The Women of Westman Conference was held this past Wednesday with over 300 women joining together at the UCT Pavilion at the Keystone Centre.

Formerly known as the Superwoman Conference, the annual event is hosted by the Brandon Chamber of Commerce.  It was rebranded as the Women of Westman (W.O.W) just this year.

"I think it was just wonderful," shares Chamber President Lois Ruston. "Over 300 women gathered and heard advice about everything from business to life and everything in between!  I think it was a really inspiring day!"

Keynote Speaker, Catherine Wreford, shared her story of growing up in Winnipeg and committing her life to dance and song.  She went on to perform in numerous shows on Broadway, raising children, but then being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  In 2022 she teamed up with her best friend Craig Ramsay, who she befriended at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, to win Season 8 of the Amazing Race Canada.  Wreford continues to be a performer, as well as an inspirational speaker.

The Conference was scheduled alongside International Women's Day which takes place today, Friday March 8th, and celebrates women for their strengths, accomplishments, versatility and nurturing.

"We heard about how women are over-comers and achievers, and nurturers and caregivers, and I think that's the balance that women have to walk every day. And not one woman who was up there on stage talking about how she built her business, or the difficult decisions she had to make, didn't also talk about caring for her team or worrying about being there for her children," shares Ruston.

"And so, I think that's maybe the balance that all of us have to manage every day," she says, "and it's just nice to be in a room full of similar folks."

Ruston says the morning workshop where Jane Helbrecht and Lyndsay Gillon-Seafoot shared their presentation; Screw it. Just do it, really spoke to her and gave her good advice to take home and share with others.

"Women, a lot of times, we think everything needs to be perfect, and we want all of the pieces to align when our kids are older and we have more time," she says. "I think there is a lot of value in just jumping in and perhaps making one small change and getting our arms around a new challenge and making it our own."