2016 Award Winners & Finalists
Woman of Health & Wellness
Woman of Love & Friendship
Woman of Mentorship & Leadership
Mishan Hedge & Katie Bell
Woman of New Beginnings
Lily Cote &
Woman of Style
Woman of Wisdom
Woman of Grace
Alma de España Flamenco Dance Company & School has been part of the cultural and artistic fabric of Victoria’s performing scene, thrilling audiences with their energy & their dedication to this soulful & passionate art form. Flamenco can help you express your strongest, most passionate self!
Founded by artistic director Veronica Maguire, Alma de España continues to flourish and expand its wings performing with outstanding guest artists both national & international here on Vancouver Island and throughout BC.
Island Elite Cheerleading is the first Allstar cheerleading gym in Victoria BC and the only on Vancouver Island. We are experts in the field of cheerleading with knowledge from around the globe and the highest levels of USASF certification. Not only do we bring knowledge and talent to our athletes, but also, we wish to share our passion and create a community that extends beyond our sport. Island Elite Cheerleading strives to foster young athletes who are committed to not only being successful in cheerleading but also committed to being polite, respectful, courteous, and exceptional young members of society.
Linda Hunter has spent the last 35 joy filled years as an independent writer and professional event planner, dedicated to service. Involved in a wealth of exciting and fulfilling projects she remains convinced that life is about growing authentic relationships, supporting passion and each other, and celebrating change and growth, however that shows up.
Shauna Janz – Music has never been far from Shauna Janz’s heart, although her love affair with the guitar remained unrequited for the majority of her life, until the two had a chance encounter in 2005. She soon discovered a natural and very intuitive gift for the muse.
She is “perhaps something of an unusual combination in the music business – a grief support worker and educator who found music as a method for creative release, but turned it into an upstart and promising career” (Nanaimo Daily News, August 2015).
Alice Bracegirdle is the creative vortex at the centre of the Bellyfit® Movement.
She is deeply passionate about acknowledging, healing and empowering the Divine Feminine in all women through movement that is strong, sexy and sacred. Alice is honoured to share Bellyfit® with the world and looks forward to when women in every country have access to this magical movement.
Caleigh Hunter – I have a passion for fitness, dance, health, community ,and the arts. I love working to help build a strong, supportive, and healthy community. I believe that dance can help build strong, creative, and empowered children and youth. I have been dancing since the age of 7 and have a passion for teaching.
Poet, author, workshop presenter and communication coach, Rachelle Lamb specializes in conflict resolution and breakthrough conversations. Her lifelong interest in human development, relationship dynamics and the roles that culture and ecology play in people’s lives, along with her ability to skillfully pave the way for transformational dialogue between people consistently produces powerful learning experiences for individuals and audiences.
Diana Kuch is a Canadian Comedian, best known for her trilogy of hit comedy specials: Potluck Universe, Celebrating Imperfection, and How to Lick a Vegetarian. Locals know her as the wild and whacky host of Last Laugh Monday, Vancouver Island’s much loved comedy night. Diana’s comedy show creations include: The Fool’s Gold Comedy Showdown, The Hallowe’en Boo Ha Ha, The Pride Comedy Show, The Queens of Comedy, The All Women Comedy Tour, and The People’s Choice Comedy Awards.
Kristia Di Gregorio is a survivor. With trademark grace she tells of the near misses… the accidents, the near drowning, and most recently, the breast cancer diagnosis that came on the heels of her latest release, The Whiplash Curve. “I’ve made it through things that have killed two of my main influences, Lhasa de Sela and Jeff Buckley”, she says. “Leonard Cohen better live forever.” Her body is now a patchwork of scars that tell the story of a life lived, much like the lives of the unruly women of the past she draws her inspiration from.
Nicola Linde is a powerful performer and songwriter. With a big voice to match the intensity of her lyrics, Nicola is an artist with a feminine edge. The perspective is definitely female, but the impact is visceral. Her stance is strong. Her delivery is assertive. She has enough energy and passion to cut her own way through the crowd and stay on par with the boys. Nicola is a multi-instrumentalist who has been playing and writing for more than fifteen years. Her material speaks the truth of being a young woman today in a way that transcends gender.
Jennifer Louise Taylor – From the earliest planting of a lyrical seed, Jennifer’s songs have developed into full blown affairs with layers of sound and emotion. Her music is heartfelt and meant to help each of us connect with ourselves. Jennifer has been surrounded by music from an early age. She was born in Victoria, British Columbia but raised by folk-dancing parents in Kenya, Iran and Malaysia. Jennifer learned early on that we are all citizens of the world; her musical influences span from Yiddish folk songs, and British folk to good old country music.
Jan Dong is a contemporary abstract artist who was born on Leap Year in Victoria, BC. She is greatly influenced by the abstract expressionist artists. Jan often starts a painting with the movement of lines and shapes leading to a pathway of exploration and intuition. Her work explores these factors to give a painting depth, intensity, energy and movement.
Kimberley Dean – I believe art is a conduit for strengthening community and deepening the understanding of oneself within it. I value living a healthy and creatively-uninhibited life. I admire other creative professionals who have defined what it takes to make business and art one coherent, and truly satisfying, body of work.
I paint acrylic canvas art with a focus on vibrancy, texture, and light. With mentors like Paul Duff (Ontario) and Penny Ridley (Nova Scotia), I was encouraged at a young age to embrace the imaginary through multiple creative mediums. I further understood how art enriches a space after specializing in Art Direction and Production Design in the Film and Television Production Program at the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Toronto (2007).
Suzanne Heron – the person behind Blue Heron Art – is an artist with a passion for community. After 30 years working in Community Development and co-owning a small town toy store, she is using her own and others’ art to celebrate places that people love to be part of. “ I am using art to share local places that have special meaning for people. Eventually I realized that I am still doing community development, just in a different way. And the process of building the annual Victoria & Circle Tour Calendar – discovering favourite places and meeting people who love where they live – gives me a strong sense of home.”
Suzanne paints digitally, using a Wacom tablet and stylus, linked to her computer. “Whatever I paint on the tablet shows on my computer and can be printed out on canvas. If something doesn’t look right, I just erase. It’s very cool!”
Cheryl Wheeler – My philosophy is to create art that inspires you to love and accept your beautiful spirit more. People often say to me, “Oh your art is so beautiful.” Well I say to you, if you can see beauty in my artwork, it speaks to your heart. Put the art on your walls and let it energize your spirit. See the beauty. Feel your beauty. It is a reflection of YOU. My artwork is a symbol of all that you would like your life to be and is right now. Accepting your imperfect perfectness. I do not try and paint photographic art—I used to and it was maddening, like my life when I try to live it perfectly. Instead I create art that is not perfect but it is perfectly beautiful and unique just like you!
Sandra Froher is a Canadian born artist living on Vancouver Island. The name Sapphire has been her nickname since childhood – which is fitting as her art is playful and fully expressed just like a child.
When Sandra is creating art her main goal is to stay true to the energy that she brings to the piece that day, so really breathing life into each unique piece.
Sandra creates one-off original Acrylic art works that fit unique styles and spaces. There are no rules to Sandra’s art. She is fully expressed and in the moment picking juicy colors and shapes to excite the mind.
Judee Doyle has shown her art work collaboratively and individually at a variety of galleries for over a decade. Her focus is on Vancouver Island, and has strong ties to Toronto, where she grew up.
Judee continues to explores her interdisciplinary art choices and is happy to be a member of a diverse group of artists at The Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria.
Cheryl-Ann Webster’s Beautiful Women Project is comprised of an empowering art exhibit, inspiring keynotes, highly interactive workshops, known as ARTshops, and creative coaching sessions. Cheryl-Ann founded the Beautiful Women Project in 2003 to highlight the crucial link between body-image and self-esteem. As an artist she created the 120 clay sculptures of real women age 19-91 to act as a visual role-model for natural beauty, and as a speaker she crafted numerous presentations tailored to the age and stage of the audience. Cheryl-Ann Webster’s Beautiful Women Project, has been deemed a “revelation of truth” has been showcased in 12 communities with 70,000 visitors viewing the exhibit and hearing the message of self-acceptance. Cheryl-Ann prides herself on keeping her work family-friendly and is passionate about working with all family members as well as agencies that support families.
Heart Print Shop is hand painted Canvas Banners, Art Prints and Greeting cards, featuring hand lettered typography, quotes and illustrations. All of my pieces are lovingly designed in my home studio. My aesthetic is modern, clean, simple and fun! I love to create affordable art for the home and greeting cards to celebrate life’s exciting moments.
Born in Port Hardy, on the northwestern end of this spectacular Vancouver Island Jessica Jefferson still calls home, she has always been captivated by the natural beauties of nature and animals, people and travel. Living on the West Coast, surrounded by all of this beauty, had her in love with photography from the very beginning. At first just a hobby, camera in hand, wondering around the streets of a foreign place or out and about with family or friends, she is now thrilled to call this her part-time job. She dreams daily of where next to travel to and loves nothing more than a road trip – destination unknown. Photography been incredibly rewarding to her, being able to document not only her own experiences, but others as well. Jess’ website.
Jo-Ann Way is a mother of four and a professional photographer who loves what she does. Jo-Ann has a degree in Photography from Western Academy and has now had her own company, Nuttycake Photography, for over 5 years. In her photos she works with all kinds of people young old, locals, family famous like old uncle Jed and locally famous like Elizabeth May. She works with businesses for Advertising and Architecture, some of her work has been featured in magazines or on advertisements around Victoria. She is well known for her work in the Seaside Magazine. She also does Art photography, Commercial, Fashion, Pets, Families, Weddings, Products and more.
I am sure she would love to hear from you, shes the kind of person people feel comfortable around, and likes getting to know and meet new people.
For Leona Fowler, photography is all about the connection with the person and bringing the best out of people while feeling comfortable in front of my camera. When one feels comfortable their radiance shines through! Leona Fowler Photography