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2021 Recipients of Annual Joie Dery and Volunteer Awards

October 13, 2021

Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters Announces 2021 Recipients of Annual Joie Dery and Volunteer Awards

EDMONTON, ALBERTA––The recipients of the 2021 Joie Dery Award and the Volunteer Award were announced at the virtual Annual General Meeting of the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS), held on September 24th. These annual awards recognize excellence in shelter work, for both staff and volunteers. The 2021 Joie Dery Award and the Volunteer Award have been awarded to, respectively, Helen Samm of the Camrose Women’s Shelter and Joyce Badger of the Sucker Creek Emergency Shelter.

“Shelter workers and volunteers are true community leaders, whose accomplishments often go unsung, but whose work makes a lasting impact on so many lives. We are pleased to recognize the outstanding contributions of this year’s recipients, who exemplify longstanding commitment to domestic violence response work,” said ACWS Executive Director, Jan Reimer.

The Joie Dery Award is named in honour of a former shelter worker and long-serving executive director, who committed herself to social justice for survivors of domestic violence at the Cold Lake women’s shelter, Dr. Margaret Savage Crisis Centre. Dery was also a former president of ACWS.

This year’s Joie Dery Award recipient, Helen Samm, has been actively involved with the Camrose Women’s Emergency Shelter for 30 years.

“Helen believes it is a privilege to walk alongside the strong, capable, and inspiring women we serve. She says she learns about resilience, persistence, and patience from the clients. Helen’s history of service to the shelter, as an employee and advocate, more than qualifies her for the receipt of this prestigious award,” said Nora-Lee Rear, Executive Director of the Camrose Women’s Shelter.

Joyce Badger also has a lengthy history of service to the women’s sheltering movement.

“The Sucker Creek Emergency Shelter was incorporated in 1992, and Joyce began volunteering on our Board of Directors shortly after that,” says Darlene Moostoos, Executive Director of the Sucker Creek Emergency Shelter. “She is a champion for our shelter in our community. It is a gift to have a supportive board member who goes ‘above and beyond’ to help our shelter and the length of her commitment also means that she is a part of our shelter’s history and is a knowledge-keeper of our work in this region.”

ACWS staff, Board members, and members of Joie Dery’s family select the award recipients from nominations received throughout the year.


For further information or to arrange for an interview, please contact:

Olivia Street, Coordinator of Communications and Social Advocacy