Our Direction

2013 - 2016

Our strategic plan continues to guide our activities as we enhance, expand, renew and revise our services to meet the needs of the children, teens and families within the many communities we serve throughout the YMCA of Northern Alberta. Our Calls to Action remain as relevant and as urgent today as they were when we were developing our Strategic Plan early in 2012.

In 2015, the much anticipated merger with the YMCA of Wood Buffalo was completed.   The numbers in this year’s report represent the new merged entity.  Besides the merger, 2015 operations were impacted by changes within the senior leadership team as well as external factors of the economy and the dramatic electoral changes within both provincial and federal governments.

Our plan remains an ambitious one, and we continue to make progress towards our 2016 goals. The YMCA again thanks our staff and volunteers for their commitment and dedication to all whom we serve. 

Health & Well-Being

  • The mental, social and physical health of Albertans is in decline.
  • This is the first generation of children and youth who will inherit a lower life expectancy than the previous generation.
  • Childhood obesity rates have tripled in the past twenty years; 25% of Canadian children are overweight or obese and 93% don’t get the recommended sixty minutes of exercise a day; 60% of Alberta adults are either overweight or obese.
  • 44% of all deaths in Alberta are directly attributed to diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancers associated with poor nutrition and physical inactivity.
  • Longer life spans mean more Albertans are living with chronic conditions. Projections indicate that over the next thirty years, the number of seniors over 80 will increase by 266% while the numbers of seniors 55-64 will more than double.

Child & Youth Development

Children and youth who do not participate in positive extracurricular activities are more likely to underachieve academically, lack necessary social skills and engage in risky behaviors.

  • 32% of kindergarten children in Edmonton have trouble in one or more areas of development: physical health and well-being, thinking and communication skills, social competence, emotional maturity, language and general knowledge.
  • 26% of youth who enter grade ten fail to complete high school within three years.
  • 40% of families with a single parent or with both parents working are unable to provide supervision for out-ofschool children. 

Opportunity for All

Unequal societies fare worse according to quality of life indicators: infant mortality, obesity, low literacy, heart disease and mental illness.

  • Despite Alberta’s strong economy, nearly 400,000 Albertans—including 73,000 children—continue to live in poverty or be at risk.
  • Poverty rates are highest among specific groups such as children, recent immigrants, Aboriginals, and femaleled, single parent families.
  • As Alberta continues to prosper, economic inequality—the gap between the haves and have-nots—increases.