For nearly ten years the Sylvan Lake and Area Vision for Non-Violence Coalition has been working to end prevention of family violence, sexual assault, child abuse and bullying in the community.
This catalyst led to the formation of a Regional Vision For Non-Violence Coalition spanning the communities of Benalto, Bentley, Blackfalds, Bowden, Delburne, Eckville, Elnora, Innisfail, Lacombe, Rimbey, Rocky Mountain House and Stettler. The regional coalition acts as an information and resource hub to communities across central Alberta.
On Friday, the Regional Vision For Non-Violence Coalition’s existence came to a culmination as they were awarded a 2016 Inspiration Award during a ceremony held at Government House in Edmonton for their leadership in family violence prevention. This took place on the same day the organization hosted their third annual Vision For Non-Violence Conference in Elnora. The highly attended event saw 400 individuals and four guest speakers at the conference making it one of the most successful events held by the coalition to date.
Each year during Family Violence Prevention Month in November the Inspiration Awards are given to selected nominees who demonstrate leadership honouring their contributions to violence prevention or building healthy relationships. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Family Violence Prevention Month, which originated in Hinton, Alberta.
Co-Chair for the Sylvan Lake Chapter and Regional Vision for Non-Violence Coalition, Alissa McDonald explained the regional aspect of the coalition has been a relatively new piece to the puzzle which adds to the excitement they feel having been recognized with an Inspiration Award.
“For all of our communities to be working together and to have the provincial government recognize that is just so thrilling,” said McDonald. “To see our work is making a difference and creating meaning in our communities means so much.”
She explained the coalition came together as a group of small communities facing the same challenges.
“Getting training in our area along with lack of funding and resources in our individual communities left us seeing many of the same issues,” said McDonald. “So we came together to see how we could address it on a larger scale. We came together and wanted to increase awareness and educational opportunities while working together to ensure we had consistency among our communities as far as the resources available.”