It seems like just yesterday, I came across a Kickstarter campaign for a film that shared a message much like my own. This message encourages children, and adults alike, to believe in themselves and their dreams! After watching the trailer for the Dream, Girl film, I saw myself and the journey I had taken with Little Voice in the stories of the women featured in this film. I saw my struggles, my fears, my determination and that same little voice that once inspired me to write a children’s book, inspire others to do extraordinary things too!
On the morning of June 5th, the Dream Big Dream, Girl Luncheon, I asked myself how I got here. How did watching a trailer to a documentary, produced by two women I didn’t really know, turn into me putting on an event for over 140 women. The short answer: inspiration. The longer answer: when an idea gets in my head, I run with it, and that’s exactly what led me to put on this inspirational luncheon.
I didn’t really know what to expect going into this. Would people be interested? Would people attend? Would they be as inspired as I hoped they would?
After watching the Dream, Girl film for the first time, I cannot even put into words how moved I am! When I first saw the Kickstarter campaign for this film, it was the mention of a little voice inside us all that caught my attention. I watched the trailer and thought to myself, this is 100% me two years ago.
I saw myself in this film, a young woman with a dream of publishing her own book, inspiring the next generation and making a difference in her community. I understood the struggle and hurdles these women talked about and understood how difficult it was to start my own business. But when I set out to chase my dream, it was hard to see examples of other women doing the same. I had to search for it.
Fast forward and I am so happy that a young woman, who I don’t even know, followed her own little voice and, after searching for what I had desperately sought when I was starting my own business, found it. Not only did she find it, she filmed it, produced it and now is sharing it to inspire us all!
I may not have been part of the creation of this film, and like me, many of you have not either, but the beautiful thing about this movie is that while none of us were part of it, our stories are all inside it. The story of women leaders, entrepreneurs and start-ups. The story of our struggles, our dreams, our hurdles and fears. The story of feeling like we want to give up and the story of beating all odds and chasing our dream!
So, while Little Voice and Dream, Girl were created at different times and in different parts of the world, one thing they have in common is a message that reminds us all to listen to our little voice and dream big! If I can support another woman in sharing that message, you can certainly bet I will!
I cannot wait to share this film with everyone this Sunday at the Dream Big Dream, Girl Luncheon!
As we prepare for our upcoming luncheon this June, we are extremely excited to announce our closing guest speaker Victoria Lennox!
The Dream, Girl Luncheon is an amazing opportunity to unite women entrepreneurs in our community, while inspiring the next generation to chase their own entrepreneurial dream.
Women are starting companies every single day. They are breaking through barriers, taking on challenges, making a difference in our communities, and fighting for equal rights and equal pay! It’s hard to ignore how far women have come and so, rather than ignore it, we here at Little Voice in partnership with the Dream, Girl film want to PROMOTE it!
The Dream, Girl Luncheon will include a special screening of the Dream, Girl film, a film that focuses on the stories of women entrepreneurs. In addition to the women we will meet on screen, we also wanted to introduce you to some pretty amazing women right here in our own backyard.
When we think of entrepreneurship in Canada, it’s pretty hard not to think of Startup Canada. Victoria Lennox is the co-founder and CEO of Startup Canada, a grassroots network of entrepreneurs working together to build an environment for entrepreneurship in Canada. She is recognized by the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union as one of the foremost experts in entrepreneurship education; ecosystem and program architecture, governance, development and implementation; and, in fuelling entrepreneurship movements and awareness campaigns.
She is also the first Canadian and one of the youngest recipients of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. As a student at the University of Oxford, Victoria won the award for having pioneered a grassroots youth entrepreneurship movement in the UK called NACUE. Today NACUE is central to the UK’s youth entrepreneurship ecosystem, supporting more than 55,000 higher education students and graduates across more than 100 institutions.
On the global stage, Victoria is a strong leader. As the catalyst for Startup Generation and host of Startup Nations, Victoria supports and mentors the development of youth enterprise organisations in more than 20 countries; provides advisory support to international organisations in the areas of entrepreneurship networks, education and policy development; and supports colleges and universities in enhancing their entrepreneurial activities. Countries around the world are also working to emulate Startup Canada’s methodologies and activities, viewing the organization, under Victoria’s leadership, as the best practice in fuelling entrepreneurship culture.
Entrepreneurship has proved to be a catalyst for economic growth in many countries. Equally as important is the critical role that women play in the growth of an economy.
We are very excited to have Victoria Lennox join the Dream Big Dream, Girl team and are confident that her experiences and knowledge will serve to benefit all those in attendance!
It is with great pleasure that Little Voice introduces the Honourable Catherine McKenna as one of our Dream Big Dream, Girlguest speakers!
Canada is blessed with many great female leaders. They remind the next generation of women and young girls that any person, male or female, can lead. They serve as an example of opportunity, change, and equality. More importantly, they teach us that anything is possible and that anyone, anywhere, is capable of dreaming big!
As a woman, our careers and our families are often times put at odds with one another. We have fought for decades for equal opportunity, equal pay and rights that allow us to be committed to our careers and families.
We are very excited to have Catherine join us to share, with a room filled of women entrepreneurs, philanthropists and dreamers, how important work-life balance is when considering your dreams.
Get ready to dream big on June 5th with Little Voice and Dream, Girl!
Who is Catherine McKenna?
Catherine McKenna has practiced law at leading firms in both Canada and Indonesia, focusing on international trade, competition, investment and constitutional issues. She was senior counsel on the Right Honourable Antonio Lamer’s review of Canada’s military justice system. She was also senior negotiator with the UN mission in East Timor which culminated in the Timor Sea Treaty providing for the joint exploitation of petroleum resources in a part of the Timor Sea claimed by East Timor and Australia.
Catherine co-founded and was Executive Director of Canadian Lawyers Abroad, a charitable organization that engages in the developing world and Canada in the areas of good governance, rule of law, environmental issues and human rights. In Canada, Canadian Lawyers Abroad has partnered with environmental NGOs and organizations representing Aboriginal peoples. Catherine also served as the Executive Director of the Banff Forum that engages emerging Canadian leaders in critical public policy discussions. Prior to that, she taught at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and was a board member at the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.
I couldn’t be more proud of these women and the amazing work they are doing to inspire the next generation of female leaders.
I am so excited to be bringing the Dream, Girl film to Ottawa for its first screening on June 5th and I am certain that together, with Komal Minhas & Erin Bagwell’s film, we will be able to inspire all those in attendance to dream BIG!
If you’ve been holding off on your dream and doubting whether you can make it happen, put all of that aside and join us on June 5th for a chance to rekindle that fire within and take that first step towards accomplishing your dream!
It wasn’t too long ago that someone told me I didn’t have what it takes to publish and manage my own children’s book … but I listened to my little voice and over a year later have sold 1000 copies of my book and have donated close to $4000 to the Alzheimer Society! Now it’s your turn to listen to your little voice and show the world what you are capable of!
Sometimes, it can be difficult to remind not only others, but also ourselves, to be proud of who we are. We often times become so busy with life, or so consumed by other things grabbing for our attention, that we forget to remind ourselves to be proud of our accomplishments, proud of our differences and proud of the people we’ve become.
I certainly know this to be true; it took me awhile to recognize how far I’ve come in life and how proud I should be of all that I’ve accomplished. In many ways, Little Voice taught me, as much as I hoped it would teach others, to be proud of who I am. It also led me to work with an amazing organization that I am now extremely excited to have on board for the Dream Big Dream, Girl Inspirational Luncheon:
On June 5th, 2016, Little Voice’s author Amanda Bernardo is hosting a special inspirational luncheon!
The Dream Big, Dream Girl inspirational luncheon will invite women and young girls in our community to network together, support an amazing cause and witness an inspirational screening of the film Dream, Girl. It will also include an amazing opening speaker we are so thrilled to have on board!
Today, Little Voice would like to introduce you to the Dream Big Dream, Girl opening guest speaker: Peggy Taillon.
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 sweep- ing reform process. Peggy served as an Advisor to the Minis- ter 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 Porcu- pine, Peggy was educated in Toronto and Ottawa and holds degrees in Social Work and Law, as well as advanced diplomas in mediation and negotiation.
We are very lucky to have Peggy as our opening speaker and look forward to hearing her at our event!
Two years ago I set out to write a story I hoped would inspire all those who would read it. My book, however, was just the beginning. My goal was and is to create a movement that will positively impact my community. By speaking at events and sharing my story, my goal has been to inspire children and adults alike to be proud of who they are while reminding them to chase their dreams.
Since December 2014, when I first published Little Voice, I have used this platform to give back in any possible way I can; whether it has been by donating books to schools or organizations like CHEO and the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, or by donating my time to speak to kids at the Proud to be Me Fun Day. I also created the 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. How does it all relate? Well, my story encourages people to listen to their little voice and the Forget me Not Project reminds people of a disease that regrettably takes this little voice away from many people in our communities and country.
This upcoming June, I am hosting an event that I hope will combine both my desire to inspire and my love of volunteering to create a day where people can interact with the tremendous amount of inspiration in our city all while supporting our local chapter of the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa.
After only 10 months of releasing Little Voice, we are very excited to invite you to join us at our special weekend long event hosted by Indigo, Chapters and Coles for the release of La petite voix!
Join us Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27 from12:00pm to 4:00pm at the Chapters Gloucester location in Ottawa for your chance to meet Little Voice’s author Amanda Bernardo and illustrator Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor!