Calgarians Quest for Meaningful Work


Thanksgiving is a time to count our blessings in all areas of life, including the fact that we live in a beautiful country where we have the freedom to choose a dream career.

I am also grateful for the people who choose to work in careers that make the world a better place. Today’s column features people who are doing meaningful work, and some events to help you do the same.

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Every now and then, the desire to make a difference in the world inspires people to take their career paths to a new level. That’s what happened to Calgarians Kary and Darcy Cuthill.

After spending the past 20+ years in the oil and gas business, the Cuthills are putting their stable careers at the Alberta Energy Regulator and Tervita Corporation on hold for a few years and “moving from the oil field into the mission field” says Darcy.

The couple, who are raising three young children, will move to Mexico in 2014 to serve as volunteers for C-Quest (, a grassroots non-profit organization which provides help to people living in poverty by hosting short-term mission and aid teams. Currently they are raising funds to develop a youth drop-in centre for at-risk teens in a village where suicide rates are the highest in the country.

Calgarians who are interested in learning more about serving in Mexico are invited to attend the SalsaFest event on October 25. At this event, you can “learn more about how your family, youth group, or corporate team can have a life transforming experience by participating in a safe and affordable short-term mission or aid trip in Progreso, Yucatan,” says Darcy.

SalsaFest happens from 7 to 10 pm at Rock Pointe Church Bearspaw, on the corner of Crowchild and Lochend Road. Admission is $5 per person or $10 for the whole family and includes chips and salsa. The event also includes a salsa-making competition, games, raffles and prizes. For information visit!news-and-events/crxl.

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The Meaningful Work Project hosts their 2013 Retreat, The Quest for Meaningful Work: Aligning Purpose and Passion for the New Economy, October 25 to 27 in Canmore.

According to event organizers, you will “connect with other emerging change-makers as Alla Guelber and Tami Rothery host a weekend with questions around vocation, sustainability, and social innovation.” The speakers include Courtney Hare of Thrive – Calgary’s Community Economic Development Network and Mike Unrau of Arusha Centre Calgary Dollars.

At this inspiring workshop, you can learn about the broad spectrum of environmental and social entrepreneurship careers, create a personal action plan for advancing your personal and professional goals, and “figure out where you fit in creating a new economy that values resiliency and abundance over profit”. For information and registration visit

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Learning how to effectively use social media can help you find a meaningful job. For job seekers who want to learn more about social media, Calgarian Debbie Peck is organizing a virtual event called Social Media for Social Impact on October 23, 24, and 25.

The event features 12 social media and business experts so participants can learn specific techniques and strategies for FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. Also on the agenda is how not to use social media and the top mistakes to avoid online. You can phone into the event or listen via your computer.

The event is free, although an upgrade is offered with a percentage of proceeds donated to the Kidney Foundation. “One year ago, I lost my right kidney to cancer,” said Debbie. “I am totally fine and healthy today, and this is my way of giving back.” To register visit

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Big Change, an organization and community committed to non-traditional learning, is hosting an event called Leadership is Movement on October 23 from 9 am to noon at Artpoint Gallery and Studio Society. Facilitated by Gonzalo Cordova, this three-hour interactive workshop is for leaders, managers, team leads, and individuals who would like to become leaders.

“The core of communication is nonverbal; yet the opportunity to develop practices in this area of leadership is virtually absent,” says Big Change founder Ila Edgar. This event will explore the movement of leadership and the importance of embodying a powerful leadership presence. “You will walk out of this session with the practices of a stronger leader; with more skills to inspire others and deliver impactful results,” says Ila.

The event costs $45 and includes a light breakfast. For more information and registration visit

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It’s difficult to make a difference if no one knows what you’re doing. So, for event organizers who want to reach a wider audience, Marketing Secrets for Event Success 2 will be presented by Candy Academy of Event Management and Promotions on October 26 from 9 am to noon.

Participants will learn how to promote events with advice from local media experts. It costs $20 and you can register at

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One Woman, Many Faces, a fundraising gala for Dress for Success Calgary, happens October 19 from 7:30 pm to midnight at Fuller Edge Photography Studio in Inglewood.

Dress for Success provides women job-seekers with clothing, career development, and a network of support. The gala event, emceed by Cara Fullerton and Julie Hodge, will offer inspiration, entertainment, surprise give-aways, food and drink. Brenda Lee Watson and Veronica Elizabeth Acosta Santos will speak at the event. For information visit

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If you are considering making a difference in the world by starting your own business, the “Are you Ready for Entrepreneurship?” workshop presented by Alberta Women Entrepreneurs aims to provide you with information to help you decide when and if owning a business is right for you.

It happens this Tuesday, October 15 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at Calgary Kahanoff Centre. The cost is $35. For information about this and other Alberta Women Entrepreneurs events visit

Tag Goulet is co-founder of, a publisher of books on how to get started in a dream career, and Academic Director of the International Association of Professions Career College at