View / Download PDF (8.6MB)

Girl Guides of Canada Annual Report 2017

"The world may be divided, but the girls of the world are not."
– Janice, 36th WAGGGS World Conference delegate

Cropped Trefoil Pamela and Jill

Message from the Chair of the Board and CEO

2017 was a year of discovery, building and change at Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada (GGC). As we embarked on a significant revitalization we reflected on where we have been as an organization and, more importantly, what we need to do as we move forward.

GGC has always been all about the girl. In 2017 we built the foundation that will ensure we continue to meet the needs of girls across Canada well into the future. Central to this was the commitment to our new Vision: a better world, by girls – and Mission: to be a catalyst for girls empowering girls – the two guideposts that will keep us accountable to truly being girl-driven.

Being a catalyst is a huge responsibility with endless potential. As we entered 2018 with a new three-year strategic plan, we embraced this responsibility confident we can achieve the goals we have worked together to put in place. This would not have been possible without the commitment of our supporters and volunteers – the donors, partners, volunteers and Guiders who are the catalysts that ensure every girl can be everything she wants to be. We thank you and hope this report gives you a sense of pride in the amazing achievements your support helped to make happen in 2017.

Pamela Rice signature

Pamela Rice
Chief Commissioner

Jill Zelmanovits signature

Jill Zelmanovits
Chief Executive Officer

Board of Directors and CEO

The GGC Board of Directors from left to right: Robyn McDonald, Alexandra Russell, Brenda Abrams, Madeleine Deschenes, Pamela Rice, Sarah Govan-Sisk, Sunita Mathur, Melissa Martin, Jill Zelmanovits, Krysta Coyle, Kathy McKay. Missing, Candice Lys.

Krysta - Guiding Ambassador

Welcoming our Guiding Ambassador

In November we welcomed Krysta Coyle as our new Guiding Ambassador and Director-Guiding Experience to the Board of Directors. As Guiding Ambassador, Krysta oversees membership growth, program delivery and member experience – the very heart of Guiding. She collaborates with girls and volunteers to make sure we're offering innovative, inclusive and empowering programming and serves as spokesperson for the organization.

Krysta has been a girl member, Guider, District Commissioner and represented Guiding at the United Nations. An inspiring role model for girls and women interested in the field of STEM, Krysta recently completed her Ph.D in Pathology, with a focus on breast cancer research.

Year of Listening to the Experts - Girls

We have always been all about the girl, so as we embarked on our journey of change we went straight to the experts – girls. Girls told us they want choice. They want a voice – one that's heard. And they want to be able to take action in the areas that are meaningful to them. Here are highlights from our year of listening.

Ignite Inspire Innovate

Girls at Ignite Conference

In April, 150 Ranger-aged girls from across Canada gathered in Toronto for our "un-conference", Ignite. Inspire. Innovate. This was an opportunity for girls to discuss the issues that truly matter to them and share what they want from GGC and from the world. What we learned played a big part in informing the development of our new strategic plan and, moving forward, the focus of our thought leadership.

The #1 issue: womens rights, gender equality and feminism

National Youth Council

The National Youth Council is the voice of girl members at GGC's national decision-making table. It is comprised of Ranger-aged girls from across Canada, and a Chair who sits on the Board of Directors. The Council's inaugural year clearly demonstrated the positive impact of girl engagement. Highlights include:

  • A program for girls and adults to interactively explore the meaning of girlled, facilitated at the AGM in June.
  • Recommendations to the Board of Directors – focused on the strategic areas of marketing and merchandising – which translated into "quick wins" for GGC.
  • Development of a nation-wide online forum, fostering increased communication and engagement among GGC's national and provincial youth forums.
National Youth Council Members
Madeleine Deschenes, Kianna Benson, Andrea Chakma, Nerissa Kassis, Emily Vandermeer, Carolyn Huang, Emily Lints, Lauren Hill, Nayah Mang, Shelan Emre, Carena Binder, Hari Ilangomaran, Sophie McCafferty.
Day of the Girl Survey Results
Survey commissioned by GGC through IPSOS.

"Guiding has taught me the extremely important lesson of believing in yourself. Believing that my opinions and my thoughts are just as valuable as anyone else's. Being a woman is not something to be silent about, but rather to embrace."

– Tapanga, scholarship recipient

International Day of the Girl

In October, we celebrated International Day of the Girl by embracing the opportunity to release the results of a survey that highlights the key challenges confronting girls in Canada. Aligning with what we learned at Ignite. Inspire. Innovate, the issues girls identified focus on unrealistic expectations, harmful social norms and stereotypes, and how society perpetuates these messages to girls.


From the beginning of Guiding it has been girls in the lead – they set their goals and chose their adventures. We have reflected on where we've been as an organization and what we need to do to be relevant well into the future. We talked with thousands of girls, their parents and their Guiders – and know it is imperative to keep pace with the changing needs of girls today and tomorrow.

Uniquely GGC – reaffirming our legacy. We are girls-only. We have committed Guiders. We are girl-driven

Legacy photo

Establishing our foundation

Our extensive consultations informed the foundational blocks of our revitalization. They will ensure girls have voice, choice and the opportunity to take action in the areas that are meaningful to them.

Why? Vision: A better world by girls.

How? Mission: To be a catalyst for girls empowering girls.

Who? Brand DNA: Everything she wants to be.

What? Value Proposition: The Girl: 'a safe space where I am empowered to discover myself to be everything I want to be.'

programs icon

2018 - 2020 STRATEGIC PLAN

In December we launched our new three-year strategic plan. Every step of the planning process was all about the girl. Building from the foundational framework, it is comprised of four strategic priorities. Supporting these priorities are nine strategies that are actionable and measurable. This is the blueprint that will ensure GGC is in a position to support girls' voices and choices – and to ultimately be the catalyst to empower every girl to be everything she wants to be.


Grow & retain membership


Exceptional, girl-led programming & delivery

Diversity & Inclusion

Represent today’s girl & woman


Become operationally excellent & nimble

We will know we are successful when girls say:


2017 was an action-packed year at GGC, with girls across Canada enthusiastically participating in expanded opportunities to take the lead, discover themselves and explore what matters most to them. Here are a few highlights of what girls in the driver's seat can accomplish.

2,641 trees planted through TD FEF Tree Planting Program
5,285 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup participants
9,833 girls participated in our National Service Project –  Action on Poverty
976,954 badges and crests awarded
Plane going around the world graphic

429 girls and 115 adults took part in travel experiences in 28 countries – including Ecuador, Costa Rica and the World Centres in Switzerland, Mexico and England. GGC also participated at the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York and the 36th WAGGGS World Conference in India.

Mighty Minds Crest

In addition to core programming, girls participated in many specialized programs and challenges. We kicked off the year with the launch of our Mighty Minds Challenge, a mental health program designed to help girls navigate the challenges they face daily. Throughout the year, girls also participated in unique programs such as International Women's Day, Earth Day, Space Week and a celebration of Canada's 150th.


"Mighty Minds helps us learn about the myths of mental health – and empowers us to help break the stigma, develop resiliency and the confidence to discuss issues in a safe and inclusive environment."
– Hari, Ranger

Every day across Canada, girls in Guiding are accomplishing great and amazing things: overcoming obstacles, realizing their goals, and contributing in positive ways to their communities – Candace, Ranger


2017 was a year of consulting, planning – and creating – as we prepare to launch our all new girl-driven program in the fall of 2018. Girl members across Canada told us what they want, from content and topics, to the types of skills they want to learn. The program will be agile and flexible, encouraging self-discovery and exploration. Girls will be in the driver's seat as they shape their Guiding journey, supported every step of the way by Guiders – the catalysts committed to empowering them to discover all the powerful things they can achieve.


Icon - Helping Hands

Girls First Champions came on board to support Guiders as we transition to the new program

Icon - Girls with Gear

girls and Guiders participated in Girls First test units

I will take action for a better world has become
my personal mantra, and I credit my unit leaders
for sparking my understanding and passion to
enact positive change in my communities and
surroundings – Safira, scholarship recipient


GGC Trefoil
76,099 girl members
6,514,692 boxes of cookies sold – an increase of 6.3% over 2016
1,829 Chief Commissioner Awards
20,576 adult members
20 girls received Girl Greatness Awards
46,061 Cookie All Stars
29 girls and women received scholarships
Girls First Header


With the foundational framework established and the launch of the new Strategic Plan, we were well-positioned to enter 2018 and begin the implementation of the strategies and actions that will revitalize GGC.

Our Trefoil steps out of the box

With the roadmap in place it was time to signal that GGC is on an amazing journey. To do this, we refreshed our visual identity – front and centre is our vibrant new Trefoil. It respects our proud history and, at the same time, takes us from traditional to fresh and contemporary, open and inclusive.

Trefoil progression
One team – countrywide

Members and staff across the country were instrumental in identifying and developing the strategies and actions that ensure the goals and metrics of the strategic priorities will be met. Together as one team we entered 2018 ready to embrace the plans and tactics and put them into action.

Maple leaves
Guiding has given me not only the confidence and tools to become the best version of myself, but has also given me an outlet to share my experience and help other girls in my community to learn more about themselves in a positive environment – Danielle, scholarship recipient

National Operations

The summary financial statements are derived from the complete audited financial statements, prepared in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations as at and for the years ended December 31, 2017, and December 31, 2016. The complete audited financial statements of Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada National Operations are available online at

Statements of Operations

Years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016

REVENUE 2017   2016
Membership Fees $5,779,800   $5,687,730
Fund Development $3,628,177   $3,845,780
Net Investment Income $1,565,757   $942,002
Sundry $982,879   $383,210
Net Merchandising $848,660   $744,175
Real Property $697,680   $8,662
Canadian World Friendship Fund $204,110   $193,297
Camp     $2,839,532
Total REVENUE $13,707,063   $14,644,388
EXPENSES 2017   2016
Girl Empowerment Programs $3,263,340   $4,132,453
Volunteer Support and Engagement $1,757,023   $1,639,616
Marketing $2,095,780   $2,489,020
Fund Development $1,240,329   $1,365,044
Governance and Administration $2,360,444   $3,364,894
Canadian World Friendship Fund $204,110   $193,297
World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts $114,091   $116,235
Total EXPENSES $11,035,117   $13,300,559

2017 Revenue

revenue chart
Colour Icon 42% Membership Fees
Colour Icon 27% Fund Development
Colour Icon 11% Net Investment Income
Colour Icon 7% Sundry
Colour Icon 6% Net Merchandising
Colour Icon 5% Real Property
Colour Icon 2% Canadian World Friendship Fund

2017 Expenses

2017 Expenses chart
Colour Icon 30% Girl Empowerment Programs
Colour Icon 16% Volunteer Support Engagement
Colour Icon 19% Marketing
Colour Icon 11% Fund Development
Colour Icon 21% Governance and Administration
Colour Icon 2% Canadian World Friendship Fund
Colour Icon 1% World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts



Week in and week out, our over 20,000 dedicated adult members were there for the girls – encouraging, supporting and celebrating their accomplishments. By sharing their expertise and taking an active role in Guiding, they are catalysts for girls developing the skills and confidence to be everything they want to be. They truly help bring our Mission to life.

Catalyst (noun): an agent that ignites or accelerates change or action.


Thank you to all who donated to GGC in 2017, whether you gave as an individual, organization or anonymously. Your belief in girls in Canada empowers them to take the lead in their lives – and supports our Vision: a better world, by girls.


Honour Circle

Pamela Rice

Signature Circle

Christine Burton
Elaine Paterson

Investor’s Circle

Alan Burns
Janet Mann
Susan Patten

World Friendship Circle

Margaret Baldwin
Tracy Burton
Beverly Burton
Isabell McDorman
Don Peddle

Chief Commisioner’s Circle

Shirley Byrnes
Lynn Glenn
Sarah Govan-Sisk
Allen Heinrichs
Constance Isherwood
Nancy Kelly
Geraldine Kelter
Donna Leonard Robb
Marjory Patterson
Rosalyn Schmidt
Laura Walsh
C. Joan Woodland
Elizabeth Wynne

Supporter’s Circle

Jason Anderson
Jennifer Ayotte
Kathy Breadner
Susan Cameron
Joan Cavers
Jennifer Cessford
Dianne Chandler
Gayle Chiasson
Marian Clark
Glena Clearwater
Barbara Coish
Majella Coleman
Barbara Cook
Linda Crawford
Mary Crocker
Margaret Daugherty
Joan Ellis
Trinda Ernst
Wendy Fitch
Tara Gaertner
Shanali Gayadeen
Jean Halliday
Ann Harwood
Elizabeth Hill
Bonnie Hunter
Eric Jordan
Ann Kertesz
Kathleen Kompass
Hilda Lawson
Ann Lowe
Deirdre MacIntyre
Lyn Mariner
Margaret Martin
Jan McCaghren
Heather McCance
Karen McGregor
Jennifer Moorlag
Stacy Newcombe
Patricia Nykor
Deborah Parker
Lauri Paul
Siobhan Peck
Helen Perry
Dawn Quast
Joelyn Ragan
Elizabeth Renfrew
Marina Rispin
Elizabeth Rouw
Patricia Russell
Cynthia Stevenson
Madge Twolan
Anna Vandendries-Barr
Mary Vincent
Dorothea Weiland
Marie Wetmore
Linda White
Paul Wong
Jill Zelmanovits

1910 Society

Christine Burton
Mary Rae Cafferty
Margaret Christenson
Caron Currie
Margaret Daugherty
Denise Dhalian
Janice DiBattista
Wendy Fitch
Candace Gaudet
Joyce Hannaford
Anna Harbridge
Bobbi Hoadley
Mary Jane Howie
Darleen Jubb
Geraldine Kelter
Barbara Kent
Kerry Lee
Donna Leonard Robb
Lorna LeRoy
Lynn Maclean
Kathleen Marentette
Dyana McLellan
Elaine Paterson
Cheryl Pearce
Helen Perry
Marlene Purvey
Joelyn Ragan
Rosalyn Schmidt
Daphne Sebag-Montefiore
Sharon Tokar
Madge Twolan
Margaret Utgoff
Evelyn Williams


TD Bank
The Masonic Foundation
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Wawanesa Insurance
Calluna Inc.
McGowan Russell Group Inc
Miniature Enthusiasts of Toronto
Qualico Developments Winnipeg Ltd
The Benevity Community Impact Fund
TD Friends of the Environment Foundation
The Barrett Family Foundation
Boiler Inspection & Insurance Company of Canada
Equitable Life of Canada
The Actuarial Foundation of Canada


Our commitment to girl-driven programming wouldn’t be possible without the support of content experts. It was a privilege to partner with leading non-profit organizations, foundations and government agencies on program development in 2017.

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
Kids Help Phone
National Eating Disorder Information Centre - NEDIC
The Psychology Foundation of Canada

Thank you for the generous support of the Rice family and the new Rice Family Diversity and Inclusivity Fund. The Rice Family Fund will support Indigenous girls in joining Guiding by removing barriers and building inclusive practices, where they will experience safe space and belonging, create lasting friendships and memories and develop the skills and passions needed to be everything they want to be.

To donate or find out how you can support GGC, visit or call 416-487-5281 ext. 218

The Journey has begun - stay tuned