On June 21, 2016, at the YWCA of Calgary, we were proud to host the 105th Annual General Meeting at our downtown location, on traditional Blackfoot Territory.  In addition to the formal business meeting, the event celebrated our supporters, achievements, milestones and successes over the last year while outlining the vision for the future.

In 2015-16, we leveraged our substantial land resource in the historic sale of a 44-year old building and the full city block it sits on. This decision meant we can ensure we are better able to respond to the changing needs of women in Calgary while creating a sustainable future for the organization. The next few months will bring opportunities to connect on the local level as we investigate growing our presence in Inglewood, where we have operated an emergency shelter and counselling space for more than 30 years.

2015-16 also saw the release of our Practice Framework, which will influence and guide our frontline and support work going forward. The Practice Framework provides a unifying focus for our work from client service to advocacy and operations. We approach our work from a woman’s point of view with an understanding of oppression, inequity and constrained choice that women experience.

Change is a continued theme we are witnessing at in our city and in our country at the federal level of government. As we entered a new political climate with the election of a Liberal majority government, we at the YWCA were thrilled to welcome Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Veterans Affairs and MP for Calgary-Centre Kent Hehr, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, and MP for Calgary-Skyview, Darshan Kang to provide a much-needed voice for community needs. We were honoured to provide a tour of our facility, a visit with a YWCA language class and have the opportunity to share YWCA positions on issues that impact multiple levels of government.

In the last year, we supported more than 6,700 unique individuals through programs that ranged from shelter and housing to counseling and employment services while providing parenting support and childcare. The diversity of our services is what makes our work in the community so critical to ensure women and their families have what they need to thrive.

With our feet pointed forward, we are excited to continue to create positive change in our community and continue our work to move the needle on the issues of poverty, homelessness, gender-based violence and social isolation.