Welcome to the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters Archive

What is the ACWS?

Alberta’s sheltering movement stands on the shoulders of giants – a group of tireless and fearless advocates – who deserve to be appropriately honoured and recognized. 

This project helps to ensure that history doesn’t forget them and their life-saving efforts. As the provincial network organization of women’s shelters in Alberta, the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters (ACWS) supports 40 sheltering organizations that operate over 50 shelters across the province for women, children, and seniors facing domestic abuse. ACWS supports them and works with them to end domestic violence through culture-shifting violence prevention programs, collective data and research, and frontline training. 

Alberta women’s shelters have grown from their informal beginnings to a specialized system that shelters thousands of women, children and seniors every year. They also turn away far too many persons requesting shelter due to a lack of capacity. Building on the expertise of the early sheltering movement, ACWS members now provide dozens of services in addition to shelter, from food and transportation to highly specialized help. These services include one-on-one support, safety planning, trauma-informed childcare and parenting support, legal system navigation, and help to obtain income support, employment, and education. Domestic violence remains an urgent and serious problem in Alberta. Every six days in Canada, a woman is killed by a current or former intimate partner. Alberta has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the country, and the severity of the violence is on the rise. 

ACWS advocates on behalf of sheltering organizations in Alberta for the resources they need to provide safety for women. Archiving the evolution of shelters in Alberta supports these advocacy efforts and strengthens the movement. 

The ACWS is continually learning and improving

The documents in our collections are presented for archival purposes and do not necessarily reflect the current positions or learnings of ACWS or its member organizations. Some of the views or language expressed herein may not be in accordance with the present day. The documents have been uploaded in their original, unaltered forms and are intended to be a public resource of a historical nature.

If you have any questions about the contents in these documents, please contact us at voice@acws.ca.

Outcomes Conference 2011 Poster

Poster advertising the 2011 Outcomes Conference.

How to use the archive

You can find detailed instructions for using different facets of the archive under About > How to Use This Site.

Every item is assigned to at least one collection or sub-collection, and every item has at least one tag. You can browse by collections, by items using the navigation menu at the top of the page, or you can browse by tags using the tag cloud at the bottom of this page. You can also use the search bar above if you already know what you are looking for.  There is also an advanced search which can be found on the Browse all items page or by clicking here.

Exhibitions are specially curated sets of items designed to highlight them and tell a story, and these can be found under the exhibitions menu.