Rouge River Community Centre, Markham, ON


Business Casual Dress Code


The #52Strong Gala is a celebration of female leaders from across the country with various different types of leadership experiences. It is an opportunity for us to recognize our #52Strong featured women and bring them into a space together. It is also an opportunity for young female athletes to meet role models and have meaningful conversations with them. As we conclude our 2018 #52Strong Campaign, we will also be announcing next year’s campaign…


This is not your traditional gala. All participants will have the opportunity to engage, interact, work as a team, reflect and much more! There will be lots of fun activities for all to participate in! It is a safe and welcoming environment for all participants to share their stories and experiences.


A few notable #52Strong Leaders include:

Janis Cookson  Manager of Sport/Development and PanAm Centre, ex-National Softball player, Softball Hall of Famer

Diana Drury  Director of MBA/Master Coaching programs at Queen’s , multi-sport athlete, Canadian Colleges Athletics Association Hall of Fame, ex-Queen’s University women’s hockey coach

Melissa Carty – Detective Constable, ex-varsity field hockey player, local community coach

Andrea Beneteau – First female Fire Captain in Markham, basketball referee, ex-varsity basketball player



*Light snacks and refreshments will be provided*


What is a Conversation Café?
A Conversation Café is a space set up for intentional conversations with people. All participants will be divided up into smaller groups to have conversations through different formats about specific topics at their table. After a designated time, participants will rotate to another group to have an opportunity to talk to new people and a new topic. During each rotation, facilitators will be introducing new topics or new challenges each table will be asked to discuss or accomplish.
Closing Keynote

Pam Danis from Big Country Athletics

Pam Danis is a former basketball CIS star, winning 3 National Championships with the University of Winnipeg. She also represented Canada at the Jones Cup. Pam has had an illustrious coaching career as the Head Women’s basketball coach at the University of Manitoba for 11 years, where she was also a faculty member in the faculty of Kinesiology. For 3 of those years, she was the President of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. As an educator and mother, Pam is passionate about the role women play in our world and often finds herself advocating for women through sport and active living.

*Community Members are encouraged to join us at 3:30pm for our Closing Keynote. FREE for community members to attend*

Lead Thru Sport will be donating to Holiday Helpers this Holiday season! Holiday Helpers is a registered charity whose mission is to provide a one-time personalized Christmas package to low-income families with young children who are trying to improve their circumstances. Their goal for 2018 is to deliver Christmas to 600 GTA Families!


Please join us in giving back and come to the #52Strong Gala with an item to donate to Preteen-Teens. Click the link to see a list of items: Holiday Helpers Item List for Preteen-Teen