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Winnifred Mary Stewart

Winnifred Mary Stewart founded the first school in Western Canada for children with developmental disabilities in 1953. In 2013 the Winnifred Mary Stewart Association which she created will celebrate its 60th Anniversary. Winnifred’s journey and perseverance, care and compassion continue to touch the lives of many today.

Mrs. Winnifred Mary Stewart was a very determined woman who had a son named Parker, born with a development disability. She wanted to give her son every possible chance to grow and develop to his full potential, but she encountered obstacles and resistance from a society that, at the time, felt children like Parker were lost causes.
Winnifred strongly believed that people with development disabilities had more to offer to society than society was prepared to offer them – a revolutionary thought at that time. Along with a small group of parents, Winnifred started the Edmonton Association for the Mentally Handicapped and the Winnifred Stewart School, which was the first of it’s kind in Canada. At it’s peak, the school served over 450 students, until 1982 when children with disabilities were integrated into the regular school system.
Today, Winnifred Stewart Association (WSA) carries on the legacy started by Winnifred, and the spirit of it’s remarkable namesake continues to live through the organization. WSA has come a long way from its early days as a school, and it continues to build on Winnifred’s work of helping people with developmental disabilities. More than 200 people are currently involved in the Winnifred Stewart Association’s residential, community recreation, and volunteerism and employment support programs.
Meyer Family Vineyards is proud to honour this amazing woman as this years Tribute to Excellence and offer support to the vision statement of this association: To support individuals with developmental disabilities to meet their potential and have full lives in an inclusive, supportive community.
This Tribute will take the shape of a 5 year, $1,000 annual Bursary which will be presented to a student in the Disabilities Studies Program at MacEwan University in Edmonton by Winnifred Stewart as provided by Meyer Family Vineyards.