New Brunswick celebrated International Women’s Day by honouring those who champion women and gender equality with the VIVE Awards.
Lt. Gov. Brenda Murphy, who presented the awards, spoke about the successes women have accomplished and acknowledged the work that lies ahead.
She spoke of the current conflict in Ukraine, which she said undoubtedly impacts women and children.
Afterwards, there was a dance that told the story of a Ukrainian woman who lived a life before the war and the changes that happened in the aftermath.
The VIVE Awards, which were held for the first time last year, were presented to five women:
- Youth Champion – Vera Chen, New Maryland
- Community Champion – Lyne Chantal Boudreau, Moncton
- Business Champion – Cathy Simpson, Rothesay
- Everyday Champion – Rev. Elizabeth Stevenson, Kingston
- Government Champion – Michele Cronin, New Maryland
Vera Chen said it was an amazing feeling to be not only a recipient but also the youngest of them.
“A very gratifying experience I feel because I feel this is a huge encouragement in order to continue my efforts going forward,” she said in an interview Tuesday.
Chen has a non-profit and she hopes to continue reaching out to women and girls.
“We want to impact as many people as possible,” she said.
Tammy Scott Wallace, minister responsible for women’s equality, was also in attendance to help present the awards. She said submissions roughly tripled this year to around 30.
“We were so encouraged by that,” Scott Wallace said. “We will continue to celebrate women year after year through these awards during International Women’s Day.”