Annual Persons Day Lunch goes virtual for 2020

The registration deadline is Oct. 14 for Oct. 16 event

The Famous Five paved the way for women to participate in matters of public life.

Submitted to The Record

When someone phones to say “What are you doing for lunch on Friday at noon, Oct. 16?” you know you won’t eat alone. The sixth annual Person’s Day Lunch will be a virtual gathering of 100 women. Registrants will listen to six distinguished panelists discuss “How COVID-19 has affected girls and women in the Comox Valley.”

The Person’s Day lunch celebrates three milestones along the journey to equity for Canadian women. On Oct. 18, 1929, women were acknowledged as “Persons” in Canada, almost a decade after most had been granted the right to vote. This status gave women the opportunity for greater participation in public life, including appointments to the Senate and senior judicial levels.

“We honour the leadership of the Famous Five who fought for this status, winning that battle in 1929. We also acknowledge the ongoing fight for greater workplace equity for women,” said Persons Day Lunch chair Betty Donaldson.

The luncheon panel includes six strong women leaders from the Comox Valley and Vancouver Island, including:

• Alex Bissinger, a Comox Councillor who will speak to her experience being a new mom during a pandemic;

• Rachael Jancowski, NIC student and Comox Valley Transition Society (CVTS) Girls Group peer facilitator who will address the issue of domestic violence.

• Jesse Ketler, a Cumberland councillor and chair of the Comox Valley Regional District who will talk about moms with school-age children;

• Hegus (Chief) Nicole Rempel, of the K’ómoks First Nation, who will speak about social isolation in the community, particularly amongst elders;

• Dianne Hawkins, CEO of the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce who will talk about women in paid work environments; and

• Dr. Charmaine Enns, Chief Medical Officer for Island Health who will offer insights into the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic on women and children;

This free event is co-hosted by the Person’s Day Committee and Comox Valley Transition Society. To register, email Michele Vanderwoude, CVTS communications director and tech host, at Participants must register by Oct. 14 to receive the Zoom meeting details. Donations for emergent needs of women supported by the Comox Valley Transition Society will be much appreciated.

The 2020 lunch is virtual so bring your own food and drink! Invite a few friends within your social bubble, or simply share electronic time and space with a group of strong and talented women. Be prepared to laugh and learn more about “herstory”, while helping support some of the most vulnerable women in the Comox Valley.

For further information, please contact Betty Donaldson at

Comox Valley

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