CANMORE – Increase confidence, overcome diversity and be inspired – all with a good laugh.
That is both the goal and promise of the organizers and keynote speaker of the third annual Strong Women event taking place at the Canmore Library on Sunday (Sept. 30).
The event was created in 2016 in the spirit of World Storytelling Day, a global celebration of the practice of oral storytelling. “Greatly appreciated” support from the Rotary Club helped to launch and grow the event for the first two years.
Previous years’ events have revolved around various forms of storytelling, including a combination of local musicians, artists, dance and yoga instructors, authors, a doctor in natural medicine and a First Nations elder.
“Although the Strong Women event revolves around storytelling in one manner or another, its ultimate goal is always one of strength, inspiration, motivation and fun,” said organizer Helen Rolfe.
With that goal in mind, and running with a slightly different format, this year’s event features a solo presentation by Debra deWaal, a former Calgary police officer who owns and runs Safe & Sound Safety Training & Consulting Ltd. Her decade-long career with the Calgary Police Service included undercover work in auto theft, work in stolen property and vice, and several years on the street as a uniformed officer. Since leaving the CPS in 1998, she has focussed her attention on leadership development, personal safety consulting, conflict management and mental toughness coaching.
Her presentation will concentrate on how to perform at your upper limits of talent in times of stress or pressure. After attending one of deWaal’s presentations at a conference last spring, organizers left the room energized, inspired and wanting to share deWaal’s message with Bow Valley residents.
“Ms. deWaal made a lasting impression and when plans for this year’s Strong Women event started to unfold, deWaal’s name was top of the list of potential keynote speakers,” Rolfe said.
“Knowing how lively her presentations are, and how much she exudes ‘strong women,’ we felt that one presenter would be sufficient this year.”
DeWaal will engage her audience with life lessons, humour and strength of will, Rolfe said, as she imparts lessons on how to enhance confidence, overcome adversity and be inspired to take on new challenges.
While the event is aimed at audiences of 16 years of age and older, the door is open to anyone.
The free event takes place at the Canmore Public Library at 6:30 p.m. To register, call 403-678-2468, email [email protected] or stop in.