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Destination Niagara Falls News - March 2020 Featured

Here's our March edition of our Destination Niagara Falls Newsletter. This month, we celebrate International Women's Day! 


Spotlight on Women in Niagara:

This month's newsletter celebrates International Women's Day! We are featuring some of the inspiring women who have made a mark on Niagara and helped shape the community we live, play and work in. 

Pharmacii Snack & Bar
Ashley - Owner
Instagram: @pharmacii_snackbar

Pharmacii Snack & Bar is the latest in St. Catharine’s growing food scene. Tucked away discretely on King Street, Pharmacii’s neon-red sign gives off a soft and inviting glow that promises to “cure you with drinks and food”. With no website, phone number, or reservations, Pharmacii relies heavily on their Instagram page and word-of-mouth from their growing customer-base. Offering a variety of Korean and Asian-inspired bites, inventive cocktails, and a cozy atmosphere that feels like you’ve been invited to a friend’s home for dinner, there are a variety of options to cater to any appetite. Whether you plan on stopping by for a quick drink, or a bite to eat, the quality of food and service will have you coming back time and time again. Ashley and her team have created a unique spot that complements the diverse and thriving food scene that downtown St. Catharines is known for.

My Role Model:

My Mother. I am an immigrant from Korea. Our family travelled a lot, from Korea to Australia, back to Korea, US and Canada. It was never easy to adapt myself to a different school, friends and new people but I'm sure it was also not easy for her to raise us in a new country as a minority. She was a successful women in Korea; but outside of her own country she had to start from scratch and did everything she could to give us better opportunities. Now she is taking a big role in a company. She told me "if nobody recognizes who you are, it means you did not do your best". She did her best and she earned her spot. 

Challenges I've Faced:

Everyday is a challenge for me, but it also means everyday I have different, fun (sometimes stressful) things to do.

Advice I Would Give to Other Women:

I read from a book that everyone gets 3 chances or opportunities in their life. I have no idea when that's going to come to me so I take every chance that I face, hoping this is one of 3 chances. You may have missed one, but it's still have 2 more.

Quote That Inspires Me:

My mom always told me “Time flows at the same speed for everyone, but it is important how you use that time”. I feel like 24 hours are never enough for me to do everything I want to do in a day. I am not special, I am not trying to be better than others, but I always try to do 'my best’ in the time given to me. 

Welland Heritage Council & Multicultural Centre
Janet Madume - Executive Director
Instagram: @WHC_Welland 


Welland Heritage Council and Multicultural Centre welcomes and assists newcomers of various ethnic groups in Welland, and surrounding areas of Port Colborne, Pelham, Wainfleet and Fort Erie. This non-profit organization helps immigrant to overcome challenges of integration and assists them in the development of skills needed to thrive in Canada. With a variety of services from offering emergency shelter, employment solutions, and professional development, the Welland Heritage Council has been an integral part of Niagara’s community. Janet’s work as Executive Director reflects her own personal journey as a newcomer to Canada over 14 years ago; at the time, there were limited resources and options available for pursuing a rich career. Now, with the incredible work and efforts of the Centre, the programs and services that have been developed ensure that Janet and the rest of the team can help others find their way and utilize their skills to lead enriching and fulfilling lives in Niagara.

My Role Model:

My parents, former President Barack Obama, and Michelle Obama.

Challenges I've Faced:

Being accepted as newcomer in this Region, as there was a lack of diversity when I first arrived. It almost felt as if there was a stigma surrounding me because of the colour of my skin.

Advice I Would Give to Other Women:

Keep your head up no matter your challenges. Don't give in - you will pull through in the end.

Quote That Inspires Me:

"So you may not always have a comfortable life. And you will not always be able to solve all the world's problems all at once. But, don't ever underestimate the impact you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own." - Michelle Obama

Niagara Falls Community Health Centre
Laura Blundell - Executive Director

The Niagara Falls Community Health Centre focuses on providing primary healthcare to residents of Niagara Falls through various health promotion programs, outreach programs and services, that are accessed daily by the community. Accessibility, empowerment, and building a strong community through healthcare are at the core of what they do. Laura’s interim role as Executive Director is one that comes naturally to her. She has been with the Centre for over 8 years and is committed to the health of the community. With incredible growth in the past few years including a growing team, expansive list of services providers and partners, and most-recently, the Centre’s 10th anniversary celebration, Laura and the team continue to help patients and vulnerable populations navigate the health-care system.

My Role Model:

Jacinda Ardern and Michelle Obama

Challenges I've Faced:

Balance. I think finding the balance between career aspirations, family, and self-care is crucial for women. 

Advice I Would Give to Other Women:

Surround yourself with strong, passionate women. When I am having trouble seeing my next step, I know I have a group of women friends and colleagues who will both challenge and support me. 

Quote That Inspires Me:

"In the future there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders." - Sheryl Sandberg

Females Who Side Hustle
Sarah Singleton - Co-Founder (pictured left)
@bysarahsingleton @femaleswhosidehustle @saveherseat

Females Who Side Hustle is a community of like-minded women created to support, educate, and empower. Co-founded by Sarah and Teri Canestraro, who connected through their time in Niagara College’s Event Management Program, the idea was inspired by their own experiences “hustling” as they built their careers and navigated the challenges of working full-time jobs and a variety of side gigs. Females Who Side Hustle, also known as “FWSH” by their following, has grown from an idea into a collaborative community of entrepreneurs, working Moms, Wives, Sisters, and Friends, and ultimately - women finding their footing just looking for a network of support. With a newly launched podcast called “Save Her Seat”, an upcoming Real Raw Talks conference in Hamilton, and a series of events aimed at bringing women together, this dynamic duo is ditching competition and encouraging females to lift each other up and collaborate.

My Role Model:

Teri Canestraro - my college professor, turned mentor, now business partner!

Challenges I've Faced:

Walking the line of wanting to prove yourself starting your career at a young age and saying "yes, yes, yes" to too much! Imposter syndrome but also, knowing your worth (and then adding tax)! 

Advice I Would Give to Other Women:

First, reach out. We have millions of connections at the palm of our hands. Use social media to connect with people who inspire you and reach out - a question, a compliment, or a coffee! Get on their radar! 

Second, find a community. Surround yourself with like-minded people that will help you to grow you and your ideas. 

Quote That Inspires Me:

"A glowing woman can help other women glow and still be lit." 


Niagara Falls Tourism
Janice Thomson - President & CEO

Niagara Falls Tourism is a non-profit organization that cultivates and encourages tourism throughout Niagara Falls. Through the development and promotion of Niagara's attractions, restaurants, and businesses, Niagara Falls Tourism creates memorable experiences for visitors and truly makes the Niagara Region a world-class destination.

My Role Models:

My parents were of course my strongest role models, teaching me my basic values and work ethic. I count myself as being very fortunate to have been raised in the family setting I was. Reading was so important to my Mother and she made sure that I could read before starting school at age 4. We emigrated to Canada from Scotland when I was 8, so as a young child I had the challenges and opportunities that result from relocating, making new friends, and fitting into a different culture.

My business role models were leaders and entrepreneurs related to the import automobile industry in Canada. John Mackie, President of Jaguar Canada (who was knighted as Sir John for his contribution to British industry internationally), John Webb, VP of Sales for British Leyland Motors/Jaguar Canada, Vic Doolan, President of BMW Canada (who became President of BMW NA) and automobile dealership owners from across the country who made massive investments in facilities and supported employment of thousands of individuals. Fom these businesspeople, I learned the value of collaboration and staying on top of trends to ensure growth, management of assets, and return on investment in facilities and people.

Transitioning to the tourism industry, this experience was valuable and layered well into working with the personalities of Niagara - those who have created the strong attractions through their own investments, dedicated passion and hard work.

Challenges I've Faced:

I was taught to stay focused and overcome challenges as they arose. Being female in the (at the time) male automotive world was never an issue and I was fortunate to be accepted for my abilities and work ethic.

Advice I Would Give to Other Women:

Make sure you have a clear vision and good understanding of reasonable possibilities for change. For every person that is there to support you, there may be five unwilling to provide support, but keep believing in yourself. Do not have a chip on your shoulder "because you are a woman" - we're all better than that. Be confident and proud. 

Quote That Inspires Me:

"A strong woman is the one who can dare to raise her voice for the cause she believes in, and this strength lives in every woman's heart. It just needs to be searched." 

What's Cook'n Niagara: Feature on Liv @ Café Fifty Four

Photos by LIV @ Cafe Fifty Four

Our feature this month is an independently-owned café in Niagara Falls. Run by Olivia and her friendly and talented team, Cafe Fifty Four offers fresh pastries, gelato, and hot drinks. With a background in baking and pastry arts from France, and experience working within the restaurant industry, Olivia's talent speaks for itself. As soon as you walk in the doors, the smell of fresh coffee and baked goods fills the air.

The atmosphere is warm and inviting, and the treats on display make it almost impossible to decide what to order. With options available for catering, special occasions, custom orders and more, this is sure to be one of your next favourite stops. The cafe sources coffee from some of the best specialty coffee leaders around the globe, and offers home-made gelato from another family-owned business in Niagara. However, it's the "true to its roots" nature and laid-back atmosphere that really makes Cafe Fifty Four stand out.

Located conveniently on Portage Road in the Falls, this is the perfect spot for a quick break. We recommend you order an espresso and one (or two) of the flaky, gooey, butter-tarts.

See our March Events Calendar for more exciting events this month!
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