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For Immediate Release – April 14, 2008 – Edmonton, Alberta – The Esquao Awards program, a special initiative of The Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW) is pleased to announce CTV Edmonton as its official broadcaster for the 2008 Esquao Awards Gala.
The 13th Annual Esquao Awards Gala will take place on May 1, 2008 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. The VIP reception will commence at 4:30 p.m. and will be followed by the gala awards ceremony at 5:30 pm.
“CTV Edmonton is very proud to be the official broadcaster of the 2008 Esquao Awards Gala,” said CTV Vice President and General Manager Lloyd Lewis. “As a local broadcaster, we’re honoured to share these important success stories with our viewers in Alberta. As our province continues to grow, recognizing the significant accomplishments of aboriginal women in such a wide variety of community endeavours is more important than ever. ”
Each year the annual event draws thousands of corporate, government and Aboriginal leaders from across Alberta and Canada to celebrate the achievements of 20 Aboriginal women from the province of Alberta. The event is renowned as the only gala awards ceremony in Canada that specifically celebrates the achievements of Aboriginal women and in turn actively contributes to the dissolution of negative stereotypical views held of Canada’s First Peoples.
“What we value in CTV’s support is that the broadcast builds public awareness. We receive phone calls from all across the country from Aboriginal women seeking support who are frustrated and discouraged from the racial and gender discrimination they are experiencing within their professions.” said IAAW President and Founder, Muriel Stanley-Venne. “Therefore, sharing this formal celebration of our Aboriginal women’s accomplishments is extremely vital, as all too often their vast contributions to the rich fabric of Alberta is overlooked.”
Ms. Stanley-Venne founded the IAAW in 1995 and established the Esquao Awards program in 1996, and serves as a shining role model in both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. In 2005, she was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada and received the Governor General’s Award in commemoration of the Persons Case in recognition of her vast work in the area of human rights. In 2004, she received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Law and Justice, and in 2006 she received the Lois Hole Lifetime Achievement Award and was named one of the 50 most influential people in Alberta Venture magazine. In November 2007, she was addressed by the Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations as a “Human Rights Defender for her thirty years of defending the rights of Aboriginal women, children and families.” In 1999, she received the Alberta Human Rights Award on the 25th anniversary of the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
Since the inception of the IAAW’s Esquao Awards program, over 300 Aboriginal women have been honoured for their contributions in the arts, social services and advocacy, health and medicine, culture, politics, justice, and community involvement. The awards program also recognizes individuals for lifetime achievement and honours an aspiring young woman.
This year’s awards ceremony will introduce The Corporal Bertha Houle Award in honouring the contributions of Aboriginal women who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division during the Second World War. Ms. Bertha Houle-Jones (Métis) served in the Second World War, is a recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award and will be invested with the Order of Canada this year.
During this year’s ceremony the Esquao Awards will introduce its official anthem, Angels Among Us , composed and performed by ASANI, an internationally renowned Aboriginal women’s singing group.
Entertainment for the evening will include dazzling performances by ASANI and internationally renowned First Nations comedian and puppeteer, DeRic Starlight.
VIP guests and presenters at this year’s ceremony will include The Honourable Chuck Strahl; Minister of Indian & Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non Status Indians, Hon. Gene Zwozdesky; Minister Aboriginal Affairs, City of Edmonton Councilor Ron Hayter; Aboriginal Portfolio, and representatives from the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis Nation of Alberta, and the Métis National Council.
CTV Edmonton will air the one-hour special presentation on June 20th at 9:oo a.m. and August 4th at noon.
For further information please contact:
Ms. Trina Moyan
On Behalf of the IAAW’s Esquao Awards
at 416.481.2499 (Toronto, Ontario) or email trinamoyan @ bellbernard.com (no spaces)
Director of Communications, Bell & Bernard Limited
Ms. Raylene Sturby
at 416.481.2499 or email rsturby @ rogers.com (no spaces)
Communications Assistant, Bell & Bernard Limited
For Gala Event tickets please contact:
Ms. Jessica Daniels
Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women
Suite 300, 10256 – 112th Street Edmonton, Alberta T5K 1M4
Telephone: 1.780.479.8195 Fax: 1.780.471.2169 Toll Free: 1.877.471.2171
E-mail: finance @ iaaw.ca (no spaces)
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