in the New New Journalism, she loves (and agonizes over) crafting long-form, investigative features. Having already written about Canada's contemporary jewellery talent before, she is thrilled to join this panel.

Shelly Purdy is a Toronto-based goldsmith and the exclusive designer for Maple Leaf Diamond's Seasons Collection.

Her work is inherently Canadian both in design and manufacturing; sparkling summer lakes and the beauty of winter's delicate falling snow - created using Canadian diamonds.

Awarded the De Beers Diamonds Today Award, Shelly's work has been featured in numerous publications and media outlets, including Breakfast Television, ELLE Canada and the Globe and Mail - Shelly has also exhibited her work at the Royal Ontario Museum. Shelly designs and manufactures from her boutique jewellery studio in Toronto's Fashion District. www.shellypurdy.com

Toronto-based artist Richard Ahnert takes anthropomorphic painting to a new level, lacing it with a quiet, yet unmistakable animism -- an abiding kinship between human and nature.

Richard Ahnert takes his distinct surrealist style and longstanding fascination with animals and interweaves them into a climactic Canadiana narrative.

He uses the relationship between animals and humans to explore themes of emotion, metaphor, and symbolism with a satirical twist. Storytelling, understated humour, and deep reflection are at the heart of his practice. Richard has exhibited his paintings in shows and galleries in Canada and The US. His work has won awards and can be found in private collections and businesses in North America and Europe. www.ahnertart.com

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