This year, we are honouring our 40th Anniversary; an incredible milestone in the amazing story of Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis (WIC). These 40 years have been marked with struggle, courage, conviction, determination, and a lot of support from our community.


Sly Castaldi, Executive Director at WIC, and Katie Cheesmond, Director of Business Development at RLB, drinking champagne at the launch evening for WIC 40th Gala

In 1977, a small, but determined group of women were inspired to take action against sexual violence and started a rape crisis line at the University of Guelph. During that first year, they were getting calls from women who were experiencing abuse at home and needing to leave, so they secured a tiny basement apartment and started to shelter women and their children. We have been growing from the first day we started that crisis line and we continue to meet new and emerging needs every year.


Women come to us at a time of extreme crisis. We have picked up women from the hospital after they have been brutally sexually assaulted; we have provided a safe haven for women and their children escaping violent homes, and we have provided support to those living with abuse. We are community builders taking part in many vital committees and voicing the concerns of women who have experienced violence. We are also educators, promoting early intervention as an effective strategy in breaking the cycle of violence.


Over the last 40 years, our free and accessible services have provided advocacy and support for thousands and thousands of women and their children. We now provide programs and services for over 1,500 women, respond to more than 3,000 crisis line calls, and our amazing volunteers contribute over 6,000 hours! WIC is a place for women and children to seek shelter from the storms of their lives. It can be life-changing for a woman and life-saving in so many cases. In these moments, it is our presence that is the greatest gift and our proudest achievement!


Our upcoming 40th Anniversary Gala is on Saturday, April 22 with a disco theme! It will be an absolutely fabulous evening at the Italian Canadian Club in Guelph. Guests will partake in an awesome dining experience, listen to special guest speakers, engage in a very entertaining live auction with Layne (the famous Auctionista), test their knowledge in the true or false trivia game, dance the night away on our light-up disco floor and much, much more! Tickets are just $100 so don’t miss out on this special evening.


Call 519-836-1110 to reserve your tickets. For info visit


Article written by: Rosemary Taylor of Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis