Since its inception on August 11, 1937, the Triangle Women’s Institute has changed substantially to meet the needs of its ever-growing community.
To keep the Institute afloat, TWI holds an annual fundraiser and relies on grants and in-house services at their community centre Pioneer Hall in Grasmere B.C.
Pioneer Hall opened in 1972, after the community participated in a walk-a-thon to raise funds to complete its construction.
Teas, a salad-bar luncheon, and catering services are all hosted by Pioneer Hall. It is open for fitness classes, dances, concerts, reunions, meetings, and special church services. The kitchen is available for events and to local caterers. In addition, the Institute acts as a 4-H sponsor, and the Hall is open to neighbouring communities Fernie, Jaffray, Wardner, Baynes Lake, and Elko for events.
Today, the building houses a post office and a library. The women lobbied for the post office when it faced closure because of insufficient operating funds in 2019. In three days, the issue was resolved when members sent letters to officials supporting its station in the community.
TWI members host the annual Bazaar to pay for hydro and insurance for the building. Pioneer Hall hosts a Stitch N Bitch sewing club, among the many activities available at the location, bringing people together, including its First Nations community.
Part of TWI’s mandate is ‘building bridges in the community,’ which includes cultivating education and community service.
TWI was instrumental in the BC Children’s Hospital development in Vancouver, among their notable pursuits, including donations to the community food bank, work with Hands Across the Border, and participation in the Water for All campaign.
They sponsor a disadvantaged child overseas, host blood drives, flu clinics, provide outreach to the community and those in need, and are responsible for the financial obligations related to the upkeep of Pioneer Hall, which is the main hub for community activities.
The Institute operates on a local and global scale with a membership of 15. They continually upgrade through educational modules, including first-aid training, and have access to webinars on various topics.
TWI serves as a welcome wagon to all. It supports its local students by presenting the annual TWI Grade 10 Technical award at the Jaffray school and two bursaries to South Country students at the Fernie High School Graduation for $300.
In 2019, the group built solar panels, with the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) contributing 25% to its construction. Upon its completion, 75 people attended the grand opening, including attendees from Lincoln Electric.
According to President Judy-Lou McDonald, the Institute started with a fantastic charter group, and they continue to have an outstanding organization with dedicated members.
TWI exists on the district, provincial, federal level and as a part of the Associated Country Women of the World.