About Us

Soroptimist Logo

Founded in 1921, Soroptimist International is a global volunteer movement with a network of around 66,000 club members in 120 countries. Advocating for human rights and gender equality, at the heart of Soroptimist International’s advocacy is its work across seven UN Centres, where our UN representatives ensure that the voices of women and girls are heard. Our membership work on grassroots projects that help women and girls achieve their individual and collective potential, realise aspirations and have an equal voice in communities worldwide.

Soroptimist International of Calgary (SIOC) was chartered in 1934. We are a Calgary volunteer organization Investing in Dreams of women and girls locally and globally, through access to education.

Our founding members are famous for their pioneering efforts both in their professional and Soroptimist careers. Today our membership spans three generations, with many diverse interests, but we are united by a desire to volunteer for women in Calgary and around the world. Our name, Soroptimist, means “best for women,” and that’s what the organization strives to achieve. Soroptimists are women at their best, working to help other women to be their best.

Note: The use of the words “woman”, “women”, “girl”, “girls” on this site includes anyone who identifies as female.

Soroptimist Awards Programs

The Soroptimist Awards are presented annually to deserving recipients: women who make a difference in the lives of other women or those who are working through adversity to achieve their educational goals.

This program provides women with cash grants to offset costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education and additional skills training. The ultimate goal of the program is to help women improve their economic status by preparing them to enter or re-enter the workplace – to help women reclaim their dreams of a better life for themselves and their family.

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The Dare To Dream Award is a cash award. Recipients may use the money to offset any costs associated with their efforts to obtain an education. The DARE TO DREAM AWARD is given to a woman who is providing financial support to herself alone (has no dependents) to help her attain her educational goals to better her life.

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This program honours women who, through their professional or personal efforts, are making extraordinary differences in the lives of women or girls. Honourees are women who have worked to improve the lives of other women or girls. Their work has had a significant impact, and also inspires and encourages other women.

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Louise Johnson is the 2023 recipient of the prestigious Francis Wagner Award for 2023

Louise Johnson Winner of the Francis Wagner AwardThe Francis Wagner award is given out each year to a Western Canada Soroptimist who has demonstrated outstanding achievements in service to the community. In winning this award, Louise is described as a leader, cheerleader, supporter, and mentor for everyone she connects with.

Louise began her 48-year love affair with Soroptimist in 1975. Working tirelessly is support of the Soroptimists, she has served as chair of many committees, held several board positions, and has served as President more than once. Louise has also served with Soroptimist International of the Americas, been Governor of the Western Canada Region, and helped charter SI of Central Alberta. In addition, Louise initiated Soroptimist International of Calgary’s partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart which has benefited Highbanks moms. She currently holds a lifetime membership with Soroptimist International of Calgary and is involved with our Live Your Dream Alumni program.

Outside of Soroptimist, Louise is a Pharmacist (retired) and has volunteered with numerous organizations including the PARTY program – Prevent Alcohol & Risk Related Trauma in Youth, Discovery House, and the Women’s Centre.

Louise Johnson truly represents the ideal of being a Soroptimist, all of the time.

Providing assistance for girls in:

    • Setting and achieving goals
    • Overcoming obstacles to success
    • Moving forward after setbacks or failures

Learn more about the Dream It, Be It program.


Donate to Soroptimist International of Calgary

Your donation will help ensure the continuation of Soroptimist International of Calgary support for women and girls in Calgary.