Annual Women of Influence awards gala draws record number of nominations

Jeff Gaye

The annual Cold Lake Women of Influence awards will be held Friday, March 9 at the Cold Lake Agriculture Society hall.

“The Cold Lake Women of Influence committee is a group of women who have gotten together to celebrate International Women’s Day,” said Kayla Vick, a member of the committee. The gala is held every year on the Friday nearest to March 8, which is International Women’s Day.

The event is a social evening, a networking opportunity, and a chance for Cold Lake residents – men and women – to draw inspiration from some of Cold Lake’s leading women and unsung heroines. Over the past few weeks, the committee has received nominations for women in different occupations and backgrounds to be honoured at the awards.

“We have 47 nominations this year, the most we’ve ever had,” Vick said.

The guest speaker at the event is Bonnie McFarlane.

“Bonnie grew up in Cold Lake,” Vick said. “She is a writer, director and comedian living in New York City right now. She has been on the Tonight Show, Comedy Central and Letterman, and she has an award-winning comedy documentary.”

Over the years the committee has presented awards to Women of Influence in four categories: arts and culture, business and professional, community and volunteer, and health and wellness. This year a science and engineering category has been added, as well as an Older Woman of Influence (65 and up) and a Younger Woman of Influence (19 and under).

One of the nominees will also be named as the Overall Woman of Influence.

Vick says there is always strong representation from CFB Cold Lake among the nominees.

“There are so many talented forces members and civilian support staff that have been nominated in past years,” she said. “We see that involvement across all categories because women and the forces are so versatile whether it’s in their own career or what they choose to do for extracurricular involvement.”

The event will begin at 7:00 pm, and women entrepreneurs will be at forefront as soon as guests arrive. Wine selections are provided by Amy Pilat of Wine Knows, catering (a variety of appetizers) is by Joly’s Fine Cuisine, and photos will be taken by Susie O’Connor of Images Studios.

After the wine and appetizers, the awards will be presented and McFarlane will give her keynote address.

Tickets are available online through Lakeland Connect, or can be picked up at Todd & Drake LLP, Lakeland Centre for FASD, and Nourish the Soul Wellness Centre.

More information is available at womenofinfluencecoldlake.org.

This Year’s Nominees:

• Jena Colbourne
• Ghislaine Depot
• Danika Desaulniers
• Abigail Dinn
• Jennifer Dusyk-Johnson
• Genine Franklin
• Nadine Friesen
• Eliza Flores
• Darlene Gates
• Cathy Gauthier
• Linda Grant
• Linda Hayward
• Marsha Hayward
• Sarah Hildt
• Rachelle Hogg
• Linda Howe
• Monika Iverson
• Theresa Legault
• Rhoda Lemay
• Elizabeth MacPhee
• Debbie Marcellus
• Jeri McCue
• Lynn McFarlane
• Lynda Minoose
• Kendra Moore
• Cassandra Newton
• Teresa Petit
• Mecell Pilon
• Angela Plaquin
• Jaimie Plouffe
• Erica Reddecliff
• Andrea Reid
• Meghan Rennie
• Anita Roy
• Oreen Skiba
• Alisha St. George
• Annette Swiderski
• Brittany Tucker
• Hazel Tyson
• Hannah Underdown
• TJ Unger