Message from Our President

March 1, 2022

I would like to bring greetings on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada. Thank you to all who participated in our WI Day event of February 19th.  WI Day and WI Week were celebrated across our Nation, with proclamations and ceremonies in branches and houses of government from coast to coast to coast in celebration of 125 years of Women’s Institutes. 

As we leave February behind us, we move into March with its promise of warmer weather. For those provinces that change their clocks, Daylight Savings Time begins on the 13th and we usher in spring on March 20. 

On March 7th   in acknowledgement of International Women’s Day and in continuation of our 125 year anniversary of Women’s Institutes celebrations,  we are pleased to host a Round Table on Food Security and Food Waste. Special attention to the UN Sustainable Goal 12 will be given.  I am pleased to announce that Ms. Carla St. Croix, Executive Director, Strategic Integration and Competitiveness Policy Directorate from the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will be taking part in the discussions.

It is also the month that we annually celebrate International Women’s Day. According to Wikipedia “International Women's Day (IWD) is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. It is also a focal point in the women's rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. “

“The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.”

Weighing heavily on my heart is the senseless War being raged in the Ukraine.  On this March 8, 2022, International Women’s Day, let us remember the courage of the women of Ukraine who are standing strong in defense of their country and their democratic rights as a free and sovereign nation.  The grief of women who have lost their husband, child, parent, sister, or brother knows no borders. Our thoughts and prayers are with the mother’s who are now refugees in the surrounding countries and for the men and the women of those nations who have welcomed them with open arms we are most grateful.  Also remembering the men and women who have been arrested in Russia for speaking out in opposition to this horrific war.  Let us pray for world peace and let us not forget to be kind.                                                                     

Keep safe and be well. 

For Home & Country,

Margaret Byl, FWIC/WI Canada President

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Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead
UPDATE

  July 23, 2021 

  Dear Members and Friends,

 

     FWIC/WI Canada has received many letters, phone calls and emails expressing dismay over the decision to sell the Homestead.  The FWIC   Board has listened to the concerns and at a meeting of the Board of Directors of The Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada on July 19, 2021,   the decision was made not to sell the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead, but to keep it. The change in their decision was the result of the   tremendous response and outpouring of offers for help and support from the Community, WI members, WI Branches and Brant County. 

     The Homestead has operated for more than 60 years and FWIC/WI Canada would like it to continue to do so into the future.  They value the   contributions made by Adelaide Hoodless to the community at large and to the Women’s Institute movement.  In order to have the Adelaide   Hunter Hoodless Homestead Historic Site and Museum remain open to the public it will require the commitment and financial support from the   Community, WI members and Brant County.  With the increasing costs of operations, FWIC/WI Canada cannot do it alone.

     The Homestead needs to become financially secure.  There are two ways to help.  One way is to contribute to the operation fund which pays   the bills to keep the museum open and the second is the building fund which supports the maintenance of the  building.  In addition to financial   support the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead Museum needs volunteers.  Please consider how you can help keep this National Historic Site   viable and operating for future generations to enjoy.

     I invite you to take a tour of the museum, either in person (by appointment) or by our virtual tour that can be accessed on the website   Homestead page.   Should you wish to make a financial donation, you can  do so by using the donate button, send your cheque to  FWIC PO Box 209, 359 Blue Lake Road, St. George, ON  N0E 1N0 or send us an E-transfer to info@fwic.ca and let us know how you wish to designate your donation.  Donations of $25.00 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt.  Thank you for your support.

    

   Yours for Home & Country,

    Margaret Byl, President

May 31, 2021

 

Dear Members and Friends,

 

            At the FWIC board meeting on May 19, 2021, a motion was made to sell the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless museum and property.  Present at the meeting were all the Provincial Representatives and most of the Provincial presidents, who were not able to vote.

            The idea for the sale originally came out of a strategic planning meeting, in  February 2020, when it became apparent that a balanced budget had not been possible for many years.

I could go into a lengthy detail telling you about the cost savings and fundraising that this board and past ones have done, to try and make ends meet. The saddest part of all is the failure of our  hopeful renovation of Addie’s Kitchen. The troublesome issue of Covid 19 and the forced closure of the museum because of social distancing was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

            Creative ideas for improving our financial picture came to no avail, and in reviewing the bleak picture, the motion was made to sell the property which has been part of our organization since 1959. This is a historic moment in our history that will remind us of our roots, formed to be the national voice for the members since 1919, and now we can move forward with that objective in mind.

            A realtor has been chosen, and now begins the task of downsizing and determining careful dispersal of the collection.  I know there are many questions and concerns that will arise and my board will meet them head on, responding with clarity, common sense and, especially, compassion for the issue. It was not an easy decision to make, but it was felt that the operation of a museum and its maintenance was not the future direction that FWIC/WI Canada needed to take.

            Please give us your support while we go through this process, and know that we are ever hopeful that it will strengthen our organization and give new purpose to the reason we were formed over 100 years ago.

 

Yours For Home and Country

 

Joan Holthe, President

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For Home and Country in a New Century

 

During the 2019 Centennial celebratory year of the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada we take time to reflect on our past and make plans for the future.  Keeping our motto For Home and Country front of mind, we celebrate the diversity of families in Canada and the great work of our members in supporting the needs of communities across the country.

As we embark on the next decade of the 21st century we take to heart the work done by our foremothers and continue to be inspired by the amazing work done by women around the world. In this triennium (2018-2021), WI Canada is embarking on a new and crucial project aimed at bringing health and wellbeing to communities across Canada through education and united advocacy at the national and provincial levels. In addition to our triennial project, we continue to support the work of WI's across the country. 

I invite you to explore our website and all the wonderful information being presented about Women's Institutes and issues being faced by women and families in Canada.  

 

I hope you are inspired to join us as we move forward into the next century of WI and make a larger impact in our communities! 

Yours in Home and Country,

Joan Holthe

 

WI Canada/FWIC President (2018-2021)