International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

For the second time, the Cochrane Public Library is sponsoring a special three-hour celebration on Saturday, Mar. 9 at the Links of GlenEagles, featuring many keynote addresses on women's issues.

Speaking at the event will be Gem Munro, co-executive director of the Amarok Society, Okotoks music sensation Michela Sheedy and representatives from Big Hill Haven, who will be providing an update on working being done to establish a women’s shelter here.

Lunch will be provided and tickets are free with a library membership. Registration can be completed online or at the library. Tickets can be picked up at the front desk of the library, 405 Railway St. W.

Andrea Johnston, community outreach and program librarian, says they are thrilled to sponsor this event every other year.

"A couple of years ago we had some incredible speakers and this year we’re just as excited about our keynotes," says Johnston.

Gem Munro"We really want to bring the community together to talk about women’s issues in Cochrane and how we can support one another, how we can inspire one another. The focus of the day is to get those really important conversations to happen."

The Amarok Society is more than just an international charity: it’s an international coalition of devoted supporters and courageous women who, every day, defy the immediate threats of prejudice, intolerance and extremism in order to learn and then teach the children of their communities, and, subsequently, deny extremists the unreasoning support and blind obedience absolutely necessary to their success.

Gem Munro, also a bestselling author and visual artist, is known as a powerful speaker on peacebuilding, human rights, education and international development.Michela Sheddy

Michela Sheddy is fast becoming known for adding a steely edge to the country music scene. Besides speaking at the function she may well perform a song or two. Most recently, she was named grand prize winner of Global Canada's Country Star Search that follows a string of other achievements by this rising star.

Interested people are encouraged to reserve their tickets by Friday, Mar. 8. If any remain they will be available at the door on the day of the event. A library card entitles you to reserve up to four tickets.

"It’s going to be a really inspiring, incredible day and we just hope that Cochranites and Rocky View County residents can come out and celebrate with us," says Johnston. 

More information can be found at cochranepubliclibrary.ca.

This year's international theme--#BalanceforBetter--brings to the forefront a call to action to accelerate gender parity.

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