BPW BC President’s Message for January

i Jan 12th No Comments by



Both BPW Langley and BPW Abbotsford had very successful Christmas evenings with entertainment and Silent Auctions.

This January, both clubs have their meetings the same evening, January 17th. Abbotsford would usually meet on January 10th, but have changed the meeting date to the 17th.

BPW Abbotsford will be listening to Susan Friesen speaking of eVision Media on “The Power of Personal Branding and How to become a Positive Influence Through Social Media”.

This should be a great presentation. Check out BPW Abbotsford Facebook page for time, location and tickets.

BPW Langley will be focusing on planning for success in your business. Check out their website for details on time, location and tickets.

Connie FriesenYour president,
Connie Friesen

President’s Message for December

i Dec 4th No Comments by

Both BPW Langley and BPW Abbotsford have had a great fall line-up of speakers.  As this year comes to an end, they have exciting December programs.

BPW Langley is celebrating its 4th annual fundraiser, a Christmas social and Silent Auction.  The live entertainment is by “The Vaudevillians”, a troupe providing a fast-paced family type of entertainment. Men are also invited to this party.

Be prepared to support their Silent Auction and a surprise game with some minimum $10 items that could be worth as much as $50.  This sounds like loads of fun.  You can purchase tickets through their website BPW Langley.

BPW Abbotsford is celebrating Christmas at the very beautiful Sweet Dreams Luxury Inn.  All friends and family are invited.

A book drive is being held to benefit SARA.  Great food, Great company, and a super-special gift from BPW – a Formal Portrait by “photoart by Simpson”.

Tickets can be purchased at BPW Abbotsford on Eventbrite.  See you there!

Connie FriesenYour new president,
Connie Friesen

President’s Message For May

i May 17th No Comments by

Let me remind you of our great BPW meetings before our summer break.

BPW Abbotsford will have their wind-up meeting with a speaker on June 14th. The last two meetings are held at the Brambles Bistro at Tanglebank Nursery and are both evening meetings.

BPW Langley continues their evening meetings at Andrea’s Restaurant on May 17th and June 21st. All well worth your time!

On Saturday, June 3rd, BPW B.C. and Yukon will hold its annual AGM at Adrian’s at the Airport from 10 am until noon, followed by a luncheon. All members, and especially all board and executive members of clubs, are invited to attend.

BPW clubs are in over 100 countries of the world, working for the equality of women around the world.

If you can agree with the mission statement of BPW, consider joining a BPW club in your area.  If there is no club in your area, there is now a BPW online club that offers great presentations and workshops.  Check it out on the BPW Canada website!

Connie FriesenYour new president,
Connie Friesen

100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage

i Apr 5th No Comments by

This year marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage (women’s right to vote). The journey for women’s rights, including the right to own property, to take out a mortgage or open a bank account, has been a long one.

Throughout history, women have been fighting for equality. In 1755, women in Corsica were able to vote, only for it to be revoked in 1768. And in 1776, women in New Jersey also had the right to vote, only to be excluded in 1807.

In Canada, the Famous Five sought to have women legally considered ‘PERSONS’ granting women the opportunity to be appointed to the Senate in 1929. Outside the Senate, in the National Parliament Buildings, statues of The Famous Five stand tall.

There have been so many incredible Canadian women who have fought for our rights and inclusion in male-dominated professions. Some of these groundbreaking women are Cairine Wilson (1st female Senator), Mary Ellen Smith (1st women Cabinet Minister in the British Empire), Mary Ann Shadd (1st black female newspaper Editor), Emily Howard Stowe (1st female practicing Doctor).

In honour of the 100th year of Women’s Suffrage, we should all spend some time to learn more about these courageous women that persevered giving us some of the rights and freedoms we have today.

BPW stands for equal rights, working in balance, for both men and women, for a better future.


Your new president,
Connie Friesen


President’s Message for February

i Feb 20th No Comments by

With our snowy weather making driving difficult, the BPW Abbotsford meeting was cancelled. Caroline MacGillvary is being rescheduled for April 12th, which will be an evening meeting.

The March 8th meeting will include Vivienne Chin, an international criminal justice professional, and Jean Douglas-Webb with Grandmothers to Grandmothers.  Both meetings should be fascinating!

BPW Langley is hosted Caroline MacGillvary last Wednesday evening with a great turnout.

Check out the websites for more details and register on Eventbrite.

There is so much information about BPW International on their website, so check it out.

BPW clubs are in over 100 countries of the world, working for the equality of women around the world.

If you can agree with the mission statement of BPW, consider joining a BPW club in your area.  If there is no club in your area, there is now a BPW online club that offers great presentations and workshops.  Check it out on the BPW Canada website!

Connie FriesenYour new president,
Connie Friesen

2016 Christmas Celebration in Langley a Success

i Dec 15th No Comments by

BPW Langley Christmas Gala

The Langley BPW December meeting was well-attended with both women and men, although the weather prevented some from travelling.

Daphne BrahmanDaphne Brahman was an excellent speaker, sharing her journey in journalism and her insights into the future of newspapers and other media.  “You could have heard a pin drop”!  I certainly could have listened for another hour to her.

The event was also a fundraiser for the Langley group, with contributions from many others, including the Abbotsford BPW. There was a great variety of items for the Silent Auction which sold out.

Wishing all of you a warm time with family and friends. For me the joy of Christmas includes time spent with family and friends, but also enjoying the beauty of all the lights, the sounds of Christmas carols, the excitement of the children.

If you need to spend this time alone, please pamper yourself!

Connie FriesenYour new president,
Connie Friesen

Fall Meetings with Abbotsford and Langley BPW Clubs

i Nov 19th No Comments by

Our Langley and Abbotsford clubs have been enjoying their Fall meetings.

BPW Abbotsford invited BPW Langley to join them this past Wednesday evening to hear Jeanne Martinson speak on “Tossing the Tiara”.  A most interesting presentation on how the media, television, movies, etc. influence how girls and women see themselves.  Jeanne is the author of nine books and very involved with BPW.

On December 7th , BPW Langley is hosting a Christmas Social and Silent Auction and inviting BPW Abbotsford to be part of that event.

The keynote speaker will be Daphne Bramham, an award-winning journalist and author.  Expect an inspirational, but fun evening. Check out the BPW websites for more information and the purchasing of tickets.

BPW Canada has recognized that not everyone interested in our organization has access to a local club, so they are in the process of forming an Online club.  They already have a number of women who will become members.  If this interests you, go to the BPW Canada website for more details, or contact Shannon McEwing at

Connie FriesenYour new president,
Connie Friesen

BPW Canada National Convention 2016

i Sep 2nd No Comments by

Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau speaking at convention

“Empowering Women in our Changing World” is the theme of this next two years for BPW Canada.

On August 12th to the 14th, BPW Canada held its 45th National Convention. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, BPW Canada acknowledged 100 organizations that support women’s equality.

We were 6 BPW members from BC attending this great convention.

Arlene, Deanna and Connie

Arlene, Deanna and I decided what should be in the convention report, and then Arlene and Deanna created a PowerPoint presentation along with pictures they both had taken at the convention. Margo is updating it into a 2016 PowerPoint.

Then each club President will present it to their membership as a report for their September meeting.

BPW BC/Yukon President,
Connie Friesen

BPW BC Yukon 2016 Conference

i Jul 5th No Comments by

BPW BC and Yukon held our 2016 Conference in Langley on June 4, 2016. Thanks to the Langley club for putting on a great conference.

The business side of this event included the AGM at which the new executive was elected. It’s going to be an exciting time with such a dynamic group!

We are calling on everyone who holds an executive or board position to both be mentored into their position and then to mentor someone else into that position. In this structured way, your replacement will be ready and comfortable to take over.

Conferences must be more than business, so we were thrilled to have Jeanne Martinson, an author and National BPW VP from Regina, present her topic of “Toss the Tiara”. So interesting.

258The Langley club arranged for us to go to Krause Farms for lunch and a wine tasting, something we all enjoyed.

Just a reminder that from August 12th to 14th, BPW Canada will be holding their convention in Calgary. As this is an opportunity for BC to attend a convention closer to home, I encourage as many BPW members as possible to attend. Information is on the BPW Canada site.

I look forward to working closely with all our BC clubs and welcome your input and feedback on our activities. We want to share information about the speakers at our clubs, so that we can also invite them to our won clubs.

Connie FriesenYour new president,
Connie Friesen

(BPW) BC & Yukon AGM 2015 Recap

i Jun 18th No Comments by

The 2015 Business & Professional Women (BPW) BC & Yukon AGM was a great success this weekend in Mission. President Heather Stewart did an amazing job in organizing and running the event. We are very grateful for the amount of time and commitment she has given to BPW.

BPW BC & Yukon, Treasurer, Barbara Hall gave a good financial report with some strong projections for our next term. Past 1st VP BPW International, Jill Worobec, gave a fascinating report on the International BPW scene and BPW BC & Yukon Past President, Shannon McEwing gave us insight to the interesting National BPW activities.

It was a proud moment to hear that BPW BC & Yukon clubs are leading the growth in BPW nationally!

Our BPW BC & Yukon, Vice President, Maggie Reimer has stepped down and therefore there was a vacancy on the board for the remaining 1 year term. BPW Langley Charter Member, Camille Bowling was nominated as 2nd VP and she graciously accepted. We welcomed her fresh ‘newbie’ insights and some great brainstorming took place as we discussed our marketing and communication direction.

The hot topic of the day and evening was the wage gap. Earlier in the day, a review on the status of Equal Pay Day in British Columbia, was given by BPW Langley president, Deanna Evertt. BC is one of only 3 provinces that does not have specific pay equity legislation.

A report in May 2014 from the CUPE website, also showed that women in BC have fared the worst across Canada, as not only has their pay gap narrowed at the slowest pace – only 3 percentage points since 1997, with no improvement over the last decade – but their wages have also increased at the slowest rate of all provinces. The review has led to the start of a resolution process and a plan to lobby government at all levels for BC women.

BPW BC/Yukon AGM 2015Members of the Legislative Assembly – Simon Gibson from the Liberal Party and Selina Robinson from the New Democratic Party each presented our group with words of support and appreciation.

Our guest speaker for the evening was Jenny Gulamani-Abdulla, 1st Vice President of BPW Canada. Jenny is an immigration lawyer in Calgary and we were honoured that she travelled out to BC for our AGM.

She gave us a very inspiring presentation on the wage gap across Canada and the work that is being done by BPW worldwide. It was very powerful and moving. Jenny is a woman with great conviction and it was clearly evident in the video she showed us of the rally that she led in Calgary this past winter.

Thank you to all the strong leaders that not only attended that day, that have been working tirelessly behind the scenes – some for 6 decades! There were a few attendees that have been national presidents in the past, as well as some that have sat on the executive for BPW International.

agm-2015-equal-payIt is through dedicated women such as yourselves that we will bring about awareness on the wage gap, violence against women & children and other important women’s issues so that we can improve conditions for all women in BC and in Canada.

BPW was founded Internationally in 1930 and we have an amazing history and legacy that we – in Jenny’s words, “must continue with conviction”!

View the rest of the photos from the BPW BC & Yukon 2015 AGM & Conference here.