Actress and L’Oréal Paris ambassador Naomi Watts presented the philanthropic initiative at a media event today in Toronto, on the second day of the glitzy annual Toronto International Film Festival (the beauty brand is a major sponsor). Watts, who co-stars in the TIFF flick The Bleeder, is noted for her charitable work, including serving as a goodwill ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
The Women of Worth program honours individuals who are making a difference in their communities through volunteer work, and in the U.S. has recognized 100 women over the past decade. The public is encouraged to make nominations.
“If you know a woman fearlessly pursuing her passion to bring about change in Canada, I hope you will take the time to acknowledge her impact, and nominate her as a Woman of Worth,” said Watts at today’s launch event.
Naomi Watts at the L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth announcement in Toronto
Similar to the U.S. initiative, in Canada each of the 10 women selected will receive a $10,000 grant toward the non-profit cause of her choice. A panel of judges will then pick one particularly stand-out National Honouree, who will receive an additional $10,000 grant. All of the award recipients will be celebrated at a L’Oréal Paris gala next year, to be held in Toronto on International Women’s Day (March 8).
Highlights of the U.S. program, currently in its 11th year
Beyond awarding grants, Women of Worth will offer marketing support, tools and training, and facilitate networking to help all the honourees.
“In bringing Women of Worth to Canada, L’Oréal Paris will empower ten of the country’s most innovative volunteer champions to heighten the impact of their philanthropic work while shining a well-deserved spotlight on her work, her cause, and her altruism,” Stephanie Binette, general manager of L’Oréal Paris in Canada, explained in an official statement. “I am awestruck by the untold stories of selfless Canadian women volunteers driving change for so many people in need.”
Nominations will be accepted from September 20 to November 28 at womenofworth.ca.