Community Housing Program | Community Nutrition
Volunteer Work & Work Experience | Community Connection

CANAVUA’s Community Housing Program

We are excited to announce the launch of our new Community Housing Project! With the launch of this project, CANAVUA will be Canada’s first Black-owned and operated structure/program of this nature. The purpose of this program is to provide safe and sustainable housing and a community-gathering centre to the vulnerable community in Alberta, with a particular emphasis on the Greater Edmonton area. Partnered with our other ongoing programs and services–which you can learn more about below.

Currently, CANAVUA is in the phase of pre-development of the first black housing operator run by a black lead operation in Edmonton. This project began in 2020. We follow the following stages:

  • Developing the Project Concept
  • Assessing Project Feasibility
  • Project Dealmaking
  • Construction and Lease Up
  • Opérations. We are in the 3rd stage

CANAVUA will be Canada’s first Black-owned and operated structure/program of this nature in Alberta. The purpose of this program is to provide safe and sustainable housing and a community-gathering centre to the vulnerable community in Alberta, with a particular emphasis on the Greater Edmonton area. Partnered with our other ongoing programs and services–which you can learn more about below–we are confident in this program.

CANAVUA Affordable Housing Project

The CANAVUA AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT is a 6-storey, 34 000sf development, located in the Queen Alexandra community of Edmonton, and consists of 39 apartment-style affordable units intended to fill the needs of an underserved, predominantly immigrant population, complemented by main floor community support spaces. These services will include a small daycare and a community food program, which together will benefit not only residents but also the wider community. A dedicated office space will become CANAVUA’s new home base from which they will continue to support the community’s needs.

The mixed-use character of the building fits into the neighbourhood fabric as the site is nestled between a commercial strip, existing apartment buildings, and a major church campus site. Various design features of the building, including the choice of exterior cladding materials, massing, and main floor street front, are intended to reflect this site context. It is hoped that this new development will not only provide much-needed housing, but also become a hub for creating community within a wider context by providing a place and opportunity for grass-roots community engagement, volunteerism, and leadership.

Community Nutrition

CANAVUA Mobile Food Pantry (also known as “Community Food Truck”)

In 2022, CANAVUA was funded by the Government of Canada (Local Food Infrastructure Fund) and Becel Kind Hearts Fund to improve the fruit & vegetable service. We buy and receive locally grown fruits and vegetables, eggs, raw honey, fresh bread supplemented by Edmonton’s Food Bank. Food is given by Community Food Centres Canada, and Sysco.

  • GOAL 1: Improve Community Health. CANAVU Mobile Farmers Market seeks to improve the health of Edmonton residents by increasing fruit and vegetable consumption particularly through locally grown produce.
  • GOAL 2: Increase Presents of Local Farmers. CANAVUA Mobile Market seeks to increase presence of farmers at the CANAVUA Farmers Market by receiving donated products each week during the Mobile Market Season in 3 locations: (south, north, West end Edmonton).
  • GOAL 3: Strengthen the Local Food System. The Mobile Market works to insure that people of all income levels have access to fresh, local, healthy fruits and vegetables.

Food Bank

CANAVUA operates a French-language branch of Edmonton’s Food Bank by home delivery at our new office, in the very heart of the city’s French-speaking community.

  • Transport: Before giving out food at the Food Bank, boxes of food have to be picked up at Edmonton’s central food bank (located near Kingsway Garden Mall). On Monday at 11:30 AM, some of our volunteers drive to the food bank to pick up the food that will be distributed later that day.
  • Distribution: Every Wednesday, CANAVUA’s team of volunteers organize, package, and hand out Video. food to are (mostly) Francophone clientele in need. The distribution phase of our Food Bank begins at 1:00 PM.
  • Receive Food from Us: If you would like to register to receive food at our Food Bank, please get in touch with us or visit our office. You will need to provide one piece of identity for every member of your household/family in order to sign up.

Below is a video of our Executive Director, Dicky Dikamba, during a workshop he gave at the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (ECVO) entitled Shaping Our Community: Engaging Newcomers as Volunteers.

Volunteer Work & Work Experience

Volunteer placement

Youth Service Canada (SJC) promotes civic engagement among young people aged 15 to 30. CANAVUA is very pleased to be among the organizations funded by Canada Youth Service and provides volunteer opportunities that help young Canadians gain meaningful skills and life experiences.

-Driver training course: In collaboration with the Alberta Traffic Safety Fund, CANAVUA is offering a new, education program for Francophone drivers in Alberta. This program has been designed to help prevent causing injury and death on Alberta’s roads, and includes the following:

  • Six hours of training work shops helping participants to pass their theoretical exam on the rules of the road (Learner’s Licence/Class 7);
  • Basics on safe driving for holders of foreign driver’s licences;
  • Workshops on new measures intended to combat the most dangerous and persistant bad habits encountered on the road.

To sign up for our driver training course, please contact us to register. All students enrolled our driver training program will be required to read the Alberta Driver’s Handbook, which can be accessed online here.

Job Navigator Program

Shuttle service organized by the community and for the community to help job seekers travel to industrial areas with labor shortages and opportunities for employment in Leduc County. We facilitate the connection between potential employers located in Leduc and job seekers through tools adapted and meeting their needs.

In partnership with companies in the construction, manufacturing, accommodation and food services sectors, the Job Navigator Program vans will transport job seekers almost anywhere in this shortage industrial zone labor. The program also organizes group trips in Edmonton, Nisku Industrial Business Park in Leduc County, We chose Leduc given that from manufacturing to agri-food processing, including transportation and logistics, the county of Leduc is one of the most sought-after locations in Canada for business startup, expansion and investment. The shuttle service will be offered to job seekers who have completed 70 hours of volunteering in our programs.

Community Connection

Program AWAH funded by ESDC. Eligible service are:

  • Practical support services to seniors to help them age at home.
  • Light housekeeping (laundry, cleaning)
  • Meal delivery and/or preparation
  • Home maintenance (repairs, yard work)
  • Transportation (to appointments, errands)
  • Snow removal
  • Volunteer drop offs (groceries, medications, pet supplies)
  • Friendly visiting
  • Navigation services/supports (referrals/help finding other services)

Contact staff for any of these eligible services using this form.

Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiatives

This project aims at increasing capacity building by empowering and educating CANAVUA team(directors, staffs,volunteers)-By mach 2024, key components of capacity building and objectives are follows to increase knowledge and skills in our fiscal management (governance and administration,resource development,community connections, programing and services)-to enroll in a Professional development program that helps that help to meet the legal standards and ethical norms- to reduce the prevalence of fiscal deficit within the organization.

Health Navigator – Project CAPT

This is a volunteer-based medical initiative for pregnant women, the elderly and low-income families consisting of transportation to medical and laboratory appointment. A volunteer accompanies a patient to his or her appointment and remains on hand. Additionally, competent English-to-French interpretation is provided if necessary.

This service was implemented at the request of the Réseau Santé albertain (Alberta Health Network) after a Francophone family doctor observed that Francophones of low-income, old age, or those unable to speak English fluently often failed to show up to medical appointments! CANAVUA undertakes the responsibility of training volunteers in medical translation and terminology so that they may effectively serve in their roles as interpreters. Since its establishment in July 2011, the Health Navigator Program has been in great demand. In the first 8 months of the program, between July 2011 and March 2012, our volunteers accompanied 163 people on 355 occasions. The challenge that faces us now is to maintain this service with new financial support and additional community partners from the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government. The Alberta Health Network is supported by the Société Santé en français (French Health Society).

So much more than a simple transportation service, this volunteer accompaniment program involves the recruitment of Francophones or interpreters who take in hand, when needed, the task of simultaneous translation between patients and healthcare services providers.

Age Well At Home

Under the In-Home Support Pilot Projects stream, CANAVUA with experience delivering volunteer-based services to low-income and otherwise vulnerable seniors received funding to expand our services to more seniors or offer additional services, as well as help seniors navigate and access eligible services provided by other local organizations

This project is financed by the government of Canada through the New Horizons for Seniors program.

Eligible services under the Age Well At Home program are:

  • Light housekeeping (laundry, cleaning, etc.);
  • Meal delivery and/or preparation;
  • Home Maintenance (repairs, yard work, lawn mowing, snow removal, etc.)
  • Transportation (to appointments, errands, etc.)
  • Volunteer drop-offs (groceries, medications, pet supplies, etc.)