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Resiliency the focus for Westlock Women’s Symposium

Sixth such symposium goes March 9 at Westlock Inn
sylvia yoder
Hope Resource Centre executive director Sylvia Yoder is organizing a Women’s Symposium March 9 at the Westlock Inn. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WESTLOCK - Resiliency will be the theme of the day as a few hundred women and men from around the region are expected to take part this year’s Westlock Women’s Symposium.

“As women, we’re not limited, and that’s the message we’re really, really going to be putting out there – that we’re not limited in what we can do. That’s what resiliency does, it gives us the capacity to go beyond what we think our strengths are,” said organizer and Hope Resource Centre executive director Sylvia Yoder.

After a one-year hiatus in 2019, Westlock will once again host its almost-annual Women’s Symposium at the Westlock Inn March 9, offering up conversations and resources to boost attendees’ resiliency and give them new strength.

It’s half-booked already and Yoder encourages anyone interested in taking part to register with FCSS as soon as they can. FCSS can be reached at 780-349-5999.

“We’ve got some good partnerships. FCSS has been taking our registrations for us, which has been huge,” said Yoder. “I’ve had FCSS supporting me and the Westlock Inn has been incredible.”

The mandate of the Hope Resource Centre has always been inclusion and diversity, hence the addition of students from Westlock Elementary that are part of the Girls Leading Others Wisely, or GLOW, program to add in an aspect of inter-generational responsibility.

Men are also welcome to attend this year as well and there will even be a few participating in the panel.

“I’m kind of hoping we’ll have both genders included. That’s kind of a new direction that we’re going in, that supports what our agency’s mandate is, which is inclusion and diversity,” said Yoder.

Alberta Health Services’ Dalerie Felstad will also be in attendance as keynote speaker.

“She’s a really good person, she has a really good grasp on trauma. Resiliency is not just related to trauma, it can be related to economic struggles and so many other things,” said Yoder

“We just hope it’s going to show a visible direction to the community that every single individual is valued and even though it is a women’s symposium, who we are is dependent on who contributes to our life and that’s any gender.”

Yoder added the symposium will also offer some new groups opportunities to provide resources on different subjects to the attendees.

“There are little clusters of support groups … what we really want to do is not just expose, primarily women, to the supports that are available and make it geographically achievable,” said Yoder.

“We also want to recognize and appreciate that this community has a wealth of resources, and we just want to remind people that despite where we are economically or politically, as a community we are resilient, and we’ve proven that resiliency time and time again.”

The symposium runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 9 at the Westlock Inn.