Vancouver 2017

Ismaili Centre Burnaby

A day of celebration and empowerment for Girls and Champions at the 4th G Day Vancouver on Friday October 20th, 2017 (provincial-wide Pro-D day) at the Ismaili Centre Burnaby. 

Desiree Dawson

Desirée Dawson hails from Vancouver, British Columbia. You might know her as the warm hearted and humble girl who won CBC’s Searchlight Competition, as well as rocking stages with her ukulele all around the world. Asides from her soulful ukulele numbers, Desirée has had chart topping singles in the current dance music scene.

Anna Soole

iMatter Program Manager, iGirl Facilitator
Saleema Noon Sexual Health Educators

Anna was forever changed as a young girl when an experience taught her about the ways that girls are socialized to give their power away through their body language, tone of voice and sense of self worth. At that moment she decided it was her life purpose to share the assertiveness, media literacy and empowerment skills she had learned.

Today, with over 15 years of professional experience, she is a seasoned facilitator, certified assertiveness coach and experiential educator specializing in empowerment, sexuality, social justice, healthy relationships, body image and self-esteem. Anna is of Métis of the Cree, Ojibwe, Lakota First Nations, French, Celtic and German heritage, and is dedicated to creating a safe, diverse and inclusive environment in which to educate, energize and inspire. Her favorite thing to do in the entire world is facilitation that incorporates her love for theatre, art, music, nature, talking circles and people.

Michelle & Tru Wilson

Tru Wilson is an articulate fourteen-year old transgender advocate from Ladner, BC. Tru first made headlines in 2014 when her family filed a human rights complaint against her local Catholic School for not supporting her transition. In response, the CISVA became one of the first Catholic school boards in in North America to develop a policy to support gender expression. Tru and her family went on to participate in a 2015 Vancouver Parks Board transgender awareness campaign. The same year Tru was recognized by Vancouver Magazine as one of the city’s 50 most powerful and influential people, and in 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau personally acknowledged Tru for her advocacy in his welcome speech to the visiting Royals. Tru was also recently named “Sexual Health Champion” by Vancouver’s Options for Sexual Health. Tru is currently an ambassador for Big Love Ball and Out in Schools, and continues to share her story to both educate and inspire others.

Since her daughter Tru Wilson transitioned, Michelle Wilson has become an avid advocate for trans rights. Michelle and her husband Garfield filed a human rights complaint against the semi-private catholic school where their children were attending, when the school refused to let their daughter Tru transition in school. Since then Michelle and her family have spoken at great length about their story and the importance of supporting your children.


Tsitsayxemaat, Rebecca Duncan, is of Squamish and Musqueam descent of the Coast Salish Peoples. Rebecca has devoted her life to preserve the Squamish Language, Salish weaving and Cultural teachings that have been handed down to her from her late Papa and his Papa and so on and so on since the beginning of time.

Rebecca specializes in cultural activities including Language Games (TPR), Traditional Song & Dance, Traditional Cooking, Weaving, Traditional Health & Wellness, Indigenous History and Storytelling.

Rebecca has performed worldwide promoting Language and Culture, representing Coast Salish people and practicing protocols with Song and Dance sharing history with storytelling and weaving workshops to empower our people.

No matter where you are from, it is so important to know your history, your culture, and your ties to the land. U Siyam.
Cathy Browne

Cathy Browne is a PR veteran, social media gal and is a passionate advocate for accessibility and inclusion for everyone. She loves CBC Radio, Sherlock Holmes, her cats, Vancouver and hugs.

Cathy’s also a lifestyle, travel and events photographer who happens to be legally blind. Her camera captures a world she doesn’t see.

She’s good. Take a look:

And she’s proudly imperfect.

Fiona Douglas-Crampton

Fiona’s career path has been an unexpected and interesting journey, including careers as a Gaming Investigator, Stay-at-home Mom, Sales & Marketing professional, and Non-Profit CEO. When speaking of her current role, she says “It seems as if the universe moved me here” and feels she was meant to become the President & CEO of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace + Education.

Fiona has always had a passion for leadership and mentoring, and she believes strongly in the power of relationships as a path to success and happiness. Her previous roles include CEO of the Minerva Foundation, Acting Director of Fund Development at YWCA Metro Vancouver, and Director of Membership Marketing for the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade (GVBOT).  At the GVBOT, she also served as Chair of the Women’s Leadership Circle from 2015 – 2017, and has been an active Mentor with the Leaders of Tomorrow Program for several years.

She has been President & CEO of the Dalai Lama Center (DLC) since April of 2014. The DLC focuses on promoting and nurturing “Heart-Mind well-being” in children through the adults in their lives. This focus on social and emotional development is a hallmark of Fiona’s leadership philosophy and a perfect extension of her previous non-profit work. She is passionately committed to “educating the heart” as a foundation of how we raise and nurture children, how we work with each other, and invest in the future our community.

Alix Dunham

Alix Dunham is the leader of North Vancouver’s Pink Petal Ballet where she has taught 200+ girls a week for the last 17 years. She saw a need for Girls with Grit after witnessing her own kids’ generation struggle with anxiety-related issues and recognizing that these kids need some tools to help make it through. Her strength is being able to talk to girls as peers and have open and frank discussions with them about what is happening in their lives. Her background in teaching, yoga and parenting gives her a unique skill-set to make the program inclusive, educational and lots of fun.

Lisa Papez

For Lisa, The Fat Yogini, yoga is more than a physical practice: it is the path to a peaceful, loving, relationship with one’s Self. Her work as a yoga teacher, teacher trainer, and body image warrior is based on her belief that we are all okay exactly as we are. Through years of exploring, customizing and adjusting the physical practice of yoga to suit her own larger body, Lisa developed Body Positivity Yoga – an approach to yoga that is truly accessible to all ages, sizes and levels of ability.

Truly passionate about sharing her story, helping others feel seen, and offering education on the path to self-worth, Lisa’s speaking appearances include the Love Your Body Summit, Realize Your Radiance Conference, Pinwheel Education Series for the Kelty Mental Health Resource Center, and An Evening of Radical Self-Belief.

Lisa Papez is Registered Yoga Teacher and Continuing Education Provider with the Yoga Alliance (E-RYT 500, CEP), a community partner in the Yoga and Body Image Coalition and the creatress of the Body Positivity Yoga method and The Self-Love Path – a course for those wanting to learn more about body acceptance, self-acceptance, self-care and personal empowerment.

Thea Gow-Jarrett

At an early age, dance fostered Thea Gow-Jarrett’s confidence and freedom of expression. But as a young teenager immersed in the world of competitive dance she felt herself slipping into comparison and her self worth began to dwindle. At 16, Thea left competitions behind and began to pursue dance on her own terms.

A trained elementary teacher, yoga instructor, leadership facilitator, and mother to a girl of her own, Thea is passionate about creating opportunities for girls to find freedom, connection, and full self-expression through shared experiences of dance and movement. She’s honoured to be a part of G Day.

Hon. Melanie Mark

Melanie Mark was appointed Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training on July 18, 2017. A lifelong champion of children, youth and her community, she was elected MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant in 2016 and re-elected in 2017.

Melanie is Nisga’a, Gitxsan, Cree, Ojibway, French and Scottish and a proud mother of two girls – Maya and Makayla.

She is the first female First Nations Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and subsequent Cabinet Minister.

Growing up in the projects of East Vancouver, Melanie’s efforts to overcome adversity shaped her personal beliefs and professional career. For eight years, she travelled throughout British Columbia while working at the British Columbia’s Office of the Representative for Children and Youth as an advocate for one of the province’s most-vulnerable populations.

A believer in the power of post-secondary education, Melanie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in Sociology from Simon Fraser University, as well as a Criminology Diploma from the Native Education College / Douglas College partnership. She also holds an Advanced Executive Certificate in General Management from Queen’s School of Business in Kingston.

With family ties to Northern British Columbia, Melanie has advocated for her community and has volunteer experience for multiple community organizations like Big Sisters and the Urban Native Youth Association. She co-founded the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre, worked with the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association, Covenant House Vancouver and was the National Aboriginal Project Coordinator with Save the Children Canada’s Sacred Lives project.

In 2015, Melanie received the Chief Joe Mathias Leadership Award from the Native Education College, and in 2006, received the YWCA Vancouver Young Woman of Distinction Award.

Lori Boland

Lori is an educator, counselor, and social worker who has worked with kids and families for over 20 years.  About 8 years ago, she realized that the changing digital landscape was affecting kids social and emotional well-being in profound ways.  This led her to complete an MSW degree, with her research looking at how to support kids growing up in a sexualized media world. Currently Lori is the project lead on Culture Shift at the YWCA Metro Vancouver, an initiative that aims to shift environments that contribute to the sexualization of girls.

Saleema Noon

Young enough to relate to children and teens, but experienced enough to understand the issues faced by parents, educators, health care professionals, Saleema Noon earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Family Sciences at UBC. She then researched the quality of sexual health education in B.C. high schools, earning her a Master of Arts degree in sexual health education in 1997, also from UBC. Since then, Saleema has been teaching not only in the field of sexual health, but also in the areas of empowerment, assertiveness training, internet safety, healthy relationships, body image and self-esteem. Step-mom to two teenaged girls, she is the creator of the popular iGirl and iGuy Empowerment Workshops for 9-12 year olds.

Respected by the media as a sexual health expert, Saleema has appeared as a regular guest on CTV News, Global News, CBC News, CBC Radio, CKNW Radio, Shaw TV, CityTV Breakfast Television, CTV Morning Live, The Kid Carson Show on KiSS Radio, and also appeared in CBC’s Passionate Eye documentary Secrets and CBC Doc Zone documentary Sext Up Kids. Saleema has been featured in Canadian Living, Chatelaine and Today’s Parent magazines along with several other national publications, and is the recipient of the Options For Sexual Health’s Educator of the Year Award. In 2011, Saleema also received the YWCA Vancouver’s Women of Distinction Connecting the Community Award and is a member of the Order of British Columbia. Her book for parents, Talk Sex Today, was released in September 2016.

Vanessa Richards

Vanessa Richards, born in Vancouver, is an artist and community engagement facilitator. Her work focuses on creativity and participatory culture as central to civic and personal well-being. It explores the question, “What can life become when we turn more often toward each other than away from each other?” She is the founder and song leader for the Woodward’s Community Singers, a drop-in, no-cost, low-barrier choir, and director of Creative Together, a song based facilitation process. She volunteers on the City of Vancouver Black History Month Citizen’s Advisory and the Hogan’s Alley Working Group and has been a Big Sister. In May she began working with 312 Main, Vancouver’s new centre for Social and Economic Innovation as the Director of Community Engagement.

Cybele Negris

Cybele Negris is CEO & Co-Founder of, Canada’s original .CA Registrar and accredited registrar for hundreds of domain extensions as well as provider of webhosting, email and web development and many other services. The multi-million dollar company has an impressive client list including many Fortune 500 companies.

Cybele is appointed to the BC Premier’s Technology Council, is Vice-Chair of the Small Business Roundtable of BC, on the Chair’s Council of Science World, Simon Fraser University’s Innovation Advisory Council and the Technical Advisory Board for the Riverview Lands Redevelopment.

She’s a four-time winner and Hall of Fame Inductee of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, was named BC Business Top 50 Most Influential Women, honoured with Business In Vancouver’s Influential Women in Business Award as well as Top 40 Under 40 winner and nine-time winner of PROFIT W100.

She is a columnist for Business in Vancouver, the national Profitguide and speaker at over two dozen events each year including TEDx.

Event Information

Program date: Friday October 20th 2017

Program location: Ismaili Centre Burnaby, 4010 Canada Way

Registration opens: 9:00AM

Drop off / registration: 9:00AM-9:30AM

Program hours for Girls: 9:45AM-3:00PM

Program hours for Champions: 9:45AM-3:00PM

Pick up time: 3:00PM-3:30PM

Parking and pick up/drop off information

Parking information

There are three parking lots designated for this event: one on either side of the Centre, accessible by the main entrance, and another at the corner of Curle Avenue and Kalyk Avenue.

Pick up/drop off information

Volunteers will be available outside the main entrance to escort girls to the event venue.

Public Transportation information

The Centre is a 5-7 minute walk from both 28 and 129 bus routes. Please use Google Maps to find the appropriate route information.

Accessibility information

G Day is committed to creating an accessible day of celebration and empowerment to all Girls and their Champions. If you have specific accessibility requirements not mentioned below or have any questions, please contact our Program Coordinator at


ASL will be made available upon request – please email to request ASL before Friday October 6th.

Mobility Access

The Ismaili Centre Burnaby is accessible by wheelchair or scooter through the front door. Once inside, there is an elevator on the right which will take you upstairs to our event.

When purchasing tickets please continue to “checkout” where you will be prompted to select a wheelchair accessible ticket as well as up to one complimentary companion, who can be provided with a chair next to you.

Some of G Day’s programming will involve movement and dance — we encourage all Girls and Champions to participate however they are able, free of judgement.

Bathrooms are accessible for wheelchairs and scooters.

There is a parking lot immediately adjacent to the building.


All bathrooms will be gendered for this event.

Seat Design

In the Champions’ Program, adults will be provided with individual chairs, with arms. In the Girls’ Program, girls will be seated on the floor on their own pillow (we will have extras). Please note that G Day’s programming will involve some movement/standing activities.


G Day is a scent-reduced space; please refrain from wearing scented products while attending our event. Please note that this venue does not have a permanent scent-free policy in place.

What your Girl needs to bring/wear:
  • A nut-free, nutritious lunch that does not require heating
  • A comfortable pillow or floor cushion that she can sit on
  • Comfortable shoes and clothing (we will be dancing and doing yoga)
  • Optional: personal snacks. While G Day will be providing a variety of morning and afternoon snacks in a nut-free environment, girls are welcome to bring special snacks that work for them.
  • A refillable water bottle
What Champions need to bring/wear:
  • A nut-free, nutritious lunch that does not require heating
  • Comfortable shoes and clothing (we will be dancing and doing yoga)
  • Optional: personal snacks. While G Day will be providing a variety of morning and afternoon snacks in a nut-free environment, Champions are welcome to bring special snacks that work for them.
  • A refillable water bottle and/or coffee mug
  • An open mind and heart
What to leave at home:
  • Cell phone, if you can. Otherwise, please turn it off during the program, and use only on breaks and before/after G Day
  • Perfumes and other scents
Terms and Conditions

By purchasing a ticket, I acknowledge that:

(1) Registration opens at 9:00am. Program begins at 9:45am sharp. Please allow at least 20 minutes for registration.

(2) The child I am registering is between the ages of 10 and 12, or born in 2005 – 2007.

(3) Girls are required to remain on site from 9:45am to 3:00pm; G Day and its agents assume no responsibility should my child leave the site without permission.

(4) In the event that a Girl is injured, ill, or in need of medical attention and I am unable to be contacted, I authorize G Day to seek medical attention on my behalf.

(5) I am aware of the expectation for G Day participants to respect the emotional and physical safety of other participants. Parents or guardians will be informed if Girls’ behaviour does not reflect this standard. Any participant who puts the safety of others at risk may be asked to withdraw from the event without refund.

(6) G Day and its partners and sponsors are held harmless from any liability resulting from Girls’ participation in the event.

(7) I will arrange safe travel for my child to and from G Day, and acknowledge that the providers of this event are not responsible for my child outside of the specified start and end times of the event.

(8) I am aware that there exists an element of personal risk and/or damage and/or injury in the activities, and willingly agree to assume responsibility for those risks as a condition of registering for the event.

(9) Tickets are non-refundable, but can be transferred.

Our generous sponsors

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