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Women of Influence Nanaimo Awards

Women of Influence

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Media Sponsor for WIN Awards
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The Women of Influence Nanaimo – WIN Network is about embracing a collective community mindset. We all know the importance of a network and joining together, but often we feel very alone and left to survive in our silent struggle. This doesn’t have to be our normal. The WIN Network is committed to changing the loneliness narrative and creating a safe harbour for people to connect and thrive. This Network will drive various initiatives to help progress our mental, emotional, physical, and professional lives. Women of Influence Nanaimo is about creating safe spaces to share our stories, amplify of voices, inspire action, influence our sphere, and celebrate one another.

“When We Influence As A Collective, We Win"

This Network is an inclusive platform geared to support and celebrate the power of being influential. Women, non-binary, 2-spirit, and gender-diverse people all over Nanaimo are influencing the world in positive and revolutionary ways. They are mothers, parents, leaders, entrepreneurs, business owners, creators, STEM pioneers, activists, artists, tradespeople, philanthropists, and so much more. Our goal is to normalize the perception of women in these roles by championing what they do, who they are, and their character rather than the gender they identify with. Inclusion lies in the contrast between a sense of belonging and the pressure for people to “fit in” to groups, communities, or cultures. The WIN Network supports people from all walks of life to thrive through healthy relationships that build emotional intelligence and help them overcome the challenges they face.

We are about applauding being perfectly imperfect. Rather than presenting a fake mask of a final point of success, we share the journey, the flops, the wins, and the lessons learned along the way. We ardently work to highlight the stories of a broad spectrum of people, and we recognize that we can’t progress individually unless we move forward collectively. We are a platform of allies and not about lip service. We all are fashioned to assemble in the beautiful mosaic puzzle of life.


Community over Competition

WIN Awards Gala

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Nominations Oct 1st - Nov 15th 

Our committee is comprised of a group of local women and diverse voices who have come together to celebrate our own and to honour the various ways that women enhance and strengthen the community of Nanaimo.


The Women of Influence Nanaimo (WIN) Awards recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of women, non-binary, 2-spirit, and gender-diverse role models. The awards salute the unique achievements of diverse people representing various spheres, careers, and initiatives that help the advancement of women and the fabric of our community. Each recipient has left their mark on this world: contributing to the greater good through their efforts, resourcefulness, example, and advocacy; breaking barriers; blazing new trails; or using their influence to provoke change. This is a yearly event that recognizes exceptional people who live in the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) - Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, and Qualicum Beach as well as the areas of Gabriola and Ladysmith. 

The goal is to make these awards an annual celebration in February which kicks off Sexual & Reproductive Health Awareness Week. Proceeds from the event will go toward sustaining a local program that helps families going through infertility and loss. The Nanaimo-based award-winning Footprints: Infertility & Pregnancy Loss Support Society provides free resource tools and mental health support bags for parents to help them navigate these issues and make our angel babies count.


The WIN Network would be honoured to collaborate with community members so that together we can champion the influential women, non-binary, 2-spirit, and gender-diverse people throughout our community.

"I'm very excited to see the Women of Influence Awards being developed to celebrate the accomplishments of women and gender-diverse individuals in our communities. I truly believe increased representation helps move society forward in a collaborative way that challenges oppressive systems. This gala is sure to be inspiring.    


Lisa Marie Barron, Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Ladysmith 

Women of Influence Nanaimo Awards
What Makes This Unique?

We examine influence by the level of impact in one's community. These awards are about expanding the lens on how we measure success and digging deep below the surface to discover the unsung heroes of Nanaimo. This is about celebrating human connection, diverse roles, and how we influence one another to make our world a better place. Our mission is to elevate everyday people doing extraordinary things. These awards are not like other typical business functions; we want to recognize those that don't always fit the mould. Along with the philanthropic component, this event truly showcases people who are earth-shakers and trendsetters. Their valiant voices are unbridled and they breathe fire as they elevate the voices of others and stand up for social and economic change.

Women of Influence Nanaimo AwardsBlaise Hunter
Through an awareness of intersectionality, we can better acknowledge and ground the differences among us as well as enter a shared reality with others. 

Learning about intersectionality and how it affects all of us, both in our work and personal lives, allows us to respectfully communicate with peers, and deepens our understanding of the ways in which diversity, equity, and inclusion are crucial for us to thrive.  

Footprints: Infertility & Pregnancy Loss Support Initiative


Footprints Infertility and Pregnancy Loss Support
Footprints Blaise Hunter

Footprints is a registered nonprofit dedicated to bringing grieving parents together. This is a safe place to grieve, heal, share, and gather information on how to navigate through this journey. No longer do we need to feel ashamed or sit alone with our pain. We are all Mothers of Purpose and Fathers of Destiny. This is an inclusive platform dedicated to providing support, healing, and belonging. The mandate for Footprints is a two-part mission:

1) Improve the systems on the frontlines to ensure parents get the proper care, information, and emotional support the moment their trauma happens. This includes handing out mental health support bags. And collaborating with workplaces, health organizations, and governing bodies to create better protocols and procedures when dealing with loss and reproductive health rights.

2) Create a worldwide support community to continue the efforts in bridging the gap in emotional and mental health in the following weeks, months, and years.

The WIN Awards is a fundraiser to help sustain reproductive health advocacy in Nanaimo. Proceeds will help allow these initiatives and support bags to continue to touch the lives of community members and bring awareness to such a taboo topic. The free bags include mental health resource tools, a certificate of life, a Footprints bracelet, items provided by Island Wilderness Bath & Home, a copy of Blaise's book Heroine, and helpful information for men and women to assist them in this process. Bags are available in Nanaimo and at the Bonnyville Medical Clinic and the Cold Lake Primary Care Network. If you live outside these areas, Blaise will mail a support bag to you free of charge.

In 2019, Blaise Hunter was able to create a standing memorial in her community for parents to honour the memory or dream of their babies. Alberta is the flagship for Footprints and has now expanded to Vancouver Island. Blaise is a three-time award-winning humanitarian for her advocacy with Footprints. She fights for parents' rights as well as contends to make our angel babies count. She is changing the medical system one hospital at a time. Blaise is determined to put the care back into healthcare. Her mission is to create a ripple effect of compassion and healing all over the world starting with the community in which she abides. Everywhere she goes, the citizens are impacted by her heart. Since its inception, Footprints has won local, national, and global awards for the positive impact it is making on this world. Blaise is a certified human rights advocate from Washington, DC, specializing in reproductive health. She is on a crusade to defend the rights of parents and the lives of their babies. In 2022, Blaise was selected to represent Canada at an International Human Rights Summit in Istanbul, Turkey to speak on her work and advocacy with reproductive rights issues. Delegates from around the world champion her efforts.

"We are not barren. We are all Mothers of Purpose.

It is time to pick up our miscarried dreams and birth change and be at peace."

If you or someone you know is going through infertility or experiencing a loss of a pregnancy or a baby, please contact the Footprints team at and a support bag will be mailed out to you. If you are needing further support, someone from Footprints will assist you in your journey.

Blaise Hunter Footprints with Lisa Marie Barron

Award Categories

WIN Award Categories

Nominations will take place Oct 1st - Nov 15th 

Business Impact



This award celebrates the achievements of a person who displays exemplary confidence, optimism, ambition, and integrity in the ever-expansive business industry; at the same time creating monumental impacts with their roles as executives, leaders, supervisors, and business owners. They are a positive influence in their profession and strive for collaboration over competition. This individual goes above the call of duty and demonstrates character, grit, and resolve to inspire and empower their environment, peers, and community. This award honours a person who has set bold goals and has worked tirelessly to bring their vision to fruition. They are a voice for today and a visionary for tomorrow.

Creative Innovator

This award recognizes a leader in Nanaimo who is a difference-maker, disruptor, pioneer, and go-getter who applies innovative approaches. This is for individuals spearheading, building, launching, or enabling the creation of products, services, and experiences that are inventive and commercially successful. It's about celebrating groundbreaking talents from a range of disciplines in traditional and non-traditional areas, including fashion, hair styling, entertainment, architecture, design, landscaping, marketing, philanthropy, food, tattoos, and more. This award celebrates someone who has the ability to see the bigger picture and possesses the gumption to bring their vision to life.

Breathe Fire



This award honours someone who has overcome adversity and turned their pain into pearls. The living example of this person showcases the tenacity, passion, and fortitude to change the narrative of their story and model resiliency for themselves, their family, and their community. The recipient has an iron will and is a cheerleader, visionary, role model, and trailblazer. To be known as a fire-breather is to have a sense of purpose and instill hope in oneself and humanity.

Arts & Culture

This award applauds the achievements of an individual who has influenced their community with exemplary artistic and cultural expression and contributions. They cultivate greater visibility and understanding of the value of the Arts and work to preserve and enrich the artisan fabric in Nanaimo. Whether it's with design, media, literature, drama, music, dance, film, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography, or philosophy, they embody creativity and imagination and inspire others to appreciate artistic and cultural endeavours.

Health & Wellness

This award recognizes someone who contributes to the mental, emotional, or physical health of our community, either through the business sector, passion projects, or volunteerism. They set a positive example for wellness and motivate others to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle. This applies to traditional health practices for humans and/or animals and alternative modalities. This person is in the medical field or is a healer or caregiver. They pick up the mantle of health and promote mind, body, and soul well-being, body-positivity, self-love, and nutrition. They also advocate for positive mental health, encourage belonging and safety, and influence the community in profound ways.

Fan the Flame (Ally)

Open to everyone - Women, men, non-binary, 2-spirit, and gender-diverse people. This unique award recognizes an individual or organization that takes on the struggles of vulnerable communities as its own and supports the advancement of others. They are an ally who transfers the benefits of their privilege to those who lack it. They uplift and celebrate diverse and previously unheard groups in their profession or community. They recognize that though they’re not a member of the underinvested and oppressed communities they support, they make a concerted effort to better understand the struggle, every single day. They’ve done deep inner and outer work to alter oppressive systems. By sharing their own flame and igniting a spark in others, they’re truly an equity partner for humankind.

Community & Social Responsibility

This award recognizes someone who utilizes their position, voice, expertise, and influence to break down barriers and create positive change. They take on matters that affect their community and stand up for social justice. They are the voice for those who have been previously silenced and inspire others to care for their own. The recipient of this award challenges social norms and brings awareness to issues facing various groups including Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit), Black, or People of Colour (IBPoC), and 2SLGTBQQIA+ communities as well as advocates to improve local and global issues. This person can do this through volunteerism and business initiatives. This award celebrates the unique contributions and perspectives of someone who focuses on diplomacy, building bridges, and is an agent of change. They mobilize a movement that drives economic viability, environmental protection, and social equity.




This award honours women, non-binary, 2-spirit, and gender-diverse people in the skilled trades profession. We know the value of gender equality and inclusivity for tradespeople and the need to break stigmas and barriers in a male-dominated industry. This recipient is an exemplary leader who makes a significant impact in their chosen field. They are a role model who consistently shows up, perseveres, and inspires others to do the same. Their dedication and grit to advancing diversity and equity in the trades are extraordinary. They are passionate about inspiring change in their industry and community and moving the needle on societal standards.


This award celebrates the achievements of someone who has significantly contributed to the science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) sector. They demonstrate and advocate for innovation, curiosity, and creativity in making an impact in their field. They also engage with and communicate their practice to a broader community. The recipient of this award has embraced new concepts and approaches and pushed the boundaries of what is possible. Their contributions improve and evolve our culture, inspiring future generations to pursue STEM careers.




This award recognizes someone who has made significant contributions throughout their career or volunteerism and has demonstrated exceptional leadership, impact, and excellence in Nanaimo. This is open to someone still working or who has retired and has continued to enrich their community in influential ways. The recipient of this award is an extraordinary person who has manifested a legacy that moves people's hearts and inspires the next generation.

Youth Resiliency

Open to everyone - Young women & men, non-binary, 2-spirit, and gender-diverse people. 

Spanning from ages 16-25, this honours exceptional young leaders who not only drive transformative change but also exemplify unwavering resilience in the face of adversity. This recognizes those who have harnessed challenges as catalysts for growth, inspiring others through their ability to bounce back, adapt, and thrive. By celebrating their remarkable journeys, this aims to ignite a ripple effect, motivating both recipients and peers to cultivate resilience, confront challenges with determination, and forge a path of impactful leadership in the pursuit of a brighter future. This accolade celebrates their outstanding leadership, innovative thinking, grit, and dedication to creating meaningful impact. Whether through social initiatives, passion projects, advocacy, or defying the odds in their own life, recipients influence others with their quest to take their place in this world. By showcasing these stories, the award empowers others to have hope.

Nominations will take place Oct 1st - Nov 15th 

Thank You To Our Community Partners
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Cori Lynn's Floral Designs Nanaimo
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The WIN Awards & Footprints are Proud to Collaborate with The Butterfly Run
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Welcome to the 2nd Annual Butterfly Run Vancouver Island

The Butterfly Run exists to support those who have experienced infertility, pregnancy loss, and infant loss.

All funds support BC Women's Health Foundation, Fertility Matters Canada and other local programs.

Being a Bereaved Parent is a Path That No One Should Walk Alone...

October 15th, 2023


Westwood Lake, Nanaimo


  • 8:30 - 9:45am - Race Kit Pickup9:45am - Welcome announcements and Pre-Race Warm Up

  • 10:00 am - Race Begins

  • 10:30AM - Light refreshments and snacks post-run at the event tent (start/finish area) and opportunity to review community resources table

To see the amazing sponsorship opportunities or the unique ways to be involved in the event of the year, contact 778-269-1216 or email

Footprints bracelet
Community Events
Health Expo
Support Bags
Women of Influence Nanaimo Blaise Hunter News Story

In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, we would like to acknowledge that the Women of Influence Nanaimo (WIN) Network operates on the traditional territories of the Snuneymuxw First Nation peoples. We thank them for allowing us to live, work, and play on their traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory.

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