6 Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 in Vancouver

Credit: Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre Facebook

1. Donate to a Local Charity

It’s maybe not as exciting as the other picks on this list, but there’s no arguing that a donation to a local charity will make the biggest impact for your money. There’s lots of Vancouver nonprofits that support and uplift women, but here are a few to get the ball rolling: The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre (supports women and children in the DTES), Wish Vancouver (supports street-based sex workers), Minerva BC (provides leadership development programs for women and girls), Chrysalis Society (supports women overcoming chemical dependency) and  Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter (supports survivors of sexual abuse). If you have the means, donate!

Credit: “Choose to Challenge” Series

2. Get the Ultimate Gal Power Seminar

Sunday, March 7

Don’t let the word “seminar” fool you—this series of workshops is not your average boring online conference. Organized by Amber Bruce (Keefer Bar & Yard) and Sabrine Dhaliwal (The Chickadee Room at Juke), this “Choose to Challenge” series covers fitness, finance, food and drink. Think a workout with local boxers and personal trainers Jaime Ward-Yassin (Hero Athletics) and Jana Finkbiner (Seconds Out), financial literacy with economic instructor and author Karen Law, a cooking class with  Kula Kitchen’s Asha Wheeldon, and of course, a cocktail-making session with Amber Bruce, Sabrine Dhaliwal and Kelly Ann Woods of Boozewitch. Literally what more could you want. The sessions are by donation, and proceeds go to the DTES Women’s Centre.

3. Watch the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival

Through March 14

32 films from around the world (and 14 from Canada) make up this year’s online Vancouver International Women in Film Festival. The theme “Resilience. Challenge. Change.” is very appropriate for our trying times, and the lineup of movies is truly binge-worthy. Look for the two films from B.C.: Brother, I Cry from Indigenous director Jessie Anthony and The Curse of Willow Song (pictured above) from established horror genre director Karen Lam.

Credit: Formation Studio

4. Take Formation Studio’s Women’s Day Fundraiser Class

Friday March 12 at 6:00 p.m.

Do double duty with your weekend workout: this virtual fundraiser class is donating 100% of proceeds to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.The 30-minute “Freedom” dance class is beginner and living-room friendly, and the organizers are asking participants to have their favourite drink ready for a toast at the end of the workout. And you can bet there’s going to be some killer lady-bops on the playlist.

Credit: International Women of Stand-up Comedy

5. Tune in to This International Comedy Show

Friday March 12 at 7:00 p.m.

Tickle that feminist funny bone! The online International Women of Stand-Up Comedy show features comedians from—you guessed it—all over the world, with a star-studded lineup featuring Amber Harper-Young (Canada/UK), Yumi Nagashima (Japan), Sophia Johnson (New Zealand), Carol Cunningham (Canada), Michelle Nnadi (USA/Nigeria), and Sharon Mahoney (Canada).

Credit: Coho Commissary/Rich Won; Legends Haul

6. Support Women-Led Businesses

Both Legend’s Haul and Coho Commissary are offering gift boxes made up entirely of local products by local women-led businesses. There’s snacks, beauty and household items all wrapped up in a pretty package–seems like a pretty good gift for a deserving woman in your life. Pro tip: when you’re looking through the boxes, throw the businesses a follow on social—let’s work those algorithms.