Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre Makes Naming Announcements
The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (CACAC) has announced two new names related to the new Centre of Excellence.
On September 15, former NHL player and co-founder of Respect Group Sheldon Kennedy joined with the board and staff of the CACAC and other dignitaries to announce the new Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence in Red Deer, Alberta. In addition to the naming announcement for the building, the CACAC also joined with non-profit organization Smiles Thru Lindsey – led by the More family – to announce the Lindsey More Youth Mental Health and Addiction Hub, which is located on the second floor of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence.
“This honor bestowed to me strongly supports my vision and our collective goal to help ALL youth Child Advocacy Centres not only in Alberta, but across Canada and beyond. I am so proud to be part of this journey with the Centre of Excellence and I am incredibly humbled to have this one-of-a-kind facility will bear my name”. – Sheldon Kennedy
The naming event included dignitaries from Alberta Health Services, Red Deer Polytechnic, Eagle Builders, the Calgary Flames Entertainment Group, the Edmonton Oilers Entertainment Group, and various other partners that occupy the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence, among others.
“We are very honoured to have Lindsey More’s name on our Youth Mental Health and Addiction Hub. We also feel a tremendous sense of gratitude and excitement to have Sheldon Kennedy’s name attached to the Centre of Excellence. This is a truly special moment for us. Without Sheldon’s support and vision, we would not be gathered here today. Lindsey and Sheldon represent the heart and soul of the Centre of Excellence – who it serves, what it aims to be, and what we will achieve together.” – Mark Jones, CEO of CACAC
In the early 2000s there was an epidemic of youth suicides in central Alberta, and the 2015 loss of Lindsey More sparked a bigger conversation about what could be done to prevent them. Though Lindsey was not impacted by child abuse, she did struggle with mental health. After Lindsey More’s tragic passing, a coalition was formed with the initial goal of providing access to critical and necessary mental health resources for adolescents. Sheldon Kennedy suggested that the coalition begin building a child advocacy in central Alberta, which became the CACAC.
Sheldon Kennedy was a catalyst in what the CACAC came to be. He had an integral role in connecting those who needed to be a part of the organization and created a vision of something even larger – a Centre of Excellence.
Lindsey’s name represents all the silent ones – those who fought and are fighting mental illness.
“Thanks to her beloved family and their willingness to share her story – we are here, today. Standing in a building that would never would have existed without her, and with program resources available to save those who may also suffer from mental illness. Her story has already saved many lives, and now, will continue to save more.” – Mark Jones
“AHS is grateful to be joining like-minded community partners in this new centre that will not only provide us with new space for youth programs to care for those who need us but will also enhance our ability to collaborate with partners to provide wraparound care and support to children, youth and their families.” - Kerry Bales, Chief Program Officer of Provincial Addiction & Mental Health and Correctional Health Services with AHS
The newly named Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence is nearly completed, with some tenants preparing to move in soon. Eagle Builders was contracted to construct the unique and inviting structure, and says this project goes beyond putting up walls.
“Eagle Builders cares about the protection and care of children and families in Central Alberta, which is why we were so pleased to be part of the construction of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence and Child Advocacy Centre,“ said Dennis Haan, Director and President at Eagle Builders LP. “This building will provide the very best in care for those that need it most - when they need it most. For us, this project is more than just putting up walls, it is an investment into the future of this province and a commitment to improving the lives of all Albertans.”
The new Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence sits on the main campus of Red Deer Polytechnic in Red Deer, Alberta. The strategic placement of the structure allows for all of the partners within the building to work in a fully integrated way to serve their respective clients. It also allows for applied research, training and work-integrated learning opportunities for students and faculty at Red Deer Polytechnic.
“The Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence and the Lindsey More Youth Mental Health and Addiction Hub are symbols of what is possible when a community comes together with hope and generosity. RDP is proud of its role in this innovative project, which holds the promise of recovery and healing for Alberta’s children and youth, and stands ready to activate as the Academic and Applied Research programming partner.” – Stuart Cullum, President of Red Deer Polytechnic
Partners inside the building include the CACAC, the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, RCMP Child Forensic Interviewers, and Alberta Health Services: Red Deer Child and Youth Addiction and Mental Health Outpatient Clinic; Move your Mood Studio; and the Step Up Step Down live-in youth mental health program.
More information about RDP's collaboration with the CACAC is available at: rdpolytech.ca/cacac.
To learn more about the CACAC, please visit: centralalbertacac.ca.
Photo (l-r): Mark Jones, CEO of CACAC; Sheldon Kennedy, co-founder of Respect Group; Stuart Cullum, President of RDP
For media inquiries, please contact:
Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre
media [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca (Brent Forster)
Communications Strategist - Corporate
Red Deer Polytechnic