YWCA Regina Announcing that the 2020 AGM will be held online only

YWCA Regina AGM 2020 – Online Only

An updated message for our Partners and Community Members from YWCA Regina in addition to the response of March 13th regarding COVID-19.

March 17, 2020

Dear YWCA Friends:

YWCA McIntyre Building:  To limit the potential for transmission of COVID-19 to the vulnerable women and children whose home is within the McIntyre Building, we will be closing the building to the public Wednesday March 18th, 2020 until further notice.

YWCA Events: Until further notice, all YWCA events will be cancelled.  Please contact Megan McCormick, meganm@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

YWCA Childcare and Before & After School: As of March 18th, all childcare services will be operated from the Centre for Play and Development at 1855 2nd Avenue North.  This will ensure that we are protecting the women who live at 1940 McIntyre Street.  Following the requirement from the Government of Saskatchewan, we will be closing the Lumsden childcare and Before & After school location by March 20th, 2020.  Please contact Tara Molson, taram@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

Housing: Isabel Johnson, My Aunt’s Place, and Kikinaw Residence will remain open.  To limit the potential for transmission of COVID-19, Outreach will limit services to new clients from IJS and Map until further notice.

YWCA Children’s Housing: We will continue to provide housing and support for children and families and will take the necessary precautions as outlined by Public Health of Canada.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Randy Lundy, randyl@ywcaregina.com.

Community Programs:  All community programs will be cancelled until further notice and virtual support networks for participants will be created.  Please contact Tara Molson, taram@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

Donations and Volunteers:  Until further notice, YWCA Regina will no longer be able to accept donations or host volunteers.  Please contact Alexis Losie, alexisl@yecaregina.com if you have any questions.

We will continue to update our community via our social media platforms and website.  Thank you again for your continued support of YWCA Regina.

Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen
CEO – YWCA Regina

Printable PDF Version of Covid-19 Update Letter of March 17, 2020

A letter from YWCA Regina CEO, Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen

March 13, 2020

Dear YWCA Friends:

Thank you for your ongoing support of YWCA Regina.  It is a privilege and honour to serve our communities, both here in Regina and across the province.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the ongoing health and well-being of children, families, participants, staff, and community members, the YWCA is enacting the following procedures, effective immediately:

  • If anyone in your household exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, please do not access YWCA services in person and call 811;
  • The YWCA will be enacting additional daily cleaning procedures of all high frequency contact areas;
  • Following recommendations for prevention procedures from Public Health of Canada;
  • Posting additional signage to encourage good hygiene and hand washing;
  • Cancelling all non-essential public outings and events for participants;
  • Regular staff who are feeling unwell will be permitted to remain home.

As we do always, YWCA Regina will continue to conform to all legislated precautions and best practices, including the Saskatchewan Childcare Act and Regulations, Saskatchewan Shelter Regulation as well as the provincial guidelines for Communicable Disease Prevention.

Childcare and Before & After School: At this time all services remain open and we will be following recommendations from the Ministry of Early Learning and Education moving forward.  Please contact Tara Molson, taram@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

Housing: For those who use our housing and shelter programs, please contact Cora Sellers, coras@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.  We will work with you to ensure:

  • You have sufficient supplies should you be required to stay in your room;
  • You have access to mental health and phone supports;
  • You have access to your medications.

We will continue to provide housing, shelter and housing support on a continual basis and ask that you advise us immediately if you are feeling unwell, have travelled, or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

YWCA Children’s Housing: We will continue to provide housing and support for children and families and will take the necessary precautions as outlined by Public Health of Canada.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Randy Lundy, randyl@ywcaregina.com.

Community Programs: At this time, all programs remain open although modifications may be made to increase social distancing and prevent the likelihood of transmission.  Please contact Tara Molson, taram@ywcaregina.com, if you have any questions or concerns.

Donations and Volunteers: YWCA Regina will advise all volunteers if/when we are unable to open.  Please let your staff contact know if you’re unable to attend any shifts.  At this time, YWCA Regina is accepting donations.

We will continue to update our community via our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and website.

Thank you again for your continued support of YWCA Regina.


Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen
CEO – YWCA Regina

Click here for a printable PDF version of this letter

Please enjoy the YWCA Regina’s monthly newsletter for March 2020. Feel free to share our newsletter and tell your friends about the exciting things happening at YWCA Regina. In this issue:
  • International Women’s Day 
  • Here for Her – Joan Beanlands – Her Story
  • Thanks to Casino Regina
  • Tickets on sale for Nutrien YWCA Regina Women of Distinction Awards
  • 120 Walkers enjoyed the Coldest Night of the Year 
  • YWCA Regina in the community
  • Childcare spaces available at Sally’s Place 
  • One-day prenatal class starting soon
  • National YWCA news

Link to March Newsletter

Nutrien YWCA Regina Women of Distinction Awards 2019 on stage

Nutrien YWCA Regina Women of Distinction Awards

YWCA Regina will host the Coldest Night of the Year on Saturday, February 22nd starting at St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral at 1861 McIntyre Street.

For the fifth year in a row, YWCA Regina will host Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) to help hungry, homeless and hurting people in our city. CNOY is an annual event held in 136 communities across the country raising money and awareness in support of programs fighting homelessness and poverty. On Saturday Mayor Michael Fougere will join YWCA Regina’s CEO Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, and about 100 other participants, on a walk through Regina’s Downtown and Heritage neighbourhoods.

Everyone is welcome to take part in this family-friendly event. Walkers have a choice of two or five-kilometre routes with fun-filled interactive rest stops along the way hosted by community partners that include the Cornwall Centre, Regina Fire & Protective Services, and Queen City Collective. Community spirit will be evident with music playing at cheer stations and hot chocolate, tea, coffee and even chicken soup offered! At the end of the jaunt, walkers will return to St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral for a reception with chilli served by the Queen City Kinettes.

Coldest Night of the Year is an opportunity for like-minded individuals to share a heartwarming, experience with heart-healthy exercise. In addition to the benefits of camaraderie, it is an opportunity to make real change. By walking at dusk, during a cold winter’s night, walkers sense a bit of the challenge faced by people suffering homelessness.

There is a great deal of need. YWCA Regina shelters are at maximum capacity. In 2019 My Aunt’s Place (MAP), Regina’s only 24-hour emergency homeless shelter for women and families, served 512 women and their children. Unfortunately, MAP had to turn away over 1500 women and their children due to lack of space last year. Funds collected from the Coldest Night of the Year will help YWCA Regina bring warmth to hundreds of women and children. To learn more about CNOY, or financially support a team, please visit https://cnoy.org/regina.

Media contact:  Donna Boyle, YWCA Regina Director of Communications
Email: donnab@ywcaregina.com or Telephone: 306-525-2141 ext. 145

December 6th, 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. Not an anniversary anyone really wants to celebrate, but a tragedy that we must never forget. Try to imagine yourself innocently walking to class while thinking about writing term finals, meeting your friend for a coffee, or going home soon for the holidays. No idea that what seemed like a day like any other, would instead be your last, and not knowing that your last day would be one of terror and violence.

On December 6th, 1989, a man entered the École Polytechnique de Montréal, separated the male and female engineering students, and shot the women. Thirteen students and one worker were murdered and thirteen others were wounded that day simply because they were women. This became known as the Montreal Massacre. This senseless act of targeted violence shook our country and led the Canadian Parliament to designate December 6th as The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. Across Canada this day offers an opportunity to remember the promising young lives cut short and to work for a society free from gender-based violence.

On December 6th, YWCA Regina will hand out red roses in and around the Cornwall Centre between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m. in honour of the 14 women. In addition, we encourage people to attend other events open to the public. The University of Regina will commemorate the day in numerous ways including a vigil at noon in the Crush Space of the Riddell Centre organized by the Women’s Centre and the Regina’s Engineering Student Society. There will also be a Candle Light Vigil held at 7 p.m. at the United Way offices at 1440 Scarth Street organized by the Canadian Labour Congress, Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, SGEU and RDLC.

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women falls within the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence which began on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25th and ends with International Human Rights Day on December 10th. The theme of this year’s campaign in Canada is #OurActionsMatter. We all have a role to play to ensure that tragedies like the Montreal Massacre never happen again.

In Canada every six days a woman is killed by her intimate partner. The rate which Indigenous women are murdered is six times higher than non-Indigenous women. In Saskatchewan, we consistently have the highest rates of police reported incidents of intimate partner violence and sexual assaults amongst the provinces. Saskatchewan doubles the national average.

YWCA Regina is known for providing crisis services and supports for women and children and we also focus on community education. While great work is being done, we have a long way to go. YWCA Regina turns away more than 2000 women and children from our shelters each year. As YWCA continues to provide lifesaving supports and services, we must all advocate for the elimination of gender-based violence. Participating in The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Womenis a good place to start.

“If nobody cared I’d be really concerned because, you know, one of the major components of the success of this building is that the community will use it.”

With a proposed design ready for the Regina YWCA’s new building in the Cathedral neighbourhood, the organization heard the community’s feedback on the design and what the surrounding outdoor space should look like.

Read more at LeaderPost.com

The YWCA held an information session on Wednesday night to gather feedback of the proposed $35 million dollar building in Regina’s Cathedral neighbourhood. The City of Regina also gave the parcel of land of Lucy Eley Park to the non-profit organization.

Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, the CEO of YWCA Regina says it’s important to get ideas from the community they will be serving.

Read more on CTVNews.ca

Regina – Today YWCA Regina’s Advocacy Committee is launching its third annual Sexual Assault Prevention Campaign, Blamé. 21 local establishments will serve customers beverages on Not Asking for It coasters and display informative posters for the public to view in conjunction with Saskatchewan’s Sexual Assault Awareness Week.

“When someone is raped, they carry the burden of their experience and the subsequent judgements of others with them for the rest of their life,” says Hillary Aitken, Senior Director of Housing at YWCA Regina. “The goal of this campaign is to shine on a light on the stigma attached to sexual assault–and ultimately eliminate sexual violence altogether–so that survivors and victims aren’t responsible for educating their community that what happened to them wasn’t their fault.”

In Regina, 2018 saw 38.6 per cent more sexual assaults reported to police than in 2017, meanwhile Saskatchewan’s rate of sexual assault is double the national average. It is worth noting that when someone is intoxicated, they cannot legally consent to sex and sex without consent is sexual assault.

“We need to shift the stigma of sexual assault so it falls on the attacker, not the person who has been assaulted”, says Chantelle Kraushaar, Victoria’s Tavern General Manager. “I believe that it’s everyone’s responsibility to get informed, to demand consent and respect for all people in their daily lives, and to take action together in building a more caring community.”

Staff at participating Regina businesses have access to information on the realities of sexual assault in our province and why victim-blaming is harmful, so that they can carry out informed discussions with customers. Customers are then asked to share photos of themselves with Blamé coasters on social media using the hashtags #NotAskingForIt and #YWCARegina along with what they have learned about sexual assault.

Participating establishments in Regina include O’Hanlons Irish Pub, Crave Kitchen & Wine Bar, Victoria’s Tavern, Leopold’s Tavern OG, Leopold’s Tavern North, Leopold’s Tavern East, Malty National, Cathedral Social Hall, Shannon’s Irish Pub, Bushwakker Brewpub, Rebellion, the Fat Badger, The Capitol, Lancaster Taphouse, The Cure, Bodega Tapas Bar, Has Beans, Beer Brothers, The Willow on Wascana, Lot Regina, and Tommy’s Speakeatery.

Regina – YWCA Regina’s Nutrien Women of Distinction Awards is pleased to announce that Dr. Vianne Timmons, O.C. has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. Vianne is a nationally celebrated leader and educator, having been named as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017 and one of Canada’s “Top 100 Most Powerful Women” for 4 years. Professionally, Vianne has been serving the University of Regina as the institution’s first woman President and Vice-Chancellor for the past decade. Across Canada, less than 25% of university presidents are women, a statistic Vianne is committed to changing.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is granted annually by a selection committee whose decision is based on four criteria: the recipient must be a woman of influence, a woman of exceptional accomplishment, a woman of exemplary character, and a woman of endurance.

“We are very excited that Vianne is accepting this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award,” says Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, CEO of YWCA Regina. “Vianne fearlessly uses every opportunity she can to bring voice to all women. Her commitment to changing the course for future generations of women while lifting women up as she succeeds are testaments to her strengths as a feminist and leader.”

Born into a coal-mining family and raised in a small community in Northern Labrador, Dr. Vianne Timmons credits her modest and humble upbringing for encouraging her success in leadership. In 1983, Vianne completed her Master of Education degree in Special Education from Gonzaga University, and she then went on to complete her PhD in Education Psychology from the University of Calgary in 1993. Since 2010, she has hosted the Inspiring Leadership Forum, an annual event that explores the power of women’s leadership for people of all genders across southern Saskatchewan.

“Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from YWCA Regina is an incredible honour,” says Timmons. “The organization does so much in our community to promote gender equality, enhance the status of women, and serve families. Celebrating women’s accomplishments is an important part of this, and something that I hope will help inspire the next generation of leaders.”

Since 1981, YWCA Regina’s Nutrien Women of Distinction Awards have recognized women whose outstanding achievements contribute to the health and future of our community and are an inspiration to others. Nominees will be celebrated at the 38thAnnual Awards Gala taking place May 2.

To nominate a woman for an award, purchase tickets to the Awards Gala, or learn more about the Awards, please visit https://womenofdistinctionregina.com.