Edmonton Declared City of Learners

City of Learners

May 12, 2010

How and what we learn throughout our lives is critical to our individual success, and the success of our community.

That’s the idea behind the Edmonton Learning Initiative, a partnership with fifteen area organizations that promotes life long learning. It’s also the reason why Edmonton has been declared a City of Learners. 

“We have outstanding learning opportunities in our city, but we need to help more people take advantage of them,” said Councillor Don Iveson, chair of the Edmonton Learning City Initiative. “When we all embrace learning in our daily lives, it enhances our role in the community, our performance in the workplace as well as our personal development and physical well-being.”

Councillor Iveson made the declaration on behalf of Edmonton City Council. The declaration marks the official launch of the initiative. Now, members of the partnership are encouraging more participation in the community learning plan which is scheduled for completion later this year. Next month, researchers, learners, and learning organization leaders will meet to further explore opportunities and examine how to overcome barriers as part of the plan development.

The initiative started two years ago when a group of learning sector partners came together to look at the opportunities in Edmonton and examine what was happening in other learning city projects around the globe. Other cities in Canada like Vancouver, Fredericton and Grande Prairie also have learning initiatives which have contributed to enhanced livability, a key plan of Edmonton City Council’s vision.

For example, Fredericton used a learning initiative to enhance their residents’ participation in cultural activities and festivals which enhanced quality of life and increased municipal revenue. Grande Prairie used a learning initiative when they were faced with a skills shortage. The community organized effective job training programs and improved the productivity of their economy while increasing their local learning levels.

Education Minister Dave Hancock supports Edmonton’s local community-based project.

“Edmonton is already a City of Learners, not just in our classrooms, but in everything we do throughout our lives,” said Mr. Hancock. “We know learning is most successful when it is supported by the whole community, and a coalition like this one has great potential to improve learning opportunities for all Edmontonians.”

The Edmonton Learning City Initiative partners include:

  • City of Edmonton, Community Services
  • Edmonton Public Library
  • Edmonton Catholic School Board
  • Edmonton Public School Board
  • University of Alberta
  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
  • MacEwan University
  • NorQuest College
  • The Centre for Family Literacy
  • The Edmonton Community Adult Learning Association
  • Junior Achievement
  • The Seniors Action and Liaison Team
  • The Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers
  • The Alberta Coalition for Healthy School Communities
  • The Book Publishers Association of Alberta
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