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$800,000 will go towards grassroots initiatives in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley

Canadian Music Centre and Surrey School District #36 receive annual

TELUS Innovation Award

 

Vancouver – Today, Vancouver charities and community partners were lauded as TELUS and the TELUS Vancouver Community Board celebrated its 2012 season of giving. TELUS and its team expect to give more than $8 million to local community initiatives this year, including $800,000 in funding for grassroots, youth-focused charities in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley through the TELUS Vancouver Community Board.

 

At the fifth annual TELUS Celebration of Giving held this morning at the VSO School of Music, TELUS also presented two local youth-focused organizations with the annual TELUS Innovation Awards in Vancouver.

 

The Canadian Music Centre received the TELUS Innovation Award for Technological Innovation while the Surrey School District #36 received the award for Social Innovation. The TELUS Innovation Award will be an annual award presented to charitable organizations that have made a lasting and sustainable social impact within their local community. The award includes a $5,000 gift to the Canadian Music Centre for its Canadian Composer in the Classroom Distance Education Initiative and to the Surrey School District #36 for its Sticks and Stars program.

 

TELUS Award for Technology Innovation – Canadian Music Centre’s Canadian Composers in the Classroom Distance Education Initiative. In 2010, with a small seed donation from the TELUS Vancouver Community Board, composers Scott Good and Rodney Sharman mentored students here in the Lower Mainland to create their own compositions. The resounding success of the pilot encouraged the Canadian Music Centre to expand its reach of the program to enable composers and students to connect, no matter where they live in B.C., through the use of a new broadband broadcast studio and a partnership with SFU’s School for Contemporary Arts.

 

TELUS Award for Social Innovation – Sticks and Stars, School District #36. A pilot project of Surrey School District 36 that gives at-risk boys the opportunity to learn a team sport and explore the wonders of space. Hockey and astronomy, it’s an unusual but winning combination. Sticks and Stars was created to provide a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment, as an alternative to the temptations of gang activity. Thanks to its engaging curriculum, inspiring guest speakers and positive male role models, this pilot project has transformed the lives of 40 vulnerable youngsters. Because we are aware there are more than 500 kids yet to be reached, we hope Sticks and Stars  will continue grow and serve many more children in need in the years to come.

 

TELUS and Nini Baird, TELUS Vancouver Community Board Chair and Member of the Order of Canada, also welcomed new community leaders to the TELUS Vancouver Community Board. They are: Amit Bhagat, youth member and student SFU Beedie School of Business; Joe Grech, COO, Ledcor Technical Services; Trevor Linden, retired NHL hockey player and Founder, Trevor Linden Foundation; Allan Seckel, CEO, BC Medical Association; Sandra Wilking, Director, Corporate and Endowment Programs, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Foundation; Jim Williams, President and CEO, Williams Moving and Storage Co; and TELUS team members Michael McCarthy and Doug Reeves. They are joined by the following distinguished board members: Janet Austin, CEO, YWCA Vancouver; Diane Clement, sports enthusiast, chef and Olympian; Joanne Curry, Executive Director, Simon Fraser University, Surrey; Alastair Fraser, consultant; Howard Jang, Executive Director, Arts Club Theatre Company; and TELUS team members Josh Blair, Philip Bates, Nelson Kwan, Suzanne Morris and Jill Schnarr.

 

“Today, we celebrated the spirit of giving with our community partners,” said Nini Baird, TELUS Vancouver Community Board Chair. “The TELUS Vancouver Community Board is privileged to support Vancouver and Lower Mainland grassroots organizations as they continue their vital work in the community on behalf of children and youth. On behalf of the TELUS Vancouver Community Board, congratulations to our two TELUS Innovation Award winners and welcome to our eight new board members, all community leaders in their own right. Together, we are giving where we live.”

 

TELUS focuses its giving on educating and empowering youth to improve their quality of life and to enable them to reach their full potential. Since 2000, our TELUS family of 25,000 employees and retirees in B.C. has donated more than $100 million dollars and, more importantly, volunteered 2.4 million hours, with our hearts and our hands, to community and charitable organizations. This includes $4.6 million given to 386 grassroots, youth-oriented programs since 2005 through the TELUS Vancouver Community Board. Through the Team TELUS Charitable Giving program, TELUS matches employee and retiree contributions to eligible charities dollar for dollar. TELUS employees and retirees can choose to make a donation through payroll or pension deduction to 50,000 eligible registered Canadian charities, which is then matched by TELUS. Team TELUS Charitable Giving continues to make a remarkable difference despite today’s economic pressures. In 2012, TELUS, its employees and retirees are donating $6.8 million to more than 2,800 charities across Canada.

 

In donating through the TELUS Vancouver Community Board, TELUS partners with local organizations such as the TELUS World of Science, Business in Vancouver and Vancouver Board of Trade and has supported organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley, Britannia Hockey Academy, Down Syndrome Research Foundation, South Vancouver Family Place Society and the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation.

 

For more information about the TELUS Vancouver Community Board or to apply for funding, please visit telus.com/community.

 

About the TELUS Community Boards

TELUS Community Boards are an innovative model for funding youth-focused charities that delegates decision-making to local leaders who know their communities best. Eleven TELUS Community Boards are making a positive impact across Canada from coast-to-coast in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Rimouski, Quebec City, Atlantic Canada and the Thompson Okanagan region of B.C. Since their inception in 2005, the Community Boards have contributed more than $30 million to grassroots charitable organizations and supported more than 2,300 community projects. Last year, the boards donated a total of $5.05 million in support of 418 projects in Canadian communities. Contributions made through our local Community Boards are made possible by our customers and our shareholders. The TELUS Community Boards and the meaningful difference they make significantly contributed to TELUS receiving the Association of Fundraising Professionals 2010 Freeman Philanthropic Services Award for the Most Outstanding Corporation globally.

 

About TELUS

TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $10.6 billion of annual revenue and 12.8 million customer connections including 7.4 million wireless subscribers, 3.5 million wireline network access lines, 1.3 million Internet subscribers and 595,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video.

 

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $260 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 4.2 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Fourteen TELUS Community Boards lead TELUS’ local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

 

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.

 

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For media inquiries, please contact:

 

 

Shawn Hall

TELUS Media Relations

604-697-8176

shawn.hall@telus.com