The Womanspace Resource Centre has been serving women in the Lethbridge community in various capacities for over 30 years. Formally incorporated as a society in March of 1993, this organization developed out of a group of local feminist women who began to meet in the early 1980s to discuss and collectively respond to issues of common concern, such as violence against women, the feminization of poverty, and pay equity. Over the decades it has changed and evolved to meet the pressing needs of women and their families.
The organization that would become Womanspace began as a chapter of the Alberta Status of Women Action Committee (ASWAC), established in 1986 with federal funding. 1987 saw the first of many Take Back the Night marches hosted by Womanspace. The organization has also spearheaded International Women’s Day celebrations, Women’s Film Festivals, and served as a source for media on issues surrounding domestic violence. Womanspace’s work continued, moving toward more large-scale projects including Women and Aids, Women and Non-Standard Work, and the Good Food Club. Other significant undertakings included hosting the Vagina Monologues production in Lethbridge, which raised $30,000 for local women’s shelters. In 2014 the Martha’s Monthly newsletter was launched, writing about social and political issues through a feminist lens. Womanspace also began providing financial literacy training and workshops for local women in 2007 -- work which continues to be a focus of the organization today.
Historically, Womanspace has also collaborated with other organizations in the community dedicated to assisting women. In 2005, for example, it worked with Lethbridge College to publish the “Feminism in Lethbridge” report. And in 1998, Womanspace established a satellite Campus Women’s Centre Centre at the University of Lethbridge with a grant from Status of Women Canada. Now called the Campus Collective Centre they operate autonomously to provide a safe space for everyone on campus.
Over the years these activities were sustained through various fundraising efforts, memberships, and until 2010 with funding from Status of Women Canada. In 2013, a $60,000 grant was received from the Urban Aboriginal Strategy program to provide financial literacy training opportunities for urban aboriginal women. Since then, small community donations have kept our doors open. In 2021 we received charitable organization status, which will allow us to increase our fundraising efforts to expand the services we can offer.
Our current focus is on assisting women with low income and their families through offering a free tax preparation service and helping women attain pieces of official identification such as birth certificates and Alberta ID cards. Womanspace board members, volunteers, and community supporters work tirelessly to provide necessary services and advocacy for women. We thank you for being part of our herstory.
Womanspace is a registered charity that is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
Learn more about our board members below.
Jennifer Copeland started volunteering at the Womanspace tax clinics in 2010 and joined the Board in 2015, where she is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) of the CRA. She is a professor of Kinesiology at the University of Lethbridge and when she isn’t working or volunteering, she is usually hiking, running, skiing, or camping.
Lynn Kennedy has been a board member since 2017. Her focus has been working with the drop-in tax clinic. She is also an associate professor of American history at the University of Lethbridge.
Jacqueline Preyde has been on the Board of Womanspace since 2015, serving as Chair since 2016. As Chair she takes responsibility for all the fun things such as creating the financial statements, submitting required reports to government and funding agencies, and paying bills. After working in a number of different areas over the years, Jacqueline retired in 2020 and is loving it.
Deanne Robblee has been a Human Resources Advisor, Manager and Director for over 18 years with several different organizations and industries. Deanne has been a Womanspace Board Member since 2016 where she oversees all matters related to employment and payroll. She loves her pets, music, and books, as well as time in the mountains with her husband and friends, in all seasons.
Amy Shaw has been on the Womanspace Board since 2017 and serves as Treasurer. She has lived in Lethbridge since 2005 and teaches Canadian history at the University of Lethbridge.
Womanspace board members, volunteers, and community supporters work tirelessly to provide necessary services and advocacy for women.