2024 Women of Distinction Awards – an Unforgettable Celebration!

Quick escape link leading to Weather Network websiteQuick Escape From Left: Terri Johns, YWCA Hamilton Board President, Denise Christopherson, Former YWCA Hamilton CEO and 2024 Honourary Woman of Distinction, Hamilton Mayor, Andrea Horwath, Medora Uppal, YWCA Hamilton CEO, 2024 Women of Distinction Awards, Presented by ArcelorMittal Dofasco.

What a night of community and empowerment!

Last night, March 7th 2024, 1000 guests came together to celebrate and honour the incredible women and girls making a difference in Hamilton and Halton for the 48th annual Women of Distinction Awards presented by ArcelorMittal Dofasco.

YWCA Hamilton’s legacy of recognizing the leadership and impact of women began 135 years ago when YWCA Hamilton was first established. And, our legacy of celebrating fierce women and changemakers began 48 years ago and continues today with over 1,850 women and girls having been celebrated for their remarkable achievements in their sectors and communities.

This year, 50 women and girls were nominated for their impact on the community. Includes were eight nominees for the Young Trailblazer Award (awarded to a young woman under 25) and 11 for the Lifetime Achievement Awards (awarded to a woman aged 55+).

View Photos from the Awards Gala here.

Layne, the Auctionista took to the stage to help raise critical funds for YWCA Hamilton’s programs and services that support 10,000 folks across Hamilton and Halton. With a bold goal of $75,000 in charitable donations, the audience responded to Layne’s call for giving – and an incredible $56,800 and counting was raised at the event to help women and children rebuild their lives.

There’s still time to donate and help reach our goal and raise critical funds to further YWCA Hamilton’s mission to advancing gender equity and providing critical services to women, families and gender diverse people in Hamilton and Halton. We need your help, please donate now!

A special shout out to Matching Sponsor LiUNA for matching all donations $1 for $1 up to $10,000! Thank you for your very generous contribution!

A Special Celebration

Last night’s event included a Special Celebration of Our 2024 Honourary Woman of Distinction, former YWCA Hamilton CEO Denise Christopherson. Remarks from both Terri Johns, YWCA Hamilton Board President and Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath recognized Denise for the inspiring leader and force that she is. She shared “If I have inspired one woman to achieve her goal, or encouraged someone to take an opportunity they otherwise wouldn’t have, or challenged someone to rethink their point of view – then I know I have done my job.”

Watch Denise’s Story & How She Has Impacted Women Across Hamilton and Halton:

And then, for the part of the night everyone had been waiting for, we announced the 2024 Women of Distinction Award Winners.




Winners of the 2024 Women of Distinction Awards
Winners of the 2024 Women of Distinction Awards: Dr. Ada Tang, Jelena Vermilion, Kennishia Boahene, Sashaina Singh, Ahona Mehdi – Young Trailblazer, and Dr. Pat Smith – Lifetime Achievement


To learn more about the winners and all 2024 nominees, please visit our website.

Congratulations to all 2024 nominees and winners, we commend your leadership and transformational work to support women, families, and gender-diverse folks!

But the fun doesn’t stop here!

Guests took to our Red Carpet hosted by Cable 14, as they posed for pictures and shared how they were celebrating women and girls making a difference in Hamilton and Halton. Highlights included youth correspondents sharing friendship bracelets carefully made by YWCA Hamilton staff with messages of solidarity.

To keep the celebration going, we proudly hosted After’wards with our partners, Fruit Salad and

MacInstyle. Fruit Salad creates spaces dedicated to queer & questioning women, trans masc, trans

femme and gender non-conforming folks. With the tunes of DJ Recklezz keeping the night going, attendees danced the night away. To add to the festivities, students from McMaster University put on a showstopping MacInStyle fashion show.

A special thank you to MacInstyle organizers and featured designers Maceo Mercey, Jay Tran Phuong, Pippi Styled by Hannah Xiao, Cassie Wong-Wylie, and Jax Weafer. Models Ares, Andrew Andal, Bianca Taylor, Benita Nkansah, Esther, Gloria, Grace, Grady, Hannah Ferguson, Hilton, Iris, Isha, Jake, Joëlle Chackal, Kareena, Livianna De Biasi, Nina Ramesh, Niveen, Steven Wang, Huu Tri Do, and Truong Ng.

View Photos from After’wards here.

Thank You to our Sponsors

We want to express our gratitude to all of our sponsors and partners for their support in powering our mission and the 2024 Women of Distinction Awards – your support will go a long way in transforming the lives of women, girls, and gender-diverse folks and providing them with the necessary tools to break barriers and change the world.



Contact to Listing Owner

Captcha Code