The Cowichan Valley International Women’s Day Committee is pleased to announce our fourth annual festival, centred around our Rally at Charles Hoey Park on March 7, 11am – 12:30pm.
The festival begins March 2, with a book event at VIRL South Cowichan, and ends March 31, with a Roller Derby event at Cowichan Exhibition. Between these dates we have a wonderful line-up of political, community, art, and cultural events which are listed at the end of this release.
This year’s rally presents an exciting lineup of women leaders as young as 13, and as majestic as 100. Our emcee will be IWD committee member Vicki MIller, also of Women of Steel 1-1937. Vicki was a leader in strike support for the forestry workers in their extended, and ultimately successful battle with Western Forest Products.
Our featured guests include three youth: Kyrrah Thomas will sing and drum, Eva Elliot, winner of Cowichan Tribes youth essay contest will read “What home means to me”, and youth activist Lexy Lazenby will speak about the importance of leadership.
Lexy will stand with her grandmother Rhoda Taylor, and her centenarian great-grandmother Sylvia Peecock who lived through the dustbowl and other transformative events in Canadian political and social history. Sylvia extensively diarized her experiences at a time when it was difficult for women to pursue a writing career. Rhoda will read from these diaries on Sylvia’s behalf.
Dedicated to the idea that politics is family business, we will have both an elders tent and amenities for children.
In preparing the rally, we noticed something remarkable.
Somehow, without fanfare, without a specific slate, or an affirmative action campaign, the Cowichan Valley has achieved gender parity across our locally elected representatives. Out of 62 elected positions, there are 31 held by women, many of which have served multiple terms, and some of which are firsts.
To celebrate, we have invited all local elected women to be honoured on stage at the rally on Saturday, March 7, for their service to the community. The ceremony will begin at 11:30. Our youth participants Kyrrah, Eva, and Lexy will present the honours during our acknowledgement ceremony.
Cowichan Tribes Councillors – Stephanie Atleo, Debra Toporowski, Francine Alphonse, Dora Wilson, Cindy Jane Daniels, Jen Charlie; BC MLA Sonia Furstenau, North Cowichan Councilors – Kate Marsh, Rosalie Sawrie, Debra Toporowski; City of Duncan – Mayor – Michelle Staples – Duncan Councilors -Stacy Middlemiss, Jenni Capps, Carol Newington; Cowichan Valley Regional Directors: Sierra Acton, Lori Iannidinardo, Alison Nicholson, Lynne Smith, Mary Marcotte, Michelle Staples, Debra Toporowski, Kate Marsh, Lake Cowichan Councilors – Carolyne Austin, Kristine Sandhu, Lorna Vomacka, Ladysmith: Amanda Jacobson, Tricia McKay; and CVRD School Board Trustees – Candace Spilsbury, Barb de Groot, Elizabeth Croft, and Johanne Kemmler.
Cowichan Valley International Women’s Day Committee
International Women’s Day Rally Charles Hoey Park 124 Canada Ave, DuncanSaturday, March 7 11:00am – 12:30pmSpecial welcome to Warmland Women Support Services Society and The REDress Project