Since our beginning in 2013, SkirtsAfire has had an Honorary Skirt. Each year when we consider who we should choose for our next Honorary Skirt, we look for a woman who is well known for her work, accomplishments and community spirit; who inspires greatness from other women. Someone who is passionate and clearly connected to the community she serves.

Katherine O’Neill
Honorary Skirt 2024

Katherine O’Neill joined YWCA Edmonton as Chief Executive Officer in March 2020. She is a passionate advocate for the rights of girls and women and inspiring people to hear the important call of community service.

Katherine has worked in leadership positions in communications and politics throughout her career. A writer by trade, she spent most of her journalism career working as a national correspondent with the Globe and Mail, dispatching stories from across Canada and even the battlefields of Afghanistan in 2008.

After leaving journalism, the mother of three led several political organizations in Alberta. She also ran a small communications company that specialized in crisis communications and media relations.

Katherine has led and volunteered with several not-for-profit boards and committees, including organizations with a focus on early childhood education, literacy and disability services. She currently chairs the River Valley Alliance board as a director-at-large for the City of Edmonton.

Katherine holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Journalism from Carleton University. In 2022, Katherine was awarded Alberta’s Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal in recognition of her significant contributions to community.

Photo Credit: Dallas Curow

Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani, AOE, B.Sc., LLD (hon)
Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Honorary Skirt 2023

Stephanie Harpe
Honorary Skirt 2022

Dr. Wanda Costen
Honorary Skirt 2021

Lesley MacDonald

Honorary Skirt 2020

Marni Panas

Honorary Skirt 2019

Muriel Stanley Venne

Muriel Stanley Venne

Honorary Skirt 2018

Linda Duncan

Honorary Skirt 2017

Marguerite Trussler

Honorary Skirt 2016

Rachel Notley

Honorary Skirt 2015

Sarah Chan

Honorary Skirt 2014

Lynn Mandel

Honorary Skirt 2013

Heather Klimchuk

Honorary Skirt 2012