The Women’s ExpressionsTM calendar has served a noble purpose – to provide support for programs dedicated to assisting women and children as well as research. The profits generated from the calendar sales were channelled towards two organizations: a women’s shelter – Interval House of Ottawa – and the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation’s ‘You and Me for Memories’ campaign.

Interval House of Ottawa sheds light on the harsh reality of violence against women, highlighting the urgent need for awareness and action.

Interval House of Ottawa confronts the sobering truth that each year, an average of 100 women and up to 150 children seek refuge within its walls due to the horrors of domestic abuse. This abuse manifests in various forms, including sexual, financial, religious, social, emotional, psychological, invasive, and physical violence. Interval House of Ottawa plays a crucial role in offering essential support services to these women and their children during their stay. One encouraging statistic is that approximately 85% of women who find sanctuary at Interval House of Ottawa choose not to return to their abusers once they have left, emphasizing the importance of the shelter’s work in breaking the cycle of abuse and providing a path toward safety and independence.

Alzheimer’s has garnered significant attention in Canadian newspapers, highlighting the alarming fact that it can affect anyone and currently has no cure. This condition is rapidly emerging as a global epidemic, with statistics showing that approximately every two minutes, someone in Canada receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. It was estimated at the time that in the next two decades, the number of people with dementia in North America will rise by 63%. These sobering statistics underscore the urgent need for continued research and support in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

Women’s ExpressionTM aimed to empower women residing in shelters and those benefiting from related programs to embark on a journey toward a life they truly deserve, helping them unlock their fullest potential. Women’s ExpressionsTM strived to instill the belief in these women that they are deserving and capable of success. Purchasing the ‘Women’s Expressions’ calendar became a catalyst for positive change in the lives of other women. 

Donations to the Interval House of Ottawa

In 2013, Women’s Expressions managed to sell 157 calendars to their family, friends, and colleagues, resulting in an impressive total donation of $1,665.00 to Interval House of Ottawa. This achievement was made possible through the dedicated efforts of the Women’s Expressions team. Out of this total, $1,570.00 was raised from calendar sales, while an additional $95.00 came from generous donations from the Bank of Montreal.

In the featured photo are the following persons (from left to right): Nadine, Charlene, Jo-Anne and Della.

This marked their inaugural year of contributing to the foundation, and it was a memorable experience for the team. The calendar photo shoots were not only enjoyable but also served as a means for a group of friends to come together for a noble cause. With the invaluable support of volunteers, they collaborated harmoniously to reach their objective – the objective of giving back to their community.

Women’s ExpressionsTM calendars received prominent visibility at the Bank of Montreal in Ottawa, thanks to the branch manager’s support and belief in their cause. A dedicated table was set up at the bank’s entrance, providing clients with information about the calendars and the purpose they served – aiding women and children escaping domestic violence.

Clients who felt compelled to contribute to this noble cause had the option to either purchase a calendar or donate. Through their acts of kindness, the bank’s clients generously donated a total of $95.00. This heartfelt donation was combined with the proceeds from calendar sales, further advancing the total funds raised to support Women’s Expressions’ mission.

In the featured photo are the following persons (from left to right): Jo-Anne and Dave.

Donations to the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation’s ‘You and Me for Memories’ Campaign

Women’s ExpressionsTM was deeply committed to supporting the quest for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, as it profoundly affects many women. To further this cause, Women’s ExpressionsTM has participated in the ‘You and Me for Memories’ 4th annual AN EVENING TO REMEMBER Gala Dinner and Dance fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Research, that took place Saturday, September 29, 2012, at the Ottawa Convention Centre.  On this special evening, all proceeds from the calendar sales have been dedicated to the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation – University of Ottawa.

During this event, Women’s ExpressionsTM successfully sold four calendars, resulting in a generous donation of $40.00. While the amount may seem modest, it’s the sincere effort and the spirit of giving that truly matter, and every contribution, no matter the size, is deeply valued and appreciated. We are aware that this is just the beginning, and we hope that we have marked our presence at the gala. Women’s Expressions is eagerly looking forward to participating in future events with the hope of selling more calendars and continuing to support the ‘You and Me for Memories’ initiative in its mission to raise funds for Alzheimer’s disease research. Their commitment to this important cause remains steadfast, and they are dedicated to making a meaningful impact in the ongoing fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

Expressions of Gratitude for Your Support!

With the invaluable assistance of Women’s Expressions models and volunteers, our commitment to giving back remains unwavering. This marked our first year of dedicated support for the foundation.

We extend our sincere gratitude to our outstanding photographers – Marc, Richard and Dave – as well as our technical helpers – Brian, Nadine, Ginette and Amélie. – whose expertise was instrumental in our efforts. You can explore the profiles of Women’s Expressions Models and Volunteers on our platform.We want to express a special thank you to our models who, with great courage, stepped in front of the camera, even if it was their first time doing so. Your bravery and dedication are truly appreciated.

Women’s ExpressionsTM at the National Women’s Show (2012)

Women’s ExpressionsTM was very present at the National Women’s Show at the CE centre.  The weekend was a success! Nadine Bursey, Marc Dumontier, Klaudija Troscot (of vibrational jewellery), and I were at the booth all weekend. We were the only business in our category representing a magazine, and we succeeded in making ourselves known to the public. Since the show, many of the women we met have already indicated on Facebook that they liked Women’s Expressions.  We sold only twelve (12) calendars; not as much as we were hoping for. However, many indicated that they would purchase the calendar online.  Over the weekend, we made a lot of new friends and established some exciting contacts. We met professionals who showed a lot of interest and some who offered to write in our magazine, and we also met a lot of extraordinary women. Watch our video to see us meeting these lovely women and presenting the Women’s Expressions Calendar.

I would like to especially thank Nadine Bursey and Marc Dumontier for manning the booth with me all weekend and Nicole Saumure, Chantal Tremblay, Ginette Peterson and Della Johnstone for coming to the show to encourage us.  I would also like to thank everyone for your support, as I am sure that you were all there in spirit.

The Women’s Expressions stall was located in the Health and Wellness section on the floor plan.  We were facing Centre Stage and therefore had an awesome view of the performances.  Here are some of the highlights:

This was one of the highlights of the weekend….and we captured those priceless moments on video! Yes, the firefighters were modelling sportswear from Tommy & LeFebvre. The fashion show started off fairly quietly, but this didn’t last long.  As the men got comfortable with the crowd, they started enjoying being on stage, filling the entire room with energy and excitement.  Women cheered as the men modeled wool sweaters and ski jackets to songs such as I’m too sexy for my …….for us? Certainly not! We can take it! 

I leave you with this video and something to dream about…..

The Young and The Restless – Peter Bergman

Peter Bergman, the Emmy Award-winning star of The Young and the Restless was there dazzling everyone with his famous smile. He shared with the public some upcoming news about the hit TV soap, provided insight into his role as “Jack Abbott” and answered some questions from his adoring fans.

When asked how he maintains his good looks and shape, he thanked the public with a great smile and provided his secret: regular exercise and good eating habits. He was suave and sexy as usual and had everyone’s attention, making us all wish we could bring him home and have our own soap opera with him. After the show, Peter was off stage signing his photograph for the women who love Jack Abbott! 

Fred Astaire Dance Studio

What can we say about the lovely dances performed by the Fred Astaire Dance Studio on Centre Stage? 

They made us want to step out and start dancing along with them. Inspired by the legendary Mr. Fred Astaire himself, we can see that their teaching methods have people dancing with style, grace and confidence in no time at all. I, personally, was impressed to see them dancing, especially women of all ages.  See for yourself as the video shows dancers performing with amazing gowns flowing harmoniously with the music.

Scissors Hair Fashion Show

The most innovative and original looks were paraded by models with top hairstyles and clothing from local designers.  Stylists described the lengths it took Scissors to create the hairstyles. Some took a week to style the hair with different materials besides the model’s natural hair. Watch the video as we show you snapshots of the models walking on stage. It was like being in a fairy tale; with the classical Nutcracker music and the models dressed like princesses. What a show! 

Marketing Women’s Expressions at Maxwell’s – Ottawa

Women’s Expressions gathered at Maxwell’s on Elgin Street in Ottawa On December 15th, 2012. That evening, the Stars of the show are the one and only Gill Mongeon and his band ‘Junktion’. Gill has been performing with his band for some time, and the band is very promising.

Maxwells had allowed Women’s Expressions to promote our calendar on a Wednesday night along with Junktion. Women’s Expressions thanks Maxwell’s. We also thank Gill for his fantastic performance and, for showing our fabulous Women’s Expressions T-Shirt to all the clients.


Marketing Women’s Expressions at the Heart and Crown

Cheering the Heart and Crown is the singer and guitar player Daniel William Brown. He has performed at the Irish Pub for many years and has a dedicated fan club.

Heart and Crown had allowed Women’s Expressions to be present at Daniel’s Monday evening entertainment show to market our calendar. Women’s Expressions thanks Jeff Davis for letting us promote our calendar.

We thank Daniel for giving us such a fantastic performance and, for showing our calendar to the Heart and Crown clients and his fans. What a great entertainer!

About ‘You and Me for Memories’ – Help Solve the Puzzle of Alzheimer’s

The “You and Me for Memories Foundation” was founded to raise the necessary research funds to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.  It all started with a group of friends talking on a cottage deck.  Co-founders Dave St-Jean and Bruce Levis mothers both had Alzheimer’s, and they thought that rather than wishing for a cure, they should do something about it beyond taking steps to prevent it in their lives and their children.  

You and Me for Memories focus is “Together we can solve the puzzle of Alzheimer’s”

The “You and Me for Memories Foundation” is made up of a group of friends who had one thing in common, they all had a family member or friend with Alzheimer’s disease.  The goal is to show grassroots efforts can begin with regular people getting together and being able to do something that really makes a difference.  We depend on financial support from the general public and corporate sponsors to support the research to cure this devastating disease.  Together we can solve the puzzle of Alzheimer’s.


Research is the key to the cure. The “You and Me for Memories Foundation” selected Dr. Richard Bergeron M.D., Ph.D., FRCPC, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Neuroscience Program, Department of cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa as the benefactor of all funds raised. Dr. Bergeron and the University of Ottawa bring together the highest quality in the neurosciences, behavioural sciences and mind disciplines to provide incredibly effective resources to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.  The “You and Me for Memories Foundation” works collaboratively with the University of Ottawa to raise money for research to find a cure for.  All money raised (100%) goes to Alzheimer’s research.

An Evening to Remember Gala Dinner and Dance

“An Evening to Remember – Gala Dinner and Dance” is our major fundraising event.  This year the Gala is held at the new Ottawa Convention Centre on September 29, 2012, and expecting over a 1,000 guests.  The Gala is a great way for the medical community and those affected and their family and friends to learn from one another’s experiences and to have fun raising funds.  The Gala features a catered dinner, a Wine Mountain raffle, a Silent Auction, a Live Auction, the Balloon Extravaganza, live band performances and special guest speakers.  In the last three years, the Galas have raised over $175,000.00.

Caregiver of the Year Award

Caregiving to someone with Alzheimer’s disease is unavoidable.  People with Alzheimer’s disease become increasingly dependent on family members, friends and the Care Workers at long-term care (LTC) facilities for their care as the disease progresses.  The LTC Worker is on the front line of Alzheimer’s care for your family member or friend.  Their dedication to caring for Alzheimer’s patients is often taken for granted or is not fully appreciated and recognized.

You and Me for Memories recognize these extraordinary compassionate front-line workers. The top five caregivers will be recognized at the “An Evening to Remember – Gala Dinner and Dance”, for their excellence and dedication to Alzheimer’s patients.  They will receive an Award Plaque, and the finalist will receive the “Anita St-Jean Memorial Award”.

How can you help?

You can help by attending “An Evening to Remember – Gala Dinner and Dance” in support of You and Me for Memories. Also, you can become a sponsor or make a donation.  You will find the information for the sponsorship and the donation on the following website:

Women’s Expressions and You and Me for Memories

Women’s Expressions is attending “An Evening to Remember – Gala Dinner and Dance” and will be selling the 2013 Women’s Expressions Calendars.  All profits from the sales of the calendar during this event will go to You and Me for Memories Foundation in support of the research for a cure for Alzheimer’s.  

Please come and support Women’s Expressions at this event.  Together we can solve the puzzle of Alzheimer’s! We are all touched by the disease, even the founder of Women’s Expressions.  Jo-Anne’s mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and she knows how difficult it is to see a parent having memory loss.  

You and Me for Memories Alzheimer 2012 Gala – An Evening to Remember

You and Me for Memories Table

The 2012 You and Me for Memories Alzheimer Gala was the very first event in which Women’s Expressions participated. What an exciting and determining moment for our organization! The preparation of our booth required much work to be accomplished. Our goal was to gain exposure for the Women’s Expressions 2013 Calendar and increase its sales. All proceeds generated from the sales were to be distributed to the University of Ottawa in support of their search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

This disease touches each and every one of us directly or indirectly. According to recent research, a new case of Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed every five minutes – by 2038, the incidence will rise to one new case every two minutes. This will affect “You and Me”.

Women’s Expressions Table

As we prepared for the event, we strived to decorate the Women’s Expressions display with class. Speaking of class, Brian, as always, was our man behind the scenes who supported and assisted us (the front-runners) with a great deal of elegance and tact. He accommodated our needs, such as leaving the convention centre to fetch a Tim Hortons coffee to boost Nadine’s energy and thus increase our sales.

  The decoration was simple: a bouquet of red roses, chocolates to satisfy visitors’ palate, and bright red calendars spread out in a manner that attracted attention. One calendar was open and placed at the center of our table to display the typical calendar month design. Nadine and Chantal were two of the models who contributed to the calendar photo shoots and were present to support Jo-Anne’s initiative to promote Women’s Expressions. We prepared four portfolios (one French copy and three English copies) in the event of possible sponsors showing interest in our funding project for the Interval House of Ottawa, a women’s shelter that aims to provide emergency shelter for women and their children fleeing from domestic violence. Each year, fundraising is required for the shelter to continue its operations.  

In the same week, we had just received the printed copies of the calendar. It was printed on very good quality paper that wasn’t damaged near the gutter and was able to emanate the richness of the red colour we had chosen for the calendar. The Women’s Expressions technical team and models were very proud of the calendar and thankful for everyone’s efforts to transform this project into a real work of art. The graphic artist was amazing in conceptualizing the calendar: Laurie is a talented person and is very dedicated to her work. Jo-Anne’s cousin, Daniel (SIMCO Communications), also played a big part in making the calendar. He was of tremendous help throughout the whole process and coordinated all activities to make things happen for her.  Daniel helped Jo-Anne reach her goal.  

Upon our arrival at the gala, Dave St-Jean, founder of You and Me for Memories and organizer of the event, greeted us and led us to our table. The black cover definitely contrasted the red calendars and made our table outstanding and appealing. We were visited by promising buyers who congratulated us on our work and found the calendar exceptional. As people visited our table, we tried to establish keywords that would encourage visitors to buy our calendar. However, we didn’t want to steal focus from the event’s main purpose: fund research for Alzheimer’s disease. Perhaps this was not the best occasion to sell the calendar, but it certainly provided exposure for Women’s Expressions, as there were 960 people attending the gala. We finally sold three calendars to three of Jo-Anne’s co-workers. That was a start… but we hoped to sell more calendars after dinner.

The ambiance was great at the new Ottawa Convention Centre. Soft music was playing, and we had the table set for success. We were well-prepared and ready… At dinner, we all sat at our table and had a wonderful meal: a four-course meal that consisted of a tasteful cream of tomato, a garden salad, chicken served with a delightful sauce for the main course and cheesecake for dessert. Wine, coffee and tea were also provided. During the meal, we were entertained by Dave himself, Dave’s father, and Bruce Levis, a volunteer who gave a speech about You and Me for Memories and the reason for its existence.

Bruce also described the influence of Alzheimer’s disease on the foundation members’ lives and their belief in research as the key to the cure. The You and Me for Memories Foundation accordingly selected Dr. Richard Bergeron as the sole benefactor of all funds raised. Dr. Richard Bergeron, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPC is a Senior Scientist in Neuroscience for the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and an Assistant Professor with the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine of the University of Ottawa. Dr. Bergeron and the University of Ottawa bring together the highest quality in the neurosciences, behavioural sciences, and mind disciplines to provide incredibly effective resources to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. The You and Me for Memories Foundation works collaboratively with the University of Ottawa to raise money for research to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. All money raised (100%) goes to Alzheimer’s research. At the gala, Dr. Bergeron delivered an amazing speech and couldn’t thank the public enough, as he believed his research wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for You and Me for Memories and the volunteers’ devotion to the cause.

Caregivers were also awarded, and Ray St-Jean was proud to present the 2012 Anita St-Jean Memorial Caregiver of the Year award. As the disease progresses, people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease become increasingly dependent on family members, friends, and caregivers at long-term care (LTC) facilities. LTC facility workers are especially involved in Alzheimer’s care. Their dedication to our family members and friends diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease needs to be recognized and awarded. It is also important to acknowledge our own involvement in the care of diseased patients, for the reason that Alzheimer’s touches us all in one way or another.  

Yan Michaud spoke about the importance of being physically active and developing good eating habits. He also provided tips on healthy living and self-achievement. This individual is an Iron Man triathlon participant, a marathoner, and an avid partaker of many other sports. He spoke lovingly and with enthusiasm, and he delivered a speech that could only motivate the crowd to become healthy and stimulate their will to deal with all of life’s events. His words were profound and very convincing.

A live auction was also conducted at the time desert was served. We were entertained by a young and dynamic actioner who was one of a kind. He managed to give an original performance. His auction carried big ticket items ranging from $3,000 to $7,000. In total, he was able to auction off more than $50,000 within an hour or so. This was undoubtedly a success.

The silent auction was intriguing, as usual. It was featured again this year by popular demand. The silent auction included many unique and enticing items. The auction opened its doors at 5:00 PM and closed at 9:00 PM. Brian bet on the Pampered Chef item and won the bet. We returned home with kitchen utensils, bowls, and recipe books to add to our collection. Brian was very pleased as he is the most devoted chef in our family.

Later that evening, a DJ and a band named ‘Sweet and the Backbeat’ entertained us with dancing music as we danced the night away. It was an enchanted evening. We ended up selling two more calendars to two gentlemen who admired our work.

In conclusion, we handed Mr. David St-Jean a cheque of $40.00 on behalf of Women’s Expressions for the sale of five calendars. We know this is just the beginning, and we hope we have marked our presence at the gala. Women’s Expressions will return next year to sell more calendars and join You and Me for Memories to raise money for research on Alzheimer’s disease. By the way, one of our sponsorship portfolios mysteriously disappeared. We hope it will find its way into the hands of a supporter of the Women’s Expressions fundraising for the cause of women and children in need.

Story by: Jo-Anne

Edited by: Zoé G.

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