A Year of COVID

2020 proved to be a year unlike any other, bringing challenges and possibilities in equal measure. Our team at YW Calgary rose to the occasion – and then some.

Photo credit, Neil Zeller Photography

A Message From Our CEO

Last year at this time, I noted in YW Calgary’s 2019-2020 Impact Report that it had been one of the most impactful and significant years YW Calgary had seen in a very long time. We had opened our Hub facility, moved employees and clients into the space and hosted our Grand Opening. Little did we know what the year ahead was going to bring.

A Message From Our Chair

While we had to shift how we operated in 2020, we created a new strategic plan, which will create great momentum for us moving forward.

Our Board

Thank you to this exceptional board of directors who volunteer their time, talent and expertise to ensure a well-governed and well-led organization.

Our Donors

In a difficult year, we value our donors more than ever. Your generosity provided a lasting impact on the lives of many women. Throughout this challenging year, you showed care and compassion, generosity and support for YW Calgary.

A look at our 2020-2021 Financials

Operating Revenue


Total: $18,515,898

Operating Expenses


Total: $15,345,328

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Message from the CEO

Photo credit, Neil Zeller Photography

Last year at this time, I noted in YW Calgary’s 2019-2020 Impact Report that it had been one of the most impactful and significant years YW Calgary had seen in a very long time. We had opened our Hub facility, moved employees and clients into the space and hosted our Grand Opening. Little did we know what the year ahead was going to bring.

The 2020-2021 fiscal year has been dubbed the Year of COVID. For us, it has brought a great deal of disruption, change and uncertainty but also several unexpected discoveries. It tested us as an organization and community, while providing some poignant moments and positive aspects along the way.

Across the globe and here at home, we were all learning how to do things virtually. At YW, we hosted more than one virtual event in 2020 and learned a great deal with each time. It was in this theme of better and better that enabled the success of our first virtual YWHISPER Gala as well as our ability to continue a critical conversation about the representation of women and gender-diverse people in our economy.

Looking beyond Calgary, the four YWCAs of Alberta – Banff, Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge – made history this past year by establishing a new foundation from which to launch formidable systemic change that advances gender equity. It has been a pride point for me to work with our sister organizations and their amazing leaders. While there is much work still to be done, we successfully hosted joint events such as The Economic Recovery Panel and developed government submissions including Recommendations on Domestic Violence Response during COVID-19. The collaborative work of the YWCAs of Alberta Economic Recovery Council Submission last June garnered an invitation to join a long-term planning committee on childcare in Alberta.

This has been a year of extremes around the world. Last summer, pandemic news took a backseat as headlines centred on systemic racism, racial justice and equity, diversity and inclusion. YW employees spoke out with concerns, and we listened. We began to take action to address the colonial roots of this 111-year-old organization and tackle gaps in our culture. With the support of external expertise, YW developed a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, approved by the YW Calgary Board in May 2021. Embedding our learning in our work, our interactions and our programming is an ongoing process, and one we are dedicated to moving forward.

Throughout this year, I have been proud each day of the team at YW Calgary. None of us expected this pandemic would have encompassed our entire year – and likely much of the one ahead – but each day they rose to the challenge. I am pleased to share with you some highlights, and successes of the Year of COVID.

Sue Tomney 

sue signature

Chief Executive Officer,
YW Calgary

Message from the Chair

As I stepped into the role as YW Calgary Board Chair this past year, after joining as a Board Member in 2017 and taking on the Vice Chair role in 2019, I knew we were facing some challenges in our community. Like many of us, I did not foresee the pandemic continuing well into 2021 nor the deep systemic challenges our community continues to experience.

The protracted economic down turn and the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused YW to shift and adapt some things but by no means slowed us down. Many significant organizational projects continued and were completed last year, not the least of which was YW’s new Strategic Plan.

Working with an external facilitator, YW Calgary invested more than a year in the visioning and development of this plan, which was approved by the Board of Directors in March 2021. This Strategic Direction not only highlights YW’s commitment to live into their vision but also charts a clear path forward on three critical social issues in our communities. 



Preventive services focused on wellness and healthy relationships with an intention of thriving.


Preventive and restorative services to support her community, home and workplace wellness.


Empower women to pursue their ambitions, participate equally and meaningfully in all levels of economic decision making.

Clearly identified is our commitment to better supporting women and children experiencing domestic abuse, mental health and barriers to economic prosperity. In order to accomplish this, we will be moving moving forward with the Sheriff King Home redevelopment project as well as launching new Counselling, Mindfulness and Women’s Economic Prosperity programs.

YW Calgary is well positioned for the year ahead as we navigate subsequent COVID waves and the restart of our economy. We have a clear path forward and a strong financial position that will ensure core programs continue uninterrupted. YW Calgary’s Mindfulicity, is just one example of this. Marketed to the corporate sector but based on YW Calgary’s expertise in Counselling, this revenue generating initiative helps teach the skills to support healthy workplaces. This year it has gained momentum with the growing need to support long-term wellness at work, at home and in our community.

The Year of COVID may not yet be over but there is a light on the horizon. I look forward to the year ahead and continuing to be part of the exceptional work of this organization.

Lara Murphy

lara signature

Board Chair,
YW Calgary

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring that we fulfill the mission and purpose of YW Calgary through strong governance, effective planning and sound fiscal management.

Lara Murphy Board Chair

Sharon Carry Vice Chair

Lisa Shelley Treasurer and Chair, Finance & Audit Committee

Shannon Young Secretary and Chair, Governance

Michelle Rodgerson Chair, HR & Compensation Committee

Jasdeep Dhaliwal Board Member

Claire Galvin Board Member

Deborah Petriuk Board Member

Aalia Ratani Board Member

Liz Stretch Board Member

We build community together

Please share our 2020-2021 Annual Report.