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100 Women - SPARKing Impact

By Charmaine Hammond, Author, Speaker and Executive Producer

At Raise a Dream I always say "It takes a team to raise a dream" and "if its not fun, it probably won't get done." When I got the email telling me I was one of 100 women Entrepreneurs in Canada to be accepted for the Banff Spark Accelerator program I must admit, I read it twice (second time much slower to breathe it in), pinched myself, then did a happy dance.

Seeing our 100 faces on the back of Playback Magazine and in press releases that got picked up by many outlets it got real! I had lots of hope for the program, such as learning from experts in the film industry, building relationships, experiencing the Banff Media and Film Festival and being part of a community.

What I had not anticipated was how quickly this cohort of incredible women entrepreneurs would become a community of women supporting one another, being champions for each other (and their projects) , sharing resources and, bridging connections to influencers. Learning together, sharing and growing together!

One of the cohort members set up a Facebook group for us to communicate and stay connected. Another started a What's App group for us to connect in real time, which was hugely valuable as well at the 2022 Banff World Media Festival so we could connect and meet each other in person. Another started a shared document for us to share contact info, ideas and resources. The list goes on and on with examples of collaboration, support and being champions for one another. I continue to be inspired by the projects the cohort is working on and the positive impacts being made in the world!

The film and media industry is one that has often been described as competitive, however, with this group I see collaboration. In a world where people have felt isolated over the past few years, I am part of this community and as we all navigate through these times we are living in, I see resilience and resourcefulness in this cohort. We only just met in March online when our program began. You can only Imagine how the spark of creativity and collaboration was when we met in Banff in June. I think it's pretty safe to say that with this cohort...SPARKS will continue to fly.


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