Benefit: Victoria Dance Instructors Helping to Undefine Beauty

The Secret Language: Charity Partner Dancing Workshop and Social raising funds and awareness for inclusive-focused programs in Victoria through Salsa, Ballroom, Westcoast Swing, Blues, and Country dance styles

Thank you to the fabulous crew of volunteers who made this possible, and in the process raised over $600 for Sandy Merriman House emergency shelter for women!

News Release – July 13, 2018 – Victoria, BC – Instructors from Victoria’s leading dance studios have planned an evening social to raise funds for the Sandy Merriman House emergency shelter for homeless and at-risk women. The event, coordinated by Nimmi Augustine, Victoria’s representative in this year’s Miss Universe Canada pageant, is intended to dispel many of the mistruths and assumptions about traditional beauty, while providing much-needed support for the Victoria Cool Aid Society shelter.

This is the first time the dance instructors from studios across Victoria have come together on a shared cause, bringing a variety of dancing styles and genres for participants to see, learn, and practice. Guests will be able to observe and learn the dancing styles of Tatiana Hassan, Victor Golubkov, Meaghan Efford, Jay Holman, Dean Stroeder, Rick Clark, and other local professionals.

“My mission is to undefine the word beauty and empower people to embrace their unique identity,” shared Ms. Augustine. “True empowerment comes from standing behind others rather than in front of them, and this is what I hope to accomplish through my journey to the stage and beyond.”

“Sandy Merriman House was conceived and initiated in 1994 as part of a life-skills project by the Greater Victoria Women’s Shelter Society,” said Kathy Stinson, Victoria Cool Aid Society’s CEO. “Sandy Merriman House has an inclusive definition of ‘woman’ and ‘female’ – we welcome CIS, trans-women, gender-fluid, and non-binary people. We are excited to support Nimmi at this event and look forward to her efforts to change perceptions around the way we label ourselves and others.”

The evening event will run from 6:30pm – 9:30pm on Friday, July 27 at Cool Aid’s Downtown Community Centre, located at 755 Pandora Ave. Tickets are available at the door through a ‘Sliding Scale’ donation. Bring a dance partner or come alone – just be ready to dance and have a great time.

About Nimmi Augustine:

Nimmi Augustine was raised in Toronto as a first-generation Canadian. Her love for diversity fostered an appreciation for global food, art, and travel. She enrolled as a Marine Systems Engineering Officer in the Canadian Armed forces and graduated First-Class in Electrical Engineering at the Royal Military College of Canada.

Today, she’s a health and fitness advocate, fitness competitor, and dancer pursuing a Masters of Global Affairs to build her knowledge and awareness of international security and development.

About Victoria Cool Aid Society:

Homelessness and poverty are issues that touch many of us and impact more lives than you may realize. As the largest provider of services for people experiencing and at risk  of homelessness in Greater Victoria, the Victoria Cool Aid Society is a key player in the work to end homelessness.  Cool Aid advocates for and provides emergency shelter, supportive housing, integrated healthcare and other support services to the most marginalized and vulnerable individuals in the Capital Regional District. Each year, Cool Aid serves over 12,000 adults and seniors facing multiple challenges of poverty, unemployment, mental health and substance use, chronic health issues, brain injury and aging.

Media contact:

Nimmi Augustine,, 613-483-3621

Kathy Stinson, CEO,, 250-383-1977