Theme: Influential Women

The theme for this year’s festival and cultural showcases is influential women. Participants will celebrate inspiring or influential women and the contributions they have made to their culture through displays of music, art and crafts. First, second and third place for Best Dressed Pavilion will be awarded to the most impressive exhibitions.

Each of the six pavilion rows will be named after these inspirational and influential Canadian women; highlighted below:

Row 1: Viola Desmond

Pavilions: Nepal, Philippines, Chile, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Jamaica, South Sudan, Mexico

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Viola Desmond was Canadian Black Nova Scotian businesswoman who challenged racial segregation at a cinema in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, in 1946. She refused to leave a whites only area of the Roseland Theatre and was convicted of a minor tax violation for the one-cent tax difference between the seat she had paid for and the seat she used which was more expensive. Desmond’s case is one of the most publicized incidents of racial discrimination in Canadian history and helped start the modern civil rights movement in Canada.

Row 2: Christine Sinclair

Pavilions: Barbados, Argentina, Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, South Africa, Russia, Italy, Palestine, Ghana, Sri Lanka

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Christine Sinclair is a Canadian soccer player and captain of the Canadian national team. A CONCACAF champion, two-time Olympic bronze medalist and 13-time winner of the Canada Soccer Player of the Year award, Sinclair is Canada’s all-time leading scorer and currently second-best worldwide in all-time international goals scored (173). She was born and raised in Burnaby, BC.

Row 3: Emily Carr

Pavilions: Colombia, Germany, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Ukraine, Venezuela, Pakistan

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Emily Carr was a Canadian artist and writer inspired by the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. She was one of the first painters in Canada to adopt a Modernist and Post-Impressionist painting style. As a writer, Carr was one of the earliest chroniclers of life in British Columbia. The Canadian Encyclopedia describes her as a “Canadian icon”.

Row 4: Dr. Roberta Bondar

Pavilions: India, Portugal, China, Fiji, Ecuador, France, Canada

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Dr. Roberta Bondar is Canada’s first female astronaut and the first neurologist in space, and the second Canadian in space. Dr. Bondar has received many honours including the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, the NASA Space Medal, over 22 honorary degrees and induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. She continues work in the field of neurology and as an avid photographer, (fix comma) her chronical of experiences in space was published in Touching the Earth.

Row 5: Mary Two-Axe Earley

Pavilions: El Salvador, Vietnamese Canadian Community, Thailand, Korea, Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago, Taiwan, Greece, Brazil

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Mary Two-Axe Earley was a Mohawk woman who challenged the Royal Commission on Gender Discrimination and won back her Indian status. In the 1960s, she started lobbying to have the Indian Act changed to treat women and men equally. The bill also restored Indian status and membership rights to women who had lost their status and their children’s status by marrying non-status men. Mary was the first woman to regain her status. She was 73 years old.

Row 6: Hayley Wickenheiser

Pavilions: Togo, Zambia, Japan, Guatemala, Kenya, Peru, Albania, Bolivia

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Hayley Wickenheiser is widely considered the greatest female hockey player and one of Canada’s most accomplished athletes. As a decorated Olympian, she has led her team to four gold and one silver medal as well as being named the tournaments’ most valuable player in both 2002 and 2006. For the 2014 Sochi Olympics she was selected to be the flag bearer for the Canadian Olympic team in the Opening Ceremonies. Wickenheiser was the first female player in the world to record a point in a men’s professional game.

Festival Sponsors

We couldn't do this without the generous support of our sponsors. If you're interested, we'd love to chat. We look forward to working with companies and organizations ready and excited to share their love for the community!

Presented by
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Produced by
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