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Women’s only conference taking shape

Registration is still going strong for the inaugural Every Woman in the World Conference in Whistler, a three-day health and fitness retreat that takes place from July 30 to Aug. 1.

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Organized by Every Woman in the World Events and Impact Activities, the conference was created to bring women together to share skills and experiences through activities as diverse as yoga, dance and mountain biking. The theme is Celebration of Movement.

"We’ve been ecstatic about the registration, the response from women has been overwhelming," said Kerri Kanuka-Carlson, the founder of the conference.

"Not just from participants. Women with all kinds of different skills are coming out of the woodwork to teach workshops for us. It’s getting bigger all the time."

There are 16 different workshops over three days for $79, and complete packages are available that include accommodation. Some of the workshops cost extra when equipment rentals are necessary, and there are also tickets to special events like the Saturday night dinner at La Rúa.

All of the workshop leaders are certified and are volunteering their time to keep costs down for participants. They view the conference as a chance to introduce women to new activities that they might want to continue to pursue in the future, says Kanuka-Carlson.

The list of instructors includes:

Asmira, a world class dance teacher and award winning choreographer who teaches at her own school of belly dancing in Victoria;

Peggy Clarkson, a registered clinical counselor and registered art therapist;

Kate Douglas, a massage therapist with experience in Swedish massage, neuromuscular therapy, trigger point therapy, facial release, hydrotherapy, sports massage and lymph drainage;

Yoga and body rolling instructor Nicole Duke;

West Coast native story teller Carolyn Hachey;

Former competitive runner and coach Lynn Kanuka-Williams;

Dryland circus trainer Trapezista Ruby, who is also a technical coach for Cirque de Soleil;

Gymnastics instructor Tami Ross;

Hip hop dance instructor Taryn Wagman, and;

Meditation guru Jenny Young.

The weekend begins on Friday morning (July 30) at 10 a.m. with a light group jog and stretch.

At 2 p.m. there will be a Spontaneous Art workshop, followed by yoga at 4 p.m. and meditation at 5 p.m.

Participants will then be treated to some native story telling before Herbal Bliss gives a presentation on teas. The day ends with wine and cheese at a welcome reception.

On Saturday morning at 8 a.m. participants will have a choice between yoga, Yamuna body rolling and pilates sessions.

After breakfast participants can sign up for an introduction to mountain biking ($25 for bike rental) or canoeing down the River of Golden Dreams ($49 for boat rental and shuttle). There will be a presentation on nutrition at lunch, or participants can take some free time.

After lunch it’s one session after another, starting with belly dancing at 2 p.m., hip hop dancing at 3 p.m. and a massage therapy workshop at 4 p.m. Strip Aerobics has also been added to the schedule at a time to be announced.

The Celebration of Movement Dinner wraps up the day at 7 p.m. at La Rúa.

Sunday gets underway with walking, jogging and running clinic at 9 a.m., followed by a self-defence karate class at 11 a.m.

Whistler Gymnastics is hosting a dryland circus training and gymnastics workshop at noon.

At 2 p.m. participants can choose between a pick-up game of soccer or ultimate, or horseback riding for an additional $60.

The outdoor courses will take place in and around Whistler, and the indoor courses will be held in the Summit Lodge, which is the host hotel.

"We tried to get a good balance of activities so it’s not go, go, go all weekend because we want the women who take part to try as many different workshops as possible," said Kanuka-Carlson. "We want people to come away energized."

She says she wants to make the Every Woman in the World Conference an annual event, with different themes every year. Although physical activities will always be a part of the conference, next year the theme will be contemporary culture with workshops on languages, sign language, photography and gourmet cooking.

You can learn more about Every Woman in the World at www.everywomanintheworld.com.

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