This evening the YWCA is hosting its Women of Distinction Awards.
As a sponsor of the event I will be liveblogging throughout the ceremony to announce winners, post photos, and provide updates. If you’re following along on Twitter you can search for the tag #YWVanWODA throughout the evening.
The liveblog will begin around 6:30pm but we’ll have some content up before then. It’s bound to be great evening here at the Westin Bayshore and in the meantime you can read my previous posts about the awards for some background.
All of tonight’s nominees can be found listed here.
Update The nominees have started to arrive and they are being given gorgeous corsages. Outside the grand ballroom at the Westin there are over 50 silent auction items up for grabs. In my brief walk-through I found some awesome hockey artwork, jewelry from Tiffany’s, kayaking experiences, and gift certificates for The Boathouse, Crave, and Five Sails.
Update The nominees have just been introduced and dinner is about to begin. I just found out that there is a nominee at my Miss604.com table: Faith Garriock of Destination ImagiNation.
I also just saw on Twitter that there are people following these awards from across the globe, which is amazing. I’m already in awe of the achievements of each of the nominees and knowing their reach and worldwide impact is nothing short of inspirational.
Update Emcee Sophia Lui (Global TV) took to the stage to do introductions before dinner — I was recently on a panel with her at a Vancouver Board of Trade Event. She’s always fun to chat with and is constantly working hard at her craft, something I really respect.
Update Dinner is wrapping up and we’re getting ready for the awards ceremony. I will add the winners’ names next to the following categories in order, as they are announced:
Recipient: Ardell Brophy – Founder & Producer, Laff Riot Girls Comedy; VP, USW Local 2009
Quote: “Ladies and gentlemen, if we cannot laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at?”
Recipient: Barbara Hislop – Executive Director, Variety â€“ The Childrenâ€™s Charity
Quote: “I have had the good fortune to have extremely smart family & colleague throughout my career.”
Recipient: Donna Stewart – Founding Board Member, A Place to Call Home Housing Society
Quote: “The YW has found ways to include people who have been excluded. They found ways in a very competitive society for us all to share.”
Recipient: Iona Whishaw – Principal, David Thompson Secondary
Quote: “I’m grateful to the YWCA for their work with young people – for their advocacy and creation of futures.”
Recipient: Linda Coady – VP Sustainability, VANOC for the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games
Quote: “Needless to say, the Games were quite a ride…. …There are two people at my table who have taught me that you can pursue your values and your dreams, and you can give to your community at the same time.”
Update There is a video playing telling the story of one inspiring woman – beaten and abused – who arrived in Vancouver with her young two sons in her arms and built up her life thanks to the YWCA’s Crabtree Corner. The YWCA touches the lives of over 53,000 members of the Greater Vancouver community each year.
Recipient: Dr. Janice Eng – Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, UBC
Quote: “I share the vision of the YWCA who supports physical activity across the lifespan.”
Recipient: Nurse Next Door Home Healthcare Services
Recipient: Shirley Chan – CEO, Building Opportunities with Business Inner City Society
Quote: “I want to thank [the three previous award recipients at my table] for showing me what it means to give your life to public service and I feel today that I have sort of… arrived. And, I want to thank the Y for being there for us throughout our lives.”
Recipient: Karimah Es Sabar – President, LifeSciences BC; Senior VP, Business and Strategic Affairs, The Centre for Drug Research and Development
Quote: “The one thing that should be non-negotiable is the safety and quality of life for children. But equally important is innovation, creativity and economic development because without all of those things we cannot help women and children in our own community or the world at large.”
Recipient: Saara Bhanji – Board Member and Researcher, Justice for Girls International
Quote: “I would like to thank my nominator, my family and the Ismaili community for supporting me throughout all of this.”
Update As a reminder, all of the nominees were eligible for the Connecting the Community which is a people’s choice award. This will be the last award of the evening before the raffle prizes are drawn (which include a grand prize from WestJet) and we all head for home.
Recipient: Amanda Tapping
Quote: “I truly believe that every child on this earth deserves the same start and the same opportunities.”
Update That concludes tonight’s program. The silent auction and raffles have ended, the dinner plates have been cleared, and that chocolate mousse with raspberry coulis is resting peacefully in my belly. I have a feeling that the Amanda Tapping followers around the world who have been checking in throughout the night are pretty pleased as well. Thanks to everyone for tuning in and supporting the work of the YWCA in Vancouver.