Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

News

Inspiring Resilience: Jennifer Edwards' Journey of Compassion and Healing in the Peace Region

Inspiring Resilience: Jennifer Edwards' Journey of Compassion and Healing in the Peace Region

Jennifer Edwards’ deep connection to the Peace Region has profoundly influenced both her life and her extensive contributions to this community. Born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Jennifer’s family relocated to the Peace Region when she was nine years old, a move that shaped her formative years. Growing up within the Grande Prairie Public School division, she was immersed in a nurturing and supportive environment, surrounded by inspiring educators, family, and friends. Jennifer’s active participation in extracurricular activities, sports, music programs, and community events ignited a lifelong passion for community engagement and fostering a strong sense of pride in the Peace Country and its people.

Despite her early exposure to the region's positives, Jennifer faced numerous challenges throughout her journey. From enduring sexual assault at the young age of 16 to navigating the complexities of young motherhood with four children, and later experiencing divorce at 36, her life has been a testament to resilience. As a single parent, she confronted additional hurdles, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which tested her strength and perseverance.

Yet, her greatest challenge came with a stage IIIB colon cancer diagnosis at 38, necessitating surgery and chemotherapy. Jennifer approached this trial with courage and determination. Throughout her battles, she found solace and strength in the bonds she cultivated with her family, friends, and community, recognizing their pivotal role in navigating life's darkest moments.

For the past 21 years, Jennifer has been raising her four children in the Peace Region, aiming to instill in them the same pride and connection to the community that she cherishes. Her inspiration to contribute to the Peace Region is rooted in her belief in human connection and support. From a young age, she felt a strong desire to help others, recognizing that simple acts of kindness could make people feel less alone and foster healing. "Human connection and support is what inspires me the most in this world," she shares. Jennifer emphasizes the impact of small, intentional actions, believing they don't need to be grand gestures to create significant, far-reaching effects. "There is always space to create moments of action that ripple outward."

Her inspiration also comes from witnessing human resilience and the collective ability to support one another, "we can create a world that feels a little less harsh and filled with a lot more love," she believes. Jennifer draws further inspiration from her Grandma Chick, who left a lasting legacy of love and community. "I wanted people to feel loved, understood, seen, and heard, just as she did," Jennifer recalls, hoping to make a similar impact on those around her.

Jennifer embarked on her journey to create change nearly a decade ago when she decided to explore yoga classes. Having weathered numerous trials throughout her childhood, teenage years, and while raising her children, Jennifer discovered a profound shift within herself as she embraced yoga. "I began to gather and grasp a lot of trauma in my body and truly felt the impact in my outer world reflecting that," she explains.

The turning point came when Jennifer underwent her yoga teacher training. "The true trajectory of my motivation to want to make a difference began," she recalls. Recognizing the transformative potential of yoga in healing from trauma, stress, and anxiety, she felt a calling to guide others on a similar path. This led her to develop her own program grounded in yoga principles, catering to individuals ranging from three years old to adults. "For the past six years, I've spent curating my practices and teachings into programs and products I hope are making a lifelong impact on people and their healing," Jennifer shares. Her unwavering commitment to guiding others reflects her deep-seated dedication to nurturing resilience and well-being within her community.

Additionally, Jennifer has made significant contributions to various organizations and initiatives in the Peace Region. One of the organizations she supports is the Pace Community Support, Sexual Assault & Trauma Centre. As a survivor of sexual assault, Jennifer understands the crucial role they play in the community. "They are healing our community in the quiet corner with little awareness and acknowledgment of all they do," she notes. In 2021, she organized her first fundraiser for Pace, raising over $8,000. Every May since, she has conducted a craft fundraiser, collecting hundreds of supplies to aid in the healing work Pace provides. Jennifer shares, “one quick stop at a store will support the trauma healing of someone in our community through the support of Pace, altering their life journey forever. I am a testament to the work Pace does, and know the life long impact of their services. If you or anyone you know would like to support Pace, please reach out for a donation drop off, or pick up.” (links below)

Jennifer is also a supporter of the homeless community in the city, understanding that homelessness often stems from challenging and traumatic experiences. Demonstrating her commitment to compassion and dignity, she provides regular support to Wapiti House and Saint Lawrence Centre. Furthermore, Jennifer has worked with Everybody Eats GP to aid in access to nutritious meals for individuals and families facing hardship.

Her support extends to Sunrise House, donating products from her company, It's The Small Things. She has also volunteered her time at Camp Heal-A-Heart and with various sports teams, schools, and other programs, creating healing and supportive spaces focused on mindset, breath work, and movement. Her efforts collectively support the community's overall mental, emotional, and physical health.

Today, Jennifer actively participates in numerous projects and initiatives dedicated to uplifting her community. During Sexual Violence Awareness Month in May, she collected a multitude of art and craft supplies to continue her support for Pace, demonstrating her enduring dedication to aiding trauma survivors in her community.

Moreover, alongside her advocacy for Pace, Jennifer authored a children's mindfulness book titled "You Are A Gift." Released during the same week as her final chemotherapy session, this book aims to foster literacy, ignite imagination, and impart valuable lessons to young readers, embodying Jennifer's commitment to holistic education and healing.

Through her company, It’s The Small Things, Jennifer designs affirmation cards, journal pads, and hoodies that radiate kindness and promote positivity. These products cultivate a culture of compassion and encouragement, enriching the lives of those who encounter them with uplifting messages and affirmations.

Jennifer continues to teach yoga sessions and workshops focused on self-esteem and confidence-building. By empowering young people with tools for physical and mental well-being, she helps foster resilience and a positive self-image among the next generation.

For women aspiring to make a difference in their communities, Jennifer offers advice rooted in resilience and self-trust. "Life circumstances do not need to restrict you," she emphasizes. She encourages women to tap into their inner strength, show up authentically, and create safe spaces for others, fostering a ripple of positive change in how individuals show up in their own lives.

Jennifer believes that women's active involvement in community-building and advocacy is essential for inspiring future generations and supporting mental health and wellness. "It not only supports our own internal dialogue, it is imperative for our younger generations to witness women sharing with open hearts their passions," she affirms.

Jennifer's personal journey has been marked by hardships, resilience, and a deep sense of purpose. She considers herself fortunate to have transformed her own challenges into opportunities for healing and growth. "Through the years, I have felt fortunate to create programs, offer my services, and create products that have all come from my own hardships in this life," she reflects.

By using her experiences to help others, Jennifer has found fulfillment and connection. "It is in helping and giving back that I feel the most connected to people and myself," she shares. This sense of connection has fueled her confidence to pursue her dreams, despite facing barriers and setbacks along the way. Jennifer's journey has taught her to trust in her past experiences, recognizing that they have given her the strength to create impactful initiatives that support healing within her community.

As part of the '30 Women for 30 Years' campaign, Jennifer Edwards hopes to leave a message of love, kindness, and compassion for future generations of women. Inspired by Maya Angelou's timeless wisdom, Jennifer believes that the true legacy we leave behind is not measured by our words or actions but by how we make others feel. "When this life comes to a close, it is how we live our lives and the impact we leave on those around us that truly matters," she reflects.

Jennifer's hope is for all individuals to show up in the world with softness and love and we can leave a lasting legacy of compassion and connection for future generations of women and beyond. "That is where we will make our biggest ripples in this world," she concludes, echoing the sentiment that love and kindness are the most powerful forces for change.




Learn More: 


It’s The Small Things

 

PACE Sexual Assault & Trauma Centre

Wapiti House

Saint Lawrence Centre

Everybody Eats GP

Sunrise House

Camp Heal-A-Heart

 

 

To learn more about 30 Women for 30 Years, click here

Read more
Chris Graw: A Pillar of Community Wellness in the Peace Region

Chris Graw: A Pillar of Community Wellness in the Peace Region

Chris Graw, born and raised in the Peace Region, grew up on a cattle and grain farm in Hotchkiss, Alberta. After completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2004 in Grande Prairie, she worked there until returning to Manning in 2010.

Chris’s parents were instrumental in fostering her community involvement. From an early age, she and her siblings were taught the importance of community. They volunteered with their parents for various Hotchkiss Club events, from selling pies and burgers at farm auctions to helping at ball tournaments, Mother’s Day breakfasts, and Fall Suppers. Most importantly, they were always ready to lend a hand to any neighbour in need.

Chris also draws inspiration from Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “I love everything she did and stood for,” Chris says, highlighting Ruth’s achievements in law as a mother of two and her role as a trailblazer for gender equality. “RBG paved the way for gender equality in the US and no doubt influenced the way women were seen by law in Canada as well,” she adds, “She went on to be the second female Supreme Court Judge, and a badass role model for women everywhere.”

A pivotal moment in Chris’s journey was when she and other parents realized Manning lacked a splash park. “I just decided right there that there was no reason not to have one,” she explains. Motivated by the mantra, “Be the change you want to see,” Chris joined a committee of parents to bring the Manning Splash Park to life, involving herself in creating presentations and corporate sponsorship packages, and sourcing grants. Chris then helped facilitate a partnership with the Town of Manning to donate the land where it sits today and contributed in managing the construction project.

Chris’s commitment extends to numerous community groups and initiatives. She has been a director and member of the Battle River Ag Society for nearly 20 years, revitalizing the Rodeo Queen contest into a leadership opportunity for young girls. Now, as Rodeo Director, she helps bring the Annual Manning Rodeo to the community each year. Her volunteer efforts extend to rodeo events and fundraising initiatives throughout the year to bring the community event to fruition.

In addition, Chris has been actively involved as executive of her children’s school councils and fundraising organizations. She worked on the Farm to Cafeteria project, securing a grant for a greenhouse to promote healthy eating. Chris was previously the Food Coordinator for the Manning Elementary School’s Food for Thought Program, and still helps provide breakfasts for students, a much-needed service.

Chris has also partnered with the North Peace Applied Research Association (NPARA) and local schools to facilitate a Farm Safety Event for around 300 students. Currently, she and other parents are fundraising for Manning's new Composite School Yard to enhance outdoor amenities.

Her volunteer work spans various organizations, including the Manning Pottery Guild, 4-H Beef and Horse Clubs, Manning Minor Hockey, Peace Region Football, Gymnastics, Junior Rodeo and other sports groups over the years. 

Chris currently works as a casual Registered Nurse at the local hospital in Manning, where she continues to implement positive change. As the President of the Registered Nurse union, she dedicates considerable time and effort to addressing healthcare challenges in rural communities, such as the shortage of healthcare workers. Chris is also a member of the Rural Health Professions Action Plan (RhPAP), a committee committed to keeping healthcare accessible in rural areas. This group has been instrumental in bringing a permanent local doctor to Manning, a critical achievement for communities lacking quick access to larger healthcare centers.

Reflecting on her achievements, Chris acknowledges the challenges of living in the Peace Region and being located in the north, but emphasizes the importance of community partnerships and resourcefulness. “The generosity of our community is something that never ceases to amaze me!” she expresses.

Chris’s journey in community service has profoundly impacted her personal growth and sense of purpose. "Being an advocate for others and helping others comes naturally to me. It’s fulfilling and rewarding to see a project through to the end result," she says.

Chris underscores respect as a cornerstone for women who aspire to impact their communities. "Respect is so important to give and receive in your community. The partnerships you build for one initiative will spill over to the next," she says. Her advice to women eager to make a difference is straightforward: "Just do it! If you feel passionate about something, you will and you can make a difference."

Chris also highlights the necessity of women’s involvement in community-building. "We bring different strengths to the table. We are showing our daughters that they will be seen, heard, and respected when they are involved."

Chris hopes her actions inspire the next generation, particularly her children. “I hope that my kids see what I’m doing, and even if they don’t appreciate it now, I hope that the passion I have for community and helping others is instilled in them,” she shares.

As part of the 30 Women for 30 Years campaign, Chris Graw's message to future generations of women is clear: "Find what ignites your passion and brings you joy, and then share it with others! Continue to support and celebrate each other. ‘Fix another Queen's Crown without letting the world know it was crooked’" (Author Unknown). Her legacy is one of encouragement, community support, and quiet strength, inspiring women to uplift each other and pursue their passions.



 

Links


Battle River Ag Society

Farm to Cafeteria: Food for Thought Program

North Peace Applied Research Association (NPARA)

Rural Health Professions Action Plan (RhPAP)

Read more
Erica Fisher: Fostering Beauty and Inclusivity in the Peace Region

Erica Fisher: Fostering Beauty and Inclusivity in the Peace Region

Since 2011, Erica Fisher has been an integral part of the expansive tapestry of the Peace Region. Her journey began when she moved to Fort St. John after university to work as a reporter for a local radio station. However, it was in Grande Prairie, where she joined then Free FM, now 2day FM, in January 2014, that the region truly became her home.

As a reporter and radio personality, Fisher spent considerable time interacting with influential individuals and attending events that celebrated community contributions. Inspired by the generosity and dynamism of the region, she gradually transitioned from observer to participant, leveraging her platform to effect positive change.

Fisher credits Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a significant source of inspiration. She admires Ginsburg's unwavering commitment to women's rights and civil liberties, echoing her sentiment that perseverance and determination can overcome any obstacle. "RBG championed women's rights and civil rights, shattering barriers as a female lawyer and Supreme Court Justice. She didn't let anyone or anyone's assumptions get in her way, and she never let up," reflects Erica, “I can only hope to make a sliver of the impact she made in her lifetime.”

One of Fisher's pivotal moments came with her involvement in the Telus mural project in 2018. The initiative aimed to beautify downtown Grande Prairie while celebrating the community's diversity and inclusivity. Fisher's passion and drive led her to spearhead the project, securing funding and community support. The unveiling of the mural marked not just a triumph of art but also a testament to the power of collective action. Reflecting on the experience, Fisher shares, "Revealing the mural in front of the community was one of the proudest days of my life. Little did I know, that was only the beginning, as the mural project ended up becoming part of a larger story."

Since then, Fisher has continued to make waves as the director of the Grande Prairie Pride Society. Here, she achieved the beautiful and inclusive Rainbow Bright Teen Dance in 2022, and not without challenges; “As I took on the role of President of the Grande Prairie Pride Society, we embarked on our biggest ever Pride celebrations planned for 2020. However, due to COVID-19, those celebrations had to be rescheduled three times, meaning planning the same events four times, while also trying to engage the community while we were socially distanced.” Erica explains, “I'm proud to say we didn't lose a single sponsor over those years and when our performers came on stage and we could finally see our plans come to fruition, I couldn't help but cry. It meant so much to put on an event where youth can be themselves, followed up by the Pride Family Carnival and Party in White.”

Erica’s portfolio has expanded over the years as she is also Director on the Grande Prairie Public Library Board since 2020 and its Vice-Chair since 2023. She is currently the President-Elect for the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie After Five and will be president for the 2024-2025 year. Erica is also enthusiastic about assisting in non-profit organization events or serving as an emcee for organizations such as the Alberta Winter Games, Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, STARS Air Ambulance, Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation, Grande Prairie Firefighters Charitable Foundation, Grande Prairie Friendship Centre, United Way Alberta Northwest, Women of Influence Awards, ANAVETS, Grande Prairie Downtown Association, Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park, and Bear Creek Folk Festival. 

Her resilience and dedication to the community were properly recognized with the Young Woman of Influence Award in 2020 and the QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2022.

Despite the challenges and scrutiny that come with being a woman in the public eye, Fisher remains resolute in her commitment to fostering positive change. She finds solace and strength in the support of like-minded individuals who share her passion for community involvement. Looking ahead, Fisher is excited about the upcoming Pride celebrations and her participation in the Rotary International Convention in Singapore, where she hopes to gather inspiration for future projects.

In her parting words, Fisher leaves behind a message of empowerment and authenticity for future generations of women. "You might have to fight for it, but you don't just deserve to have a seat at the table, you deserve to sit at the head of the table," she asserts. "I hope I can leave a legacy of caring for others and using my privilege and voice to make a difference."

Additionally, Erica adds, “I also hope to highlight that how you dress, colour your hair, decorate your body has no say on your intelligence and ability to be a community leader. I built my reputation with hair of every colour, large tattoos, and my own personal style, while being single and childless. Don't let anyone tell you those things matter.”

As Erica Fisher continues to inspire and empower the Peace Region community, her journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of passion, perseverance, and compassion. Through her commitment to inclusivity and advocacy, she has not only left an indelible mark on the region but also paved the way for a brighter and more equitable future.

 

As a final Thank You, Erica adds:

“I owe credit to Vista Radio and 2day FM who gave me incredible opportunities to get involved in community work, from supporting the causes I support, giving me the flexibility to attend meetings and events, and empowering me to become my own person outside of being a reporter and radio personality. Another company could have shut me down years ago. I especially thank General Manager Caralee Parr for her incredible leadership.”


 

Links

Grande Prairie Pride Society

Upcoming Events: 

 

Rainbow Bright Teen Dance: May 31st, 2024 

Party in White: June 1st, 2024 

Pride Crosswalk Painting: June 3rd, 2024 (weather permitting)

Pride Family Carnival: June 8th, 2024

 

Grande Prairie Public Library

 

Rotary Club of Grande Prairie After Five

 

 

 

Read more
Candace Boechler: Cultivating a Legacy of Community Growth

Candace Boechler: Cultivating a Legacy of Community Growth

Candace Boechler's roots begin in the landscapes of the Peace Country, growing up on Saskatoon Mountain and attending school in the rural communities of Beaverlodge and Hythe. Throughout her schooling, Candace was fortunate to receive not only academic education but also profound insights from the Indigenous Elders who generously shared their wisdom. A profound gratitude for these teachings and upbringing has shaped her connection to the Peace Region and its diverse heritage.

When asked about her motivation for community involvement and her drive to make a positive impact, Candace reflects on the values instilled in her from a young age. For her, it's not a choice but a way of life, a legacy passed down from her grandparents and parents who epitomized the importance of contributing to the greater good of society. 

When asked about a woman who serves as a source of inspiration, Candace doesn't hesitate to mention two remarkable individuals who have left a mark on her life: Her grandmother, Flora, who has faced 92 years of life's challenges and hardships, only to leave a lasting family legacy. She also mentions her mother, Karen. From her work as a 911 dispatcher firefighter to leading 4-H clubs and representing Alberta Summer Games & Canada Winter Games, Karen's determination shines through. Karen's adventurous spirit and support for her family inspire Candace every day.

Yet, behind every inspired individual lies a supportive network, and for Candace, her husband Derek stands as a pillar of support. Together, they find joy in witnessing their children's growing passions, whether it be through the arts of performance theatre or local sports. It's within the tapestry of family life that Candace finds further motivation to continue her journey of community engagement; When asked about the moment that motivated Candace to go forward in making positive changes, she explains, “Becoming a Mom. Knowing that we are entrusted with creating a world for our children and generations to come.” 

As a proud alumna of 4-H and a former Peace Country 4-H Ambassador, Candace credits her upbringing for teaching her the invaluable lesson to "learn to do by doing." Through hands-on experiences and mentorship within these organizations, she honed her skills and cultivated a deep sense of responsibility towards effecting positive change. Candace now carries a remarkable portfolio of positive contributions across various organizations, events, and initiatives.

At the forefront of her endeavors is her passionate involvement in community musical theatre performances, providing opportunities for families to come together and entertain through dance, singing, and acting. With over 30 years of experience teaching tap dance and musical theatre, Candace has left a beautiful mark on the local arts scene, participating in numerous productions such as Shrek, Fiddler on the Roof, and Mamma Mia, both on stage and behind the scenes as a choreographer and part of the production team. Recently, she has shared her expertise with students in Beaverlodge, fostering a love for tap dance at Satin Slippers, a community institution she has been associated with for over three decades.

In addition to her artistic pursuits, Candace serves as the Secretary on the Board of Sunrise House Youth Emergency Shelter, demonstrating her commitment to supporting vulnerable youth in need. She also plays key roles in organizing events such as Tenille Townes' Big Hearts for Big Kids and the Sunrise House Odyssey House Golf Tournament.

Candace's passion for sports development is evident in her volunteer work with organizations like the Peace Wapiti Speed Skating Club and Peace River's Northern Lites, where she supports the development of local athletes. As an official at prestigious events like the 2024 Alberta Winter Games and the 2024 Mat-Su, Alaska Arctic Winter Games, she brings her expertise and enthusiasm to the forefront, contributing to the success of these events.

Her commitment to community service extends to coordinating living statues for the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation’s Festival of Trees Gala and volunteering at the Bear Creek Folk Festival. Furthermore, Candace's dedication to her community is further evidenced by her involvement in teacher appreciation events, neighborhood associations, and community beautification projects. With a career focused on promoting over 500 community events annually, Candace remains deeply connected to the pulse of her region, tirelessly working to enrich the lives of those around her through arts, culture, sports, and community happenings.

Over her years of dedication, Candace Boechler has encountered numerous rewarding experiences, yet a handful stand out distinctly;

"I’ve been part of the community for so long, that dancers who I taught when they were kids, are now bringing their own kids to dance." Candace shares. " To reconnect & get a big hug feels so wonderful, knowing you made a positive impact and lasting impression."

Among the many highlights of her community involvement, Candace recalls some rewarding achievements as well, such as being awarded by Jennie Tetreau for longtime, outstanding contributions to the Grande Prairie theatre community, and receiving the House League Coach of the Year award for Grande Prairie Minor Baseball. Candace shares that these awards were both "surprising and appreciated." 

Reflecting on her journey, Candace also candidly acknowledges the challenges she has encountered along the way and the strategies she uses to overcome them.

"If I'm being totally honest," Candace begins, "it’s the people pleasing, the number of hours in a day, and the doubt, wondering if I did enough." As a woman navigating various spheres of life, she acknowledges the unavoidable barriers and the struggles they entail. But amidst these challenges, she adds, "there are also allies who will help you open a door."

Candace emphasizes the importance of surrounding herself with women of diverse backgrounds and experiences, drawing inspiration from them. "I’ve surrounded myself with women who have more life experience and wisdom than I do, and females of all ages who bring a fresh, lively perspective to the world" she explains. As an extrovert who thrives on human connection, Candace finds strength in the supportive relationships she has fostered.

Throughout her journey, Candace has learned to embrace both the positives and negatives that come with each experience. "Experience in life brings wisdom and knowledge," she reflects, "I’ll always be a lifelong learner." Despite the challenges, Candace chooses to focus on the positive aspects of her journey, finding solace in the belief that even amidst clouds, the sun continues to shine.

Candace encourages women to embrace the power of human connection, emphasizing the importance of meeting new people and engaging in meaningful conversations. She believes that these interactions can lead to unexpected opportunities and invaluable insights, shaping one's journey in ways previously unimagined.

As she reflects on her personal journey, Candace likens it to planting and tending. "I feel like I've been planting seeds and watering the garden for a long time," she shares. "Now I'm enjoying the flowers and sharing the beauty with others." Her journey of growth and self-discovery has led her to a place of fulfillment and purpose, where she finds joy in nurturing the beauty and potential in her community.

As part of the '30 Women for 30 Years' campaign, Candace shares a powerful message and legacy for future generations of women, “Who you are, matters! No one can be you, better than YOU! Your voice belongs… speak up. Your experience is relevant… share it. Find the courage to advocate for what you believe in. And, surround yourself with people who bring joy to your life!” Her message is one of empowerment, resilience, and authenticity, inspiring women to stand tall, speak up, and make their mark on the world.

 

We would like to thank Candace for her multitude of contributions to our community and the positive changes she will continue to make as a Woman of Impact in the Peace Region.

Read more
Providing you with Sustainability

Providing you with Sustainability

Welcome to Victoria’s Attic, where sustainability isn't just a buzzword, it's a way of life. We're passionate about curating a collection of brands that share our commitment to eco-consciousness at every step of the process, from material selection to production and delivery.

In a world where fast fashion often reigns supreme, we believe it's more important than ever to prioritize quality over quantity. Did you know that the fashion industry accounts for a staggering 10% of the world's carbon emissions? That's why we're proud to offer a selection of premium brands that prioritize sustainability without sacrificing style.

Sure, you might find that our products come with a slightly higher price tag, but when you invest in quality, you're investing in so much more than just a piece of clothing. Premium brands offer longevity, both for you and for the planet. With durable fabrics and timeless designs, our products are built to last, reducing waste and minimizing our environmental impact.

So, the next time you're shopping for that perfect piece to add to your wardrobe, consider the bigger picture. By choosing quality over quantity, you're not just investing in yourself – you're investing in a better, more sustainable future for all.


Let’s talk about some of our brands:


Paper Label 

One of our top picks in loungewear, this fantastic Canadian brand embodies everything we love about sustainable fashion – eco-friendly fabrics, stylish designs, and unbeatable comfort (seriously, their fabrics are like a dream!).

Paper Label is all about creating timeless basics that stand the test of time, ensuring you get the most out of every piece. With their commitment to quality, you can say goodbye to pesky pilling and hello to a wardrobe that lasts. Plus, they opt for neutral colors, not only for their chic simplicity but also to minimize the use of harsh clothing dyes, making them a win-win for both you and the planet.

“At PAPER LABEL we focus on fabrics that are not only beautiful but also sustainable. Textiles impact the environment in a number of different ways, so we think about the impact as a whole and try to choose fabrics that have the least negative effect on the earth. We consider water and pesticide usage during fiber growth, renewability of resources, energy and chemicals used during processing, disposal techniques, care requirements, fabric longevity, and biodegradability.  
When it comes to caring for our earth, we acknowledge that the clothing industry is indeed a top contributor to plastic pollution, waste, and emissions. While we can’t change an entire industry, we will be moving toward a better future for fashion by designing with sustainable fabrics and reducing our waste. From supply chains to the way we run the office and whom we partner with, we promote sustainability where we can.”

Paper Label holds many certifications verifying their extensive work towards a sustainable fashion industry: Learn More



Van de Velde

“We love the body you're in and the planet you're on”

As the proud parent company of cherished brands like Prima Donna and Marie Jo, Van de Velde spares no effort in their quest for excellence.

At Van de Velde, quality begins with the selection of materials. From organic cotton to innovative recycled fabrics, every choice is made with sustainability & longevity in mind. But their commitment doesn't stop there – it's woven into every aspect of their production process.

Energy-efficient practices, water conservation initiatives, and waste reduction strategies are just a few of the ways Van de Velde is leading the charge towards a greener future. Take their unique fabric cutting technique, for example – not only does it minimize waste, but it also results in one-of-a-kind lingerie pieces, each with its own distinct print.

Van de Velde constantly pushes the boundaries, exploring new technologies and practices to further enhance their sustainability efforts. By staying ahead of the curve, they're setting a new standard for eco-friendly innovation in the lingerie industry.

But for Van de Velde, sustainability isn't just a trend – it's a way of life. Their unwavering commitment to environmental responsibility shines through in every high-quality lingerie piece they create. It's more than just lingerie – it's a statement of values, a testament to their dedication to making the world a better place, one beautiful garment at a time.

Van de Velde uses many unique techniques to remain sustainable: Learn More

 

Empreinte

Step into the world of Empreinte, where luxury lingerie isn't just a product, it's a meticulously crafted masterpiece. Each piece exudes elegance and value, representing a careful consideration of both design and material. 

Empreinte crafts lingerie meant to stand the test of time. By selecting premium fabrics and prioritizing durability, they ensure that each piece surpasses the lifespan of typical garments. Empreinte lace and fabric uses less elasticity compared to other brands, providing superior support and longevity. This commitment to lasting quality not only reduces the cycle of fast fashion but also minimizes their environmental impact,

“Far from fast-fashion, Empreinte creations are mastered and exclusively integrate high-performance, European materials, illustrating the brand's innovative craftsmanship.
We have always been committed to a more respectful and more sober approach to our business. Supply, reuse, production, transmission: every day, we use all leverage possible to ensure we make a positive impact on our economic, social and environmental ecosystem. We are convinced that it is these concrete, daily actions that enable us to make a difference and contribute to sustainable development together.” 


Wacoal

Wacoal believes that creating products women love to wear goes hand in hand with minimizing waste and reducing their environmental impact.

Their solution-driven bras and panties aren't just about style and comfort; they're designed to meet real needs in the market and in women's wardrobes. Crafted to a high standard of fit and comfort, their pieces are built to last, reducing the need for frequent replacements and ultimately lessening the burden on our planet.

In 2021, Wacoal proudly joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), aligning themselves with an organization dedicated to driving positive change throughout the value chain. They are committed to measuring and improving their environmental and social responsibility.

Wacoal is also taking concrete steps to reduce their carbon footprint on a global scale. By manufacturing products closer to their customers, they’re cutting down on fuel emissions and transportation time. they’re also investing in renewable energy, with solar panels powering our facilities, and embracing energy-efficient practices like LED lighting and smart sensors.

And it's not just about what happens behind the scenes; sustainability is ingrained in every aspect of operations. From offices to warehouses, Wacoal is implementing paper and plastic reduction programs. This is just the beginning of their journey toward a more sustainable future while providing women with the intimates they love.

 

 

Step into our world, where environmental consciousness reigns supreme among the brands we proudly carry. We're thrilled to offer a diverse selection, with the majority boasting eco-friendly credentials and utilizing recycled fabrics in their creations.

But it's not just about sustainability; it's also about quality. We prioritize products that are built to last, reducing the impact of fast fashion and ensuring you'll cherish them for years to come.

And our commitment to the planet doesn't stop there. In our stores, we're actively engaged in sustainable practices, from meticulously organizing recycling efforts for plastics, paper, and cardboard to embracing eco-friendly initiatives that make a meaningful difference.

Join us in celebrating fashion that not only looks good but also does good for our planet.

Read more
Tara Dreger: Igniting Arts and Culture in the Peace Region

Tara Dreger: Igniting Arts and Culture in the Peace Region

Tara Dreger embodies the spirit of community and empowerment, her support touching the lives of residents and businesses alike. Whether lending a helping hand or championing local causes, Tara's presence is felt in every corner of the Peace Country.

Tara’s journey is deeply rooted in family ties and a profound love for her home, "My roots run deep in the Peace Country and are generational," Tara shares, "Both my parents and their parents before worked in various industries throughout the Peace Region and contributed to the community in a variety of different ways. I’m very proud to call the Peace Region my home." Tara continues, "My biggest inspiration to become involved in my community started with my parents," she reflects. "Once I became a mom, that also fueled the fire for me to get involved and volunteer for various things my kids were involved with." She finds further inspiration in the women who paved the way before her, particularly her mother, whose strength and resilience serve as a guiding light in Tara's own journey.

It's this profound connection to her roots that serves as the cornerstone of Tara's commitment to her community. Inspired by the altruism of her parents and fueled by a desire to instill positive change, Tara embarked on a journey of community involvement that has left a beautiful mark on the region.

Tara has set forth tireless efforts instrumental in planning weekends at the Grande Prairie Stompede filled with state-of-the-art cultural events and world-class entertainment. But her impact extends far beyond event coordination; Tara's boundless enthusiasm and unwavering support have encouraged local artisans to showcase their talents, breathing life into the cultural tapestry of our community.

As an artisan herself, Tara has always had an admiration and respect for others who share their creativity with the region, which eventually ignited her spark to create a larger stage for its presence:

“I personally enjoy making jewelry and creating different items, most of which have a ‘western flair’ to them. Although I don’t do a lot of markets anymore I typically take part in the Teepee Creek Cowboy Christmas as well as the odd pop up shop. I like to think that what small amount of creativity I have I inherited from my mom who is very creative. She’s spent years knitting, crocheting, doing cross stitch, sewing, baking and many other things. 
In 2016 and 2017 I had been reaching out to many different women who were artisans, creators and small business owners to have pop up markets. I thought it was a great way to offer a wide variety of wares to people who were interested in supporting local artisans and small businesses. Collectively as a group we would all throw in just enough to cover the cost of the space and have some fun and hopefully make a few dollars. 
Along the way I quickly discovered that the Peace Region is filled with an astounding number of artists and artisans that many people are unaware of. We have so much to offer and my hope is that everyone becomes aware of it. 
I’ve always loved the Grande Prairie Stompede, and I am a huge supporter of maintaining our western heritage and the way of life. Many people are unaware that my dad was the first president of the Grande Prairie Stompede Association, as well he had a 50 year career in thoroughbred chuckwagon racing. I grew up a “chuckwagon kid“ as many would call it, and that was a very interesting and wonderful way to grow up in my opinion. Many of the places that my dad raced at had fantastic exhibitions and markets with artists, artisans, handmade wares, along with live music sometimes, and my mom never hesitated to take myself and my siblings to explore and experience these events. 
Early 2018 I met with two directors on the  Grande Prairie Stompede board (Cheryl Kimble and Dave Anderson) and proposed an idea that I had in hopes of making a new and exciting addition to the Stompede. I proposed the idea that I would organize an artisan market and an art competition. My thought process behind the idea was that there should be something for everyone should they attend the GP Stompede, and I wanted to bring exposure to all the incredible talent we have in our amazing Peace Region. With the help of a wonderful group of people believing in me I was able to organize the event and work as a volunteer at Stompede 2018. In October of 2018 I became the director of the Arts & Cultural Expo on the GP Stompede board, as the Stompede has always been such a big part of my family’s life this makes me very proud. 
The Arts & Cultural Expo has grown leaps and bounds since then and is now an integral part of the show.”

In crafting the Art Expo, Tara has fostered a nurturing space where individuals from all walks of life feel embraced and empowered to share their passions and creative endeavors. 

Tara’s involvement has only grown since then, now finding passion in the Unbridled Program in partnership with the Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society (PARDS) and Grande Prairie Stompede:

Being a director on the Grande Prairie Stompede board brought me an amazing opportunity to work alongside my fellow directors with PARDS to create a much needed charitable program that is profoundly important for the children and youth in our community. It’s the first time PARDS has partnered with another organization to create a unique program separate from the amazing things that they offer to the Peace Region already. In the Fall of 2022 I met with Chair, Tyla Savard, and Executive Director, Jennifer Douglas, to discuss Stompede and PARDS collaborating to create this new program. After much discussion back and forth the GP Stompede board and PARDS formed a contractual agreement and the Unbridled program was born. 
The Stompede board works tirelessly to raise funds specifically for the Unbridled Program.The GP Stompede started fundraising for the Unbridled Program in April of 2023 at the Stompede WPCA Tarp Auction & Gala Fundraiser. I am incredibly proud to be a small part of this amazing new program that will help the children and youth in our community with all and any challenges related to mental health. 
A bit about the Unbridled Program: 
Being subjected to something traumatic can have a profound effect on your life. It changes the way you think, feel, and experience life daily. Experiencing abuse in any of its devastating forms, being involved in an accident such as a car wreck or house fire, suffering the violent or sudden loss of someone you love, or being exposed to high-stress situations or environments regularly can all result in trauma. Unbridled brings the expertise of a Mental Health Professional (Registered Psychologist) together with a strong, confident horse to support youth in processing and navigating through lived trauma, becoming more confident, empowered, and resilient. Unbridled was launched in Fall 2023, and is proud to have 8 active participants as of January 2024. This program and partnership is unique within Northern Alberta; both organizations are proud to be a driver behind this extraordinary, non-traditional mental health support for the incredible youth within our community.”

Tara's dedication to making a difference shines brightly through her involvement in the Arts & Cultural Expo and the Unbridled Program. These initiatives are not just projects; they are catalysts for lasting change, touching the lives of countless individuals, including a significant number of youth, with impacts that will resonate for years to come.

Tara has also made contributions to organizations that lie close to the heart of Grande Prairie such as Odyssey House, Suicide Prevention, Tiny Hands of Hope, The Children’s Memorial Garden, Stars, Big Hearts For Big Kids, The Teepee Creek Stampede, and many others. 

As Tara continues to champion causes close to her, she imparts invaluable wisdom to aspiring changemakers. Her advice is simple yet profound: "Go the extra mile. Learn from remarkable women who came before you and be open-minded while listening to those who follow in your footsteps."

In Tara Dreger, we find not just a community leader, but a testament to the transformative power of one individual's commitment to making a difference. As we celebrate her legacy as part of the '30 Women for 30 Years' campaign, Tara leaves us with a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

 

Links:

Grande Prairie Stompede Arts & Cultural Expo

Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society

Unbridled Program

 

To learn more about 30 Women for 30 Years or to nominate a woman who you think has made a positive impact on the Peace Region, click here

 

Read more
Introducing Bethe Goldie: Promoting Connection and Wellness in the Peace Region

Introducing Bethe Goldie: Promoting Connection and Wellness in the Peace Region

Bethe Goldie's journey in Grande Prairie began in 1975 when she and her husband joined the faculty of Grande Prairie Regional College, with Bethe assuming the role of Physical Education Instructor. Immersed in the city's charm and embraced by its warm-hearted inhabitants, Bethe recalls the overwhelming support they received upon their arrival—a testament to the collaborative spirit ingrained in the region. As they settled into their new home, they raised their two children amidst a community that Bethe describes as enriching their lives with a “wealth of knowledge and skills”.

While Bethe dedicated much of her career to teaching at GPRC, her involvement extended beyond the classroom. She became a staunch advocate for wellness, fitness, and education, serving as both a leader and cheerleader for various groups, clubs, events, and organizations within the community.

Bethe's journey towards community involvement and positive impact was sparked by her upbringing and passion for sports and physical activity. Raised in a family that valued contributing to the community, she internalized the ethos of giving back from an early age. "The skills that I can offer to help others as they have helped me are very important to share," Bethe explains. For her, it's all about the simple yet powerful question, "What can I do to help you?" This philosophy highlights her commitment to leveraging her skills and experiences to uplift others.

Reflecting on her journey, Bethe emphasizes the profound impact of small acts of kindness and involvement. Her innate drive to effect change has been a guiding force throughout her life, propelling her to contribute meaningfully to her community.

Since her arrival in Grande Prairie, Bethe has played a pivotal role in building and nurturing various community initiatives. Her involvement with the Grande Prairie Gymniks Gymnastics Club as the Head Coach played a pivotal role in establishing the club as a cornerstone of youth development in the region. Additionally, Bethe's contributions to the inaugural years of Cygnet Playschool contributed to the growth of early childhood education in Grande Prairie. As her children grew older, Bethe continued to coach them in various sports, instilling in them, and their peers, the values of teamwork and perseverance.

Bethe's leadership extends to her involvement in organizing and chairing numerous large-scale events hosted by Grande Prairie, including the 1980 Alberta Winter Games Artistic Gymnastics, the 1994 Western Canadian Gymnastics Championships, and the 1995 Canada Winter Games Artistic Gymnastics. In addition, she has taken up various roles in 6 national championships hosted by GPRC, particularly in volleyball, as the 2010 Arctic Winter Games Care and Comfort Co-Chair and the 2024 Alberta Winter Games Ambassador.

Throughout the last decade, Bethe has shifted her focus to activities for seniors and older adults, leading initiatives such as "Studio 50 Adults GP" and managing Generations Readers Theatre GP.

Studio 50 Adult is a vibrant community initiative led by Bethe, catering to adults aged 50 and above in Grande Prairie, the County of Grande Prairie, and the MD of Greenview in Alberta. The group aims to create an inclusive space where older adults can engage in a variety of activities and connect with like-minded individuals. Recognizing the importance of social engagement and physical activity for seniors, Studio 50 Adult provides a platform for non-profits and community organizations to share activities tailored to the interests and needs of older adults. From fitness classes to cultural events, the group offers a diverse range of opportunities for members to participate in, fostering cross-generational connections and promoting overall well-being.

Under the umbrella of Studio 50 Adults Grande Prairie is Generations Readers Theatre GP, a volunteer project that brings the joy of storytelling and performance to various community settings. Also led by Bethe, the group organizes engaging presentations for audiences at seniors' lodges, adult day programs, schools, and more. Through their lively and enriching presentations, the group fosters a sense of community and celebrates the power of storytelling across generations.

Moreover, Bethe's longstanding involvement with the Centre for Creative Arts as a board member showcases her commitment to supporting artistic expression and cultural enrichment in Grande Prairie. Additionally, Bethe remains involved in further community building and aid being a member of the Rotary Club for the past three years.

Her multifaceted contributions reflect her commitment and passion to making the Peace Region a vibrant, healthy, and inclusive community for all. Bethe’s genuine kindness, passion, and role as a leader and cheerleader resonate deeply within the community. As one nominator aptly puts it, Bethe embodies the essence of goodness and purity—a testament to the positive energy she brings to every room she enters. It's this remarkable spirit that deserves recognition and celebration.

Reflecting on her own journey, Bethe explains "I've always believed that small acts of kindness and involvement can make a big difference in people's lives. It's about being there for each other and lifting each other up." For aspiring changemakers, Bethe advocates for active involvement and a willingness to share one's skills and abilities to uplift those around them. She encourages individuals to approach challenges with a sense of optimism and a readiness to lend a helping hand.

Bethe shares, "I've seen firsthand the impact that even the smallest gestures of kindness can have on someone's day. It's about making connections and showing compassion in everything we do."

As a Woman of Impact in the 30 Women for 30 Years campaign, Bethe's advice to women resonates deeply. She encourages women to embrace their passions, cultivate a sense of community, and never underestimate the power of their voices and actions. Bethe emphasizes the importance of supporting one another and fostering environments where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute - In Bethe's words, "Together, we can achieve remarkable things. It's about lifting each other up and creating a world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive." As Bethe continues to champion causes close to her heart, her legacy serves as a positive inspiration for generations to come.



Links: 

Studio 50 Adults GP

Generations Readers Theatre GP

 


To learn more about 30 Women for 30 years or to nominate a women who you think has made an impact in the region, click here.

Read more
Laura LaValley: Cultivating Community and Embracing Legacy in the Peace Region

Laura LaValley: Cultivating Community and Embracing Legacy in the Peace Region

Laura LaValley's journey in the Peace Country is deeply woven into the fabric of its history and community. Born in Grande Prairie and raised on a grain farm in DeBolt, Laura's upbringing reflects the resilience and pioneering spirit synonymous with the region.

Reflecting on her family's legacy, Laura speaks proudly of her family's contributions to the Peace Country's development. Her paternal grandmother, Winnie Moore (nee DeBolt), was a trailblazer who journeyed across the Edson Trail in 1920, settling in what would become the hamlet named after her family, DeBolt. On her maternal side, Laura's great-grandfather, JB Oliver, was one of the first settlers, playing a pivotal role in establishing Grande Prairie through ventures like Oliver's Furniture and Oliver's Funeral Home, which still serves the community today.

From an early age, Laura found herself naturally drawn to community involvement and service. She witnessed roles ranging from answering calls on the fire phone in her parents home to organizing fundraisers and community events. Inspired by the camaraderie, respect, and shared purpose of these experiences, Laura learned that meaningful change begins with individuals willing to roll up their sleeves and contribute. "If you want to see good things happen," she reflects, "you must be willing to do your part."

Reflecting on her journey, Laura draws inspiration from her grandmother, Joan Little. Despite facing immense physical pain, Joan possessed an extraordinary gift for making everyone feel valued and loved. Her ability to cultivate hope through acts of kindness serves as a guiding light for Laura, fueling further passion for community engagement and service.

Laura has actively engaged in a diverse range of volunteer and leadership endeavors throughout the region, each fueled by her passion for creating tangible and meaningful change. Here are some of her notable contributions:

  • Bezanson Recreational Society: Instrumental in founding the organization (previously Bezanson Volunteer Fire Department Society), Laura has been a driving force behind providing recreational facilities and programming for the community since 2003.
  • Medical Co-Response Program: Serving as the Medical Co-Response Unit Chief/Lieutenant from 2009 to 2018, Laura pioneered the creation of a medical co-response program for the Bezanson community. Her leadership significantly reduced emergency response times, providing crucial pre-hospital care for the injured and sick.
  • Support for 4H Programs: Since 2009, Laura has actively supported local 4H programs through public speaking, judging, and hosting club activities, recognizing the importance of nurturing youth in agriculture.
  • Regional EMS Foundation: As Executive Director from 2010 to 2015, Laura led initiatives to install AEDs in schools and workplaces and conducted a successful capital campaign for a mobile human patient simulator, enhancing practitioner training across the North Zone.
  • QEII Hospital Foundation: Serving as Senior Development Manager from 2015 to 2016, Laura contributed to the early stages of the Key to Care capital campaign, supporting the construction of a new hospital in the region.
  • Capital Campaign Manager, Bezanson Ag. Society: From 2016 to 2018, Laura managed a $4.6 million capital campaign for the Bezanson Ag. Society, resulting in the construction of a 16,000 square foot expansion on a regional recreation center, fostering community engagement and vitality.
  • Community Skating Rink: In 2018, Laura fundraised for the implementation of a 3-phase construction project for an outdoor skating rink, providing a cherished recreational space for youth and families in the community.
  • Grande Prairie Public School Division Education Foundation: As Executive Director from 2016 to 2020, Laura collaborated with the community to address gaps in education across 18 public schools, ensuring all students had access to necessary resources and opportunities for success.
  • 2024 Alberta Winter Games Society: Serving as Director of Protocol/Executive Committee from 2021 to 2024, Laura played a key role in organizing and managing various aspects of the Games, showcasing the region's hospitality and organizational prowess.
  • Northwestern Alberta Foundation: Since 2020, Laura has served as CEO, leading efforts to connect donors with impactful causes, manage community grants, and foster social innovation across the vast region, supporting community organizations through board development.
  • Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce: Currently serving as Director, Laura represents the business community and leverages her non-profit leadership experience to strengthen the local economy through collaboration and collective effort.

Laura reflects on several memorable and rewarding experiences stemming from her community involvement. "I was incredibly honored to work on the Bezanson Community Centre expansion," she shares. "It was rewarding to see my kids and their teammates play in that center, and the community enjoyed so many great functions there. It truly is the hub of Bezanson and is what will keep our small community thriving."

Transitioning to her role as CEO at the Northwestern Alberta Foundation (NAF) in April 2020 presented unique challenges, particularly amidst the onset of the pandemic. Laura recalls, "I couldn’t receive much training or even be in the same room as my new team." Despite facing unprecedented circumstances and the constraints of remote work, Laura and her team swiftly mobilized to distribute over a million dollars in federal support to vulnerable populations across the region. "We had to get committed and establish our new teamwork so quickly, as the needs were substantial," she explains. "This was one of the hardest times in my life, but I am so proud of being able to lean on my experience, trusted teammates, and good instincts to do this important work." Despite the daunting nature of the task, Laura's experience, alongside her team's dedication and instincts, guided them through the process. This period, while undoubtedly challenging, stands as a testament to the resilience and efficacy of NAF's efforts. Laura finds immense satisfaction in knowing that their work made a true difference in communities' lives, a sentiment echoed in the countless success stories that emerged.

In recognizing the challenges that come with these types of endeavours, Laura remarks, “I keep in mind what a difference a day can make. The problem I had yesterday can be gone the next day!” she continues, “And ultimately, our community is full of amazing people. Generosity is alive and well! I try to let that motivate and ground me.”

Currently, Laura is deeply involved in several impactful initiatives, many of which are yet to be unveiled to the public. At Northwestern Alberta Foundation (NAF), she spearheads various exciting projects, with upcoming partnership announcements on the horizon. One such initiative is the Rooted in Community Regional Tour, made possible through a collaboration with ONSITE3D. This tour takes them through diverse communities across northwestern Alberta, providing unrestricted funding to address local needs. Laura emphasizes the importance of direct community engagement, stating, "It is important to NAF to be responsive to communities, and I believe the only way we can do that is to actually show up in these awesome communities, learn about their challenges and victories, and make the valuable connections that create trust." In 2023, they visited 10 communities, with plans to expand to 20 in 2024. Moreover, Laura played a pivotal role in supporting communities affected by the May 2023 wildfires. Collaborating with GPREP, NAF initiated the Northwestern Alberta Emergency Fund, raising $365,000 through widespread social media outreach and community connections. These funds have been allocated to aid five municipalities and four Indigenous communities in their recovery efforts and to enhance resilience for any future emergencies. Furthermore, demonstrating their commitment to solidarity, NAF extended support to the Yellowknife Community Foundation to assist communities affected by wildfires in the Northwest Territories. Through her leadership and dedication, Laura continues to make a profound impact on the region, fostering resilience and community well-being.

Laura's journey is not only defined by her remarkable community contributions but also by her roles as a devoted mother, wife, and member of a close-knit family. She speaks fondly of her proudest accomplishments, raising her three children, Mason, Carter, and Sierra. Reflecting on motherhood, Laura acknowledges it as the most significant human experiment, highlighting the personal growth it has brought her. Alongside her husband Tyler, Laura operates a bison ranch, underscoring her deep-rooted connection to agriculture and family. She credits her parents as her biggest cheerleaders, instilling in her the confidence to pursue her passions. Beyond her professional endeavors, Laura finds solace in outdoor activities like backpacking, camping, and fishing, cherishing moments spent exploring nature and engaging in meaningful conversations. As she continues to make a difference in her community and beyond, Laura LaValley's multifaceted journey serves as an inspiration to all who encounter her story.

Reflecting on her own journey, Laura emphasizes the significance of trust, stating, "Trust is earned in drops and lost in buckets." She underscores the importance of integrity, honesty, and accountability, noting that trust forms the foundation for successful teamwork and community involvement.

Offering advice to aspiring changemakers, Laura advocates for faith over fear, asserting, "Believe in what you are trying to accomplish, and most of all the why behind what you are doing." She stresses the value of collaboration and diversity of perspectives, remarking, "We have the most impact when we are open to collective success." Laura also highlights the importance of adaptability and listening to community feedback, stating, "Listen to your community, your team, and your gut."

In her continuation of creating changes for the region, Laura describes herself as a perpetual learner, stating, "I try to be open-minded and glean something from every learning experience." She emphasizes the importance of personal growth and collaboration, noting, "During difficult times in my life, getting outside myself and working on something that is bigger than me has helped me stay grounded."

Addressing future generations of women, Laura encourages them to embrace possibilities, prioritize self-love, and cultivate environments of trust. She remarks, “Don’t be afraid to see a need and create a solution!  Love yourself so you have the capacity to love others. Be intent about learning, however you do that best. Create an environment of trust in all that you do.” Through her advocacy and actions, Laura continues to inspire others and leave a lasting legacy of positive change.

Links: 

Northwestern Alberta Foundation

Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce

 

 

To learn more about 30 Women for 30 Years or to nominate a woman who you think has made an impact in the Peace Region, click here. 

Read more
Virginia Tang: Breaking Barriers for Community Love & Inclusivity

Virginia Tang: Breaking Barriers for Community Love & Inclusivity

In the heart of Grande Prairie beats the spirit of a true community champion—Virginia Tang. Virginia's journey began 48 years ago when she made Grande Prairie her home. Since then, she's been deeply involved in various community initiatives, from teaching to leading important organizations and supporting the immigrant community in Grande Prairie.

Despite facing barriers, Virginia's determination never wavered. "Racism is very strong in Grande Prairie and it has served as a barrier for me. I tried to overcome this by finishing my degree and developing the skills necessary so that I can compete on equal terms in the workforce." Her impact and example as an educator at St. Joseph Catholic High School and Kateri Catholic School have been profound, shaping young minds and fostering a sense of belonging.

Though retired from teaching, her passion for making a positive impact has only grown stronger, fueled by the examples set by inspirational figures like Mother Teresa and her own mother, who instilled in her the values of giving back and helping others.

Virginia's generosity has formed into a commitment to creating a more inclusive society, combatting racism and promoting cultural diversity. Virginia has had the opportunity to present to school children on the importance of embracing different cultures and has been invited to speak at conferences such as the Cultural Diversity Conference held by Alberta Culture to talk about her experiences as an immigrant woman entering the workforce.

Her contributions and leadership extend to various cultural organizations and events, including the Grande Prairie & District Multicultural Association and the Filipino Association of Grande Prairie. Within the Multicultural Association, she was able to sponsor and assist in Heritage Days where she brought community groups together. "When I was the President of the Grande Prairie & District Multicultural Association, we used to sponsor Heritage Days where all culturally diverse groups performed together and where community leaders (Mayors, MLAs and MPs) join the Metis Dancers on stage and together we danced the Metis Jig and shared cultural experiences."

Furthermore, Virginia has been President of the Filipino Association of Grande Prairie for several terms, which has esteemed her as a respected elder within the Filipino community she ardently supports.

Today, Virginia works as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, assisting temporary foreign workers and new immigrants. Her support surpasses the professional realm, as she selflessly dedicates her time to offer solace and support to those facing hardship or loss. This commitment to aiding those in need extends to securing pro bono legal assistance for individuals requiring support. Virginia continuously goes above and beyond, showcasing her belief in the power of compassion and resilience and creating a fair and inclusive community for us all.

Beyond her roles as an educator and immigration consultant, Virginia's impact extends to the economic landscape of Grande Prairie. Through her efforts, numerous businesses have flourished, as she tirelessly recruits professionals to contribute their expertise to our city and region.

Remarkably, much of Virginia's work is carried out through her own resources, both in terms of time and finances, without any expectation of reciprocation. It is this selflessness, coupled with her boundless kindness, that defines Virginia's character and underscores her significant role in shaping the fabric of our community.

Virginia believes that caring and resilience are essential qualities for women seeking to make a difference in their communities. Through her own journey, she encourages others to find their passion and persevere in their endeavors.

As part of the '30 Women for 30 Years' campaign, Virginia's message to future generations of women is one of strength, perseverance, and self-belief. "Be strong and believe in yourself. If you try hard and persevere you will reach your goal. Find your passion because if you have passion in what you do you will stick to it and be successful."

Virginia Tang's story is not just one of personal triumph, but a testament to the transformative power of kindness, resilience, and community inclusivity.

 

Links:

virginiatangrcic.ca

 

 

To learn more about 30 Women for 30 Years or to nominate a woman who you think has made a positive impact on the Peace Region, click here

Read more
Faris Jean Atkinson: Advocating Mental Wellness in the Peace Region by Compassion and Wisdom

Faris Jean Atkinson: Advocating Mental Wellness in the Peace Region by Compassion and Wisdom

"We are stronger together," she affirms. "By lifting each other up and supporting one another, we can create a brighter, more compassionate world for all." Faris Jean Atkinson's legacy is one of hope, compassion, and dedication to building a stronger, more connected community, one act of kindness at a time.

 

Read more
Brenda Pelland-McIntosh's: Advocating Wellness and a Healthy Quality of Life for All

Brenda Pelland-McIntosh's: Advocating Wellness and a Healthy Quality of Life for All

In the heart of Grande Prairie, Brenda Pelland-McIntosh stands with compassion and a drive for change. With a nurturing spirit and a passion for enhancing the lives of others, Brenda's mission extends far beyond the confines of her role as a registered nurse. As the founder of Life & HEALth Care Consulting, she tirelessly advocates for seniors' (and others) health, wellness, and dignity, striving to fill the gaps in an often overlooked area of healthcare.

Brenda's roots in the Peace Region run deep, hailing from McLennan and returning to Grande Prairie after gaining her Nursing Degree in Calgary and working in various places like Seattle, Portland, and Hawaii. Her decision to establish herself here was driven not only by personal connections but also by a profound desire to make a meaningful impact in her community. "I've always wanted to make a difference," she shares, "and Grande Prairie's diverse population presented a unique opportunity to connect people with vital services."

Guided by her passion for advocacy and her commitment to bridging gaps in healthcare, Brenda founded Seniors Best Life in 2019, later evolving it into Life & HEALth Care Consulting. Her vision extends beyond providing services; it encompasses advocating for individuals of all ages and stages of life, ensuring they receive the support and resources they need to thrive.

Inspired by a multitude of individuals, Brenda's journey is marked by moments of profound connection and transformation. "I've learned that every person I encounter has something valuable to teach me," she reflects, emphasizing the importance of listening and learning from others' experiences.

Driven by a desire to create change, Brenda remains undeterred by challenges. In an environment where questioning the status quo can be daunting, she bravely advocates for those whose voices may go unheard. "It's not easy," she admits, "but I refuse to stay silent when I know I can make a difference."

Currently, Brenda is spearheading initiatives aimed at revolutionizing the way care is provided, particularly for couples facing separation due to differing healthcare needs. Her innovative approach seeks to preserve relationships and enhance quality of life, setting a precedent for compassionate care.

When asked about the qualities essential for women seeking to make an impact, Brenda emphasizes perseverance. "We must persist in the face of adversity," she asserts, urging women to trust their inner voice and support one another along the way.

Through her actions, Brenda inspires others to embrace their true selves and advocate for their needs, fostering a sense of empowerment within the community. Her journey of personal growth and purpose-driven living serves as a testament to the transformative power of resilience and determination.

As Brenda reflects on her legacy, she hopes to be remembered as a source of light, laughter, and encouragement. Her message to future generations of women is clear: unity, support, and purpose are the cornerstones of success. By empowering one another and embracing life's curves, women can illuminate the path to a brighter, more fulfilling future.

In the ever-changing landscape of healthcare and advocacy, Brenda Pelland-McIntosh stands as a guiding force, dedicated to helping others navigate life's challenges and embrace its infinite possibilities.

 

Life & HEALth Care Consulting

 

To learn more about 30 Women for 30 Years or to nominate a woman who you think has made a positive impact in our region, click here.

Read more
Jessica Schoepp: Forging Inclusivity and Entrepreneurship in the Peace Region

Jessica Schoepp: Forging Inclusivity and Entrepreneurship in the Peace Region

In the spirit of the '30 Women for 30 Years' campaign, Jessica leaves a powerful message for future generations of women: "You can make a difference. Small acts or large acts make a difference even if it’s only one person, and that can have a ripple effect that can last generations." Indeed, Jessica Schoepp's legacy is one of resilience, compassion, and unwavering dedication to building a brighter future for all.
Read more
29 results