So today is the day we can celebrate women, female identifiers, and their womanly wiles. It is a fabulous day full of joy and potential for what women can be. The first recorded Women’s Day was February 28th 1909, organized by the Socialist Party of America in New York, at the suggestion of Theresa Malkiel. Being that she was the first woman to rise from factory work to Leadership in the socialist party, we think she is worth mentioning!
International Women’s Day as we know it today began in earnest in 2010. Since its inception, a strong theme has always permeated events. Displaced women in the world, Rural Female Empowerment, and the equally important promise: end violence against women. The theme has often borrowed from the idea of equality, and it is no surprise that this theme comes up again and again. with many areas of business and creative industries striving for more equality and less sexism, the topic is never far from the media.
Now in its 9th year, the theme ♯BalanceforBetter is a call to action to help engage more women in industry, in arts, in action—to create a more gender-balanced environment.
So! In honour of this most fabulous of days, and in the interests of balance, we have a feast of weekend activities to get stuck in to! Focusing on both work and play, we have handpicked just a few to whet your appetite. Not surprisingly, you don’t have to be a woman to enjoy these events—but it helps!
Friday 8th March
Kicking off on Friday for THE official date, is the International Women’s Day Celebration. This marks the 2nd annual Institute Without Boundaries event, focused on empowering tales about women in Toronto. Prepare for inspiring stories whilst networking with business women, innovators, entrepreneurs, activists and the like. Tickets are $24.00 in advance or $30 on the door. 5:30-11pm.
Celebrating women who have put their stamp on the film industry, ‘Call The Shots: Female Power Through Film’ is a night to behold! Starting with a discussion panel at 9pm, followed by a screening of Marco Tullio Giordana’s ‘The Name of a Woman’ at 9:30pm. What is more, women under the age of 30 get in for FREE! Anyone else not fitting this description will have to part with $13.00, but that’s not so bad.
Next up, we have ‘Broken Bits: Exploring the journey, changing the narrative and claiming the power of our own uniqueness’. Held in a Yoga Wellness Art Studio, the exhibit features work by 30 Toronto Artists. It is sure to be a feast for the eyes, and you will surely leave with some new favourite artists in mind. Opening night at the Freedom Factory runs from 7pm to 11pm, and entry is free to anyone with an enquiring mind.
Featuring a veritable bevy of talent, the All Girl Action Comedy Show at the Social Capital Theatre is sure to tickle some ribs. Featuring the great Kate Davis as well as Cathy Macpherson, Jennie Steer Weirborn, Tamara Shevon, and Allie Pearse, what better thing to do for International Women’s Day then go laugh at some women?! Tickets are $15.00, and the show starts at 8pm.
Saturday 9th March
Don your best power-suit and head on over to the Women of Diversity Luncheon & Awards. Starting at 11am and running for 4 hours, the show will showcase those women who are making their own rules in business. The show will also play host to a panel discussion with black women in politics. Get your tickets here. 100 Queen Street West – $20.00 @ 11am-3pm
Creatives! Get yourself down to Lakeshore Arts to take part in the International Women’s Day Silkscreen printing workshop from 11:30am to 2pm. The votes have been cast, and the top three images will be ready for silk screen printing on to an item of your choice (providing it is a cotton/cotton blend) all day!
It’s a little further out of the city, but if you are willing to travel, this free event ‘She Can: Believe, be brave, become’ should be a real firebrand. Listed as a “Women empowering Women event” is sure to be peppered with advice, stories and empowering wisdom that will inspire you to become the person you are destined to become. @ 1-3pm
Showing the lesser known side of film history, the Black Women in Film & Television event is screening the Claire Prieto directed movies ‘Older, Stronger, Wiser’ (1989) at 4pm, followed by ‘Black Mother, Black Daughter’ (1989) at 4:30pm. This will be followed by a panel discussion at 5pm, where panelists “will speak to the inherent difficulties, challenges and triumphs of creating a tangible and intangible presence of Black women in films and television.”
With all the brain busting and information overloading antics of the last few days, we are all surely in need of blowing off some steam?! Have no fear, QRS Live Karaoke is here! Kicking off the International Women’s Day Party at Handlebar from 9pm, get your best Janis Joplin impression down, don some leather and get out there!
Sunday 10th March
We can then wind down the weekend with some quiet time… Wait! What are we saying?! That is not how women roll. The International Women’s Day “Women recognising Women” Lunch and Award held by JCA Women’s Committee is sure to be a gorgeous affair. The event, Held at the Jamaican Canadian Association, is a celebration where, the organisers say, “we will recognize the volunteerism, leadership, and entrepreneurship of Black women who have each contributed to making our world a better place.” Tickets are Adults $45.00 // Children $25
If you are still wanting to inject some hard and fast knowledge into your weekend, the Smart Women & Smart Money event by Olga Pleshko is sure to keep you clued up! Held at the Baka Gallery Café, this free event will cover topics from the most common mistakes that are made in a financial portfolio, to creating new sources of income from a hobby, to risks and unpredictable markets. 12-1pm – not to be missed.
Just to calm things down a notch or two, get yourself over to the Bloom Toronto School for the ‘Boost your Zen’ event with Herday and Forma. Get involved in a hands on and intimate ceramics Workshop. This is sure to be gentle and calming, and ever so creative. If that isn’t enough, there will be an aromatherapy bar where you can customize your own ‘on-the-go’ essential oil blend. Choose from 11:30am-2:30pm or 3:30-6:30pm with tickets setting you back $90.40 plus.
If you are looking to stretch the part into the following week, there are some longer events for your delectation:
From the 6th to the 10th of March
The Don Jail Theatre will be hosting ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’. Based on a harrowing tale of persecution set in Argentina, the musical spins a web that ensnares you with its immersive prowess. Tickets start from $48.00 @ Don Jail 550 Gerrard Street East
8th, 9th, 10th, 16th & 16th March
An entire sketch show created, designed and performed by ladies?! What is not to love! Presented by The Second City: ‘She the People: Girlfriend’s Guide to Sister Doing It For Themselves’. This all female Sketch show at Toronto Mainstage Theatre has shows throughout this weekend (8th, 9th and 10th), plus shows the following weekend! Get your tickets here.
8th – 11th March
Women From Space Festival – MULTIPLE VENUES
Spanning multiple venues, and features musicians and dancers across the Toronto area, these shows are a who’s who of key members of the improvisation, Jazz and creative music scenes. The events are sure to be laid back, flirty, sublime, and always ensnared by the random. Check out the events here, and be sure to get down to one of the venues to take part in this immersive experience.