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The Women's Employment Counselling Centre (WECC) Pilot Program was evaluated in 1984 by Employment and Immigration Canada (the Program Evaluation Branch) and continued to operate throughout the 1990's. Many women who received advice and guidance from the WEC in Toronto were subsequently hired at various companies and organizations throughout Ontario including CP Rail, the Ministry of Transportation, CN, Toronto Transit Commission, the Toronto Star, and more. WEC eventually closed down in 1997 due to minimal support and a difficult political and economic climate within the Human Resource Development Canada (HRDC).
The Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE) was founded in 1965, by an act of the Ontario legislature; it was established to lead research initiatives and to provide graduate programs in education. Research and graduate studies within the University of Toronto were transferred to OISE from the Ontario Colleges of Education.
In December 1994, OISE was integrated with the Faculty of Education, University of Toronto. It was named the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, and was fully operational by July 1996.
Beginning in 2012, OISE was structured with four academic departments: Applied Psychology and Human Development (APHD); Curriculum, Teaching and Learning (CTL); Leadership, Higher and Adult Education (LHAE); Social Justice Education (SJE). The current dean of OISE is G.A. Jones, whose term began in 2015. The Council of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education is the institute’s highest governing body; it oversees faculty governance.
OISE is mandated to equip scholars, teachers and other professional with skills and global awareness necessary to influence policy and practice in their fields. The institute is mandated to discover and mobilize knowledge through leading-edge research and innovation. It is also mandated to advance lifelong learning and to contribute to public policy dialogue.
The origins of what later became the CWMA/ACMF were the records of the Toronto feminist newspaper The Other Woman. When the newspaper ceased publication in 1977, Pat Leslie, editor of The Other Woman, moved the newspaper’s records into her apartment and was the custodian of the first Canadian Women’s Archives (CWMA) documents. From 1977 until 1982, she preserved The Other Woman records and some additional material relating to the Canadian Women’s Movement in her apartment. In 1983, working with a group of women including Nancy Adamson, Sandy Fox, Weisia Kolansinka and Lorna Weir under the banner of the NGO the Women’s Information Center (WIC) , a registered Canadian charity, an application was made for a Canada Community Development Grant. This allowed the group to rent a room in a building on the corner of Spadina Avenue and College Street in Toronto where they moved the documents from Pat Leslie’s apartment and it was here they began to collect records and documents related to the Canadian Women’s Movement. The CWMA Collective took responsibility for the collection from 1983 forward. That collective, which changed in membership over the years, operated the Canadian Women’s Movement Archives/ACMF, until it was relocated to the University of Ottawa in 1992. Members of the collective who were active for a significant period of time included: Nancy Adamson, Jane Abray, Karen Dubinsky, Sandy Fox, Debbie A. Green, Luanne Karn, Andrea Knight, Weisia Kolasinska, Pat Leslie, Anne Molgat, Beth McAuley, Joanne Pelletier, Margaret Shepherd, Miriam Ticoll, Tori Smith, and Lorna Weir.
After the opening of the public CWMA in 1983/84, the collection was catalogued and became available to researchers. Various grants, annual yard sales, and other fundraising allowed the CWMA/ACMF collective to hire staff from time to time, to actively collect the records of women’s groups across Canada and to promote the CWMA/ACMF. In 1991 the Collective decided that it was no longer possible to maintain the CWMA/ACMF as an independent organization and sought interest from other archives and universities in the collection. The Collective felt that the collection’s credibility rested on the fact that it came out of the women’s movement and was nurtured by feminists and operated in a manner consistent with those principles. As much as possible the Collective wanted to place the collection with an institution that would respect that. Ultimately, the Collective decided to donate the CWMA/ACMF records to the University of Ottawa. Both parties agreed that the CWMA/ACMF collection would be maintained in its entirety as a separate collection with the hope that additional records from the Canadian women’s movement would be collected by the Archives and Special Collections.
In 1992 the CWMA/ACMF records were donated to the University of Ottawa, who “took over the CWMA/ACMF’s mandate” and started accepting new donations that would become a part of an ongoing collection documenting the groups and individuals who made up the Canadian Women’s Movement.
The Women’s Press (also known as the Canadian Women’s Educational Press) was founded in 1971, by a subgroup of the Toronto Women’s Liberation Movement, one of the first feminist political organizations in Toronto. The initiative for a feminist press grew out of a dissatisfaction with the mainstream publishing community which had rejected Women Unite!, the first compilation of Canadian contemporary feminist writing. Their mandate was to provide an alternative means of making feminist ideas widely accessible and continue their involvement in the growing Canadian women’s movement. The Canadian Women’s Educational Press, more commonly known as the Women’s Press, was started officially on a grant from the Toronto Local Initiates Project (LIP) as a socialist feminist collective publishing feminist fiction, non-fiction and non-sexist children’s books.
In 1988 the Women’s Press began public discussion of an internal dispute regarding a proposed anti-racist policy. The discussions ended in a split within the Press with some original members departing to form the ‘Second Story Press’.
Women’s Press is Canada’s oldest English language feminist publisher. For over forty years, Women’s Press has played an integral role in the proliferation of high-quality Canadian writing in the fields of gender, sexuality, and women’s studies
Telling her-stories in Canada: Documenting COVID-19 in your voice
The University of Ottawa Library is working on a small scale pilot project to build a unique and special collection around your stories and experiences of and during the COVID-19 pandemic as a woman in Canada. The Library is currently home to the Women’s Archives, an invaluable resource for those examining the history of women in Canada. By actively collecting the stories of how the pandemic has impacted you, we can ensure that the historical record of the pandemic will include your stories, voices, and perspectives.
Why is this important?
History has often overlooked the experience of women. Her-stories have been invisible and oftentimes little is known about the true impact of major events on the lives of women (told from their own perspective). The content you share will let us hear your voice and share your experience with others now and in the future. Through your stories, we can understand your successes, struggles, happiness, and disappointments as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you, for example, in terms of economics, health, career, unpaid care work, and domestic violence, etc.
Women throughout Canada will be given the opportunity to upload their content to a platform where it will be captured, preserved, and made available to researchers as part of the Women’s Archives collections at the Library’s Archives and Special Collections unit. Traditionally, archives have passively waited for donors to reach out to them with records for donation, however, in this case, we will actively approach the community for contributions and donors will be able to quickly upload their content directly through a specially designed platform. This approach is currently being implemented by GLAMs across Canada and the U.S. who understand the magnitude of the pandemic and the importance of capturing people’s immediate response. Our team has designed the platform using the open-source web publishing system called Omeka. With the help of our supporters and community of users, we will reach out to our target community of women across the country and from all different backgrounds and experiences. Once content has been uploaded to the platform, it will be reviewed, described, processed for preservation, and made available long-term to those interested in the topic. The content will become part of the Library’s Women’s Archives collections and accessible on the Library’s website and archives collection database.