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"Everyone has a voice deep down inside them, a voice that says “shine”. Some have loud voices, while some have quiet ones. Some people’s voice is so quiet they never get to hear it, while those that do may choose not to listen. Unfortunately, only a few decide to act on this voice, the stars who influence others to listen themselves."
Find your Little Voice

Events

Introducing Peggy Taillon to 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.

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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!

Get your tickets today by registering here!

Interested in sponsoring the Dream Big Dream, Girl Inspirational Luncheon? Download our sponsorship letter here.

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Dream BIG on June 5th!

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.

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La petite voix @ Chapters Gloucester

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!

BUT WAIT … that’s not all!

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Little Voice & the GCWCC

Like many entrepreneurs, Little Voice’s author and illustrator both work full time while pursuing their dream of sharing their story and message!

“Sometimes it’s hard when all you want to do is come home and take a nap but know you have a million other things that need your attention. Our little voices definitely help keep us motivated in achieving our dreams; though we work day and night to achieve our success, we wouldn’t have it any other way! The moment we see someone post our book or send us a message about how inspired they were is the moment we realize all our hard work has been worth it! We eventually become more determined and inspired to keep on working so that we may continue to share our message with others!” – Amanda Bernardo, Author

On top of running the Little Voice’s publication AND their day jobs, Amanda and Samantha also make sure to give back to their communities!

“We volunteer as often as we can, whether it be by promoting local causes or organizations, volunteering, raising awareness or simply making donations; giving back to our community is at the forefront of Little Voice.” – Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor, Illustrator

Amanda and Samantha  developed the Little Voice Forget Me Not Project to raise awareness and funds in support of the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County. They also give back through their #30BooksFundraiser and by volunteering their time at local schools and organizations!

It was only natural that their hard work ethic and passion to give back led them to work with this year’s GCWCC Campaign.

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#30BooksFundraiser

Little Voice was overjoyed to donate 26 copies of our book to St. Luke Catholic School!

Would you like to do something positive in your community?

Little Voice has set the goal to collect 30 copies of our book to be donated to a local graduating class!

All you have to do is head to our online shop and order a copy of our book using the promo code DONATE! You’ll receive 10% off and we will personally deliver copies to a class!

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You can learn more about our donations, here!

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Inspiring the Next Generation

Little Voice was extremely honoured to take part in this year’s Proud to be Me Fun Day! Held this past Monday on June 1st, the Proud to be Me Fun Day invited 150 kids to Funhaven to offer them an inspirational day filled with workshops, guest speakers, activities and of course … a whole lot of FUN!

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The day could not have been made possible without the amazing volunteers and organizers behind the Proud to be Me not-for-profit organization! Proud to be Me is all about empowerment, not just for kids, but for everyone! 100% of all donations and sponsorships go right back into our community to host many more motivational days such as this!

Little Voice donated 30% of all books sales on this very special day back to Proud to be Me with the hopes of continuing to raise funds for many great upcoming events!

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Proud to be Me

Little Voice is very excited to be a part of the June 1st Proud to be Me Fun Day!

The Little Voice message is one in which promotes individuality, creativity, confidence and ambition. We strive to create an impact with our story by encouraging people to be proud of who they are, confident in their actions and ambitious with the goals they strive to chase after. When the Proud to be Me foundation reached out to Little Voice to join their event, we were thrilled to accept their invitation and even more excited to work with an organization that believed in our message as much as we do!

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Chapters Launch + Giveaway

Thank you so much to all those who attended our Chapters South Keys Launch!

We were thrilled to meet and greet with so many new faces this past Sunday at our Chapters  launch! The staff made our event a truly memorable one and we look forward to now sharing our story at their location!

But that’s not all …

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My Little Voice inspires me…

chapters event contest

That’s right book lovers, we have a contest that’s perfect for YOU!

With our March 15th Chapters Launch fast approaching, we wanted to create a contest that combines our love for reading, the inspiration found in our book AND the newest home of Little Voice!

The contest is simple:

1. Take a photo of yourself demonstrating how your own little voice inspires you;
2. Share this photo with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram; and
3. Be sure to tag Little Voice and hashtag:

#MyLittleVoice

Each photo will grant you one entry into our grand draw giveaway! Photos taken live from our March 15th event will also qualify – so…

Join us then and have your cameras ready!


Official Rules:

1.The #MyLittleVoice Contest (the “Contest”) starts at 9:00:00 a.m. on Friday February 27th, 2015 (the “Contest Start Date”) and ends at 11:59:59 pm on Sunday March 15th, 2015 (the “Contest Period”). All times listed are in Eastern Standard Time (EST);
2. The Contest is open to all of Canada and the United States;
3. To participate in this contest, you must be following Little Voice on either Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to qualify.

Photo Entry Rules:

4. Your photo entry must:
a) show how your little voice inspires you;
b) be posted directly to your social media account and include the designated hashtag and tag @LittleVoiceBook;
c) be your original creation, and be a photograph taken solely by you. Reproducing, modifying, enhancing or altering a third party’s pre-existing work does not qualify as your original creation;
d) not have been published previously, used commercially, submitted to another competition or contest, or won any other award;
e) be in “good taste” and in keeping Little Voice’s brand image and must not be explicit or offensive, as determined by Little Voice, in its sole and absolute discretion; and
f) not be libelous, threatening or harassing.

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2015 Walk for Memories

The Alzheimer Society Walk for Memories is a province-wide event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and education. Held annually in more than 65 communities across Ontario, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to help support people living with dementia.

Author Amanda and Illustrator Samantha joined hundreds of others in this year’s
2015 Walk for Memories!

"Cause I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more!"
“Cause I would walk 500 miles and                     I would walk 500 more!”

With your help, the Little Voice Forget Me Not Team was able to raise $564 dollars in support of the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County!

Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County

I was so honoured today to walk for my grandmother, Teresina Bernardo. She was 67 years old when she was officially diagnosed with this disease. Having lived with Alzheimer’s for over 19 years, she now finds herself in the final and more difficult stages of this disease.

Teresina Bernardo, grandmother to Author Amanda Bernardo.
Teresina Bernardo, grandmother to Author Amanda Bernardo.

The topic of Alzheimer’s has always been an emotional one in my family. It would be difficult for any family living with this disease to describe it. However, I recently read an article that truly took the words right out of my mouth; the article read: “The more I lose my mom to Alzheimer’s, the more I experience how painful it is to miss someone who is sitting right in front of you.” That’s just it, typically when we lose someone we have a chance to say goodbye, to mourn and to heal. Yet, with Alzheimer’s you don’t really get that. You say goodbye after each conversation and watch as this disease slowly strips you away from your loved one’s memories. You see someone you love disappear even though they are standing right in front of you.

Today, for the first time, I was surrounded by so many others who understood what it meant to live with Alzheimer’s disease. To see so many people together in one room, fighting for the same cause, was truly inspirational and I am truly truly honoured to have been a part of this initiative. Being part of today’s event gave me hope for a better tomorrow. It inspired me to continue fundraising, advocating and doing whatever I can to help bring awareness to this disease and the funding needed to finally find a cure!

This was my first year walking, but it most definitely won’t be my last!

– Amanda Bernardo, Author

Author Amanda & Illustrator Samantha Walking the 2015 Walk for Memories!
Author Amanda & Illustrator Samantha Walking the 2015 Walk for Memories!

Today was a reminder of how Alzheimer’s disease has touched the lives of so many people. When I saw such a big community of people come together to walk, I was overjoyed with their positive spirits and hopes that someday, with much fundraising, we will find a cure!

Walking alongside Amanda today was truly wonderful. Ever since we launched Little Voice she has wanted to give back in some way or another to our community. I was 100% on board when she chose to help the Alzheimer’s Society. I knew why Amanda chose to donate to this cause, but today I was fortunate to have Amanda share with me her grandmother’s story. I am so proud to join her on this journey with Little Voice to now support this community we are so thankful to be a part of!

I look forward to walking many more kilometres in support of this amazing cause and I encourage you all to donate if possible or join us on our walk
next year!

  – Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor, Illustrator

Amanda and Samantha circled the track 25 times and walked a total of 5 kilometres!

The Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County had over 600 walkers present, with 82 teams and … drum roll please … raised

$253, 000 DOLLARS!

A BIG thank you again to all those who donated!

Little Voice and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson
Little Voice and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson

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