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For Immediate Release


March 20, 2009

Ministry of Agriculture and Lands




KAMLOOPS – The B.C. Women’s Institute (BCWI) has been honoured with a Century Farm Award to recognize its many achievements and contributions to the province over the last 100 years, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Planning and MLA for Delta South Val Roddick announced today.


“Too often, the very existence of the B.C. Women’s Institute goes unnoticed by the public,” said Roddick. “However, over the last century, a great number of men, women and children in this province have had their lives touched in immeasurable ways by the important work from this dedicated group of pioneers.”


Century Farm Awards recognize institutes and associations that have been active for 100 years, as well as family farms and ranches that reach the centennial mark. Each Century Farm Award celebrates the rich heritage that accompanies the hard work and enduring sense of community in rural B.C.


“Everyone in B.C. owes a debt of gratitude to the Women’s Institute,” said Claude Richmond, MLA for Kamloops, who was also in attendance at the award presentation. “From developing our beautiful public parks system to having the Pacific Dogwood named the British Columbia floral emblem, the Women’s Institute has led the initiatives behind many of the things we love about this province.”


The B.C. Women’s Institute continues to strengthen agriculture in British Columbia in a variety of ways, including contributing to 4-H as leaders and judges, as well as helping to connect thousands of youths to agriculture through their continued support of the Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation, a program they helped bring to schools.


“Receiving this award is about more than celebrating our 100 year anniversary,” said Wanda Richter, president of the B.C. Women’s Institute. “It’s about bringing attention to the folks who are always in the background, giving their time, money and talents to efforts that keep our communities strong.”


The B.C. Women’s Institute, established in 1909, fulfilled many roles in its early days to support people in rural communities by educating women, assisting newcomers and funding community halls, rural hospitals and libraries. The institute filled the gaps in meeting the needs of fire victims, the sick and the elderly.







In wartime, the neighbourly spirit of the BCWI was felt in England as tons of jam and knitted items were made and sent to both civilians and soldiers. The organization was also instrumental in establishing both the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health and the B.C. Children’s Hospital, which it continues to support today with contributions of money, toys and clothing.


For more information on the Century Farm Award program, contact your local Ministry of Agriculture and Lands office or visit To learn more about the many activities and services provided by B.C. Women’s Institute, visit






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Lara Perzoff

Manager, Agriculture Communications

Ministry of Agriculture and Lands

250 356-8950

250 920-9040 (cell)


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