Month: December 2014

Thrive in a Hive: Youth

In December Monica led a workshop with 120 students Grades 7-9 at J.C. Charyk in Hanna, Alberta. Read below for more detail:

Hanna Herald Article - Dec 10 2014

2005 Direct Farm Marketing Conference

Farmers Need to Shosholoza

Bonnie Baltessen

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…


FCSS “Power of Prevention” Conference – Edmonton

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”.



The Hanna-Parker Wedding

After working strategically in Hive building with the Hanna Rural Alberta Business Centre, Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation and the formed All Aboard! group, Monica was so pleased to launch a project that has been a year in the making: theming Hanna as a Railtown. The Hanna-Parker Showcase in November was just a segment of the theming – the Arts & Culture Component. Based off of Tony and Tina’s wedding, this adaptation of the play is set in the early 1900’s, engaging the audience in an entertaining feud between the Ranchers (Parkers) and the Railroaders (Hannas). Thanks to our “voluntold” actors and to the Hanna Museum for tending the bar. It was amazing to see the level of involvement from the community.
Monica preparing for the “Wedding”
Picture compliments of Mayor Chris Warwick’s wife, Angie from the evening of the decor and of Monica’s briefing to the Community.