The fifth annual Daughters Day celebration took place on Saturday, August 27th at Edmonton City Hall. Many thanks to everyone who attended, volunteered, performed, donated to, and otherwise helped out.



Daughters of the Year Award Recipients


Michelle Plouffe

She is the Vice President, General Counsel and Compliance Officer at MacEwan University. Michelle is responsible for managing the legal affairs of the University. She directly supervises the Risk and Assurance Services, Emergency Management, Internal Audit Services, Privacy and Records Management, and Legal portfolios. She is a legal and strategic advisor to the Board of Governors and its Audit Committee, Campus Planning Committee, Governance and Human Resources Committee, and Foundation Board. Michelle is responsible for the development and implementation of significant institution-wide programs. Michelle has been a volunteer member of the Law Society Audit Committee since 2015 and is dedicated to the prevention of gender-based violence and the preservation of human rights for women and girls.

Teresa Spinelli

Teresa wasn’t supposed to be one of Edmonton’s most successful entrepreneurs and community advocates. She was supposed to get married and have babies. But when her father Frank Spinelli, founder of the Italian Centre Shop’s family of business passed away in 2000, she took over the business. After years of fighting comments like ‘your dad didn’t do it that way’, Teresa built her dad’s legacy from a single store and wholesaler to three locations in Edmonton, one in Calgary and a major importer and distributor of Italian and European goods. Teresa’s business philosophy comes from her dad, “The more you give, the more you get.” The most important ingredient for business success in Teresa’s heart is in people. If you take care of your staff, they’ll take care of the customers. Teresa is married to Mike Newberry and they have a son Massimo, born in 2007.

Yazmin Juarez

Yazmin came to Canada in 1992 as a refugee, following an ongoing civil war in her home country Guatemala. Yazmin Juarez is a self-taught visual artist. As an artist, Yazmin has shown her artwork at various community events and has collaborated with others to organize showcases that raise awareness on environmental, discrimination and human rights issues. Some of these showcases include Masala Mix and Unpacking Boxes. Yazmin operates YEG Social which is a group of local artists who feel passionate about making art accessible to everyone. In addition to being a two-time nominee for Artist of the Year at the Latin American Chambers of Commerce, Yazmin also sits on the Equity Committee for the Edmonton’s Arts Council.  Yazmin who is expecting her first child, hopes to continue to work with many communities to create equal opportunities for all.

Dama Diriye

Dama is a settlement practitioner at Edmonton Immigrant Services Association (EISA) working with Immigrant and Refugee Children, Youth and their families since August 2012. Dama was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. She fled from her home country at a young age due to a civil war that forced her to live in Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya-the world’s largest refugee camp where she took her prime time. Dama moved to Canada mid-2006 after finishing high school and winning a full scholarship and sponsorship through the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), a Canadian organization that gives scholarships to top refugee students. In Kenya, Dama has been a role model and an advocate for youth in general and girls in particular. Dama is a recent graduate of MacEwan University’s faculty of health and Community Studies and a mother of two.

Shawna Grimes

Shawna grew up in St. Albert. In 1993, despite her family’s concern for her safety, she joined Edmonton Police Service, Class #82. She was a farm girl who went on to become the first ever-female Staff Sgt. Shawna Grimes has been with the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) for 23 years and is currently a Staff Sergeant in the Homicide Section. Prior to this, she was the Staff Sergeant in the Sexual Assault Section and to this day continues to work with Edmonton community groups to help increase education and awareness around the issues of sexual violence in our city. Shawna is a single parent to two amazing teenage girls, Faith and Kara. She is dedicated to volunteering in the community and to raising her daughters to be strong and independent women.

Linar Dahir

Linar Dahir is from Ethiopia. She arrived in Canada in late 2010 with her three siblings and mom. No one in her family spoke English so life was hard. As the oldest, she assumed the role of a parent in her family. She registered her mom for school, she was the one to contact if anything went wrong, and due to that, she had to miss a lot of school and workdays. She realized that when your parents are newcomers, you’re no longer the child. You become the parent to your family because of the language barrier and they will depend on you for that. We as children of new Canadians need to be patient because we are the only reliable ones for our family and our community. During her free time, Linar teaches computer classes to adult newcomers and she helps newcomer students at her high school in a program called Peer Leaders. Every year, Linar goes and gets training for that program. She has received the RISE Award in 2014 for the Youth Achievement and the story of Heroes of 107th. She strives for positivity and to help her community.