City event caters to the balance women crave



James Maclennan/for metro ottawa


Marie Lavallee-Fairh of Ottawa gets a free makeover from Sarah Walsh, top, of Estée Lauder at the National Women’s Show yesterday.


As their lives become increasingly busy with careers, families, school and after-work activities, Ottawa women are seeking services that help them cope with stress, live healthier and improve their quality of life, said an organizer of a women’s show here over the weekend.

"There’s definitely a need for these things as women’s lives get busier," said Nicole Cox, vice-president of National Event Management, which produced the seventh National Women’s Show at the Ottawa Congress Centre.

The show — where women could get pampered, relax, enjoy entertainment and discover new products — attracted more than 20,000 people over the snowy weekend.

"There are a lot of professional working women, entrepreneurs and stay-at-home moms. All are equally busy and they’re all here for the same reasons — there’s a need to get out with the girls and have a good time," Cox said.

Some ‘me’ time in March was just what Ottawa’s Lucy Higgs needed.

"This is a day that’s just for me," said Higgs. "No husband, no children. I love them to death, but this is time for me to recover my sanity a little bit."

"It’s important whether you’re a mom or not," said Bonnie Courrier, who attended the show for the fourth year yesterday. "I’m juggling more than one job right now and it’s nice to take the time for yourself."

The show featured hundreds of exhibitors, workshops and demonstrations, many from the Ottawa area. Exhibitors ranged from hair, clothing and jewelry designers to health clubs to spas to organic food producers.

Women could get lots of ideas of how to expand their horizons at the show, said Tracey Vibert, of the Belly Dancing for Fun booth.


  • Judith Cane, a financial planner with Antara Financial Group, said women need financial planning skills because they live an average of 10 years longer than men.