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Winter 2023 Student News

Welcome to CCI-LEX Community News!

January was very busy, but also very exciting at CCI-LEX, as we welcomed teachers and students to our brand new location. After nearly 20 years at our old space, it was fun to see everyone’s reaction when they walked into the school for the first time. It was a lot of hard work, but we are thrilled with our new home!

A big thank you to the amazing CCI-LEX staff team who ensured a smooth and successful transition to our new space, and to all those that volunteered to help out in various ways. What a great team! You’ll find a story about our move, student and teacher reactions, as well as photos in this newsletter.

I also want to acknowledge the tremendous community support we received through our Classroom Campaign, enabling us to make essential upgrades to our school. In this newsletter and in upcoming editions, we will introduce some of our supporters. We can’t thank them enough!

We are also happy to share highlights from the CCI-LEX Winter Celebration. It felt fantastic to host this holiday party after several years break – and more than 100 attendees agreed! Keep reading to see photos from this party and other recent CCI-LEX happenings!

Happy Reading,

Anne-Marie Kallal, Executive Director

We’ve settled into our new home!

Here’s to a new space, new technology and new beginnings!

We were so excited to welcome our teachers and students to our brand new space! After many many months of planning and hard work, we’ve finally settled into our new home. Our new space was designed for our students and teachers’ needs. Our new classrooms will also have the newest technology! Just a 3 minute walk away from our old location, our new home is now on the second floor of the 106 Street Tower on Jasper Avenue! Leaving our home for almost 20 years,  our old home in the Financial Building was full of memories. Thousands of newcomers came and went, and together we shared many years of learning and cultural exchanges. CCI-LEX has always been a joyful place for our staff, volunteers and students. We all learned from each other allowing our school to be known for our welcoming and friendly atmosphere. We hope to carry this positive energy into our new building!

On our first day back in January, we saw big smiles and lots of excitement as students stepped into our new location for the first time! Students found a bright, clean, and inviting space – a better place for studying and socializing.

If you visit, you will see how open and spacious our new office and classrooms are! Not only are there new spaces for students to study and socialize, we also have a large staff room for our volunteers and teachers! With new computer screens in each classroom, a central front desk, student kitchen and other new things… our space was designed to improve the learning adventure for all students!

Here a few quotes from returning students and teachers about our new space:

“I really like the new building.  Not only are the classrooms are bigger but also the kitchen is huge and nice.  I also like the distribution, it makes me feel more comfortable.”  – Fabrizio, CCI Advanced Student, from Mexico

“I started my volunteer teaching at CCI-LEX 4 years ago.  I’ve always found it to be a very welcoming environment for volunteers and students.  The new facility enhances that feeling.  It is warm and bright with spacious areas for staff, volunteers and students; areas where people can gather together or meet 1 on 1.   The reception, student and staff lounges and office areas are a big improvement over the previous setting.  Personally, I really appreciate the technology that’s integrated into the classrooms, specifically the smart boards or Loft.  Overall, I think the new facility achieves a nice balance between being purposeful and professional while still being welcoming.”  – Tony McClellan, LEX Volunteer and Board Director

With our passion and dedication to support English language learning and community connections, we hope that even more newcomers will find success and belonging at CCI-LEX in the years to come! Whether you are our old friends or new friends, as long as you walk through our door, you will always be warmly welcomed at CCI-LEX! Our new address is #200, 10055-106St. Please refer to our website or contact us if you have any questions about our new building!

Thank You CN!

The transition into our new home could not have been possible without our generous donors and sponsors. We want to introduce you to our new friends at the CN Stronger Communities Fund! With a focus on diversity and inclusion, this generous foundation gifted CCI-LEX $10,000 to our Classroom Campaign, making classroom space and technology possible inside our new location!

About the CN Stronger Communities Fund

Great community relations are vital to the running of CN’s transcontinental railroad. That’s why CN strives to be a good neighbour – not only in their commitment to safety and environmental sustainability, but also in making Canada’s communities better and safer places to live, work and play.

CN is committed to supporting organizations that provide meaningful benefits to the communities they support. CN strives to contribute to initiatives that foster leadership and make education accessible to all, such as CCI-LEX’s programs.

Thank you to the local CN Foundation Board and Stronger Communities Fund initiative for helping CCI-LEX strengthen our community of learning and culture! To learn more about CN Stronger Communities, please visit

Pictured here: CCI-LEX Board President Peter Leveille, CN Foundation Board Member Sarah Chan, CCI-LEX Executive Director Anne-Marie Kallal, and a few of our dedicated students!

P.S. We have more exciting news to share in the coming months about our Classroom Campaign! Stay tuned to our social media, newsletter,  and website this Spring.

Highlights from the Winter Celebration

For the first time in 2 years, our Winter Celebration returned!  We had countless students, staff, and volunteers that came together to celebrate the holidays, sing, dance, and—of course—eat! Although we received RSVPs from nearly all of our guests, we still had one surprise visitor: Santa! Although he had a very busy schedule to follow, he still found time to stop by the Winter Celebration and take photos with students and staff. After the photos it was time to eat, and the food was amazing! We had delicious potluck food from across the globe, and it filled a table the length of the hall—incredible! After dinner, we had some performances from CCI-LEX staff and students. Chenfan graced us with his guitar playing, and Gabi and Sandra got the party started with some salsa dancing. They couldn’t have all of the fun for themselves, though—we ended the night with everyone on the dance floor! Thank you to all of the students, staff and volunteers who joined us for the Winter Celebration, we can’t wait for next year!

Student and Teacher Stories

See the Student and Teacher Stories on the Our Stories Page of our website.

Twenty-five years ago, Selina responded to a newspaper ad looking for volunteer teachers at what was then the Community Cultures Institute. Fast forward to today, and CCI-LEX is an established school with over 100 active volunteers in its LEX program annually, serving hundreds of students from all over the world. Selina, now the school’s longest-serving current volunteer, recalls its humble beginnings.

Read More

No one plans to live in a state of war, and yet on the morning of February 24, 2022, Vladimir woke up to a new reality that would inevitably take him away from his home country. He arrived with his family to Edmonton that spring, and with no plans or timeline for his return to Ukraine, Vladimir decided to make the most of his time here.

Read More

A quick note of thanks to everyone who donated to our Classroom Campaign this Giving Tuesday or who helped spread the word! Whether it be a gift of time, a monetary donation, or words of encouragement – we appreciate all the ways you contribute! Thank you for believing in CCI-LEX and ensuring we have the necessary resources for our students to learn English and connect to the community.

What’s Happening at CCI-LEX

Short Online Classes are Returning!

Good news! We have new sessions of Fun With Idioms and Grammar Bootcamp starting in February! Visit our Short Online Courses page or contact the office to learn more.

Learn more about our Short Online Classes

Upcoming Dates

  • March 27 – 31 – Spring Break for LEX Program
  • April 7 – 10 – Closed for Easter
  • April 16 – 22 – National Volunteer Week
  • May (date TBD) – CCI-LEX Open House
  • June 19 – CCI-LEX Annual General Meeting

Online Resources for Learning English

Check out these short lessons to practice your English skills for daily scenarios, professional English and many more!


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