Desktop – Leaderboard

Home » Women’s Day 2019 celebrates 40 years of excellent service

Posted: March 10, 2019

Women’s Day 2019 celebrates 40 years of excellent service

By Mary Giuliano

Friday, March 8 saw a celebration of International Women’s Day with a couple of events organized by the Fernie Women’s Resource Centre.

Office Manager Nicky Benzie spearheaded and planned a solidarity march to honour survivors of domestic and sexualized violence that had a large group of men and women gather at the Fernie Arts Station at six in the evening to begin a walk to the Court House and back. This was followed by refreshments and performance by popular musical group the Hark Raving Sirens.

Many of the walkers held colourful signs and sang as they paraded down First Avenue through the city centre and down to the Courthouse. Despite the cold the turnout was excellent.

Entrance to the after gathering was by donation with funds going to the Emergency Support Program.

In the morning the Women’s Centre held an open house from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to celebrate 40 years of being open in Fernie and serving the entire Elk Valley. People were encouraged to come in and say hello, draw a poster for the evening march or just come in and say congratulations.

Lauren Fox the executive director of the Centre said, “The Women’s Centre has been in the area since 1979 providing free services to women who have been impacted by violence. Through practical and emotional support the centre has been able to help women break down barriers, seek justice and make steps towards equality. Our Emergency Support Program is for women who are experiencing a financial crisis. Women can access a small amount of funding if they are unable to find financial support elsewhere to help them get through a crisis. In many cases this program is ensuring women’s basic needs of safety, food, shelter and medical care are being met. This program provides women with the support to continue to move forward with their life.”

The Centre has a total of 13 staff members most working in the community doing a variety of early years programming while two members are in the office daily providing services such as ‘Stopping the Violence, Outreach and Counselling.’

The Centre is a very welcoming place, Lauren invites all to drop in anytime to pick up brochures filled with information on a large variety of services and ask questions, “there is nothing you can’t talk about here, we don’t want anything to be in silence any more but rest assured everything is confidential,” she said.

Hours of operation are Monday –Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and Wednesday 9 a.m. -3 p.m. – phone 250 423-4687 toll free 1-800-339-7393. Email is [email protected] or check out the website at

Safe Homes provides free temporary shelter for women and children fleeing violence 1-800-200-3003.

Congratulations to the Women’s Centre for 40 years of excellent service to the people of the Elk Valley. This is a service that is of huge importance and is greatly appreciated.

Photos courtesy Mary Giuliano

Article Share