Recap: Political Pub Night

In the 2013 municipal election here in Edmonton, just 39 of the 119 candidates who ran for office were women. And of the 79 candidates who ran for City Council specifically, just 17 were women. Nomination Day for the 2017 municipal election isn’t until September 18, but already there are more than three dozen female candidates who intend to run!

Political Pub Night

Many of them were in attendance earlier this evening at Political Pub Night, an informal mixer organized by Ward 5 candidate Miranda Jimmy. “I went to an Equal Voice event last month and everyone said ‘we need to get more women elected’,” she told me. “I thought, the way to do that is to support each other.” She organized the event to give people an opportunity to meet the women running in this election in a more casual environment.

Political Pub Night

There were about two dozen candidates who confirmed their attendance and the free event “sold out” in just four days. “Obviously, there’s a need for this,” Miranda said after I remarked how impressive it was that so many people gave up a beautiful July evening to talk politics.

Political Pub Night
Miranda Jimmy and Amanda Nielsen

Amanda Nielsen, past chair of Equal Voice’s Northern Alberta chapter, said events like tonight’s mixer are important to help candidates build confidence. “Being a candidate is tough, so you need to build support for what you’re doing,” she told me. Equal Voice has been holding training schools for candidates on door knocking, organized the Fundraise-HER event last month, and is paying attention to Twitter to proactively respond to gendered attacks.

In addition to meeting potential voters, the event was an opportunity for candidates to meet one another. “There’s a lot we can learn from one another,” Miranda said.

Here’s the list of candidates that was shared at the event:

You can see more photos from tonight’s event here.

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Global’s Woman of Vision has now profiled more than 230 Edmonton-area women doing great things

The 19th annual Global’s Woman of Vision luncheon was held at the Shaw Conference Centre last Friday. The event “celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of Edmonton-area women” and has now recognized over 230 women. I was fortunate enough to attend on a complementary media ticket.

“The consistently sold-out annual awards luncheon is the highlight of the Woman of Vision program, as it pays tribute to the inspirational women featured over the last year. Gold Sponsors give female university students $1,000 bursaries to help them realize their visions and 50 young women receive sponsored tickets to inspire them to consider where their visions may lead them. This emotional, spirit-lifting event is enhanced by words of wisdom from the women of vision themselves.”

The Woman of Vision feature airs on the first Monday of every month on Global Edmonton, produced and hosted by Lesley MacDonald. It was launched on ITV News in 1995, and has won two national broadcasting awards. It’s impressive that the program is still going strong!

Woman of Vision Luncheon

The twelve women recognized this year were:

You can read much more about each of them in the March 2014 issue of Avenue Edmonton magazine, and you can see some of the videos here.

I thought the format of the event was interesting. Each recipient was welcomed on stage to both receive her award, but also to answer a question posed by Lesley. The questions and answers were pre-prepared, but they still offered some additional information on each woman that I really appreciated. It was great to hear the recipients talk about their vision in their own words too.

I was extremely happy to see Kendall and Justine recognized as I think they are doing amazing things with Poppy Barley. The best is absolutely yet to come for their growing company! It was great to see a couple of representatives from our vibrant food community too, with Giselle and Amy. Duchess Bake Shop needs no introduction if you’re in Edmonton, and perhaps not even if you’re elsewhere in the country! I’m a big fan of Amy’s, not only because she still remembers my order at Chicken For Lunch, but because she truly does live her vision of “just be yourself”. She had everyone in the audience laughing!

Woman of Vision Luncheon

In addition to the women of vision, eight young women received bursaries.

“Sponsorships for the Global Woman of Vision Awards Luncheon include the creation of bursaries and awards to assist young women in furthering their education so they can pursue their own visions.”

Sponsors Global, Canadian Western Bank, Stantec, Enbridge, Afinity Life Sciences, Sterling Homes, Groot DermaSurgery, and MacEwan University all provided a bursary. The 2014 bursary recipients were:

  • Lindsay Rankin, Radio & Television Broadcasting, NAIT
  • Brishti Kayastha, Bachelor of Commerce, MacEwan University
  • Miranda Stahn, WISEST, University of Alberta
  • Angelica Prieto, Civil Engineering, University of Alberta
  • Ensaf Almomani, Physiology, University of Alberta
  • Sonic Budac, Architectural Technology, NAIT
  • Stephanie Lim, Medicine, University of Alberta
  • Rowan Sallstrom, Anthropology, MacEwan University

Watch for those women to continue doing interesting and impactful things in the years ahead!

If you’d like to nominate a Woman of Vision from the Edmonton area, you can do so online. Nominations are reviewed every two months by the Global Woman of Vision Advisory Board. You can see more photos from the event here, courtesy of That Just Happened.

Thanks again to Lesley and her team for the opportunity to attend!