Although International Women's Day was last week, the women of the Central Plains celebrated this past Thursday at the MNP Exhibition Building.
International Women's Day - Strength of a Woman was put on by the Portage la Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce, Portage la Prairie Community Revitalization Corporation, Community Futures Heartland, Community Futures White Horse Plains, Military Family Resource Centre, and Central Plains Cancer Services.
Cindy McDonald, the Executive Director of the Portage la Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce, is thankful to put on this event year after year, especially this one, since March of 2020.
"We're so excited to have this again. It's such an important part of our organization's years because it's so important for us to celebrate women and women in business," says McDonald. "The Chamber loves this event, we've been doing it for a long time, and we have amazing partners with amazing women."
She also mentioned that the speakers on Thursday night were the perfect fit.
"We've always got really good support from the women in this community, but I think our speakers made the difference, too, because Peggy is such an inspiration to all of us. Catherine, oh my gosh, what an amazing story," says McDonald. "Even before I heard her story, I knew she was amazing. She's a true inspiration, I cried almost her whole speech."
Peggy May, the Chief Executive Officer at Southport Aerospace, along with one of the Guest speakers of the event, mentions that she never thought she would be talking to over two hundred women.
"It's very humbling to be asked and humbling to talk about yourself," says May. "I can talk about anything, usually, but when it comes to talking about yourself and your core values, it's a little bit harder."
She notes how wonderful it was to talk in front of so many women, especially since she knows many of them.
"They are all amazing women. They probably all have fantastic stories. I'm not the only one with a story out there. We all have a story," says May. "It's great to be able to empower other women, support other women, and just come out and be able to talk openly about your life."
Catherine Wreford, Winnipeg-born and raised actress, dancer, singer, and most recently the winner of Amazing Race Canada, was the keynote speaker for this event. She says that speaking in front of all of these women was a legendary experience.
"It feels amazing. Just being surrounded by women who are so cool makes me feel so cool." She continues, "It just makes me feel so supported in a way that only women can do."
She notes that she has had quite a few ups and downs in life, but one thing helps her keep fighting.
"My friendships and the people that I surround myself with have really brought me into the positive thinking of, 'Yes, I can get through this. Yes, I can lean on my friends. Yes, I can get help from my friends.'"
She ends the night by giving a shoutout to all of the young women out there who are our next generation.
"Believe in yourself. Believe that you are amazing because you are. You are all amazing and beautiful people."