With International Women's Day around the corner, Innisfil mother and founder of Mother-Daughter Empower Tara Filteau is encouraging young girls to send in their applications for the annual 'She's Got Talent' contest.
Submissions are now being accepted until the beginning of April for girls aged seven to 14 who have a special talent, whether it be singing, dancing, painting, acting, or any other individual interest. Winners of the contest will get to showcase their talents at the annual conference in May in Vaughan.
Nominations are also being accepted for the organization's annual 'Empower Girl of the Year' awards and conference. The top nominees are then invited to the annual Mother-Daughter Empower conference being held in Vaughan at the end of May, where one of them will be named 'Empower Girl of the Year'.
"Those are really girls who are making a difference in their schools, families and communities," said organization founder and Innisfil resident Tara Filteau. "It's really exciting."
"We really encourage girls to nominate themselves," said Filteau, but says anyone can submit a nomination, whether it be a sibling, parent or grandparent.
"Girls deserve to be celebrated in all aspects and areas, and that's what we try to highlight," said Filteau.
The 2022 Empower Girl Nominees will get bonus points for also entering the talent contest.
Mother-Daughter Empower was started by Filteau three years ago after she ran in the 2018 municipal election.
Despite not winning, Filteau said she was inspired to launch Mother-Daughter Empower after having her daughter Sophia, who was eight at the time, attend many of her campaign events with her. The organization aims at boosting young girls’ leadership and empowerment and creating mother-daughter bonding experiences.
Before creating Mother-Daughter Empower, Filteau said she had trouble finding female-empowerment events for girls under the age of 13 years old.
"There's nothing I could find that we could attend together," said Filteau.
"If we can't find it, we'll create it," she thought.
Mother-Daughter Empower hosts annual conferences, workshops, and retreats for mothers and daughters.
Mother-Daughter Empower has grown over the years, with just over 1,000 members from all across the country. Last year, their annual event went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year, Filteau is excited to be able to meet with the women person.
Recently, Filteau launched a podcast, with tips, tools and resources for raising the next generation of girls.
"Our girls are growing up in a world that's far different than the one we grew up in, and we find the podcast is an easy way for moms to plug it into the car to get these tips and tricks," she said. "It's been fun, lots of work, but really fun."
Filteau has three children, aged 11, seven and four.
"There's never a dull moment," she said.
Filteau and her family moved to Innisfil seven years ago, from North York. Filteau is originally from Montreal but has lived in Ontario for the past 14 years.
To learn more about the organization, visit their website here.