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Evergreen Cultural Centre was done up in style to welcome women in the Tri-Cities to a celebration of International Women’s Day in Vancouver, British Columbia.

CUPE Metro Vancouver District Council vice-president Cindy McQueen welcomed a full house to the second annual event. Women from agencies and organizations in the Tri-Cities area came to enjoy wonderful food, moving speeches, great entertainment and sisterhood.

The event opened with greetings from Hazel Gludo of the Kwantlen First Nation. In honour of the 100th anniversary of IWD, Diane Thorne, MLA for Coquitlam Maillardville talked about the trials, tribulations and triumphs of women’s rights activists in B.C. and Coquitlam.

Carol Metz Murray, Executive Director of Tri-Cities Community Based Victim Services, Tri-City Women’s Resources Centre and Joy’s Place shared the history of women’s centres. Metz Murray talked about what a significant difference they have and continue to make in the lives of women – despite being starved of funds by governments.

The event included a delicious lunch provided through Coquitlam’s own Gleneagle Secondary School Culinary Arts program. An artful cake was created by Vancouver Community College‘s Baking and Pastry Arts program. Women made posters – celebrating the ‘remarkable’ in every woman. Craft activities were provided by experienced CUPE child care workers, and participants left with free bagged lunches and snack bags. CUPE also provided transportation to and from the event.

Aboriginal Women’s Ensemble M’Girl entertained the crowd, as did Métis singer and songwriter and CUPE member Arlette Alcock with women’s rights activist Joyce Arthur from “Joyce and the Jaguars”.

McQueen handed out certificates of appreciation to a number of agencies that provide services to women in the Tri-Cities. She said that the celebration is unique in that it honours those least able to pay to attend a celebration of women.