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Welcome to Aspire's First Newsletter
Fall is the season of change, and that’s no different for Aspire. We are thrilled to share with you our first Aspire newsletter. We welcome and encourage your suggestions, feedback or comments. Send us an email and please let us know what you think!

We have also launched our new website. Our goal is to provide our visitors an easy way to learn about Aspire, and the amazing work that all our partners are doing to implement financial empowerment in Calgary. 

 
Visit our website
SmartSAVER Partnership
In partnership with SmartSAVER, every family eligible for the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) will get a $25 gift card when they open an RESP through Momentum or Aspire partners (BowWest, Carya, CIES, CFN, CIWA, Discovery House and Sunrise).

Only CLB eligible families may apply for this incentive, which means a family has a child born after 2004, earns under $46,605, has filed their taxes last year and has SIN for parent(s) and child.  The Education Savings Working Group and Community of Practice members are enthusiastic to observe how this incentive might boost the uptake rate of RESPs and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB).
Take Action: 2019 Federal Election
ABLE's Federal election engagement toolkit is designed to influence the campaigns of the different federal political parties, as well as the policy priorities of the party who wins the upcoming election.
Download the PDF
Upcoming Events
Financial Empowerment Forum
October 24, 2019 -- Red Deer AB, Westerner Park
Join colleagues from across the province as we come together to share and learn more about financial empowerment, including evidence-based interventions and innovative practices that measurably improve financial outcomes for people living on low incomes.
Register    
 

Financial Literacy Month
November 1-30, 2019

Throughout November, Canadians are encouraged to take charge of their finances by making a budget, having a savings and debt reduction plan, and understanding their financial rights and responsibilities. This year's theme is "Take charge of your finances!"
Learn More    

CLIP Financial Wellness Fair

November 28, 2019 -- Calgary AB, Central Library
The Calgary Local Immigrant Partnership (CLIP) provides cross-sector support for newcomers. Its free Financial Wellness Fair will be a great opportunity for any newcomers in your network. Registration opens in October.
Learn More    

2020 ABLE Financial Empowerment Conference

May 6-7, 2020 – Fredericton, New Brunswick, Fredericton Convention Centre 
The ABLE Financial Empowerment Conference is a unique gathering of leading experts from all sectors dedicated to developing sustainable financial empowerment solutions that enable people living on low income to build their financial security and move from poverty to opportunity.
Learn More    
 
Partner Spotlight: Centre for Newcomers

The Centre for Newcomers got started in a church basement by volunteers in 1988. Today, it’s one of Calgary’s leading resources for immigrants and refugees and serves over 10,000 people each year.

“Newcomers need access to a lot of important services when they arrive in a new country,” says Admasu Tachble, VP of Client Services. “Particularly when it comes to money. Refugees come with almost nothing when they arrive, and are in a precarious situation living from day to day.”

The Centre for Newcomers offers a wide swath of services for its clients, many of which are offered in partnership with other organizations in the city, including career transition, English as a Second Language courses, outreach programs for at-risk youth, and a social enterprise catering company -- EthniCity Catering.

In the realm of Financial Empowerment, the Centre offers debt-reduction education in partnership with Bow Valley College and the United Way of Calgary; financial literacy workshops in partnership with Momentum; RESP support through Momentum and SmartSAVER; Tax Clinics in partnership with the Canada Revenue Agency; and a newly-minted Matched Savings programs with Momentum and United Way of Calgary. Services are also given in a variety of languages besides English to help newcomers feel at home and understand the materials better.

Admasu is particularly proud of the Tax Clinics, which the Centre for Newcomers has been organizing every tax season for the past 16 years – where volunteers band together to help over 1,400 low-income and new Calgarians file their taxes, and the attendance grows every year.

As Admasu explains, financial needs can often be a major barrier for newcomers. Even down to the financial systems in Canada being different from those in their home country, and how to manage their finances alone where before they could have turned to family or friends.

“We have seen their needs, and we are trying to help erase the barriers that they experience.”

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