Celebrating with Canadian Business Chicks

The Telus Convention Centre was the venue for an evening of entertainment and inspiration Thursday, September 20, as Canadian Business Chicks hosted the 2018 Women of Inspiration Gala. The 318 women and 96 men in attendance enjoyed dinner at an exquisite setting while celebrating the achievements of the 31 finalists for the prestigious awards. StandOUT Publications own Founder, CEO and Designer, Tessa Lerbekmo – Joyes was nominated a second year and we were proud to share the evening with her.

The awards presentation was kicked off by Stampede royalty as Cieran Starlight, 2018 First Nation Princess, from Tsuut’ina First Nation represented the tribes of Treaty 7.

Emceed by Global TV’s Linda Olsen, the evening was punctuated with performances by Michelle Mike of Cowtown Opera, Abbie Thurgood, Chloe Shingoose and a very young, very talented singer and musician, Kaiya, who stole hearts of everyone in the room, with her powerful, standing ovation evoking rendition of Titanium.

The Keynote speaker was Barb Stegemann, the first female to win a joint venture on Dragons Den, by none other than Calgary’s own Brett Wilson. Her candid humour and her Nova Scotian outlook as well as her success as an author, entrepreneur and local peace activist made her talk the perfect speech to further motivate and inspire the audience.

While every recipient had unique qualities and achievements, a few stood out. Captain Debora Bergeson, the first female captain of the Calgary Fire Department took the stage to the song “This Girl is on Fire” to accept the Unsung Hero Award. She said the siren is her voice and she is using it to assert a path for women and encouraged us all to “let our sirens blare”.

The nominees were as diverse in backgrounds and achivements as the categories they vied for. As to what it takes to stand among the greatness we saw take the stage, Monica Kretschmer, Founder and CEO of Canadian Business Chicks, had her favourite quote displayed throughout the venue and on the program. It seems to sum up what it takes…

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The found pegs in square holes. The ones who see things differently. they are not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify with them or vilify them. Abut the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do it.”

The final presentation of the evening was by the Honourable Kathleen Ganley, the minister of Justice and Solicitor General who awarded a cheque for $50,000.00 to Monica for the nest Foundation which will assist women in rebuilding and redefining their lives. 

Written by Catherine Tkach, Photos from CEO’s Phone and McDonald Photography

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