On September 26th, 2018 the west coast launch of stnce, hosted at The Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, was an inspiring evening of networking, speeches and honest discussions about finance — with proceeds going to the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
As the evening began, guests filtered into the lobby of the Star Sapphire Ballroom, where floor-to-ceiling windows teased a view of the harbourfront along with the first hints of autumn. The crowd was welcomed with a pairing of champagne and profiteroles, and a stnce-themed wall backdrop offered some moments of ice-breaking photo shoot fun.
The pleasant mingling gave way to an air of excitement, as guests began to migrate into the elegant ballroom to kick off the evening’s agenda. The space soon filled up with over 150 stncers, as personal finance blogger Krystal Yee (Give Me Back My Five Bucks) set the mood for honest conversations about finance in her role as the evening’s emcee.
Krystal was joined on stage by Kim Kukulowicz (stnce founder and Senior Vice President at EQ Bank), for a fireside chat that proved to be eye-opening and relatable. As Kim shared the evolution of her journey from a small trust company of only four individuals to her current role at a bank with over 650 employees (and growing), the audience gained insights into the challenges that come along with the career-ladder climb. From professional to financial roadblocks and triumphs, conversations about money were openly on the table.
Next in the spotlight was the keynote speaker for the evening, the accomplished and ambitious Manjit Minhas (co-star of CBC’s Dragon’s Den and founder of the 10th’ largest brewery in the world). Her approachable presence on the podium instantly drew in the crowd, and her captivating words formed a keynote address to remember. When it came to encouraging an environment of support with mentorship, Manjit had this to say:
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, it’s an ear to listen, and often a push in the right direction. We all need that, in our personal lives and in our careers. I also strongly believe in giving and receiving mentorship. I know some people always say ‘I’m too young,’ or ‘I’m new in my career or my business and I’m only in the receiving phase,’ but that’s not really true. You’ve already gotten to where you are, and when you give mentorship, you actually learn a lot about yourself, your values, your beliefs, and your mission in life.”
This affirming anecdote served as a reminder that we’re not on this journey alone, and that no matter our profession or background, we can create and access a community of support. And what’s more? The taboo of talking about money fully crumbled after hearing two vastly different personal journeys about asserting both professional and financial independence.
With the audience energized by the candid conversations, the lobby transformed into a dazzling cocktail reception, complete with a bar and hors d’oeuvres that were as pleasing to the eye as the palette. Equal parts networking and casual mingling, business cards were traded and new acquaintances made, capping off a night that invigorated the growing community of stncers.
We’d like to thank our featured speakers and all who attended for making our west coast event such a hit! Your enthusiasm only strengthens our commitment to inspire women to take ownership of their finances with confidence. We’re also thrilled to share that the proceeds from our ticket sales combined for a $4,000 donation to the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Your contribution will go a long way in advancing gender equality in Canada.