Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award top winner: REP Here in Canada

Earlier this year, REP Here in Canada was awarded top honours for this year’s Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award for their program, Here Magazine.

Based in Victoria, BC, REP Here in Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to equitable representation of newcomer, immigrant, and racialized communities. Here Magazine aims to simplify the voices of Victorians from marginalized communities – whether newcomers, Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour. Working with learners in community workshops, Here Magazine publishes their stories to a wide audience: in 2019, the magazine had a circulation of over 10,000.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps has praised the program’s ability to generate conversation across cultures, writing, “for its vital programs and significant contribution and commitment to celebrating and promoting multiculturalism, growing intercultural awareness and understanding, and empowering newcomers and immigrants to Canada, I believe that Here Magazine is a model for British Columbia.”

Aspiring writers have flocked to Here Magazine in droves. In 2019 alone, over one thousand people participated. Being a part of the magazine has been a source of inspiration for all involved. One participant, a newcomer from Brazil, writes, “as soon as I got connected with the amazing people that bring Here Magazine to life, I instantly felt secure and motivated. Building this relationship also amplified my networking opportunities and opened my writing perspectives.”

“It’s our pleasure to congratulate this year’s deserving top and honourable mention winners,” said Debbie Down, Director, Community Relations at Canada Life. “At Canada Life, we support educational initiatives that focus on adult literacy and recognize the need for programs that provide adult learners with the essential skills they need to succeed in life. That is why we’re proud to support ABC Life Literacy Canada and the Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award. Working together with community organizations, we make a positive impact that helps improve the well-being of all Canadians.”

ABC Life Literacy Canada was thrilled to read about the work happening at Here Magazine, and looks forward to seeing what lies ahead for this exciting program. If you weren’t able to attend our virtual awards presentation and roundtable discussion, which featured an interview with staff from REP Here in Canada about the program, you can watch the recording here.