Not an acronym, but the real deal: YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg announces name change

The YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg announced its legally changed its name on Feb. 29, 2024.
The YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg announced its legally changed its name on Feb. 29, 2024. YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg / Facebook

A name change announced by a charity organization in Winnipeg is being hailed as an important step in recognizing inclusivity within the diverse community it serves.

The Young Men’s and Young Women’s Christian Association of Winnipeg is now legally known as the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg, according to the organization on Feb. 29. In a release on Thursday, it noted references to “gender, age or religion” will be removed.

The name change comes as part of the local branch’s strategic plan, tabled last year. Cordella Friesen, the organization’s president and CEO said the previous name always brought up questions about the organization’s work.

“Especially when we’re working in partnership with other community organizations when we’re hiring for staff. I would always have to say no, we are — have long been — known as an organization that promotes and celebrates diversity,” Friesen said. “Making the legal change was an important statement for us to make.”

Story continues below advertisement

The importance, she said, is in being legally transparent about the work that YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg does, from working with the Indigenous population downtown as well as assisting immigrants and newcomers to the country.

“People really talk about the Y and think about the Y… the Y doesn’t mean anything other than the Y going forward,” Friesen said. “Just reaffirming the Y is not an acronym. It doesn’t stand for anything.”

Elsewhere in the country, Friesen noted that local branches have made similar decisions to change their name, including Toronto and Calgary.

Click to play video: 'Saint John YMCA gets new name, expands services'
Saint John YMCA gets new name, expands services

Sponsored content