ACWS 'Joie Dery Award' goes to Penny Giacomoni of WINGS of Providence


Media Release

June 17th, 2017



ACWS ‘Joie Dery Award’ goes to Penny Giacomoni of WINGS of Providence


EDMONTON, Alberta– Friday, June 16, 2017 marked the Annual General Meeting for members of Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS). Attendees included representatives from 41 Alberta women’s and seniors shelters, as well as Alberta Indigenous elders, Pauline Paulson and Marilyn Buffalo.


The event serves not only as a business meeting for ACWS board elections, but also as a celebration of shelters’ important work in the province and an opportunity to honour the work of staff members in shelters across the Province.


This year’s ‘Joie Dery Award’ has been won by Penny Giacomoni of Wings of Providence.  Penny is a Support Worker/Counsellor in WINGS of Providence.


Jan Reimer, executive director of ACWS, commented,


“Penny Giacomoni has worked tirelessly on behalf of the shelter movement over 17 years.  She has brought commitment, humour and compassion to her work.  In particular she has become an expert on safety planning for women, navigating the complexities of the Justice system with women in high risk situations.”


She continued,


“Women in Alberta dealing with domestic violence and abusive relationships need a safe place and a supportive environment.  Penny Giacomoni works tirelessly to provide this.  She has been a leading advocate for the collection of accurate data across the whole shelter movement which has allowed us to understand just how serious the challenges in Alberta are.  Penny will retire in August 2017 and it is fitting that she should receive this award after so many years of dedication to keeping women safe.”


Along with the award, ACWS presented Ms. Giacomoni with prizes donated from Alberta businesses: 

  • Husky Energy
  • Integra Tire
  • The Italian Centre
  • Jacek Chocolate
  • Karmen Victoria Jewelry
  • Parcel & Prose
  • Saraswati Jewelry
  • Sylvia Soo Leather
  • Tirecraft






Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) supports member shelters and works together to end domestic violence and abuse. ACWS was incorporated in 1983 and is a registered charity.


Pictured (l-r): Dr. Moira Walker (Board of Directors WINGS of Providence), Jan Reimer (Executive Director ACWS), Penny Giacomoni (Joie Dery Award winner, WINGS of Providence), Frank Giacomoni, Pat Garrett (Executive Director WINGS of Providence)


The ACWS Joie Dery Award (now in its seventh year) is named after and honours the significant contributions of Joie Dery, who committed herself to social justice for abused women in Alberta. For more than 25 years, Joie was a member of ACWS and was President of the Board for numerous years. Ms. Dery also worked for two decades at the Dr. Margaret Savage Crisis Centre in Cold Lake Alberta. This award recognizes excellence in frontline shelter staff from around the province.


For 31 years, WINGS has effectively assisted women and children in helping to break the cycle of family violence by providing safe transitional housing with wrap around program services and counseling in order to give the necessary time to begin healing from the physical and emotional wounds of an abusive relationship. WINGS strives to create an environment that supports women’s self-empowerment and assists women and children to begin to heal from the impact of domestic violence.


In 2012 WINGS expanded and opened the Home Next Door – a 30 unit affordable housing complex complete with a fully licensed and accredited daycare to help remove barriers, so that women can return to work or upgrade their education. Outreach support is provided to women and their children so they can continue on their journey of healing and independence in a safe, supportive community in order to help them achieve their goals to ending violence in their lives.


ACWS charitable registration: #118780634RR0001



Eoin Murray

ACWS Communications Advisor