The Post: A special update from ALUS Canada
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The Post, January 2017: The year in review

The Post, a newsletter from ALUS Canada

In this issue:

  • New Year, New Acre! A word from CEO Bryan Gilvesy

  • ALUS expands to Quebec

  • ALUS relaunches in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan

  • Our top social media post of 2016


New Year, New Acre! A word from CEO Bryan Gilvesy

Bryan Gilvesy
What a year! I look back on 2016 as the year of the launch. We officially launched as ALUS Canada, a Weston Family Initiative, in November 2016 (see photo album), which was a wonderful occasion to announce our exciting New AcreProject. What's more, we launched the first-ever ALUS program in Quebec this summer, and relaunched ALUS in the Eastern, Western and Prairie Hubs (more on that below). And that's not nearly all! A few highlights from 2016:
  • ALUS won two major awards (the Alberta Emerald and the Clean 50), and handed out two of our own: the ALUS Canada Producer Innovation Award, and the Weston Family Ecosystem Research Award.
  • We held two major conferences, in Red Deer County, Alberta, and Grey-Bruce, Ontario.
  • ALUS staffed up this year, devoting three of our people to strategic initiatives, grants and funding, and hiring a bilingual director of communications to lead our rebrand, redesign our website and tell the world about us.
  • We were featured in two documentaries: TVO’s “Striking Balance,” narrated by Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, and Telus Optik’s “Keeping up with ALUS.”
  • And much, much more. It was quite a ride!
I want to thank to all our supporters: our primary philanthropic partners, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, and all the generous individuals, foundations and government agencies who have helped make all this possible. I also want to thank the 20 organizations who have partnered with ALUS Canada to deliver the ALUS program across the nation, with an extra big shout-out to all our Program Coordinators and the PAC members who oversee ALUS communities in six provinces. Perhaps most of all, I want to thank the farmers and ranchers who participate in the ALUS program. These stewards of the land devote their time and skills to ALUS projects producing ecosystem services on more than 18,000 acres so far. It takes all these players to make ALUS work so well.
Looking ahead to 2017, our focus will be on developing a new revenue stream that will bring even more support to ALUS programs, participants and projects across Canada. The New Acre™ Project will allow everyone—individuals, corporations, foundations and governments—to invest in acres of ecosystem services. Together, we will produce more and more cleaner air, cleaner water and biodiversity for all Canadians.
As this new year rolls out, please stay tuned to The Post for lots more exciting news from ALUS.
-Bryan Gilvesy
New Acre Project

August 2016: ALUS expands to Quebec

Quebec launch
“We’re launching an exciting new era today,” said ALUS Canada’s CEO Bryan Gilvesy on August 10, 2016, announcing the first-ever ALUS program in Quebec. A partnership between ALUS Canada and the Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie, the new ALUS Montérégie program aims to help Quebec’s farmers produce clean air, clean water, more biodiversity and other ecological services. Following the press conference at the UPA headquarters in Longueuil, ALUS Montérégie hosted a reception and a guided visit of the first ALUS project in Quebec. “The strength of ALUS is in our partners, and it is a privilege to work with such a far-reaching and progressive organization as the UPA,” said Gilvesy. “Our Quebec program coordinators, Chantale Soumahoro and Catherine Plante, have taken the bull by the horns and made amazing progress in a short amount of time. I look forward to what the future will bring for our collaboration.” Read more…

June 2016: A bright future for ALUS in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan relaunch
The sky was big and blue over Terry Mearns’ beautifully restored 16-acre wetland near Silton, Saskatchewan, where more than two dozen people gathered on June 29, 2016 to celebrate the ALUS program’s successes so far, and to set the stage for ALUS’ bright future in the province. “In the last year alone, ALUS Canada has invested more than $124,000 in Saskatchewan’s two ALUS communities, who have enrolled nearly 1,900 acres into the ALUS program,” said ALUS Canada’s CEO Bryan Gilvesy. Paige Englot, ALUS Canada’s Prairie Hub Manager and ALUS WUQWATR’s Program Coordinator, demonstrated the installation of a duck nesting structure, known as a henhouse, as an added feature in the Mearns' ALUS project. “Terry is one of many ALUS farmers and ranchers who have put their skills towards restoring healthy, functioning wetlands on their properties,” said Gilvesy. “These wetlands produce ecosystem services like drought mitigation, cleaner air and cleaner water that are important for all of society.” Read more…

July 2016: ALUS relaunches in Alberta

Alberta relaunch
More than 130 people gathered at the Edmonton Corn Maze on July 28, 2016, to celebrate the official relaunch of ALUS in Alberta. Seven counties have recently signed with ALUS Canada, joining the original three for a total of ten programs in this province alone. Collectively, ALUS in Alberta also won an Alberta Emerald Award this year. “This kind of success can only occur with strong community leadership, which has always been the backbone of the ALUS program,” said ALUS Canada’s CEO Bryan Gilvesy, who announced that, since 2010, ALUS Canada has invested nearly $674,000 in Alberta’s ALUS communities, where participants are now devoting more than 3,600 acres to producing cleaner air, cleaner water and more biodiversity for all Albertans. After the press conference, guests were treated to a guided tour of the ALUS Parkland project on site. Read more…

August 2016: Ontario relaunch

Ontario relaunch

On August 24, 2016, Canada’s oldest-continually running ALUS program hosted the Ontario relaunch of ALUS Canada, a Weston Family Initiative, at Springview Farm in Waterford. “We are proud to support nearly 1,800 ALUS acres producing ecosystem services for all Ontarians,” said ALUS Canada's CEO Bryan Gilvesy. The Hon. Diane Finley (MP for Haldimand-Norfolk), the Hon. Charlie Luke (Mayor of Norfolk County) and Jeff Helsdon, representing the Hon. Toby Barrett (MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk), each gave strong words of support for the program. Guests toured an ALUS project where native Carolinian species have been established on some of the farm’s former tobacco fields. As explained by ALUS Norfolk Program Coordinator Casey Whitelock, this project sustains pollinators and wildlife, while helping to control wind erosion and improve water quality for everyone in Norfolk County. Read more...

Our top social media post of 2016

The Red Deer Chicken Bus

Have you joined our online community yet? Consider this your invitation to check out ALUS on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, where you can get all the news on ecosystem services, watch ALUS videos and check out photos of “a day in the life of an ALUS farmer/rancher” from across Canada. To give you a taste, here is the single most popular post from 2016: a video showing a mobile, off-grid, solar-powered, free-range chicken coop in Red Deer County, Alberta, which was seen by more than 17,500 people! See you on social...

What is ALUS?

ALUS Canada, A Weston Family Initiative, is a national program supporting farmers and ranchers who produce cleaner air, cleaner water, more biodiversity and other ecosystem services in their communities. There are currently more than 15,500 projects, 720 participants and 18,000 acres enrolled in ALUS across six provinces, and the program is rapidly expanding. As a recent Alberta Emerald Award and Clean50 Award-winner—and ranked among the exclusive Clean16—ALUS Canada is a recognized leader in sustainability that is revolutionizing the way Canadians support the environment.
DONATE NOW: Click here to help create a healthy landscape that sustains agriculture, wildlife and natural spaces for all Canadians, one acre at a time.
Copyright © 2016 ALUS Canada, all rights reserved.

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