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Sunday, 04 March 2018 05:39

YWCA Women of Distinction awards announced

Written by  Demi Knight
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YWCA Women of Distinction awards announced Contributed

The YWCA Women of Distinction Awards are back this March honouring all those hard-working, innovative women across southern Alberta who still do daily mundane tasks, but still complete other projects and initiatives to help make the province a better place. 


All the while, they are outstanding role models for other young Albertan women.
Honouring those women who are game-changers, mould breakers, professionals and volunteers, the awards return March 9 at the Grand Ballroom in the Lethbridge Lodge Hotel and Conference Centre to celebrate the paths these women pave for other young canadian women across the country.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am honoured to be able to celebrate amazing women who are contributing to the community in such a positive way,” says Jaylene Ulmer, board co-chair at the YWCA. “Through personal, professional and volunteer endeavours, these recipients truly demonstrate the significant impact one person can have on the lives of many.”
This year’s edition of the annual YWCA Women of Distinction Awards is showcasing a platform of nine different southern Alberta women, all of which have helped shape their community in unique ways from arts and culture to athletics, leadership, education and more.
However, the most important achievement that each of these nine women have made is their contributions to help their peers move forward from the challenges they may be facing in today’s society.
 One woman in particular that is receiving the honour of the Education and Mentorship award at the YWCA ceremony this year is Silvana Campus, and her work with Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp.
“It feels amazing to be recognized with this award,” says Campus on her reaction to receiving the honour.
“As mentioned, my background is in teaching. As a teacher, you get used to helping students succeed, but don't often hear how you impacted that success.”
Campus who volunteers as a program director for the Girls Rock Camp works to help plan and organize the week-long summer camp hosted by the College that helps girls aged eight to seventeen learn how to play an instrument, join a band, write a song and participate in workshops.
With a strong focus on developing new abilities and encouraging young girls to follow their passions and find new strength within themselves, Campus says just being a part of this character-building process is a reward in itself.
“I love volunteering with LGRC. It is so amazing to watch kids step up and try something new. It's really awesome to see them change when you put a microphone, guitar, keyboard, or pair of drumsticks in their hands...The camp really is such a positive, rewarding experience for everyone involved.”
Another southern Albertan women being awarded at this year’s ceremony is Renae Barlow, for her work in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation across the community.
With many years of experience in a myriad of different careers, Barlow says that entrepreneurship has been a calling for her for her whole life, and that sharing that calling is a natural extension of her character.
“I’ve been attracted to new ideas and different ways of doing things all my life,” says Barlow. “I love supporting people to be the best they can be.  I believe I have a compassionate and passionate view on life and a strong ability to connect with people to find their strengths.”
With current work helping budding entrepreneurs make their dreams a reality, Barlow has also been passionate about giving back to her community in more than one way by volunteering on several different projects throughout her life including helping people with speech disabilities receive a new voice and poverty awareness.
However, no matter the inner pleasure Barlow feels paving a better future for those around her, she also added that being acknowledged for her work is a humbling feeling.
“I am deeply humbled by this recognition and the acknowledgement that my peers in the community value the contributions I have made and I believe this recognition also carries with it an obligation to aspire to do even more and to ensure I am always “paying it forward” in gratitude for those who have supported me.”
Others who will be presented with awards at this years YWCA Women of Distinction Awards this March include:
• Paula burns for a lifetime achievement award;
• Tania Stilson for a Leadership and Management award;
• Amanda Bauer and Jennifer Takahashi for Community Leadership & Enhancement award;
• Elma Guinto for a Education and Mentorship award; 
• Imogen Pohl for a Young Woman of Promise award;
• Tara Lennox who will be presented with the Wellness, Recreation and Healthy Living award.
These women will be honoured at the annual awards ceremony on Friday, March 9 at the Lethbridge Lodge, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $75 each (with a tax receipt for $25) and are available through

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