Local women shine in National spotlight

Each year, International Women’s Day (March 8th) provides Canadians with the opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements and their extraordinary potential, across the country and around the world.

As we honour and support the women in our communities, I wanted to bring to your attention recent notable achievements by some of our fellow citizens in Kelowna-Lake Country.

First, I want to congratulate Carole Gordon, this year’s recipient of the Gert Beadle award for her dedication to women’s equality and social justice. Every year, the Gert Beadle Award recognizes the value of invisible work done at the community level to enhance women’s equality.

Secondly, our Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, the Honourable K. Kellie Leitch, invited Renee Wasylyk, CEO of Troika Developments, to accompany her to New York  this week to speak at the 59th session of United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW).  The UNCSW is a commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the principal global policy-making body dedicated to gender equality and the advancement of women.

Renee is also a recipient of a 2015 Influential Women in Business Award, which recognizes BC business women and their influence in some of Canada’s largest companies.

I also want to acknowledge the achievement of Laurie Koss, whose beautiful illustrations of pansies will be part of Canada Post’s annual floral series stamp collection. 

It was a pleasure to join Laurie at the unveiling ceremony at Hambleton Galleries on March 2.

The two stamps each feature a colourful pansy variety: the yellow-accented true blue 'Delta Premium Pure Light Blue' and the 'Midnight Glow' Icicle Pansy in shades of purple, pink, orange and yellow. 

Pansies are a great favourite of many gardeners across Canada and Laurie’s gorgeous illustrations which Canada Post describes as an “intense and intimate study of natural form, light and movement of the flower” will no doubt be popular with stamp users and collectors.

You can see pictures of Laurie’s pansies at www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/aboutus/news/pr/2015/2015_pansies.jsf .

Of course this is not the first time a local Kelowna-Lake Country artist has been honoured nationally.

Daphne Odjig, the driving force behind the Indian Group of Seven, was also honoured by Canada Post when it featured three of her paintings on Canadian postage stamps in February 2011.

Kendra (Smith) Dixson had two of her designs chosen by the Royal Canadian Mint for its 2014 Fine Silver Coins O Canada collection.

And in 2012, the fine folks at Goodman Zissoff Stained Glass Studio were chosen to design and create the exceptional stained glass windows that now adorn the Senate of Canada commemorating Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's 60th Anniversary of her ascension to the throne.

To all the women in our community who support our families, our economy and make our community’s cultural and social bonds stronger, please accept our heartfelt thanks. 


The Honourable Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country and welcomes your feedback at [email protected].  Information on local announcements and federal government programs can be found at www.cannan.ca.



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About the Author

The Honourable Ron Cannan was first elected as Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country in January, 2006. He was subsequently elected in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections. He is a member of the Conservative Caucus.

On September 13th, 2012 Ron was summoned to be a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and will provide advice to the Government as a member of the Priorities and Planning Sub-Committee on Government Administration.

Ron successfully uses his experience and knowledge as a long-time Kelowna City Councillor and regional government representative to be an effective and enthusiastic champion for his riding and his constituents.

His greatest satisfaction comes from helping local organizations and citizens obtain the support they require from Ottawa. 

He is also dedicated to doing what it takes to ensure that the growing and vibrant communities in his riding continue to thrive and prosper.

He is proud of the partnership and cooperation between federal, provincial and municipal governments which have resulted in significant infrastructure projects including upgrades to Highway 97, expansion of the Kelowna International Airport, a new horticulture strategy for fruit growers, obtaining a full service passport office for Kelowna and addressing critical economic issues such as labour skills shortages.

He works closely with the local Chambers of Commerce and once a year arranges meetings for the Chamber with Cabinet Ministers and senior policy staff in Ottawa to move forward important local issues such as crime prevention and labour skills shortages.

He is also an ardent champion for important community initiatives including homelessness, mental health, women’s resources, and support of arts and culture.

On Parliament Hill, Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade since 2006 supporting initiatives which will broaden the economic opportunities for local businesses and businesses Canada-wide.

In previous parliamentary sessions Ron has been a member of the Standing Committee for Government Operations and Estimates, Veteran’s Affairs, Human Resources and Social Development, the Scrutiny of Regulations Committee, and the Standing Committee for Fisheries and Oceans.

Ron is also involved in a variety of inter-parliamentary organizations: he is Vice Chair of the Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Group, and a member of the Canada-Taiwan Friendship group.

As Chair of the Conservative Wine Caucus, Ron works with his colleagues across the country to promote the wine regions of Canada.  Ron tabled Motion 218(formerly Motion 601) which supports direct to consumer purchasing of Canadian wine. His motion became Bill C-311, sponsored by MP Dan Albas, seconded by Ron, which was passed into law on June 28th, 2012.

Prior to entering politics, Ron developed a diverse business background as a small business owner and had several years experience in marketing and sales management working with corporations including Coca-Cola, Costco and Corus Entertainment.

Very active in his community, Ron has been a Director for both the Central Okanagan Regional District and the Central Okanagan Hospital Board. Ron also served on the Okanagan University College Access to Training Advisory Board, the Glenmore Elementary School Parents Advisory Council, and the Kelowna Christian School Fund Raising Committee. He was co-founder of the Okanagan Volunteer Festival. Currently Ron is a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Kelowna and, along with his wife Cindy, was the honorary Chair of the 2012 Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil Ball.

Ron lives a family-oriented and active lifestyle with his wife Cindy. He is the proud father of three daughters and grandfather to three grandsons. His hobbies include music and sports.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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