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12 honoured with 'Woman of Distinction' awards

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Sculptor Helen Granger Young (far left) is seen in 2010 at the unveiling of a statue of Nellie McClung and the 'Famous Five' who fought for women's suffrage at the Manitoba Legislature.

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Sculptor Helen Granger Young (far left) is seen in 2010 at the unveiling of a statue of Nellie McClung and the 'Famous Five' who fought for women's suffrage at the Manitoba Legislature.

A world-renowned artist, a traditional aboriginal singer and dancer, and the president of CentrePort Canada were among the 12 women honoured with YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Awards tonight.

Helen Granger Young, perhaps best-known for her statue of Nellie McClung and the 'Famous Five' at the Manitoba Legislature, was honoured in the arts category. Her works are in collections around the world, including Buckingham Palace, the White House and the Vatican.

Rhonda James, who with her husband has supported Powwow clubs for years including the Wii Chiiwaakanak Centre Powwow Club at the University of Wininpeg, was honoured in the culture category.

Diane Gray --who was the youngest deputy minister ever appointed and the first woman to be the deputy minister of federal-provincial and international relations, trade and finance, before becoming the founding president of CentrePort Canada -- was honoured in the leadership and management category.

Other winners at the 37th annual award ceremony were:

  • Melissa Kajpust, Lisa Meeches and Ursula Lawson of NSI New Voices for Circle of Inspiration.
  • Judith Bartlett for education, training and mentorship.
  • Melanie Verhaeghe for public awareness and communications.
  • Juliette Cooper for science, technology and the environment.
  • Maureen Orchard for wellness, healthy living and recreation.
  • Emily Richard was named the Young Woman of Distinction.
  • Wendy Yushi Wang was honoured with the Gerrie Hammond Memorial Award of Promise.
  • Lynette Ens was honoured with the Prairie Award of Promise.

The awards were created by the Winnipeg YWCA in 1977, to honour the contributions and achievements of women.  More about the awards and this year's nominees and winners is available on the Y website.

The winners were chosen out of 86 nominees and the awards were handed out in front of more than 900 guests at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

History

Updated on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 11:35 AM CDT: Updates description of Helen Granger Young's work.

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