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Women for Nature

Image of the Women for Nature logo

Image of Janis Johnson

“With its 75th Anniversary, Nature Canada celebrates the legacy of one woman’s initiative, Mabel Frances Whittemore. Imagine what 75 Women working for Nature will accomplish! I am proud to support Nature Canada’s efforts to protect our natural heritage and connect more Canadians to nature.”

~ Senator Janis Johnson Honourary Chair, Women for Nature

About Image of the Women for Nature leaf symbol

In celebration of our 75th anniversary in 2014, Nature Canada aims to accelerate our positive impact on nature with the collaborative partnership of 75 women of influence. Women for Nature is the collaborative voices of Canadian women with vision – women of influence who chose to demonstrate their passion for nature and pass their values on to others to drive change. Women for Nature is a philanthropic initiative comprised of professional women from across Canada – this unique partnership of motivated and influential women champion Nature Canada’s work to their network of colleagues and friends. Together we will be more effective in our efforts to save wildlife, protect nature and inspire young leaders for nature. Nature Canada was founded in 1939 to honour Mabel Frances Whittemore, an educator and nature lover whose main goal in life was to share her passion for nature with others. Our mission is to protect and conserve wildlife and habitats in Canada by engaging people and advocating on behalf of nature. We are a member-based non-profit organization of 40,000 supporters and more than 350 naturalist organizations across Canada.

View our Action Report for 2014

Meet our Members Image of the Women for Nature leaf symbol

Central to the Women for Nature initiative is the opportunity to tell the story of the positive impact honorees have had on our nature and in our communities. We applaud their initiative and commitment to nature. Their generous support and involvement as Ambassadors of our work is much appreciated. Click on the names to read about these remarkable women.

Honorary Chair: Senator Janis G. Johnson Small icon of leaf

 Kathy AbusowSmall icon of leaf  Stella AmblerSmall icon of leaf  Margaret AtwoodSmall icon of leaf  Céline BakSmall icon of leaf

Dr. Sandra BarrSmall icon of leaf  Dawn BazelySmall icon of leaf  Deborah BeattySmall icon of leaf Meg BeckelSmall icon of leaf

Annie BlierSmall icon of leaf Cedar Bradley-SwanSmall icon of leaf  Sheefra BrisbinSmall icon of leaf  Hon. Pauline BrowesSmall icon of leaf

Sharon ButalaSmall icon of leaf  Joan BushSmall icon of leaf  Stephanie CairnsSmall icon of leaf  Susanna CarsonSmall icon of leaf

Caroline CasselmanSmall icon of leaf  Carolyn ChisholmSmall icon of leaf  Valerie ChortSmall icon of leaf  Cara ClairmanSmall icon of leaf

Catherine CobdenSmall icon of leaf  Sheila Colla Small icon of leaf  Ashlee Cunsolo Willox Small icon of leaf  Radha CurpenSmall icon of leaf

Leanne CusackSmall icon of leaf  Professor Ann DaleSmall icon of leaf  Elizabeth DowdeswellSmall icon of leaf  Kirsty DuncanSmall icon of leaf

Linda DuncanSmall icon of leaf  Charlene EastonSmall icon of leaf  Susan R. EatonSmall icon of leaf  Karen EtheringtonSmall icon of leaf

Carolyn FarquharSmall icon of leaf  Joelle FaulknerSmall icon of leaf  Rebecca FoonSmall icon of leaf  Julie GelfandSmall icon of leaf

Senator Nancy Greene RaineSmall icon of leaf  Diane GriffinSmall icon of leaf  Andrea GoertzSmall icon of leaf  Robyn GraySmall icon of leaf

Her Excellency Sharon JohnstonSmall icon of leaf  Jan KasperskiSmall icon of leaf  Dr. Brenda KennySmall icon of leaf

 Dr. Leslie KingSmall icon of leaf  Dr. Gail KrantzbergSmall icon of leaf  Rosanne KyleSmall icon of leaf  Dr. Sonia LabattSmall icon of leaf

Dr. Marty LeonardSmall icon of leaf Betsy MartinSmall icon of leaf  Kym MartinSmall icon of leaf  Gillian MasonSmall icon of leaf

Kelly Matheson KingSmall icon of leaf  Sharolyn Mathieu VettesseSmall icon of leaf  Elizabeth MaySmall icon of leaf  Brenda McCabeSmall icon of leaf

Velma McCollSmall icon of leaf  Christine MelnickSmall icon of leaf  Stephanie MeyerSmall icon of leaf  Juanita MontalvoSmall icon of leaf

Anne MurraySmall icon of leaf  Joyce MurraySmall icon of leaf  Grace PattersonSmall icon of leaf  Dr. Diane SaxeSmall icon of leaf

Sandra SchwartzSmall icon of leaf  Bridget StutchburySmall icon of leaf  Arlene StromSmall icon of leaf  Susan TannerSmall icon of leaf

Dr. Lynn TomkinsSmall icon of leaf  Pamela TourignySmall icon of leaf Michelle ValbergSmall icon of leaf  Dr. Pamela WrightSmall icon of leaf

Laura ZizzoSmall icon of leaf

Kathy Abusow

Stella Ambler

Margaret Atwood

Céline Bak

Sandra Barr

Dr. Dawn Bazely

Deborah Beatty

Meg Beckel

Annie Blier

Cedar Bradley-Swan

Sheefra Brisbin

Hon. Pauline Browes

Sharon Butala

Joan Bush

Stephanie Cairns

Susanna Carson

Caroline Casselman

Carolyn Chisholm

Valerie Chort

Cara Clairman

Catherine Cobden

Sheila Colla

Ashlee Cunsolo Willox

Radha Curpen

Leanne Cusack

Professor Ann Dale

Elizabeth Dowedeswell

Kirsty Duncan

Linda Duncan

Charlene Easton

Susan R. Eaton

Karen Etherington

Carolyn Farquhar

Rebecca Foon

Joelle Faulkner

Julie Gelfand

Senator Nancy Greene Raine

Diane Griffin

Andrea Goertz

Robyn Gray

Senator Janis G. Johnson

Her Excellency Sharon Johnston

Jan Kasperski

Dr. Brenda Kenny

Dr. Leslie King

Dr. Gail Krantzberg

Rosanne Kyle

Dr. Sonia Labatt

Dr. Marty Leonard

Betsy Martin

Kym Martin

Gillian Mason

Kelly Matheson King

Sharolyn Mathieu Vettese

Elizabeth May

Dr. Brenda McCabe

Velma McColl

Christine Melnick

Stephanie Meyer

Juanita Montalvo

Anne Murray

Joyce Murray

Grace Patterson

Dr. Dianne Saxe

Sandra Schwartz

Arlene Strom


Bridget Stutchbury

Susan Tanner

Dr. Lynn Tomkins

Pamela Tourigny

Michelle Valberg

Dr. Pamela Wright

Laura Zizzo

Picture of Julie Gelfand at the Women for Nature Event

“I am convinced that as Canadians we have a global responsibility to protect nature. We still have the opportunity to protect vast areas of wilderness unlike many other places in the world. And we must. As female leaders in our respective fields, we have the opportunity to influence people around us and to introduce youth to the beauty and “wow” of nature.”

~ Julie Gelfand, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Founding member, Women for Nature

Join Image of the Women for Nature leaf symbol

As a member of Women for Nature you’ll help influence, inspire, and educate Canadians about the relevance of nature to their lives. You’ll be at the heart of our efforts to engage and empower Canadians to advocate for nature, save species and protect habitats. Your leadership and support, along with other Women for Nature helps fund our innovative national programs which energize young citizens to become leaders for environmental and social changes in their own communities. We greatly value your influential leadership as a member of Nature Canada’s exciting Women for Nature Initiative. Your benefits include:

  • Invitation to the annual Ambassador Reception;
  • Opportunity to network and collaborate with other women leaders;
  • Public listing of your name as a leader in our Women for Nature Initiative, with your permission of course; and
  • Women for Nature Action Report – an exclusive periodic report on the impact and success of Women for Nature.

You can help impact positive change for Canada. Please join with us and become a partner in our Women for Nature Initiative by emailing Jodi at: JJoy@naturecanada.ca or by calling 1-800-267-4088 ext. 239.

Picture of Elizabeth Dowdeswell

“When you start thinking about nature, you’re really thinking about the future, because that’s what the future is going to depend on, that’s what our children are going to depend on, and in fact that’s what our economic wealth is going to depend on.”

~ Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant-Govenor, Province of Ontario, Founding member, Women for Nature

Why Nature Matters Image of the Women for Nature leaf symbol

Our glorious land includes great natural wonders – from the Rockies to the Great Lakes, Prairies to the Arctic, West Coast forests to scenic wonders of Atlantic Canada. But across our land, habitats are at risk or in decline. Species are disappearing. Someday our prairies could become desert. Our mountains could become denuded of old growth forests. Our favourite vistas developed beyond recognition. Canada’s iconic polar bear is already at risk, as are 600 other Canadian species. This breakdown in ecosystems could threaten our livelihoods, our health and our lives. Canadians rank environmental issues near the top of the national agenda. But with more people living in urban areas, fewer and fewer have a personal connection to the land. The more people understand the natural world, its beauty, its gifts, its fragility and how we are dependent on nature, the more likely they will be to take action to protect the natural environment. And, we have the science to demonstrate that access to nature has tremendous health benefits including relieving stress and fostering creativity. Women for Nature are in a unique position to share this message and engage Canadians.

Ambassador Reception  Image of the Women for Nature leaf symbol

Nature Canada’s Board and staff were pleased to celebrate the launch of the Women for Nature initiative, a unique partnership of motivated and influential women who are dedicated to protecting nature. Over 150 founding members, friends, colleagues, politicians and business leaders took part in a Parliamentarian reception showcasing the founding members of Women for Nature. The reception was graciously hosted by Senator Janis Johnson with Senator Nancy Greene Raine and Members of Parliament Stella Ambler, Linda Duncan, Joyce Murray, Kirsty Duncan and Elizabeth May. Cliff Wallis, Nature Canada’s Vice-Chairman thanked Senator Johnson and Julie Gelfand for acting as the Honorary Chair and Co-Chair of the exciting new partnership. With many founding members finding opportunities to meet other female leaders and re-connect with friends and former colleagues, the evening revolved around spirited conversation and inspiring stories of deep connections to nature. We look forward to inviting other professional women with a deep personal connection to nature to also become involved with the Women for Nature initiative.

View more photos

Many thanks to our corporate sponsors for their generous support of the event:

Canadian Electricity Association Logo Sustainable Forestry Initiative Royal Bank of Canada logo The Printing House logo Swarovski Optik logo
Image of the Taste with Stace logo Picture of the Vinexx logo Rae Lipskie Partnership logo Steam Whistle logo Agents of Good logo

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