Ildiko NovaIldiko Nova was born in Hungary in 1966. She has been doing art since she was a child. Though she is mostly self-taught in art, she also took courses in watercolour at George Brown College in Toronto. Ildiko does different media such as spontaneous marker drawings, illustrations and acrylic paintings, uses recycled materials. She explores the line between reality and dreaming and juxtaposes unusual elements.

Trained as a community worker, Ildiko is always looking for connections to communities. She has taught art to street people in Toronto, volunteered in different art organizations in Winnipeg.

Her interest as an activist includes human rights issues for underprivileged, marginalized communities and ethnic groups; she also would like to see more respect paid to women and children in our society.  With past experiences as a Roma in Eastern Europe at the back of mind, Ildiko has gratefully accepted invitations from Aboriginal classmates in Canada to learn about their cultures – and this new awareness also surfaces in her art.

When it comes to the subject of “Roma”, or as the most of the world know, “gypsies”, it’s either a complete lack of education or a source of deep hatred, xenophobia and misunderstanding.

First of all, the word “gypsy” is a derogatory term, the correct name is “Roma”. Roma people left the lands of India around the 9th-10th century to Europe. Their different culture and lifestyle have never been fully accepted in the often xenophobic European environment. Slavery, Holocaust in the past, segregated schools, exclusion from social participation today.

When we talk about Roma people it’s either lack of knowledge, it’s about human rights violations or it’s cultural appropriation. If you are interested in other cultures, remember that it comes with responsibilities: learn their history, learn their current situation in globalization, fight stereotypes. The best way to help underprivileged people or communities is to share their positive stories about their successes.

It is about time to be open-minded and to educate ourselves about all the different ways of life by the ones we do not know.


Roma Women
‘Roma Storyteller’ – Artwork by and copyright Ildiko Nova, 2016.


More of Ildiko’s art, work and achievements:

  • Toronto Dollar, Frankly Bob Award 2009
  • My Toronto, individual Photo Exhibition, Budapest Hungary 2009
  • Refugee Rights Day, Group Show, Toronto 2010 and 2011
  • WRHA Crisis Response Centre, permanent installation, Winnipeg MB 2013
  • Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Annual Report cover Winnipeg   2013
  • Art City Winnipeg, We Love Winnipeg community mural 2014
  • Urban Art Gallery, Downtown BIZ Winnipeg, Winning Installation 2014 and 2015
  • Downtown BIZ Winnipeg, Winning Bicycle rack design 2016