To help this generation of Nova Scotian girls develop, appreciate and celebrate their own abilities and talents and those of other girls and women, to help them to empower themselves, build confidence, and be a positive influence in their communities.

2021 Girls Conference
Girl Power In A Digital World

On Friday, March 5th, 2021 – Mount Saint Vincent University and the Alexa McDonough Institute for Women, Gender, and Social Justice (AMI) will welcome junior and senior high school girls from across the province to the 2021 Girls Conference. To mark our tenth annual conference celebrating International Women’s Day, this year registration is free compliments of Mount Saint Vincent University. The conference will take place during the school day from 10 am – 2 pm.

Young women at the conference will have the opportunity to participate in various workshops and activity sessions which include confidence building, leadership skills, personal and professional growth, and developing stronger minds and bodies. They will also be able to share their ideas and opinions while learning effective strategies for expressing themselves and new ways to explore making a difference in their communities.

Workshop and activity sessions will give young women the opportunity to tell their stories, share their ideas and advice with each other while pushing boundaries in new areas and having some fun in a gathering that is a safe space for girls to explore new horizons and new challenges.

We invite you to watch this year’s virtual keynote performance and address featuring the fantastic musical stylings and inspiring words of Reeny Smith.


Girls Conference Program

SuperNova Dalhousie University LogoThe Wonders of Coding

10:00 am – 10:55 am
Led by Ellen Lewis (SuperNOVA)

Session Description

In this interactive space-themed workshop, participants will create their own webpage game and discover the world of web creation while coding with HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Ellen LewisPresenter

SuperNOVA is a not-for-profit initiative of Dalhousie University that provides youth in Atlantic Canada with fun, educational, and inspiring experiences in science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM).

Through exciting classroom workshops, high-impact clubs and events, and SuperNOVA’s amazing summer camp programs, youth explore the importance of STEM in their lives, interact with inspiring mentors, and develop critical skills and attitudes for lifelong learning.

Indigenous Girls & Allies

10:00 am – 10:55 am
Led by Savvy Simon

Session Description

Savvy SimonThis session will provide an opportunity for Indigenous girls and allies to think about their world views, learn about allyship, and get inspired! Savvy will share her incites and experiences, touching particularly on the ways she has used social media to reach out with her positive messages.


Among her accomplishments, Savvy is the only First Nation to speak on stage in front of 12,000 at WE DAY Halifax, she has been named as one of the Top 40 Female Change Makers in Canada, and she is a popular TedX Speaker. Savvy is a rising star who’s a part of the International Indigenous Speakers Bureau among many accomplished speakers across the world. A single mother of 2 boys, she is creator of the #SpeakMikmaq Language revolution from the Mi’kmaq tribe of Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick, residing in Halifax, NS. Savvy’s approach to sharing positive vibes in a real and authentic way has gained a following of over 45,000. Listen to Savvy and her amazing co-host Roxanne on their podcast Shift The Vibe.

Anti-Oppression & Anti-Racism

11:00 – 11:55
Led by Kate MacDonald (Magic Project)

Session Description

This workshop will explore topics of anti-oppression and anti-racism. Together we will think about how we can apply these frameworks in navigating our lives and the world around us. Kate Macdonald will be facilitating this conversation, but it should be noted that this will be a collective and shared learning space. We can all learn from each other and have important pieces of this work to share. We will be embarking on this conversation on unceded, un-surrendered Mi’kmaq territory.

Kate MacdonaldPresenter

Kate Macdonald was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Kate is proudly African Nova Scotian. She studied Performance Acting at Ryerson University in Toronto, ON. At the end of 2016 with the political climate swiftly changing around her she new her reaction had to be radical. Out of this desire to make change she Founded and Co Created The Magic Project, which focuses on bringing marginalized brilliance to the forefront of social media using the arts. Kate is also a Community Facilitator and Youth Programmer. She hopes to continue creating workshops, holding space for community discussions and empowering youth through celebration. Kate currently works as the Branch Manager at the North Branch Library.

Body Positivity

11:00 – 11:55
Led by: Alicia McCarvell

Session Description

Alicia McCarvellDuring this exciting session, Alicia will share experiences and reflections from her own journey of body positivity. She will offer five fantastic and practical suggestions for how girls (and everyone else!) can learn to love their bodies more. There will be opportunities for delegates to ask questions, and to chime in with their own body-positive thoughts.


Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Alicia uses humour to tackle conversations around body image, worth, and self-love. Sharing everything from workout outlines and dance videos to updates on her relationship with her husband. Alicia hopes to relate, inspire laughter, and break down barriers.


Mental Health/Isolation

12:00 – 12:55pm
Led by: Gillian Roy and Samara Luprypa (Manitoba Sexual Education Resource Centre)

Session Description

This workshop helps youth to understand that we all have mental health and, like our physical health, have to work towards mental wellness. We will explore different ways stress, the impacts of Covid-19, and trauma impact our wellbeing. We will discuss coping strategies, including stress reduction activities, to get through hard times. This workshop highlights resources and supports while emphasizing help-seeking strategies.

Manitoba Sexual Education resource Centre logoPresenter

Sexuality Education Resource Centre (SERC) is a community-based, non-profit, pro-choice organization. We are dedicated to promoting sexual health through education. provides inclusive, non-judgmental education about sexuality. We believe that people have the right to accurate information on all their choices.

LGBTQ+ Youth and Allies

1:00 – 1:55pm
Led by: Maxie Janes (Youth Project Halifax)

Session Description:

Youth Project LogoStrong allies make strong leaders, and allyship is a practice that needs to be grown on purpose. In this workshop, you will learn some basics related to gender and identity, why knowing these things is important, and how you can support those in your life experiencing difficulty related to their gender identity.


Maxie JanesMaxie Janes is the Support Services Educator for The Youth Project, an organization that works to make Nova Scotia a safer, healthier, and happier place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth through support, education, resources expansion and community development. Maxie has a background in community education, organizing, and psychology. Maxie is published in the queer comic anthology Rainbow Reflections, a text designed to bring health information to the masses in an accessible context. They obtained their Bachelor of Science from Acadia University in 2017 and are currently working on an MA in Counselling Psychology through Yorkville University.

How the Virtual Conference Will Work

Depending on the COVID-19 restrictions in place in individual schools, the girls will join the conference from their regular classrooms or spaces their schools have designated for delegates. They will need:

–        A device with video, audio, and microphone capabilities such as a tablet, or laptop/computer

–        Headphones for their device

A text-navigator will be present in each workshop to ensure chat messages from delegates who may be joining from their classrooms are communicated to workshop leaders.


Individual delegates and groups are required to complete the registration form.

There is no registration fee for this conference and there is no limit to the number of girls that can register. Once registered students will receive an email confirmation the week of the conference along with the virtual workshop link.

Registration will close on Sunday, February 28th at 11:55 pm. Any request to register after the closing date should be sent to girlsconference@msvu.ca

*The young women should use an email account they monitor regularly to ensure they have access to the workshop link. *

Please email girlsconference@msvu.ca if you have any questions.