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Second Woman Of Inspiration for 2022-2023 selected

Last Updated Jul 21, 2022 at 5:47 pm MDT

Photo Top L-R: Surekha Kanzig, second Woman of Inspiration of the 2022-2023 series presented by Bouchier, Nanase Tonda, Executive Director, Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta, Sundas Shamshad, Interim Executive Director, Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta, Nathalia Cordeau-Hilliard, Communications and Development Lead, Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta Bottom: Katie Erb, Corporate & Communications Specialist, Bouchier. Photo supplied by Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta.

Surekha Kanzig is the second woman named to the 2022-2023 Women of Inspiration Series.

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Bouchier selected the entrepreneur for her leadership and her bold risk-taking.

According to her restaurant’s Facebook, Kanzig and her family first moved to Wood Buffalo in 1990.

Working with the Municipality into the 2000s, Kanzig also raised four children, while studying at the University of Alberta.

“She would work late into the evening, come home to her children, and once they went to sleep she would study. As one of the only women of colour in municipal government, Kanzig took the challenges she faced with stride and used them to learn and prove to herself and others that she could do anything she put her mind to.”

Kanzig is most notably the owner of the popular “Surekha’s On The Snye” restaurant in downtown Fort McMurray.

Surekha’s On The Snye

Located on Clearwater Drive at Syne Point Park, “Surekha’s” opened in May 2018.

Though she lacked the restaurant experience, Kanzig said she took the chance to show the potential of the community.

“It’s up to everyone individually to learn how to learn. To be a continuous learner and to teach yourself what you need to know to get ahead in life. Ahead is everyone’s own definition of what that is. You can’t expect other people to do things for you all the time and you can’t expect other people to teach you all the time.”

She and her family built and managed the restaurant trusting everything would eventually work out for good.

“Surekha’s” is also a hub for several community groups to gather and hold events, such as the Salsa Fundraiser for Ukraine on June 4, 2022.

Kanzig said she can’t take credit for how the energy feels in the restaurant.

While the COVID-19 pandemic suspended in-person dining at “Surekha’s”, Kanzig opened the space to local businesses free-of-charge.

She said her business established connections throughout the community, which encouraged her new business partners to develop storefronts for other businesses.

“It’s land where Indigenous people in the past have had ceremonies and important gatherings. If you’re in tune to that you can feel the energy in the land. You can feel the positive energy in the restaurant.”

Girls Inc. and Bouchier announced the First Woman Of Inspiration for 2022-2023 in June.

READ MORE: Girls Inc., Bouchier announces First Woman Of Inspiration for 2022-23

The deadline to nominate the third person for this year’s Women Of Inspiration Series is Aug. 30, 2022, with the nominee to be selected at a future date.

Kanzig along with the four selections for the series will be honoured in March 2023.