YWCA Women of Distinction Awards: Ceremony

Comments 10 by Rebecca Bollwitt

This evening the YWCA is hosting its Women of Distinction Awards.

YWCA Women of Distinction AwardsAs 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.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

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:

  • Arts, Culture & Design
    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?”
  • Business & the Professions
    Recipient: Barbara Hislop – Executive Director, Variety – The Children’s Charity
    Quote: “I have had the good fortune to have extremely smart family & colleague throughout my career.”
  • Community Building
    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.”
  • Education, Training & Development
    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.”
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation
    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.

  • Health & Active Living
    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.”
  • Innovative Workplace
    Recipient: Nurse Next Door Home Healthcare Services
  • Non-profit & Public Service
    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.”
  • Technology, Science & Industry
    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.”
  • Young Woman of Distinction
    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.”
  • And @AmandaTapping wins Connecting the Community #YWVanWODA #YWCAUpdate 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.

  • Connecting the Community (people’s choice)
    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.

    10 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

    1. WendyTuesday, June 1st, 2010 — 9:27pm PDT

      There seem to be a lot of amazing women in Vangroovy! Thanks for keeping us up to date tonight!

    2. morjanaTuesday, June 1st, 2010 — 9:33pm PDT

      Thank you so much for covering this event. Congratulations to all the nominees for their outstanding work in assisting their community and citizens. Best wishes.

    3. majorsalTuesday, June 1st, 2010 — 9:40pm PDT

      yes, i’m one of the amanda tapping fans, checking every few moments for updates. :p and thanks to YOU for doing that too! 😀

    4. yvonneTuesday, June 1st, 2010 — 11:54pm PDT

      thanks for keeping us updated. I am totally an Ardell Brophy fan and so excited to see her be the recipent for the Arts Culture and Design award

    5. AmyWednesday, June 2nd, 2010 — 1:53am PDT

      Thank you so much for your wonderful live blog and up to the minute tweets- it was great to be able to support Amanda throughout the awards but also to hear about the other inspirational women who do such incredible work in their areas of expertise to help and change their communities to provide a brighter future for generations to come. The Women of Distinction awards is such a wonderful event in celebrating all these women- both the winners and the nominees- their efforts should not be forgotten.
      It was definitely worth staying up all night for, despite the fact that I shall suffer for it this afternoon I’m sure!! 🙂

    6. AmyWednesday, June 2nd, 2010 — 1:54am PDT

      Also, I don’t suppose you fancy doing the Leo’s on Saturday?! Just joking… Kind of 😛

    7. flolieWednesday, June 2nd, 2010 — 8:09am PDT

      OMG !! will I thank you enough for the updates !!!!! I stayed up all night and just came from uni exausted but it was SO worth it !!!! you got all Amanda Tapping’s fans on Twitter follwong you now !!!!

    8. Rebecca Bollwitt, Miss604 Miss604Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 — 11:35am PDT

      @Amy we will actually be covering the Leo Awards next weekend too (not liveblogging but will Tweet).

    9. Jandyra-CJMWednesday, June 2nd, 2010 — 3:18pm PDT


      Yes I was ALSO one of the people rabidly refreshing your blog page and tweeting throughout this PHENOMENAL evening 😀 YWCA Women of Distinction is such a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to all these incredibly inspiring women…especially our wonderful Amanda Tapping :D, and all the amazing work they are doing for their community and around the world!
      Twitter fairly exploded after the People’s Choice was awarded *COUGH*..ALL these women are just so inspiring in their field of vision!!
      We are indebted to you for your wonderful coverage during this inspiring evening! Thank you so much for your live blog and tweets, we look forward to Saturday’s big do!

    10. JenWednesday, June 2nd, 2010 — 3:30pm PDT

      OMG tweeting for the Leos will be sooooooooooo appreciated. There will be many many Amanda Tapping fans on twitter at the weeked. At least two in UK planning on pulling an all nighter if necessary. Isn’t that right Amy 🙂

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