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​Non-profits and charities in the communities we serve are the foundation to supporting people in need during difficult times. In 2020, we stepped forward to lift up these organizations that, in their own right, required support as they helped others.

We implemented a multi-phased support program for community organizations beginning in May 2020. At launch, the focus was on delivering relief funds into the community quickly — $350,000 in donations to support social service organizations in the communities where we operate.

​Three subsequent funding phases were designed with community input, targeting resources to the areas of greatest need.

In total, we deployed more than $2 million in new community investment to support non-profits and charitable organizations in their pandemic relief and recovery efforts. This investment was in addition to $1 million provided annually in community sponsorships and partnerships.

 

The Heart + Soul Fund

To support organizations that bring joy to communities and provide a lifeline to those hardest hit by COVID-19, we launched the Heart + Soul Fund.

Through this program, we provided $1.25 million in 2020 to help support organizations adjusting to the changing landscape brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure they can continue offering marquee cultural events and critical social supports. An additional $1 million was made available in 2021.

Learn how we are investing in our communities

​Support for charities

Dedicated non-profit organizations provide a lifeline to those who need help the most. Demand for food and shelter remain high and there's a growing need for mental health, substance abuse and family violence support in our community.

Fundraising has become a challenge for all. The Heart + Soul Fund helps charities reshape their fundraising activities, so they can continue supporting people in need.

Support for Ar​ts & Culture

We know that arts and culture contribute to the heart and soul of any community, and these sectors have been hard hit during the pandemic. The Heart + Soul Fund supports arts organizations, theatres, festivals, and attractions that are helping to make every day lighter and brighter.

Through the Heart + Soul Fund, 15 charitable organizations leveraged EPCOR's $394,000 to raise nearly $2.5 million, which they used to provide critical social services. Funding for 32 arts and culture organizations helped employ 440 artists (including 25 BIPOC artists) and produce 108 new artistic works safely amid pandemic restrictions. And more than 30,000 students were able to access arts and science-based programs online.

Ending poverty: Ready, Set, Go!

While the pandemic relief investments took center stage in 2020, we continued to deliver on the focus of our community investment program. We help lift young individuals out of poverty by supporting programs that set vulnerable youth up for success along their educational journey and pave the way to stable, successful employment.

Our charitable partnership program goes beyond just cutting a cheque. We look for multi-year partnerships, and the opportunity to mobilize employees, facilities, and other resources unique to EPCOR. The goal is to create a true partnership that has more impact on young lives and to bring profile to the work we are doing together.

We focus our support on three critical educational milestones that can mean the difference between poverty and prosperity:

  1. Ready: Learning readiness and achieving early literacy milestones
  2. Set: Staying in school and moving towards high school completion
  3. Go: High school completion and pursuit of post-secondary education or other career-related pursuits

​Encouraging the Next Generation of STEM Workers

From 2019 to 2021 we've provided $130,000 to the University of Alberta's Transition Year Program, within the First People's House. This support provides Indigenous students the opportunity to take fundamental core STEM curriculum courses in a smaller setting where they can engage with both the instructor and other students, as​ well as have embedded Teaching Assistant support and scheduled, collaborative work time to enhance their likelihood of success.