2024 International Women’s Day Celebration

A Celebration of Unity and Empowerment at NLES, Ottawa

On March 3rd, North Light Educational Services (NLES), a beacon of educational excellence and community engagement in Kanata, Ottawa, transformed into a vibrant venue for an unforgettable early International Women’s Day celebration. Organized by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI), the event welcomed over 150 guests in a spirited gathering, highlighting the power of unity, cultural diversity, and the upliftment of women.

Opening Remarks and Inspirational Messages

The event opened with IDI Ottawa Board Member Shirin Kabiri’s welcoming remarks, setting a tone of warmth and inclusivity. Marichka Bokovnia MC for the program, then shared her motivating journey and highlighted the importance of community service, enriched by a meaningful land acknowledgement to the Anishinaabe Algonquin People, fostering a spirit of gratitude and recognition.

Diverse Presentations and Performances

IDI Ottawa Board Vice Chair Ann E. Miller, outlined the organization’s mission, leading into an insightful keynote by Margena Ghazvani, who shared her experiences with mentorship and community involvement. A serene guided meditation by Tolani Mak, Founder at TC Wellness,  offered a moment of collective reflection and calm.

A highlight was the traditional Chinese dance, gracefully performed by Mrs. Wen, which captivated the audience with its elegance and cultural depth. Mariana Santos, Personel Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor, brought energy and joy through a Brazilian dance class, emphasizing the beauty of cultural exchange and physical expression.

Honored Guests and Celebratory Highlights

The presence of Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development of Canada as well as the Member of Parliament for Kanata-Carleton, added a layer of inspiration, with her speech focusing on the strength of community support and the potential of women to drive change.

The event also featured various vendors, including Havva Mutlu, enriching the experience with their unique contributions and showcasing the community’s entrepreneurial spirit. This decision to focus on a diverse group of vendors highlighted the richness and variety of the community’s talents and products.

A Legacy of Community and Empowerment through Volunteerism

Hosted at the NLES , this event was a testament to the power of community, the importance of cultural diversity, and the upliftment of women. It stood as a reminder of the impact of unity, diversity, and empowerment, leaving attendees inspired and looking forward to future gatherings that champion these values. Through the celebration of International Women’s Day, the event not only honoured the achievements and potential of women but also underscored the importance of volunteerism and the vibrant cultural tapestry that strengthens our communities.




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