As the holidays quickly approach, we are busy wrapping up a very successful fall of outreach in the schools, renovations, service delivery, awareness events and busy day-to-day operations through our social enterprise hotel.
We’re extremely grateful to the many members, donors, sponsors, colleagues and supporters for the support and encouragement that has inspired and enabled us to tackle so many initiatives.
As a social profit agency, our joy comes from the delivery of programs and services that support women and our community. It’s gratifying to see our programs develop and also how community members are engaging with us by increasing their knowledge of advocacy issues related to violence against women, leadership and housing, and how the YWCA is addressing these issues in the Bow Valley.
Another highlight of the last month was the recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Montreal massacre, through the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women on December 6. We began our celebrations with our annual Rose Luncheon which featured Karen Kuntz giving a powerful talk about her personal experience with sexual assault and her work to support other victims.
We also participated in the national Light the Night Against Violence campaign which featured the lighting of 27 prominent buildings including the Calgary Tower, BC Place, Olympic Stadium and the CN Tower and YWCA Banff (!) in red. We projected (with the help of John Avery and The Banff Centre) a beautiful rose on the front of our building as a show of our remembrance. We also held a small candlelight ceremony on the Y Bridge with our team.
Looking to the New Year, we have some ambitious plans and projects.
One project that I’d like to introduce now is a new event called VINEart in support of Bow Valley Women’s Emergency Shelter. An extension of our Safe House Campaign, VINEart is a Canmore-based event, scheduled for March 14, 2015 that will:
- raise funds to benefit the operation of our current Shelter;
- assist with funding to provide counselling and support for children who stay in the Shelter;
- support a long-term plan that will see a suitable, purpose-built shelter and transition housing built in the valley by 2020!!
This goal is supported by our belief that there is a compelling case for more suitable facilities and that our Valley and government will support this project.
We have a committed team of VINEart volunteers on-board who are working on logistics, sponsorships and donations. It’s exciting, challenging and a great opportunity to share the Shelter story throughout the Bow Valley.
As you consider supporting local organizations this holiday season, please consider donating to the Bow Valley Women’s Shelter to help launch our campaign.
On behalf of the YWCA team, we wish you all the very best for a holiday season that is filled with gratitude and joy.
CEO YWCA Banff