The Searching for Izena: ‘Unwomanly’ Stories of Female Leadership at Edmonton City Hall podcast is co-hosted by Stacey Brotzel and Kim-Ann Wilson. It’s an unflinching, honest and colourful account of the past century and the role women played at Edmonton City Hall and will include interviews and accounts from several of the 13 surviving women councillors and notable Edmontonians, including Olivia Butti and Senator Paula Simons, and will also feature people who have yet to reach city council – even in 2021 – including women of colour and Indigenous women.
New episodes launch every third Tuesday of the month!
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January – Part 1: #30 & #31
To start this political journey, let’s begin right at the end. In 100 years, only 31 women have been elected to Edmonton City Council. In the first episode, you’ll meet #30 (Bev Esslinger) and #31 (Sarah Hamilton) and learn about why they ran and their experiences at City Hall. You’ll also hear from the Searching For Izena project co-chairs YWCA Edmonton CEO Katherine O’Neill and Parity YEG Vice-Chair Rajah Maggay. They will talk about the centennial and why gender parity and representation matters in 2021 more than ever.
Guests: Katherine O’Neill, Rajah Maggay, Bev Esslinger, Sarah Hamilton
February – Part 2: Sex, Tea Parties & Cigarettes
We’re taking you alllll the way back to 1921 Edmonton. Back then, Alberta’s capital city was just a tiny place on the map, still reeling from the effects of a world war and a pandemic. It was also the beginning of the Roaring Twenties and gigantic social changes, including a brand new feminist movement that give birth to our very first female councillor, Izena Ross. In this episode, you’ll also meet our second female councillor, Margaret Crang, who led a wild life that included sex scandals, gun battles and even an International Peace Conference.
But despite both being political trailblazers, Ross and Crang’s stories have largely been lost to history. Why? Our guests Senator Paula Simons and YWCA Edmonton Board Member and former Morinville Mayor Lisa Holmes will unravel that mystery and introduce to two Albertans you won’t soon forget.
Guests: Senator Paula Simons and Lisa Holmes
Stacey has been a staple on Edmonton televisions for decades. The award winning broadcaster has spent her career asking questions and trying to satisfy her constant curiosity. She has interviewed people like Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones, Alan Alda from M.A.S.H. and several Prime Ministers. But her heart is in Edmonton and truly loves to tell the stories of Edmontonians.
Over the years Stacey has put on Spanx and slipped into an evening gown more than a few times to m.c. hundreds of events. She has helped raise millions of dollars for local charities through her community work.
Stacey is a lover of chocolate and wine and is a proud mom of 2 spirited girls and one indifferent ginger cat.
Kim-Ann Wilson is a business owner, public speaker and podcaster, she was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and grew up in England. She has been recognized as 1 of 50 ‘Top to Top Future Woman Leader of Tomorrow’ awarded by HSBC in 2011, and she has also received a commendation from the Department of Foreign Affairs International Trade (DFAIT) of Canada for developing a partnership program between Caribbean Universities and the Government of Canada.
Kim-Ann is the Owner/President of SASS Marketing Agency, a full-service marketing agency in Edmonton that helps entrepreneurs, business owners, and nonprofits to elevate their marketing efforts both online and offline, by creating beautiful, professional and eye-catching marketing materials, that brings astonishing brand exposure.
She is also the co-owner of Quick Fix Property Solutions Inc., a property management company, the co-owner of Eat Jamaican Inc., a Jamaican Food delivery service and the co-host of the podcast show “Da Melanin Queenz”, a show for women that challenges our views on how we treat each other and motivates women to fix their crowns and highlight their royal beauty.
‘Searching for Izena‘ is a project that resonates with Kim-Ann Wilson, historical events that include women and their contribution to society is often overlooked or down-played. The opportunity to shout about the works and quirks of 31 women Councillor is an honor. As a woman of colour and a woman in leadership, she knows the importance of celebrating the accomplishments of other queens, it gives hope to the next generation and inspires the next ‘Izena’ to take action.
She loves traveling with her family, shopping, acting, and anything that makes her laugh.
Her favourite quote is: “If your opinion doesn’t put food on my table, then it’s irrelevant”.
The podcast artwork for Searching for Izena was created by Canadian artist Deanna Bains.
Deanna Bains is a designer & illustrator with a passion for all things curious and playful. She approaches her work as a communication tool, aiming to tell unique stories and amplify voices along the way. In her spare time she can be found with a camera or ice-cream in hand (likely both).