March 1, 2012
International Women’s Day Speaker knows how to overcome odds
The International Women’s Day Lecture
The Making of a Spice Goddess: Education, Identity, and Female Empowerment
with Bal Arneson, The Food Network’s Spice Goddess
Thursday, March 8, 7:30 p.m.
Brescia Auditorium, Admission by Donation, Free Parking
London, ON –Two-time national bestselling author with a hit Food Network cooking show, Bal Arneson is an author, educator and passionate advocate for women’s self-determination.
“Having Bal here for our International Women’s Day event is a perfect fit for all that is Brescia. She is a bold and daring female leader who has overcome great obstacles to live life on her own terms. With Bal’s commitment to and belief in education as a vehicle for success and independence, she is an excellent woman for Brescia to host for our celebration of International Women’s Day,” says Kim Milani Young, director of The Circle Women’s Centre sponsor of the lecture.
Originally from a small village in the Punjab, India, Bal learned how to cook from her elders over coals in a small clay pit at the age of seven. Coming to Vancouver at the age of 18 after an arranged marriage, Bal was taught to cook, clean, and learn the necessary skills to become an obedient wife. However, after having her daughter almost immediately after marriage, she realized it was not the life she wanted for her or her child. Bal left the home of her former husband, speaking no English, without money, education, or family support, in pursuit of her dreams. Enrolling in an ESL program, Bal began her education that continued to a master’s degree in education, teaching special needs children. With a passion for cooking, she catered and taught cooking classes to pay the bills while she studied to become a teacher. Bal’s food began to gain popularity quickly; her unique Indian spices had people wondering if she had a cookbook that she could share.
While teaching full-time and caring for her family, she released her first cookbook, Everyday Indian, in the summer of 2009, which became a national bestseller. After the success of her first book, she gained publicity and was eventually offered a show on Food Network. Her second cookbook, Bal’s Quick and Healthy Indian, which came out in the spring of 2011, won the award for the best Asian Cuisine Cookbook in Canada and will now go on to compete in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris. Bal will miss attending this prestigious event in person so she can speak at Brescia for International Women’s Day. A book signing will follow the event. Both books will be available for purchase at the event.
Working and looking after her family keeps her hands full, Bal says, but she manages to enjoy every moment of it. She realizes that her dream of being a role model for her daughter and many other women has come true. “I like to share my journey because I think even if one woman’s life can change by hearing my story my mission is accomplished.”
To find out more about Bal and some of her quick, easy Indian recipes, you can visit Bal’s web site, http://www.balsworld.com/.
To find out more about the International Women’s Day event at Brescia, please visit http://www.brescia.uwo.ca/thecircle/events/the_sophia_series.html
For more information please contact Colleen Aguilar, Communications, Marketing & External Relations Officer, at 519.432.8353, ext. 28280 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college, is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. The 1,100 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more information, please visit www.brescia.uwo.ca