March 2019 Ontario Council Club News

March 2019 Ontario Council Club News

Coldest Night of the Year

CFUW Orillia had nine members on their Coldest Night of the Year 2019 team, CFUW Orillia Walkers, and raised $3500 for the Orillia Lighthouse Centre and Building Hope.

CFUW Guelph Warm Walkers

On a not so cold evening, February 23rd, 5 CFUW members plus 6 family members participated in The Coldest Night of the Year event. This event raises money for homelessness across the country. Our team walked 5 km and raised $367.00 plus $25.00 per person registration fees.  Guelph, hosted by Hope House raised over $70,000,  with over $5,308,925 being raised nationally. It was fun to be out walking and talking with new and old members and we hope to grow our team next year! Thanks to those who donated to our team.  On February 24th when the winds and cold temperatures resounded we were indeed reminded of why we walked!

The CFUW St. Catharines Team participating in the Coldest Night of the Year Walk for 2019 raised $3715. Pictured are Brenda Dolha (left) team convener and Pat Paulin who holds the record as the largest donor.

International Women’s Day 2019

Ottawa came to the CFUW Cabaret

A sold-out crowd of CFUW-Ottawa members and their friends enjoyed a varied program of music and drama to celebrate women’s achievements and to raise funds for our post-secondary scholarships and for the Elizabeth Fry Society.

The excitement started with the Lyon Street Celtic Band.  CFUW-Ottawa member Lois Siegel and her bandmates played an astonishing variety of instruments, including the “Ugly Stick” They soon had the audience singing along and tapping their feet. We certainly got a head start on St Patrick’s Day.

For a real change of pace, Ottawa musician and composer Anita Pari then mesmerized us at the piano with her interpretations of Franz Schubert’s Impromptu Op. 90 No. 3, Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2, and Franz Schubert’s Impromptu Op. 90 No. 2.  Our club is proud to have supported Anita’s journey by awarding her the Earl B Connell Foundation scholarship.  We feel sure she has a bright future ahead of her.

The Famous Five: Reformers and Rebels, a new short play, had its première performance at the Cabaret. It delved into the relevance of the “persons” case for young women today. Written by CFUW-Ottawa member Dorothy Phillips, it was developed with the help of the CFUW-Ottawa Writer’s Workshop and George Sheriff. The talented actresses soon had us all laughing while we learned something too. Bravo!

But it could not have been a CFUW event without refreshments.  Delicious hors d’oeuvres, wine and non-alcoholic punch helped create a convivial atmosphere for members and guests to mix and mingle. Many volunteers contributed to the day; their participation and support demonstrated what a great club CFUW really is. A grand day indeed! 

IWD “Open Closet” hosted by CFUW Kitchener-Waterloo


The CFUW K-W Advocacy Committee is pleased to report that another successful Open Closet event took place on International Women’s Day, 2019, attracting twice as many people as last year.   It helped that the Record did a story on “Open Closet” just before the event this year. We also put the word out through social media, to supplement the posters and cards that were distributed to advertise the event… AND the weather cooperated!

Clothing was donated by club members and their friends and family; community members who heard about the event; and the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Thrift on Kent also provided 16 bags of clothing.  The tables were overflowing at the start, but the piles went down quickly!  Many families received clothing that they needed.

The MCC RePurpose Centre in Elmira sent a truck to pick up all the clothing that remained at the end of the event. It was very rewarding for those who volunteered to help.  We’re already starting to think about next year, and what tweaks we can make to improve the event even further.

UWC Toronto International Women’s Day Luncheon

The luncheon, held in the beautiful Wedgwood Ballroom of the U of T Faculty Club, was a resounding success. 

Paula Barber and her committee organized a lovely luncheon for all of the Toronto area CFUW clubs to celebrate this important occasion.  Deborah Maw was MC of the event and had great assistance from the representatives of the other clubs.  The speaker, Dr. Aileen Burford Mason, spoke very convincingly about the importance of good nutrition for healthy aging and the healthy brain.  We will all be watching our intake of good foods, equal protein for each meal and supplements such as Omega 3, Vitamins D3, B12, C and minerals such as Magnesium.  It was interesting and very informative.

A picture is worth a thousand words.  Here’s a great selection so that you can share the warm atmosphere and great camaraderie.

Susan Freeman,
President UWC Toronto

CFUW Aurora/Newmarket Celebrates International Women’s Day

CFUW Aurora/Newmarket celebrated International Women’s Day with a presentation by Lynn Bird, from ABCD (Art Building Children’s Dreams) a charity working in the hills of Kilimanjaro to assist young girls to attend school. After her presentation, the 85 attendees marched down Main Street in Newmarket to a bridge where we continued the tradition of singing on a bridge started by women of Rwanda and the Congo. Afterwards, we returned to the venue where we enjoyed a pot lunch.  This event welcomed women from several different groups in the local community.

International Women’s Day with CFUW Nepean

CFUW Nepean celebrated International Women’s Day at our general meeting on March 5th with Susan Russell presenting a fascinating historical overview of 100 Years of CFUW.

Following WWI, women began to demand educational and employment opportunities in medicine, law, and government. With support and encouragement from British and American women, Canadian Federation of University Women was formed in Winnipeg in 1919 and six clubs (Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, Regina, Victoria, Edmonton) drafted a constitution and prioritized education and scholarships for women, peace and goodwill among nations, and advancement of women in the political and employment spheres. One of the most stunning revelations was one of CFUW’s first issues: pay equity – one we are still fighting today.

Susan indicated that CFUW was one of the first National Federations to join the International Federation of University Women (now GWI).

CFUW was also focused on membership in the League of Nations as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and made a significant contribution to the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. Over the years CFUW has written many resolutions and met with government representatives to advance women’s, as well as human, rights: Violence Against Women, gun control, environment, child care, and homelessness.  CFUW was actively involved in the Ottawa Protocol Against Landmines.

We learned about the significant role CFUW has played both nationally and internationally and now have a better appreciation of our voice and impact. Thank you, Susan.

For IWD 2019, we voted to allocate money to “Promoting Justice for Women in Antioquia, Colombia” a project supported by Inter Pares. CFUW partners with Inter Pares and work with its Colombian counterpart to support women who have been victims of sexual and gender-based violence.

Marlene Sylvester,
President, CFUW Nepean

CFUW Guelph & Community Partners Celebrate IWD

On March 8, 2019, CFUW Guelph and community partners Community Engaged Scholarship Institute – University of Guelph, Guelph Wellington Women in Crisis, and the Zonta Club of Guelph hosted an International Women’s Day event that highlighted current accessibility research aimed at giving a more inclusive future to the local library.

The Guelph Public Library is getting ready to build a new downtown library and is gathering ideas that will help make the new library reflect the diversity of our community.

The day featured a student presentation (based on student research) about the barriers that exist for marginalized members of our community that inhibit their use of local libraries and why removing these barriers is so important.  This presentation was preceded by an opportunity for those attending to give comments on what they would like to see included in the new space to what they see as positive things the library is presently doing for the citizens of Guelph.  Following the student presentation, those attending could join one of five groups to discuss topics of relevance to the new library space i.e diversity and inclusion, accessibility, safety, community connections.

This presentation was considered the launch to further a goal. That goal is to create a welcoming library that already provides education, information and resources to members of the public, but also better reflects the diversity of our community.  Thus, the next steps will include the gathering of data through focus groups.  The groups will represent important diverse perspectives in the community that may not otherwise be asked for input. 

As a result, this information will provide decision makers and policy leaders with the research and methodology they need in order to build the new library with community voices at the forefront.

Following the presentation portion of the event, the group moved to the nearby Heffernan Bridge to dance in the sunshine and continue to celebrate International Women’s Day.

In the evening on the same day, CFUW moved to the Guelph Public Library to participate in another event.  The Library celebrated active women in the community: a Nutritionist, Business Owner, Entrepreneur, RN, PhD and Water Ambassador.  CFUW Guelph was one of several booths at the event and it was a great opportunity to showcase the Club and our many activities.

International Women’s Day across the miles

Shelagh Stevens, Past President CFUW Perth and District, former military officer and experienced United Nations peacekeeper, gave a presentation on the Importance of Women in UN Peacekeeping to an audience from CFUW West Vancouver, CFUW North Vancouver and members of the public. 

Pictured are
Margaret Stedman, President CFUW West Vancouver
Phyllis Scott, CFUW National President (1994-1996)
Shelagh Stevens, Past President CFUW Perth and District

Of note, due to the changing nature of peacekeeping over the past decades, civilians are even more at risk and especially women and children.  The importance of women peacekeepers to deal with issues such as protection of civilians, casualties of gender-based violence, and to set an example within the mission, and indeed the country, were discussed.  Examples were given from a wide range of peacekeepers, male and female from Indonesia to Sweden to Uruguay.

This event was CFUW West Vancouver’s recognition of International Women’s Day and a celebration of CFUW’s 100th anniversary. What a fantastic example of clubs working together.

Club News

CFUW St Catharines

Members of CFUW St. Catharines Children’s Nutrition Program team started volunteering at a breakfast program at one school in 2017 and now service five schools. Once they started their reputation spread and they began getting calls for help from additional schools. Their roles include preparing breakfast, setting up the environment, serving and interacting with school staff and, of course, the children.  Heather Sloan is convener and is currently recruiting more volunteers to be sure there are substitutes to cover illness, holidays and other events that can cause absences.

Jean Tonogai (above left) and Nancy Ferris-Hostick (right) were selected by the CFUW St. Catharines Club Executive as our Volunteers of the Year for 2019. Annually, the Executive selects members to receive recognition for the work they have done for the club. They will attend the City of St. Catharines recognition event for organizations that have made a significant difference in our community.

The criteria to receive this award are:

  • in good standing with the club
  • have never received this award in the past from our club
  • advance the mission, vision and values of the club
  • has contributed significantly through their time and talent to outcomes that benefit our club and/or the community
  • through their actions are committed to health and longevity of our club
  • act beyond the call of duty

St. Catharines Club member Marion Cross has just published a book Money and Sense, a no-nonsense guide to finances. Her primary target market for this book is young women as she feels that they are not as well prepared to tackle finances as they should be. The book sells for $10.

CFUW Orillia

On March 22 CFUW Orillia Advocacy Committee, with the assistance of Orillia Secondary School (OSS) Principal, Peter Bowman, and Leanne Young, Canada and World Studies Chair, presented A Panel Discussion on the Under-Representation of Women in Politics at OSS.  Approximately 150 students from the Civics classes at OSS and Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School took part.  On the panel was Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North; Laura Domsey, former Liberal Candidate; Pat Hehn, City of Orillia Councilor; Valerie Powel, former Green Party Candidate; Sharon Stinson Henry, former Chief of Chippewas of Rama First Nation; Sarah Valiquette, Severn Township Councilor;  Elizabeth Van Houtte, former NDP Candidate; and one student from each of the Orillia Secondary Schools: Paige, from OSS; Julia, from Patrick Fogarty; and Kaitlyn from Twin Lakes Secondary School.   Leanne Young moderated with expertise and there was a great discussion.  The questions from the students were excellent as were the answers from the panellists.  Because the Panel was held at a Secondary School during the day when classes are on, the public could not be invited due to Security issues.  CFUW Orillia will be hosting a Women in Politics Speed Networking Workshop on April 24 from 6:45 – 8:45 p.m. at Orillia Secondary School and it is open to the public.

Mary Silk,
President CFUW Orillia and
member of CFUW Orillia Advocacy Committee

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