Teal background with text "2023 Women of Distinction Awards" and YWCA Cambridge logo

2023 Women of Distinction Award Nominees Announced

YWCA Cambridge is thrilled to announce the nominees of the 29th annual Women of Distinction awards:

Amina Gilani
Carolyn (CJ) Janzen
Ellie Hook
Emily Jaarsma
Joe-Ann McComb
Laura Perrin
Maria Empringham

Olivia Bluhm
Rana Mohammad
Rebecca Dickinson
Shupi Mapuranga
Smriti Nayan
Stephanie Pearsall
Teresa Gaspar

Collage of all 14 Women of Distinction nominees in black and white. They are in the order their names appear in the list below.

YWCA Cambridge thanks all nominators who took the time to recognize the outstanding women who inspire them, and congratulates each of this year’s nominees.

This year, the 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 YWCA Cambridge’s core values of equity, self-determination, inclusion, community and leadership. 

Rather than specific award categories as in previous years, there will be one pool of nominees from which four recipients will be selected, in addition to two recipients of special award categories: Young Trailblazer and Lifetime Achievement. A third special award category, the President’s Award, will be selected by YWCA Cambridge board and staff members.

The awards ceremony will take place at the beautiful Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa on June 14, 2023 and will once again be emceed by style icon Lynn Spence. Ticket sales begin early May.

Funds raised through ticket sales and sponsorship support community outreach, gender-based violence prevention programming, employment services and advocacy to end gender inequity and gender-based violence.

For more information, visit ywcacambridge.ca/women-of-distinction/


The Women of Distinction Awards are nationally recognized as one of the most prestigious awards for women in Canada. Since 1994, it has been YWCA Cambridge’s premiere fundraising event, recognizing more than 350 women. All funds raised through the event support YWCA Cambridge’s gender-based violence prevention programs for cis and trans women and girls, non-binary and two spirit individuals.

YWCA Cambridge, a trusted community leader, gives a voice to the needs of cis and trans women and girls and non-binary and two-spirit individuals through innovative and responsive programs, services and advocacy.

For more information:
Roz Gunn, Director of Communications and Advocacy, YWCA Cambridge,  r.gunn@ywcacambridge.ca

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