Zonta International seeks to empower women worldwide by improving their legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status at the global and local levels through service and advocacy.

Zonta Club of Nanaimo History


Charter date of 20 September 1993 with 30 members. Met at Sands Funeral home for 20 years.
Relocated in 2015 when the club outgrew its space at Sands; started Zonta "Mixers" to promote Zonta in the local community and as a recruitment tool for a younger, social media aware demographic.


Charter dinner at the Dorchester; guests from Zonta clubs in District 8 and St. Catharines, Ontario. Surface mail letters of "we're new to the Zonta world" were sent to clubs in over twenty countries.

Club newsletter published on a regular basis and sent by mail; first drive for winter clothing for school children; Jessica Jarvis Hunt, 1930's aviatrix , spoke, was our special connection to women and flight.

“Bunny photo shoot” at Easter for ten years; plus garage sales, hot dog sales, used book sales.
Ditty bags prepared for Haven; preparation for first awards to schools , set up friendship clubs with Tucson, Cheyenne, St. John's Nfld, Tokyo 2 clubs; attended Detroit convention (international).

Zontian offered home for teenage girl (1 year) a Serbian, lost in war issues, at request of Quakers.
Sanela was member of a Zonta family for a year; she then succeeded in bringing her mother and younger sister to Canada; Sanela opened two private businesses and attended university in Nanaimo.

Members attended and club donated funds and resources to Georgia Ave.school/ breakfasts. A teacher with extensive educational background joined the club and organized the club's support for a school in Mangalore, India, to assist young girls with educational goals and actual financial support for ten years.


Partnered with Multicultural Society: Race Relations Award in schools/Zontian on CVIMS board .


Hosted Citizenship Court receptions at City Hall, for twenty years, for Citizenship and Immigration Canada; club was recognized by the Federal government for its contributions in this valued program.

Started YWPA awards, First recipient: Danielle Gauthier of Woodlands Secondary School.

Five Zonta members sat on Nanaimo Community Hospice Board of Directors

Began work on local bazaars in the malls; worked to fund raise for Literacy Nanaimo


Held first Antique Appraisal Show / museum involved/variety of sites; for ten years, til 2008
Developed close working relationship with the Nanaimo Museum and staff.


Started Team Zonta and ran for 5 years for Cancer Society’s “Run for the Cure”

Started Zonta’s International Womens Day events; Zonta Yellow Rose Day annual occasion

Emily Stark plaque placed on Wesley Street in honour of Black History month with Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society.

A total of 27% of our Zonta Club of Nanaimo members were born outside of Canada.


Painted downtown banners to hang on streets; organized by the Art Gallery for five years, member artists in the club did the design and the work; successful project on all sides.


BC Summer games/ planned and worked volunteer appreciation / staffed Zonta Root Beer tent

Members volunteered as hostesses for United Way’s Garden Party at Beban Park. Zontians dressed in earlier fashions, from the early 1900's; donated food and time , made connections.


Had concept for a fund raiser for Heart and Stroke Foundation; started the planning process in the fall of 2003 when a member had seen a tv spot on an event in the Royal York , Toronto, where over 200 women were involved in a designer show case; all wearing red formal dresses by outstanding Canadian designers. Three members visited Executive Director at Heart and Stroke to discuss feasibility and to get the event launched by February , 2004


First Friday in February, Inaugural Gala (Ladies in Red) at Dorchester with dinner, music, auction


Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup with TD bank and Vancouver Aquarium; continued to 2015

Began connection with Prajna School and Counselling Centre in Mangalore, India, a member with personal knowledge and connections to the Head Mistress and Directors of the school enabled our project.

Raised funds and began support for Alianza Rural Health clinics in Guatemala to 2013 A Nanaimo nurse started the project following club support for her as a student nurse at university.

Members fund raised, staffed, Vancouver Island International Childrens’ Festival til 2010 This four day event involved many volunteer hours well in advance of the festival; five years dedication.


Started Bone China Tea for osteoporosis fund raiser for three years, continued for another five years as Zonta Autumn Tea


Started support for Little Ferns Day care for teen moms and their babies/toddlers. This program continues in 2016


YWPA recipient, Celia White, becomes one of only 5 Zonta International Awards that year


Placed proposal with approval for two honourary memberships in Zonta Nanaimo: Dr. Lauryn Oates of Canadian Women for Women Afghanistan & Dr. Rebekah Schoop, nurse and now family practitioner/ founder of Alianza Guatemala clinics

First community group recipient of the Multicultural Diversity Award in City of Nanaimo; Presented by Mayor at formal event, accepted by club President, Donna Hardstaff


First recipient Jane M. Klausman Scholarship: Lauri Ann Shibish of Vancouver Island University


Two day Yard Sale fund raiser for Canadian Women for Women Afghanistan (education/girls)


Two day Yard Sale for Haven Society’s shelter for women plus kids counselling programs.

Major program in 2013 was commencement of the Strategic Planning efforts to enhance and encourage goals and succession plans with specific directions; organized and facilitated by an MBA student from Royal Roads University , Victoria. This planner then joined the club as a member and the focus remains on growth, social media education, a working team to plan for the future of the club for years ahead. This project was a success and rejuvenated the club itself.


Partnered with Haven to bring “Dissolve” to stage

Promoted ZONTA SAYS NO campaign


13th Annual Zonta Red Gala for women’s heart health research/Coast Bastion



Members celebrate with the community the club’s 15th Zonta Red Gala is support of women to eliminate Heart Disease & Stroke- this event has raised over $85,000 for women's heart disease & stroke research since inception
This September the local service club is celebrating 25 years of empowering women, through service & advocacy in Nanaimo & globally


Zonta Club of Nanaimo commits to supporting “More Room For Hope” Women’s Shelter expansion campaign by donating $10,000.
Zonta Club of Nanaimo partners with Vancouver Island University (CBAIR) student research team
Zonta International Turns 100 in November!!!

Pearson College of the Pacific

Endowment and connection with eight students 1993 - 2016


Vancouver Island University

Endowment, bursary, scholarship funding for students 1994-2016


District Team

Members filled positions of Area Director, Board Secretary, United Nations Chairman

Young Women in Public Affairs 2013

Kennedy Baker was also District 8 recipient

Jane M. Klausman Scholarship for Women

2013 Meagan Stewart was also District 8 recipient

Jane M. Klausman Scholarship for Women

2016 Julia A. Carter was also District 8 recipient

Jane M. Klausman Scholarship for Women

2016 Julia A. Carter was also Canada's Zonta International recipient

Amelia Earhart Fellowship

Erin Kahr , University of Calgary, spoke at 2015 IWD in Nanaimo

Current membership: 32 
Annual dues: $150 
Meetings: Third Tuesday of the Month, 5:30pm / 11 per year

Other areas we have supported

Nanaimo Hospice, Nanaimo Food Share, Soup kitchen at 7 to 10 club, Samaritan House, Haven Society for women, Children who witness abuse programs, Kids Help Phone, VIU nursing students, Nanaimo/Ladysmith Schools Foundation, Heart and Stroke Foundation, RCMP Victim Services, Girl Talk at Georgia Ave. School, Free to be Me at Wellington Secondary, Music for Kids with local Symphony, fund raising at local dealership for new Hospital Emergency site, selling kites from Afghanistan for CW4WA, plus a resolution to Zonta International on the issue of “Bountiful” re the transport of young women across borders. Both YWPA , Jane M. Klausman programs continue growth.

Zonta Says NO

Many activities in 2015/2016 especially striking was a large photograph of the local Clippers hockey team with Zonta members; the hockey team in their orange uniforms, photo was sent to President of Zonta International with an enthusiastic and positive reply.

Next project in the works

An aviation award for young women in any STEM ( science, technology, engineering, math) program in our local schools/university. Connections with women involved in flight related programs in education, in the Cadet training programs, in the local RCAF Wing have already been established. A core team has volunteered to research and present a proposal to the club members.


Corinne Stewart Charter President

Zonta Club of Nanaimo British Columbia, Canada #1439
District 08 Zonta International

Past President 2014/2016 Marg Fraser

Past President 2016/2018 Janice Krall

Current President 2018/2020 Merry Lee Frame