Carmel means 'from the vineyard' or 'planted'. It is the name of a spiritually significant mountain in Israel. It's a middle name I've grown into. Carmel Futures is a garden for my creative work.


Esther Carmel Maloney is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist, writer and educator. She has performed in and directed shows at the Summerworks, Hysteria! and Fringe theatre festivals, the Shaw Festival, and has toured with several theatre for young audience productions. Esther has voiced a number of cartoons, was featured in a TIFF short film and has worked as an artist-educator in schools across Toronto as well as in community settings and with Jumblies Theatre and Arts4All. Esther is founding director of Illumine Media, a community-based film project focused on capacity building with youth, for which she has written, produced and directed four short films, two of which were shared at the Regent Park Film Festival. She wrote and directed the web series How We Grow which has been shared with thousands of young people across Toronto through a partnership with the Toronto District School Board. She wrote, directed and produced the short film funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, Another World, currently featured in a number of film festivals. She is currently co-directing a BIPOC community learning program associated with the feature film Tenaya, which won the audience choice award at the 2020 TIFF Big Pitch Competition.

Esther is the author of The Lovebird’s Freedom, a children’s book about grief and loss published with Plant Love Grow in 2018. She has contributed articles on themes of community, land and motherhood to the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and Medium, and was a panelist on the topic of media and gender at the 2018 United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women. Her academic work can be accessed here. Esther holds an MA in Education from the University of Toronto, and a BFA in Theatre Performance from Concordia University.