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Thursday, April 18, 2024
Editorial: A show of strength and solidarity
The Lake Report's annual special edition celebrating International Women's Day.

From newborn to their nineties, the women of Niagara-on-the-Lake turned out this past Monday morning in a show of strength and solidarity.

Tomorrow — Friday, March 8 — is International Women’s Day and for the past three years The Lake Report has taken the opportunity to highlight and celebrate the women of NOTL — their contributions and accomplishments.

It started out rather small two years ago, with some front-page stories about women from the community, plus a few more pieces inside the paper.

Last year, we expanded it and invited women to gather in the middle of Queen Street for a mass celebratory photo on the Monday before International Women’s Day.

We had no idea how many would show up. When just over 100 women turned out and urged us to do it every year, we promised them we’d make it an annual affair.

So, we put out the word again and this week women descended upon the gazebo at Queen’s Royal Park.

And the crowd grew larger still. More than 125 women came out — while about two dozen others sent last-minute regrets that work, family and health matters wouldn’t allow them to make it.

The numbers are impressive but are not the real story. This is an organic community happening and because women feel that the gathering is a worthwhile endeavour means it is a tradition we should continue.

Coupled with the mass photo on Page 1, in this week’s edition you will find a 12-page Souvenir Special Section dedicated to the women of NOTL.

In its pages you can read stories and vignettes about some of the remarkable women of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Our focus this year was women in the business community and education.

So, we asked readers to suggest and nominate women whose stories should be told. To be honest, the results were overwhelming.

You contributed way more ideas than we had space or time to accommodate, but we have managed to produce articles, large and small, highlighting about two dozen women from the community.

Please take the time to read about these accomplished and interesting women, a real cross-section of the community.

As well, we thank those businesses that opted to purchase advertisements in the Souvenir Special Section. Their ads are evocative and beautiful.

By offering a limited number of advertising spots, we were able to produce the section at cost and in turn we have committed to donating a portion of the revenue to two women-focused charities: Gillian’s Place women’s shelter and NOTL’s own Pink Pearl Foundation, which supports women dealing with cancer.

We are happy and proud to do so.

On Monday at Queen’s Royal Park, a number of women remarked that even though NOTL is known to be home to a lot of older people, a great many of those who made the effort to be on hand for the mass photo were in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

That was wonderful and encouraging to see. And it is a reflection of how engaged the younger generations of NOTL women are in matters of community and womanhood.

International Women’s Day is marked every March 8, so let’s plan to get together again on the first Monday in March of 2025 and beyond. Highlight next March 3 on your calendars. We’ll see you then, at a location to be determined.

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