History

Thanks to excellent technology available at an affordable price, the way in which we share information is changing!  Here you will find historical information and future history will be marked through the story “blogs” we post as events happen.  For more current and ever changing history of us, please search the tag “history” in the search icon on the left.  If we’re missing something of significance, please do not hesitate to let us know!

Better Together!

2013 marks the 100th Anniversary of Big Brothers Big Sisters in Canada.  BGCBigs is pleased to be a part of this incredible organization.
Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area Society is the amalgamation of two local child serving organizations.  2012 marks the 50th Anniversary of Boys & Girls Clubs programs in Edmonton and we are pleased to continue this important work under a new name.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Edmonton

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton

2003 Club Connect, a collaborative drop-in program of Boys & Girls Clubs of Edmonton and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Edmonton, is established. 2010 Despite missing a few years of updates, a good deal has happened inside the walls of our offices and across this and outer reaching communities. In 2009, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area served a record of over 3,100 children and their families. The important work of providing volunteer mentors to kids who could benefit from additional support is made possible by generous long and short term funders, including contributions through the purchase of tickets on our Dream Home and Provincial Lottery 4 Kids. Over 2,700 volunteers have graciously given of their time to fulfill the need of providing friendship of guidance to deserving children. Our thanks to all funders, partners, supporters and volunteers and look forward to achieving 2010’s goal of improving futures for 3,500 children through Big Brothers Big Sisters Programs.
2002 Boys & Girls Clubs of Edmonton celebrates its 40th Anniversary. 2007 Our agency was honoured to receive a three year funding contract from Region Six Children’s Authority. This assured funding base allows us to make longer-term plans for mentoring programs.
2001 Camp Discovery, a residential camp on the shores of Lake Wabamun, opens to children free of charge. Over the course of the summer, over 200 members enjoy the camp. Big Brothers Big Sisters Dream Home #27 was the most successful in the agency’s history.
The Edmonton Community Foundation provides the agency with a grant of $100,000 a year for three years to assist the agency to better serve children and youth and their families who are new to our community.
Bearpaw is established to provide an intensified placement for teens that require more structured programming than offered in the regular Supported Independent Living programs
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area begins work to develop a new strategic direction for the agency.
Bruce Campbell Youth Centre is established in West Edmonton Mall in partnership with several Edmonton organizations
2006 Our agency successfully completed the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada accreditation process. We learned that our agency, staff and volunteers have done an incredible job of staying true to our mission. United Way Alberta Capital Region increases funding to our agency by 70% to ensure the growth and sustainability of the In School Mentoring Program.
2000 Crisis Intervention Program is established
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area granted Club Status at the University of Alberta. Nearly 20% of our volunteers are University and College students.
1999 Group homes, Solstice I & II, open to serve troubled teens, followed by B&G House, a receiving and assessment group home.
Aboriginal Resource Person is hired to coordinate cultural activities such as sweat lodge ceremonies for aboriginal persons in all programs. Regional offices in Morinville and Vegreville join Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area.
1998 Boys & Girls Clubs of Edmonton currently provides services to over 3,000 children and youth. 2005 Regional Offices in Lac La Biche and Camrose joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area.
1997 Brownstone, an enhanced supported independent living program, is established. We celebrated a double-digit percent growth in the number of children and youth served. More than 2,024 children and youth in Edmonton and area were matched in a mentoring program; a record number for our agency.
1996 Expansion of Parent Talk leads to the formation of four additional groups. Construction is completed on the new West Edmonton Club in Britannia/Youngstown. The City of Edmonton, thru the FCSS program, funds our first mentoring program to serve children who have moved to our community to begin a new life who are new immigrants and refugees.
1993 Parent Talk, a self-help peer support program for parents is established. 2004 More than 1,700 children were matched in mentoring programs; more than at any other time in our agency’s history.
1986 The Supported Independent Living Program is established providing supported room and board to child welfare youth in order to help them develop independent living skills. Our agency introduced an on-line application process. More than 80% of our volunteers now select this method of enrollment.
1985 West Edmonton club is established in west Edmonton. 2003 Our agency’s name officially changed to “Big Brothers Big Sisters Society of Edmonton & Area” to match other Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across Canada and around the world.
1981 Tweddle Place is established in south Edmonton. We reorganized our Caseworkers into Intake, Interview and Match Caseworkers. Match Caseworkers moved into schools throughout Edmonton to bring our mentoring programs closer to the communities where our kids and families live, learn and play.
1980 The Volunteer Coordinator position is established, providing volunteer recruitment and training programs for all Agency programs. 2002 Our School-Based Program Co-ordinator, Group Mentoring program staff, and Recruitment and Communications team moved up the hill from BBBS House to newly renovated Alex Taylor School where we join other agencies working to help strengthen children and families.
1979 Rundle Club is established in east Edmonton. 2001 Our In-School Mentoring caseworkers moved to various schools in the community where the program is offered.
1978 A Summer Youth Employment initiative is established with Northlands Park called the Klondike Days Clean Up Program. 2000 Largest grant ($340,000) in history of Edmonton Community Foundation received for In-School Mentoring. This amount was matched by an anonymous donor.
1977 Kinsmen Club is established in north Edmonton. Mentoring programs of Arbutus Volunteer Foundation and Partners Program of Boys & Girls Club merge with mentoring programs of Big Sisters & Big Brothers.
1976 Edmonton Boys’ Club Agency name is changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of Edmonton to reflect the service to both genders. The Agency begins providing summer camp programs. Big Brother Neil Siemens wins Senior Big Brother of the Year Award and Edmonton’s Volunteer of the Year Award.
1971 Edmonton’s Boys’ Club begins to provide services to girls. Mentoring programs provided to more than 1,700 children, youth and families by Big Sisters & Big Brothers of Edmonton & Area.
1962 Edmonton’s first Boys’ Club opens in Boyle/McCauley area. Opening day membership is 35 boys. 1999 Number of active Big Sister/Big Brother matches exceeds 400 for first time in agency’s history. We say good-bye to friend, colleague and mentor Colin Pinkoski. Agency budget exceeds $l,000,000 for first time.
1948 Boys’ Clubs of Canada received its official charter from parliament as a national, non-profit organization. 1998 In-School Mentor program begins. Liz O’Neill wins Big Brothers & Sisters of Canada Executive Director of the Year Award. First CIBC YouthVision Scholarships awarded. Major Strategic Plan completed.
1947 The Boys’ Club Federation of Canada was reorganized and renamed Boys’ Clubs of Canada by the more than 30 Clubs in operation at the time, who believed a national organization could assist existing Clubs and spur new Club development. 1997 Strathcona County office of Big Sisters & Big Brothers opens.
1929 The national dimension of the organization was founded by Vernon McAdam, our first National Executive Director, and named the Boys’ Club Federation of Canada. 1996 Ruth Kelly becomes first female President of Big Brothers & Sisters of Canada.
1900 The first Boys’ Club, then called the “Every Day Club”, was established as part of the “public playground movement” in Saint John, New Brunswick. The Every Day Club later became known as the East End Boys’ Club. The Club’s original mission was “to give youth a chance to have some recreation and to see beyond the confines of their immediate situation.” 1995 Muttart Foundation begins funding Right for Me program.
1994 Restructuring of Children’s Services throughout Alberta begins.
1993 New addition added to Big Sister/Big Brother house. Right for Me program begins. Stay-In-School program launched.
1992 Parkland Office of Big Sisters & Big Brothers opens.
1991 Big Sisters & Big Brothers becomes a United Way agency.
1990 Big Sisters Society of Edmonton and Big Brothers of Edmonton merge. First database for clients and volunteers established. Butterfly logo chosen for agency. Merged agency joins Big Brothers & Sisters of Canada.
1989 Christine Wilson is first Edmonton Board member elected to Board of Big Brothers & Sisters of Canada.
1988 Muttart Foundation starts to fund Life Choices program.
1987 Riverdale floods; Big Sister house becomes Flood Headquarters. 1st Kite Day
1986 Began successful Dream Home fundraiasing events.
1985 Kinsmen Big Sister House opens in Riverdale. Big Sisters has five (5) staff members.
1984 Life Choices program begins
1983 1st Annual Volunteer Awards and Recognition banquet held.
1982 Kinsmen Club of Fort Edmonton renovate original school house in Edmonton and begin to work with us to build Kinsmen Big Sister House.
1981 Big Sisters moves to an old school house in Riverdale.
1980 Big Brothers of Edmonton established. Bowling campaign begins.
1979 Liz O’Neill joins agency as Executive Director.
1978 Judge Myra Bielby is President of Big Sisters.
1977 Annie Neumann is a volunteer with Big Sisters.
1976 First grant received from the City of Edmonton.
1975 Big Sisters moves to LeMarchand Mansion.
1974 Programs provided to 20 children.
1973 First staff are hired to work for Big Sisters.
1972 Big Sisters Society of Edmonton is established. Office is in the YWCA in downtown Edmonton.