Summer 2023

A Message from our Chief Executive Officer, Kim Ruse

As spring transitions into summer, we see new beginnings all around us. This is especially true at FearIsNotLove.

This past year has been a significant one for our agency. We entered a new chapter for our organization, embracing a new brand. An evolution that will help serve even more people impacted by domestic violence and abuse in Calgary.

FearIsNotLove is a more far reaching brand that more people can see themselves in. Our new identity invites people in to access help at an earlier point on their help-seeking journey. It tackles the unfair assumptions, stigma and shame that have been attached to domestic violence and abuse for too long. FearIsNotLove applies to both the victims and the people who use abuse and who want to change their behaviour.

The Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter program is, and always will be, an integral part of our services. This will not change. It is a key part of who we are and who we serve, but it’s time for us to start new dialogue and change the conversation about domestic violence and abuse.

The work we do is critically important. We are transforming and saving lives. We want to offer more help, serve more people, and get involved earlier, so we can stop domestic violence and abuse from happening in our community.

As FearIsNotLove, many more people impacted by neglect, violence and abuse will recognize that they can find help here. This new name reflects more closely who we are and our impact in the community. We have always been “more than a shelter” offering various prevention and intervention programs; while serving all genders and ages.

We continue to adapt and navigate the ways in which we support those impacted by domestic violence and abuse. This past year we scaled the digital resources of the Men & project, making digital toolkits available to men who want to learn healthier relationship practices.

Our ShelterLink app with the YW Calgary and other partner agencies in Calgary and surrounding areas, is working to improve access to supports by providing accurate Shelter occupancy data and real time access information for individuals in distress.

We launched a men’s Indigenous Healing Project which includes cultural helpers that work to support Indigenous men through land based programming to build healthy relationships.

We offered an International Dignity Conference with guests and speakers from all over the world to help build capacity in our sector.

Our goal is to help people to have violence-free lives, to live without fear, and get to the ultimate outcome— love.

The community counts on our agency and partners in their time of need. Thank you for being an integral part of our work. It is only with your ongoing support that we can continue to support those impacted by domestic violence and abuse, and help change the conversation.

Donor Spotlight: Royal LePage Solutions and the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation

FearIsNotLove is grateful to the team at Royal LePage Solutions for their generous support over the last 10 years. In addition to their Commission Donor program, they also look for fun and engaging ways to raise awareness and support for FearIsNotLove throughout the year. They have organized and hosted fundraising dinners, events and a variety of office challenges.

As long-time sponsors and attendees of our annual Turning Points Gala, we knew who to turn to when we needed help with our live auction. With great attention to detail and enthusiasm, we knew the team at Royal LePage Solutions would be perfect as spotters during the frenzy of a live auction, they not only said yes to volunteering, but embraced the role whole heartedly.

This year they will not only be holding their inaugural golf tournament in partnership with Royal LePage Benchmark, they also have a team member, Marta Raczkowska, participating in the Royal LePage Trek for Shelter this fall in Ecuador. Previous Treks have raised over $1 million for shelters across Canada.

When asked about why they feel it’s so important to support shelters and violence prevention programs, Cara Morgan, Managing Broker said, “I think the need for the programs available at FearIsNotLove is so great right now. As realtors working in the community every day, we want to do what we can to help make our communities stronger and healthier. We always look forward to coming together as a team to make an impact, it’s such a special thing we can do.”

As part of the larger Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, a foundation dedicated exclusively to funding women’s shelters and violence prevention programs, the team at Royal LePage Solutions has been able to contribute significantly to the $41 million total raised across Canada since 1998, while also using their voices to raise awareness around domestic violence and abuse.

Donor Spotlight: Gary Nissen

Gary Nissen is dedicated to making the world a better place and his desire to give back to Calgary has cemented his legacy as a kind and generous philanthropist focused on improving the lives of vulnerable populations.

Gary has been a loyal supporter of FearIsNotLove for 10 consecutive years and his passion for supporting those in need has made him a fixture of the community. He is empathetic to the needs of others and his contributions of not only financial support, but also the time he provides to many agencies in Calgary speaks to this.

Gary Nissen donates to our agency through Shaw Birdies for Kids, in which we are one of the charities of choice. The Shaw Birdies for Kids program helps raise much needed funds for local youth charities in our community and provides matching dollars of up to 50% for each charity involved.

“I donate yearly through Shaw Birdies for Kids to support FearIsNotLove as they work to achieve their mission,” says Gary Nissen, “their work with children and youth is key to preventing domestic violence and abuse in all our neighbourhoods.”

Gary Nissen is committed to making the world a better place and we are grateful for his continued support and dedication to the work we do at FearIsNotLove.

To learn more about donating through Shaw Birdies for Kids, scroll to the In the Community section at the bottom of this page or CLICK HERE

Indigenous Cultural Programming

Developed in partnership with an Indigenous Advisory Council, Men & has a number of initiatives working towards establishing restorative and Land Based programming to augment and offer alternatives to mainstream therapeutic support.

Men’s Cultural Helpers Program
The Cultural Helpers program aims to help men understand their traditional role as provider for the family within modern times. Designed to augment or be an alternative to mainstream settings, this community-based approach focuses on how to rediscover a sense of community, and reclaim the roles of Father, Husband, Brother, Partner, and Son in a positive and healthy way.

Areas of focus include:
• Creating a vision of what a community free of family violence would look like, make connections with Traditional programming
• Gaining a sense of self/reclaiming – Fathering / Husband / Partner / Brother / Son
• Identifying what a respectful relationship would look like
• A focus on the man and what it means to be a healthy man.
• The role of the man as a helper for himself/family/community

We asked one of the lead facilitators, David Turner to answer some questions about the program.

How does the program run/what does a day or session look like? Intake and referrals come from various departments, mainly the Men’s Counselling Service and an external agency for men who are seeking alternative supports for matters related to creating awareness of themselves as providers for their families after being involved or self identifying having had an issue with domestic violence within their family unit. We meet with men at Tsuut’ina Nation and review their roles within their own family and describe to them why we are on the Reserve and what they will be helping with in terms of providing resources to community members who need supplies for a Sweatlodge Ceremony which includes rocks and wood. The collection of these supplies are provided by men dedicating their time, in preparing and gathering the wood and rocks, we inform the men that mentally, they need to be in a positive mind set, reflecting on why they are willingly assisting us in gathering the wood and rocks. They can’t be distracted or angry when preparing for ceremony. Normally, we will smudge before we start and this puts most people in a good mindset in participating in this activity.

How will it help men? Men typically are physical beings and by actively getting these supplies they are exerting themselves in one way or another, gathering rocks or cutting trees and moving around is a physical activity that gets us out of ourselves and reminds us that we are providers for our families, partners and community. As men when we are actively engaged in a physical activity we aren’t focused on ourselves but on the task we are doing, this also provides us with an opportunity to see what size rocks we can carry or how big a tree we can carry. Doing a physical activity takes our minds off ourselves and puts the focus on providing a service to others.

Why is this important? The main reason why these physical activities are is that the focus is off ourselves and exerting our physical selves gives us time to think and reflect about others, our families, relationships and community. Also when we are providing resources for a ceremony, that ceremony will benefit from our contribution of providing these supplies. The ceremony is very important to healing ourselves and community and without the supplies there would be no ceremony.

For more information:
or call the Men’s Resource line at 1-833.327.MENS (6367)


Safety Online

With everyone online these days, internet safety is a big concern. For victims of domestic violence, being online can be even more dangerous. Cyber stalking, tracking, monitoring and privacy are just some safety concerns to consider online.

Here are some safety tips to protect you online:

• Be selective and considerate with what you post online, including what you’re doing and where you’re going
• Change passwords regularly
• Use a secure computer that no one else has access to
• Clear browser history, certain sites like have a Safe Exit button that will immediately take you away from that page and hide what you were looking at
• Cover the webcam on your laptop with a sticker or a post-it note
• Consider creating a new email and new accounts, make sure to use different passwords for each
•  Turn off or restrict location settings
• Make sure your only phone apps are ones you downloaded personally
• Be mindful of who has access to your iCloud or other sharing services, and what content they can view
• Screenshot, document and record any suspicious activity

If you or someone you know is being abused, or if you are concerned about your behaviour towards your loved ones, we are here to help. Contact our Connect Family Violence and Abuse Helpline: 403-234-SAFE (7233), Email:

If you ever feel unsafe or the situation worsens or you are in danger, call the police.

Congratulations to our CEO, Kim Ruse for being awarded the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in February 2023.
This award honours the late Queen Elizabeth II who dedicated her life to the service of her family, community, and country.

Kim joins a distinguished group being recognized for their significant contributions and dedicated service of Albertans to their community, Alberta and Canada. This honorable award is presented to Kim for her immense contribution to preventing domestic violence and abuse in our province.

“In granting you this honour, I thank you for your dedicated service to your peers, to your community, to Alberta and to Canada. The contributions you have made to our Province and highly commendable and deserve our praise and admiration. May you wear this Medal with justified pride in your own accomplishments, in commemoration of this significant milestone in the history of the Crown in Canada and in remembrance of our late Sovereign.”

The Honourable Salma Lakhani, AOE, LLD
Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

Congratulations to Kim! Her leadership and work has made a remarkable impact on the community, our agency, and our clients. She is an inspirational, collaborative, and innovative leader, making a difference in both responding to and preventing domestic violence and abuse.

Congratulations to all Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Award recipients!

It takes a Village

In February 2023, we presented an International Conference: Dignity for Children & Youth: It takes a Village. The conference focused on effective, respectful practice in the field of domestic violence by centering the work on the safety and dignity of children. More than 400 guests and speakers from all over the world attended the free 3-day event, both in person and virtually. The goal of the conference was to build better capacity in the domestic violence sector. Thank you to the Centre for Response Based Practice for supporting this event and to our funder, Women and Gender Equality Canada.

In the Community

Shaw Birdies for Kids
Donate until August 31st, 2023
By donating through Shaw Birdies for Kids we will receive 100% of all donations. The Calgary Shaw Charity Classic Foundation will match up to 50% of donations in support of our programs and services for children and youth impacted by domestic violence and abuse.

Shoppers Drug Mart Giving Shelter Campaign: September 9 – October 6, 2023
Select locations around Calgary
This fall, support women from your community fleeing violence by donating to the Giving Shelter campaign by Shoppers Drug Mart. Every dollar raised goes directly to organizations like ours to help women in the local community.

Skip the Depot
A door-to-door bottle collection service that makes refundable recycling and fundraising easy.
1. Download the app and book a pickup:
2. Place your bags outside
3. Receive a refund or donate to us!
SkipTheDepot will also accept donations directly to our organization.

Donate a Car
Donate A Car Canada accepts vehicle donations for FearIsNotLove. To donate a car, truck, RV or motorcycle or other vehicles, click on

Thank you for joining us for Turning Points 2023
It’s Time To Change the Conversation

Hosted by Dave Kelly, distinguished guests, community leaders and supporters joined together to help change the conversation about domestic violence and abuse, while raising awareness and funds for our agency. The Gala featured live and silent auctions; an inspiring docuplay produced by Kelly Brothers Productions and moving performances by vocal ensemble Remix: Powered by Revv52.

The event was a great success, raising more than $595,000 in support of individuals and families in our community striving to live without fear, and free of domestic violence and abuse.

Huge thanks to our generous sponsors, donors, supporters, partners, volunteers and committee members.

Platinum sponsors
Cedarglen Living | Norris Family Foundation
Gold sponsors
Borger Group of Companies | Postmedia | Royal LePage Solutions
Silver sponsors
Brookfield Residential | Calgary Co-op | GDI Facility ServicesHomes By Avi | Maxco & Cathedral
Steve & Tina Wilson Family Foundation
Bronze sponsors
Birchcliff Energy | Delta Calgary South | Emerson Clarke Printing | Excel Homes | Foss Wealth Management\RBC Dominion Securities | FearIsNotLove Retirees & Friends | Innovative Numerix | Jayman BUILT | Kaizen Automotive Group | McLennan Ross | Mercedes-Benz Downtown Calgary | Morrison Homes | NuVista Energy | NexusV | Patricia Moore | Pekarsky & Co. | Peter the Plantman | Pinder Wealth Management\Raymond James | RBC | Sifton Petroleum Inc. | TD Bank Group | The Rose and David Zivot Family Foundation | Valentine Group