Community mental health advocate and former MLA Nicole Rancourt is the newest Prince Albert resident to see her name added to the Women’s Hall of Fame.
The Prince Albert Council of Women announced on Monday that Rancourt was their choice for induction in 2023. Council president Chrissy Halliday said Rancourt has been a strong voice for local women, families, and children, providing support guidance, and genuine care.
“She’s been such a strong role model in the community, often times, even before her work as an MLA, people knew her name and could tell you a story about when she sat on this board, when she was running this activity, (or how) these are the things that she did for my kids or my brother or my cousin,” Halliday explained. “There are so many stories about her and about her work in the community.”
Halliday said it there were a number of high quality candidates nominated for the Hall of Fame this year, making this year’s decision a difficult one. What stood out about Rancourt was her commitment to women of all backgrounds, which aligned with the Government of Canada’s 2023 theme: Every Woman Counts.
“That’s why we started the Hall of Fame many years ago, to recognize these women who are multi-faceted in our community, and Nicole really embodies that,” Halliday said.
“This year it was particularly difficult (to choose an inductee),” she added. “We had some very, very excellent nominations, and in the end, Nicole just won out.”
Rancourt began volunteering as a teen with the Holy Family Hospital. As an adult, she chaired a number of boards and committees, including the Prince Albert branches of the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan, and the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers.
She is currently a member of the Community Networking coalition, Heart of the Youth Community Pow Wow committee, the Prince Albert Council of Women, Prince Albert Historical Society, (and) Parkland Restorative Justice. She also provides mental health support for the Crisis Intervention Stress Management (CISM) team at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary.
The 2023 induction ceremony is scheduled for March 11. The event will also include a short ceremony for the two previous inductees, Marjorie Bodnarchuk and Delphine Melchert.
Both women were honoured during short ceremonies at City Hall with a limited number of attendees when they were inducted. Halliday said the Council of Women wanted to do something more.
“To say, ‘hey, you’re inducted,’ and put their picture on the wall of City Hall, I just don’t feel gives them the right amount of appreciation that they deserve,” she said. “Unfortunately because of restrictions from March of 2020 on, we weren’t able to show the proper appreciation to the last two nominees.
“It’s important to make sure we’re appreciating them just as much as we appreciated … the inductees before them, as well as Nicole this year.”
The induction ceremony will take place at the Coronet Hotel. More details will be released closer to the induction date.