Nellie McClung Foundation Celebrates 100th Anniversary of The Political Equality League

100th AnniversaryIt was a sea of pink on October 11, 2012 at Winnipeg’s historic University of Women’s Club, as women from across Manitoba gathered to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of The Political Equality League. This event was hosted by the Nellie McClung Foundation as one of the legacy celebrations that lead up to celebrations for Manitoba women getting the vote in 1916.

Nellie McClung and her peers started the league as a way of advancing the rights of women – a dangerous business as Myrna Driedger pointed out. According to Driedger, who spoke about the successful efforts of the Political Equality League, Pink Teas were held by women at the turn of the century when they needed to meet in secret to discuss radical issues such as the vote for women. In the event of a potential confrontation, they were able to swiftly turn their conversations to polite discussions about non-controversial issues such as complimenting one another’s hats, or calmly sipping tea and nibbling on little sandwiches. “Thanks to their work, today we don’t have to have such discussions in secret” said Driedger, “a fact for which we can be grateful.”

This is the second Pink Tea held by the Foundation in appreciation of loyal supporters – many of whom have volunteered their time, and donated to the campaign to create a monument in honour of Nellie McClung. Women,representing media, government, fundraising, education and the corporate community have contributed to the successful establishment of the monument on the legislative grounds but the Foundation Board said that their work is not finished. The Board, Lila Goodspeed, Doris Mae Oulton, Bette Mueller, Darlene Cole and Kristen Lynch, shared the plans and activities about the evolving work of the organization in educating the public and students about the Nellie McClung legacy, and the establishment of a number of bursaries and awards in Nellie’s honour.

The Foundation was also pleased to have the event coincide with the International Day of the Girl – a day to promote the equal treatment and opportunities for girls around the world in areas such as law, nutrition, health care, education, training, and freedom from violence and abuse.

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Nellie McClung Foundation Establishes Endowment Funds for Advancement of Women

After the successful campaign to erect a statue of Nellie McClung and unveiling on the grounds of Manitoba’s Legislative grounds in 2010, the Nellie McClung Foundation is pleased to announce its latest achievement: the establishment of two endowment funds.

At the foundation’s own Nellie McClung Legacy Event on October 14, 2011, amongst a group of politicians, media and ‘friends’ who have strongly supported the organization’s mandate, Lila Goodspeed, Chair of the Board of Directors, announced the Foundation’s latest initiative to establish and maintain an endowment for the advancement of women.

“We know that these funds are important for Manitoba women and will help us keep our commitment to our original mandate” says Lila. “Through these funds, we want to inspire women to succeed in their respective fields and to highlight the legacy of Nellie McClung and her peers.”

Women’s equality and rights have come a long way since Nellie’s time, and the Foundation wishes to encourage many more generations of women to pave the way for innovation and growth in society.

The first fund – the Nellie McClung Foundation Bursary Fund – will support an individual studying in the area of advancement of Women. The second fund – the Nellie McClung Foundation Legacy Endowment Fund will recognize and support women of exceptional talent through the Nellie McClung Foundation Legacy Award – a unique grant for women undertaking creative works with an emphasis on social justice. Nominations will be open to those working in the literary, performing, visual, film/media and visual arts. The endowment fund may also be used from time to time to distinguish women, like McClung, who are pioneers in their field.

All funds are administered by The Winnipeg Foundation, which will provide an official charitable tax receipt for all donations.

To support the work of the Nelie McClung Foundation, or if you wish to earmark funds to support one of these endowments, please visit the Winnipeg Foundation website at (http://wpgfdn.org/agency-funds-detail.php?entry_id=14899).

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