A celebration of women & gender-diverse folks who impact change and inspire action.

Join us on May 9, 2024 at the Malcolm Hotel in Canmore for an evening of inspiration as we come together to celebrate the women and gender-diverse people in our community who are leaders, innovators, and community shakers!


Evening Program:

6:30PM | Welcome Reception
7:30PM | Program & Change Makers Awards*

*Light refreshments will be provided, dinner will not be served.


Ticket Pricing:

General Admission:
Individual ticket | $75
Half Table (seats 4) | $300
Full Table (seats 8) | $600

General admission tickets help subsidize the cost for community members where cost is a barrier. We are committed to fostering a welcoming environment where everyone can participate regardless of financial circumstances.

Pay-What-You-Can Admission:
Our pay-what-you-can model operates on a sliding scale, starting from a minimum contribution of $5. If this cost is a barrier for you to attend, please reach out to

Proceeds from Change Makers are delegated towards the YWCA Banff Endowment Fund, supporting women’s leadership and providing opportunities for continual learning and development.

Frequently Asked Questions

Change Makers Awards

Each year, YWCA Banff presents the Change Makers Awards to outstanding women and gender diverse people from the Bow Valley who have made a lasting difference in the lives of people in the Bow Valley and beyond. Any self-identified woman or gender diverse person who meets the award category criteria is eligible for nomination.

YWCA Banff is proud to host these awards, recognizing local individuals who through their own initiative, ability, and effort have demonstrated exemplary achievement in their fields. The awards honour individuals who are outstanding role models and have made substantial contributions to the fabric of our community in unique ways.

Key Dates:

Nomination Deadline *EXTENDED*: Friday April 12, 2024 at 11:59 pm (MST)
Change Makers Awards: Presented at the Change Makers event, May 9, 2024

Pursuit Community Champion Award

This award honors an individual who has initiated meaningful change within the local community, dedicating their own time and resources to champion their cause. They are a visionary trailblazer, a source of strength for the community, and have improved and enriched the lives of others. They have made a significant and sustained difference in the Bow Valley and are an influential leader through paid work and/or volunteerism in the private, public, or not-for-profit sector.

Download the Nomination Package

Innovation Award

This award honours an individual who boldly embraces new, original ideas and pursues creative ways of making a difference in the business or non-profit sector, or through volunteerism. They are a leader who challenges and motivates others to think outside of the box and explore cutting-edge solutions to improving their surroundings, facilitating change, and creating opportunities whenever possible. They may be a founder, owner, leader or other innovator, creating and implementing innovative programs, practices, partnerships, policies or activities that influence social good and positive change for our community.

Download the Nomination Package

Margaret Stephens Emerging Leader Award

This award recognizes an emerging leader aged 16 – 30, who is an inspirational role model in their career, achievements, or community-building roles. They have made a significant difference in the Bow Valley through their commitment to a cause or pursuit of a personal dream while showing perseverance, innovation, and a keen understanding of community issues. They inspire others to follow their example and set the pace for others to walk alongside them. They are leaders who will continue to inspire us for years to come.

Download the Nomination Package

  • Nominator Qualifications
    • The nominator can be any individual who is interested in nominating an eligible nominee
    • The nominator must fully complete the Nomination Form and submit it, along with the support material by 11:59 pm on April 1, 2024
    • Current members of the Bow Valley Change Makers Award selection committee are not eligible to submit nominations
    • Multiple nominations from the same nominator are allowed
  • Nominee Eligibility

    Nominee Must:

    • Be a role model, pioneer or outstanding achiever residing in the Bow Valley – including the communities of Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise, Exshaw, Kananaskis, and Mini Thni
    • Self-identify as female or gender-diverse
    • Age restrictions:
      • Margaret Stephens Emerging Leader – Nominees must be 16-30 years old.
      • Pursuit Community Champion & Innovation – Nominees must be 18 years+
    • Support the mission and values of YWCA Banff
    • Consent to nomination
    • Be available to, or have a representative, attend the awards presentation on May 9, 2024

    In addition:

    • We welcome and encourage inclusive and diverse nominations with respect to nominees’ age, nationality, residency status in Canada, and career path
    • Previous nominees may be re-nominated
    • Previous award recipients; current YWCA Banff employees and Board members; and current Bow Valley Change Makers selection committee members are ineligible to be nominated
    • Post-humous nominations cannot be accepted
  • Selection Process

    The selection committee is comprised of YWCA Board members and employees, Change Makers alumnae and community members. The committee will review all submissions against nomination criteria and guidelines. The committee may contact nominators to confirm information or ask follow-up questions.

    Three award recipients will be selected and announced at the Change Makers award ceremony on May 9, 2024.

    Important! If selected as a YWCA Change Maker, the recipient MUST agree to be part of all media promotions, including local media, promotional videos, and be acknowledged on the YWCA Banff website. Recipients will also be asked to deliver a short acceptance speech at the 2024 Change Makers

    Awards ceremony on May 9, 2024.

  • Submission Instructions

    Step 1: Download the Nomination Package

    Step 2: Download and save this document on to your computer or print it out. This way you are able to fill out the form at your leisure.

    Step 3: Fill out all fillable fields and save your completed document, or save and complete at a later time.

    Step 4: Email the completed Nomination Package and any supporting documents (optional; see nomination package for more details) to  or deliver it in person to YWCA Banff by Friday, April 12, 2024 at 11:59 PM.

    Please note:

    • Late submissions will not be considered
    • Incomplete submissions will not be considered
    • Once submitted, nomination packages cannot be edited or altered

Dr Priscilla Wilson - An extraordinary legacy

  • About Dr. Priscilla Wilson

    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 Banff Change Makers Award (previously 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 or gender-diverse person 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 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 or gender-diverse person 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.


Past Change Makers Award Winners

  • 2023
    • Aurora Borin – Community Champion ⁠
    • Dr. Laurie Hiemstra – Innovation ⁠
    • Melika Holloway – Margaret Stephens Young Women’s Leadership
  • 2022
    • Amanda Carrington – Community Champion ⁠
    • Stephanie O’Brien – Innovation ⁠
    • Kaylee Ram – Margaret Stephens Young Women’s Leadership
  • 2021
    • Jane Park – Community Champion
    • Soulafa Al-Abbasi – Innovation
    • Meg Ohsada – Young Women’s Leadership
  • 2019
    • Pat Grayling
    • Nan Hughes Poole
    • Karen Hunter Sorensen
  • 2018
    • Elizabeth Hall-Findlay
    • Alanna Pettigrew
    • Lorraine Widmer-Carson
  • 2017
    • Mary Buckingham
    • Keri Martens
    • Janet Townsend
  • 2016
    • Carolin J. Crofts
    • Madeline Crilley
    • Priscilla Wilson
  • 2015
    • Carla Pauls
    • Corrie DiManno
    • Bev Carrick

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

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