After 20 years, Stardale Women’s Group holds their first annual gala!


The Stardale Charity Gala was a fabulous event! So many great things were happening and #EmTV was proud to be a witness of it all. 

Once again, we were there supporting a local initiative as a proud and grateful Media Sponsor!

This first annual event was held on May 12 at Spolumbo’s Fine Foods & Deli…What an interesting venue! One you would never think to host an event there, but surprisingly, the organizers made it work really well. Ridding the venue of its deli tables and chairs for the evening turned Spolumbo’s into a beautiful setting for the entertainment that was about to ensue. We were in for a wonderful treat! 

Local entrepreneur, now turned LA based events marketing firm, Madflower Creative Group was part of the events team who put it all together. Madflower owner, Nico Bacigalupo came back to his native town from sunny California after being missing in action for the past 6 years in order to witness his masterpiece. He teamed up with Stardale’s Event Manager Michella Klyne in order to put together an unforgettable evening.

To start the night off, DJ Armin Hammer set the ambiance and created the energy needed in order to make for a positive evening. Live performances from local singer/songwriter Bobby Soul took the stage, along with talented guitarist, Oscar Lopez.

What a great way to get the party started!

So many guests were in attendance, including a variety of media personnel and local celebrities, such as: Jill Maria Robinson from I’m Here With Magazine,  Sam Dassouki and his team from the award winning hair salon, Hair Booth and Liz Nandee from Basic Black Designs, local interior designer who’s past clients include Oprah. As always, Camilla Di Giuseppe from CTV Calgary was our most gracious and beautiful host and she took the stage with local VJ Host & Emcee, Taylor McNallie. Even other local not-for-profits, such as Cheryl Alcove, Executive Director of Alcove Addiction Recovery for Women, came out to support the first annual event Stardale Charity had to offer. 

And that’s not all. National comedian, Kris Labelle took the stage and received a ton of laughs and acclaim for his talent of being a funny man. What’s more, his 9 year old son, Dominic showed off his talent and sure lived up to his status of being the youngest comedian in Calgary! The apple sure does not fall far from the tree. Everybody LOVED this father and son team!

As the night went on, it was wonderful to witness the empowering and uplifting attitudes of those around me. It was interesting to hear that although this was their first annual event, Stardale Women’s Charity has been around for 20 years! Wow!

Upon speaking with Helen McPhaden, Executive Director & Founder of Stardale, she states, “Alberta has been going through some difficult times the last year and a half. One of our ladies who volunteers with Stardale, Michella Klyne said, what can we do to help raise dollars because we lost over 2/3 of our funding and had some big cutbacks, but the needs were continuing to rise. So, Michelle suggested we do a gala. So, here we are.”

So what does Stardale Women’s Group do, you may ask? Stardale Women’s Group started in Saskatchewan 20 years ago after Mrs. McPhaden recognized a need. Stardale’s mission is to provide life skills and literacy education, as well as advocacy to women living in poverty and abusive situations.

The group is for indigenous girls ages 10-17 years old in order to empower their self-esteem while learning useful life skills, such as cooking in a fun and creative workshop environment. 

“This is a place for the girls to feel safe. There’s unconditional love for them and they can learn all these great skills,” states McPhaden.

The highlight of the evening was the Stardale Fashion Show.

Over 10 girls, ages 10-18 strutted their stuff in gorgeous looks provided by local boutiques, Apt 22 and Cody and Sioux. “A majority of the girls have never been in heels,” McPhaden exclaims. “We even had to do a calling on Facebook looking for heels because they didn’t have any.” Well, those who were in attendance at the gala can surely agree with me, heels or not, the girls rocked the catwalk! The looks of confidence these girls possessed made the night. It was incredibly empowering and inspiring to witness how they truly owned the catwalk and strutted their stuff in order to celebrate what they accomplished. Beautiful!

Have a look at our newest segment on #EmTV where our Producer, DJ Perez, captures the highlights, the empowerment and the smiles at Stardale Women’s Group’s 1st Annual Gala:

There is so much more to say about this empowering organization and what they do for the local community, but I will end with this. Search your hearts and find out how you can help your community. A simple act or a simple gesture can be enough to change the world that you live in. 

For more info on how you can show your support for Stardale Women’s Group, please visit their website or contact them via phone (403) 243-6615 or email at 

We look forward to seeing you at their 2nd Annual Event in 2018!


“What empowers me is a calling in life. I have a deep faith and I can relate to what these girls are going through. I just want to help the best I can, because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t know what else to do.”
~ Helen McPhaden, Executive Director & Founder – Stardale Women’s Group

Thank you for reading and watching another segment on Empower Media!

Stay Empowered,
Lis & DJ


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