ABC Life Literacy Canada Celebrates Renewed Support for Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award

Award Recognizes Literacy Programs That Work to Improve the Lives of Canadians

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - March 30, 2016) - ABC Life Literacy Canada (ABC) is pleased to announce that the Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award (LIA) will further infuse much-needed funds into literacy programs that are providing indispensable services. Through essential funding from Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life, for an additional three years, this annual award will continue to shine a light on the important work being done across Canada to improve lives through literacy learning.

"According to the United Nations, literacy is a fundamental human right, yet too many Canadians do not have the literacy skills they need to lead a fully engaged life," said Gillian Mason, ABC Life Literacy Canada President. "Improved literacy skills can provide a lifeline to people experiencing poverty, unemployment or under-employment, financial challenges and health stresses. Recognizing the work of community organizations that tackle literacy education in responsive, innovative ways is critical to the social health of this country. We are thankful for Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life's ongoing support in making this happen."

Since 2012, the LIA has recognized innovative literacy programs for outstanding work in improving the lives of adult Canadians and their families. Through the LIA, a total of $160,000 has been awarded to twenty organizations, all of which are creating positive change through community-based literacy programming. These best-in-class programs also serve as models for other organizations to adapt.

The LIA Top Winners to date are:

  • 2015: The Miqqut Program, Ilitaqsiniq - Nunavut Literacy Council, Rankin Inlet, NU

  • 2014: Youth Empowering Parents (YEP), Toronto, ON

  • 2013: Low Literacy Modular Employment Program, Calgary Immigrant Women's Association, Calgary, AB

  • 2012: Child Care Worker Preparation for Certification Program, Prince Albert Literacy Network, Prince Albert, SK

"ABC is leading the charge in bringing awareness and support to the need for greater literacy and lifelong learning in Canada," said Jan Belanger, Vice-President, Community Relations, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. "We're pleased to help highlight the remarkable organizations that, by delivering programs to increase literacy, ultimately set up more individuals for better outcomes in their financial, physical and mental health."

In addition to the top award of $20,000, up to four additional programs may be selected to receive $5,000 each. Information on the award, along with a submission form, can be found at Submissions are being accepted until June 6, 2016. The award recipient will be announced in September during Life Literacy Month.

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.

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.