There’s a new group capturing the hearts and minds of Canadian women, and they call themselves Jewels. These elegant ladies are members of the Crown Jewels of Canada Society. They are a national non-profit organization described as “women dedicated to fun, friendship and support, while uniting women across Canada.”
Jewels gather yearly for a national convention hosted each year by a different Province and throughout the year there are smaller Provincial gatherings or conventions, spa weekends, Jalopy Jaunt Car Rallies, Fashion Shows, elegant teas, pool parties, Murder Mystery parties, lunches in local restaurants and gatherings in member’s homes. It doesn’t matter what they are up to, the one thing you know is that wherever they gather, you’ll hear much laughter and see smiles on their faces. Membership in this organization is just $5.00 per year.
“The Crown Jewels started with a group of ladies in Kelowna, B.C. who wanted very much to create a women’s social network that was truly and totally Canadian,” said Nova Scotia Crown Jewels representative and Board Member Linda Cummings. The Crown Jewels Society of Canada began as a dream in January 2009. In the spring of 2009 Lynda Millard met with a lawyer and by July they had an official name approved by Ottawa. The Society was incorporated as a federal non-profit organization October 1st 2009 and has chapters all across the country.
CJCS is run by its members, each with the right to a vote at the AGM. Each province is represented by a Provincial Representative or has a member who sits on the Board of Directors and is actively involved in the Society and its decision making, representing her Province’s members.
We’re helping women connect with other women across our country, sharing information, offering support, and making new friends from sea to sea. One way women can connect is on the members’ web site where each province and every member has their own web page. There are support groups, craft groups, recipe groups, event groups, a place to share stories and jokes, they can write a blog, and post photos and videos of their activities. They are on Facebook too.
One piece of bling treasured by a select few members is the Founders Club pin. The first 1,200 members proudly wear their rhinestone pin in the shape of a maple leaf. There’s a story behind the design of this pin. All members may wear the Members’ Pin which is similar to the society’s logo, with a rhinestone in the pins crown. The society’s logo was designed by member Jacquie Siedel.
The Crown Jewels rules are simple: 1. Wear something on your head, 2. Wear their colours (red, white and purple), 3. Pay your dues ($5/year) and 4. Have fun! Chapter leaders are referred to as the Queen. Many areas have a Royal Court which brings together all the local Queens for discussion, friendship and planning events. Membership is open to any adult woman and so far it’s been by word of mouth; one friend inviting another to join.
“Every chapter has its own personality.” One group was founded from ladies belonging to a local Newcomers Club, another group in Alberta is formed of I.C.U. nurses who work together, while one is a quilting group and the Aquatic Queens of Leduc, Alberta are members of a local swim club. One member put it simply: “You get to embrace your inner child.”
Women traditionally spend a lifetime taking care of their families, and/or working, but rarely take time for themselves. Millard remembers 30 years ago the day a friend asked her “but what do you do for you?” She says she didn’t get it at the time. She thought her life fulfilled by taking care of her husband and children. Taking time to play seemed selfish. Now that her children have left the nest, she believes there’s nothing selfish about taking time to have fun and spending time with friends. “Women have spent a lifetime taking care of their families, homes, jobs, but all too often forget to take care of themselves. We like to encourage them,” says Millard, to take “me time” –a time out. A large group of members did just that last March when they took some time to enjoy a week cruising and in May 2012 the Jewels are off on another cruise. Every September hundreds of Jewels join together for a long weekend of fun. So far, they’ve had conventions in British Columbia and Manitoba and plans are well under way for the 2012 convention in Saskatchewan to be followed in 2013 in Alberta. Conventions are hosted by a different province each year. “Every friend is a Jewel and every Jewel is precious” says Millard.
You can contact them at: Crown Jewels of Canada Society,P.O. Box 29012, Okanagan Mission RPO,Kelowna B.C. V1W 4N2 or by visiting their website at www.crownjewelsofcanada.com or calling them at 1-855-870-2410.