It's no secret that Whistler is full of strong, independent women who crush any task or challenge they set their minds to.
While that's something that's worth celebrating every day, it's particularly important to highlight today, on International Women's Day.
The theme of this year's festivities is #ChooseToChallenge. "A challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change," reads the campaign's description.
One major challenge that society has collectively faced this year means that typical in-person celebrations have generally been swapped for online or physically distanced events.
In that spirit, the Whistler Chamber is marking the occasion with a page full of resources acknowledging Whistler's women in business. "We know that the pandemic has disproportionately affected women in [B.C.], with more than 50 percent of the province’s female workforce employed in industries that have been more adversely affected by COVID, such as health care, education, retail, and accommodation and food services," the page reads.
"While no one is untouched by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, studies show us that the lasting effects will most heavily impact women, and that is something we should all #ChoosetoChallenge."
On the brighter side, the virtual nature of International Women's Day in 2021 is making it all the easier to join in to national events held throughout the week, such as:
- Innovation Canada: Supporting Women in Entrepreneurship through Recovery and Revitalization | March 10, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PST
- Canadian Chamber – Conversation with Minister Monsef | March 11, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. PST
- Canadian Chamber – IWD 2021: Choose to Challenge | Network Event March 12, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. PST
The Whistler Racket Club, on the other hand, is hosting an in-person "Champagne Lunch" on March 8, during which physically-distant "bubble bookings" will hear from inspirational speaker, Olympian Britt Janyk. All proceeds from bookings will support the Howe Sound Women's Centre.
The Whistler Film Festival is also marking the day by "choosing to challenge" female filmmakers to share their stories. As such, the festival is waiving submission fees for all female-identifying filmmakers until midnight tonight, by using the code WFFWomen.
Another effective way to mark the occasion? Support a woman-owned local business. (The Whistler Chamber has a comprehensive list available here.)
Awesome way to kick off International Women's Day: Please join us in congratulating Miranda and Elise, owners of Peak...Posted by Whistler Chamber of Commerce on Monday, March 8, 2021
Howe Sound Women's Centre turns to online auction
Typically, at this time of year, the Howe Sound Women's Centre Society would be gearing up for its biggest fundraiser of the year, the Raising Our Voices event at the Maury Young Arts Centre in Whistler Village. The annual event usually features performances from a wide variety of local singers and musicians, paired with a silent auction.
But again, with COVID-19 wearing on and preventing that critical fundraiser from taking place—while simultaneously leading to an increased need for their services from women across the corridor—the centre has pivoted to instead facilitate an online auction in honour of International Women's Day, running from now until March 21.
There will be posters going up around the corridor with a QR code locals can scan to go directly to the auction site, while the current window display at Pearl's Value & Vintage, in Squamish, celebrating International Women's Day includes several of the auction items, as well.
In celebration of International Women's Day the Howe Sound Women's Centre is hosting an online auction! Proceeds from...Posted by Howe Sound Women's Centre Society on Monday, March 8, 2021
- With files from Jennifer Thuncher