Media Release
June 18, 2023

Free. Period. product dispensers to be available at 21 Library locations throughout Calgary

Calgary, AB – Calgary Public Library Foundation is excited to announce a $100,000 gift from Shoppers Foundation for Women’s Health™ in support of the Free. Period. Initiative. This generous contribution will enable Calgary Public Library to offer free access to menstrual products at all 21 Calgary Public Library locations.

The partnership with Shoppers Foundation for Women’s Health™ in support of the Free. Period. initiative demonstrates a shared commitment to addressing period poverty. By reducing the stigma and challenges faced by menstruators, and making essential products more accessible, we can increase awareness of health issues and ensure accessible care.

“The Free. Period. Initiative at the Library is entirely donor-funded. The generosity and support shown by Shoppers Foundation for Women’s Health™ for this program will improve lives every day. This partnership demonstrates our shared values for an equitable and healthy future,” said Tracy Johnson, Calgary Public Library Foundation CEO.

“Menstrual products aren’t a luxury item, and no one should be disadvantaged in any way because they get their period. The Shoppers Foundation for Women’s Health™ is proud to provide the Calgary Public Library Foundation with a Community Grant to help remove barriers and provide access to free menstrual products to those who need them in a sensitive and dignified way,” said Paulette Minard, Director of Community Investment at Shoppers Drug Mart.

“When we initially launched this pilot, we started with six libraries. Over the last year, we’ve witnessed an overwhelmingly positive reception, driven by the great need that exists for equitable access to these resources. We knew that we needed to find a way to bring more dispensers to more Library locations. Calgary’s Library is a place that strives to be accessible, and Shoppers Foundation for Women’s Health™ is making that possible.” said Sarah Meilleur, CEO of Calgary Public Library.

In addition to facilitating the expansion to all 21 Library locations, the gift from Shoppers Foundation for Women’s Health™ will also contribute to ongoing maintenance and restocking of the dispensers for a one-year period.

The Free. Period. initiative aligns with the Library’s strategic goals of inclusion and support for mental and physical wellness. The initiative began in summer 2021 as a pilot project led by the City of Calgary, in partnership with Calgary Public Library and Youth Central’s Mayor’s Youth Council. Period product dispensers were initially installed at select Library locations and City of Calgary facilities, including the Municipal Building, Village Square Leisure Centre, Alberta Trades Centre, and Central Library.

Donations in support of the Free. Period. initiative at the Library are gratefully accepted. All funds raised will contribute to keeping restrooms at all 21 Library locations stocked, and enable the Library to continue addressing the needs of the community through this important program. Visit to learn more.

Quick facts about period poverty in Canada
There are many reasons why menstrual products might not be easily accessible.

  • Canadian menstruators spend up to $6,000 in their lifetime on menstrual hygiene products.
  • One in four Canadian women who menstruate have been forced to decide between purchasing menstrual products or essentials, like food or rent, within the last year.
  • Almost 90% of Canadian women aged 18 to 24 feel menstrual products are too expensive.
  • One in three individuals under the age of 25 indicate that they have not been able to afford period products at some point in their life.
  • Poor menstrual hygiene has been linked to reproductive and urinary tract infections.

Through the support of our donors, Calgary Public Library Foundation enables Calgary Public Library and all of its members to dream, to transform, and to lead in access, connection, and literacy. Innovation starts at the Calgary Public Library, and donor support has the power to transform lives—in Calgary and beyond. Learn more and join us in this transformation as we invent the future of libraries, together. Visit us at

Calgary Public Library, with over 750,000 members and 21 locations, has been inspiring the life stories of Calgarians for 111 years. It is one of North America’s largest municipal library systems, with over 7 million in-person visits in a typical year and more than 16.3 million physical and digital items borrowed in 2022. To learn more, visit

Shoppers Foundation for Women’s Health™ – the charitable arm of Shoppers Drug Mart – is committed to helping Canadian women lead healthier lives, by making care more equitable and accessible. The Foundation will invest $50M by 2026 to address some of the most pressing health inequities facing women, including lack of representation in health research, barriers to accessing mental healthcare, and the urgent consequences women disproportionately face due to poverty and domestic violence. Learn more at

For media inquiries, please contact:
Robin Grimstead
Calgary Public Library Foundation
Director of Strategy and Marketing


1Craggs, Samantha. “Hamilton looks at buying menstrual products for low-income women and girls.” CBC News [Hamilton], 10 December 2018, Accessed 15 October 2021.

2The Hidden Cost of Periods: Menstruation in Canada, 2023 report:

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