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Our History 2017-06-15T10:31:09+00:00

1910s

  • YWCA Traveler’s Aid is formed and begins English instruction for “foreigners.”

  • Women petition the legislature for a minimum wage of $12/week.

1920s

  • YWCA advocates health education in public schools.

  • YWCA builds the Banff Chalet to provide holiday accommodation for working women.

1930s

  • YWCA operates chalets in Banff, Lake Louise and Field.

  • Advocacy work alongside other women’s organizations aims to fight discrimination. This includes petitioning Prime Minister R.B. Bennett and the provincial legislature on behalf of family workers for equal rights and fair pay.

1940s

  • YWCA welcomes war brides and opens clubs for women in the services and industrial war jobs, as well as service wives.

  • We start a “Rooms Registry” to find homes for returning servicemen and their wives.

1950s

  • YWCA purchases 28 acres and establishes Camp Kinnaird in Sylvan Lake. We add a swimming pool to our Calgary operation.

1960s

  • Y-teens advocate for proper sex education in the schools, swim classes for the physically and mentally disabled begin, and we form an “Indian Girls’ Club.”

  • YWCA movement urges the Federal Government to provide income-tax relief for working women who must provide care for children and other dependents.

1970s

  • We build a new facility at 320 – 5th Avenue SE, establish a Women’s Resource Centre, and host first Women of the Year Awards with guest speaker Margaret Atwood.

  • Our health club for women opens.

1980s

  • Our Support Centre and the YW Sheriff King Home for abused women and children open.

  • We launch Lifeprints, working with teens on life and career planning.

  • In partnership with the Federal Government, we create the Calgary Business College to train women who are unemployed, under-employed or relying on welfare.

  • YWCA acquires the Mineral Springs Hospital site (Banff YWCA).

1990s

  • We open the Women’s Employment Counseling Service to assist 500 women a year with career and employment issues.

  • We enter a joint venture with Calgary Housing Authority to open Langevin Place, a 56-unit housing project for hard-to-house women.

  • Thanks to $6 million raised through fundraising, we expanded and improved our 5th Avenue location.

  • Programs launched: Safe Haven, a collaborative project for girls at risk for becoming involved in prostitution; employment-specific programs for women dealing with domestic violence issues; The Women’s Trade Centre, the result of a partnership with SAIT that offers construction training for women; The Support Centre adds counseling groups for children who have witnessed or experienced abuse to its program, as well as the first program for men who are abusive.

  • The YWCA Body & Soul Centre changes its name to “Fitness on 5th.

2000s

  • YWCA completes two major renovation and expansion projects for transitional housing and crisis shelter spaces.

  • Extensive board and staff work around the organization’s new Strategic Direction results in the sale of Camp Kinnaird and the closure of the Women of Distinction Awards.

  • We begin a new partnership with Global Television to produce Women of Vision.

2010s

  • We celebrate our centennial year.

  • We bring together five years of vision, programmatic and strategic organizational change with a refreshed brand that represents a personality focused on empowering through partnership, advocating with tenacity and leading with fortitude.

* Mrs G.W. Kerby (Hon. President); Mrs. Thomas Underwood (President); Mrs. A.B. Cushing (Recording Secretary); and Mrs. H.G.H. Glass (Corresponding Secretary). YWCA of Calgary Milestones.