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'Breaking the Bias' on International Women's Day

Free yoga class, karma keg and online auction all raising funds for Howe Sound Women's Centre
yoga international women's day
Attending a free yoga class (with cash donations supporting the Howe Sound Women's Centre) is one way to celebrate International Women's Day in Whistler on Tuesday, March 8.

From gold medal-winning athletes to successful entrepreneurs, breaking biases and barriers is something a lot of women in Whistler are known for doing on a daily basis—and that's no different on International Women's Day. 

#BreakTheBias is the theme of this year's global celebration and campaign, which happens annually on March 8. "Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination," the campaign's website reads. "A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality."

As usual, more than a few businesses and organizations around Whistler are marking the occasion in their own unique ways. While evo offered free rentals for the day at its Whistler locations to individuals who identify as women, trans, non-binary and/or gender non-conforming, the business also co-hosted a social ride day with Indigenous Women Outdoors. Cross-country gear and snowshoes are also available at Callaghan Country's Alexander Falls Touring Centre. 

Coast Mountain Brewing, meanwhile, is celebrating International Women's Day with the release of two new beers brewed with this year's Pink Boots hop blend: a 'Be Berry' Hazy Pale brewed with 60 pounds of Fruit Juice Berries gummy candy and a 'Just Peachy' Hazy Pale brewed with Canadian malted wheat and oats, plus a generous dose of Juicy Sour Mini-Peach Rings candy. 

The Pink Boots Society was "created to assist, inspire and encourage women and/or non-binary individuals in the fermented and alcoholic beverage industry to advance their careers through education," according to its mission statement. Each year the society releases a signature, unique hop blend. Partial proceeds from both of Coast Mountain's latest Pink Boots brews will help fund the society's Canadian chapter. 

Beer-drinkers can also hop over to RMU Blackcomb on Tuesday night, where 100 per cent of proceeds from today's "karma keg" will benefit the Howe Sound Women's Centre (HSWC). 

March 8 marks the beginning of a two-week-long virtual silent auction hosted by HSWC, featuring goods and services donated by Sea to Sky artists and businesses. All proceeds will support underfunded programs at HSWC's drop-in centres in Squamish and Whistler. 

Also happening Tuesday night is a free yoga nidra session in celebration of International Women's Day, led by instructor Johanna Molloy. It's set to take place at newly-opened ALGN Whistler dance studio starting at 6:15 p.m. (Cash donations are welcome, with funds raised also going towards the HSWC.) 

Located on the lower level of the Hilton building, ALGN Whistler is among the newest of many women-owned and operated businesses across the resort. It opened its doors last month to offer drop-in dance classes for adults of all skill levels, ranging in style from jazz and hip hop to ballet and contemporary, to name just a few. 

Its founder, Amélie Lavoie is a professional dancer and choreographer who has called Whistler home for four years.

"Having taught dance in several locations in Whistler, Pemberton and Squamish over this time, I have always aspired to have a permanent space in Whistler where the community can come together and move their bodies. Not only as an alternative fitness but to elevate mental health and create a safe place for embodiment and expression," she told Pique in an email.

"Movement has been a part of my whole life, and my mission is to connect our community and provide an atmosphere that is inspiring to all movers and artists."

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