Published on Tue, 08/28/2018 by ABC Life Literacy Canada

Further Education Society of Alberta named Top Winner of Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award

Calgary-based organization to receive $20,000 for its New Beginnings program

“This year’s winners highlight the creative work taking place across the literacy field in order to reach underserved and at-risk populations.” - Mack Rogers, Executive Director, ABC Life Literacy Canada

TORONTO, August 28, 2018 /COMMUNITYWIRE/ - ABC Life Literacy Canada (ABC) is proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award (LIA). The LIA recognizes organizations that develop and implement innovative adult literacy and essential skills programs in communities across Canada. The award is bestowed on one top winner and four honourable mention winners.

“This year’s winners highlight the creative work taking place across the literacy field in order to reach underserved and at-risk populations,” said Mack Rogers, Executive Director of ABC Life Literacy Canada. “We are able to recognize the important work from communities across the country because of a strong relationship with Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. We are grateful for their commitment to encourage learning innovations and their understanding that honouring original ideas can spark the next new idea.”

The LIA 2018 winning programs address the needs of underserved populations and empower learners by helping them improve their literacy skills, gain valuable experience and expertise and build strong ties to their communities. Winning programs demonstrate a significant impact on the lives of their clients, enabling learners to use the skills they have developed to affect positive change in their lives and the lives of those around them.

“Congratulations to this year’s winners of the 2018 LIA,” said Debbie Down, Director, Community Relations, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. “We applaud your continued commitment to improving adult literacy and providing underserved and at-risk populations with essential skills they need to thrive and be successful in their communities.”

TOP WINNER, receiving $20,000

Further Education Society of Alberta (FESA), Calgary AB

Program: New Beginnings: A Community Response to Parenting After Violence

A holistic, literacy and trauma-informed program that applies a literacy approach to working with families who have left intergenerational cycles of violence and domestic abuse. The program has demonstrated results in improving learners’ confidence in their parenting skills, an increase in literacy and essential skills as well as an overall increased interest in learning and community engagement. New Beginnings serves both families as well as shelter staff, improving access to important resources and supports. The Parenting After Violence (PAV) facilitator training was developed to prepare community workers to deliver the New Beginnings program to their clientele, expanding the reach of the program beyond shelters and bringing the learning directly to the learners.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS, receiving $5,000 each

Burnaby School District 41 LINC Program, Burnaby BC

Program: The SD41 LINC Blended Program

A settlement program serving refugees and immigrants that takes a holistic and employment-focused approach to ESL (English as a Second Language) through in-class and online learning.

Burnside Gorge Community Association, Victoria BC

Program: The Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program

A long-term, follow-through educational program that supports greater integration of knowledge into the daily lives and financial practices of individuals. The program takes a unique approach to financial literacy as a solution to generational cycles of poverty.

Dartmouth Learning Network Society, Dartmouth NS

Program: Moving On Up

A a free, accessible online learning platform for adult learners looking to improve their essential skills, earn their adult high school diploma or equivalent and continue their independent learning.

Frontier College, Toronto ON

Program: Beat the Street

A literacy program geared toward young adults with multiple barriers to learning, including trauma, substance abuse, contact with the justice system, mental health issues and learning disabilities.

On Wednesday, October 17, ABC will host a webinar by LIA top winner, Further Education Society of Alberta, to showcase New Beginnings as a model for best practices in the literacy and essential skills sector. The 2018 Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award will be presented that evening as part of ABC’s Life Literacy Night. The Dr. Alan Middleton Workplace Literacy and Learning Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in workplace literacy and essential skills, will also be presented at Life Literacy Night.


About ABC Life Literacy Canada

ABC Life Literacy Canada is a non-profit organization that inspires Canadians to increase their literacy and essential skills. We mobilize business, government and communities to support lifelong learning and achieve our goals through leadership in programs, communications and partnerships. We envision a Canada where everyone has the skills they need to live a fully engaged life. For the latest news and information on adult literacy please visit, follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook page.

About Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life

Great-West Life is a leading Canadian insurer, focused on improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. For more than 125 years, our customers across Canada have trusted us to provide for their financial security needs and deliver on the promises we have made. Together with our subsidiaries London Life and Canada Life, we serve the financial security needs of 13 million people across Canada.

As an Imagine Caring Company supporting the principles of corporate citizenship and benchmarks for community investment established by Imagine Canada, our companies contribute at least one per cent of pre-tax profit in support of the communities where our employees and customers live and work. In 2017, we contributed $13.5 million to communities. To learn more, visit

For more information, please contact:

Ana Oliveira
Director of Marketing, Communications and Development
ABC Life Literacy Canada
416-218-0010 ext. 121

Tim Oracheski
Director, Media and Public Relations
Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life