Workshop Registration

If you are a woman interested in learning more about community activism, this workshop on October 18 may be for you. This is an introductory workshop, intended for people with little or no experience in such things. It will cover such topics as doing analysis about an issue, developing an action plan, mobilizing community involvement, and communications through media and social media. The goal is to have participants leave with a commitment to undertake a first small activity of some sort in their own circles, with support from mentors. Here is the registration form.



News Release: Daughters of the Year making a difference in the community

News Release

September 4, 2014: For immediate release

Daughters of the Year making a difference in the community

Twelve women making a positive difference in Alberta will be honoured as Daughters of the Year at the third annual Daughters Day celebration.

“The contributions of the twelve women being honoured are diverse. Some are deeply involved helping people who are facing challenges in their lives, some are working to make public policy better for women, some have achieved remarkable success in areas of personal commitment. What is clear from their accomplishments is that when we ensure fair opportunity for all our daughters we are helping to create better communities for all of us,” says Daughters Day chair Charan Khehra.

The Daughters of the Year presentations are a highlight of a September 6 event at City Hall. They were selected by a jury from nominations received from the public. Jury members were Danielle Campbell, Edmonton Police Services Deputy Chief; former City Councillor Karen Leibovici; Danielle Monroe with ACT Alberta; Philomena Okeke-Ihejirika, University of Alberta professor; and Lori Sigurdson, Alberta College of Social Workers.

“The inspirational examples of the Daughters of the Year demonstrate why the goal of Daughters Day to ensure an end to all discrimination and abuse of daughters is so important,” says Jim Gurnett, Daughters Day project coordinator.

Daughters Day also features keynote speaker Dr. Jodi Abbott, President of NorQuest College, with a student body that is 80 percent women. Entertainment will be provided by Tommy Banks, Inner Voice, Macha Abdallah, Maria Dunn, and Paula Kirman. The host for the program is Elexis Schloss.

The day begins with an information fair and commitment walk, beginning at 112:30 PM, prior to the main program at 2 PM. “The walk invites people to follow a route that begins at City Hall and moves to eight sites in the area, at each of which there will be information about some area of women’s accomplishments. Families or friends get a route guide and then enjoy the walk while they learn from the stops and share ideas with each other, before arriving back at City Hall for the program,” explains Gurnett.

Daughters Day activities beyond the September 6 celebration included consultations with groups of women in communities around Alberta earlier this year that resulted in a handbook on ending gender discrimination that will be available at the September 6 event. There will also be a training workshop in October for women wanting to use the handbook in their own communities.

Information about Daughters Day is at


For more information or comment please contact Jim Gurnett at 780-218-6989 or

Interviews with individual Daughters of the Year can be arranged by contacting Gurnett.

Jeni Adler

Jeni Adler’s work at Jewish Family Services is marked by the effective creativity of the programs she operates, and the love and friendship she expresses to immigrant women and others with whom she works.

Shreela Chakrabartty

Shreela Chakrabartty is a pioneer film director and producer, whose recent Edmonton-made movie “Rock Paper Dice Enter” has had a successful run in Canada and internationally. She has done many projects with FAVA, and worked on the sound for the Academy Award nominated “Water.”

Lan Chan Marples

Lan Chan Marples chaired the first Edmonton Chinatown conference on the 100th anniversary of the community. Her work with the Chinese community has included leadership at ASSIST Community Services, and programs to combat family violence, and engage isolated seniors. She has provided leadership with Canadian Multicultural Education Foundation’s annual Harmony Brunch.

Joan Cowling

Joan Cowling served four terms on Edmonton Public School Board where she worked to have Francophone students welcomed, and spearheaded Aboriginal inclusion programs. As Chair of Canadian School Boards Association, she helped develop a model multiculturalism and race relations policy for school boards. Joan is Chair of John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights.

Linda Dumont

Linda Dumont started Alberta Street News in 2003 but worked with street papers in Edmonton from 1993. Alberta Street News provides a way for those unable to hold conventional jobs to make some money selling papers. She is a published poet and talented painter as well as an articulate anti-poverty activist.

Rajvir Kaur Gill

As Indo-Canadian Women’s Association program director, Rajvir Gill is developing community activities around the elimination of violence against women in the name of “honour.” She serves on the new WAVE Committee of the City of Edmonton and the REACH board. She was recently named one of the “Top 30 under 30” in Edmonton.

Paula Kirman

Paula Kirman is an activist in community/independent media and social justice, using skills as writer, editor, photographer, videographer, and singer/songwriter to effect positive social change. She documents many social justice events and posts at her website Radical Citizen Media. Paula is Editor of the community newspaper Boyle McCauley News, and wrote the theme song for the Daughters Day celebration.

Laura Manickaraj

Laura Manickaraj has dedicated much of her life to living with people with developmental disabilities in L’Arche communities, since 1987 in Calgary. She is a living testament to the value of inclusion and embracing diversity. She describes involvement with people with disabilities as a mutual opportunity for learning. Duncan, who lives in a L’Arche community, says, “Laura is a second mother to me. She brings life to the community.”

Zainab Mohamoud

Zainab Mohamoud is one of Red Deer’s most active and enthusiastic volunteers in fundraising for breast cancer research. She cooks and sells Somali foods at a farmer’s market to raise funds for girls’ education in Somalia and is a social worker at Central Alberta Immigrant Women’s Association.

Shawna Pandya

Dr. Shawna Pandya is a neurosurgery resident at University of Alberta Hospitals, with a passion for space, and a degree from International Space University. She mentors for Cyber Mentor, encouraging women in technology and sciences. She was part of the team doing pre-clinical testing of the NeuroArm for robotic neurosurgery.

Bridget Stirling

Bridget Stirling has been a public educator with Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton and made presentations supporting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, helped organized Take Back the Night and International Women’s Day events, and volunteers on the board of Edmonton Social Planning Council.

Michelle Van Teeling

Michelle Van Teeling spent years obsessing about being thin, until she concluded eating well and exercise was the real route to healthy body, and mind. This led her to body building, and her first competition in 2007. Recently she placed second in Northern Lightweights Women’s Bodybuilding and Northern Masters, and now has the goal of qualifying at Nationals level. She creates masterpieces of cake design, available through Yummy Mummy Cakes too.


Media Advisory: 12 Women to be Honoured as Daughters of the Year

Daughters Day 2014
Media Advisory
September 2, 2014: For immediate release
12 women to be honoured as Daughters of the Year
In advance of the Daughters Day celebration that takes place Saturday, September 6, at City Hall, there will be a news conference to announce the women who will be recipients of the Daughters of the Year awards.
News conference: Thursday, September 4, 11 AM
Stanley Milner Library, Edmonton Room (lower level)
Several of the recipients will be in attendance and available for media to speak with. Requests for interviews with any of them at other times will also be met.
The jury that selected the Daughters of the Year from nominations from the public consisted of Danielle Campell, Deputy-Chief Edmonton Police Services; Karen Leibovici; Danielle Monroe, ACT Alberta; Philomena Okeke-Ihejirika, University of Alberta; and Lori Sigurdson, Alberta College of Social Workers.
The September 6 event is part of the overall Daughters Day work, that includes the publication in June of a book for community groups on working to end gender discrimination. Information about Daughters Day is at
For more information or comment please contact Jim Gurnett at780-218-6989 or
Program for September 6 celebration:
12:30 PM
Commitment Walk and Information Fair
2 PM
  • Welcome: Elexis Schloss
  • Music: Tommy Banks
  • Proclamation and greetings from City of Edmonton
  • Music: Inner Voice
  • Keynote message: Dr. Jodi Abbott
  • Music: Macha Abdallah
  • Daughters of the Year presentations
  • Music: Maria Dunn
  • Closing comments: Elexis Schloss
  • Daughters Day song: Paula Kirman

Can you help spread news of Daughters Day?

The Heritage Festival takes place this weekend. It has been a prime opportunity over the past two years to give out handbills about Daughters Day. I have found that there is no trouble at all handing out 250 in an hour. just moving about to groups of people at the bus area.

Having people there at different times over the three days will be the best way to reach many people rather than having one large group there at one time. A simple way is to distribute for a half hour or an hour before you begin to enjoy the festival itself for yourself.

If you can do some handbilling anytime over the weekend, please let me know how many you feel you can give out. Also let me know if you need a t-shirt and the size you need. And how best to get them to you over the rest of this week.

The following weekend (Saturday afternoon) is the Cari-West parade, when it is good to have people walk along in advance of the parade and give handbills to those along the sidewalk and to distribute to the huge crowd at Churchill Square at the end of the parade. And during the 10 days or so of the Fringe Festival there are many opportunities to distribute around the Whyte Avenue area where it takes place. Early evening is best for this but afternoons are also fine. This can be done on any days that are convenient.

Handbilling is not difficult work. You move at your own pace. Almost everyone is happy to take a handbill and many express pleasure to find out about Daughters Day. There may be no better way to reach out than this personal contact. The times you can do it are very flexible and can fit with when you are going to the event yourself. Please find some time to help if you are able. And feel welcome to invite a spouse or friend to join you and work together.

If you are able to help, please contact Jim Gurnett at (780) 218-6989 or jimgurnett [at] yahoo [dot] ca.


Handbook is Online

The handbook on ending gender discrimination, Together: creating a better world is available for download here. The entire book can be downloaded as a single document, or various sections of it can be downloaded.
The book is also available in paper form. There is no set price for the book, it is provided by donation, or at no cost. Postage and shipping is at a cost of $5/book. To order copies of the book, please contact Jim Gurnett at (780) 218-6989 or jimgurnett [at] yahoo [dot] ca.