The Learning Link allocated Community Adult Learning Program (CALP) grant funding prior to the creation of the Edmonton Community Adult Learning Association (ECALA). Approximately $460,000.00 was allocated for programs in Edmonton on an annual basis between 1978 and 1998.  ECALA came into existence in January 1998 and registered under the Alberta Societies Act in May of the same year.  Fifteen community members were nominated and appointed to the Board with the assistance of Alberta Advanced Education who provided administrative support. Carol Aubee-Girard was hired as Consultant in May 1998, and later held the position of Executive Director from 1998 to 2015.

“I was amazed at the high level of expertise and commitment the Board Members have and learned more about the importance of organizational governance in a short period of time than I have at any other time in my career.” Carol Aubee-Girard

The following founding members worked on several sub-committees in the first six months of ECALA’s existence and held full-time jobs, and therefore, have been recognized as honorary ECALA Members on a plaque in our office:

Sandy Clark, Carol Gilfillen, Brian Mitchell, Antoinette Mistrzak-Vani, Judy Murphy, Virginia Phillipson, Lori Skinner, Louis Slipec, Beverly Smith, Loraine Steele, Joan Wagner and Katherine Weaver


The legacy of the first Board is grounded in the policies and practices of our current Board members who provide governance for ECALA through the spirit of transparency, clarity and honesty. ECALA’s Board has been comprised of 6 to 12 members on an annual basis, with most Board members completing two or four-year terms.  In 2017 the Edmonton Community Adult Learning Association re-branded as ECALA. 

Excellence in governance is still important to the group of people who comprise our Board, as well as the Values and Guiding Principles of: 

  • Being responsive to emerging issues 
  • Developing capacity in agencies 
  • Advocating for lifelong learning that helps learners succeed 
  • Supporting innovation
  • Building awareness of learning opportunities 
  • Working collaboratively 
  • Reducing barriers to learners 

Since 2008, ECALA has grown its investment in programs to over $2 million each year, in Edmonton-based programs. In 2023, ECALA celebrated its 25th anniversary, “Where Community and Learning Connect.”