Bridge Talk – Connie’s February Update



Our first order of business for 2015 was signing off on the YWCA Banff 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.  This document reflects a great deal of thought, input and hard work from a number of people in the community and we are happy to be moving forward with a very clear sense of mission and direction.    It is an ambitious plan and our team is optimistic and motivated to bring it to life.

We’ve identified the following strategic priorities that we will focus on over the next five years:

  1. Programs and Services that advance the human rights and freedoms of women and girls with a focus on respectful relationships, domestic and sexualized violence.
  2. Foster leadership development and advocacy.
  3. Provide, develop and advocate for a continuum of suitable housing within the Bow Valley.
  4. Build a sustainable organization respected for exceptional people, service, provision and best practices resulting in robust social and community investment.

A copy of the full report is available here on our website and I welcome any feedback or questions you may have.

What’s in a name?

After 25 years as the Banff Mountain Lodge we’ve gone through a refreshing process, and recently adopted a new name and brand for our social enterprise hotel that better reflects the guest experience and facilities we offer as well as our organizational mission.  The launch of our new name – YWCA Banff Hotel coincides with the launch of our new website –  The change better leverages the global YWCA brand; continues to reflect our iconic location in Banff National Park; and creates a more accurate sense of the facilities, services and experience that we offer within the social enterprise part of our organization.

Women of Distinction

The Women of Distinction Awards is a long standing national YWCA program that we are launching in the Bow Valley on March 5, 2015 as part of International Women’s Day (IWD).

We are partnering with Soroptimist International of Banff National Park and Canmore on this initiative and over time will develop a full nomination process.

This year our organizations have identified three women who best exemplify our shared goals and values. We are thrilled to recognize Carla Pauls from Exshaw, Bev Carrick of Canmore and Corrie DiManno of Banff.  Each of these women are extremely positive role models and have made significant contributions to our community both professionally and personally.

I hope you will join us at IWD to recognize Carla, Bev and Corrie and to hear our fabulous guest speaker Sally Armstrong.

I’d also like to recognize five young women from the Bow Valley who recently represented our area at the YWCA Young Women’s National Leadership Summit in Muskoka, Ontario.  Julia Fay from the Town of Banff Settlement Services department, Katherine Clark from the Town of Canmore Engineering Department, Joylina Gonsalves from the Lake Louise Inn and Sophie Clarke and Billie Marlow from the YWCA all received full funding to attend this event.  We’re proud of their accomplishments and representation as young leaders from the Valley at this event and encourage you to read further about their experiences in this newsletter.

Thank you for your on-going support and interest in YWCA Banff.

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P.S.  Our VINEart public on-line auction runs February 27 – March 14.  Visit to see the line up of auction items and bid. Tickets for the event are also available at this site.