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ATB celebrates Alberta women

ATB celebrates Alberta women

Posted on: April 23, 2012
Author: Jennifer Sharpe

Mistresses of the Modern - Celebrating Alberta Women through Stories


Pictured above are the seven winners of the competition with hosts and special guests.

Front, from left to right:

Catherine Crowston, Acting Deputy Director and Chief Curator, The Art Gallery of Alberta
Sandra Huculak, Director of Community Leadership, ATB Financial
Ilona Boyce, Calgary (winner)
Shelley Boston, Ponoka (winner)
Sue Keating, Edmonton (winner)
The Honourable Alison Redford
Licia Mamprin, Calgary (winner)
Lillian Whitehead, Little Buffalo (winner)
Mary Woodbury, Edmonton (winner)

Behind, from left to right:

Tracey Vavrek, Grande Prairie (winner)
Dave Mowat, President and CEO, ATB Financial
Barry Zalmanowitz, Chair, AGA Board of Directors

Photo by Aminah Syed

A special reception was held at the Art Gallery of Alberta on April 19th to officially announce the winners of the Mistresses of the Modern – Celebrating Alberta Women through Stories competition. Invited guests, including The Honourable Alison Redford, Premier of Alberta, gathered to help us share the stories of these inspiring women.

ATB Financial initiated this competition as part of our sponsorship of the Alberta Mistresses of the Modern 1935-1975 exhibition at the AGA. This groundbreaking exhibition literally rewrites the history books, focusing on women artists who lived in Alberta and who, until now, have received little recognition. In the spirit of this exhibition, we launched the Mistresses of the Modern competition to celebrate the stories of women who are making the Alberta we live in now a better place. ATB Financial is honoured to share these women's inspiring stories and place them in the records of Alberta history.

The winners of Mistresses of the Modern – Celebrating Alberta Women through Stories are:

Shelley Boston (Ponoka)

In the wake of the tragic fire in Slave Lake last year, Shelley spearheaded an immensely successful fundraising campaign that both energized her community and brought much needed supplies and hope to the people of Slave Lake.

Ilona Boyce (Calgary)

Ilona founded the Evenstart Foundation in 1997. Giving a second chance to children who are victims of severe abuse and neglect, Ilona and her foundation have positively impacted the lives of countless children.

Sue Keating (Edmonton)

When Sue was told that her son had autism, she chose the harder path, tirelessly researching new teaching methods and giving her son a chance at a normal life. From this experience she developed a teaching program for schools in Edmonton which is used to this day.

Licia Mamprin (Calgary)

Licia immigrated to Calgary from Italy as a teenager in the 1950s. She went on to found a successful business and has provided a job, mentorship, and friendship to countless employees, many of whom were themselves new immigrants.

Tracey Vavrek (Grande Prairie)

Tracey overcame many setbacks, taking control of her and her family's life after her son was diagnosed with cancer. She went on to found the Young Persons and Families with Cancer Society in Grande Prairie and is a dedicated community leader.

Lillian Whitehead (Little Buffalo)

Lillian has taken in dozens of children and teenagers, both from her family and the small community of Little Buffalo, and given them a home. She also teaches Cree at the local school, keeping her culture and language alive.

Mary Woodbury (Edmonton)

Mary has been a vital member of Alberta's literary community for decades. Her books have brought hope and inspiration to generations of children and adults and her dedicated work behind the scenes has given voice to countless others who might otherwise not have been heard.

Learn more about these amazing women by visiting There you will find each winner's full story, as well as portraits and interviews.

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