Calling all girls! Do you have a daughter or young girl in your life between the ages of 10-12 that could benefit from some inspirational empowerment, emotional support and engaging entertainment? Who doesn’t? If this piques your interest, I’d like to introduce you – and her – to G Day 2019.
What is G Day?
G Day is a Vancouver area community event that began in 2014 and combines a celebration of youth and sisterhood to young girls during a pivotal time in their lives – adolescence.
The journey to adulthood can be a difficult and confusing time for girls. Madeleine Shaw, a Vancouver based social entrepreneur, founder and Board Chair of United Girls of the World Society, felt the same way as a girl. Unsure of why she felt disappointed in her own “coming-of-age” experience, Madeleine knew only that she wanted to feel acknowledged – special even – as she changed and grew from a girl into a young woman.
After checking in with friends and colleagues, she realized that she was not alone in her desire to create a “modernized rite of passage for youth”. This became her inspiration for the creation of G Day, a celebration aimed at eliminating social competition among girls and honours the common experiences of their adolescence. G Day encourages girls to look at ways that they are similar instead of comparing or passing judgement on their differences. By focusing on these similarities, a bond of sisterhood is encouraged, and bullying is undermined as girls stand up for each other and foster compassion and empathy within themselves and each other.
Inspiring Genuine Camaraderie
Comprised of 250, 10-12-year-old girls and a lineup of talented, genuine and informative guest speakers, G Day was a huge success when it first launched in 2014 and has grown bigger each year. Girls feel empowered and bonded as they listen to the inspiring messages of the speakers and feel genuine camaraderie with other girls as together they celebrate their youth and the changes, challenges and experiences they collectively share.
According to Shaw, “G Day is designed to build girls’ self-esteem, as well as compassion and respect for other girls,” and offers “a profound experience that is increasingly precious in today’s rapid-fire, screen-filled world. Entering their tween years, girls inhabit an increasingly sexualized, socially competitive landscape that can undermine their self-confidence and make them more vulnerable to destructive influences and behaviours as they enter their teenage years.” G Day is a way to address these powerful influences in every girl’s life.
11th Annual Celebration Details
Fast forward to 2019 where G Day is revving up for its 11th annual celebration of adolescent girls taking their first steps on the road to adulthood. Here are some details about this year’s event:
Date: Monday, April 29, 2019
Time: 9 am – 4:30 pm
Location: Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, 6688 Southooks Crescent, Burnaby BC
Since its inception in 2014, G Day has provided powerful and positive messaging for over 1300 girls and 700 adults around five Vancouver cities. Girls aged 10-12 along with their parents and/or other supportive adults in their lives are encouraged to attend. Although G Day lands on a Monday this year, the New Westminster, Burnaby and Vancouver school districts have a professional development day, making this a great activity for young girls.
Each year, inspirational speakers address various issues, such as self-esteem, body image and leadership through fun, interactive and immersive activities. Including all sorts of creative events like art, storytelling, dance, martial arts and more, the girls are encouraged to participate in groups, and individually, for a full day of meaningful learning.
This year’s speakers include:
- Tamara Taggart: Broadcaster; activist; philanthropist; and nomination candidate for the liberal party of Canada in Vancouver-Kingsway
- Jocelyn MacDougall: Community Convener; activist; and singer
- Michelle Wilson: Transgender rights and Inclusion Advocate
As women, we can all relate to a time when life felt confusing and often overwhelming. Consider attending G Day this year for a beautiful day of community and collective celebration that will engage and inspire young girls all around Vancouver. See you there!