2020 Top 25 Women of Influence Awards Luncheon

On March 3rd, we celebrated the 2020 Top 25 Women of Influence. This year’s Top 25 women represented a variety of sectors, career stages, and contributions to women’s advancement. What do they have in common? They are all women of influence, who have left their mark over the past year. Some have reached impressive heights in their career, breaking through barriers to become visible examples of what women are capable of. Others are focused on supporting women and girls through their initiatives, both at a community level, and on the world stage. Many are giving a voice to the challenges women face in their lives and careers, helping to initiate important conversations that can lead to lasting change.

Notable guests

Our Keynote Speakers

Meet Autumn Peltier

Meet Autumn Peltier

At only 15 years old, Autumn Peltier is teaching us all to be more responsible about water. Having taken over the position of Chief Water Commissioner for the Anishinabek Nation from her late great-aunt, her activism has earned her accolades and global attention. She received a nomination for the 2019 International Children's Peace Prize, and has spoken multiple times at the UN, with a clear statement urging the community to respect the importance of clean water.

Meet Sally Armstrong

Meet Sally Armstrong

As a foreign correspondent, Sally Armstrong has spent decades dedicated to shining a light on the struggles of women and girls in conflict zones around the world, earning her the Amnesty International Media Award four times. Often called “the war correspondent for the world's women,” she has given a voice to countless individuals by sharing their stories. Passionate about women's rights, her latest effort has been to uncover the reason of why and how women have been treated as unequal for so long.

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2019 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Gala

The annual RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Gala is the premier event of the year. In 2019, nominees, applicants, finalists, judges and guests had the opportunity to celebrate Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards in style on November 20th at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto.

After an elegant cocktail reception spent mingling with celebrity guests, dignitaries and past award winners, guests will move into the grand ballroom for a three course dinner, entertainment and the official Awards Show where the winners of six award categories were announced live.

This red-carpet event provided guests the opportunity to celebrate the award Finalists and Winners, meet and enjoy the company of incredible men and women in Canadian business, and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit shared by women across the country.

Notable guests

Our Award Winners

Meet Jayne McCaw

Meet Jayne McCaw

Start-Up Award - Jayne’s Cottages

Meet Kelly Ann Woods

Meet Kelly Ann Woods

Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub Micro-Business Award - Gillespie’s Fine Spirits Ltd, Boozewitch Beverage Company, Switch Beverage Co.

Meet Janet LePage

Meet Janet LePage

RBC Momentum Award - Western Wealth Capital

Meet Geetha Moorthy

Meet Geetha Moorthy

Social Change Award - SAAAC Autism Centre

Meet Carinne Chambers-Saini

Meet Carinne Chambers-Saini

TELUS Trailblazer Award - Diva International Inc.

Meet Brigitte Jalbert

Meet Brigitte Jalbert

Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award - Les Emballages Carrousel Inc.

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Women of Influence Spotlight Series – Deconstructing Stigma

On October 29, we sat down with three groundbreaking experts who not only shared their personal stories, but also reveal key learnings for any woman navigating mental health, ageism or fertility challenges. Together they helped unpack associated stigmas in the workplace and the resulting impact on career growth, while providing tangible insights for a path forward.

Notable guests

Our Panelists

Meet Dr. Vivien Brown

Meet Dr. Vivien Brown

As a preeminent family physician and VP of Medical Affairs at Medisys Health Group, a company focused on advancing preventative health, Dr. Brown has won countless accolades and board appointments for her extensive work in the field. Her recent best-seller 'A Woman's Guide to Healthy Aging - Seven essential ways to keep you vital, happy and strong', has become critical reading for any woman as they advance in their career.

Meet Dr. Marjorie Dixon

Meet Dr. Marjorie Dixon

As CEO and Medical Director of Anova Fertility, Dr. Dixon is an award-winning entrepreneur and a leading industry expert on women's reproductive health. In three years she has grown Anova Fertility from a staff of 8 to over 80 and brought world-class innovations to Canada. As a passionate advocate for women's health, Dr. Dixon regularly shares her knowledge as a monthly resident expert on CityLine.

Meet Christine Laperriere

Meet Christine Laperriere

Is the executive director of the Women of Influence Advancement Centre, president of Leader In Motion, a leadership development organization, and the author of Too Busy to Be Happy — a guide to using Emotional Real Estate to improve both your work and your life.

To listen to the live event, visit our Live from the Podium audiocast and gain insights and inspiration.

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Women of Influence Spotlight Series – Kelowna

One of the key ingredients of success for any entrepreneur is to be truly passionate about what you do. But what does it really take to leave a secure corporate career and turn your hobby or interest into a profitable business? On October 21st we tapped into the trade secrets and compelling journeys of three award-winning entrepreneurs who did exactly that.

Notable guests

Our Panelists

Meet Allison Grafton

Meet Allison Grafton

She was at the top of her career as an investment banker when she gave it all up to pursue her passion for interior design. Today she has built Rockwood Custom Homes into the top luxury residential construction company in Alberta, employing over 35 employees and 500+ contractors.

Meet Jennifer Hamilton

Meet Jennifer Hamilton

In 2006, she left the security of the school board to follow her passion for fitness. Fast forward to today and Oxygen Yoga & Fitness has grown into a national empire generating over $50M in revenue each year with over 68 locations across the country.

Meet Jill White

Meet Jill White

As President of Waterplay Solutions, Jill White believes that play is a right for children around the world, in every culture, regardless of background or preconceived notions of ability. The teams she leads have provided access to play to millions of children through their involvement in more than 10,000 projects.

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Women of Influence Luncheon Series – Industry Disruption

October 15th, 2019 in Calgary a compelling conversation with Kiely Maclean and Kirstie Boyle, whose extraordinary insights will reveal how companies can reset industry standards while increasing revenue. They talked about the key industry trends and new innovations that were disrupting the energy sector and setting a new standard. 

Notable guests

Our Keynote Speakers

Meet Kiely Maclean

Meet Kiely Maclean

There's a reason why at the young age of 30, Kiely Maclean, has already racked up prominent accolades including the Young Woman in Energy Award, 2018 Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award Winner, and this year is nominated for both the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year & RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Through her work as CEO of RJ Maclean Tank Cleaning, Kiely is disrupting a niche area of the oil and gas industry and dramatically changing the future landscape to be not only environmentally sustainable - but also, profitable. In the last three years she has tripled the revenues of MaClean Tank Services into the multi-millions.

Meet Kirstie Boyle

Meet Kirstie Boyle

As Vice President of Business Development for Interface Fluidics, Kirstie Boyle has become an expert on how to leverage new technologies to solve significant problems, and offers a compelling perspective on the massive transformation underway across the global energy industry. Her talent for translating complicated concepts into tangible business outcomes has guided both entrepreneurs and organizations into a more collaborative and profitable new era.

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Women of Influence Spotlight Series – Building a Brand

On October 15th, 2019, we heard the candid story of Lara Murphy & Karen Ryan, a dynamic entrepreneurial duo and found out how they leveraged a partnership based on vision and values into a multi-million dollar industry leader. Lara and Karen first met on a job in Banff, the only female employees on a construction site, who easily connected over conversation on the current state of their industry. Discovering they shared similar values and vision, it was clear that they had an opportunity to not only start a firm but actually change the way business was being done. How? By introducing honesty and integrity into an industry that was lacking it. Key insights of the event included, how to identify opportunity by discovering a gap in the industry, what it takes to transition from employee to entrepreneur,  how to build an equal partnership between two co-founder and how to adjust for market fluctuations?

Notable guests

Our Keynote Speakers

Meet Lara Murphy

Meet Lara Murphy

Lara grew up in New Brunswick where her father operated several businesses throughout her youth. This entrepreneurial spirit had passed on to Lara: she had started her first business, Handy Student Maintenance, while in high school. This path had continued as Lara ran several franchises and eventually formed Fresco, a renovation company also specializing in fine art details such as faux finishes and antique restoration. In 2005, after moving to Alberta, that entrepreneurial spirit again led her from working for a development company for two years to launching her own renovation firm, All Seasons. It was during this time, in 2008, Lara happened to be working alongside Karen on that commercial work site in Banff.

Meet Karen Ryan

Meet Karen Ryan

Karen, originally from Montreal, began working in sales for Rogers but was always up for a new challenge. So, when the company did some restructuring, Karen had noticed an opportunity for change and requested a switch to the planning and construction department. Here she worked as a project manager, building and setting up new retail stores throughout Quebec, Ottawa and Atlantic Canada. Looking for yet another challenge, Karen went to work with Progest Construction, which brought her across Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and BC, building DC Shoes and Quicksilver retail stores–the latter being the site where Karen Ryan met Lara Murphy.

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2019 Global Leaders Dinner Series – Calgary

On October 17th, 2019, we brought together an outstanding group of notable women who are leveraging their influence to grow their impact and create change. By invitation only, the Calgary dinner hosted 50 notable leaders, senior executives and entrepreneurs who have demonstrated their investment to women’s advancement and play a critical role in advancing our competitiveness in the global economy. Around the table, meaningful conversation focused on revealing the innovative ways female leaders are creating change in real-time and how we can leverage each other’s strengths and connections to move the common agenda forward.

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2019 Global Leaders Dinner Series – New York

On October 2nd, 2019, we brought together an outstanding group of notable women who are leveraging their influence to grow their impact and create change. By invitation only, the New York dinner hosted 50 notable leaders, senior executives and entrepreneurs who have demonstrated their investment to women’s advancement and play a critical role in advancing our competitiveness in the global economy. Around the table, meaningful conversation will focus on revealing the innovative ways female leaders are creating change in real-time and how we can leverage each other’s strengths and connections to move the common agenda forward.