SOURCE: SKIES MAGAZINE
Elevate Aviation’s 2019 Inspire Gala was held in Edmonton, Alta., on Oct. 26, 2019. Eight women who epitomize the word ‘inspire’, while simultaneously holding a lack of regard for the word ‘limit’, were celebrated in tandem with Elevate Aviation’s newfound partnership with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
This was Elevate Aviation’s sixth gala, and with nearly 400 guests in attendance, it was the most successful one yet. The purpose of Inspire is three-fold: to feature eight inspirational women in aviation who have broken barriers to achieve their dreams; to showcase amazing careers that many people don’t even know exist; and for Elevate Aviation to raise funds for national programs, including mentorship, bursaries, tours and the Elevate Aviation Learning Centre.
Elevate Aviation’s mission is to help women thrive and succeed through aviation. The aviation industry is facing massive shortages and by sharing how fantastic a career in aviation can be, it is not only inspiring women to look at the careers for their own economic security but also helping the industry at the same time by introducing the other half of the Canadian population to an industry they have typically never thought of before.
As guests entered the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel lobby, they were greeted with a welcome drink and an invitation to walk through interactive displays of the Elevate Aviation Learning Centre. The displays included trying on fighter pilot gear with the RCAF, creating your very own airplane key chain with Canadian North’s rivet machine, and much more!
Fundraising efforts included wine raffle baskets, close to 100 silent auction items, and a Sparkle and Fly raffle draw with ten chances to win jewelry from Hillberg & Berk and a grand prize of a WestJet gift of flight!
The ballroom doors opened, and the room was buzzing when the sound of a piper filled the room. He made his way to the stage and the lights went dark. Then, the banging of drums filled the air and a drumline of four soldiers captivated the crowd with their performance. The glow from their drumsticks lit the room. This was the kick-off to the evening’s program. The obvious military tribute and presence in the room were to celebrate the brand new official partnership between Elevate Aviation and the RCAF.
Kendra Kincade, Elevate Aviation founder and emcee for the evening, started the show. The program itself profiled eight inspirational women in the form of videos. The videos tell their stories and highlight their careers. This year the crowd heard from senior legal counsel for Nav Canada, a commercial pilot, a fighter pilot, an air traffic controller, a ramp agent, a businesswoman, a citizen scientist-astronaut candidate, and a Royal Canadian Mounted Police helicopter pilot. These women were chosen in January after an application/nomination process took place, and travelled from all across Canada to take part.
Following the program, guests enjoyed delicious hors d’ouerves and fantastic entertainment by a live music duo Cross Parallel, who had guests on their feet all evening.
The breathtaking aviation décor combined with the inspirational messaging and loads of entertainment truly made this gala Canada’s aviation event of the year!