Community Stories:

Celebrate Success: Edson

The Alberta Healthy Communities Initiative (AHCI) involved 19 rural communities partnering with Alberta Health Services (AHS), Cancer Prevention and Screening Innovation (CPSI) to learn and participate in the Alberta Healthy Communities Approach (AHCA). The initiative was based on the principle that, when working together, communities can determine their own solutions to create supportive environments that support and encourage healthy choices. 

In 2019, Edson Healthier Together was reestablished to explore the Alberta Healthy Communities Approach. A vision for all residents to be “Healthy, Happy, Engaged and Active” came back to life. A multi sector team worked hard to develop a greater understanding of the community’s strengths, trends, and opportunities by completing comprehensive community assessments. The team choose to focus on enhancing outdoor spaces that would support physical activity and social connection.

The Plan

“I think the biggest goal for us was just getting people back to the table to have  
these conversations and move something like this forward.” 

When the pandemic struck, team members put ideas into action, making and delivering Community Family Activity Kits. The free kits aimed to engage families in fun activities, while at the same time, strengthen their relationships through play. The team also re-launched the Block Party Trailer and enhanced disc golf course. In March of 2023, 40 organizations came together to discuss how to collaborate better with the goal to raise awareness of local services. 

“I'm most excited about is actually seeing that merger and seeing that there's a lot of momentum... they're really looking forward to carrying this vision of like a healthy, connected, thriving community forward.” 

- Edson Healthier Together member

The Outcomes

Edson Healthier Together joined forces with the Edson Community Engagement Action Team (CEAT) who shared similar goals and wanted to continue this work in the future. This union allowed for more efficient use of volunteer time, more strategic planning, and more resources to support community wellbeing. Stronger together, the team continues to build on strengths to create supportive environments that promote health. 

“It's always nice to collaborate with people and realize, you know, you're not alone in this.”