Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Her Story: Trailblazers of Guelph and Wellington County

September 15, 2020 - July 25, 2021

Photo grid featuring four trailblazing women of the Her Story exhibit. Gwen Jacobs, Adelaide Hoodless, Audny-Cashae Stewart, Kim Anderson

In fall 2019, the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) approached Guelph Museums about an exhibition that would mark the 75th anniversary of CFUW Guelph. Through the stories of local women, who fought for the advancement of the status of women, the exhibition began to take shape. The goal was to write the history of Her Story and to share women’s legacies in Guelph, past and present.

Then, in March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the temporary closure of Guelph Museums. What began as a display in the museum became a major research project and a virtual exhibition.

CFUW Guelph sought a partnership with the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute and the College of Arts at the University of Guelph. Under the guidance of Professor Catherine Carstairs, nine students undertook the research and writing and the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory agreed to host the virtual exhibition.

Her Story: Trailblazers of Guelph and Wellington County celebrates women who have led the way towards a diverse and gender inclusive community. The project aimed to share the stories of cisgender women, trans women, two-spirit, and gender non-conforming people. We recognize the historical barriers faced by all women. We acknowledge that Black, Indigenous and People of Colour and LGBTQ2IA+ women have faced and continue to face even greater barriers.

The featured trailblazers are activists, artists, caregivers, health care workers, mothers, politicians, scientists, and writers, as well as women-led organizations. We celebrate their accomplishments. They show us that change is possible.

Her Story: Women Trailblazers of Guelph and Wellington County Virtual Exhibition

Featured Trailblazers

Tito Alawode, Kim Anderson, Parvathi Basrur, Lois Betteridge, Norma Bowen, Deanna Clatworthy, Amy Ellard-Gray, Karen Farbridge, Anne Godfrey, Adelaide Hoodless, Gwen Jacob, Suzy Lake, Jean Little, Marisse Scott, Shakiba Shayani, Jan Sherman, Audny-Cashae Stewart, Gayle Valeriote, Marva Wisdom, and Anne-Marie Zajdlik

Trailblazing Organizations

Canadian Federation of University Women – Guelph, Chalmers Community Services, Guelph-Wellington Women In Crisis, The Suffrage Movement in Guelph and Wellington County, and Zonta Club of Guelph

Student Researchers

Tanesha Black, Julia Cole, Shelby Mawson, Sofia Mayer, Emma Ongman, Brittany Pompilii, Anne Sanatagi, Nicole Scott, and Katrina Stephany


The project benefitted from the invaluable guidance of Susan Brown, Kim Martin, Mihaela Ilovan, and Thomas Smith of the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory. CFUW Guelph, through Isobel Boyle, Mary McEwen and Teresa McKeeman, provided inspiration and key support. Many historians shared their research in women’s history and the history of Guelph. Thank you to Heidi Bohaker, Christine Bold, Vicki Hodgkinson, Franca Iacovetta, Kris Inwood, Melissa McAfee, and Alison Norman. Trailblazers were nominated by Denise Francis of the Guelph Black Heritage Society, Sarah Dermer at Chalmers Community Services, and Amanda Derksen at the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, as well as by individuals from across the region.

Project Partners

Blue text reads CFUW Guelph. Between the two words is a blue lantern. The second line reads Connect, learn, advocate.Blue text in a circle formation reads Guelph Wellington Women in Crisis. In the centre of the text is a blue figure of a circle with a small cross underneath, commonly used to represent females.Zonta Guelph logo. Red box with a Z in the center. Below the box, red text read Zonta Club of Guelph. Members of Zonta International. Empowering women through service and advocacy. White text on square black background reads University of Guelph. Guelph Museums logo. Green text reads Guelph Museums. Below in navy blue text reads Your stories live here. To the left of the words is a blue rounded arrow marker with a white speech bubble in the centre.

Related Events:

History bites logo. The words history bites is written in blue text. To the left is a graphic of a pear with a bite taken out of the centre.

History Bites – Her Story: Trailblazers of Guelph and Wellington County
Wednesday, October 21, 12 to 1 p.m. | ONLINE
Join us Guelph Museums’ curator Dawn Owen for an online series of bite-sized conversations inspired by current exhibitions and stories from the collection. Register through Eventbrite.


September 15, 2020
July 25, 2021
Event Categories:
, ,


Guelph Museums


Civic Museum
52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
+ Google Map