Three extraordinary Grande Prairie women were honoured Wednesday as part of the Grande Prairie Women of Influence Awards. A sold-out luncheon was held at the Teresa Sargeant Hall as part of International Women’s Day, put on by the City of Grande Prairie, Grande Prairie Friendship Centre, Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta, Odyssey House, and the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce.
The recipient of the Young Woman of Influence Award for women under 30 was Tahnia Getson. Getson started working with youth at the age of 18, and says they emphasize working with communities that face systemic exclusion like the 2SLGBTQIA+, Indigenous, BIPOC, and disability communities.
“I was fortunate to start teaching theatre when I was young and watching youth work through society is pretty phenomenal. Where youth are standing today and where I stand when I graduated are very different.”
Getson says days like Wednesday where they could take up space is pretty special and that they will keep working for the community.
Regional Vice President of the Bank of Montreal Amanda Alexander was named Trailblazing Woman of Influence in the category for 30 to 49-year-old women. Alexander says she was surprised to have won and is grateful to have been nominated at all.
“I feel like there were so many incredible people nominated and they all had great reasons to be selected. So I was shocked but had very humble feelings; I now have to pay that forward and do something wonderful with that in return.”
Alexander started working as a bank teller and slowly moved her way up. She says she has had amazing mentors who encourage her to do more. Her tips on how to overcome challenges are to set clear boundaries and know one’s worth. Alexander says she is not planning to stop anytime soon but will work even harder.
Marge Mueller was honoured with the Distinguished Woman of Influence Award for those 50 and older. Mueller is said to be an advocate and a leader for women and Indigenous people, whose work has challenged bias and promoted equity for Indigenous people. Fellow nominee Loretta Parenteau-English accepted Mueller’s award on her behalf.
The luncheon also included a keynote from local empowerment coach, author, and yoga for trauma instructor Coryn Briggs.