Celebrating 120 Years of WI

Today we celebrated Founders Day, and the 120th anniversary of the WI Movement!

On February 12th, 1897, Adelaide Hunter Hoodless was invited by Erland and Janet Lee to speak at the “Lady’s Night” of a Farmers Institutes meeting in Stoney Creek, Ontario. Adelaide challenged the women to form their own group, where they could meet regularly not just to socialize, but also to learn from and empower each other to improve their communities.

After hearing Adelaide’s words, Erland and Janet Lee were so inspired that they went home and drafted the first constitution of the Women’s Institutes on their dining room table. One week later, Adelaide was invited to return to Stoney Creek where she found 101 women in attendance of the inaugural meeting of the Women’s Institutes, with Adelaide as the honorary president.

This was on February 19, 1897; 120 years ago today. Stoney Creek was the first branch of the Women’s Institutes, but the movement soon grew. Since then, the movement has spread nationally and internationally. Today in Canada, there are 672 branches distributed throughout 10 provinces, with approximately 8,000 members.


FWIC President Linda Hoy and FWIO President Margaret Byl celebrating WI Founders Day through "Tea at the Lee" on February 19, 2017
FWIC President Linda Hoy and FWIO President Margaret Byl celebrating WI Founders Day through “Tea at the Lee” on February 19, 2017

Over the last 120 years, the WI movement has inspired & empowered women to make a difference. Members have worked hard to strengthen their communities through volunteerism, fundraising, and the lobbying of all levels of government. Many members boast lifelong friendships across our country, and indeed all over the world.

Women’s Institutes bring people together. What started as a group of 101 women meeting in Stoney Creek, has become a international movement of incredible and passionate women (and men) who make a difference in our world. We are honoured to celebrate what began 120 years ago, and continues to this day.

From the President’s Pen – February 2017

It has been said that November and January are the longest, darkest and loneliest months of the year for many who face mental health issues. The commercials for Bell Let’s Talk on the TV bring a ray of hope to those who are suffering. Reach out to family and friends every single day – they may need an encouraging word and your voice could be the ray of sunshine for the day.

President Linda Hoy holding a sign that reads "#We are WI"We have just had our Executive Officers participating in the second Skype call on Saturday, January 21st for 4 1/2 hours. They have come out of their comfort zone to hook up to modern technology and I think you are awesome!

Discussion included finances, moving forward with the Board Restructuring Ad Hoc Committee, IPG Scholarship, FWIC 100th Anniversary, WI Logo, rebranding and launches. As you can see, we have lots of exciting things being worked on. Our next Skype call will be March 4th.

President Linda Hoy holding a sign that reads "February WI Month"I declare February as WI Month. How will your branch celebrate February 19th, Founder’s Day or Adelaide’s Birthday on February 27th? Send us your photos and we will display them on our website and Facebook pages. Tie blue & gold ribbons to your mailbox or vehicle antenna for the month of February.

Linda Hoy
FWIC President

#IAmWI #Addie160