Raising Our Voices – Whistler’s 5th Annual Celebration of International Women’s Day

Raising Our Voices – Whistler’s 5th Annual Celebration of International Women’s Day


The 5th annual Raising Our Voices – A Celebration of International Women’s Day event on March 8, 2019 was an amazing evening filled with music, laughter, fun and fantastic local talent.

To all those who attended Whistler’s Celebration of International Women’s Day, shared their musical gifts, volunteered, supported the silent auction and donated: your support for this event is greatly appreciated. We raised nearly $10,000 to support the important work carried out by the Howe Sound Women’s Centre!

Arts Whistler and the Howe Sound Women’s Centre are deeply grateful you could join us to celebrate women and help support the HSWC and their important work. We can’t wait to do it all again next year. See you on March 8, 2020!

Thank you also goes out for support provided by Creative BC and the Province of British Columbia to make the event possible.

Photo: Emily Serrell Photography

It’s Whistler’s premier showcase of awesome musical women, and all proceeds support Howe Sound Women’s Centre!


The Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society is a for purpose charitable organization that has been serving the Sea to Sky Community for over 34 years. The Women’s Centre is focused on supporting women, children and youth who are in need of emergency shelter, support, referrals and advocacy, and in particular, those who are experiencing high conflict, violence or abuse. The Women’s Centre offers emergency housing, children and youth-focused programs, as well as Multicultural Outreach, and health and wellness programs.
The Squamish and Whistler Women’s Centres receive over 5,500 visits annually. The Women’s Centre also operates Pearl’s Value & Vintage, a second-hand thrift store, with all proceeds from sales supporting Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society programs. Find out more.


Meet Some of the Voices of Whistler’s International Women’s Day:

We caught up with a few of the celebration’s performers, Catherine Batchelor, Laura Nedelak, Susan Holden and Jody Wilson, all of whom have all participated in Raising Our Voices since its inception and were part of the action again on March 8, 2019. Read on as the women dish on their musical style, careers, influences and why they love being part of this fantastic event.

Check out the evening’s full lineup of performers, in order of appearance:


First Nations Ceremony We welcome and thank Martina Pierre, Linda Dan and Jackie Andrew from Lil’wat Nation who will be opening our event, Raising Our Voices. The Whistler Women’s Centre respectfully acknowledges the traditional territory and the land of the Lil’wat and Squamish Nations.
Tia Horn Tia Horn is 12 and has been playing guitar and writing songs for almost two years. Her love of music is evident as she is constantly singing and dancing wherever she goes. She has lived in Whistler for four years. Tia also loves to dance, ski and mountain bike. She is an avid reader and loves to listen to music. She is excited to have the opportunity to play at Raising Our Voices and to be apart of changing the world so that all women are heard.
Madeline Smith Madeline Smith is 16. Originally from Bralorne, she grew up all over the Sea to Sky. This is her second time playing Whistler’s celebration of International Women’s Day and she’s super excited to be performing covers of some of her favourite songs on her handy acoustic guitar.
She opened the Sunday stage at the 2018 Hear and Now Whistler’s Local Music Festival.
Emma Frederickson “My music includes a mixed list of the goldies, I sing and simultaneously play my guitar to bring the songs back to life.”
Cayley Alexander Cayley Fee has been playing music all her life, she is named after and lives in the beautiful mountains of Whistler, BC. Inspired by nature her original music highlights simplicity and human connection. She loves to explore different sounds and her cover songs basically cover it all.
Website: cayleyfee.wixsite.com/cayleyfeemusic
Farrah Theresa “Raised across the hills, plains and eclectic cities of South Africa, I’ve come to make new memories in BC working in outdoor education and exploring my creative capacity as an educator, writer, earth lover and musician. My style is influenced by female folk vocalists, inspired, moody and enchanting with a poetic, lyrical focal point. We lead lives full of stories worthy of songs and I love to weave them.”
Instagram: farrah_theresa
Facebook: facebook.com/farrahtheresa
Penelope Voyages Penelope Voyages (a.k.a. Ali) is a lover of dinosaurs, snowboarding, yoga, wild swimming, cacti, Yorkshire Tea, BC and soulful lyrics. She will be singing and uke-ing artifacts of inspiration from her journey on Planet Earth.
Chicks with Picks Chicks with Picks was founded in 2003 to provide women of all ages an opportunity to learn to play the guitar in a supportive, fun and social atmosphere.
Along with learning guitar basics, Chicks with Picks classes sing a variety of songs, integrating vocal harmonies and percussion, as well as ukulele and bass.
Kera Willis A poet, writer and horsewoman, Kera Willis creates songs that are prayers for transformation, containers for memory and odes to the beautiful landscapes of the Sea to Sky corridor.
Cat Madden Cat Madden, local songwriter, singer, musician and performing artist in the Sea to Sky. Often likened to a cross between Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse, her voice is powerful and dominating. She is currently working on a music video collaboration with a Prime Vision Productions which will be released in March. Cat is also in the studio with well-known local musicians to create her first album.
Facebook: @catmmadden
Instagram: @catmmadden
Rachel Lewis Rachel Lewis (née Thom) is a Canadian singer and songwriter as well as keyboardist who originates from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Music has always been a family affair. Rachel’s brothers and father are also singers and songwriters. Rachel began performing at the tender age of 5 and has been competing since she was 8. She began songwriting at the age of 10 and guitar at 14. Since 2007, Rachel has been living in Whistler, B.C. She has supported this International Women’s Day celebration and HSWC fundraiser four years in a row!
The Pegs The Pegs is a strings ensemble consisting mainly of members of the Sea To Sky Orchestra who took a wrong turn at their classical rehearsal and ended up on a swing and fiddle bender. The group features violin, viola, cello and double bass on some ragtime and Canadian contemporary tunes.
Vocalicious Director Ellen Domm gathered some of the best voices in town and in September 2018, launched Vocalicious, Whistler’s premier acapella ensemble. While only the women of the group will be debuting at International Women’s Day, Ellen, Anita Winkle, Heather Beresford, Carissa Beu, Nicole Giguere, Bruce Mohr, and Brant Schrage, are excited to treat listeners to sweet and tasty harmonies and toe-tapping tunes from across the decades.
Right Turn Clyde This brand new group plays a mix of gypsy jazzy outlaw country fiddle folk blues, featuring the very talented women Robyn Forsyth and Katherine Fawcett, and men Tony Horn (of HSWC Board), Harvey Lim and Pierre Richer.
IWD Collective This group has come together specifically for the purpose of playing at International Women’s Day each year. We enjoy exploring some new songs with different people and embrace having something to offer to the entertainment at this special event. Somehow there’s always a Natalie Merchant cover in the mix. This year’s group includes Sheila Sherkat, Catherine Batchelor, Christine Wilding, Laurie Hannah, Ellen Domm and Susan Holden.
JennaMae Togado JennaMae has been serenading the Sea to Sky area with her buttery R&B originals and covers since 2010! You can also find her jamming around town with her band, belting out popular songs and making you groove to the beat.
Lozen and the Get Down Brothers Lozen is a VIMA nominated artist who has a knack for captivating listeners with diverse musical tastes. Her collage of lyrical rap flow and smooth vocal melodies over criss-crossing genres has earned her a loyal tribe and expanding fan base. Backed by The Get Down Brothers (Kris Brancho/lead guitar, Art Barrientos/bass, Andrew Cornejo Alido/percussion), Lozen’s acoustic rhythm side is fused with a dynamic blend of neo-soul Filipino flavour mixed with electric euro french folk-inspired roots.
Poor Dirty Sylvia Poor Dirty Sylvia is a long-standing Whistler band co-founded by Susan Holden and Sean Rose. Art Barrientos, Andrew Alido and Ellen Domm have all been aggressively recruited and are now members for life! This band combines a shared respect, incredible vocal harmony, and instrumental chemistry to truly entertain you with well-chosen covers and originals.
Facebook: @PoorDirtySylvia