My name is Amanda Bernardo and I am a local Ottawa author and advocate for both the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa/Renfrew County and Canada.Two years ago, I set out to write
a story I hoped would inspire all those who would read it. Along the way, I realized I was also creating a platform where I could create real change in my community and in the lives of
all those my story would touch.
In creating this platform, I began promoting a positive movement that would inspire people to listen to their little voice; a voice that would encourage them to be proud of who they are and capable of accomplishing anything! I began working closely with local schools and
organizations, such as CHEO, the Boys and Girls Club and the Proud to be Me Foundation, by donating books and providing inspirational talks.
In sharing my story, I also knew early on that I wanted to tell a story that I felt was not told
nearly enough. This story, unlike my own, is one where our little voice is forgotten, where the memories that make up the sum of our life story are stripped away and the loved ones that are left behind are suddenly strangers. This is a story that we refer to now a day as Alzheimer’s disease. In my attempt to tell this story, I created the Little Voice Forget Me Not Project;
a project that donates a portion of every book sale to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, a cause I hold extremely dear to my heart and have pursued in honour of my grandmother.
As a passionate volunteer in my community, I wanted my movement to not only teach
kids about themselves but also about the importance of giving back and helping others, whatever the cause may be.
This upcoming June, I am hosting an event that will promote each of these stories, with a
special focus on inspiring women and young girls in our community. The event is a special screening of the soon to be released film “Dream, Girl”, a documentary whose producer comes from our very own nation’s capital. The film’s mission is to share the stories of amazing female entrepreneurs, from brand new startups to million dollar industries, in order to inspire the next generation of leaders. Proceeds from this event will also go towards supporting the 2016 #WalkForAlzheimers!
The film’s world premiere will be this May in New York City, with special screenings that will
follow shortly after in Canada and the United States. When I first watched the “Dream, Girl”
trailer, I knew I wanted to be part of this movement and share this inspirational message
with others. The film brings to light the importance of teaching young girls and women
that they too can become leaders:
“Any person, male or female, could be a leader. Anyone is capable, it just so happen
for us [women] it’s more complicated. I hope for us this is the generation that changes because I think that it’s time for change.”
I couldn’t agree more; young girls can’t begin to dream of being a future leader when they don’t see enough women in the positions they dream of. We need to highlight the
accomplishments of the women in our communities, country and the world in order to
show the next generation that anything is possible, even for women.
By collaborating with the “Dream, Girl” film, my goal is to remind everyone in attendance
that we all have a little voice inside us, and no matter whether we are male or female, we
can and will accomplish anything we set our minds to.
Ultimately, the day will be one large storytelling experience. A chance for women and young girls to network with one another and see what type of inspiration and talent is right here in our communi- ty. The event will also give back to the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfew
County by donating a portion of all ticket sales to this cause, in addition to funds
raised through our silent auction.
The event will also feature Peggy Taillon as our opening guest speaker.
Peggy is the President of the Bruyère Foundation. She embraces this opportunity with a
passion for its important mission and a deep respect for its rich past and many
accomplishments. Integrity, diversity and inclusiveness are hallmarks of her leadership. A passionate advocate for equality and social justice, Peggy has led one of Canada’s longest established organizations the Canadian Council on Social Development, influencing
public policy and the changing landscape for the third sector in Canada over the last
several years. Prior to the CCSD, Peggy served as senior vice-president at The Ottawa
Hospital, and previously led Ontario’s Mental Health Implementation Task Force, a sweeping reform process. Peggy served as an Advisor to the Minister of Health and Long-Term
Care and to the Premier on the implementation of Ontario’s Regional Health Authorities,
Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), along with a number of other major health
reform processes. Today she sits on the Council of the Royal College of Physicians
and Surgeons of Ontario and is co-chair to the Canadian Council on the Social
Determinants of Health under the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Peggy has a long established track record in fund development and philanthropy, raising funds
for a number of health partners in the region and across Canada. A dynamic and compelling public speaker, Peggy is often called upon to present on the health and wellbeing of Canada’s most vulnerable, and issues of gender, race, human rights, social development
and inequality. A recent example is the unique invitation to present a TedTalks in July 2015.
A proud Canadian, Peggy believes we can create a strong, resilient and caring nation that values the well-being and contributions of all of its citizens.Peggy founded the HERA Mission of Canada in 2008, a foundation that supports women
leading development projects empowering widows, children and grandmothers in Western
Kenya. Through this work, Peggy honors the community where her son Devlin was born.
She is the recipient of CTV’s Amazing People Award 2012 for changing adoption laws in
Kenya that enabled her to bring her son home to Canada and her Hera Mission work.
CTV’s W5 profiled her journey in Kenya in The Love of a Child which aired on March 8, 2014 – International Women’s Day. Over 1.2 million viewers across Canada and beyond tuned in or watched online, with many more since then. Most recently, Peggy received Ontario’s 2015 Leading Women, Building Communities Award.
Originally from the small northern Ontario town of South Porcupine, Peggy was educated
in Toronto and Ottawa and holds degrees in Social Work and Law, as well as advanced
diplomas in mediation and negotiation.I would like to invite you and your network to join us on June 5, 2016 for the Dream Big Dream, Girl Inspirational Luncheon. I am hoping that together we can inspire the next generation by sharing the stories of the many women in our community who serve as an inspiring example every day of what women can accomplish!
In order to make this event possible, I am presently seeking the support and sponsorship of all those who can aid us in putting on this inspirational luncheon.You can also get involved by sharing this event with your friends and family!
There was once upon a time, a moment in each of our lives, where we stopped and listen to our little voice. Today, I ask you to help others listen to theirs.
Thank you in advance for your support and I hope to see you June 5th,
Amanda Bernardo, author
To reserve your ticket, register below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to become a sponsor:
For information about the film, please visit: