2020/21 Annual Report - United Way Alberta Capital Region

2020/21 Annual Report

Together, we can make the greatest change in our community, so no one is left behind.

2020/21 Annual Report hero image

A Message from the Chair of the Board and the President & CEO

In our 80 years supporting those most vulnerable in the Alberta Capital Region, 2020 was a year like no other.

This past year has shown us the enduring power of a community united. As the pandemic reached our region, United Way worked quickly with our partners to gain an understanding of the emerging needs in the community and how to deliver supports effectively and safely. But we knew we could not meet the rapidly increasing needs alone. We put out an urgent call to action for support and our community did not let us down. You rallied together to help our neighbours during a time of crisis.

We are truly honoured that both the provincial and federal governments entrusted United Way to steward relief funds to effectively meet the increased demand and distribute resources to those most in need.

Numerous foundations also saw United Way as a trusted partner and provided additional grants. Dozens of corporations donated both funds and supplies. Donors challenged themselves to give more than ever for their struggling neighbours.

Workplace volunteers navigated complex, and ever-changing, environments to run hundreds of groundbreaking virtual campaigns. And community volunteers made over 1,100 much needed supply kits from home. You heeded the call to help our community when it was hurting, and we are so grateful.

Thanks to the combined efforts of all our supporters, and our incredible collaborative network of social agencies and community partners, we were able to rapidly distribute millions locally from our COVID Relief Fund providing access to basic needs, mental health, isolated seniors, and services for the most vulnerable.

While COVID-19 dominated the 2020 landscape, we continued our vital ongoing and ever-present work ensuring that no one in our community is left behind. Although systems and services had to adapt, our community partners remained committed, creating effective and lasting solutions for our most vulnerable. We could not do our work without the strength and vitality of this amazing collaborative network.

We believe our 80th year has fundamentally changed us – it redefined how we engage with each other and deliver services to our community. It reinforced and magnified how incredibly powerful the collective impact of everyday people rallying around their neighbours can be and how inspiring it is when we all come together to do local good. There are lessons and new solutions that will lead us into our future, as we continue to collaborate with our partners helping our community recover, rebuild, and thrive.

This spirit and action are what makes the Edmonton area so special. Working together in bold and unique ways to solve difficult problems is who we are. Our passion for our community drives us to collaborate like no other. We look forward with optimism and determination to our next 80 years, deeply committed to ensuring no one in our community is left behind.

Thank you. To each and every one of you for helping make this community one that we are humbled and proud to be a part of – thank you.

Dr. Heather Caltagirone

Chair, 2020 Board of Directors

Rob Yager

President and CEO

Supporting our Community, Together

United Way works collaboratively across the social services sector, identifying pressing community needs, and implementing the most impactful solutions. Additionally, United Way provides critical backbone support to other local non-profits, enabling them to focus on delivering much needed front-line programs and services.

229,843 people who were struggling received supports through a United Way funded program.

  • 3,993 individuals received early learning and parenting supports.
  • 27,044 students participated in healthy development programs.
  • 4,399 children participated in nurturing after-school programs.
  • 1,058 at-risk youth were supported to stay in school.
  • 2,157 people received help filing their income taxes and accessing benefits.
  • 631 vulnerable community members received financial literacy training.
  • 2,954 individuals got help obtaining and retaining employment.
  • 61,063 participants accessed healthy meals or food hampers.
  • 315 people received help to obtain or maintain housing.
  • 22,595 community members attended mental health education sessions.
  • 19,592 individuals facing mental health challenges received timely counselling.
  • 3,420 people who experienced domestic violence received caring supports.
  • 80,621 people were connected to needed services by skilled staff.

Local Love in a Global Crisis

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, United Way led efforts in collaboration with our partners to help our community tackle the pandemic challenges head on. We rallied organizations and caring members of our community together to find the most effective ways to provide services to people who are the most vulnerable.

As the pandemic took hold, areas of critical need immediately became clear. Our friends and neighbours were struggling to meet their basic needs, seniors were significantly impacted by isolation requirements, and the mental health of so many was clearly being affected. These added challenges increased the need for community services at a time when such services could no longer be provided in person. United Way’s COVID-19 Relief Fund supported nearly 19,000 individuals and local programs already funded through United Way as they transitioned to providing virtual and remote services.

Thanks to generous support from the Stollery Children’s Foundation and Enbridge, donors who contributed to the COVID Emergency Relief Fund had their dollars matched.

Government of Alberta Matching Grant

A matching grant from the Government of Alberta supported nearly 57,500 individuals and 125 families. This grant matched donations made to United Way, supporting essential services for vulnerable Albertans, and filling gaps created by the increased and changing demands for services due to COVID-19.

Government of Canada Emergency Community Support Fund Grant (ECSF)

The COVID-19 Emergency Community Support Fund grant, provided by Employment & Social Development Canada, was issued to United Ways across the country to identify and respond to the needs of the most vulnerable individuals and families affected by COVID-19. Within the Alberta Capital Region, more than 134,300 individuals and 5,000 families benefited from this support.

Government of Canada New Horizons for Seniors Grant

The New Horizons for Seniors Program, an Employment & Social Development program, provided funds to United Ways to support vulnerable seniors at risk due to the COVID-19 crisis. This funding was provided to community agencies to enhance and provide supports for isolated seniors in all parts of Canada, including rural and remote communities. More than 4,600 seniors benefited from this funding in the Alberta Capital Region.

The Government of Canada chose United Way to disperse these funds through these two programs recognizing our ability to provide a coordinated and nimble response based on local knowledge, social sector relationships, and rapid supports activation for the immediate needs. We were also entrusted to disperse and support rural northern Alberta and Lloydminster communities to support their capacity.

COVID Relief Investments

For a total of 244,992 individuals and families. 

# of Unique Participants Served # of Families Served
United Way COVID-19 Fund18,6720
Provincial Match57,495126
New Horizons for Seniors4,6470
ECSF – Alberta Capital Region134,3305,199
Subtotal Alberta Capital Region215,1445,325
ECSF – Rural/North5,415186
ECSF – Lloydminister18,88537
Subtotal Extra-Territorial24,300223

Our 2020 Campaign Success

2021 Audited Financial Statements

A Message from the Campaign Chair

I have been so impressed with everything our partners have accomplished this past year. As someone who led a United Way workplace campaign for our regiment early in my military career, I know the work and commitment it takes to run a successful campaign.

This past year has been one of challenges — both in our work lives and in our personal lives. In a time when they could have easily focused on their own difficulties and barriers, hundreds of volunteers and donors from organizations big and small across our region chose to rise to the occasion.

Volunteers turned traditional fundraising campaigns on their heads, executing unique and creative campaigns that were both safe and engaging. Colleagues inspired each other to do local good and rallied together in innovative ways to be there for our vulnerable neighbours during an unprecedented time.

As United Way works to harness more volunteer power, the traditional role of Campaign Chair will evolve, making way for multiple new senior volunteer positions throughout the organization. Volunteers will form a network of diverse leaders that reflect our community and will work together to make a tangible impact in our region. This is an exciting evolution and will truly harness the power of a large and committed collective of volunteers to do even greater good. I am so glad that, for a third year, I got to play a part in supporting United Way’s important work to strengthen our community. I am humbled and grateful to our Corporate Solutions Cabinet for all your work and support. Thank you to our partners for all you have done. I can’t wait to see what you all do next!

Andre Corbould

Corporate Solutions Cabinet Chair

Red Tie Gala

Presented by Canadian Western Bank, the Red Tie Gala was held virtually on March 11, 2021 as the COVID pandemic continued. Hosted by Jesse Lipscombe with amazing performances by Vanity Fair and other local talent, the event delivered awards both in-person with pre-recorded videos and live in-studio.

Awards of Distinction

These awards are presented to organizations that generate outstanding results in their workplace and corporate campaigns.

Big Idea Award
GenNEXT Committee

Campaign Committee of the Year

Committee Member of the Year
Alberta Municipal Affairs – Jolene Cusack

Education & Engagement
MacEwan University

Employee Campaign Chair of the Year – Private Sector
ATB Financial – Terri Stiksma

Employee Campaign Chair of the Year – Public Sector
Alberta Community and Social Services / Children’s Services – Connor Gaughan

Everyday Hero Award
Alberta Blue Cross

Funded Partner Campaign
Operation Friendship Seniors Society

GenNEXT Award
PCL Construction

George Letki Outstanding Volunteer of the Year
Brian Sawyer
Robin Murray

Labour Award of Distinction
Health Sciences Association of Alberta

Leading the Way

Small Business Award
The Dapper Beaver Coffee Company

Welcome to United Way
Lloyd Sadd Insurance Brokers Ltd.

GenNEXT Award
Wheaton Honda

George Letki Outstanding Volunteer of the Year
Brad Campbell & Jon Holland

Labour Award of Distinction
United Nurses of Alberta

Leading the Way
Alberta Blue Cross

Outstanding Committee Member of the Year
Darlene Bryant, University of Alberta

Small But Mighty Award
MEGlobal Canada Inc.

Welcome to United Way
Northwest Connect General Partnership

Donors & Volunteers

Our Supporters

Without the many companies, individuals, and all levels of government coming together with our United Way, we would not be able to make the tremendous impact that we make everyday in the lives of our neighbours through our programs and services. With the knowledge and expertise of our staff and community partners, we make the best investments to change peoples’ lives for the better and create lasting change.

Corporate Supporters

We appreciate the efforts of the companies who help make the Alberta Capital Region a better place to live and work.

The 100K+ Club recognizes companies that, through their workplace giving campaigns, raised over $100,000 in 2020, demonstrating their commitment and passion to make sure no one in our community is left behind.

BMO Financial Group
Canadian Western Bank
Chandos Construction Ltd.
Dentons Canada LLP
Dow Canada
Intact Financial Corporation
RBC Royal Bank & RBC Foundation
Servus Credit Union
Suncor Inc.

Alberta Blue Cross
Capital Power
City of Edmonton
Pembina Pipeline Corporation
Stollery Charitable Foundation
TD Bank Group
Wheaton Group of Companies

Costco Wholesale

ATB Financial
Imperial Oil & Unifor Local 21A
Shell Canada Ltd.

Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign
University of Alberta

The Co-operators
Provincial Employees’ United Way Campaign

Provincial Employees’ United Way Campaign
PCL Construction

Campaign Representatives are seconded to United Way to support more than 400 charitable giving campaigns across the region. During this 16-week term, Campaign Representatives brainstorm solutions, provide advice, facilitate services and resources, and deliver training to thousands of volunteers.

Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission
Alberta Blue Cross
ATCO Pipelines & Liquids Global Business Unit
Canada Border Services Agency
Canada Revenue Agency
Canada Summer Jobs
PCL Construction
Service Canada
University of Alberta

Since 1978, Labour and United Way of the Alberta Capital Region have worked together to make our community a healthy place to live, work, and raise a family. We are grateful for our Labour partners and their dedication to helping others.

Alberta Federation of Labour
Alberta Union of Provincial Employees
Alberta Workers’ Health Centre
Canada Post Corporation – Edmonton Operations & Delivery
Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
Canadian Labour Congress
Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 30
Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 474
Canadian Union of Public Employees Regional Office
City of Edmonton Management Association
Civic Service Union Local 52 Benevolent Society
Edmonton & District Labour Council
Health Sciences Association of Alberta
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 955
Unifor Local 1947
Unifor Local 4050
Unifor Local 530A
United Food & Commercial Workers Local 401
United Nurses of Alberta

The 50 Years United Club recognizes companies that have partnered with United Way for over 50 years. We are so grateful for our long-standing partners that continue to come together to make meaningful change in our community.

Alberta Health Services
AltaSteel Ltd.
Aon Reed Stenhouse Inc.
Apex Utilities Inc. (AUI)
ATCO Electric
ATCO Pipelines & Liquids Global Business Unit
Aviva Insurance Company of Canada
Bissell Centre
BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc.
Building Products of Canada Corp.
Canada Life
Canadian Mental Health Association-Edmonton Region
Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian Western Bank
Celanese EVA Performance Polymers Partnership
Chivers Carpenter Lawyers
College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta
Connect Society – Deafness Education Advocacy & Family Services
Crosstown Motors (1982) Ltd.
Crystal Glass Canada Ltd.
Dawson Motors Ltd.
Edmonton Chamber of Commerce
Edmonton John Howard Society
Edmonton Public Schools
Edmonton Social Planning Council
Emery Jamieson
Finning Canada
Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd.
General Motors of Canada Company
IBM Canada Ltd.
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 955

Intact Financial Corporation
Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
Jewish Family Services
Ledcor Group
Lilydale Inc., A Sofina Foods Company
Lloyd, Sadd Insurance Ltd.
MacEwan University
Manulife Financial
Melcor Developments Ltd.
Metal Fabricators and Welding Ltd.
Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.
O’Hanlon Paving Ltd. & The Fath Group
Pattison Outdoor Advertising
PCL Construction
Pembina Pipeline Corporation
Provincial Employees’ United Way Campaign
RBC Royal Bank
Sobeys West
Spartan Controls Ltd.
Spinal Cord Injury Association Alberta
Staples Canada
Sun Media – A Division of Postmedia Network Inc.
TD Bank Group
The Alberta Teachers’ Association
The Family Centre
Trans Mountain Pipeline
Universe Machine Corporation
Victorian Order of Nurses
Waterloo Mercury Sales (1981) Ltd.
Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co.
Wheaton Group
Xerox Canada Ltd.
YMCA of Northern Alberta
YWCA Edmonton


We would not be able to make the impact in our community without the dedication and commitment of our volunteers. These legions of changemakers make doing good in their community a priority by helping those most vulnerable.

Community volunteers support our Information Services and InKind Exchange.

Robert Beghin
Doug Kreklywich
Cam Reid
Anne Starreveld
Des Williamson
Colleen Mahon
Lara Wiebe

The Labour Participation Committee builds on the long-standing commitment of labour unionists to support United Way through fundraising and volunteering.

Elaine Alt
Deborah Foster
Darlene Lewis
Kathie Goldie
Garry Pucci
Greg Mady
Heather Erlen
Cori Longo

Speakers share their personal experiences and knowledge to provide awareness and inspire social change.

Impact Speakers
Pauline Smale
Kim Chung
Stephanie Wright
Sara Riddle
Alexander Adegbuyi
Kelly Sysak
Muna Ahmed
Alex Bedard
Darby Walton
Tracy Simon
Steve McGean
Allie Wojtaszek
Kelly Bickford
Heather Ram
Bonnie Caron
Brittany Tyerman
Cheryl Whiskeyjack
Chrystal Henry
Della Massey
Donna Lemieux
Edgar Jackson
Emma Potter
Gail Haynes
Grace Schmuland
Jenna Brewer
Jimmy Morrison
Judy Yawney
Karen Kadatz
Kristin Raworth
Laurie Anderson
Liz Lacika
Marnie Lee
Megan Strachan
Michael Hansen
Monica Das
Neil Campbell
Patricia Skagen-Emokpae
Richard Ouellet
Ron Campbell
Sue Languedoc
Tanaura Seon
Tina Kafka
Lincoln Nanaquawetung
Desiree Concepcion
John Macrae

Leaders of the Way Speakers
Corinna Mulyk, Government of Alberta
Evangeline Berube, Robert Half Recruiting
Michelle Furlong, Enbridge
Hafsah Navarro-Henry, City of Edmonton
Scott Arndt, Enbridge

Council member volunteers are community and social service sector experts who are responsible for identifying community needs and evaluating programs that receive United Way funding.

Ashish Mehta
Ashley Bolduc
Brian Sawyer
Cassandra Lundell
Donna Brock
Eric Storey
Jasmine Brazil
Jessica Carlson
Julianne Threlfall
Kairi Pawlick
Kalie Van Ree
Kathryn Charr
Len Grainger
Nancy Laing
Nicole Weir
Pearl Gregor
Raelene Finlayson
Robyn Blackadar
Sal Karmali
Sara Russell
Shannon Butler
Vicki Cooke

The volunteers who make up United Way’s Board of Directors come from business, government, health and social service sectors and the community at large.

Angelina Bakshi
Rob Bennett
Dr. Heather Caltagirone
Robert de Guzman
Bryan DeNeve
John Elford
Bruce Fafard
Todd Gilchrist
Yasmin Jivraj
Gord Johnston
Shannon Peacocke
Chris Pullen
Jamie Pytel
Alan Skoreyko
Jocelyn Talvio
Leon Zupan

Corporate Solutions Cabinet is a roster of senior-level leaders from all sectors – business, government, post-secondary and labour – who dedicate themselves to leading and delivering a successful campaign.

Judy Mayer
Marion Haggarty-France
Pauline Smale
Donavon Young
Shawn McLeod
Michelle Furlong
Vanessa Croissant
Andre Corbould
Bryan Christy
Ankita Menon
Scott Arndt
Serena Banman
Cheryl Baraniecki
Evangeline Berube
Brad Campbell
Carolyn Campbell
Scott Claypool
Michelle Devlin
Glen Eastwood
Chris Eveleigh
Ray Guidinger
LCol Darren Hart
Cal Jungwirth
Rob Kisteleki
Mario Kulas
Colin Lechelt
Anastasia Lim
Greg Mady
Corinna Mulyk
Robin Murray
D’Arcy Newberry
Catrin Owen
Tony Prsa
Noreen Remtulla
Tyler Tollefson
Greg Wengreniuk
Joel White

Engineering Challenge Committee
Greg Wengreniuk
Jasmine Tohme
Geoff Ballard
Adam Firth
Camille Chalifoux
Kevin Smith
Heather Toepfer

GenNext Committee
Robert Kisteleki
Serena Banman
David Sorenson
Caitlyn Tieland
Daniel Yereniuk
Tokunbo Adegbuyi
Andrew Mason
Goldy Gill
Laura Beatson
Noreen Remtulla
Miori Matthews
Marta Schoenwandt
Ankita Menon
Olivia Pilling
Ashley Chaffey
Radhika Kalra
Chris Yin
Hersharon Sandhu
Sam Hipkiss
Elliot Rose
Marina Khonaisser
Sam Ellmi
Megan Jivraj

Heartland Challenge Committee
Leah Shaw
Tina Thomas
Laura Faulds-Sadownyk
Tanner King
Cindy Campbell
Blaine Shaw
Allison Scully
Alana Seymour
Nicole Moverley
Jenelle Hart

YEG Downtown Collaboration Committee
Shawn Jones
Jimmy Morrison
Terri Stiksma
Shane Tulik
Kalen Pilkington
Caroline Lynch
Paul Groch
Catrina Lesburg
Radhika Kalra
Nadia Goodhart
Elliot Rose
Caleb Jansen
Drew Tetz

Engaging our Community

211 Alberta

211 Alberta has maintained and increased their vital support to Albertans with information and connection to a full range of community, government, social, and health services throughout the pandemic. In June 2020, 211 Alberta expanded service province-wide to ensure all Albertans had access to resources during this time of crisis. Since then, all Albertans have been able to call, text, or chat online anytime 24/7.

211 Alberta also played a key role in supporting the provincial government’s COVID-19 response initiatives and was accessed over 260,000 times by phone, text, chat, or visits to www.ab.211.ca.

What People are Saying

Discover the inspiring words, videos, and posts of community members united to do local good.