Special Events & Programs

Women of Distinction

Women of Distinction

Honouring and celebrating the inspiring women who are shaping the future of Cambridge.

YWCA Cambridge’s Women of Distinction Awards is a celebration of the incredible women working tirelessly to improve lives, break down barriers and inspire future generations, right here at home.

The celebration is held by YWCA member associations nationally, and Cambridge is proud to be a part of this inspirational tradition of celebrating outstanding women in our community. Since 1994, YWCA Cambridge has recognized over 280 remarkable women that are making a real difference through their work, activism and inspiring ability to overcome barriers.

Women of Distinction promises to deliver a poignant and powerful evening, honouring our incredible community and the stories of women working quietly and loudly to make a difference every day. 

What makes a Woman of Distinction?

Women of Distinction are leaders in their fields and communities. They are paving the way for the trailblazers of tomorrow and having a positive impact on our city. They work to inspire, lead and create change and we can’t help but stand up and take notice.

What makes this event so special is that the women nominated for the awards are put forward by their friends, colleagues, peers and community. Each year, we are overwhelmed by the passionate voices that come forward to nominate these change makers. And while our selection committee can only chose so many winners, we are humbled by every woman’s inspiring story. These truly are the women changing the world.

Congratulations to the 2020 Women of Distinction!

Nicole Schiener – Non-Profit or Public Service
April Bulmer – Arts & Culture
Laura Kaster  – Business & Entrepreneurship
Sarah Kokoski – Education & Mentorship
Siobhan Bonisteel – Social Action & Advocacy
Dianne Piluk – Volunteerism
Jenni Bauer – Wellness, Sport & Recreation

2020 Award Nominations Are Now Closed. 

Celebrate with us

The annual awards gala is our most significant fundraising event of the year. Ticket sales support outreach, in school, and drop in programs for cis and trans women and girls and non-binary and two spirit individuals as well as advocacy/events that are paving the way for a more equal community for all in Cambridge.

Proceeds from the Women of Distinction Awards support over 3,500 individuals annually through our programming and services that reach across Waterloo Region.

The 26th annual awards gala will take place in March 2021 at Galt Country Club. 

Do you know a Woman that should be recognized?

We want to hear about the women that inspire you through their leadership, courage and passion. Specifically, Women of Distinction are women who:

  • Consistently display and exercise leadership, demonstrates vision, innovation or creativity;
  • Have the courage to take risks, demonstrate initiative and has pioneering spirit;
  • Enrich and improve the quality of life of others with a commitment to shared community;
  • Make a noticeable impact in their chosen field of endeavour;
  • Promote and support the expansion of opportunities and choices for women and girls in our
  • Embody the values of YWCA Cambridge.

Nominate a Woman of Distinction

Award categories are as diverse as the women nominated. Below are the categories currently awarded:
  • Arts & Culture
  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Education & Mentorship
  • Non-Profit & Public Service (nominee must work in the sector)
  • Lifetime Achievement (35 years of service to the community)
  • Social Action & Advocacy (a combination of work and volunteer experience)
  • Champion of Women & Girls
  • Wellness, Sport & Recreation
  • Science, Technology, Research & Environment
  • Volunteerism
  • Young Woman of Distinction (under 35 years of age)

Partnership opportunities

What better way to create the change you want to see in the world than by supporting a vital community event created to honour women and inspire generations to come?

YWCA Cambridge is always seeking new partners to join us in celebrating these incredible women.  As a valued corporate partner, you are making a critical investment in providing young women and girls access to strong and inspiring community role models. It’s crucial that we encourage and celebrate young people today, so they can lead us in the future.

From hosting and hospitality packages to presenting rights and more, we will work with you to create a partnership that meets your goals and aligns with your corporate values. For partnership inquiries, please contact Caroline Barker, Director of Philanthropy, at 519.267.6444 ext. 225 or via email at c.barker@ywcacambridge.ca

Thank you to our event partners


My Story →
"It makes me feel more connected to my community and honored to be a part of a group of such astounding women."


My Story →
"I was so overwhelmed and humbled to have received the nomination and then the honor to receive the award. It is so wonderful to be a part of such a beautiful community that recognizes what you are doing."


My Story →
"Women need to learn to be kinder to them selves and reach out to each other on a more regular basis, share more about their own fears . Women must listen to each other, learn from each other and stand up for each other. United, women are powerful."


My Story →
"I was extremely humbled to have my community service efforts recognized and ecstatic to celebrate it among so many amazing women in my community. It really motivated me to continue to build upon what I’ve done to try and make a difference."

future Events

Upcoming fundraising events

Race to Erase

Race to Erase is an annual fundraising competition where
teams compete in fun-filled challenges throughout our community, all in support of multiple local charities.

She Talks: Stories of Tenacity & Grit

She Talks brings you the stories of remarkable women and their personal journeys in this intimate night of authentic conversation, laughter and inspiration.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Presented by Meridian

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® is a playful opportunity to raise awareness in our community about the serious nature of inequality and gender-based violence. We walk in solidarity for equality, safety and tolerance in our community.

Festive Futures

This annual holiday giving program brings together our community to help deserving families enjoy the holidays. Each year we are able to provide gifts and necessities to help make the season brighter for some of our program participants.

Get In Touch

Have a Question Or Need Assistance?

If you have a question about YWCA Cambridge, our programs or events, or simply want to get involved, please give us a call or send us an email.

Contact Us

Address: 55 Dickson Street, Cambridge, Ontario, N1R 7A5

Office Hours:
Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays & holidays: closed

Tel: (519) 267-6444 
Main Email: info@ywcacambridge.ca

W Programming Email: thew@ywcacambridge.ca

Shades’s Mills Camp Email: camp@ywcacambridge.ca

WIGG Email: wigg@ywcacambridge.ca

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