Monica is very excited to be speaking at the Vermillion Women’s Conference on May 7th with her speech “Dance to the Beat of Your Own Drum”:
Through music and her own brand of humour, Monica takes the audience on a magical mystery ride and exposes the personal beliefs that keep us clinging to safe routines, bad habits, and dis-empowering attitudes. Once she has ‘shone a light’ on the truth of who we are as human beings, she inspires participants to move forward in their lives by embracing change.
In December Monica led a workshop with 120 students Grades 7-9 at J.C. Charyk in Hanna, Alberta. Read below for more detail:
This past weekend at the Royal Oak Inn in Brandon, the 2005 Direct Farm Marketing Conference challenged farmers to “think outside the box” to find new ways of generating income. The conference attracted over 130 participants to an inspiring two days of motivational speakers and direct farm marketers who have seen their business soar. This was far from a normal conference. The first speaker was Monica [Knight], a wild, wacky personality full of color, music and dance. This strange lady proudly proclaimed that she is a Prairie girl. She lives in rural Saskatchewan near Gravelbourg. An accent reveals her true roots in South Africa, and her message is “shosholoza”, meaning “move on”. Dancing as she talked, [Knight] used mostly African music, peppered with Paul Simon and the Canadian band Trooper. She warned the crowd she didn’t have a PowerPoint presentation and proclaimed, “If it’s a problem, take a tranquilizer”. The message set the tone for her witty and thought-provoking presentation. Without saying as much, she made it clear that if a venture needed a grant or subsidy, it wasn’t worth doing. She preached that energy, enthusiasm and fun were ingredients that could make a business idea come to fruition. She had no room for naysayers, telling of her own experiences coming to Canada with her teaching qualifications from South Africa and being informed that she wasn’t qualified. Donning a tribal mask, shield and spear, she said “so I went down to the Mayor’s office to complain.” Her teaching methods were nothing like the norm, but her messages were extremely powerful and emotional. Referencing a Trooper song, she said, “we’re here for a good time, not a long time,” and encouraged the crowd to have a good time. When people in small towns wonder why the children are leaving, [Knight] said “they’re not having any fun.” If the argument is “that’s the way we used to do it” or, “it was good enough for us,” [Knight] then says “shosholoza” (move on). Of course, she was preaching to the converted. Throughout the day, if became apparent that these farmers had already realized the changing times and wanted to do something about it. In this crowd were rural people who were looking for a side business and farmers who had taken their farm a step further to remarkable success…
Monica was very excited to deliver a Keynote with her speech “Feet Firmly Planted in Midair” at the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Association of Alberta’s “Power of Prevention” Conference in Edmonton on November 14, 2014. As the final Keynote of a three day conference, Monica’s desire was to leave the crowd of 350 revitalized and inspired to produce “diamonds on the soles” of their shoes. She did her “thing”, dancing, motivating, and lighting a fire inside FCSS with her “Monica-isms”.
Monica has worked with the Hanna Rural Alberta Business Centre and Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation since August, coaching and facilitating the creation of a new Cluster using “Thrive in a Hive” (see Monica’s renowned Painting the Barn Red workshop). Two leadership groups were formed in February to contribute to the creation of Hanna’s third Hive: Railtown, which is based on Hanna’s unsung treasures: the Roundhouse & Turntable.
Monica is always willing to do what it takes to help move Clusters forward…even if it means dressing up! Left to Right: Larae Pierson, Rural Alberta Business Centre Hanna, Monica Knight and Wanda Diakow, Made in Alberta
The purpose of this Hive is to unite the Downtown Business Community, create Traffic to Hanna’s fantastic Pioneer Museum (“…we don’t like to brag, but we’ve been told we’re probably number one for this type of museum in the province.” – Vic Mohl) and to capitalize on Hanna Roundhouse, fostering pride in all ages on this rare monument and the rich history it has brought Hanna.
1. All Aboard!: Comprised of downtown business owners, this leadership group will be the first movers in creating a buzz in the Downtown, which will hopefully spread to the rest of Town.
2. On the Right Track: Interested in promoting locally grown products – as an awareness tool, Galt Museum Heritage seeds were given out at the first Farmer’s Market of year.
This Hive is comprised of four “puzzle” pieces:
In May 2014, the Railtown Hive was mass promoted in various forms. Following a community meeting regarding the future of the Roundhouse, the two groups and four “pieces” were presented to the Hanna Chamber of Commerce, Town Council and at the Hanna’s Farmer’s Market in conjunction with Made in Alberta. The Railtown Hive concept has been met with enthusiasm from the people of Hanna; residents, business owners and Town officials alike. As Monica likes to say, “onward and upward!” toward the next steps of the Clustering process – stay tuned for progress in Hanna!
Monica will be a panelist for the upcoming Exchange Den held in Hanna, AB on February 25th. The Exchange Den will cater to aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses and 12 lucky entrepreneurs will get a 1-on-1 mentorship with the business panel!