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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

motivation

What it means to Dream BIG

Where to begin… 

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?

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My First Glimpse at the Dream, Girl Film

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!

– Amanda, author of Little Voice

‪#‎DreamBIG‬

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Proud to be Me, Proud to Dream BIG

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:

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Introducing Grace Lachance to the DREAM BIG Team

Little Voice is extremely excited and honoured to announce our closing artist for the Dream Big Dream, Girl Inspirational Luncheon:

Grace Lachance

From Stittsville, Ontario, Grace Lachance is a 15-year-old singer-songwriter.  Since her debut performance at the age of 10, Grace has stood on stages from Ottawa to Montreal and Toronto.

In 2015, Grace was the winner of Bluesfest’s nationwide contest “She’s The One”. She’s been actively performing around the city and working in the studio for her upcoming release.

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Introducing our Latest Dream, Girl – Tammy Laverty

With our countdown now underway to the Dream Big Dream, Girl Inspirational Luncheon, we are thrilled to announce the newest member of our team:

Tammy Laverty

“I am very excited to add another inspiring woman from our community to the Dream Big Dream, Girl roster. It goes without saying that there are so many women within Ottawa, and around the world, who do amazing things each and every day! I am thankful that this event will be able to bring together some of these women in order to inspire the next generation!” – Amanda Bernardo

Tammy

Tammy will not only be introducing our opening guest speaker Peggy Taillon, but will also be sharing with us her own personal journey with Alzheimer’s disease.

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An Open Letter in Support of the Dream Big Dream, Girl Inspirational Luncheon

Hello,

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.

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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!

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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.”

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2T4j1aTa4A%5B/embedyt%5D

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2015: Making the Little Moments Count

2015 was definitely a game changer

Little Voice was first thought up in 2013, published in late 2014 and a movement by 2015. 2015 was the year we officially launched our story, our movement and our fundraising efforts. It’s the year where everything slowly began to take shape.

It all started with a major push right here in our community. Though I’ve always had a entrepreneurial bug within me, this was my first time setting out and branding an entire movement, managing an entire production, and ultimately publishing a story. I didn’t always know what direction I would take; I didn’t always get the answers I wanted; but I never ever gave up. I trusted my own little voice to guide me and sure enough, every little step I took proved to be one step closer in the right direction.

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Happy First Birthday Little Voice

After one year of being published, here we are!

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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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If not now, when?

Did you know that 2 years ago, in the month of October, Little Voice was born on a scrap piece of paper? It was tucked away for safekeeping until author Amanda’s own inner voice inspired her to publish her work!

Almost a year later, Little Voice was born on December 2, 2014.

It is incredible to think how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time!

Eight  months later, we returned to the drawing board to expand our audience and bring to you La petite voix. Now, with our story available in English and French, our movement continues to grow and inspire others to listen to their little voice, as Amanda did so long ago.

Within the pages of our book, our story can teach you many things. Our message can encourage you to be proud of who you are; to be strong, courageous and bold; to believe in yourself when all else fails; and to chase your dreams no matter what obstacles stand in the way.

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