2023 Women of Distinction Awards Gala

June 14, 2023

Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa

Ticket Sales open April 2023


Celebrating  the trailblazing women, girls and gender diverse individuals who make a difference in our community

Who is a Woman of Distinction?

Who is eligible?

A Woman of Distinction has made a commitment to, and a significant difference in, their community by showing vision, creativity and initiative. They may have:

  • Been a role model and inspired others through their leadership
  • Broken new ground or old barriers, and been an agent for change
  • Participated actively as a volunteer
  • Made an impact in their chosen field or endeavour
  • Assisted others to be successful in their achievements and/or pandemic response
  • Inspired and encouraged women to take part in shaping the future of their own lives and their communities
  • Shown an innovative approach to challenges facing women, girls and gender diverse individuals and the wider community

To be eligible to receive a YWCA Cambridge Woman of Distinction Award nominees must:

  • Make their contribution and/or live in the Cambridge and North Dumfries areas
  • Meet the selection criteria
  • Not be a previous award winner
  • Not be a current member of the YWCA Cambridge Board of Directors or employee of YWCA Cambridge

Award Category Update

As an organization, YWCA Cambridge always strives to be responsive to the changing needs and realities of our communities. We’re committed to reflecting the community as it changes – including how we recognize the fierce women, girls and gender diverse individuals who make a difference in Cambridge and North Dumfries.

That’s why we’re proud to announce that the 2023 Women of Distinction Awards are taking a more holistic and inclusive approach that will ensure nominees are recognized for their own unique strengths, achievements and contributions while centering our organization’s core values of equity, self-determination, inclusion, community and leadership.

This year, the Women of Distinction Awards will have one pool of nominees, rather than specific award categories. This provides the opportunity for nominators to highlight their nominees’ unique journeys and impacts, rather than boxing their diverse experiences into categories.

We know the ways individuals contribute to their communities are innumerable and we hope this change away from specific award categories provides the opportunity for nominators to celebrate the diverse ways that women do amazing things.

YWCA Cambridge will award four Women of Distinction awards in addition to three special award categories

Young Trailblazer Award (25 and under)

This award honours a young woman or gender diverse individual under the age of 25 who shows leadership at school, in the community and/or in their workplace. A Young Trailblazer is an exceptional leader and inspiration to their generation. They challenge the status quo, understand and address community issues and inspire other to do the same. Nominees must fall within this age range by March 2, 2023.

Lifetime Achievement Award (55 plus)

This award honours a woman or gender diverse individual who is 55 years or older who has made significant and varied contributions to their community. They are a role model who has tirelessly contributed to the community in many ways, for many years, as an advocate, volunteer and/or mentor. They exhibit strength, wisdom and character that serve as an inspiration to those around them. Nominees must fall within this age range by March 2, 2023.

President’s Award

This award honours someone who has inspired our community through their tireless work to uplift and empower others and build a stronger, better Cambridge for us all. This award is chosen by the YWCA Cambridge board and staff.

Award winners in the Courage of Covid category

Nomination Requirements

  1. One complete copy of the nomination package is required, and must be submitted by the deadline (11:59 P.M. on March 17, 2023) in order to be eligible.
  2. A nominee can be re-nominated in any future year but may only receive a Women of Distinction award once. Should the nominator wish to use a past nomination, a request may be made to YWCA Cambridge to avoid filling out the form again.
  3. Nominees MUST live and/or work in Cambridge and North Dumfries but may have made their contributions to communities within or beyond the these borders;
  4. Nominees must NOT be a current member of YWCA Cambridge’s Board of Directors, an employee of YWCA Cambridge or a member of the Women of Distinction Selection Committee. 
  5. Nominees must support the mission and values of YWCA Cambridge and consent to be nominated.

Selection Process

  1. We highly recommend that you record your application information on a Word or text document before submission. This will allow you to have a backup copy of the information you have submitted with the application. The information can then be pasted into the form below.
  2. Completed packages must be received by 11:59 P.M on March 17, 2023
  3. All nominations will be reviewed by the Women of Distinction Selection Committee who will choose the award recipients based on the submitted information only. Please be thorough and factual in your submission.
  4. All nomination packages will be treated in strict confidence.

Congratulations to the 2022 women of distinction!

Below are the incredible women that we celebrated as our 2022 Women of Distinction
  • The President’s Award: Abiha Syed and Rubina Bilal, Co-Chairs of Muslim Women of Cambridge.

    Someone or a team, who has inspired our community through their tireless work to uplift and empower others and build a stronger, better Cambridge for us all. 

  • Education/Child Care Hero: Bibi Corbeil and Carolina Miranda (tie)
    Someone or a team, who has gone above the call of duty to ensure children/youth in their classroom thrive despite all of the hurdles facing them throughout pandemic closures and changes to schooling;
  • Healthcare Hero: Brenda Parrot, Operating Room Attendant and Nurse Aid, Cambridge Memorial Hospital and Covid Assessment Centre
    Someone or a team, in the healthcare field who worked tirelessly through the pandemic to ensure the wellbeing of patients/clients/community;
  • Pandemic Innovation: Courtney Waterfall, Chapter Director, Shelter Movers Waterloo Region
    Someone or a team, who developed or helped develop a product, service or a social movement to help respond to the pandemic;
  • Humanitarian/Volunteerism Work: Audrey Hill 
    Someone or a team, who stepped up for people made most vulnerable as a result of the pandemic and lockdowns;
  • Social Action & Advocacy: Nicole Mahmood, Newcomer Mental Health Facilitator
    Someone or a team, who, through paid work or volunteerism has worked tirelessly to move the needle on social issues, particularly the inequities the pandemic exposed;
  • Community Champion:  Pamela Mangos, Laura McKenna and Joanne Malone, Founders and Co-owners of The Art of Home
    Someone or a team who have gone above and beyond to support their community through the pandemic;
  • Small Business Champion: Jessica Montague March, Real Estate Sales Representative, Royal LePage Crown Realty
    Someone or a team, who has championed the needs of independent businesses and fostered a sense of community while supporting local businesses throughout the pandemic;
  • The Courage of Covid Award: Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Lee Fairclough, Dr. Sharon Bal, Deputy Chief of Police Shirley Hilton, Vickie Murray and Superintendent Jennifer Davis:
    Someone or a team, who has overcome obstacles and inspired others with their tenacity & grit throughout the pandemic.
Award winner Audrey Hill and guest
Award winner Rubina Bilal and guests
Award winners in the Courage of Covid category
Women of Distinction winner Courtney Waterfall and guest
Award winner Abiha Syed
Award winner Lee Fairclough and guest
Award winner Jessica Montague March
Winners taking a selfie

If preferred, you may download a .pdf version of the 2022 nomination form to print out offline. You may return this form to our offices at 55 Dickson Street, between Tuesday – Friday, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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. Throughout the pandemic, a Woman of Distinction may have:

  • Been a role model and inspired others through their work in the field of healthcare, child care or education;
  • Participated actively as a volunteer to help people in need;
    Contributed in the field of medical research to further innovation;
  • Developed a pandemic response that supported the physical, emotional and mental needs of others;
  • Shown an innovative approach to the unique challenges facing marginalized and at-risk members of our community;
  • Demonstrated courage, tenacity and grit to overcome obstacles brought on as a result of the pandemic (either in their professional or personal life).

Thank you to our 2022 Event Partners

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 the women that have blazed trails and had incredible impacts on our community.  As a valued corporate partner, you are making a critical investment in providing young women, girls and gender diverse individuals access to strong and inspiring community role models. 

From hosting and hospitality packages to category sponsorship 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 Roz Gunn, Director of Communications and Advocacy at


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."
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: 102-55 Dickson Street, Cambridge, Ontario, N1R 7A5

Office Hours:
Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays & holidays: closed

Tel: (519) 267-6444 
Main Email:

W Programming Email:

Shades’s Mills Camp Email:

WIGG Email:

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