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Christmas Fund: YWCA Calgary innovates to ‘turn the dial’ on domestic violence

Calgary Herald with Sue Tomney 6 December 2019


The YWCA Calgary is passionate about going out of business — really.

If their doors ever close, it would mean the intimate and difficult issues they tackle, including domestic violence and homelessness, have ceased to exist.

It’s a vision long away, but creeping slowly closer as the YWCA and other organizations in the city dedicate themselves to stopping the cycle of injustices leaving women and their families in crisis. But to reach that goal, they are having to evolve.

“There’s a very deep, true, genuine desire to put ourselves out of business or go back to the YW of 1970, which was the Calgary Aquabelles and a youth hostel,” said Sue Tomney, CEO of Calgary’s longest-serving and largest women’s organization. “We truly want that. To put ourselves out of business. So, to do that, we have to do things differently.”

YWCA, a recipient of the 2019 Christmas Fund, recently opened its new space in Inglewood after the 2013 floods ravaged the previous centre. Now, at a massive 124,000 square feet, the state-of-the-art facility signifies the organization’s transformation to both a thriving business and community support. (For information on how to donate to the 2019 Christmas Fund, please go to: or .)

Sue Tomney is the CEO of YMCA Calgary.