Celebrating CFUW North Bay’s Milestones: Part 1

80th Anniversary: 1941 to 1921

CFUW North Bay started planning for the celebration of its 80th anniversary in 2020 when Nat Brunette, chair of the anniversary committee, asked members to find artifacts and photos for a display about the club’s history at the North Bay Museum.

On September 15 a flag- raising ceremony at City Hall started the celebrations. Because of the pandemic the numbers of those allowed to attend were restricted and the reception afterwards was held out of doors at Cecil’s.

The club’s display at the North Bay Museum opened to our members and the public on October 13 and continued until December 3. The photo on the right shows Kaarina Tulisalo, current member, with Beth Sherman, longest-serving member, and featured in the display. 

Below is the slideshow of CFUW’s display at the North Bay Museum, consisting of photos taken by Nat Brunette and following the photos, media coverage of both the display and the special $800 anniversary scholarship awarded to Shannon Hood.

From BayToday, November 11, 2022, by Matt Sookram: 

For the last 80 years the Canadian Federation of University Women North Bay have helped women in the community earn their educational degrees with an annual scholarship.

“We give them to students at Nipissing University, Canadore College and our local high schools,” says Co-President and Chair of the 80th anniversary scholarship Natalie Brunette

“It’s really significant that we all see and feel the benefit of giving out this money and with Shannon Hood’s presentation today we really do understand that significance of the scholarship.”

Hood could not be at the event which was held at the North Bay Museum on Wednesday afternoon but sent in a video message in which she said, “I am so honoured to be receiving a Canadian Federation of University Women’s Scholarship. Being chosen has filled me with so much pride and so much gratitude and your generosity has allowed me to continue my studies at Nipissing University where I’m proudly enrolled in my first year in the Criminal Justice Program. I want to thank everyone involved for this incredible honour and I’m so grateful to you.”

In 1941, 13 women, including a Master Teacher from the North Bay Normal School, got together to raise social, economic and legal status issues about women in the North Bay area, with a focus on seeing those women achieve higher education.

Brunette says at its’ height the club had over 100 members locally, while today they have over 50.

“We still have the same three values that started all this 80 years ago,” says Brunette which includes;

- The pursuit of knowledge

- The promotion of education

- The improvement of the status of women and human rights

Several past recipients of the award were in attendance for Wednesdays ceremony, including Bonnie Roynon who won her scholarship in the 1980s.

“It really supported me. I was a mature student with two young children at home and it really helped me buy books and helped me maintain my study,” says Roynon who earned her B.A. and her B.Ed. and went on to have a thirty-year career in education.

“It not only helps you financially but it also helps your self-esteem. To be selected to receive a scholarship really gives you encouragement to carry forward with your studies,” she says.

President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Kevin Wamsley was the guest speaker on Wednesday, and he says this is an important group to have in the community.

“Nipissing University is North Bay’s University. We serve all of Ontario and other parts of Canada but this University has to be a central part of the community and it needs to serve the community. So when we have this community connection, which supports students entering our university that is so important.”

He adds students need assistance as it’s very expensive to go to university and that’s what makes scholarships so important.

Wamsley says this group of women is opening doors for the next generation.

“Women today stand on the shoulders of the women of yesterday and these are the women of yesterday who are leading in this community and so they are role models for young women coming up and they have opened up opportunities where they didn’t exist before,” says Wamsley.

Telia Carrière, owner of Tickled Teals Entertainment, is another past recipient. She says, “When I received my scholarship for $500, it helped cover one of my last courses for my degree. It was a really big surprise because it was money that I allocated toward my tuition and then with the one course paid off I had a little bit of extra money for myself to spend on other books and other schools supplies which was really appreciated.”

Carrière says these kinds of organizations show the student population that the community is there to support them.

“I keep being asked to come back to these events and award ceremonies and its great to be a part of that community that supports other people, but they also support me, they have become clients for my business and it’s just a welcoming outreach of support from the community.”

She adds the fact that they are looking to help women specifically pursue their passion is something that should not be overlooked.

“Nipissing is special because it is 70 per cent of women that are enrolled there, but I wasn’t part of a degree where the majority was women. A lot of the business programs are majorly made up of men and the grants and awards are geared toward the higher education of the men that get into the internships and so it is great to have a scholarship that is specific for women.”

Roynon says, “It’s very heartwarming to talk to any of the members and how they value the scholarship initiative. We do many things but first and foremost is our support for people and their learning, whether its at a high school level, a college level and we even supported people in the past who were in care such as CAS (Children’s Aid Society) and didn’t have a family of support around them, we felt it was important to encourage them to carry on as well.”

Brunette adds, “The exciting part is that this organization is open to any woman whether they have a university degree or not. We really encourage anybody who believes in our three values to come check us out, we would love to hear from you.”



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House Tour Fundraiser in October 1988

Ann Bullman and Diane Stewart in Bed 37

Reception in North Bay Library after Flag Raising on January 14, 2016: Mayor Al MacDonald with Co-presidents Terry Martinelli and Sharon Walker.  On right: Elizabeth Price and Bunty Swanson