Virgil WI

Niagara on the Lake

Lincoln-Niagara (formerly Lincoln District)


Meeting Times: Third Monday of each month at 1:30pm unless otherwise announced

Main Focus:

A Sisterhood of women working together for Personal Growth and Community Action in the Niagara Region.  Everyone is welcome.

Additional Interest:

Virgil WI celebrated 100 years of Community Service on July 9, 2016!

Branch Secretary: Sheila Muir

Branch Contact:
Sheila Muir

Phone: 905-262-4006

Branch Officers:

Past President - Lena Byl
President - Sandra Edgeworth
Vice President - Margaret Byl
Treasurer - Beverley Byl
Corresponding Secretary -
District Director - Sandra Edgeworth
Tweedsmuir Coordinator - Irene Smith
Advocacy - Lena Byl
Education - Margaret Byl
Public Relations - Sandra Edgeworth
Branch Director - Sandra Edgeworth
Alt. Branch Director - Margaret Byl

Latest News:


Press Release

Flag Raising Ceremony

 Celebrating of Women’s Institutes Week

Press Release as of January 26, 2020

Ceremony Date:  February 18, 2020

Time:  10:30 am

Location:  Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake Town Hall

Lord Mayor, Betty Disero and members of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake Council along with members of the Virgil Women’s Institute and other local WI branch members will be in attendance at a Flag Raising Ceremony on February 18th at 10:30 am in celebration of Women’s Institute Week and WI Day (Founder’s Day February 19) followed by coffee in the council chambers hosted by the Lord Mayor.


Background Information:

For 123 years, Women’s Institute (WI) Members have actively worked together for family, home, community and country.  February is Women’s Institute Month and the week of February 19th has been declared as WI Week.

The objective of the first Women’s Institute Branch, formed in Stoney Creek on February 19, 1897, was to improve women’s skills in the art of homemaking and childcare.

WI members across Ontario are donating bears, books and blankets to hospitals, emergency departments, fire departments, police departments or women’s shelters with the belief  that these items will bring comfort to the children in their community.  Virgil Women’s Institute has been volunteering in our community for 104 years.

The Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario (FWIO) and The Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada (FWIC/WI Canada) were organized in 1919, giving Members a stronger voice by working together as a united group.  Through education and support programs and services, WI’s original focus has expanded to include personal growth opportunities, advocacy and health & community wellness projects.

FWIO’s most notable initiative, the Reaching Ontario, Sharing Education Program (ROSE), encourages our Branches to help increase awareness and expand the skill sets of both WI Members and people in their communities.  As a result, each year thousands of individuals become more knowledgeable on various social, health, domestic and environmental matters through their participation in “ROSE Sessions”.


  • “The Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario is a not-for-profit charitable organization with affiliations around the world, working with and for women in Ontario. Through the network of Branches, we offer educational programming and community support; advocate for social, environmental and economic change, and work towards the personal growth of all women, for home and country.”


  • “We envision an Ontario where women work together for safe, healthy families, communities and pursue an enriched and balanced lifestyle.”



One of the objectives at all levels of the WI is in the conduct of its affairs. In every phase of its work the Women’s Institute shall be non-partisan, non-sectarian and non-racial.


  • Initiate Programs to Strengthen Families and Communities

We promote good family life skills through programs on family and consumer affairs and support projects such as recycling, improving parenting skills and encouraging responsible citizenship.

  • Share a Voice with Women around the World

Through our connections with the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada (FWIC/WI Canada) and the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW), we belong to a global sisterhood of women working to improve the quality of life for all women, their families and communities.

  • Interpret and Record Local History

We have been officially recording community histories in our Tweedsmuir History Books since 1947. Our Members also work with museums, libraries and schools.

  • Share Fun and Friendship

We enjoy speakers at monthly meetings, as well as crafts, physical activities and tours, both at home and around the world.

  • Advocate for Change, Resolutions, Briefs and Letters

We stay informed of current legislation and discuss laws that affect the lives of our Members and their families.  We have been staunch advocates for the pasteurization of milk and continue to appeal for improved life skills training in our school systems.

  • Develop and Hone Leadership Skills

We educate through workshops and demonstrations that provide personal growth opportunities for our Members.

  • Identify and Act on Local, National and Global Issues

WI initiates and participates in projects on agriculture, industry and education. We also work to revitalize community spirit, lobby for safer, healthier communities and study international affairs, customs and issues.


Celebrating 122 Years of WI on February 19, 2019

Members of Beamsville WI, Virgil WI & Women Empowered WI

Donate Comfort Bears to Gillian’s Place


Thanks to our guests, sponsors and donations, Virgil Women’s Institute has raised over $855.00 for Lyme Disease Research and $200.00 in support of the Erland Lee Museum Home, birth place of Women’s Institutes.  Special thanks to everyone that helped make our Murder Mystery Dinner a success!

visit to see our write up in Snapd St. Catharines News



Join us on May 11th to help support Lyme Disease Research at the G. Magnotta Foundation.  Help save lives.  Every cent counts!

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Celebrating 121 years of WI…Happy Birthday Women’s Institutes.  WI has been supporting our communities since 1897!

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Left to right:  Margaret By, Lena Byl, Helen McLean, Sandra Edgeworth, Sheila Muir, Helga Rahn, Irene Smith, Guest Arla C.


2016 – 2017 Executive

Virgil WI & ROSE Program

Virgil WI participated at the Home Show on Saturday, March 5th at Cross Roads Public School.  Members were available throughout the day to answer questions about WI, the Virgil Branch and the new St. Catharines Branch Information Night on March 17th.  A powerpoint display was played all day long and many visitors were interested in hearing more and attending our branch meeting.

Virgil WI Participates in Provincial Quincy Bear Project

As part of the 119th Anniversary of WI celebrations, Virgil WI Members, presented their Quincy Packages to the St. Catharines General Hospital Children’s Ward.  It is our hope that these gifts will bring comfort to the children.  Special thanks to the family of Tahmid for allowing us to show his photograph and to the Staff of the St. Catharines General Hospital, and Cogeco Niagara TV for participating in our presentation.



Margaret Byl of Virgil WI was elected FWIO Provincial President in 2014.


Members of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario, Virgil Branch enjoyed the Niagara-on-the-Lake Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 14, 2013 with many others. The beautiful snowflakes added to the holiday fun. The Virgil group donated money to the parade manager, Bruce Pospich. The NOTL Legion President, Mr. Harrington, also received a donation for improvements that the building requires. It is an annual joy to offer donations to the above associations as well as to the Virgil Centennial Arena. Food donations which had been gathered at their Annual Christmas Luncheon were also given to Newark Neighbours.

The Virgil WI will start annual fundraising with their Euchre parties which begin in January.  It is a fun, economical, tasty Friday night out and the money goes to great organizations and support groups. The Next Euchre Parties will be February 28th and March 14th of 2014.  Please watch for additional dates.

Stay tuned for more updates of their wonderful activities.  FWIO – A Sisterhood of Women working together for Personal Growth & Community Action.

For more information and membership please contact Public Relations Officer, Sandra at 905-262-5044.