Reserved for Her
Throughout history, women's contributions have often been overlooked, forgotten or denied. This discrimination is evident in our public spaces, where women, especially Black, Indigenous and racialized women, are almost never represented in landmarks, sculptures, statues and street art. We estimate that just over 10% of public monuments across Canada recognize women.
To draw attention to this inequity, we’ve created Reserved for Her championed by Scotiabank, a statue-less statue base, to act as a literal platform for the local girls and women who are working to make history, and to make a statement about the lack of representation of women’s achievements in our public spaces.
We invited a group of local women to step forward and tell their stories.
Marina Melanidis, Founder of Youth4Nature
Marina is the Founder and Development Director of Youth4Nature, a youth-led, international organization that educates, equips, and establishes youth as leaders on system-wide solutions for the nature and climate crises that are rooted in knowledge and grounded in justice.
Nataizya Mukwavi (Nat-eye-za), Founder of Black Women Connect Vancouver
Nataizya is the Founder of Black Women Connect Vancouver, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2017 serving to bridge gaps present in the local Black community, particularly those affecting Black women. In this community, Black women can build meaningful relationships, express their solidarity with each other, and celebrate the beauty of Black womanhood.
Joleen Mitton, Model and Producer
Joleen is the founder of the Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week, Co-founder of Supernaturals Modeling, AMR Basketball Team and Identifying as Cree was born in East Van but is from Alberta, Joleen also runs her own company, All My Relations Entertainment, her goal is to uplift Urban indigenous communities and emerging Indigenous talent through skills development, employment, and healing - while facilitating Indigenous-Ally relationships via collaboration, education and healthy representation in fashion, art and sport!
Kaayla Whachell, Cinematographer
Kaayla is a Vancouver-based cinematographer. Her first feature film, Portraits from a Fire directed by Trevor Mack and funded by Telefilm, went on to win “Best Canadian Feature” at the Edmonton International Film Festival 2021. As a woman of mixed descent (Okinawa, Czech, Metis) Kaayla continues to ally BIPOC filmmakers by showcasing their stories. She strives to produce a diverse film set for all people to thrive and create within.
Paige is the inventor of the world's first non-toxic & biodegradable glow stick powered with bioluminescence; an invention which could prevent millions of tonnes of GHGs emissions, as well as plastic and toxic waste from entering our environment. Paige has a background in microbiology, permaculture and business development, and now leads the Nyoka Design Labs team to bring the Light Wand to life.
Reserved for Her Championed by Scotiabank is on display at the Vancouver Convention Centre (see location on Google Maps). Come step on to the statue base and help make history!
Use the hashtag #ReservedForHer and tag @ywcavan on social media.
We recognize that Reserved For Her Championed by Scotiabank is not accessible for all women. Our intention was to include a ramp as part of our statue-less statue base, but we were unable to build an elevated plinth that guaranteed participant safety. We sincerely regret this and we will strive to do better in future campaigns.
YWCA Metro Vancouver is working towards a just and equitable world for women, families and allies. We advance gender equity alongside women, families, Two-Spirit and gender diverse people through advocacy and integrated services that help support personal, collective and economic wellbeing.