Keep up-to-date with the latest goings-on throughout the province on AAWEAR.

From April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 AAWEAR collected the following stats:

  • Engaged with 6656 individuals who use drugs

  • Made contact with 1673 women and 2244 FNMI individuals

  • 2704 Condoms Distributed

  • 2815 Safe injection supply bags (needles, water, ties, cookers, alcohol swabs, gloves, etc)

  • 45 First Aid Kits handed out

  • 33 peers assisted with wound care

  • Completed 1959 referrals to various social services, medical facilities, mental health support, and support for those living with, or at risk of contracting, HIV and HCV. 

We would like to think our amazing Peer Outreach Workers for their hard work and ongoing compassion and care they show towards the population we serve. We would also like to thank our Facilitators and Volunteers for their ongoing support towards AAWEAR. Without our funders, ACHF and CRISM, we would not be able to conduct the work we so passionately believe in. 

Executive Director Job Posting

AAWEAR is currently in the process of hiring an Executive Director. If you are interested please see the job post, and submit your documents on or before April 18, 2017.



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AAWEAR Obtains Society Status!

On October 14, 2016 Service Alberta recognized AAWEAR as a Society. We are now incorporated, and are seeking to grow our grassroots initiative in order to reach even more marginalized and vulnerable populations. We are extremely excited about this new journey. We would like to especially thank Calgary Alpha House Society for their ongoing support over the years. Without them, this process may not have been able to happen. 

Mid-Year Statistics for AAWEAR

s of September 30, 2016 the AAWEAR Peers have reported the following statistics from April 1 - September 30, 2016:

  • 2720 clients served
  • 935 condoms distributed
  • 771 Needle Bags distributed, including clean injection supplies, waters, cookers, alcohol swabs, filters, ties
  • 18 First Aid Kits handed out
  • 997 Referrals to community organizations

We continue to appreciate our community partnerships, and would like to specifically recognize Calgary Alpha House Society, Safeworks, ARCHES, Rotary Club, Streetworks, Boyle Street, and The ARCH Team (to name a few). Thank you as well to our funders who support us in the work that we do within the communities of Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton. 

CRISM Prairie Node Funding!

The Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) - Prairie Node has agreed to fund AAWEAR in our expansion efforts. We look forward to working closely with them to expand our reach not only in Alberta, but also other provinces. A huge thank you to CRISM for their support!

If you're interested in CRISM please visit their website at:

A special thank you to Cam Wild for his assistance with this as well.

Alpha House AGM

The Provincial Coordinator and Grateful or Dead members will be speaking about the power of Peer Outreach Workers in the community. This will take place at the Alpha House AGM on Wednesday September 28, 2016 at Calgary Alpha House at 5:30 pm. Please note that you must RSVP to attend this event. Please visit the Alpha House website for further information:

Grateful or Dead at Pride

Check out our Peers and David Burke from Alpha House at the Calgary Pride event on September 4th, 2016! We want to thank Alpha House for their ongoing support of AAWEAR, and for sharing their booth with us! We cannot even begin to express the gratitude we have for Alpha House, and how much we cherish the relationship we have with them! We also have a lot of pride in our Peers and their ongoing commitment to supporting marginalized populations!

CBC Recognition!

One of our wonderful Peer Outreach Workers (and now member of our Board of Directors), Chelsea Burnham, was featured in an exclusive CBC interview. Chelsea discusses her story, the importance of Peer Workers, and the work AAWEAR does Provincially. Take a listen to better understand what we do and why. Special thanks to Ariel Fournier at CBC Radio for taking the time to speak with us, and to Chelsea Burnham for her amazing openness and honesty!

Board of Directors has been established!

The AAWEAR membership has met in Edmonton for the Provincial Meeting. 7 individuals were elected to the Board of Directors! Congratulations Chelsea, Randy P, Mark, Kari, Jerry, Amanda and Arsh! There are still 3 board seats open, so please email the Provincial Coordinator at if you are interested in applying!

August Provincial Meeting

The next Provincial Meeting will take place from August 29-31 in Edmonton at HIV Edmonton. On August 31st members will participate in National Overdose Awareness Day to show a united front for those lost to overdose and to advocate for policy changes. If you are a member and interested in attending the Provincial Meeting please speak to your Facilitator at your next bi-weekly meeting.

June 26th, 2016 Support Don't Punish Event

The As It Is group in Edmonton is hosting an event for Support Don't Punish day. The event will take place from 1 pm - 5 pm on Beaver Hills House Park & 105 Street. Hip hop groups, a spoken word artist, and a musician have been secured for the day! Help take a stand with us to support people who use drugs instead of criminalizing them!

3rd Annual Harm Reduction Day June 12, 2016

A few of our chapters are hosting Harm Reduction awareness events on Sunday June the 12th, 2016! If you're in Calgary or Edmonton feel free to drop by to engage in the events! Information for the events are as follows:

Grateful or Dead (Calgary Chapter) - From 11:30 AM - 1 PM members will be at Calgary Olympic Plaza. The event will include presentations by community members and Indigenous groups.

As It Is (Edmonton Chapter) - The membership will be serving a hot meal on Sunday June 12th, 2016 from 1 pm - 3 pm at Boyle Street Community Services. 

Please contact our Provincial Coordinator, Meghan Reid, at with any questions you may have about these events! We look forward to seeing you!

Metro News Article!

AAWEAR has been recognized and mentioned in the Calgary Metro News! Please see for the full article! Great to receive recognition! Great job to our members for all of their hard work and dedication. This project would not be possible without you and the meaningful work you do.

Grateful or Dead Calendar Fundraising!

Calgary's Chapter "Grateful or Dead" has calendars for the 2016 year for sale. $20 per calendar - please contact us through the "Contact" link on our website if you're interested in purchasing a calendar! The money raised goes towards the GOD chapter (peer outreach supplies, peer training initiatives, presentation honorariums).

Calgary's Chapter "Grateful or Dead" has calendars for the 2016 year for sale. $20 per calendar - please contact us through the "Contact" link on our website if you're interested in purchasing a calendar! The money raised goes towards the GOD chapter (peer outreach supplies, peer training initiatives, presentation honorariums).

In Memory of Trent "Irish" Harper

On Sat. March 12, 2016, AAWEAR members alongside other friends from our community said goodbye to their dear friend and Grateful or Dead member Trent “Irish” Harper. Irish died earlier that week due to the effects of W-18. He is remembered as being a big part of his community, impacting those around him his with his sense of humour, charm and care for others. He is loved and missed by many. 

May the blessings of light be upon you,

Light without and light within.

And in all your comings and goings,

May you ever have a kindly greeting

From them you meet on the road.

[Traditional Irish Blessing]

Another Excellent Provincial Meeting

The conclusion of a wonderful Provincial Meeting! The Chapters continue to do amazing work in the community! Between 27 - 30 people attended the meeting and discussed the presence of fentanyl in the community, and the prevalence of fentanyl being mixed into other drugs, which has resulted in an increased amount of overdoses. The groups continue to advocate for individuals to attend the free Naloxone Overdose Prevention trainings offered in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge. Harm reduction and outreach supplies continue to be in high demand, with referrals primarily focused on housing, detox, Naloxone training, id clinics, medical, and STI/HIV resources. 

The group also received a collaborative training session on the importance of peer relationships and rapport in community initiatives courtesy of Stasha Huntingford. Discussions regarding society status and the path forward continue within the groups.

New Facebook Page!

Like us on our new Facebook Group page! We are an open page under the name "The Alberta Addicts Who Educate and Advocate Responsibly". Help us spread the word of AAWEAR and share harm reduction initiatives!

AAWEAR to Become a Society!

The AAWEAR members have voted, and the majority of members have decided to proceed in making AAWEAR a society. Big news for AAWEAR moving forward!!! Stay tuned for updates regarding this!

Grateful or Dead pays tribute to retired #YYC harm reduction/Safeworks coordinator, Diane Nielsen

On Nov. 26, Grateful or Dead celebrated the retirement of Safeworks nurse and group facilitator, Diane Nielsen. Diane was the Calgary group's facilitator from the beginning, and she was also one of the first in our city to understand the need for a stronger voice from people with a history of drug use. The mark she left of this community runs deep, and we are very grateful to have known her. Grateful or Dead worked with volunteer Ashley Kascak to create a tribute for this very special woman and let her know just how much she means to us. Please watch:

ACCH Funding Extension

The AAWEAR Project has been granted a funding extension from ACCH that will span from April 2016 - March 2017. Thank you to ACCH for your ongoing support with this project - we greatly appreciate your contribution that makes AAWEAR a success.