On March 3, 2016, the YWCA Banff and Soroptimist of Banff National Park & Canmore presented three extraordinary women leaders in our community with the 2nd 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. 


L to R: Carolin J. Crofts, Madeline Crilley, Dr. Priscilla Wilson

Carolin J. Crofts

A resident of Lake Louise for 17 years and dedicated volunteer, Carolin Crofts is the long-time editor of the community news publication Lake Louise Live. She also chairs the HR Committee which supports seasonal workers. While on this committee Carolin helped to create and edit the Welcome to Lake Louise Handbook an essential resource for new residents. With energy and passion for community service, Carolin helps to bring together the residents and seasonal population of Lake Louise through numerous community initiatives. Carolin is the co-founder of the Lake Louise Remembrance Day services and she is a Community Helper graduate and advocate. Whether enhancing the town core with Christmas lighting and summer planters, or volunteering at local special events, she gives residents a sense of pride and connection to their community. Carolin is always ready to help make Lake Louise a welcoming home for all of its residents.

 Madeline Crilley

For 25 years, Madeline Crilley developed and nurtured the Bow Valley Literacy Program.

Working on behalf of learners, most of them immigrant women, she built a program that continues to be an integral part of our community today. She was a significant advocate for newcomers and her ESL tutoring was essential to their self-esteem and community belonging. Madeline established the BVLP as a household name in the Bow Valley with several campaigns including the Whyte Museum student exhibit Handing down our History; the publication Voices; Year of the Volunteer Tutor; frequent photos and excerpts by learners in local papers; and her celebrated student book launches. Madeline supported hundreds of community volunteers through the program during her tenure and left a lasting impression on all who worked with her as an enthusiastic, generous and compassionate leader. Reading is a right and not a privilege, was her mantra. Understanding the needs and socio-economic realities of adult learners, Madeline was committed to ensuring the program grew and she advocated passionately for learners on a personal and political level throughout her life.

Dr. Priscilla Wilson

Dr. Priscilla Wilson became the first female doctor in Banff National Park in 1969, breaking through gender barriers and inspiring a future generation of female physicians. Practicing medicine in the Bow Valley for more than 40 years, Priscilla also raised three children. While she forged her professional path, she was a role model as a community leader and a mother. In the 80’s as the Medical Officer of Health, she was instrumental in influencing Parks Canada to secure a new underground water infrastructure for Banff, instead of the above-ground water supply that resulted in the famous Beaver Fever contamination of 1982. Dr. Wilson was also a member of the Senate at the University of Calgary and a long-time chair of Aids Bow Valley in the 90’s. Although she is now retired from her practice, she is currently a member of the ethics committee at Banff Mineral Springs Hospital. Dr. Wilson established herself as a leader in her field and her community and she continues to be an inspiration to all women who know her.