April 11 Meeting: A Community-Led Approach for Better Local Government and Impact on Natural Environments

posted in: Newsletters | 0

Our speaker will be Guy Graveline, President & Founder of ihiveLIVE Sharing.

Born and raised in Welland, Guy has over 35 years of experience in senior-level positions in the private and public sectors in Canada.  He has extensive expertise in strategic planning and delivering high-impact, complex marketing and business initiatives involving stakeholders, partnerships, and alliances.

The advent of the Canada Summer Games being held in the Niagara Region caused great excitement for many of us.  Then, the change of the location for the Mountain Bike racecourse and its construction in the 12 Mile Creek ravine alerted concerned residents that something was amiss.  Guy started asking questions to all parties involved, filing Freedom of Information requests, making presentations, and producing detailed written “letters of correspondence” to the NPCA, Niagara Canada Summer Games, and to St. Catharines City Council, amongst others. He was met with inaccurate information and explanations, public dismissal, and political interference.  When all his efforts were rebuffed, he created aFriends of 12 Mile Creek” website and a change.org petition page that documented what was happening, including pictures and video evidence.

Guy believes that there is a better way for citizens, elected officials, and local governments to work together on issues of importance to their community. He has extensive knowledge of how government works and ran for city council in the fall of 2022. He will tell his story and describe better ways to improve community engagement, citizen advocacy, and communication between citizens and government used by other municipalities. Guy believes that a new community-led structure and process needs to be established that will lead to better outcomes in preserving, protecting, and enhancing our remaining natural environments.

More about Guy: After graduating from Ottawa’s Carleton University, Guy worked on Parliament Hill for almost seven years for various Members of Parliament including as campaign manager for several political candidates and as part of the PC leadership team that elected Kim Campbell as Leader, and first female Prime Minister of Canada.

He established his own marketing and communications firm in Ottawa and was recruited by one of his clients which allowed him to move back to Niagara. He later accepted a position as Director of Marketing and Economic Development which included responsibility for the branding of Niagara as a premier tourist destination, and investor attraction. He has won numerous awards and served on several Boards and Advisory Committees, including with the inaugural Tourism Partnership of Niagara.

Guy is co-founder of ihiveLIVE, an online consumer shopping portal that shares revenue with its members and the charities and causes they support.

Allyship, Privilege and Change, April 1

posted in: Newsletters | 0

Speaker: Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux served as Vice Provost for Indigenous Initiatives at Lakehead University for three years. Effective September 2016 she was appointed the 1st Indigenous Chair for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada for Lakehead University and continues to develop pathways forward to reconciliation across Canada.

Cynthia was inducted as a “Honourary Witness” by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2014 and is Chair of the Governing Circle for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba.

She is a member and resident of the Chippewa of Georgina Island First Nation in Ontario and has dedicated her life to building bridges of understanding. She sees endless merit in bringing people from diverse cultures, ages, and backgrounds together to engage in practical dialogue and applied research initiatives.

Register on Zoom for Allyship, Privilege and Change, April 1, 2023, 11:00 am


UN Sustainable Development Goals Webinar, March 24

posted in: Newsletters | 0

The Turkish NFA, CFUW Nepean and Graduate Women International (GWI) are organizing an international NFA-to-NFA webinar titled Introduction to the United Nations SDGs, on March 24, 1:00 pm ET. The speaker is Dr. Basak Ovacik, President of the Turkish Association of University Women (TAUW). Despite the tragedy caused by the earthquakes in her country, she will address us on this topic about which she is so passionate.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a plan that was adopted by all UN member states in 2015. It was an urgent call for action by all countries to join a global partnership to improve the living conditions of everyone on earth with a view to sustainable development. Among these goals, for example, is SDG 4 ensuring equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Dr. Başak Ovacık was born in 1973 in Antalya, Turkey. She graduated from the Department of International Relations at Bilkent University and obtained a master’s degree in European Studies at the London School of Economics. Her PhD thesis was titled “Women’s NGO’s Role in Decision Making”. Currently she is lecturing at Bahçeşehir University in Gender Studies and Sustainability and Social Inclusion. She delivers her courses both in both English and Turkish. Dr. Ovacik is married and has one daughter.

Her areas of interest are women’s studies, women’s rights, women’s oral history, artificial intelligence, feminist pedagogy, gender equality, digital gap in education, education during Covid-19, and sustainable development. In addition, Dr Ovacik has held the following positions:
GWI, Convener, Fellowships Committee (2022-2025)
Past VP Graduate Women International (GWI) (2016-2019) (2019-2022)
Past Board Liaison Young Members Network GWI (2020-2022)

To participate in the Webinar, please REGISTER HERE

Event: NFA-to-NFA Conversation on Zoom
Date: March 24, 1:00 pm ET


President’s Message, March, 2023

posted in: Newsletters | 0

Spring is on our minds but after some mild days this season, we’re now getting some wintery weather. COVID is still a concern, and illness is still a major factor in some households, but we are coping pretty well and there are some exciting things coming up for CFUW St. Catharines. We have been looking forward to our March meeting and the Makers Market for a few months. A speaker was scheduled for that meeting, but unfortunately, she is unable to come. After much discussion, the Program Committee has decided to forgo a speaker this month and concentrate on the Makers Market. What a novel idea for us! The group planning this event has taken on the challenge and is sure it will give us a new kind of evening. Coffee and tea will be available. Don’t forget your cups. How fortunate we are!

Keep in mind our April meeting will be our Annual General Meeting. Several items on the agenda will be addressed at that time: a new Executive, a new focus for the Charitable Fund, and reports from the various committees. We have been busy! Our House and Garden tour planning is well underway. Please consider volunteering since this is our major fundraiser. All those who have helped, have found it a very positive experience and have had a lot of fun. Our Spring Fling on May 9 will be held at St. John’s Ukrainian Catholic Church Parish Hall on Lakeshore Road and will start with dinner at 6 pm. Ticket purchases will be available online shortly. A request for all members! A number of close family members within CFUW have passed recently. Please notify a member of the Executive if you know of any member, spouse, or child who has passed. Our Goodwill Ambassador, Lorna Whitty, will send a remembrance card on our behalf. Your Executive continues to strive to make CFUW a vibrant friendly light in St. Catharines.

President’s Message, February 2023

posted in: Newsletters | 0

We must be in the middle of winter! It feels so very promising to see the days growing longer and plenty of sunshine. I do admit that especially in my home, the fireplace still has a prominent place.

We have done well this year with our Silent Auction and Cobs Bread club fundraisers. In March we will have our Makers Market which we hope will be a success and be expanded next year.

The Coldest Night of the Year downtown walk is scheduled for February 25. Please contact Brenda Dolha for information and to join this activity.

Our House Tour, which is our main fundraiser for the Charitable Fund is in need of assistance.

This is OUR joint responsibility! Without helpers, we cannot carry out our responsibility to assist students with our awards which has been a mainstay for our Charitable Fund fundraising. Much of the work needs to be done before the actual tour.Mary Jane Waszynski Chairs the House & Garden committee and would love to hear from you. Many hands make light work! Please call as soon as possible! Please remember there are three places you can find out any information you may be seeking:

Our Website is a wealth of information regarding our club. We also post information about activities that are hosted by other CFUW clubs on our Facebook page. As well, we will be placing information about how CFUW National is working with GWI and the speakers they will be featuring. (Click from the front page of the newsletter to access both of these.)

Our Newsletter has all our current information about our local group. It is well organized. Keep it on your desktop and look up the activities or other information you may be seeking. It is the fastest way of getting the information.

Thanks to the Communication team for the time and effort they put into keeping us up to date!

I look forward to seeing you on Valentine’s Day for our next meeting. Doors will open at 7 pm.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

President’s January Message 2023

posted in: Newsletters | 0

A year ends and another begins. Such is the cycle of life! We begin 2023 with hope of joy, and peace and good health! Looking back after the holidays, let’s reflect upon a very successful year! Taking stock of our group accomplishments while keeping with the recent spirit of Christmas lists: – Our membership has grown – We have been able to meet in person – Meeting attendance and presence has been high – Many positive comments about our speakers I think we all deserve a “well done” and have earned the right to be very pleased with our members, our accomplishments as well as our time together! Our Silent Auction was a big hit thanks to the efforts of Pat Paulin and Gail Neff, not to mention all those who donated and supported our sale. Well done ladies! Our Cobs Bread fund raiser has sold 262 tickets to date. With only 38 cards remaining, let’s wrap this wonderful promotion up by our February meeting. I’m confident we can sell the last of our tickets by then! Now we look forward to a new year as we welcome 2023! Hopefully we are past the big storms experienced over Christmas, allowing peaceful times at our upcoming gatherings.

March brings us our Makers Market allowing members to showcase their marvelous talents. Members are studiously working towards displaying their talents: painters, crafters and hobbyists. Please contact Christine if you would like to add to this artist collective. Hopefully all are looking forward to this as much as I am. We have such a wealth of talent within our ranks. Your executive continues to work diligently planning programs, advocating for the rights of women, strategizing on how to best improve our time together while communicating all of this via the newsletter. Our website continues to be your first stop in your quest for answers. As always, if you are approached to help in any way by one of our members, please say “Yes”! It’s the mantra of our group and such an inclusive way for us to interact!

President’s December Message 2022

posted in: Newsletters | 0

Thank you, all of you, our wonderful members, for your fabulous support, enthusiasm and cooperation this year. It’s great to be back in person and see the results of our group participation in the community. To celebrate these wins, let’s take a look at a couple of specifics for which we can all take credit.

How our local group impacted two of the 10 resolutions passed at the 34th GWI Triennial:

– R5: Violence Against Women is being addressed at the local school board level via new policies being set while raising awareness of these new regulations. This is something which we as a group have worked on and advocated. We now have provincial and federal government focus and support, along with tangible legislation. This is a local win!

– R10: Single-Use Plastics and Plastic Packaging is another resolution which we have been practicing for some time and is now also part of a provincial, federal and international government support, along with tangible legislation here in Canada. This is a local win!

Looking at the larger picture, the GWI Triennial General Assembly and Conference was productive! Held November 11 to 13 virtually, it was cohosted by Indian Federation of University Women’s Associations (IFUWA).

Over 300 GWI members from 40 GWI national federation and association countries registered for the event!

The General Assembly voting delegates adopted 10 new policy resolutions, two of which have been highlighted above. IFUWA shared a beautiful cultural experience video which I’m happy to include herewith. Also elected was a new GWI 2023-2025 Board.

We have the great fortune to have:

  • Pat Paulin, Gail Neff and multiple volunteers helping to prepare for our next meeting!
  • Carol Clarke’s leadership of the program committee!
  • A variety of speakers ranging from topical health concerns to investigating crime scene methodology!
  • Enjoyment of our COBS fundraiser, with all of you participating in such an active way!
  • Christine Marks, Maureen Shantz and Ann Chadwick coordinating the sale of the cards!
  • Jean Tonogai keeping us informed about all the events to promote women’s and girls’ rights locally. Note the 16 days of activism we are currently involved in!
  • Michelle DeJonghe expediting our email communications to all. Amazing and much appreciated work.


I look forward to seeing many of you at our Christmas Meeting on December 13 at 5 pm at the Armenian Club on Martindale Road! Merry Christmas!


Submitted by  Anne Marie Stockwell, CFUW St Catharines President

16 Days of Activism

posted in: Newsletters | 0

Members of CFUW St. Catharines attended the flag raising ceremony for 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence on November 25 in Thorold. We encourage our members to also participate in other 16 Days of Activism Activities.

16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence is an international event. For information on events sponsored by the Graduate Women International and their latest news, you may wish to read the GWI Newsletter.

Sara Escarraga, part of the Niagara Migrant Workers’ Interest Group, will be speaking to the Welland and District CFUW on Zoom, December 7 at 7:00pm. Members are invited to listen to this presentation via a ZOOM LINK.

President’s November Message 2022

posted in: President's Message | 0

Fall is an enchanting time of year. The changing colours and falling leaves of the maple trees enveloped in the seasonal fall breeze and lower temperatures signal change; something we are fortunate to enjoy. The end of another trip around the sun always gives me pause, as I reflect on the past year and upcoming festive months. It’s my hope that these changes bring you both something to look forward to and peace.

Covid continues to impact all of us. Viewing from the positive, the impact enabled some of us to work in new ways, while it allowed others to enjoy a slower more relaxed time at home with family. Regardless, Dr. Hirji reminded us that we must remain vigilant in the context of health, warning us of upcoming waves of the epidemic. With the added threat of the December to March flu season, gearing up for the holiday season will require you to pace yourself, take care of yourselves and protect your families.

While we continue searching for our Fundraising Chair (please consider this role), COBS bread tickets are selling well. We remain focused on attaining our goal of selling all tickets. As a reminder, they are available from Christine Marks or myself, and from Maureen Shantz at the next meeting. Tickets can be signed out for sale.

It would be great to name the Fundraising Chair while simultaneously announcing a COBS Bread sellout in the next newsletter!

Remembrance Day is formally on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Remembrance Day’s importance remains in light of current world events. Again, we think back to those who gave their lives so that we may continue to enjoy the freedom we have today. We remember the families who sacrificed so dearly losing parents, children and friends. Lest we forget!

Looking forward, our December General Meeting will be held at the Armenian Club on Martindale Road across from the firehall. Please notify me if you require a special menu by November 30. We are excited about our Christmas Dinner and the Silent Auction. Check the donation form for drop-off locations of any donations you wish to make. (See page 3 for more details).

And finally, we are delighted to welcome so many new members this year! Together, let’s embrace a real CFUW spirit!