Outstanding Women of the Boundary Awards: Celebrating extraordinary women

By Contributor
November 14th, 2014

We all know women who – by their actions, by the way they live their lives – make the Boundary Community a better place in which to live.  They are more today than they were yesterday, they have made a significant impression and they inspire the rest of us. On Friday Oct. 24, over 65 people gathered at the Seniors’ Hall in Grand Forks on to recognize a few these women. 

Resource Centre Coordinator Teresa Taylor and BWC directors Lori Lum and Michelle Croissant organized the event. The evening included light refreshments and live background music. Recipients and their nominators were invited to attend, along with family, friends and interested members of the public.

Altogether, 27 nominations were received. This year the nomination forms were made available online, which contributed to an increase in submissions. 

Unlike other awards, the BWC does not select the recipients. Anyone can make one or more nominations and all women nominated are acknowledged at the event. One of the few stipulations states that a woman who has received an award in a particular category is ineligible to receive an award in the same category for a period of 3 years. 

The nominees were given fabric roses and certificates of recognition. Emcees Tanya Wilson and Michelle Croissant read out the reasons for nomination, as given by the nominators. The stories and personal words were inspirational, heartfelt and even humorous at times. 

Local author Helen Durham asked to say a few words and then gave away three of her books, using a guess-the-number game to select the recipients. One nominee was visibly affected by the words her nominator wrote which, she said, allowed her to see herself in a new light.

Below are the award categories and recipients: 

Community Leader – A woman who has made a significant contribution to her community through volunteerism, dedication and promoting equality for women and children, or in other significant ways.

  • Christie Wheaton (two nominations)
  • Cher Wyers
  • Cynthia Garnett
  • Ilana Fraser
  • Joyce Evans
  • Lea Leander
  • Linda Sheppard
  • Sara Zier
  • Wendy Higashi

Inspiring Friend – A woman who has inspired others through her work, passion and guidance, and who has helped facilitate positive changes in the lives of other women.

  • Chantal Banman
  • Diane Allison
  • Elaine Patterson
  • Linda Sheppard
  • Nancy Gillmor
  • Natasha Soroka
  • Val Robbins

Woman in Business – A woman who has made a significant contribution to her community through owning or managing a successful business that contributes to her community.

  • Cassie Foxley

Healthy Role Model – A woman who has demonstrated a commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle and who has encouraged others to explore mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

  • Christine Carlson
  • Giacomina (Jackie) Boscariol
  • Lyn Mackey
  • Patricia Logan

Youth (to 19) – A young woman who has done extraordinary work, outside of school, that has benefited her community through volunteerism, extracurricular activities and/or peer support.

No nominations were received for this category.

Inspiring Senior (64+) – A senior woman who has inspired others in her community with her wisdom, grace and continued participation as a community leader, inspiring friend and healthy role model.

  • Fjola (Vi) Galloway 
  • Helen Durham 
  • Merle Vanderburgh 
  • Nobbi Hamagami 

Women of Distinction: A woman who has inspired others by her way of being in the world. This was a new category this year.

  • Erna Gobbett – Woman of Distinction

A second nomination was received in this category but the nominee graciously declined the award.

Since 2007, the Boundary Women’s Coalition (BWC) has provided a yearly opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of local women through the Outstanding Women of the Boundary Awards. In past years, this event has been held on March 8, which is International Women’s Day. 

This year, however, the BWC decided to present the awards in October. Since 1992, when Canadian women finally became “persons” under the law, October has been recognized as Herstory Month. It is a time to celebrate the outstanding achievements of women involved in shaping their communities and country with their strength, wisdom and courage.

Submitted by the Boundary Women’s Coalition and Michelle Croissant

Categories: General

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