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Financial Empowerment in Calgary

24 September 2015
By Donna McBride, Director of Operations, Momentum 

Wow! A lot can happen in a couple of years.
Since 2011, the Financial Futures Collaborative has been operating in Calgary as a network of stakeholders committed to building the financial literacy and assets of all Calgarians, particularly those with lower incomes, through collaborative action and systems change.

Things really began to accelerate when we hosted the ABLE 2013: Fostering Financial Empowerment conference. ABLE 2013 brought together financial literacy and asset building experts from across Canada, as well as experts in income and asset poverty reduction from the United States. Several key people attending this conference saw the potential of the highly successful, evidence-based Financial Empowerment framework and determined to replicate the model in Calgary. 

In the almost two years since then, the Financial Futures Collaborative has developed and implemented a financial empowerment strategy of its own, attracted significant financial resources to activate the strategy, strengthened its original membership base and leadership team, and has rebranded itself the Financial Empowerment Collaborative. 

Looking back, two things stand out as key to our early successes in Calgary. Firstly, our partners: the United Way of Calgary and Area, the City of Calgary and Family and Community Support Services, the Province of Alberta, Vibrant Communities Calgary and Momentum. And secondly, the replicable, reputable Financial Empowerment framework. Like the Tragically Hip says in one of their songs “I can’t draw, but I can trace.” 

ABLE 2013 set the stage for big things to come in Calgary – make sure to come to ABLE 2015 in Toronto and the same could happen for your city.