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Nikki Demers: Building Community Through Connection and Compassion

Nikki Demers: Building Community Through Connection and Compassion

In 2007, Nikki Demers made the move from southern Alberta to Grande Prairie, expecting only a brief stay. However, what was initially intended to be a temporary relocation has blossomed into a long-lasting and profound connection with the Peace Region. Over the years, Nikki has woven herself into the fabric of the community, creating a life rich with experiences, relationships, and a deep appreciation for the unique charm of Grande Prairie. 

Nikki’s involvement in the Peace Region community is deeply rooted in her belief in the power of service, help, and love. "I think it is just what we are supposed to do with this life," Nikki reflects. "I don’t know the bigger purpose or what will come after this, but I know my heart feels full, my life feels more meaningful, when I am giving back pieces of myself to others." This guiding philosophy has propelled Nikki to make a significant and positive impact on those around her.

A pivotal influence in Nikki’s life has been her grandmother, a woman whose kindness and accessibility made her a cornerstone of her community. "My Grandma definitely has inspired me and who I am," Nikki shares. "She was the queen of ‘Safety Meetings’ - and her motto was, ‘Nobody works, nobody gets hurt’." Her grandmother's laundromat became a sanctuary where people felt welcomed to share their struggles, celebrate joys, and find solace. Nikki cherishes these memories and carries forward the legacy of simply being there for others.

A defining moment that jump started Nikki’s drive to create change occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her grandfather had to be placed in a care home, only to pass away in isolation during the lockdown, an experience that deeply affected her family. "It was within this first week that he passed, alone. It devastated my mom, and shook our whole family," Nikki recalls. This heart-wrenching event spurred Nikki and her mother to action. They initiated a heartfelt project, writing Christmas cards for seniors who were isolated and without visitors.

What began as a small family activity with craft paper and crayons on the basement floor soon blossomed into a massive initiative. Nikki’s call to friends and family on Facebook turned into a province-wide holiday spirit campaign, spreading love and joy through thousands of holiday cards delivered to seniors in assisted living facilities across Canada. This effort has grown over the years, with hundreds of people joining the initiative, embodying the spirit of giving and community that Nikki so passionately promotes.

For Nikki, the rewards of community involvement aren't found in singular, grand moments, but in the countless small ripples of impact that are created. Through private conversations and heartfelt moments, Nikki has fostered a sense of connection and support among the women in her community.

Nikki’s path has been marked by challenges that have shaped her into the resilient and compassionate individual she is today. One of her most significant trials began at a very young age, with a health issue that spanned two decades. Her first menstrual period brought excruciating pain, leading to an emergency room visit. "The pain was horrific and my Grandma rushed me in, with me curled up on the floor in the passenger seat, sure my appendix was rupturing," Nikki recalls. From that point forward, she faced crippling pain and early discussions of a hysterectomy and endometriosis. She was told she might never have children.

Learning to cope with this chronic pain and uncertainty, Nikki developed a profound connection with her body. "I learned to listen to my body, to be in tune with what it needs, and to be gentle with it - giving it what it needs and not hating it for what it was," she explains. This inner dialogue became her greatest strength, guiding her through a decade-long journey as an ultra-runner, where she found mental fortitude in the face of voluntary physical challenges, “It took me across mountain ranges and over mountaintops and through the rain and into the deep night of the forest. It guided me to become mentally stronger with each step, because the pain I was used to facing wasn’t optional, but this was.”

A pivotal moment in Nikki’s life occurred on her 10th anniversary trip to Las Vegas, the place where she and her husband had eloped. On October 1, 2017, they survived a mass tragedy that took 59 lives. In the midst of this horrific event, a miracle happened—Nikki conceived a child, something she had never thought possible. "Our miracle baby that we never even dreamed of having," she describes the joy of finding out she was pregnant on her 31st birthday, just two weeks after the tragic event.

However, the journey to motherhood was fraught with its own set of challenges. Having resigned herself to the belief she would never have a family, the sudden shift was both miraculous and daunting. Postpartum, Nikki faced a year of undiagnosed struggles, feeling isolated and misunderstood, “I went undiagnosed for the first year postpartum, not understanding what I was feeling and not fitting the bill of postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety… I was overlooked by the medical system, I was drowning, and I felt very alone.”

Drawing on the same motivation that helped her through ultra-running, Nikki eventually sought and received support. With the help of her family and a psychologist, she discovered she was suffering from postpartum OCD, triggered by PTSD from the Las Vegas tragedy. "I relied on many of the same mantras during this time that I used to get me through the dark nights in the mountains," Nikki reflects. Her journey through these immense challenges highlights her resilience and the support of her loved ones, further solidifying her commitment to being there for others in their times of need.

Nikki is currently involved in several community projects and initiatives that reflect her passion for service and collaboration.

As mentioned above, one of her most cherished projects is the annual Christmas Card Drive, which has become a heartwarming tradition. "My Christmas Card Drive happens every year, obviously leading up to the holidays, and that is something I really enjoy doing," Nikki shares. This initiative spreads cheer far and wide, encouraging people to engage in a selfless act for strangers. Nikki and her community members—including classrooms, daycares, workplaces, groups of friends, and individuals—create handmade cards that she then distributes as widely as possible. The effort has grown beyond her immediate reach, with people helping to deliver cards to other provinces and even starting similar drives in places like Peace River, Calgary, Lethbridge, and Edmonton. This project, born in her basement with her son and mother, continues to grow and inspire, creating a sense of unity and joy each year.

Nikki is also one of the organizing members of the GP100, a community organization initially run by all men. When her business team got involved, their first objective was to open up the group to members of all genders. "The idea behind GP100 is 100 people coming together to give $100 each to a local non-profit every 3 months," Nikki explains. This simple concept generates substantial support for local causes, creating a positive impact. The inclusion of women has been met with enthusiasm, and the group's numbers have grown notably in the past six months. Although Nikki credits her team's resources for their involvement, she finds immense reward in contributing to this impactful organization and looks forward to its continued evolution.

In her professional life, Nikki works as a real estate professional on a team of six women, embodying a spirit of collaboration over competition. "Together we work side by side, zero judgment, zero competition, 100% collaboration," Nikki says. This supportive dynamic allows them to balance work and family seamlessly, stepping in for each other when needed. Their cooperative approach not only benefits their personal lives but also enhances their professional performance, allowing them to be fully present for their clients and families without compromise. They go above and beyond traditional real estate duties, often helping to clean, stage, and organize clients' homes to alleviate stress during the buying or selling process. This collective effort aims to change the industry's perception, “We are changing this part of the industry and allowing more space for women to embrace their feminist - and their boss drive - without compromise!”

Through these various projects and initiatives, Nikki continues to make a meaningful difference in her community, demonstrating the power of empathy, collaboration, and dedication.


Nikki believes that connection is the most vital quality for a woman aiming to make an impact in her community. "There is so much isolation and loneliness in this world. We aren’t meant to do this thing called life alone, plain and simple," Nikki emphasizes. By connecting with others, women not only help those around them but also enrich their own lives, returning to the roots of communal living and mutual support. These small, interconnected communities contribute to the growth and thriving of the larger community, reinforcing the importance of connection.

For women aspiring to make a difference, Nikki's advice is straightforward: find what truly fills you up and dive in wholeheartedly. Whether it's your family, career, or a specific cause, commit fully. "Say yes. Do the thing. Volunteer for the event. But only those things that you are truly passionate about," Nikki advises, “When you give your time to something that makes your heart soar, your energy flows through to others involved and the impact is tremendous. And when you show up as the authentic unfiltered version of yourself and let others know you and your story - wow. That is powerful.” Nikki emphasizes that genuine passion and authenticity create an effect that the universe amplifies, leading to significant and lasting change.

Underscoring the essential role women play in community-building and advocacy, Nikki states, "It starts and ends with us. As women, we hold the power of the Universe within us," she asserts. “We are able to give more, love more, feel more, connect more, and instead of getting depleted we are just charging our batteries. Women just have something different within us, an ability to bring people together and connect for a greater cause, and our ability to never stop giving is something that is in our genetic makeup. It’s our superpower. And what good is a superpower if we never use it?” Nikki asks, highlighting the importance of women stepping into their roles as community builders and advocates.

Having an openness about her own personal struggles with endometriosis, infertility, the Las Vegas tragedy, and the challenges of motherhood has had a profound impact on herself and her community. By sharing her journey honestly, Nikki has created a safe space for others to acknowledge and voice their own struggles. "It has allowed others to, in a way, put a voice to their own struggles, without having to necessarily say the words themselves," Nikki explains. Her raw storytelling has empowered others to move forward, embrace their challenges, and heal. This collective healing creates a stronger, more connected community, where people feel encouraged to share their lives openly rather than hiding behind them.

As part of the ‘30 Women for 30 Years’ campaign, Nikki Demers aims to leave a legacy of openness and connection for future generations of women. Her message is clear: "Share your struggles. Talk about them. Open up to friends and family, to strangers." By opening up about their own journeys, women not only heal themselves but also provide solace and support to others facing similar challenges. Nikki emphasizes the importance of genuine human connection beyond the facade of social media. "Get out there, get raw and real, and bring the real human you into your everyday life. The world becomes a lot smaller and so do your problems. Together, we heal." Through her actions and her message, Nikki is fostering a culture of honesty and support, encouraging women to connect deeply and authentically.


Learn more:

Community Christmas Card Drive

The GP100

Peace + Prairie Real Estate


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