Esprit de Corps’ 2019 Breaking Down the Barricades: Women in Defence World awards ceremony saw a diversity of dignitaries and military professionals come together to recognize and celebrate the achievements of this year’s 21 award recipients.
A warm spring breeze welcomed the winners and contributed to the swelling sense of pride that was evident in the Sacred Space room at Beechwood National Memorial Centre.
Beechwood representative Nicolas McCarthy and magazine publisher Scott Taylor kicked the night off and were followed by a video presentation of the history of women in the Canadian Armed Forces.
The awards from Esprit de Corps, based on nomination submissions and peer review, are now in their fifth year running and Taylor commented on this milestone in his opening remarks.
“As soon as we did it, word came back and said we can’t not do it again because I know somebody who’s my colleague, I know somebody who’s my mentor who had to be nominated.” The awards and their importance only grew from that point, with the numerous women nominated receiving their own recognition and certificates as of last year.
One by one, the women took to the stage to receive their 2019 Women in Defence plaques, while representing nearly all of the nation’s provinces in the process. From advocating for veterans, to innovating defence-related technology in the business world, and standings on guard for their country and serving in all three service branches the women featured at the event came from a diversity of backgrounds.
In a first for Esprit de Corps and the women in defence awards, Maj Ann Lockhart and MWO Margaret Stawarz were nominated and awarded as a duo of women that have broken down barriers in the defence world. While receiving their awards, the two women along with the crowd laughed as they shuffled about and accommodated one another on the stage for a photo.
MGen (Ret’d) Lewis MacKenzie and LGen Charles Lamarre addressed and thanked the award recipients for their dedication to Canada both inside and out of their professional lives.
Following the lively performance of an original song titled “Honour and Pride” by Jean Miso, an award-recipient herself, event sponsor Commissionaires closed the awards ceremony.
The night was only just beginning as guests enjoyed a diversity of food and drink, generously donated by various high commissions and embassies. The reception dinner featured Serbian cevaps, German pretzels, South Korean bolgogi, Polish kielbasa, Turkish baklava, and fine Chinese whiskey.
The event saw individuals from incredibly different backgrounds enjoying traditional foods from all over the world.
The one thing that everyone attending had in common, however, was a shared pride in the women who had worked so hard and in their own unique ways, broken down barriers in the defence world.
For more photos go to: https://www.richardlawrencephotography.ca/clients/edec/bdb2019/index.html