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Women in Trades (WIT)

  • Instelling
  • 1979-1989

The origins of the Women In Trades organization came out of a September 1979 meeting where women from several government agencies and educational groups met to come up with a strategy to help women already working in trades or as a starting point for women interested in entering non-traditional occupations. It was evident to the women at this meeting that there were problems with women in trade feeling isolated and not having a support group to discuss issues with. In spring 1980, a working committee was planning the founding meeting of Women In Trades association. This was held in June 1980.

Founding members of the group are Nancy Bayly and Jenny Stimac. There were always a small group but were committed to the cause. Mary Addison served as co-ordinator of the organization throughout the 1980s. Women In Trade helped women from both an educational and political perspective to make sure they received the guidance they needed. They were able to direct women to different training programs and also encourage them to act politically. There were workshops on how to lobby the government and speaking out publicly and also to attend rallies.

The central focus of the organization was to promote women in trade performing non-traditional work. This was an ongoing process. It involved convincing federal and provincial decision makers and labour unionists of the viability of women working in trades. They had to continually work at strengthening the relationship between tradeswomen, unions and employers. The membership of the group had a broad base. Women In Trade was open to women from different racial and ethnic backgrounds and also disabled tradeswomen. To be eligible for membership a women had to: work with her hands, belong to a particular skilled trade and paid hourly doing work with machines. Funding was always a challenge for this organization and they had to be constantly looking for sources of money. They looked to several different Ontario programs for assistance.

Ottawa Women's Lobby (OWL)

  • Instelling
  • 1977-[199-]
The Ottawa Women’s Lobby (OWL) was a feminist advocacy organization founded as a member group of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) by Shirley Greenberg in 1977. OWL lobbied the municipal, provincial and federal governments to fight for equality for women in all aspects of Canadian life. The organization consisted of women from various occupations and backgrounds. In addition to Shirley Greenberg, the members of OWL throughout the group's founding/early years (1970s) consisted of: Kay Marshall, Lynn Kaye, Rosemary Billings, Diana Pepall, Mary Ambrose, Pat Hacker, John Baglow, Carole Swan, Helene Doyon, Sheila Klein, and Monica Townson. OWL remained active until the 1990's, but past members continue to hold semi-annual social meetings, which facilitate spirited debates.

Nellie Langford Rowell Library collection

  • Instelling
  • 1969-
The Nellie Langford Rowell Library began its existence in 1969 with the collections of documents by the radical feminist group Toronto New Feminists. This group disbanded in 1973 and its library collection was moved the Women's Place on Dupont Street in Toronto. Afterwards, the collection was handed over to the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) of Metropolitan Toronto on Birth Street.
Upon Birch Street's Y's closure, the documents were put in storage. Joanna Stuckley, the library's first organizer, a faculty member and an advisor to the President on the Status of Women at York's University, was able to arrange for the library to be moved to York University as the York-YWCA Collection. York University has provided a budget to cover one third of its library expenses. In 1985, 1987 and 1994, a donation by Mary Coyne Rowell, through the Jackman Foundation, enabled Founder's College to establish the library on a permanent basis. The library was renamed to honour Mary Coyne Rowell Jackman's mother, Nellie Langford Rowell.

Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Ottawa (BWCPO)

  • Instelling
  • 1933-

The Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Ontario (BPWCO) was formed as a provincial wing of the Canadian Business and Professional Women's Clubs, itself a charter member of the International Federation. In 1933, the Business and Professional Women's Club of Ottawa (BPWCO), a local branch of the Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Ontario, was created. Membership to a local Business and Professional Women's Club allowed access to provincial, national and international membership.

In 1948, the Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Ontario (BPWCO) had its first annual provincial conference. It was headed by a board of directors who met before and after the annual meeting. An interim board meeting was held in the fall and the executive began to meet on a more regular basis. In Ontario, the local clubs were grouped in 12 regions, each comprising of a maximum of 12 clubs. Each individual club elected a regional advisor among its membership. Regional advisors acted as a liaison between the board of directors and other clubs, visited the clubs yearly, and encouraged the creation of additional clubs.

In 1970, the Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Ontario (BPWCO) went through a reorganization. Regions were disbanded and the number of districts was increased from four to seven. Changes were also added to the Board of Directors. The number of vice-presidents decreased from four to one and seven district directors were appointed.

The Business and Professional Women's Club of Ottawa and Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Ontario hosted various activities such as contests for career women and Business Women's Week. Both organizations were also involved in lobbying, the creation of scholarships, as well as the presentation of briefs and submissions to government commissions and the United Nations.

The objects of all clubs were quite similar: to encourage equal status for women in economic, civil and political life; to promote the interests of business and professional women; to encourage education and occupational training for girls and women; and to promote cooperation between professional and business women.

Canadian Slovak League (CSL)

  • Instelling
  • 1932-

The Canadian Slovak League (CSL) was founded in December 1932 by Andrej Kučera, Juraj Rodoš and Pavol A. Sabo, representatives of the Winnipeg Branch of the Slovak League of America. The founding members of the CSL wanted to create an organization catering to the needs of Slovak-Canadians and sought to broaden the social and financial support to their members. In 1934, this organization received a “Dominion Charter” therefore making the CSL a fraternal benefit society. For the remainder of the 1930s, this organization continued to support Slovakia’s independence as promised by the Pittsburg Agreement. It also paid death benefits according to the size of its treasury to deceased members’ family. The Oshawa and Hamilton branches of the CSL established the First District of the Assembly followed by the first Slovak Day in Oshawa. Slovak Days in cities such as Toronto, Hamilton, Welland, Montréal and Windsor would soon follow.

In the 1940s, the CSL was involved in the Canadian war effort. Members purchased war bonds and participated in the war effort. The CSL donated an ambulance to the Red Cross. During these years, the CSL established its organ newspaper Kanadský Slovak, edited respectively by Štefan Hreha, Konštantin Čuleň, Štefan Reištetter, Andrej Brazda and Julius Behul. Upon World War II’s and the beginning of Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, the CSL sent a delegation to Ottawa to persuade the Canadian government to accept Slovak refugees fleeing the Communist regime, a situation intensified by the Pact of Warsaw in 1968.

In 1954, the CSL was reorganized as an insurance company. Members now had to pay monthly fees according to their age. Due to this new policy, membership dropped making this organization return to its previous role as a fraternal organization. Culturally, the CSL continued to support Slovak Halls where plays and Slovak folk dance groups performed culminating in a performance at Expo ’67. CSL members also sponsored radio shows and television programs.

With the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1989, the CSL demanded that a full Canadian diplomatic post be created in Bratislava. To this day, the CSL continues to help Slovak immigrants arriving in Canada and promotes Slovak culture and heritage with activities in various branches.

Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre

  • Instelling
  • 1974-

In 1974, three women (Rosemary Billings, Gaby Van Heusen and Diane Williams) originally active in the Ottawa Women’s Centre had the idea of starting a crisis centre for victims of rape and sexual assault in the Ottawa-Hull area. A grant was secured to support the project, and on December 15th, 1974, the centre officially opened. The original goals of the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre were to 1) provide direct assistance to rape victims through a volunteer-operated crisis phone line, casework and accompaniment services, and group counselling 2) to educate the public toward a change in attitude and treatment of the issue of rape. Representatives of the centre spoke to high schools and other organizations to raise awareness as well as liaising with police stations and hospitals with the aim of working together to help victims of rape.

In 1976, the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre was comprised of four full-time staff and 40 volunteers. A board of directors made up of community members was established in early 1976 to provide support for a Demonstration Project grant submission to the Federal Government Health & Welfare department. Conflicts between the board and certain staff members ensued in 1976 and 1977 which threatened the success of the centre; internal conflicts occurred again in 1982. The Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre continues to operate in 2019 and has expanded to include three full time and eight part-time staff members, project staff, and approximately 50 volunteers who respond to the crisis line, provide education outreach, and sit on the board.

Feminist Party of Canada

  • Instelling
  • 1979-1982

The Feminist Party of Canada (FPC) developed during the feminist movement in response to a lack of representation of women in government and to the many injustices women and minorities continued to face. The party began on June 10, 1979 at an event held by a number of feminists at the Ontario Institute for the Study of Education (OISE), which attracted over 600 people. The event included readings and songs, as well as speeches delivered by Marg Evans, Angela Miles, Mary O'Brien and Laura Sabia.

The primary objective of the FPC was to have an impact on the political system by providing a feminist perspective, and in turn, tackle many of the neglected issues concerning women. The party quickly received attention from the media and was very active while it existed—holding events, sending out newsletters and flyers, communicating with politicians and fighting for official party status. Though the Feminist Party of Canada never became an official party, ending only three years after it began, the party influenced many women to become politically active and brought attention to numerous social, economic, political and educational issues affecting not only women, but all of society.

Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women

  • Instelling
  • 1973-1995

The Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW) was established by the federal government of Canada on the recommendation of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women (RCSW) in 1973. The primary purpose of its creation was to educate the public and make an impact on the issues and concerns facing Canadian women, including: access to employment in male dominated professions, equal pay, female reproduction rights, child care, representation in government, constitutional reform, health care, sexual assault, violence against women, and more.

The CACSW was comprised of one president, two vice presidents, fifteen regionally representative members working part-time, and approximately thirty office staff members. After years of providing publications on women's research and helping to reform the constitution, the CACSW was eventually dismantled on April 1, 1995.

The University Women's Club of Ottawa

  • Instelling
  • 1910-
The University Women's Club of Ottawa was formed on 15 April, 1910. The purpose of the Club was to advance the interests of women and to serve the community in social, educational and cultural areas. The club awarded scholarships to secondary school and university students. It participated in the establishment of the Ottawa Little Theater, The Elizabeth Frye Society of Ottawa and the National School Volunteer Association. The Club presents the view of women on contemporary economic, social and cultural problems. It is affiliated with the Canadian Federation of University Women.
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