What strikes me when I peruse the 23 events posted in the Canada section of the events list is the diversity! Associations, companies and individuals created a variety of events, most of them including flights and most of those, free flights! COPA Flights, 99s Chapters and Members, Flight Training Centres, Airport Managers, Flying Clubs and Museums all got involved. Many events were organized by a combination of multiple organizations.
And we had countrywide coverage. Almost every province and territory was represented. North and west, there was a big event in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories and three events in British Columbia (Squamish, Langley and Kelowna). And we discovered after the week was over that there was an event at the Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton! People everywhere were celebrating; even people that we did not know were celebrating!
Another large event was at St. Andrews, near Winnipeg in Manitoba.
In Ontario, there were 12 events planned! Maybe we need a new category for contests “The Most Female Pilot Friendly State, Province or Territory”?
La Belle Provence also got in to the act with 4 events (Lachute, Saint-Hyacinthe, Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil and Saint-Hubert).
And there were two events in Atlantic Canada (St John’s, Newfoundland and Moncton, New Brunswick).
I put in my order for good weather for the main event day, Saturday March 9 and we all waited and watched the weather websites.
I was very fortunate to be able to attend three of the events, all in my home province of Ontario. On Thursday March 7, I was at the airport in Pembroke, where I participated in their all female panel of Women of Aviation.On Saturday, I attended the big event in our nation’s Capital, Ottawa, at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and Rockcliffe Airport. I introduced space scientist Natalie Panek, our guest speaker, whose very inspiring presentation we live streamed over the internet.
The ‘good weather’ that I had placed order came through everywhere except Atlantic Canada, so after Natalie’s presentation, I went to the flight line and enjoyed the sunshine and watching the passengers getting in and out of the airplanes. I can’t decide what is my favourite part – seeing their excitement and anticipation before the flight or their excitement and awe after their magical experience!
On Sunday, I wrapped up the week by attending an event at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at the Hamilton Airport. The First Canadian 99s were celebrating the unveiling of their new display honouring Canadian Women Pilots.
For the past 10 days, I have enjoyed going through the emails, photos and videos, sometimes with a tissue in my hand, as some of them are so touching. As Canada Team Leader, I am honoured and grateful to be part of this fantastic outreach and celebratory initiative.
My heartfelt thanks goes out to all the volunteers, whose numbers and enthusiasm overwhelms me! We are truly making a difference!