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Meet Kali – the founder of Kakes & Kanvas

Kali has a vision

Let me tell you about it

For Kali her greatest passions, baking and painting, had something vital in common, they bring people together and instil joy to those who share it.

She dreamt of building a place that attracted people with the idea of adding colour into our community with kindness and appreciation for creative expression. 

Kalia’s love for the arts and baking started at a young age, baking her first solo cake at the age of 6.

Excelling at school/personal art projects, often having her artwork/projects showcased at the front office and/or outside the classroom.

Throughout her life Kalia has strived to make this world a better place with her art and baking, to brighten individuals’ days in the slightest of ways.

Kali Gounden Founder of Kakes & Kanvas holding her first cake
Kali’s first cake

Why baking? It stems from her close relationship with a lifelong Italian baker, her grandfather and best friend – Nonno.

Kali and Nonno
Kali & Nonno

Nonno immigrated from northern Italy to Ravelstoke, British Columbia and would become the town’s resident baker.

As his family grew one day he found himself with a devoted little shadow by the name of Kali doggedly terrorising his every move. 

He had a kindred spirit in the little terror though he would seldom admit it, you would much more frequently hear him exclaim in his thick Italian accent, .

“Kalia, shut up a little bit!”

Sadly Nonno passed away in 2017 but Kalia still carries his fiery Italian passion for baking with her and she shares this with her community.

Around the time of Nonno’s passing Kali found herself in a spiralling depression. She had just completed a degree in criminal justice but no one was hiring. Consequently she found herself jobless and without purpose.

At the time she was quietly ashamed of feeling this way but has since come to realise many of us have these feelings and need help and support from one another and should talk about these things freely. After feeling lost for sometime without direction she decided it was time to take action.

If Nonno was brave enough to move his life across the world and start a business then there is no reason why she couldn’t start one in her own home town. With this revelation Kali began to pursue her dream, and Kakes & Kanvas was born.

But all visions need to start somewhere and Kakes & Kanvas didn’t have a place to start but that didn’t stop Kali from selling her cakes and hosting paint class. She would rent kitchens to bake in and find venues to partner with for the classes.  She began building the community before finding a physical space to call home.This was possible because Kakes & Kakes is more than creative baked goods or a fun paint class. 

Kakes & Kanvas is an idea, the same idea that gathers people around a birthday cake, a wedding cake, the mona lisa, or a starry night, it’s the sense of togetherness, it’s the joy and creativity that makes us social creatures, a respite from the troubles we all share. It’s a community.

With every cupcake sold, with every brush stroke on canvas, with every new creation made by our members Kakes & Kanvas gets that little bit closer to affording a place that this idea can call home and finally give this vibrant community somewhere to gather.

We invite you to be a part of Kalia’s dream

Kakes & Kanvas is an outlet for individuals to just “let go” of all the things that we sometimes let bring us down in today’s society, whether it be through receiving a cake or other sweet confection, getting lost in Kalia’s pieces or attending a Kakes & Kanvas Paint Night. 

Kalia has baked in kitchens across the world including, across Canada and the United States, Belize, Guyana, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, and Australia. Kalia baked with underprivileged children in Portugal, sharing her passion and love for baking with the youth of Cabacos.

Kalia’s passions have been the only constant through her life struggles.

Kakes & Kanvas is Calgary based, however Kalia shares her passions with everyone she meets on her travels throughout the world. Once a Calgary Kakes & Kanvas store front is up and running, Kalia hopes to take this venture worldwide.

“The world needs more outlets that provide passion, inspiration, positivity, support and love. Through our Paint Nights, cakes, & pieces we are able to provide a vessel to accomplish a life long moment that gives individuals true joy, and untainted self expression.”

Kalia Gounden has a unique style to her art, which has captivated several founding artists  of The Art Box in Calgary, Alberta; which ultimately lead to her work being displayed for the grand opening in October 2013, and months after that.

Kalia’s use of colour and methods of self-expression are unreal, as they tend to have great effects on individuals; how they feel, think and process the piece. Kalia chooses to leave it all on the canvas; as painting has become her outlet, and choice of expression. Each piece has a story of her journey ingrained in every brush stroke.

Kalia’s pieces are in homes across the globe. Several in her hometown of Calgary, Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario; internationally, in the USA, Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, Hawaii, and Australia. Kalia has been the youth coordinator of GCCA of Calgary (Guyana Canada Cultural Association) for several years, which ultimately her lead role in organizing their first a Paint Night/Gallery with the association, which many called a great success.

“Art is how I communicate my feelings, thoughts & pain, how I gain closure. If you want to know more about me, don’t just look at my art, see it, feel it.”

Kalia’s love for the arts and baking started at a young age, baking her first solo kake at of 6. Excelling at school/personal art projects, often having her artwork/projects showcased at the front office and/or outside the classroom. Throughout her life Kalia has strived to make this world a better place with her art and baking, to brighten individuals days in the slightest of ways.

Kalia has baked in kitchens across the world including, across Canada and the United States, Belize, Guyana, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, and Australia. Kalia baked with underprivileged children in Portugal, sharing her passion and love for baking with the youth of Cabacos.

Kalia’s passions have been to be the only constant through her life struggles.

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