Ilitaqsiniq – Nunavut Literacy Council Receives $20,000 as Top Winner of the Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award


Honourable mentions of $5,000 each are also awarded to literacy programs in Ottawa, Toronto, and Port Alberni


Toronto, ON – August 27, 2015: ABC Life Literacy Canada is pleased to announce the top winner and four honourable mentions of the 2015 Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award (LIA). This annual award recognizes five Canadian organizations that develop and implement innovative adult literacy programs that provide outstanding learning opportunities for their clients and communities.

The 2015 award-winning programs represent the best of the valuable work that happens across the country and makes a measurable difference in improving the lives of Canadians through literacy and essential skills development. This year’s winners are making a difference in the lives of Native Canadians, Franco-Ontarians, newcomers to Canada and at-risk youth.

“Each recipient of the Literacy Innovation Award is making a significant impact on the literacy and essential skills of Canadian adults,” said Gillian Mason, President of ABC Life Literacy Canada. “And, by so doing, these organizations empower adults to lead fully engaged lives—by participating in their communities, improving their skills and undergoing training that will lead to employment or career advancement. ABC is grateful for the continuing commitment from Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life to improve adult literacy and essential skills and we are proud to partner with them in creating positive in change in Canada.”

“More than knowing how to read, literacy is about lifelong learning,” said Jan Belanger, Vice-President Community Relations at Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. “ABC Life Literacy Canada brings a valuable national perspective to literacy and essential skills in Canada and the needs of local literacy groups. Together with ABC, we’re delighted to shine the spotlight on some of the remarkable literacy groups helping more Canadians build essential skills for their daily lives and their overall well-being.”


TOP WINNER, receiving $20,000

Ilitaqsiniq – Nunavut Literacy Council, Rankin Inlet, NU 

Program: The Miqqut Program

The Miqqut Program embeds literacy and essential skills into the development of traditional sewing skills in a learning environment where participants can use either Inuktitut or English for reading, writing and speaking. Elders teach the skill and art of creating traditional and contemporary Inuit clothing. The program culminates in a community fashion show that allows Miqqut participants to demonstrate their learning—both the sewing and the literacy and essential skills—by writing invitations, creating posters and speaking on community radio to promote the show. They also create the program, clothing descriptions and facilitate the event.

Ilitaqsiniq – Nunavut Literacy Council will share the details of their winning program in a national webinar for Canadian literacy practitioners, hosted by ABC Life Literacy Canada and designed to help build capacity in the literacy field.