Gearing up for the annual Kootenay Woman's Show

by Kirsten Renner

The large variety of businesses and groups presenting themselves at the Kootenay Woman's Show every year indicates just how broad the range of interests of women in this region is. The seventh installment of the show on Sunday, March 6, will not be an exception.The event's organizer Karla Shalley says people can expect more than just spas and clothing stores and adds there will be anything from financial institutions to photographers, health and nutrition experts and even representatives from the automotive industry.

"They really take the time to bring forth to the show what they have to offer for women," explains Shalley. It gives women an idea what kind of goods and services are available to them in the East Kootenay, some they might not even have seen before.

The Kootenay Women's Show is hosted at the St. Eugene Resort, just outside of Cranbrook. "It's a great location," Shalley says. "It's nice that women can have a day-getaway." Over the past years, the show has been lucky to have great weather, allowing the women to take a stroll on the grounds and taking in the beauty of the area.

Shalley adds resort staff go out of their way each year to not only provide excellent service, but also a special luncheon or treat to create the perfect setting for a day out with the girls.

There is a core group of exhibitors, but Shalley states each year there are new vendors adding to the broad mix. Often, they are visitors of the show who enjoyed it so much they want to return to present their own business. Besides information tables there are also scheduled presentations that are real crowd-pleasers. "Last year, we had really good feedback on all the presenters," Shalley says.

"We're happy to provide this show to allow businesses to meet their target audience," says Darcy Wiebe, publisher of the Kootenay News Advertiser, the sponsor of the Kootenay Women's Show. "It also gives us a chance to give to a charity of our choice every year." In the past, the show has provided between $2,000 and 3,000 to the University Women's Club, the Canadian Cancer Society and the SPCA.

This year, the Abreast in the Rockies dragon boat team will be the beneficiary. Sandy Zeznik is with the team and says while some of the money they raise goes toward buying equipment and helping the team cover expenses, the rest is placed in trust with the East Kootenay Foundation for Health.

Abreast in the Rockies tries to put at least $5,000 into the trust fund each year to be used for projects they feel passionate about. The last big purchase the team was able to support with $27,000 was of a sentinel node probe, used in breast cancer detection.

The dragon boat team has attended the Women's Show as a vendor for two years, so the members know the benefits of the event. "We went into it for awareness," Zeznik explains. Team members sharing their own stories of illness and recovery, survival and empowerment as well as a paddle machine helped them connect with visitors and show there is life after breast cancer.

Being the chosen charity, Abreast in the Rockies will have even more of a presence this year. Visitors can not miss the survivors and supporters, dressed in their pink shoes, pink shirts and black pants. The ladies are there to assist with all aspects of the show, ensuring everyone is having a great time.

All door proceeds go to the charity and in turn, ticket holders are entered into a draw for a great door prize. After enjoying a pre-trip spa day at the Vanity Room Salon & Day Spa in Cranbrook, the lucky winner will receive two tickets to see popular country artist Kenny Chesney in Calgary, with accommodations paid for as well.

The Kootenay Woman's Show goes on Sunday, March 6, from 10 am to 4 pm at the St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino. Tickets are $10 and available at the Kootenay Advertiser office and at the door.

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