On March 5th, 2015, the YWCA Banff and Soroptimist of Banff National Park & Canmore presented extraordinary women leaders in our community with the 1st annual Bow Valley Women of Distinction Awards.

These awards recognize local women who through their own initiative, ability and effort have demonstrated exemplary achievement in their fields. These women are outstanding role models and an inspiration. They have made substantial contributions to the social fabric of our community in unique ways. 

Whether recognized as trailblazers in their field or young women on the rise, all are pathfinders, bringing forth the key issues facing Canadian women today. 

Bow Valley Women of Distinction Awards 2015

From left to right: Carla Pauls; Corrie DiManno; Bev Carrick

Carla Pauls

Carla has worked for Canadian Rockies Public Schools as the counsellor at Exshaw School since 2005. Her most recent work with the Nakoda Elders Wisdom Society secured funding through 100 Women Who Care and the Banff Community Foundation with the goal of addressing the high number of suicides, unemployment, addictions, violence and poverty within the First Nation. Her commitment to working with Elders from the Nation includes several diffferent programs within Canadian Rockies Public Schools which continue to grow and gather community support by building relatipnships, understanding and trust. Carla worked as a counsellor for Manitoba Justice, working with both youth and adult offenders in custody, and created diversions programming for first-time offenders for the Crown Attorney’s Office to ensure systemic issues, cultural diversity, domestic violence, additions and mental health issues were reflected and addressed within the court system.

Corrie DiManno

Corrie received a Bachelor’s Degree in Photojournalism from the University of North Texas in 2009. Her catalyst for grassroots community engagement happened when she first began working for the Banff Crag & Canyon as a photojournalist in 2009. With the support of Banff electors, Corrie was elected as the youngest town councillor ever in Banff at the age of 26. Corrie has also bee working for the Banff Community Foundation as a communications and social media maven, as well as sitting on the SHINE committee. Corrie is currently the managing editor of Highline Magazine where she helps to craft the voice of the mountain culture community into words and onto pages. Since 2014, she has been volunteering as the co-organizer of Banff PRIDE and she is also a new mentor in the Bow Valley Mentoring Program.

Bev Carrick

With a Bachelor of Nursing (1974) from McGill University and a Master of Arts in Leadership in International Development (2004) from Trinity Western University, Bev is well qualified for her role as Executive Director of CAUSE Canada, a Canmore-based charitable organization. Since 1984, CAUSE has been implementing international relief and development projects in West Africa and Central America.

Bev’s overseas experience dates from 1974 when she was a famine relief nurse with SIM in Ethiopia. She and her husband directed relief and development activities throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Central America from 1974 to 1982. when they returned to Canada to begin a family, raising their three children in the Bow Valley.

From 1993 to 1997 Bev supervised the implementation of a large-scale CIA-funded immunization program in Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire that provided public health services to hundreds of thousands of rural villagers. From 2007 to 2013, Bev provided leadership to CAUSE Canada teams in Guatemala, Honduras and Sierra Leone in a program benefitting 700 rural women by providing training in leadership, literacy and business.