Robbie Tee and Nicola Espiritu, event speakers, Erin Seeley, YWCA CEO, Val Mann, YWCA Board Chair and the Honourable Janet Austin, Liutenant Governor of BC.

A Special Day at Government House 

As the sun glistened off the Salish Sea and danced around the impressive ballroom at Government House in Victoria, BC, it was easy to forget that just a few hours before, YWCA Metro Vancouver staff and supporters had been trudging through 20cm of surprising fresh snow with their fingers crossed that the ferry would still be running.  

On February 28, we were so pleased to see 110 YWCA Metro Vancouver supporters congregated in the beautiful residence of BC’s Lieutenant Governor, Her Honourable Janet Austin. The YWCA’s former CEO welcomed guests in as old friends, while her dog, Vice-Regal MacDuff, mirrored the cordiality of Her Honour, effortlessly mingling with the groups of supporters who were reacquainting themselves with his owner. It was a joyous and heartfelt moment to reflect on the history and impact of the YWCA. 

Despite the treacherous travel conditions, many compassionate and generous individuals made the journey and celebrated the YWCA’s ongoing efforts to achieve gender equity. Her Honour, YWCA CEO Erin Seeley, Board Chair Val Mann and Robbie Tee and Nicola Espiritu, daughters of long-time YWCA employee Grace Tee, all gave thoughtful speeches threaded with the theme of gratitude.  

Val reminded us of the long-lasting effect of being involved with the YWCA when she said: “The YWCA – and I was told this when I joined the Board – is an organization that never quite lets you go. I think it is fair to say that it holds a special place in Her Honour’s heart as it does, and will do, for me.” 

Many donors in the room shared their personal experiences with the YWCA over the past years, and for the more recent supporters, there was the chance to learn about the organization’s legacy. Her Honour remarked on the collective support for the YWCA, noting that “we are all citizens who share a responsibility for each other” before thanking all those who “support the vision and practical feminism of the YWCA.”  

Government House

Thanks to our donors, our reach in the community demonstrates the momentum we have accumulated through advocacy and integrated services, towards the goal of a more equitable world for women, families and allies. This event at Government House helped us share the impact with our kind supporters and show our appreciation for their generosity. 

For opportunities to donate to or become involved with the YWCA, please contact Shantal Cashman at | 604 895 5859. 


This article is part of the 2023 Spring/Summer edition of our Contact Newsletter. 
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Grange Street Housing

New Housing in Burnaby

A new YWCA housing community with 32 two-and-three-bedroom units is under construction on Grange Street in the heart of Burnaby!

We are aiming for a fall 2025 completion date. A capital and endowment campaign to fund the project is underway; we have raised 78% of our goal, but we still need to raise $3.2M. Should you be interested in making a donation or becoming a lead donor who could name this new housing project, please contact Bobbi Sarai at | 604 418 2225 or donate online.