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Friday, August 30, 2013

Individual Project Grant Deadline! September 3, 2013

Individual Project Grant Deadline! September 3, 2013
A brief reminder that the next application intake for the AFA Individual Artists Grant Program is 4:30 p.m., September 3, 2013 (September 1 falls on a Sunday and September 2 is Labour Day, so the deadline is bumped to September 3). Interested applicants should be sure to review the guidelines carefully for grant stream eligibility and reporting requirements as we've had some slight changes in these sections.

More information about the program (be sure to read the guidelines before you complete your application!) is available at! Please contact the appropriate Arts Development Consultant respective to your artistic discipline  if you have any questions!

NOTE: Due to the Tour of Alberta, applicants dropping their applications off at the Capital Arts Building on September 3 should be aware of road closures in advance.

Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities

Opportunities Fund for Persons with  Disabilities

The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities provides funding to organizations to assist people with disabilities in preparing for and finding employment or self-employment, as well as getting the skills necessary to maintain that new employment.   

Bright Future Awards showcase volunteers aged 16-24

Bright Future Awards
The Scotiabank Bright Future Awards showcase volunteers aged 16-24 who are making a difference in their communities. Winners will receive a tablet computer and a $2,500 donation to the charity of their choice. Applicants must log their hours at The application deadline is October 31, 2013

Aboriginal Education Incentive Award

Aboriginal Education Incentive Award
The Canada Post Aboriginal Education Incentive Award helps students who have left their studies for a year or more and want to go back to school. An essay must accompany the application form.  Call 613-734-3120 or email for more information.
Deadline August 31

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hester J. Hodgdon “Libraries for All” Program

The Hester J. Hodgdon "Libraries for All" Program, its Board of Directors and its volunteers will actively organize and promote fundraising activities to support the San Juan del Sur Biblioteca Móvil, the first, and at this point, the only public lending library in Nicaragua. The HJH Program will solicit both public funds and donations of books, magazines, supplies, and educational materials to allow the goals of this first lending library endeavor to be successful and to provide the means for other community based lending libraries to be established and supported in other parts of Nicaragua and in other Central American countries.

Monday, August 26, 2013


SustainAbilities is a project designed to improve job options, job satisfaction, productivity and safety in the Athabasca Oil Sands labour force. It involves assessing 9 Essential Skills and providing training up to the level required for the required job skills within the work environment.

The project involves:

  • RAP students (students in the public school system who are taking an registered apprenticeship program to get into the trades)
  • Careers Next Generation Apprentices
  • The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) WasteWater Division
  • The Fort McKay Group of Companies


Once our first cohort complete assessments and training, we anticipate more industry will want to take part in this project.


The project will unfold in two phases:

Phase 1 is an assessment of students' skill levels, strengths and gaps. The assessment:

  • Is administered at school by RAP teachers, and by invigilators at Keyano College
  • Is a standard online assessment
  • Can take up to 3 hours
  • Includes a brief assessment of English language fluency for ESL students

The students' individual results:

  • Are kept confidential and are not shared with employers
  • Are provided to each individual student by their teacher
  • Are pooled together for all students in a school, in order to identify group strengths and skill gaps


In Phase 2 of SustainAbilities, the results from the assessments will be used to plan for additional Essential Skills training. This training will be offered to selected groups, based on a number of factors including skill gaps, career interests and availability of training resources. For RAP students, training will be held on site at school.  Training is one on one, classroom and computer based.


SustainAbilities is being managed by Literacy Alberta with Keyano College, and studied by DataAngel Policy Research and its contractors. Funding is provided by the Government of Alberta, The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, and local employers. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Reading Well Books on Prescription launches

This week public libraries are launching a new service called Reading Well Books on Prescription to help people through self-help in book form. This means you can go to your library for books which experts and many GP's have endorsed as helping with conditions such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, phobias and some eating disorders.

On 4 June the official launch of the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme took place at The National Association of Primary Care, attended by Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries Ed Vaizey, and Minister of State for Care and Support, Norman Lamb. The event was supported by the National Association for Primary Care and Campden Health.

One in four people will experience mental health problems during their lives. There are an estimated six million people with anxiety and depression, yet three quarters get no treatment. Reading Well Books on Prescription uses book-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help people understand and manage common mental health conditions. We have been developing the scheme with the Society of Chief Librarians and local library services.

Dr James Kingsland, GP and champion of the scheme says: "We're all looking for new ways to help patients with mental health problems improve their self-care and general well-being, especially in such tough economic times. The usual GP appointment of 10 minutes is rarely sufficient for these patients, so extra tools to compliment the consultation and provide on-going help and motivation are necessary. Reading Well Books on Prescription is brilliant. It will enable me and my fellow GPs to recommend book based cognitive behavioural therapy from libraries. This can be as a stand-alone treatment or alongside medication and other psychological interventions. This really is integrating care."

Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care and Support, says: "Around six million people each year have depression or anxiety. This figure is increasing year on year and we need to make sure that the help and support is there for them in their time of need. The Books on Prescription scheme is a good way to see people getting this support, either as a standalone treatment or alongside other approaches such as talking therapies or medication. It can help someone to self-manage their own condition or provide them with the information they need to seek more help. This is about empowering and informing people which is so important, particularly as we know that some people are often hesitant to access conventional forms of support when it comes to mental health. I am glad to see that such books will be publicly and readily accessible on library shelves, encouraging dialogue and underlining what I have always believed - that mental health is everyone's business."

Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, says: "Reading Well is an excellent example of how our libraries are offering new services to remain cornerstones of the communities they serve. Our public library service is thriving with 256 million visits to England's 3,243 libraries in 2011-12. Innovative services like Reading Well Books on Prescription will ensure libraries remain relevant and important to today's communities."

Gill Taft, 59, from Warwickshire has suffered with depression and anxiety at various points since her teenage years. Recently she and her husband both faced health problems and multiple operations but Gill tried to carry on as normal with caring for her elderly, blind mother and working full time. She was at her lowest point when she got a prescription for self-help books.

She says: "I've worried for so many years about why I get depression and anxiety, but I've never had anyone or anything really explain it to me before. The books I've been prescribed have helped me so much in understanding things like what can bring on an anxiety attack, and why it makes me feel the way it does." You can read more about Gill Taft's experience with Books on Prescription on our case studies page.

Reading Well Books on Prescription works within National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. It is supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Psychiatrists, The British Psychological Society, Department of Health's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (IAPT), British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and Mind.

Paul Blenkiron, Consultant in Adult Psychiatry, York, NICE Fellow says: "Cognitive behavioral therapy can be a highly effective treatment for people with common mental health problems. The core booklist of 30 CBT based self-help books will be a real boost to the treatments currently available."

Janene Cox, Society of Chief Librarians and Debbie Hicks, our director of research, say: "A library visit can be the first step on the road to recovery for the millions of people with untreated mental health conditions. So we're excited to be working together build a powerful new era of collaboration between libraries and local heath partners to improve our communities' health and well-being."

Media coverage

When we announced plans for Reading Well Books on Prescription in January we received lots of media coverage including interviews on BBC Radio 4's World at One (starting at 23 minutes) and BBC Breakfast.

When the scheme launched Debbie Hicks was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme (starting at 9 minutes), on the Today programme (starting at 50 minutes) and on BBC World Service News Hour (starting at 48 minutes).

Get involved

Find out more about Reading Well Books on Prescription and view the core booklist. There are written and audio samples of some of these books available on our website.

Read Debbie Hicks' speech from the launch event.

Health professionals, librarians and publishers can find resources for running the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme on our resources page.

First Nations Job Fund, on-reserve First Nations youth

The Skills and Partnership Fund is part of the Government of Canada's approach to help First Nations, Métis and Inuit get training and work experience to secure meaningful and long-term employment.


Launched in July 2010, the Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) encourages Aboriginal organizations to create partnerships with government, business and community organizations that drive change, improve skills training and create opportunities for Aboriginal people.

SPF responds to the changing needs and priorities of the labour market while providing opportunities for Aboriginal people to fully participate in Canada's economy. The Government of Canada is investing $210 million over five years in this partnership-based, opportunity-driven fund.

The Government of Canada also funds the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, which is an integrated approach to Aboriginal labour market programming that links training to labour market demand. The Strategy supports more than 80 Aboriginal organizations in the delivery of programs and services to increase Aboriginal participation in the Canadian labour market. It focuses on three strategic priorities: supporting skills development; fostering partnerships with the private sector and the provinces and territories; and accountability and results. The program was launched in April 2010 with funding of $1.6 billion over five years.

Finally, through the First Nations Job Fund, on-reserve First Nations youth between the ages of 18 to 24 in participating communities who receive Income Assistance and are deemed employable will be able to access the skills and training they need to secure employment. Launched in Economic Action Plan 2013 and administered by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the Job Fund is being implemented across the country with First Nations communities over three years through a phased-in approach.

The First Nations Job Fund is not applicable in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, where the territorial governments have responsibility for social assistance programming for all residents.

SOURCE Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

For further information:

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

For more information, contact:

Johanna Quinney
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Social Development)

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The British Library and the Qatar Foundation Digitize Collections

The British Library (BL) announced that it recently signed a 3-year digitization project with the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development to preserve a collection of treasured content. The £8.7 million (about $13.5 million) project will convert maps, photographs, manuscripts, and letters into freely available digital formats in English and Arabic to trace the history of Great Britain’s involvement in the Middle East.

The India Office Records will provide the project’s content: more than 500,000 pages from the East India Company’s archives and 25,000 pages of medieval Arabic manuscripts on the topics of science, medicine, mathematics, and geometry, which date from the mid-18th century to about 1947. Also included will be previously classified documents such as reports and gazetteers (geographic information).

The Qatar National Library, which will be open to the public in 2014, is preparing for its role in digitizing and translating its own documents, and Claudia Lux, library director, reports that this project marks the Gulf region’s “first digitised local history archive.”

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Reading Groups for Everyone

On our Reading Groups for Everyone website you will find groups for adults, young people and children - for confident readers and those that need to build their confidence. We have the latest free offers from publishers, books, posters, events with authors, that you and your reading group can get.

Staffing concept called "two-in-the-box"

Two city libraries 13 miles apart are seeking innovative ideas about collaboration

They are already doing the obvious things such as sharing programming. Maine does not have library systems. Libraries are locally controlled and financed. Any innovative ideas on how these two totally separated communities and libraries can share? (Any changes that may occur need to be approved by the two communities that fund the libraries.)

We developed a staffing concept called "two-in-the-box" - this is when there are two professionals with the same positions at each organization. They can mirror their services, increasing access to library professionals. Alexandar Cohen

Source: ALA’s discussion group August 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

2014 Immigration Levels Planning: Public and Stakeholder Consultation

2014 Immigration Levels Planning: Public and Stakeholder Consultation

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is consulting with stakeholders and the public on immigration levels planning.

We are seeking your feedback on immigration to Canada, specifically on the total number of new permanent residents Canada should welcome and how this overall total should be distributed among immigration categories. The consultation will explore a number of issues related to three main questions:

  • What is the appropriate level of immigration for Canada, this year and beyond?
  • What is the best ratio – or mix – between the number of economic immigrants, family class immigrants and the refugee/humanitarian class?
  • Economic immigration is a key immigration goal for Canada's long-term economic growth. What role can immigration play to support Canada's economy?

In addition to this online consultation, Parliamentary Secretary Rick Dykstra will be meeting with stakeholders through roundtable meetings which will take place throughout the summer in various cities across Canada.

A report on the consultations will be available on this website by winter 2014.

Online consultation

Related information

Saturday, August 10, 2013



Your input is important to us!

Please take a moment to complete the Together We Raise Tomorrow survey which includes questions on an Alberta Children's Charter, Poverty Reduction Strategy and Approach to Early Childhood Development.

The Survey can be accessed here.

Please respond by August 31, 2013.