Ottawa-Gatineau to celebrate (feminist) New Year on March 8th

Ottawa, March 2, 2016 – Ottawa-Gatineau’s largest International Women’s Day celebration will get the sequins out and ring in a New Year—a feminist new year, that is!

Rebecca Wolsak of Inter Pares said: “Every year we create an event to take stock, take action and to celebrate. Now that we’re on our eighth annual event, it has become a much-anticipated local milestone – especially the Femmy Awards. Making the evening a New Year’s themed party felt perfect – a time to reflect on the past year and make some feminist resolutions. And a great excuse to pull out the glitter!”

Kelly Bowden of Oxfam Canada said: “International Women’s Day is an important time to celebrate those in the community who work so tirelessly towards gender equality. This event is focused on building a feminist community. It brings together hundreds of people from across Ottawa to laugh, dance, and celebrate, in the face of the many barriers to equality women continue to experience everywhere on the planet. ”

The March 8th event, held at Library and Archives Canada, will feature the annual Femmy Awards ceremony honouring local feminist change-makers, an activist fair, powerful arts performances, great food and drink, and a dance party.

This year’s Femmy Award winners are:

Beth Woroniuk, co-founder of the Women, Peace and Security Network-Canada (WPSN-C).
Chelby Daigle, facilitator, speaker, and activist on issues of anti-oppression, equity, and inclusion.
Lyra Evans, youth facilitator for the Queer Trans Youth group at KIND, and the volunteer manager of Etc. Youth.
Sunny Marriner, Executive Director at the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre.
Kate McInturff, senior researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Where: Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa

When: March 8, 2016. Doors open at 6pm, show starts at 7pm

Details: Free admission, free on-site childcare, cash bar, activist info and action fair


“Happy New (Feminist) Year” is organized by group of individuals and organizations including Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, Amnesty International, Canadian Federation of University Women, Inter Pares, Network of Black Business & Professional Women, Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women, Oxfam Canada, Planned Parenthood Ottawa, and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre.

For more information:

To schedule an interview with event organizers or Femmy Award winnners please contact Rosella Chibambo, at tel. 613 899 1623,

2016 Femmy Award Winners Bios

Beth Woroniuk, of the Women, Peace and Security Network-Canada, is receiving a 2016 Femmy Award for Advocacy—International in honour of over 25 years of experience promoting gender equality, and specifically, the importance of including women in peace processes and peacebuilding. Beth co-founded the WPSN-C many years ago, and has seen it blossom into a thriving network engaging government and raising awareness. Beth, a behind the scenes activist, has worked for government, development agencies, civil society, and international organizations, and is the go to person for all of them, specifically when it comes to how to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

Chelby Daigle is receiving a 2016 Femmy Award for Advocacy—Community for her more than 15 years of community-focused activism in the National Capital Region as a facilitator, speaker, and activist on issues of anti-oppression, equity, and inclusion. Chelby’s community engagement is vast and includes paid and volunteer engagement with Carleton University’s Womyn’s Centre, the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre’s Girls Chat Program, Immigrant Women’s Services Ottawa, and she’s currently a facilitator with the City for All Women Initiative (CAWI), where she recently helped to organize a forum addressing Islamophobia-based violence against women through an event that brought together members of Ottawa’s Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

Lyra Evans is receiving a 2016 Femmy Award for Innovation because of her advocacy to push the boundaries of feminism to ensure that trans folks, particularly trans women, are included in youth and feminist community-based social programming in Ottawa. Lyra is a member of Purple Sisters at the Youth Services Bureau, a youth facilitator for the Queer Trans Youth group at KIND, and the volunteer manager of Etc. Youth. In 2015, as part of Etc. Youth, Lyra helped to transform and guide youth programming in Ottawa’s Pride celebrations.

Sunny Marriner is receiving a 2016 Femmy Award for Frontline Service Provision in honour of almost two decades of working with and advocating on behalf of sexual violence survivors in Ottawa. Sunny has worked at the Sexual Assault Support Centre, and more recently she joined the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre as its Executive Director. She has counselled sexual assault survivors, advocated for changes to how sexual assault is investigated and prosecuted, and she continues to walk with survivors on their difficult and sometimes very long journeys towards justice, even though, after all these years, she has never once seen a perpetrator convicted.

Kate McInturff, a Senior Researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, is receiving a 2016 Femmy Award for Research in honour of her research and reporting on women’s equality in the areas of equal pay, affordable childcare, safe cities for women, and holding the government accountable for gender justice. Kate’s work is timely, informative, and even hilarious. She is an amazing organizer, spokesperson and advocate, using evidence based approaches to present key issues in an understandable and interesting format. Outside her work at CCPA, Kate is a key member of the National Capital Region’s feminist community and is one of the founders of the Femmy Awards.


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