YES! Vancouver: 2016 Year in Review

By Erika Schiller  /  

#DressforSuccessVancouver, #GirlBoss, #Networking

January is the perfect time to reflect. Yes, it’s a fresh start, but it’s also a time to set goals based on what was achieved last year. It’s a time for health, introspection, and learning. We are doing our annual review and decided to share our top seven highlights from 2016, which were all possible because of you!

Goals and Gears at Spin Society

When/Where: February 2nd, 2016 @ Spin Society

Hashtag: #YESxSS

Sponsors: SPUD & Just Juice

Funds Raised: $1,345

We had a strong start to 2016 with a spin class and goal-setting session with the unbelievable, ClassPass-favorite instructor Lucy Ulmer, at Spin Society. With snacks sponsored by SPUD and refreshments from Revel Juice, we were set to have one heck of a ride! Post one 30-minute, sweat-crazed class, Lucy talked to us about her journey and how she had set herself up to accomplish some of her biggest goals. She encouraged us to take risks and to say yes or no, not maybe! What an amazing way to start the year, thanks again to our wonderful perks partner Spin Society for helping us start the year off right!

Dress For Success Vancouver Open House

When/Where: March 23rd, 2016 @ Dress for Success Vancouver

Hashtag: #YESxDFS

Sponsors: Sciué & Diabolica Wines

Funds Raised: $940

This was an amazing opportunity to show our community the BTS on the organization we do it all for: Dress for Success Vancouver. Our attendees received tours of the office (while sampling Diabolica Wine and delicious Sciué appies!) and the space where Dress for Success Vancouver helps their clients feel amazing, and the night was sealed with inspirational words from Dress for Success Vancouver advocates Natalia Venida and Michelle Reid as well as DFS Director, Jennifer Halinda – everyone went home feeling inspired, motivated and driven to help them make an even greater impact on our community!

Just Leap: An Evening of Inspiring Stories from Three Women Who Risked It Big

When/Where: April 25th, 2016 @ Hootsuite

Hashtag: #YESxJustLeap

Sponsors: Scuié, Cartems Donuts, RISE Kombucha & Diabolica Wines

Funds Raised: $7,000

We had big goals for our spring Signature Speaker Series, so we approached some of the most inspiring women in our community to share their stories about how they risked it big to achieve their goals. This heavy-hitting panel included Keighty Gallagher, Owner and Founder of Tight Club Athletics, Erin Treloar, Founder of RAW Beauty Talks and Tori Holmes, Founder of Nectar Juicery – talk about #girlbosses! Held at Hootsuite and hosted by one of YES! Vancouver’s alumni, Candice Charleton, it was an unforgettable evening of inspiring stories, thoughtful questions and empowerment. It was by far our most successful event of the year: the greatest number of new members added to our tribe, the hashtag #YESxJustLeap was trending on Twitter in Vancouver, and we succeeded in raising the most money at a single event – $7,000! A huge thank you to our speakers, Hootsuite, Diabolica Wines, Rise Kombucha, Scuié for catering, Cartems for the sweet treats and to all of our silent auction sponsors for making it so memorable.

Check out more on this event by searching the hashtag #YESxJustLeap on Instagram!

YES & Yoncé: Get In Formation – Members-Only

When/Where: June 27th, 2016 @ The Dance Centre with RSVP 33

Hashtag: #YESxYonce

Sponsors: Melu Juice, Vega, Red Bull

Funds Raised: $525.00

You know what Queen Bey says, ’A diva is a female version of a hustler’ and we wanted to show our hustlers a good time. How did we do it? We threw a members-only dance class hosted by the insanely talented crew at RSVP 33. After an energetic warm up, we were right into choreography to everyone’s favourite, ‘Drunk & In Love’. There was a constant stream of laughter and at the end of the class, everyone was handing out high fives to congratulate each other on their hard work. We finished off the evening with delicious juice from Melu Juice, and awesome swag bags filled with Vega products and Red Bull. Thank you to all of our sponsors and to all our amazing members for sharing their inner Sasha Fierce with us on the dance floor!

YESxMentors: Go Beyond Networking

When/Where: September 27th, 2016 @ HiVE Vancouver

Hashtag: #YESxMentors

Sponsors: Sweet Lemon Catering & Diabolica Wines

Money Raised: $3,005

We love trying new things so we thought, why not turn our annual speed networking event into a speed mentoring event? To start, we gathered 16 incredible business women from around Vancouver who we knew would have insight and experience to share with our attendees. These ladies came from all industries including television and media, hospitality and restaurant, digital marketing and PR, pharmaceutical, retail and more – there was someone for everyone!

Set up at The HiVE in Gastown, we were able to provide our mentees with the opportunity to get some serious face-time with our impressive line up of mentors. They were able to ask questions about their careers, personal life, goals – nothing was off the table! The mentees spoke with their chosen set of mentors and when the whistle blew, they were sent to a new table with a new mentor. At the end of the evening, we had both mentors and mentees explain to us how beneficial this night was and had only wished it were longer! (Don’t worry, we have taken note for 2017!) A huge thank you to Telnaz from Sweet Lemon Catering who provided us with delightful h’ors d’oeuvres and to Diabolica Wines for the vino.

Giving With Style: A YES! Holiday Soiree at The Latest Scoop

When/Where: November 30, 2016 @ The Latest Scoop Gastown

Hashtag: #YESxScoop

Sponsors: Peqish, BRUSH Salon & Diabolica Wines

Money Raised: $3,765

Well, we definitely ended 2016 on a high note! Selling out at over 100 tickets, #YESxScoop was a holiday soirée featuring a fashion show and shopping spree at everyone’s favourite pop up shop, The Latest Scoop in Gastown. We were honoured to have author and two-time Olympian, Krista Guloien, emcee the evening, and renowned singer and makeup artist, Kimberly Caldwell, speak as our DFS Vancouver ambassador. Alongside the amazing team at BRUSH Salon, Kimberly also prepped our models for their catwalk debut with glamorous makeup and her tips to look like a pro.

To really get everyone in the holiday spirit, we had fresh and festive tunes provided by ultra-babe, DJ Nat Morel. An enormous thank you to Deb and the team at The Latest Scoop for being incredible hosts and for for donating 10% of their sales to our fundraising efforts! Another special thank you to our catering sponsor, Peqish, for providing us with the most (delicious) food we have ever seen at one event, Diabolica Wines for our favourite red and white, and to all of our silent auction sponsors.

Dress For Success 2016

We are happy to report that Dress for Success helped over 1,000 women experience their Career Centre program (2016 graduates pictured above!) and 620 women found employment since their first visit in 2016. If you want to come out to Dress for Success’ next event, the Shop for a Cause sale will be happening on February 25th, 2017! Last year’s Shop for a Cause events raised over $70,000.

Total Funds Raised by YES! Vancouver: $24,000

At the beginning of the year, the YES! Vancouver committee gathered to discuss our goals for the year. We collectively agreed that we want to shake things up across the board – membership, events, communications, everything! However, the biggest and most daunting goal we discussed was our annual fundraising goal for Dress for Success Vancouver. We decided to up the ante by $5,000 from last year, bringing our goal to a round $20,000. And it seems that our efforts paid off! In 2016, we beat our already impressive $20,000 goal by more than $4,000 – wow! This is a feat that we cannot take all the credit for – this is something we share with you, our supporters. So, thank you for being a part of our tribe and helping make a difference in our community.

We’ve got big things to celebrate in 2017… Did you know that YES! Vancouver is turning 10 this year? To stay up to date on our upcoming events, parties and other news, subscribe to our newsletter and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group!

Thanks for a great year everyone – we’re ready for 2017!

Photography credits: Grace Gadston, Marley Anthony