The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick will provide leadership to advance literacy, lifelong learning and essential skills for all citizens through partnerships and collaboration with government, educational institutions, business, labour and community.

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Winners Announced for 25th Anniversary Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Literacy Awards

September 19, 2023 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FREDERICTON, NB – The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick is proud to name the winners of the 2023 Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Literacy Awards. The awards will be presented on Tuesday, October 3rd in Fredericton at Old Government House. A reception with refreshments will begin at 6:00 pm, with the ceremony starting at 7:00.

2023 is the 25th anniversary of the awards, which recognize outstanding achievements in the fields of literacy and lifelong learning. In 1998, Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell established the awards during her term as New Brunswick’s lieutenant-governor. Since 2007, the Literacy Coalition has continued to present these awards annually.

“We are very pleased to name Marshall Button as a winner of the Outstanding Individual Contribution to Literacy,” says LCNB President, Brent Melanson. Beloved comedian, actor, playwriter, director and founder of Moncton’s Hub Cap Comedy Festival, Marshall is best known for his character Lucien, reaching audiences in NB, North America and even Afghanistan.

He has generously contributed to countless community events, organizations and causes, including as MC and Poet Laureate for the NB PGI (Peter Gzowski Invitational) Literacy Dinners. In recognition of his artistic and theatrical achievements, Marshall has received an honorary degree from St. Thomas University in 2007 and was invested into the Order of New Brunswick.

Lily Van Beek is our second winner int the category of Outstanding Individual Contribution to Literacy. Lily founded Student Stories NB, while attending Saint John High School. The online news outlet became a platform where students could publish their news stories and works of fiction, including important pieces about climate change, the impact of social media on youth, and schools. In its first four months, the platform saw nearly 6,000 views.

Patsy McKinney is the recipient of the Outstanding Effort in Indigenous Literacy award. As Executive Director of Under One Sky Headstart, she has been a leader in supporting early childhood development for Indigenous children. She is a member of the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council and the UNB Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre Council of Elders and is on the board of the National Association of Friendship Centers. She received the Renaissance College Trailblazer Award in 2023.

The Business Corporate Initiative award goes to Westminster Books owner, Janet North. Westminster Books has been a bedrock of the Fredericton reading community for over 44 years, and Janet North has been at the centre of that operation, hosting events for local and visiting authors and putting books into the hands of readers of all ages and experiences. Upon retiring, she has ensured that the local independent bookstore experience will continue in Fredericton and beyond.

The Fredericton Public Library (FPL) is the recipient of the Community Literacy Program award. Under the leadership of Julia Stewart, the FPL has implemented initiatives to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, including the community fridge program, which supplies snacks, milk, and water to patrons for free. This project is just one of the ways the library is innovating to better serve its community.

We have two winners in the 2023 Published Author category.

Dave Lawrence is a radio host on Rewind 93.1, and the author of Noah Bear: A Day in the Life of a Young Bear with Autism and The Ongoing Adventures of Noah Bear. Both are based on personal experiences of his son, Noah, who has autism. The books offer children a fun and accessible way to better understand their peers with autism. Proceeds from his books are donated to Autism Connections Fredericton.

Peter Clark is a writer, chronicler, and self-publisher of NB folklore and stories. Five of his nine books have achieved Canadian Bestseller status. Clark has helped raise countless lifelong readers by donating his books to schools, libraries, and charities. He is a recipient of the City of Fredericton’s Unsung Hero Award and was elected to the Atlantic Salmon Wall of Fame.

The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick provides leadership to advance literacy, lifelong learning, and essential skills for all citizens through partnerships and collaboration with government, educational institutions, business, labour, community organizations and individuals.


For more information contact Lynda Homer, LCNB Executive Director.

Phone: 506-457-1227.

The Literacy Champions Network

Our Origin

The Literacy Champions Network emerged as a result of the strong relationships and shared passion among the twelve literacy organizations that were previously affiliated with The Peter Gzowski Foundation for Literacy (PGFL). The foundation itself was established in 2002 following the death of Peter Gzowski, the renowned host of CBC Radio’s Morningside, who had been deeply committed to raising funds and awareness for literacy in Canada.

Peter Gzowski’s Legacy

Peter Gzowski’s dedication to literacy began in the late 1980s when he set a goal to raise $1 million for literacy initiatives across the country. This goal led to the creation of the Peter Gzowski Invitational Golf Tournaments for Literacy in 1986. These tournaments became a platform for raising funds and promoting literacy, while also bringing together literacy representatives from different regions to exchange best practices and expertise at an annual training forum.

Over the next four decades, the Peter Gzowski Invitational (PGI) Golf Tournaments for Literacy spread across every province and territory in Canada. The collective efforts of these tournaments raised more than $13 million by 2018, contributing significantly to literacy programs and initiatives nationwide.

As time went on, the affiliated partners involved in the PGI Golf Tournaments for Literacy expanded their fundraising efforts beyond golf tournaments. They diversified their activities to include various events and campaigns tailored to their local communities, all with the goal of supporting literacy programming and raising awareness.

In 2022, the Peter Gzowski Foundation for Literacy made the decision to transition from supporting fundraising events to providing grants to literacy organizations. As a result, the foundation concluded its formal relationship with the affiliated partners. However, the relationships created over the years among the provincial and territorial literacy organizations remained strong and valuable

Uniting for a Common Goal

Recognizing the enduring connections and collaborative spirit forged through the support of the PGFL foundation and the invaluable work it accomplished, in 2023, literacy organizations from across the country came together as the Literacy Champions Network. They realized the power of their collective efforts and the potential to continue supporting literacy programming within their respective communities. With a shared commitment to improving literacy rates and advocating for increased literacy supports, the Literacy Champions collaborate on initiatives, share resources, and leverage their collective expertise to make a lasting impact in promoting literacy from coast to coast to coast.

Today, the Literacy Champions Network stands as a united force, working diligently to address the literacy challenges faced by their communities. They honour the legacy of Peter Gzowski and the accomplishments of the PGI Golf Tournaments for Literacy while adapting to new approaches and strategies to advance their common goal of fostering literacy skills and opportunities for all Canadians.

LCNB is proud to be part of this invaluable network!

No matter where you are, literacy is transforming lives. We are so excited to be taking the next steps of Canada’s literacy journey together with the incredible organizations in this network. By supporting us and the Literacy Champions Network, you are helping families, children, and adult learners across the country.

You can support our work by donating today!

Click here for a list of 10 ways to support literacy in your community.

The Literacy Champions Network organizations are:
Literacy Coalition Receives ABC Life Literacy Award for Family Literacy Program


Fredericton, NB – We’re proud to announce that the Literacy Coalition has received an ABC Life Literacy Honourable Mention Innovation Award for their Family Time Online program. Designed to build capacity for early childhood educators’ and families’ engagement in virtual literacy sessions, the program provides online family literacy sessions, free literacy kits and technology for participants. This innovative program includes a strengthened adult component for family programs which have traditionally focused primarily on children’s literacy.

“Our Family Time Online project is encouraging healthy relationships with technology for both children and adults”, says project manager and Executive Director, Lynda Homer.” As a result of their participation in this program, both educators and adult family members have increased their digital literacy skills and their capacity to engage in online learning. They can now more easily access support and resources for employment and educational upgrading. The skills and knowledge that participants have acquired will continue to benefit them long after their involvement in the program. “

The Family Time Online Project was funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Post Secondary Education Training and Labour. It has been carried out in collaboration with the University of New Brunswick Early Childhood Centre, and a wide range of early childhood service providers, educators, families, government, and community literacy groups.

“Much credit for the success of this project goes to all involved, including our dedicated staff, partners, educators, families and funders” says Literacy Coalition President, Brent Melanson. “The results are extremely positive to date, and we look forward to expanding the project to reach more families and educators”.

The Award will be presented in a virtual ceremony in early October. For more details about the
award and ABC Life Literacy click here.


For more information contact Lynda Homer, LCNB Executive Director

(506) 457-1227 or toll-free: 1 (800) 563-2211 or email:

Celebrating New Brunswick Literacy Day

Fredericton, April 17, 2023 – The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick will be celebrating New Brunswick Literacy Day on Wednesday, April 19 by announcing the winners of our 2023 adult learner essay contest. The 2023 theme was “literacy changes lives”, which led to many heart-warming stories from contestants speaking about a brighter future resulting from their adult learning program. Also, as part of our NB Literacy Day celebrations, all submissions are being featured on our website in our Adult Learners’ eBook. The names of all learners who submitted essays were entered into a draw for a free iPad.

The essay contest winners are:

Lindsay Herrera – Eel River Adult Learning Centre – English 1st Prize

Lynda Recine Boissey – Charlotte County Adult Learning Centre – Français, 1ère place

Chris Lozier – Woodstock Adult Learning Centre – Runner up

Madison Degen – Oromocto Day Program –Winner of iPad draw

Madison Degen, left

The winners of the contest will each receive a $100 prize and a framed certificate and have an opportunity to read their essays at the LCNB Gala Literacy Dinner to be held at the Delta Fredericton in the fall.

Literacy is crucial for the future of New Brunswick, according to Literacy Coalition President Brent Melanson. He says that “at a time when literacy skills are increasingly critical for survival and participation in society, our work to support lifelong learning for children, youth and adults has never been more important.

“New Brunswick Literacy Day is an occasion to acknowledge the triumphs that many New Brunswickers have had.” says Lynda Homer, Executive Director of the LCNB. “We need to celebrate the remarkable individuals who are making learning a priority in their lives, and the extraordinary adult literacy educators who are helping them to achieve their goals.

New Brunswick Literacy Day is an annual celebration of literacy and life-long learning held this year on April 19.

The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick provides leadership to advance literacy, lifelong learning, and essential skills for all citizens through partnerships and collaboration with government, educational institutions, business, labour, community organizations and individuals.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Lynda Homer – Executive Director

Tel.: 506.457.1227                                                                               


Celebrating Adult Learner’s Week 2023: April 16th – 22nd!

Adult Literacy Week is an occasion to acknowledge the triumphs that many New Brunswickers have and celebrate the importance of life-long learning in our lives.

We were thrilled to receive over 30 wonderful and inspiring submissions this year! Thank you to each learner who took the time to send in a submission.

We are excited to now announce the winners of the contest (click on their name to read their winning submission):

Each learner was also entered into a draw to win an iPad. The winner of this draw was Madison Degen! She attends Oromocto Day Program and her teacher is Kelly Coleman.

Madison Degen, left

You can also read all of the submissions in our ebook by clicking here!

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