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For Immediate Release – April 23, 2008
THE CITY OF EDMONTON WILL PRESENT A SPECIAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN AT THE 2008 ESQUAO AWARDS GALA EVENT
Honouring the Profound Achievements of Aboriginal Women
Edmonton, Alberta – The Esquao Awards program, a special initiative of The Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW) is pleased to announce the city of Edmonton as an official sponsor 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 p.m.
“The city of Edmonton is proud to be a sponsor of the Esquao Awards because they honour the strength, commitment, leadership and dedication of Aboriginal women in our province, “ said Councillor Ron Hayter.
On behalf of the city of Edmonton, councillor Hayter will be presenting the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women with a special financial contribution on the night of the gala event.
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 tereotypical views held of Canada’s First Peoples.
“We are so pleased that we have won the support of the city, ” said IAAW President and Founder, Muriel Stanley-Venne. “ We hope to have the city’s support for years to come.”
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 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)
Bell & Bernard Limited
Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women
Suite 300, 10256 – 112th Street,
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 1M4
Toll Free: 1.877.471.2171
E-mail: iaaw @ iaaw.ca (no spaces)
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