2022 Women of Distinction Award recipients announced

Wednesday, Jun 1, 2022

Sarah Blyth, Founder and Executive Director of the Overdose Prevention Society, received the Community Champion Award, presented by Pacific Blue Cross.

Women of Distinction Award group picture

The 39th Annual YWCA Metro Vancouver Women of Distinction Awards took place on May 26, 2022, where the achievements of inspiring women and workplaces who drive positive change in their communities were celebrated.

More than 1,300 guests and volunteers gathered at their first in-person Awards gala in three years. The event helped raise $125,000 in donations (and matched to $250,000 by an anonymous donor) in support of the new YWCA housing community in Burnaby, which will provide 32 new homes for women and children in need.

In total, 75 women were nominated across twelve different award categories. As a legacy sponsor for the event, Pacific Blue Cross presented the Community Champion award. We’re so pleased to recognize this year’s recipient: Sarah Blyth, Founder and Executive Director, Vancouver Overdose Prevention Society.

Sarah’s advocacy and support of overdose prevention has helped to change hearts and minds and has saved countless lives as a result. You can read more about Sarah’s achievements below:

Sarah is Founder and Executive Director of Vancouver Overdose Prevention Society, where she works tirelessly to address the ongoing and worsening epidemic of overdose deaths. Sarah began the society while drug use was heavily stigmatized and, despite heavy opposition, her advocacy and efforts have saved thousands of lives. Her work has also paved the way for governments across Canada and the United States to adopt a similar approach, including a safe drug supply, decriminalization, and better mental health services. The BC government has since established more than 15 overdose-prevention sites across the province thanks to Sarah’s work. Sarah also founded the Vancouver Skatepark Coalition, spurred the creation of six new skateparks, and an official ‘Skateboard Week’ making Vancouver a world leader and helped change stereotypes associated with the sport.


2022 Award winners

Congratulations to Sarah Blyth, and to all 2022 Women of Distinction nominees and award recipients! See the 2022 Award winners.


Support YWCA

YWCA Metro Vancouver is hoping to raise a total of $370,184 to fully fund one new unit at their Grange Street housing community. Donations are still being accepted and will be matched until May 31. Donate now.


Nominate a woman or workplace

You can recognize an inspiring woman or workplace by nominating them for a 2023 YWCA Women of Distinction Award.