Nominations for the 2017 Women of Distinction season are now open

Over 100 community members gathered at Cutten Fields last night to celebrate the launch of the 2017 Women of DistinctionTM season.

Guelph, Ontario, Friday November 4, 2016 – The Guelph Y hosted the Women of DistinctionTM Launch Reception last night at Cutten Fields, which was generously sponsored by TD Bank Group. The evening included three ten minute presentations from Women of DistinctionTM alumnae, who shared their journeys and inspirational advice. The evening also included three facilitated networking sessions.

Sue Smith, 2017 Women of DistinctionTM Honorary Chair, spoke eloquently of the reason why events like the Launch, which brings together fellow community-minded individuals, are so important. “All of the work happens through conversation” said Sue, referring to the important work that is being done to build and connect community within Guelph and Wellington County. The importance and strength of groups and individuals coming together to converse and provide support to our community was a reoccurring theme throughout the evening.

Anita Acai spoke of the importance of women supporting and empowering one another; Rosemary Fernandes-Walker found the humorous side of parenting, which also sharing key learnings from a support group (Association of Parent Support Groups in Ontario) that is here to help if needed; and Maggie Baratto inspired the group to go achieve their goals, “if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re probably not big enough.”

In between speakers, guests participated in three facilitated networking sessions where groups brainstormed and shared how they can help to empower girls, how they can approach a difficult relationship in their life and how they can take that next step to attain their dreams. The room buzzed with energy as more important conversations took place.

In addition to being inspired by the speakers and connecting with other community members in attendance, the evening was a celebration of the start of the 2017 Women of DistinctionTM season. Nominations are now open and will remain open until Tuesday, January 31, 2017 (there will be no extensions this year). 2017 award categories include:

• Arts and Culture
• Canada’s 150th Community Builder
• Community Champion
• Education, Training and Mentorship
• Entrepreneurship and Innovation
• Health, Wellness and Fitness
• Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
• Trades and Labour
• Young Woman of Distinction (16 – 21 years)

To learn more about each of the categories and how to nominate a woman of distinction in your life, please visit or come to the Guelph Y (130 Woodland Glen Dr, Guelph ON, N1G 4M3) to pick up a nomination package. Nominations can also be submitted online.

New this year, rather than recognizing a recipient for each category, the overall top 30 nominations will be selected and honoured at the Fundraising Gala. Honouring 30 women will ensure that ample time will be given to properly tell each woman’s full story.

Save the date: the 2017 Women of DistinctionTM Fundraising Gala will take place on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at the River Run Centre. The Women of DistinctionTM Fundraising Gala supports Guelph Y programs for girls and women at all stages of life in Guelph and Wellington County, including:

• Power of Being a GirlTM – a one day conference for girls that helps build self-esteem and raises awareness about healthy relationships
• Teenage Parents Program (TAPPs) – a program that supports the personal growth and development of pregnant and parenting teens and their families and connects them with valuable resources
• Encore – a holistic program for women with breast cancer to help them build their own physical strength, as well as feel the strength and support of a community

Feel the power of community.


For media inquiries, please contact:
Erica Charlesworth, Supervisor of Development & Communications
519-824-5150 ext. 255

About YMCA-YWCA of Guelph
The Guelph Y as a charitable organization, open to everyone, ignites positive change, and is recognized as a catalyst for our community’s health and wellbeing. Starting with a focus on healthy child, youth and young adult development, we excel in delivering lifelong opportunities for health and personal growth and offer a wealth of programs to meet the unique needs of the community with an emphasis on total health in mind, body and spirit.

Please visit to find out more, visit the Guelph Y in person or call 519-824-5150. Be sure to follow the Guelph Y on Facebook and Twitter to learn about upcoming activities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *