The Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre is reaching into the past as it prepares to celebrate International Women’s Day.

The centre will be hosting a Head Over Heels High Tea at the Holiday Inn on March 10. Julie Crouse, executive director at the centre, says the event is a great way to honour and highlight the accomplishments of women.

“It’s based on the historical idea of bringing women together in the afternoon for tea,” said Crouse. “We felt it was the perfect way to put the focus squarely on International Women’s Day. It’s bringing a concept that has traditionally represented strong women of the past together with strong women of the present and future.”

International Women’s Day is on March 8. However, the centre felt holding the event two days later, on a Friday, was a better fit.

Now the hope is those planning on attending will embrace the concept and go all out. That means getting dressed up just like the women of the past would when they came together for tea.

“It’s meant to be fun but it also pays homage to those who have come before us and paved the way,” said Crouse. “Having said that, we’re hoping women will break out that elegant dress in their closet with the old-school fascinators or a big hat. The sky is really the limit for this event.”

In the past, the Holiday Inn has played host to the Women’s Day Soiree over the past five years as a way to celebrate International Women’s Day. Crouse was pleased to see the hotel wanted to continue its tradition of celebrating women by hosting the high tea.

Before tea is served, a number of vendors will be set up in the room. The idea is women can do a little shopping before sitting down for tea. Suzette Cameron, events co-ordinator at the Central Nova Resource Centre, says the tea will be a sit down function which is a bit different than the Women’s Day Soiree.

“In previous years, it was a mix and mingle type event,” said Cameron. “This year, we’re going to do the mix and mingle with a bit of shopping before and then the tea will happen afterward.”

The event will also feature several special guests. They include Dee Dooley of the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre and Halifax YWCA. In 2016, she was presented with a prestigious Governor General’s award.

The award is designed to recognize individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the goal of equality for women and girls in Canada.

“Dee Dooley is a passionate community leader, educator, volunteer and advocate for social justice and equality for women and girls. She has demonstrated her commitment over the past decade through her dedicated efforts to develop programs with children, youth, and marginalized populations,” her award bio stated.

Colette Robichaud with Organize Anything will be providing a lesson on proper etiquette. Prior to opening her consulting companies, she honed her etiquette and protocol skills in the hospitality industry serving celebrities, politicians and dignitaries and has trained at the Protocol School of Palm Beach.

“We think the women in attendance will really have some fun with the lesson from Colette,” said Crouse. “We believe learning proper etiquette just ties into the whole concept of a high tea.”

Terry Francis has gone from enjoying a quiet moment with a cup of tea, to sharing how to make a great cup of tea. Now, the Steeped Tea representative will provide women in attendance with some tips so they too can make a great cup of tea.

The afternoon will be rounded out with a fashion shoe show. Women are automatically entered into the contest, which rewards the sexiest and most sensible shoe when they purchase a ticket.

Proceeds from the women’s high tea will help support the Girl Power program which is put on annually by the Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre. Girl Power is a chance for girls to come together to explore issues that impact them growing up in today’s world. Girls who enroll in the program are given the opportunity to explore non-traditional roles, meet positive role models and learn and develop positive coping mechanisms to help them overcome their barriers as well as have fun.

“We’re trying to raise funds so we can do a really solid Girl Power program,” said Crouse. “Ideally, I would love it if these camps were fully subsidized. I don’t know if that’s going to happy. At this point, we have subsidies for 10 girls. That is great, but I’d love to see us have enough for 100 girls, which is actually our target for this year’s camp.”

Only 200 tickets are available for the Head Over Heels High Tea. They’re available for purchase at www.eventbrite.ca or by visiting the Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre, located at 82 Esplanade.