Sheilagh O'Leary

Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O'Leary
Deputy Mayor
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St. John’s native Sheilagh O’Leary is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker and art educator. 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. She has run a successful small business for over 25 years. Her work has been exhibited and collected internationally, appearing in numerous art journals and publications. She has published two books including NL Book award winner “Island Maid: Voices of Outport Women”, which documents rural women’s lives pre-fishing moratorium.

In her many years of advocacy, she has been an energetic volunteer for over three decades, a nature enthusiast, intersectional feminist and a mother of three. As a person of mixed Irish-Indigenous ancestry, issues of cultural diversity, respect and environmental stewardship are paramount in Sheilagh’s work. In 2013 and with a bucket list wish to swim a 5 km open water swim from Portugal Cove to Bell Island, Sheilagh founded and twice swam the ‘Tickle Swim for Mental Health’, a fundraising/awareness campaign for The Canadian Mental Health Association NL.

Sheilagh has been active on numerous boards including Northeast Avalon Atlantic Coastal Action Program, The Irish Newfoundland Association of NL, The Canadian Mental Health Association of NL, St. John’s Clean & Beautiful (Clean St. John’s), The St. John’s Native Friendship Centre, and was former Co-Chair of Equal Voice NL and St. Michael’s Printshop Board. She is presently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of NL.

As a City of St. John’s elected representative since 2009, Sheilagh has formerly been City lead for Housing; Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, the MNL Women’s Caucus Chair, the Northeast Avalon Joint Council. Sheilagh is deeply honored to serve as Deputy Mayor for the City of St. John’s since 2017 where she is present Council lead for Community Services and Council representative for the Pippy Park Commission.