Southcentre Mall celebrating women through the month of March
CALGARY -- International Women's Day is March 8 around the world, but at Calgary's Southcentre Mall, it's Women's Day every day this month.
That's because the popular shopping mall is dedicated to empowering women and championing gender equality year round. Mall marketing manager Alexandra Velosa said Southcentre is celebrating women's achievements throughout March.
"We have so many amazing women in our city that we want to celebrate that," said Velosa. "We just have like a small sample of this in our mall."
In honour of Women’s Day this year Southcentre has invited three emerging female artists to create mural artwork for shoppers to enjoy when they visit the mall.
Three new installations will showcase work from Jessica Armas known for her colourful contemporary intuitive art, Viviana Pacheco, a self-taught painter specializing in the meeting of expressionism and impressionism and Shelley Rose May who is a mixed-media artist of Cree and Scottish descent known affectionately as ‘The Métis Mama’.
Armas's mural features massive butterfly wings that she said represents something women need to put on every single day to go out and face life. She enjoys candidly watching people interact with her art.
"It's incredible," said Armas. "It's really rewarding for an artist to see how people enjoy your work, how they appreciate it and how they feel it, I think if they feel it like I feel it as well, that's the best reward ever."
On the flip side of each mural will be another interactive graphic design celebrating one of the three female entrepreneurs. Velosa said the mall goes the extra mile to support women starting their own business in a number of ways.
"We help them with everything they need before they open their business here," said Velosa. "So from design and merchandising and marketing and social media, everything we can do for them to help them spread the word about their business and the services they offer, we are always in for that."
Jenny Torres works for her mom Cindy Miron who owns Ao-Ta Beauty Salon. Miron is one of the featured entrepreneurs who opened her business at Southcentre in 2014. Torres is proud of her mom and will honour her March 8.
"Women's Day means a celebration to celebrate us and our accomplishments," said Torres. "In the beauty industry it gives us the opportunity to give confidence and support to other women in order to strengthen our community."
The art installations are also showcased online to provide virtual access for guests who prefer not to visit the mall physically.