Event planning and ticket sales are going well for the first Cold Lake Women of Influence (WOI) Awards since 2019, says WOI Committee chair Audrey McFarlane, but she says the committee would still like to see some more nominations.

The nominations are extended until February 3 for all six categories: Arts and Culture, Business and Professional, Community and Volunteerism, Health and Wellness, Science and Technology, and Older Woman of Influence.

“We need to encourage people to make more nominations,” McFarlane said. “The more they can tell us about the person, the better, because that’s the only information that we use to make our decisions for the awards.” 

She said she would especially like to see more nominations in the Older Woman of Influence category.

“This is a category we added a few years ago to recognize that that even as we age, women are still contributing to their communities and their professions and doing amazing things,” McFarlane said. 

The award is not a “lifetime achievement” award, but a recognition that women over 65 are still contributing in meaningful ways. “This is for women that are very active in their senior years doing great things,” McFarlane said. “And we’ve really seen that in our previous awards.”

The evening will start off with appetizers and wine tasting, followed by the six award presentations. The keynote speaker will be Olympic medallist Beckie Scott, a cross-country ski racer who has been a champion for drug-free sport.

The evening will conclude with desserts and the presentation of the Overall Woman of Influence Award, chosen from the recipients of the six category awards.

Everyone is welcome to come out and celebrate.

“This is our way of acknowledging International Day of Women, which is on March 8,” McFarlane said. “There is still a lot of work to be done for women to be recognized for their contributions in society. We know in Canada women still are not paid at the same rate in lots of professions as men doing the same job. There are still lots of issues around human rights for or for women of colour. 

“So we have lots of work to do in lots of areas. This is our way of highlighting in just our little corner of the world the amazing things that women are doing. They deserve that recognition.”