Congratulations to the 2023 Women of Distinction Award winners and nominees!

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.

Whether recognized as trailblazers in their field or young women on the rise, all are pathfinders, bringing forth the key issues facing Canadian women today.

Any self-identified woman who meets the award category criteria is eligible for nomination.

Learn more about the incredible 2023 winners and nominees here!

  • 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 9th, 2023
    • Current members of the Bow Valley Women of Distinction Awards selection committee are not eligible to submit nominations
    • Multiple nominations from the same nominator are allowed
  • Nominee Eligibility
    Nominees 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
    • Age restrictions:
      • Young Women’s Leadership – Nominees must be 16 years+.
      • Community Champion & Innovation – Nominees must be 18 years +
    • Support the mission and values of YWCA Banff
    • Consent to nomination
    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 Women of Distinction 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, Women of Distinction 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 in late April to early May 2023.


    Important! Recipients will also be asked to deliver a short acceptance speech at the 2023 Women of Distinction Awards ceremony on May 11, 2023.

  • Submission Instructions

    Step 1: Download the Nomination Package by clicking the ‘Download Nomination Package‘ button above or by clicking here.

    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 April 9th, 2023 at 11:59 PM.

Community Champion

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


This award honors a woman who boldly embraces new, original ideas and pursues creative ways of making a difference in the business or non-profit sector, or through volunteerism. She is 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. She 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.

Margaret Stephens Young Women’s Leadership Award

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

Past Winners:


  • Aurora Borin – Community Champion ⁠
  • Dr. Laurie Hiemstra – Innovation ⁠
  • Melika Holloway – Margaret Stephens Young Women’s Leadership


  • Amanda Carrington – Community Champion ⁠
  • Stephanie O’Brien – Innovation ⁠
  • Kaylee Ram – Margaret Stephens Young Women’s Leadership


  • Jane Park – Community Champion
  • Soulafa Al-Abbasi – Innovation
  • Meg Ohsada – Young Women’s Leadership


  • Pat Grayling
  • Nan Hughes Poole
  • Karen Hunter Sorensen


  • Elizabeth Hall-Findlay
  • Alanna Pettigrew
  • Lorraine Widmer-Carson


  • Mary Buckingham
  • Keri Martens
  • Janet Townsend


  • Carolin J. Crofts
  • Madeline Crilley
  • Priscilla Wilson


  • 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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