Celebrating the Past, Fashioning the Future

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 Anne-Marie Edgar (left) and Jenna Raider (right)

How is 2016 shaping up for you? 

For all of us at Make A Change Canada the new year brings a host of exciting developments. One such development is our new website and a blog feature that will allow us to reach greater heights of communication with our clients and supporters in 2016. We are also developing a virtual call centre operation that will provide employment opportunities for our own clientele, while offering businesses a socially responsible alternative for their marketing needs.

What sets us apart?

We feel that our culture and how we focus on client success really sets us apart. We work with highly talented clients, and not surprisingly, we feel very passionate about what we offer. Our 2016 desk calendar—which features paintings and photography by our program participants and graduates—celebrates this uniqueness month by month. I always enjoy distributing this calendar each year to our valued clients and supporters.

Our Mission

In speaking with others, I often hear how much our mission touches them. Everyone seems to identify with the need to give those facing challenges to employment the chance to provide for themselves and their families, and enjoy a meaningful career. Helping those who are struggling is central to our mission, and we care deeply about nurturing the capacity of our clients to achieve their goals. Some wish to seek formal employment, while others want to become self-employed entrepreneurs. Whatever the goal, 2016 and beyond is looking bright for our clients. This, I know, is due largely to the backing we receive from our community partners and supporters to help make our mission a reality. We begin 2016 with a big “thank-you” to everyone involved.

Looking Back

With sights set firmly on the exciting new developments of 2016, it is also inspiring to reflect on some of the milestones and pinnacle achievements that have carried us into our 11th year:

  • Formed in 2004 as the Canadian Society for Social Development
  • Founded by Kay Ryan, our first executive director
  • Gained status as a charitable organization in 2005
  • Began offering the Business Abilities and IBDE *Web Essentials/Web Advanced programs in 2005 (*known previously as Internet Business Development for Entrepreneurs)
  • Presented with the Conference Board of Canada’s Award for Community-based Learning Opportunities and the Minister’s Award of Excellence and Innovation from Western Economic Diversification in British Columbia, in 2004
  • Led by Jan Wright as executive director from February 2008 to May 2010
  • Achieved accreditation under the Imagine Canada Standards Program in 2015
  • Rebranded as Make A Change Canada and celebrated our 10th year in 2015
  • Held our 10th year anniversary celebration in October of 2015 (Watch the National Extravaganza here.)
  • Assisted over 1900 clients to date with our services

The Road Ahead

The road ahead for Make A Change Canada is bright—and this means a future of bright opportunities for our clients. There has never been a better time to become an entrepreneur or develop one’s web technology skills to gain a foothold in the labour market. I am continually amazed by the variety and form of businesses our clients are starting, and with the jobs secured by graduates of the Web Essentials/Web Advanced program. Grads are finding work in administration, marketing, business, and nonprofits, and are working as web developers.

A graduate I was speaking with recently, who works as a visual and project communications consultant, told me that there is so much work out there, and then, sounding somewhat fearful, remarked that “this is only the tip of the iceberg.” This outlook report shows just how far that labour market iceberg extends and is an excellent resource for anyone considering a career change.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to be involved in this important work, as are the dedicated staff, board, subcontractors, and volunteers who characterize Make A Change Canada.

Please keep in touch, bookmark us on your “must read” list, and Contact us for further information or assistance.

I look forward to 2016 being a positive year of making change for everyone!


About the Author

Anne-Marie Edgar's picture
Anne-Marie Edgar is the executive director for Make A Change Canada and has been with the organization since 2007. Reporting to the Board of Directors, she is responsible for the overall management of our programs and the effective administration of the organization. With a Master in Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Anne-Marie has led the organization through the development and implementation of two strategic plans. Her professional background includes working directly with people living with disabilities, leading and completing several large instructional design projects, and overseeing and operating several businesses. With prior experience owning and operating a construction firm and as a management consultant, Anne-Marie knows first-hand the challenges in establishing a viable business. Anne-Marie has in-depth experience in workshop facilitation and the employment services sector. While working in the information technology field Anne-Marie developed online training, conducted training sessions, and managed courseware development teams. Clients included the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, Transport Canada, BNR, TRW, Workers' Compensation Board of BC, and Sprint. Anne-Marie calls Nelson, British Columbia, home. In her down time she enjoys weight training, skiing, and attending live performances locally and in neighbouring communities. Family pets to Anne-Marie and her son are Samy and Snowy, their two cuddly guinea pigs.


Michelle Yuzik's picture
Michelle Yuzik (not verified) on
I am going to try to put into words the appreciation I have for Anne-Marie Edgar. I was moved to re-consider a career/learning path after hearing Anne-Marie speak in regards to the Web Design Program courses for Web Essentials. Her manner was such that I heard what she was saying and believed that someone had the ways and means (and truly was interested) to help me to succeed. Her professional manner and the depth of her interest (truly genuine) was motivational for me and inspires me daily to keep to the task as I go on to Web Design Advanced. Her 'team' is in line with her direction for me as well. I found Kelsey and the others who attended my interview inspiring and was motivated by the connection to what I thought I might be able to achieve with this new direction. There are few truly fine people in life for some of us and I feel blessed to have met Anne-Marie and will continue to fall back on the inspiration and motivation that she provides. She is a role model for me in my direction to become a better person and to achieve the next level of learning. I feel I could set my sights on just about anything and that I will get there, and do a great job of it as well. Thank you dear Anne-Marie.
Anne-Marie Edgar's picture
Anne-Marie Edgar on


Dear Michelle,

Thank you for expressing what you have experienced in speaking with myself and others at Make A Change Canada regarding your career path and goals.  It is truly special to be enlightened to your reflections through your words today.

We continue to wish you all the best in your studies, career, personal journey, and continued successes.  Thank you for choosing Make A Change Canadaand us as individualsas a part of this.

Kind regards,


Michelle Yuzik's picture
Michelle Yuzik (not verified) on
Web Advanced SEO section is thrilling! To learn what it takes to have a successful website (and great web pages) is so encouraging. The goal of having a beautiful, successful website seems to be even closer now, thanks to Web Advanced delving into the marketing strategies we started in the Web Essentials Program. Thank you again Make A Change Canada and Anne-Marie.