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Cornerstone event: April Workshop

At this inspiring all-day workshop, you will learn the importance and power of your voice, why women speaking up matters, and how to make change. You will connect with like-minded young people as well as adults who care about gender equality and investing in young women and young people.

Making Waves was co-founded by Avery Simard when she was 17 years old, as a way to build an intergenerational community of women who care about equality, especially gender equality. Young women have input into every aspect of Making Waves. It is inspiring, content-rich, energizing, and impactful. Your time is valuable, and your voice is important. 

Included in this year's (2023) workshop:

• Shari Graydon, catalyst of Informed Opinions, will share stories and research to make clear why women’s voices matter, why we need to speak up, and how to do so effectively.

• Shannon Norberg, co-owner of art gallery Norberg Hall, works to advance gender equality for artists, and will lead a tour on gender equality through the art collection at Bennett Jones.

• Rupal Patel, founder and CEO of VOCALiD, will talk about her work in creating unique synthetic voices for those with speech impairments. Her colleague Regina McCoy will help us understand the particular need for women’s voices, especially those of young women and how each one of us can start making waves by adding our voice to the VOCALiD voice bank. VOCALiD uses crowd-sourced voices to craft custom synthetic voices that allow the person who needs a synthetic voice to sound like, and speak up, as themselves.

• Two Breakout sessions on how to take action beyond our workshop, and the different ways to speak up: o Low-Risk Wavemaking panel features grade 8 student Nahlah, who convinced her school principal to introduce a drama program, and PhD student Georgia whose research is focused on body image in figure skating, how it is gendered, and shifting the emphasis and language away from body image to actual performance.

o High-Wire Wavemaking panel features university student Avery, who is a gender equality and climate activist, and Medeana, who is a public education activist and Executive Director of Support Our Students.


There will be lots of opportunities to learn, to connect, and to practice speaking up.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, including Bennett Jones and The Calgary Foundation, as well as a dedicated group of supporters, the workshop is FREE!

We don’t ask for resumes, auditions, requirements--just your time and interest.

For all young women, non-binary, trans, and gender diverse individuals aged 14-24.

Inaugural Work Shop: April 2019


The very first Making Waves Workshop was held in the stunning board room of Bennett Jones, and was attended by 50 young women and supported by 20 accomplished adult women.  It was an inspirational and magical day! Shari Graydon of Informed Opinions held a 2 hour workshop, which was followed by a catered lunch. The afternoon started with a panel of young women who shared their experiences, concerns and aspirations for the future, and invited the participants to take the mic and join the conversation.  For the final session 10 adult women told their stories of agency, in a fast-paced style.  Interspersed throughout the day were opportunities to practice networking and building a support network.  Created by and for young women, the day was a massive success.



Photo credit: Monique de St.Croix
Photo credit: Monique de St.Croix

Making Waves goes virtual

April 2020

Weeks before the April 2020 workshop, planned with an entire new group of young wavemakers, the pandemic swept the world. Our young wavemakers insisted the workshop take place, as everything else was being cancelled. We quickly adjusted and created a concise and impactful 3.5 hour online Zoom event. This was an astonishing success! 

When it was safe, we organized a responsibly planned, outdoor, in-person event. In this year of covid, we decided to keep connected, to keep going with Making Waves. We created new and exciting opportunities to practice speaking up. 

We also expanded by adding committee members from St. Albert and Toronto. We are proud of these changes and will continue to adapt to keep making waves!

Sign up today!
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