The Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is an initiative of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Past Events 2017:


Our Sixth Annual African Dinner

When: Sunday, October 15th, 2017

Where: Florence Filberg Centre

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Description of the event:   Read more

Attendees at the sixth Annual African Dinner were greeted by the rhythms of the DrumBuds and the sight of a beautifully decorated hall. A cornucopia of items in the Silent Auction was awaiting bids, and the bar staff were busy pouring wine and beer.

Soon people were seated, the efforts of the committee and sponsors were acknowledged, and the special guests Mr Justine Ojambo, Waziko Margret, and Miriam Mulindwa from Uganda, Alexis MacDonald and Sarah Dopp from the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Toronto, and Eunice Mangwane from South Africa were introduced and invited to the stage.

Alexis spoke briefly about the Foundation, and outlined the journey of producing the book Powered by Love. Then the African visitors shared personal stories about how their lives had been affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Their involvement with grassroots organizations supported by the Foundation had made a huge difference. “Mama” Eunice ended with a song and a moving plea to continue supporting the Foundation.

The book is truly beautiful: colourful photographs taken by Alexis MacDonald, moving personal stories about Grandmothers in Africa and Grandmothers and GrandOthers in Canada, an interesting format and excellent editing have resulted in a product to be proud of. Evelyn Gillespie had brought a good supply of books, and they sold well.

A delicious African Meal, prepared by Tria Catering, was then ready to be enjoyed. All too soon, the last call for bids on Silent Auction items was made.

In spite of the hardships experienced by the African visitors, they exude a natural joy. They are delightful to be around. As guests gathered their belongings and headed for the door, it was noted that everyone left smiling.

Our dinner raised $7,667 for the Foundation.

With grateful thanks to our sponsors:

Mason Walker, RE/MAX Realty

Evelyn Gillespie , Laughing Oyster Bookshop

Martina, Blue Heron Books

And all the local businesses and individuals who donated to Silent Auction

Event photographs: (Hover the cursor over each picture to view an enlargement.)

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Book Launch

When: Monday, October 16th, 2017

Where: Courtenay Public Library

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Descriptions of the event:  Read more

The Courtenay Library staff and a handful of Grannies set up seating in the lounge area of the library, where Heather MacKenzie played the video, “Powered by Love,” which had been prepared by the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The soundtrack for this is a song written and performed by Zev Landsberg-Lewis, Ilana’s son and Stephen’s grandson.

The presentation, moderated by Kathy Penner, included the reading of brief passages from the book Powered by Love. It was followed by stories shared by Ugandan visitors Waziko, Justine and Miriam. Local Glacier Granny, Bette Axani, told us about her connection to the Grandmothers Movement. African Granny, Eunice, shared a powerful story of HIV/AIDS and her family’s experience. All were moved to tears.

In response to the song shared by Eunice at the African Dinner the night before, GrandOther, John, thanked the Grannies by singing the song “How Could Anyone”:

  • How could anyone ever tell you, you are anything less than beautiful
  • How could anyone ever tell you, you are less than whole
  • How could anyone fail to notice that your loving is a miracle
  • How deeply you’re connected to my soul.

Coffee and baked goods prepared by Grannies were enjoyed, while books were purchased and signed. The Laughing Oyster Book Shop sold 57 books, and donated $5 per book to the Foundation.

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With many thanks to Evelyn at Laughing Oyster Book Shop, Daryl at Mudsharks Coffee Bar and Courtenay Public Library.


Event photographs: (Hover the cursor over each picture to view an enlargement.)

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Car Boot Sale

When: Saturday, September 10

Where: Car park of Comox United Church

Descriptions of the eventRead more

A large group of Grannies brought their cars down for the sale, laden with useful and decorative articles. Coffee, snacks and crafts were also available. Many customers braved the rain, which increased as the morning progressed, to pick up bargains, and a total of $1648 was raised. Once again, many thanks to Lorraine W.who organized the event, all the Grannies and their partners who helped with set-up and take-down, and everyone who sold goods. No one minded getting wet in a good cause!

Thank you to Mudsharks for their donation of coffee.


Event photographs: (Hover the cursor over each picture to view an enlargement..)

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Lunch for Cyclists riding from Campbell River to Victoria

When: Friday, September 8th

Where: A beautiful house and garden overlooking the ocean

Descriptions of the eventRead more

With cheers and clapping,the Glacier Grannies and their guests welcomed 23 cyclists and their support team to Bette A.'s lovely home and garden. The riders, from all over the Island, were on a fund-raising 275 kilometer ride from Campbell River to Victoria. It was an international gathering, with two riders joining the group from Los Angeles, and two guests from England.

Everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared by Donna G. and her team. The cyclists left, to more encouraging cheers, with goodie bags prepared by Grannies Linking Africa and Denman, and packed in attractive bike-themed bags. $254 was raised from the lunch. For more information on the ride, and the total raised, visit the Victoria Grandmothers for Africa website at Victoria Grandmothers for Africa


Event photographs: (Hover the cursor over each picture to view an enlargement..)

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Village Market Day

When: Saturday May 20, 2017

Where: Cumberland

Descriptions of the event:

Beautiful sunshine brought a huge crowd out for this annual event. We made the good amount of $389.70, in spite of so many other vendors selling their wares along the street.



Art & Bloom Festival

When: May 20, 21, 22, 2017

Where: Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens, Merville

Descriptions of the event:

Two tents were full of Grannies’ crafts, including felted pictures and critters, AIDS Angels, children’s aprons, microwave cosies, smocked dresses, fish bags, dog scarves, wine tags, luggage tags, and more. Weather always affects our sales, and this weekend it was kind to us, with sun all 3 days. $1,201.25 was raised.



Regional Gathering

When: March 11, 2017

Where: Fanny Bay Community Hall

Descriptions of the event:  Read the full text

Regional Gathering

Seventy-five Island Grandmothers came to the Gathering. Attendees represented nine of the eleven groups that make up the BC Islands Region of the Grandmother-to-Grandmother Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Hosted by the Comox Valley Glacier Grannies, the gathering was attended by members from Campbell River, Merville, Denman Island, Oceanside, Port Alberni, Nanaimo, Salt Spring Island and Victoria. Hornby Island and St Andrews Sidney did not send representatives.

The Theme of the Gathering was “Connect and Inspire”.

The connecting began as soon as the doors opened – conversations sprung up immediately. Some reconnected with long-time acquaintances, while others made new friends.

After some songs led by Tina Filippino (Merville Grand Mothers), we began with a spokesperson from each group telling a little about their group. It was amazing to hear how other groups were formed and what each is doing.

SLF staff members Healy Thompson and Asmita Persaud shared news from the SLF. The Grandmothers Campaign is growing internationally; there are 5 groups in Australia and one in the U.K. The next Grandmothers Gathering will be in Tanzania, date to be determined. Asmita briefly explained the structure of the Foundation and how money earned by Grandmothers Groups is distributed to community-based organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa. Field workers from the SLF monitor how these funds are spent and note the changes they bring to the communities. Healy shared a touching and inspiring story from the soon-to-be-published “Grandmother’s Book”. Beds Without Breakfast was a popular topic, and a lively discussion followed.

There were two “breakout” sessions; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Asmita facilitated “Supporting Groups” at both time slots; Healy’s topic for both was “Expressing Solidarity”. Bette Axani’s (CVGG) morning session dealt with using Facebook to get connected, and in the afternoon she hosted an executive roundtable discussion.

Before the day ended, attendees were encouraged to discuss (with the people near them) if they had been inspired and what inspired them. A spokesperson from each table was encouraged to share what they had discussed.

Serious parts of the day were interspersed with fun events such as singing, a skit by the Merville Grand Mothers, and the short movie “Alive and Kicking”.

Food and refreshments were on-going. The Marketplace, as always, was a well-loved part of the gathering. There was excellent evidence of the creativity of Grannies and the hard work that goes into raising funds. Crafts sold by the Glacier Grannies made $669.

The day ended with us getting up to do our Flash mob “Sisters are Doing it for Themselves”.

Members from several groups had been involved with the planning of this event from the beginning. They headed committees and contributed in many ways. The success of the gathering can be attributed to all.

We now look forward to the next Regional Gathering in 2019.

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Images from the event: (Hover the cursor over each picture to view an enlargement, including the group photograph above.)   


Glacier Grannies Tea to Honour Founding Members and Celebrate our 10th Anniversary

When: January 23 2017

Where: Comox United Church

Left to right: Back row: Maybeth Hoagland, Colleen Black, Joyce Relyea, Brenda Cooper, Margot Steward, Linda Munro, Nina Saxby, Gladys Lyall, Joy Goldie

Front row: Ann MacDonald, Gillian Farrow, Karin Holland, Lysbeth McCrone, Marianne Muir

Absent: Francine Nantais and Virginia Philipson

Images from the event: (Hover the cursor over each picture to view an enlargement, including the group photograph above.)


Descriptions of the event:  A précis (A fuller description of this event is available at the conclusion of the précis.)

Barb Taylor was Master of Ceremonies for the event, backed up by a planning committee of Barb Fudge, Barb Taylor, Bette Axani, Dianne Wade, Gillian Little, Judith Hamilton, Kate Clark, Jane Sigurdson, and Colleen Black.

Barb Taylor welcomed current members, past members and long-time supporters, including Sally Gellard, and thanked the planning committee.

Barb set the stage for the founding of the Glacier Grannies by giving a short introduction to the Stephen Lewis Foundation and the start of the Grandmother to Grandmother Campaign. In honour of the founding members, she then gave a precis of the Grannies’ first year – 2007 - noting who had joined at the different meetings, and the events that had been organized. Barb asked the members from that first year to stand, and reminded them that they had made over $6000 that year. The members of the first executive were asked to come forward, and were invited to share their motivations for joining the Glacier Grannies, and for memories of their time with the group.

Kate Clark spoke to the chart she had made, listing all the group’s fundraisers since its inception.

Linda Munro quoted from the end of the speech she had made at a service at Comox United Church

Photographs of the founding members were taken, and tea was enjoyed. For a fuller description of the afternoon, open either this PDF file or this Word file

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If you would like to view the complete catalogue of the Comox Valley Glacier Grannies past events covering the past five years please view our web site on a larger device; e.g. desktop, laptop or tablet.

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Make a Donation

Help relieve the suffering from HIV/AIDS today and donate to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Aids angels dolls

AIDS Angels - $10

Individually handcrafted by a group of Glacier Grannies, these beautiful Angels are a wonderful keepsake or gift. 

Each Angel comes with a personalized name card which explains the work of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign.

Donate Now button

AIDS Angels - $10

Help relieve the suffering from HIV/AIDS today and donate to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Aids angels dolls

Individually handcrafted by a group of Glacier Grannies, these beautiful Angels are a wonderful keepsake or gift.

Each Angel comes with a personalized name card which explains the work of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign.

Make a Donation