International Women's Day

Mar 08, 2021


Listen February 10, 2021Category: EventsInternational Women's Day #ChooseToChallenge logo

The Town of Collingwood will honour International Women's Day (IWD) in 2021 by hosting a virtual panel discussion and social on Monday, March 8, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. All are welcome to register for this free Zoom event featuring nine extraordinary individuals who will share their experiences, and facilitate an open discussion exploring what it means to #ChooseToChallenge gender bias and inequity.

The Town of Collingwood began formally celebrating IWD in 2019 with three goals that continue to be the foundation of the event today:

  1. Provide access to information and inspiration to Collingwood residents surrounding issues that resonate with women;
  2. Provide a platform for women in Collingwood to network, connect and share; and
  3. Raise funds for women and girls in our community to thrive.

In recognition of the inequities women continue to face, including the disproportionate violence women suffer, the Town of Collingwood has once again partnered on this event with My Friend’s House.

This year’s panelists are:

  • Anisha Holden-Bensdira, a youth leader and advocate towards anti-racism and cultural change.
  • Amalia Ortuño Lizano, a resident of Costa Rica who in 2020 became the Wodapalooza fittest seated athlete in adaptive CrossFit.
  • Ashley Lougheed, the CEO and founder of Girl Time Inc., a social club for everyday women and women in business.
  • Jill Proud, the facilitator of the session, who has coached and mentored high achieving leaders from seasoned entrepreneurs to Olympic athletes for over 20 years and launched the Women Presidents’ Organization South Georgian Bay Chapter.
  • Jillian Morris, a Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) woman, and a band member of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory with a degree in Public Administration and Indigenous Governance.
  • Katherine Vandebelt, a professional in clinical research who strives to make the clinical research ecosystem better for patients, healthcare professionals, sponsors and regulators using the power of technology.
  • Sonya Skinner, the Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Collingwood who across a broad career spanning civil engineering, IT and more has sought to ensure workplaces provide everyone with the confidence to speak up on what matters, and to give their best advice.

Two additional guest speakers, to be introduced in the coming weeks, will be joining the panel from the country of Jordan, through an exciting partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and its Jordan Municipal Support Project (JMSP). Stay tuned for details.

With registration being free for this virtual event, the Town of Collingwood has introduced a fun, new component that will raise funds for My Friend's House and enhance the IWD experience. Registrants will have the opportunity to purchase an Experience Box, curated by "the gals" of Galentine's Collingwood. The box will contain treats and products from local female-led businesses and can be enjoyed throughout the IWD panel, social, and beyond. The boxes sell for $54, and $10 from each box sold will be donated to My Friend's House. These donations will be matched by the Town of Collingwood.

To register for the event and/or to purchase an Experience Box in support of My Friend’s House, go to

Collingwood’s International Women’s Day celebrations are proudly sponsored by The Jen Scholte Team, The Foundry, Turning Point Counselling, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 63, Devonleigh Homes, Eager Beaver Services, The Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and the Jordan Municipal Support Project.

About the 2021 International Women’s Day Theme #ChooseToChallenge
A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day! We can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequity. We can choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge.

About the Jordan Municipal Support Project
The Jordan Municipal Support Project (JMSP) supports Jordanian municipalities through improved municipal services and solid waste management. This initiative also works to promote social cohesion through inclusive community engagement. JMSP works with Jordan’s Ministry of Local Administration (MoLA) and 12 partner municipalities to help municipalities carry out their responsibilities more effectively and efficiently, leading to better delivery of essential services and to the building of a stronger foundation for the continued development of Jordan’s municipal sector. Canadian and Jordanian municipal practitioners provide peer-to-peer technical assistance to elected municipal officials and municipal staff, MoLA staff and community members, including women and youth. JMSP is a five-year project implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in collaboration with Jordan’s Ministry of Local Administration, 12 Jordanian municipalities and funded by Global Affairs Canada.

About Collingwood
The Town of Collingwood is a progressive community located in the heart of a four-season recreation area on the southern shore of Georgian Bay. The area is well known for its many natural amenities and its rich heritage. Collingwood is a destination for tourism and many business, sporting and cultural events Collingwood acts as gateway to the South Georgian Bay region, with stunning landscapes that encourage an active lifestyle, and inspire the local arts and culture community. Downtown Collingwood might just surprise you with 30 plus restaurants, 60 plus boutique shops, spas for relaxing, live music for grooving…all in the only downtown core recognized in Canada’s Registrar of Historic Places! More recently, the harbourfront area is emerging as an extension to the downtown district. Plans for expanding the amenities and events in the harbourfront area promise to make this a much more prominent tourism destination.

For more information, contact:

Manager, Culture & Events
Karen Cubitt
T. 705-445-1030 Ext. 3711

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