Mary Outow was born in Lerin, Aegean Macedonia, and moved to Canada as a young girl, settling in Toronto, Ontario, together with her mother and brother, joining her father who had already been in Toronto for some time.
With extensive experience in organising events, Mary has worked at a law firm, the Ontario Ministry of Industry and Tourism (renamed to Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation), and a company dedicated to presenting and facilitating transformational workshops.
Her varied work experience culminated in becoming a teacher, vice-principal, and principal of three different schools in Toronto. Being a principal in schools located in marginalized communities has afforded Mary the opportunity to make a fundamental difference to children’s lives by ensuring that they received a top-notch education and a high level of personal care to prepare them for a successful future. Developing a vision for the school(s), building staff capacity and resources, and working with a variety of community partners created a condition which produced school scores that met and surpassed expectations. Chairing several committees over time that worked on kindergarten student school readiness, increasing achievement levels of students with special needs, and planning professional development conferences helped to support many more clusters of schools within the school board.
Mary is also a Board of Directors member of the Canadian Macedonian Historical Society (CMHS) based in Toronto. The CMHS is the curator of several thousand books on Macedonia, records of the contributions of Canadian Macedonians to Canadian society, and information on historical events, as well as photographs and artifacts. It is an on-line resource library destination. The last event organized by CMHS was entitled, “70 Years in Exile: Macedonian Child Refugees of the Greek Civil War”, in November 2019, which marked the time in history when many children were forced to flee their homeland for safety.
In addition to this, Mary has also been a volunteer at the Macedonian Film Festival (MFF) in Toronto. The MFF is an annual event that produces Macedonian films and/or themes by mainly Macedonian writers and producers from all over the world. In October 2019, the MFF featured the film entitled, “Honeyland” which received an Oscar nomination in the category of Best Documentary Feature and Best International Feature Film.