Savvy Mom Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2009

Comments 5 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Baby JakobThe Savvy Mom Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes outstanding women in business who also just happen to be mothers.

Since 2008, I have been a business owner. I am customer service, marketing, sales, accounting and development rolled into one. However, imagining someone who can manage all of that (and more) on top of being a parent is something that I truly admire. This past year I have also met some talented women through such events as the Enterprising Mom’s Network conference and the YummyMummyClub Tweetup. Having the drive, ambition, and vision to excel in business while taking care of others and ensuring they can do the same in their lives, is remarkable.

Savvy Mom is a nation-wide online network of resources to help you learn about health, share, shop, eat, and get the most out of your city’s resources by connecting with other mothers. They have a collection of writers across the country and this contest serves to recognize individuals who have excelled in their field.

Two current nominees have contacted me about the event so I thought it best to highlight each of them.

Sandy Gerber Co-Founder, 3 Degrees WestNominee Bio.
3 Degrees West Design & Communications was born when Karley Cunningham and Sandy Gerber merged Twist Multimedia and ThreeKids Media in 2005. Since that time they have been offering e-marketing, strategies for corporate presentations, website management, and other aspects of branding and corporate development. 3 Degrees West also believes in giving back as Sandy worked with a poverty relief project in Nicaragua, Bridges to Community.

Natacha V. Beim CEO, Core Education & Fine Arts (CEFA) – Nominee Bio.
Since 1998 CEFA has been providing pre-Kindergarten education in several core learning areas, from mathematics to visual arts. Natacha is a teacher who specialized in European Junior Kindergarten who wanted to bring those same principals and core learning opportunities to our region. She has been preparing to franchise the CEFA method so that schools can be setup around BC and soon, across Canada. There are currently almost 10 CEFA schools around the Lower Mainland.

Past winners of the Savvy Mom Entrepreneur of the Year Award include, Martha Scully of Canadian Sitter Inc (bio), and the team from Mabels Labels (bio). Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit of yoyomama (bio) won last year on behalf of the BC & Territories region.

“Winning the SavvyMom award last year for great for us,” Annemarie told me. “We were only just over a year old, so it was great for increasing our national awareness and credibility. Plus the prize came in handy as well. We approached winning like it was a campaign – figuring out how to best position it as a plus for us and for our readers. Which it truly was. It’s not enough to just post a button on your site and hope to win, instead you need to spread the word and ask for votes in a way that’s compelling for all parties.”

If you know an exceptional woman who handles both being a mother and running a successful business, nominations are still being accepted and voting is open until September 13, 2009. The winner will also receive over $15,000 in prizes and professional services.

Providence Farm

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

We made a quick stop at the General Store on Providence Farm in Duncan while on our tour of the Cowichan Valley.

St Ann's

Its history dates back to 1864 when the Sisters of St Ann purchased 400 acres of land on the promise that they would occupy and build upon it. It has gone through several stages of being a boarding school, an orphanage, and a school for boys. In the 1950s it was expanded and Providence House was a school for boys and girls until 1964. In 1979 they founded the Vancouver Island Providence Community Association, a non-profit society.

Providence Farm, Duncan Providence Farm, Duncan

The Providence Farm is now a therapeutic community that hosts activities, programs, even weddings and annual events such as a Christmas craft fair and plant sales, along with blues and folk music festivals. It provides services and resources to those with disabilities through horticultural therapy and their vocational training programs. The guiding principle for Providence Farm is, “that caring for the land together is by nature healing and therapeutic.”

Providence Farm, Duncan

The greenhouse and farm store provide training for individuals, while there are workshops that teach furniture making, timber frame making, welding, work with animals, and much more. They also provide allotment gardens for those who wish to purchase and maintain a garden within the community.

Providence Farm, Duncan Providence Farm, Duncan

Providence Farm, Duncan Providence Farm, Duncan

Providence Farm will also be the home of this year’s Feast of Fields on Vancouver Island. It’s a gourmet outdoor experience with professional chefs, local ingredients, and a mix of Farm Folk/City Folk. Online tickets are already sold out so you’ll have to pick them up in person before the event on September 20th.

Providence Farm, Duncan

The land is beautiful and the gardens are full of colour and fragrant scents (the perfect spot for a photowalk at the very least). Unfortunately we only had a few minutes to look around but Providence Farm is certainly a stop of interest when you’re in the Cowichan Valley.

I recently toured the South East portion of Vancouver Island with Tourism BC. You can read all of my posts from the trip under the tag: ‘Cowichan‘.

Weekend Events Link Fest, End of August 2009

Comments 5 by Rebecca Bollwitt

With the smell of the PNE‘s mini donuts wafting through the air and with kiddies scooping up all the latest Trapper KeepersTM, you just know summer is coming to an end. On the bright side, there’s still so much going on around town that consist of both indoor and outdoor activities. Here is this week’s Link Fest for activities this weekend.

Seton Lake

August 28, 2009

  • The YVR Photowalk Group meets for a nighttime photowalk. There will be a nacho tweetup at Two Parrots ahead of time.
  • August 29, 2009

  • Free hugs by donation courtesy of Kraft at the Vancouver Aquarium on Saturday from 11:00am until 4:00pm. For each hug given, Kraft will donate a jar of peanut butter to the Greater Vancouver Foodbank Society.
  • The Gathering Place’s annual block party from 12:00pm – 5:00pm. BBQ lunch, games, music, and watermelon at 609 Helmcken St.
  • Kerrisdale Days starting at noon and running all weekend.
  • On the horizon…

  • Twestival Vancouver is happening September 12th. Tickets will be on sale within the next few days.
  • I’ll be speaking at the Crave Vancouver coffee chat on September 14th.
  • Launch Party 8 is September 16th.
  • Sad Mag launch party on September 17th.
  • Chor Leoni is hosting a fundraising event on September 24th.
  • Vancouver Film and Television Forum is launching September 29th.
  • The Surrey Economic Summit is October 6th featuring former British PM, Tony Blair.
  • Should you know of any other events happening around town this weekend, please feel free to leave a comment and I can add it to the list.

    RIPE: An Evening of Local Food and Libations

    Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    On October 1st, 2009 the Vancouver Farmers Markets are presenting RIPE: the first annual evening of local food and libations.

    Sea Cider

    The event aims to raise funds and support of the organizations and initiatives surrounding eating local. “This includes the establishment of a Farmers Nest Egg Fund, and the creation of the recently announced New City Market, Vancouver’s first permanent year round farmers market.”

    RIPE will take place on Granville Island and you’ll be able to connect with local producers, listen to speakers, meet the chefs, and of course eat some tasty homegrown creations.

    Tickets are available for purchase online, in person at Barbara-Jo’s Books To Cooks and Edible BC, or by calling the Vancouver Farmers Markets office at (604) 879-3276. Tickets ($90 for members, $100 for non-members) will be on sale until September 29th.

    With your ticket purchase you’ll receive a one year membership for the Vancouver Farmers Market, food, drinks, entertainment for the evening, and access to a silent auction and a raffle draw.

    Sludge Dumping at Burns Bog

    Comments 4 by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Burns Bog is the largest domed peet bog on the West Coast of North America and is vital to our entire region’s ecosystem. Over the last 40 years, it has been used as a landfill by the City of Vancouver although what they are now proposing is even more vile. Continue reading this post ⟩⟩