A celebration of women who impact change and inspire action, locally and globally.

Join us for an evening of inspiration as we come together to celebrate the women in our community who are leaders, innovators, and community shakers!

Change Makers also celebrates the women in our community who have made a difference across the Bow Valley with the annual Bow Valley Women of Distinction Awards.

Thank you to all the attendees and supporters of the SOLD OUT Change Makers event on May 11th, 2023!

2023 Keynote Speaker

Aurora Borin

Aurora is the Founding Director of Bow Valley DEI. She speaks and consults regularly with a variety of organizations and businesses about how to create spaces in which everybody truly belongs.

She maintains a permanent position with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides as their Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Mental Health Services Manager and applies this unique intersection of knowledge and experience to all of her DEI work.⁠⁠

She is a fierce advocate for 2SLGBTQ+ folks and a community organizer who loves to create brave, comfortable, accountable moments that encourage all to be more than they thought they could be.⁠

She is a successful career musician and is acclaimed throughout Calgary and the Bow Valley for her abilities as a collaborative pianist and educator. Aurora is bi/pansexual and is transgender, though she prefers the label queer.

2023 Women of Distinction Award Nominees

Community Champion

  • Amanda Arbuckle
  • Aurora Borin
  • Cassie Ayoungman
  • Katya Ostashevskaya
  • Kristy Wolfe
  • Leslie Bruce
  • Rose Foster


  • Leslie Bruce
  • Dr. Laurie Hiemstra

Young Women's Leadership

  • Jade Ansley
  • Melika Holloway

2023 Women of Distinction Award Winners

This year’s Women of Distinction Awards Winners are:
Community Champion: Aurora Borin
Innovation: Dr. Laurie Hiemstra
Margaret Stephens Young Women’s Leadership: Melika Holloway
Dr. Priscilla Wilson Memorial Award: Carol Picard

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Women of Distinction Awards

    The event also celebrates local changemakers with the annual Bow Valley Women of Distinction Awards.

    These awards recognize women who through their own initiative, ability and effort have made an exemplary achievement in their field, women who are outstanding role models because of their goals and the way they have achieved these goals, women who have made substantial contributions to the social fabric of their communities in unique and individual ways.

  • Program

    6:30pm – 7:30pm | Welcome Reception

    7:30pm – 9pm | Program

  • Venue & Directions

    Change Makers will be held in the Edinburgh Castle Room at The Malcolm Hotel.


    The Malcolm Hotel

    321 Spring Creek Drive,

    Canmore, Alberta T1W 2G2


    Directions to The Malcolm Hotel can be found HERE.

  • Attire

    Dress to impress in your best semi-formal/cocktail attire! Please wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and fabulous.

  • Food & Beverage

    Dinner will NOT be served at the event. Light refreshments will be provided.

    There will be a wet bar at the event (cash, debit, & credit accepted).

    The Malcolm Hotel’s Sterling Grill & Lounge will be open prior to the event. The restaurant is open until 9:00pm and the lounge is open until 10:00pm.

  • Sponsorship Opportunities

    To learn more about our sponsorship opportunities please click HERE.

An extraordinary legacy

Dr. Priscilla Wilson left a unique legacy in Banff as the first female doctor in town and an inspirational mentor, role model and friend to so many people. Queen of the Rockies is a fitting title for a woman whose magnetic character and insatiable appetite for fun were a big part of why she is so loved. Priscilla possessed the distinct combination of being both compelling herself, while curious about and compassionate for all those around her.

In 2016, Priscilla was a proud recipient of a YWCA Women of Distinction award, nominated by peers in recognition of her significant contributions to the fabric of the Bow Valley community. Be it Priscilla’s work as a dedicated family physician and as Chair of AIDS Bow Valley; her leadership role in advocating for a new underground water infrastructure for Banff as Medical Officer of Health during the “Beaver Fever” crisis; or her work advocating for women pursuing medicine, Priscilla’s legacy has set an outstanding example for other aspiring leaders in the Bow Valley.

The Dr. Priscilla Wilson Change Maker Award was established in 2019 to further recognize Dr. Wilson’s influence within our community. This annual award recognizes a woman in the Bow Valley who is making or has made a meaningful difference in the community by setting an example for others, inspiring ideas, demonstrating leadership and taking meaningful action.

In 2021 the Dr. Priscilla Wilson Change Maker Endowment Fund was established by the Wilson family to honour Dr. Wilson and advance women’s leadership and gender equality in the Bow Valley.

Dr. Priscilla Wilson Change Maker Award

Change Makers celebrates those who–like Priscilla–embrace change and challenge in order to contribute to a thriving, equitable society.

The Dr. Priscilla Wilson Change Maker Award will recognize a woman from the Bow Valley who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and innovation to make a meaningful difference in our community.

This award is nominated by committee.

Dr. Priscilla Wilson Change Maker Endowment Fund

In order to support the Dr. Priscilla Wilson Change Maker Award, the Wilson family has set up an endowment fund through the YWCA Banff, with a goal of raising $200,000 to ensure funding is available in perpetuity to remember Priscilla and promote positive change in the Bow Valley community. Funds will be used to cover expenses associated with the award including: advertising and administration; recognition of the recipient; speaker fees; and relevant event costs. Surplus funds will support core YWCA programming, at the discretion of the CEO.

Gifts towards the fund will be donated through Banff Canmore Community Foundation, who will hold the funds in perpetuity through an external endowment fund.

2023 Sponsors

Shaping a safe and inclusive Bow Valley that empowers women and their community for a better future.

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