If you are looking to be inspired this weekend (August 10 and 11) make sure you grab your ticket to attend Elevate.

The two-day event is a unique concept that provides ticket holders an opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities for the whole family. Unlike a typical tradeshow, Elevate can be tailored to each attendee in a very personal way and highlights the role self-care plays both personally and in our interactions with the community as a whole.

The concept of Elevate is simple, shares Marni Richelle the organizer. "If you are elevating yourself, you are elevating our community. It's like the concept of putting the oxygen mask on yourself first before you put the mask on the person next to you on an airplane. You have to take care of your own wellbeing in order for others around you to feel that and gain energy back."

While the two days are very different in nature, they both surround the word 'community'.

Kicking off on Friday evening, five local people will share their personal triumphs and pitfalls in a Ted Talks style speaking engagement, known as 'We Are Cochrane' being held at the Cochrane RancheHouse Theatre. While Richelle knows the general background story of each presenter she is excited to see the impact they have on the crowd. "The people who are speaking, I am so excited about. I want people to walk away feeling the story spoke to them because everyone's story has a way of connecting with your own story."

And, connecting is exactly what day two of Elevate is all about. Not only connecting people with others but introducing them to local businesses that are also looking to make a connection.

Rather than hosting an event where businesses are all housed together, Elevate allows all-access pass holders to pick and choose where and what they would like to focus their time on. A variety of businesses are opening their doors at different times (one-hour time slots) to allow people to check them out in their own space. From fitness classes to cooking to design psychology there is something for everyone. The best benefit is families can all take part at the same time, says Richelle, with a variety of children/youth activities occurring in the time slot. "You can take your own workshop that you are interested in at the same time your kid is taking a workshop they are interested in so everyone wins and everyone is engaged in something. Then you come back together and you might do a class together,  I would like it to be a family affair."

Richelle knows it may take time for the unique concept to catch on but is optimistic as people's understanding and knowledge of the event grows, so will its success. 

Creating community connections is important to Richelle and while she could have waited on the sidelines for an event like this to come to town she decided to take the bull by the horns. Hoping to redefine what community and connection mean is her ultimate goal. "Community is a word that is being thrown around like crazy and I think it is almost becoming a little lost. We're not really grasping what it means to be connecting as a community."

You can find all the information you need for Elevate HERE but Richelle stresses to follow the steps in order when purchasing an all-access pass. Tickets ($15) can be purchased separately for We Are Cochrane but anyone partaking in Saturday sessions will need to pick up a wristband either on Friday night or at opening ceremonies on Saturday morning; a wrap-up party is also scheduled for Saturday night at Half Hitch Brewery. A full list of activities including times and ticket information is available at the above link and the following people will be presenting at We Are Cochrane: Dave Johnson, Cyndy Morin, Reid Kimmett, Art Norris and Heidi Rousseau.

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Elevate Your Personal Health and Wellbeing This August

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