Seven North Shore nominees up for 2023 Women of Distinction Awards

Seven North and West Vancouver residents have been nominated for the 2023 YWCA Metro Vancouver’s Women of Distinction Awards.

The Awards, now in their 40th year, honour women who have contributed to the well-being and future of the local community, be that individually or through an organization. This year 78 nominees are in the running.

Split across 12 categories, the nominations applaud women who have contributed to various industries, including that of art and culture, business, education, health and wellness, and environmental sustainability.

Three of the seven North Shore nominees are being commended for their work with Indigenous communities.

Up for the Reconciliation in Action award is North Vancouver’s Angela Kermer, an RCMP corporal from Leq’a:mel, Squamish, and Haida Gwaii, who has worked in First Nations policing, youth intervention, and aboriginal gang awareness in Port Hardy, North Vancouver, and at the B.C. RCMP headquarters.

She is joined by Ginger Gosnell-Myers, a North Vancouver Indigenous Fellow at Simon Fraser University, and Tessa Danelesko, the program lead for the First Nations writers workshop Audible Indigenous Writers Circle.

Tamara Goddard, CEO of the Four Our Future Indigenous Economics Non-Profit – an Indigenous owned corporation that specialises in developing and implementing sustainably-focused business plans – is up for the award in the Entrepreneurship & Innovation category.

Representing North Vancouver in the Business and the Professions section is Sonja Baikogli Foley for her role as co-founder of Maturn, a program which supports women throughout their entire maternity leave.

Meanwhile Life Sciences BC, a non-profit organization that supports the province's life sciences community, has its president and CEO Wendy Hurlburt in the running for the Non-Profit award, while Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, chief scientific officer at Genome Canada, is up for an award in the Research, the Sciences and Technology category.

In addition to the 12 nomination categories, the individual nominees are also eligible for the Connecting the Community Award, voted for by the public between March 8 and April 12.

Nominees will select a YWCA advocacy area they are interested in before using social media to promote collect votes. Scotiabank will donate $10,000 to the YWCA program area of the winner’s choice.

Award recipients will be announced at the Women of Distinction Awards Gala at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver on May 9, 2023.

Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

Mina Kerr-Lazenby, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Shore News