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One of the biggest honours for women in the Central Okanagan will be presented Friday, March 8 when the latest recipient of the Gert Beadle Award is announced as part of an evening celebration of International Women’s Day.
Organized by the Okanagan College Women’s Resource Centre (OCWRC) and sponsored by the Okanagan College Faculty Association (OCFA), the event takes place from 6 – 10 p.m. at the Bohemian Café in downtown Kelowna.
The free family-friendly celebration will be hosted by CBC Radio’s Alya Ramadan, and will feature speakers, performers, food and wine, children’s activities, plus music from the Wee Feminists Children’s Choir and local singer/songwriter Johanna Olson.
“There are so many ways to be a feminist, so we decided this year’s theme would be This is What a Feminist Looks Like!” remarks Norah Bowman-Broz, Women’s Studies Professor at Okanagan College and the Status of Women representative on the OCFA.
“We want this night to be inclusive, to celebrate feminists of all ages, cultures, genders, and occupations.”
While International Women’s Day celebrates the accomplishments and contribution of women everywhere, Bowman-Broz said the Gert Beadle Award recognizes a local individual who has demonstrated commitment to women’s equality and social justice.
Last year’s recipient, and former Kelowna mayor, Sharon Shepherd will be presenting the award on behalf of the Central Okanagan Women's Resource and Education Foundation (COWREF).
“The Gert Beadle winners are always inspiring,” said COWREF board member and Okanagan College English Professor Sasha Johnston. “The work they do for women in the region is extraordinary.”
Beadle, who lived in Kelowna in her later years, received the Order of Canada in 1986, in part for her work championing the first women’s shelter in the country. She also received the Persons Award and published four works of poetry.
The Okanagan College Women’s Resource Centre is run by a collective of women – faculty, students, and community members – and has been open in room A149 at the Kelowna campus since 2009. The OCWRC can also be found on Facebook.
For more information about International Women’s Day, visit www.internationalwomensday.com.