Funding available to Edmonton and Calgary agencies for recovery efforts

EDMONTON, AB – Edmonton and Calgary agencies supporting people in their recovery from the Alberta Wildfires are getting a helping hand from United Way and the Canadian Red Cross Society.

Community agencies are invited to apply for grants from a new Emergency Community Support Fund. Thanks to financial support from the Canadian Red Cross, the $1.2 million fund will be administered by United Way of the Alberta Capital Region and United Way of Calgary and Area.

“Since May, many community agencies in Alberta have provided essential supports to families and individuals impacted by the wildfires,” said Melanie Soler, associate vice president of the Red Cross disaster management program in Alberta. “The Red Cross is pleased to support United Way of the Alberta Capital Region and United Way of Calgary and Area with this granting program. It will help to assist people with their recovery, and strengthen their capacity to respond to future disasters.”

Grants will be allocated to Edmonton and Calgary-based community agencies that have supported or continue to support people impacted by the 2016 Alberta wildfires.

Applications will be accepted for services provided between May 2016 and December 2017. Grants will be available through four funding streams:

  • Financial stabilization (e.g. basic needs, emergency funds, employment, career planning, retraining)
  • Mental health supports
  • Community building
  • Emergency preparedness

“Calgary is more than a city of 1.2 million, we are a community of people,” said Karen Young, president and CEO, United Way of Calgary and Area. “We welcome the opportunity to work with the Red Cross to provide support for our new neighbours who have been impacted by the wildfires.”

In the Alberta Capital Region, $60,000 will be used to deliver mental health first aid training to staff at the City of Edmonton and local social service agencies. The skills learned will help them to support recovery from the psychological impacts of the Fort McMurray fires, as well as from future emergencies.

“United Way is well-established as a funder of essential local services,” said Allan Undheim, vice president, Community Building and Investment for United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. “We’re proud to partner with the Red Cross to make sure people who were affected by the fires get the help they need as they rebuild their lives.”

Grant applications will be available to community agencies online starting on February 6, 2017. All Edmonton-area and Calgary-area programs are eligible, not just those which are currently funded by United Way. For information in the Calgary area, visit http://www.calgaryunitedway.org/. For information in the Edmonton area, visit www.myunitedway.ca.

About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.


For more information or to coordinate interviews, please contact:

Gillian Rutherford, Communications,
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region

p. 780-443-8381 c. 587-988-7805

Kathryn Cormier, Communications,
United Way of Calgary and Area

p. 403-410-1850 c. 587-893-7345


Alberta Media Line, Canadian Red Cross Society: 403-541-4431