International Women’s Day is coming up on March 8 and Prince George’s Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society is celebrating with a gala event on Friday, March 4.

Rosemary Raygada Watanabe, the society’s coordinator of Women and Seniors programs, says the event will honour local women.

“This celebration is to recognize all the women here in Prince George for all the achievements that they have been having in [their] personal lives and professional activities too.”

This year also marks a special anniversary for Canadian women, says Raygada Watanabe.

“This year is the celebration for 100 years of women’s right to vote so we’re celebrating that date too.”

The majority of women in Canada gained the right to vote in federal elections in 1916. Provincial voting rights took longer to be realized – Manitoban women were granted the right in 1916 while women in Quebec were denied until 1940. First Nations women were barred from voting in elections until 1960.

The IMSS gala is also a fundraising event for the society, which is the main organization supporting the 10 Syrian refugee families expected to arrive in Prince George in the next few weeks.

“We are receiving refugees right now so we need to do more activities for all the immigrants and, at this stage, for refugees too.”

The event features keynote speaker MLA Shirley Bond, as well as a silent auction and live entertainment. Each ticket buyer will be entered in a draw to win a flight to Victoria on Pacific Coastal Airlines.

The gala will take place at the Columbus Community Centre on March 4. You can buy tickets to it here.