International Women’s Day 2018 Events in Canada



Across Canada, women’s networks, corporations, charities, educational institutions, government bodies, political parties, the media and beyond are celebrating International Women’s Day 2018. Join the movement to #PressforProgress at one of these events, or plan your own celebration! 



The Dinner Party featuring Arlene Dickinson (Burlington, ON, March 7 @ 5:30pm EST)  

The Dinner Party is a major fundraiser to raise awareness and support for three important charities: Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services Halton (SAVIS), Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan-Halton and Zonta International. All profits raised through ticket sales, silent auction and 50/50 draw are solely dedicated to supporting these three groups. Since inception, The Dinner Party has raised approximately $320,500.


Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce 2018 International Women’s Day (Coquitlam, BC, March 8 @ 11:00am PST)

Presented by TD Canada Trust, the afternoon event will connect, inspire, and empower all professionals in the room. Featuring guest speaker Fiona Forbes, host of Vancouver’s hit TV talk show, “THE RUSH.”


SHEfights II: #PressForProgress (Toronto, ON, March 10 @ 5:00pm EST)

SHEspars and Back Forward Kick present this Muaythai Ontario sanctioned all female amateur muaythai event in support of International Women’s Day.


International Women’s Day: keynote from Microsoft’s Vaz Rosario (Winnipeg, MB, March 8 @ 11:00am CST)

Part of ICTAM’s (Information and Communications Technologies Association of Manitoba) Women in Technology Series.


#TimesUp: A Dialogue on Women’s Equity in the Workplace, Politics & Society (Montreal, QC, March 8 @ 7:00am EST)

The Montreal Global Shapers hub, Forusgirls and JCCAC – Jeune chambre de commerce algérienne du Canada unite their forces to introduce a unite for a poignant discussion on women’s equity and the #TimesUp movement.


Leading with a Purpose: An International Women’s Day Lunch (Toronto, March 8 @ 12:00pm EST)

Attendees will be given the chance to network with extraordinary purpose-driven women from surrounding communities in support of this year’s IWD theme, #PressforProgress, a global advocacy and support movement for gender parity.


Women with Tech Taking Over the World by Volta Labs (Halifax, NS, March 8 @ 5:30pm AST)

The event will kickoff with a brief keynote given by Sreejata Chatterjee, co-founder of Leadsift, on the importance of having a co-founder. Sreejata will discuss how having a co-founder has assisted LeadSift in its growth, how to find the right co-founder, and her experience as a female founder. Following the address, we will open the floor to anyone who is interested in sharing their experiences and what they’re looking for in a co-founder.


“Flow and Goals” Yoga and Goal Setting by Lululemon (Toronto, ON, March 8 @ 7:00pm EST)

An evening of yoga, goal setting, female empowerment, and treats. The vinyasa flow yoga class (for all levels) will begin at 7:30pm, followed by a vision and goals workshop.


“Women Changing Lives” hosted by Family of Women Inc and Making Changes Association (Calgary, AB, March 8 @ 6:00pm MST)

In support of Family of Women Inc and Making Changes Association, the evening will include a guest speaker, a fashion show, and two musical performances.


International Women’s Day 2018 Concert (Red Deer, AB, March 8 @ 7:00pm MST)

Featuring Randi Boulton, Kimblery MacGregor, Amelie Patterson, Billi Zizi, Vissia, and Justine Vandergrift.


International Women’s Day: Pink Attitude 18 featuring Manjit Minhas (Brampton, ON, March 10 @ 6:30pm EST)

Pink Attitude Evolution celebrates women that shatter through barriers, while inspiring and empowering others to be prominent leaders regardless of age, gender, orientation, race, religion, or abilities. The event will feature Manjit Minhas, Co-founder & CEO, Minhas Breweries and Distilleries and Dragon on Dragons Den. 



Find more information and events on the International Women’s Day website.

Meet Ginella Massa, Canada’s first hijab-wearing news anchor

Ginella Massa had dreams of becoming a news reporter since she was a young girl, despite fears that her appearance didn’t fit the typical mold. Decades later, she realized that life long dream when she became Canada’s first hijab-wearing reporter, and then the first anchor of a major Canadian news channel to wear a hijab on-air. Find out how she broke those barriers to realize the career of her dreams. 





My first job ever was… As an usher at the theaters at the Harbourfront centre in Toronto. I held that job on and off through high school and university for almost 9 years!


I decided to pursue television because…  I loved to talk and be the center of attention when I was a kid. My family couldn’t get me to shut up. The first time we realized that could translate into some sort of career in broadcasting was when I was in the third grade and won a speech competition at my school. I felt like I had something interesting to say and people were actually listening.


My proudest accomplishment is… Becoming Canada’s first hijab-wearing reporter and anchor, not only because of the personal career milestone but because of that doors it might open up for other young women like me.


My boldest move to date was… Quitting a full-time producing job without another job lined up. It was the scariest thing I ever did and people thought I was insane. But I knew I was spinning my wheels where I was, and I wanted to focus on taking my career on-air. It was the best decision I ever made — 8 months later I landed my first on-air gig.


I surprise people when I tell them… I was born in Panama and I speak Spanish.


My best advice from a mentor was… Don’t be afraid to talk about what makes me different. Instead of trying to be like everyone else, see it as an asset instead of a hindrance.


A public figure I look up to is… Malala Yousafzai


My biggest setback was… Being turned down over and over again for on-air positions. Even though I had worked in news as a producer for nearly 4 years, I was constantly told I didn’t have enough reporting experience to be on-air.


I overcame it by… Persistence. I landed my first reporting gig in Kitchener after applying for the same position 3 different times over the span of a year and a half. After the first time I was turned down, I started volunteering at a local community TV station to build up my reporting and videography demo reel so I could have some concrete samples of my work offer them. I guess eventually I wore them down and they hired me!


“There is a lot of pressure from all angles to do things a certain way — from the way I dress, to how I tell my stories. At the end of the day I have to be able to look in the mirror and be satisfied with myself and the decisions I made.”


Work/life balance is… A daily struggle! I have to really focus on leaving work at work. When I get home, I’m allowed to talk about my story from that day for 10 minutes, but then I have to put it away and be present with my family and friends. I try really hard to minimize how much news I consume on my days off, and sometimes I even turn my email notifications off, but I’m not always able to detach myself from what’s going on in the works. The journalist in me is always looking for the next interesting story to tell, much to the annoyance of the people around. They get wary when they see me get that look in my eye and start asking lots of questions.


Authenticity in my career and life means… Striving my best to do things with integrity and not compromising who I am. There is a lot of pressure from all angles to do things a certain way — from the way I dress, to how I tell my stories. At the end of the day I have to be able to look in the mirror and be satisfied with myself and the decisions I made.


If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… I was home schooled in the 7th and 8th grade.


One word I’d use to describe myself is… Optimistic.


One word a friend would use to describe me is… Loyal.


I stay inspired by… The stories of people whose voices are often silenced.


The future excites me because… I have no idea what next year will look like.


I want young women who represent a minority culture or religion in Canada to know… Their voices and their experiences matter and they should demand to be heard.


My next step is… Anyone’s guess!


Photo credit: Robin Kuniski


Want to hear more from Ginella? Get your ticket to her inspirational keynote at our Evening Series season premiere on September 6!

It’s time to make friends with your money

By Lesley-Anne Scorgie 

Look, I get that financial planning might seem overwhelming and isn’t every woman’s idea of a good time, but hopefully you’ll take the time to make friends with your money. Financial knowledge is empowering and will allow you to have better quality opportunities for your future.

The formula for staying poor is simple:

Step 1: ruminate over financial mistakes from the past;

Step 2: compare yourself to others;

Step 3: blame your circumstance on other people (including your partner) and situations that you couldn’t control.

If you don’t learn to get real with your financial situation, things like maxed-out credit cards and a mortgage you can’t afford will forever haunt and prevent you from moving your life forward.

The biggest financial obstacles for women aren’t their actual finances; they are their mindsets. A fascination with the past prevents even the smartest women from achieving their full potential— financial, personal, and professional. You might blame that stingy boss who would never give anyone a raise, or that ex-spouse who wouldn’t pay their fair share of child support. Sure there will have been challenges along the way, but you need to own up to your financial reality.

Compounding this focus on the past, is a tortuous pattern of trying to keep up with the Joneses because “we deserve it.” You know these people. You may be one. I was one once. In late 2015, a 45-year-old woman came into my office seething with anger because her ex-husband was a deadbeat and left her with a mountain of credit card debt—eight years prior! Rather than owning up to her financial reality, she’d kept up “appearances” and buried herself further in debt. The past trapped her. She needed to stop obsessing about her ex, examine her own behaviour, and deal with the reality she was living in now.

As women we spend a lot of time looking in the rear-view mirror hoping that it will teach us something about the financial road ahead. But sadly, we miss simply being present in today— taking in what’s happening right here and right now. Extraordinary things come out of many “todays” layered together when they are pointed in the direction you want your life and finances to head. If you want to be rich—and when I say that I mean you would like to be truly satisfied with your financial, personal, and professional life—then take stock of where you and your money are today. This can be as simple as calculating your net worth, setting a realistic goal to grow it, and working to change one bad financial habit at a time. Make a resolution to focus on smart solutions for your financial future, including building enough savings for retirement.

Some of the most amazing financial progress I’ve seen is with women starting from ground zero—they don’t even have two nickels to rub together. But their commitment to a better financial future is centred on making the best financial choices possible with what they have every day, and they’re quick to halt bad financial habits.

If you’re ready to transform your finances, choose the formula for getting rich:

Step 1: put past financial mistakes in their place—behind you;

Step 2: get real with your financial reality;

Step 3: point every decision you make towards achieving your financial, personal, and professional potential.


This is an excerpt from Lesley-Anne’s latest book, The Modern Couple’s Money Guide


Heather Reisman: A Timeline of Reinvention

Her name is easily recognizable by the Canadian public from her popular “Heather’s Picks.” To the business world, Heather Reisman, Chair and CEO of Indigo Books, is not just the face of the company’s reading shortlists—she’s revolutionized the country’s bookselling industry. Heather has worked diligently and strategically, constantly evolving her entrepreneurial career, and her business, to ensure success. We’ve mapped out 45 years of her most impressive milestones.

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