YWCA Banff is taking an important step in its future by announcing the Dr. Priscilla Wilson Change Maker Endowment Fund, created by the Wilson family to honour Dr. Wilson and advance women’s leadership and gender equality in the Bow Valley.
Dr. Priscilla Wilson left a unique legacy in Banff; she was the first female doctor in town as well as 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 was a big part of why she was so loved. Priscilla possessed the distinct combination of being both compelling herself, while curious about and compassionate for all those around her.
In 2016, Dr. Wilson was recognized by YWCA Banff as a Bow Valley Woman of Distinction for her significant contributions to the community. The ultimate Change Maker, Priscilla’s ability to balance her trail-blazing career with a commitment to the well-being of her community and close-knit family life has set an example for other aspiring leaders in the Bow Valley.
The fund was recently established in May 2021 with a $240,000 donation from the Wilson family, and an additional $30,000 raised by YWCA Banff in memory of Dr. Wilson. The endowment will be held and managed by the Banff Canmore Community Foundation (BCCF).
“Building an endowment to support sustainable future investment in women and leadership is exciting for our organization, and we are incredibly grateful to the Wilson family for this remarkable gift,” says Ebony Rempel, YWCA CEO. “Giving to the endowment fund is a great way for supporters to make a lasting gift of any size that will grow and support the organization for years to come.”
With the endowment fund established at BCCF, assets will be invested and stewarded for the long term. Each year, returns from the endowment will be granted to the YWCA to support leadership development and gender equity initiatives for women in the Bow Valley. Over time, the endowment fund will continue to grow while providing predictable and sustainable funding to YWCA Banff.
“With their vision and commitment to collaboration, the YWCA’s leadership team is strengthening the local web of organizations that serve our community,” says Laurie Edward, executive director of BCCF. “BCCF will steward this gift locally, enabling new synergies between our organizations and in the broader community. We’re thrilled that the Wilson family and YWCA Banff have embraced this opportunity.”
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.
This year the award will be presented posthumously to Carol Morrison, a long-time Banff local who embodied the same character and spirit as Dr. Wilson. The Wilson family will make the presentation during YWCA’s Change Makers event happening on May 27.
“We Wilsons are thrilled to see the endowment in place and this marks the happy summit of a long climb from the sadness of losing our dear mother. Mum always said ‘only forward never back’ and she would have been delighted to see this award in place and to know it’s celebrating the amazing women who have surrounded and inspired us, and those who they have empowered to do so.”