SOURCE: ABC Life Literacy

ABC Life Literacy

August 27, 2015 11:30 ET

Ilitaqsiniq -- Nunavut Literacy Council Receives $20,000 as Top Winner of the Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award

Honourable Mentions of $5,000 Each Are Also Awarded to Literacy Programs in Ottawa, Toronto, and Port Alberni

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - August 27, 2015) - ABC Life Literacy Canada is pleased to announce the top winner and four honourable mentions of the 2015 Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award (LIA). This annual award recognizes five Canadian organizations that develop and implement innovative adult literacy programs that provide outstanding learning opportunities for their clients and communities.

The 2015 award-winning programs represent the best of the valuable work that happens across the country and makes a measurable difference in improving the lives of Canadians through literacy and essential skills development. This year's winners are making a difference in the lives of Native Canadians, Franco-Ontarians, newcomers to Canada and at-risk youth.

"Each recipient of the Literacy Innovation Award is making a significant impact on the literacy and essential skills of Canadian adults," said Gillian Mason, President of ABC Life Literacy Canada. "And, by so doing, these organizations empower adults to lead fully engaged lives-by participating in their communities, improving their skills and undergoing training that will lead to employment or career advancement. ABC is grateful for the continuing commitment from Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life to improve adult literacy and essential skills and we are proud to partner with them in creating positive in change in Canada."

"More than knowing how to read, literacy is about lifelong learning," said Jan Belanger, Vice-President Community Relations at Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. "ABC Life Literacy Canada brings a valuable national perspective to literacy and essential skills in Canada and the needs of local literacy groups. Together with ABC, we're delighted to shine the spotlight on some of the remarkable literacy groups helping more Canadians build essential skills for their daily lives and their overall well-being."

TOP WINNER, receiving $20,000
Ilitaqsiniq -- Nunavut Literacy Council, Rankin Inlet, NU
Program: The Miqqut Program

The Miqqut Program embeds literacy and essential skills into the development of traditional sewing skills in a learning environment where participants can use either Inuktitut or English for reading, writing and speaking. Elders teach the skill and art of creating traditional and contemporary Inuit clothing. The program culminates in a community fashion show that allows Miqqut participants to demonstrate their learning-both the sewing and the literacy and essential skills-by writing invitations, creating posters and speaking on community radio to promote the show. They also create the program, clothing descriptions and facilitate the event.

Ilitaqsiniq -- Nunavut Literacy Council will share the details of their winning program in a national webinar for Canadian literacy practitioners, hosted by ABC Life Literacy Canada and designed to help build capacity in the literacy field.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS, receiving $5,000 each

Alexandra Park Neighbourhood Learning Centre, Toronto, ON
Program: OUR hiSTORIES
OUR hiSTORIES allows participants from the Native Men's Residence Sagatay to strengthen their literacy and essential skills through reading, writing and discussions based on a topic that is relevant and reflective of the lives and experiences of the learners-and through a learner-developed independent project, such as developing a business proposal or preparing for the mature student entrance exam.

Coalition ontarienne de formation des adultes, Ottawa, ON
Program: formation à distance (F@D)
is a free online training program that aims to ensure all Franco-Ontarian adults can access training either through online education or part-online/part in-person training at an adult training centre. Courses range from the very specific (how to use a particular web application) to the general (literacy and numeracy skills built through a nutrition course). Throughout their training, learners are connected to a trainer or mentor who can answer their questions and motivate them to continue pursuing their goals.

Hammer Heads, Toronto, ON
Program: Hammer Heads
Hammer Heads supports at-risk youth from under-resourced and Aboriginal communities by developing the skills they need to gain meaningful employment as registered apprentices in the skilled construction trades. The program incorporates academic upgrading, intense health & safety training, mandatory academic upgrading, green training, life skills and unique post-graduation support through ongoing mentoring during the first year of apprenticeship.

Literacy Alberni Society,Port Alberni, BC
Program: Out and About with Leslie
Out and About with Leslie helps people new to Canada build support systems within their community and gain skills, information and local familiarity, which enables them to navigate everyday life more easily and confidently. Through student-centred classes focused on reading, writing and computer use and student-selected field trips that reinforce classroom learnings, participants try new forms and formality of language without fear of criticism, rejection, and feeling or appearing unknowledgeable.

The 2015 Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award will be presented as part of ABC's Life Literacy Night on Thursday, September 17. The Dr. Alan Middleton Workplace Literacy and Learning Award, which recognizes an individual for their outstanding achievement in workplace literacy and essential skills, will also be presented at this year's awards ceremony.

About Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life
Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life offer a broad portfolio of financial and benefit plan solutions, and serve the financial security needs of more than 12 million people across Canada. Responsible and ethical management is an intrinsic value of the companies and is essential to long-term profitability and value creation. As an Imagine Caring Company supporting the principles of corporate citizenship and benchmarks for community investment established by Imagine Canada, the companies donate a minimum of one per cent of average pre-tax profits to non-profit, charitable and community organizations each year.
Learn more about the organization's corporate social responsibility.

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 (@abclifeliteracy) or join our Facebook page.

Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact:

    Stephanie Wells
    Manager, Communications
    ABC Life Literacy Canada
    416-218-0010 ext. 122

    Marlene Klassen, APR,
    Assistant Vice-President, Media and Public Relations
    Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life