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The latest installment of our Foundation Happenings offers insight into some of The Counselling Foundation of Canada’s recent activities and related news. The content below includes: (a) grants awarded at our two recent Board meetings; (b) new material added to the Resources section of our website as a result of past grants; (c) an update of the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling’s (CERIC) 10th Anniversary activities and its upcoming Cannexus15 conference; and (e) news about a Grant Recipient as well as a new volunteer role for Mario Gravelle.


Recent Grants

The Foundation’s Board of Directors approved six grant requests at its meetings in September and December:

  • A two-year grant was awarded to Stelly’s Secondary School, a public high school in Saanich School District on the traditional territory of the WSANEC people on Vancouver Island, and Salish Strait Seafoods Ltd., a wholly-owned aboriginal corporation engaged in the sustainable harvest of marine resources and sale of salt-flake ice for both recreational and commercial fishers. Funding will allow them to develop and introduce a new apprenticeship program starting in Grade 9. Students will have the opportunity to obtain their Fisherman Levels 1-3 accreditation that would correspond with learning objectives and graduation criteria for Grades 10-12.
  • The Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative (MAEI) received a one-year grant to enhance and adapt its Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) into an online format. MAEI, established in 2008 to develop and facilitate lasting solutions to improve elementary and secondary school education outcomes for Aboriginal Canadians, launched the AYEP to teach Grade 11 and 12 Aboriginal youth about business and entrepreneurship in order to prepare them to engage in business activity with competence and confidence.
  • Multi-year funding has been provided to The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Canada (DOE) to enhance its national program impacts by increasing the number of volunteer Award Leaders who are instrumental in supporting participants. Support will also be used to enhance The Award program by adding career awareness to its existing approach. DOE was founded in 1963 to engage youth between the ages of 14-24 in self-discovery and personal development.
  • The Board approved a one-year grant renewal to Geneva Centre for Autism (GCA), a Toronto-based agency dedicated to serving the needs of children, youth, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in diverse communities. Funding will allow GCA to enhance its “Student Internships for Trades Exploration On Site Circuit Training” program which introduces youth with ASD to the skilled trades as a potential career option.
  • The Association québécoise d'information scolaire et professionnelle (AQISEP) was awarded a grant to enhance its free telephone and internet hotline service that helps secondary school students in Quebec navigate the complex web of academic and career-related information. AQISEP, whose members are Specialists in Educational and Vocational Information professionals, is the only organization in Quebec whose specialty is educational, vocational and career development information.
  • The Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) was established in 1994 as a sector council to initiate, co-ordinate and promote human resources planning management, development and training in the cultural sector. CHRC has received funding to develop an Aboriginal version of its “The Art of Managing Your Career” which was launched a decade ago to support artists to make a living from their art.

Knowledge Transfer

We have added the following content to the Manuals & Guides section of our website so that third-sector stakeholders can learn from the knowledge derived from the support the Foundation has provided:
  • Université Laval’s Webfolio (available in French and English) is an online tool which allows users to delve into their aptitudes and skills, identify matching careers through up-to-date labour market information, and develop their own pathway to entering the labour force. It can be used by secondary schools, post-secondary institutions, and employment agencies.
  • Futurworx Society’s Employability Skills Assessment Tool (ESAT) is a web-based tool for assessing, tracking, and supporting the development of nine employability skills: motivation, attitude, accountability, time management, stress management, presentation, teamwork, adaptability and confidence. Training programs that use the ESAT methodology can gain insights in a learner’s behavioural barriers to employment then work with them to develop different behavioural strategies that are more aligned with the needs and expectations of the workplace.
  • Vancouver Island University’s Community Cousins Aboriginal Mentorship Program—Training Manual includes materials to prepare Aboriginal mentors who will participate in the university’s tri-mentoring initiative for First Nations, Inuit and Métis students. Much of the content is exercised-based to promote self-reflection throughout the mentoring training process.
  • Furniture Bank’s Documenting the Evolution of Leg Up: Furniture Bank’s Skills Building and Employment Program Manual provides an overview of all the facets of the Leg Up Skills Training and Job Placement Program including much of the supporting administrative documents used in this intervention.
  • The Relevance Project: Relevant Learning Here and Now—Curriculum Connections Manual is provided by Ontario’s Parry Sound High School (Near North District School Board). The manual gives insight into a student engagement program for female high school students who might be at-risk of not graduating. It includes an overview of the program and the administrative documents used in this initiative.
  • Dad Central/Papa Centrale Ontario’s My Dad Matters Toolkit is a framework for organizations considering implementing a father involvement program. It allows community service providers to assess their readiness and what is required to launch a father involvement program including an overview of sector leading practices, strategic planning procedures and impact assessment options.
  • The University of Toronto’s Working with Families Workbook Online Tool is accessible online at no cost to physicians’ in-training, practicing family doctors, other healthcare professionals, and the public. This online teaching tool offers over two dozen modules including “Adolescence: Helping Families Through the Transition”, “Working With Dying Patients and Their Families: A Task-Oriented Approach”, and “Working With Families That Have Special Needs”.

CERIC Update

The Foundation launched the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) in 2004 to support and advance education and research in career counselling and career development in Canada. As a part of the organization’s 10th anniversary celebrations, CERIC presented a Free Webinar Series with some of its project partners that offer updates and insights in key areas of career development research (click the title to navigate to the recorded content):
  • The Hope Centered Career Inventory provides a snapshot for clients of what areas need to be addressed for coping with career challenges effectively. In this webinar, Dr. Norman Amundson discusses how his research team has been exploring various intervention strategies that help to raise levels of hopefulness and action planning.
  • Content for this Guiding Young People in the Decade After High School webinar is drawn from the forthcoming revisions to the popular The Decade After High School: A Professional’s Guide. The new book outlines in more detail the context in which young people’s career journeys are unfolding and the strategies they use to find a career-related place.
  • This webinar features the findings of the Emerging Green Jobs in Canada project funded by CERIC. The research provides insights for employment counsellors into how environmental concerns are changing the labour market, with an emphasis on entry-level employment.


Cannexus, Canada’s largest, bilingual conference on career development will be held January 26-28, 2015 in Ottawa. This conference is designed to promote the exchange of information and explore innovative approaches in the areas of career counselling and career development. Cannexus15 will offer a record 150 education sessions and opportunities for networking with the 800 delegates who are expected to attend. Cannexus is presented by CERIC and sponsored by the Foundation. 

Grant Recipient News

The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada hosted a gathering in early November with guest speaker Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in Canada. Bruce Lawson, President of the Foundation, led the informal conversation with the guest speaker delving into his plans as British Columbia’s new Shqwi qwal (Speaker) for Indigenous Dialogue at Vancouver Island University and the first Distinguished Fellow of the William A. Macdonald, Q.C. Fellowship in Indigenous Education at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

New Volunteer Role for Mario Gravelle

Mario Gravelle, the Foundation’s Learning & Innovation Analyst, will co-lead a segment of a three-year research project investigating the social impact of private, public, and community foundations in Canada. This research initiative, led by Jean-Marc Fontan from UQAM and Peter R. Elson from UVic, brings together academics and representatives from across Canada’s philanthropic sector.

I hope you have found this news interesting. A new Foundation Happenings email will be circulated two or three times per year containing similar content. We hope that this information will provide greater clarity and transparency about the undertakings of our foundation while showcasing the important work of those we support.

All the best for the Holiday Season,

Bruce G. Lawson

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