History of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada

crestIn 1912, the idea to form a national organization of the Provincial Women’s Institutes first came to light. However, with the onset of the First World War in 1914 the idea to create such an organization was temporarily abandoned. At war’s end in 1918, Miss Mary MacIsaac, the Superintendent of the Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She recognized the importance of organizing rural Canadian women so they might speak as one voice on important issues, as well as the power in uniting the provincial WIs into a national unified organization. In February of 1919, representatives of the provincial WI groups met in Winnipeg, Manitoba to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada. The organization was formed so that rural women of Canada would be empowered to speak as one voice at the national level, and so that national programs and projects could be coordinated. FWIC’s first president was Judge Emily Murphy of Edmonton (also known as Janey Canuck), an outstanding woman of remarkable ability and energy.

Jo BealeToday, the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada, also known as WI Canada, continues its long tradition of giving voice to women, and speaking out nationally on behalf of women and families. Our goal is to inspire women to make a difference by making change count.

We are proud of our long history as an organization, as we continue to evolve and adapt for today’s issues. We remain united in preparing for our future, to ensure that the FWIC/WI Canada and the WI movement stays strong for another 100 years to come.


  • To provide a united national voice for all Women’s Institutes of Canada
  • To initiate national programs and provide resource material
  • To provide a medium of inter-communication among the units of the federation
  • To provide leadership in the promotion of Canadian agriculture and community living
  • To develop responsible citizens through the study of issues of national and international importance
  • Owns and operates Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead

Proud of our Past, Prepared for our Future
Women Inspired to Make Change Count