Oprah Winfrey said it best, "The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."
Looking back at CSW's journey, it's hard to fathom how we made it to this point. What began with a team of women coming together with a shared dream and big goals, has manifested into everything we've accomplished today. With so much to be grateful for, and so much to acknowledge, we leaned into the wise words of Oprah and paused for a moment to praise and celebrate our fifth birthday with Five Years of Faces (FYF).
Taking a walk through time, FYF tells the story of CSW from preconception to today. And what better way to do that than by exploring the values that started it all, community and collaboration.
Exploring these themes, guests were introduced to our featured faces with three questions:
What does community mean to you?
Of all your accomplishments, which one are you most proud of?
What is one thing you'd like everyone to know about you?
The responses that each of our featured faces shared to these questions were uniquely diverse, and tremendously moving as they courageously spoke to the power of community.
From our earliest fundraisers to the recent Botshabelo Community Development Projects, our guests also got an inside look at some of our most defining moments, our struggles, our accomplishments and our deepest learnings. Both our team and our guests were awe-struck by the magnitude of CSW's work which was made so clear by the grand display.
In Vancouver, our founder Nikki opened her home as we transformed her space into a cozy art gallery. Our Director Matt, brewed a delicious Pale Ale, and various ciders that were most definitely crowd pleasers. The drinks and snacks were met with the big smile and lively energy from our bartender, Chris. The evening was shared by an exceptional group of humans who shared space and laughter.
Taking the exhibit on tour in Toronto, our fundraising Coordinators, Amanda and Chantal, welcomed our Toronto community to Five Years of Faces at the REMOTE Gallery. Our volunteers, Paul, Rose and Vytautas channeled their passionate energy into set-up and take down. Our entire team brought the feeling of community as they walked our amazing guests through the exhibit, answered questions, shared stories and connected. Our guests enjoyed cupcakes donated by the dynamic duo at, Twinning Treats, and coffee which was also sponsored by our guest, Doug.
Both events embodied the very values of community and collaboration that CSW stands for. And on top of that, they radiated the love, kindness, and generosity it takes to make the world a better place. For this we are humbled.
When we sat down to plan Five Years of Faces, the goal of the event was to celebrate everyone who's been involved in our journey, everyone who's made our vision possible, and everything we've accomplished since day zero. Looking back at the event, we didn't just celebrate, we honoured our past. With renewed energy and hearts full of gratitude we are looking to the future and getting ready for what the next five years have in store.