$350,000 in funding will bring immersive learning opportunities to youth in the Lower North Shore, a collaboration supported by TELUS and the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation

Thanks to TELUS’ funding and high speed Internet technology, 10 Lü systems will help youth in isolated communities and Innu territories learn, explore, and be active

BLANC-SABLON, Quebec, Nov. 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TELUS, the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, and a team of partners donated $350,000 to distribute 10 Lü systems featuring immersive audiovisual technology to schools in the Lower North Shore via the Fondation Docteur Camille-Marcoux. The 600 students in these isolated communities and Innu territories can now learn, explore, and be active, thanks to a virtual environment that connects them with one another and to activities that develop their social, emotional, physical, and intellectual skills.

This major donation includes $100,000 from TELUS and $100,000 from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, and follows the recent deployment of the TELUS 5G and 4G network in the Lower North Shore earlier this year, which connected 2,000 households to high speed Internet and mobile phone services for the first time. Through collaboration with the Government of Canada, Government of Québec, and the Société du Plan Nord, this network initiative marked one of TELUS’ largest digital infrastructure projects north of the 49th parallel to date, helping bridge the digital divide by connecting the Lower North Shore and its businesses, healthcare centres, and schools to the rest of the world.

“We’re so grateful for this donation from both TELUS and the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation,” said Vincent Joncas, President of the Fondation Docteur Camille-Marcoux. “Since the arrival of high speed Internet, teaching has become easier and more engaging, and our youth now have the same advantages as other students. From Blanc-Sablon to Kegaska, Lü systems will transform our classrooms into interactive spaces where students can dance to great music, practice their high-jumping, and explore the infinite spaces of the universe and the depths of the ocean as though they are actually there. It’s opened up a whole new world of information and possibilities.”

Lü systems use virtual learning spaces built around a giant projection wall, a 3D camera, and light and sound systems. Through the power of high speed Internet, youth in the isolated villages of the Lower North Shore will be connected to the Lü virtual community, and will interact with students in other classrooms around the world. The Lü environments will also be accessible to residents in all remote communities, creating a circuit of connections between younger and older generations, and diverse cultures all across Québec.

“Our multi-award-winning wireless network and Lü’s immersive technology create connections, break through isolation, and broaden youth’s horizons in the Lower North Shore,” said Marie-Christine D’Amours, Vice President, Consumer Solutions and Customer Experience for TELUS in Québec. “With today’s announcement, we’re linking our long-standing commitment to deploying our networks to Québec residents no matter where they live, with our goal to build a better future for communities and youth so they can achieve their full potential. We’re also proud to have brought together a coalition of partners who were innovative during the ambitious deployment of our technologies in the Lower North Shore and answered the call to give back to local communities.”

Since 2000, TELUS and the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation have donated $82 million to charitable organizations in Québec, and its team members have contributed 1.2 million hours of volunteer work. Founded in 2018, the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation is connecting youth to a world of opportunities by supporting charities that offer health or educational programs to help at-risk youth thrive in a digital world. Last year, the foundation, alongside the 13 TELUS Community Boards, provided $8.9 million in funding to 607 registered charities, serving more than 6 million marginalized Canadians in communities across the country.

A team of partners to bridge the digital divide

Six partners have joined the project alongside TELUS and the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation: IT2go, the Centre de services scolaire du Littoral, the Institut Tshakapesh, and corporate partners WesTower Communications, Nokia, and Madysta.

Quotes from partners:

  • “Lü transforms play spaces into magical worlds for children,” said Tommy Bouffard, President of IT2go, a partner of Lü - Interactive Playground. “The 3D camera and sound and light systems create giant, touch-sensitive projections on the walls, where youth can dive in to learn, move and have fun with hundreds of activities and applications. For example, they can release balloons when an answer is correct in a friendly mental arithmetic competition or become the heroes of a video game where they can explore new worlds. Sports, math, French, agility, music... We offer a range of games to suit all students.”
  • “The arrival of high speed Internet has provided teachers and students with additional tools to enhance the educational experience in Lower North Shore schools. Educational platforms that were previously inaccessible are now being used on a daily basis by our students,” said Phil Joycey, Administrator of the Centre de services scolaire du Littoral, the region’s school service centre. “High speed Internet is reliable and breaks down geographical barriers, giving all of our youth equal opportunities to learn and grow. We’re pleased to be able to participate in this exciting joint project with a contribution of $45,000. We’re taking education to new levels with the introduction of interactive tools such as Lü systems, which are now used in every school gymnasium in the area covered by the school service centre.”
  • “In a context of openness to the rest of the world, the Institut Tshakapesh provides communities with quality services in the fields of language, culture and education to encourage the success of each student,” said Tina Vassiliou, Director of Research, Development and Innovation at the Institut Tshakapesh. “Not only will the Lü systems help our young people to learn, but the technology will also bring us closer to the Lower North Shore communities, becoming a vehicle for transmitting and sharing Innu culture. A digital path from one Lü system to another will link us all together for 400 kilometres, from Kegaska to Blanc-Sablon.”
  • “We're pleased to not only be a partner in building the infrastructure for this exciting project, but to also be contributing $25,000 to the Fondation Docteur Camille-Marcoux,” said Nathan Schauerte, President and CEO of WesTower Communications. “Our team spared no effort in our work with TELUS to deploy the high speed wireless network in the Lower North Shore region, braving the harsh weather and complex logistics of working in this isolated area, including incorporating creative solutions like bringing equipment in by boat and helicopter. Supporting education for young people in the region was a perfectly natural next step in our commitment to promoting economic development and connecting the communities of the Lower North Shore.”
  • “To bring high speed technology to the Lower North Shore, Nokia and TELUS deployed one of the largest and most advanced microwave ecosystems in the world,” said Jeffrey Maddox, President of Nokia Canada. “Our technology supports Internet and cellular services in the region, and is helping to deliver educational opportunities for local students that will enable them to ultimately excel in a global environment. We’re excited to be a part of this important community project and to donate to the Fondation Docteur Camille-Marcoux.”

  • “Deploying high speed infrastructure across the vast and roadless territory of the Lower North Shore is one of the most ambitious projects we’ve been involved in to date,” said Yvan St-Arnaud, President from Madysta. “We're delighted to make a $10,000 donation to deploy Lü systems in schools in the Lower North Shore, and to have a huge positive impact on youth’s academic success.”

To learn more about Lü systems, visit play-lu.com and for more information on the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, visit friendlyfuture.com.

TELUS is committed to progressing the path of Reconciliation in a meaningful way. Learn more about our commitments and actions here.

About the Fondation Docteur Camille-Marcoux
The Fondation Docteur Camille-Marcoux’s mission is to support the development of social, health and education services in the Lower North Shore, including support for the CISSS (Integrated Health and Social Services Centre) and local organizations in projects to improve the services offered to residents. The Fondation also supports human resources development in the Lower North Shore by granting scholarships based on academic perseverance.

About TELUS Friendly Future Foundation
Founded in 2018, the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation funds programs, services and technology for registered Canadian charities helping at-risk communities, particularly youth. The foundation provides more than 500 charitable grants annually in Canada and helps over 2 million at-risk Canadian youth every year.

Last year, the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation announced a $10 million commitment to urgently support and enhance public healthcare capacity and community response across Canada including funding to help purchase new medical technology and equipment, such as ventilators, as well as increased support for food security, outreach to isolated seniors, virtual education programs, and mental health initiatives. TELUS Friendly Future Foundation’s current priorities include supporting charities that offer health, education and technology programs that help at-risk youth thrive.

TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications technology company with $16 billion in annual revenue and 16 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video, and security. We leverage our global-leading technology and compassion to enable remarkable human outcomes. Our longstanding commitment to putting our customers first fuels every aspect of our business, making us a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. In 2020, TELUS was recognized as having the fastest wireless network in the world, reinforcing our commitment to provide Canadians with access to superior technology that connects us to the people, resources and information that make our lives better. TELUS Health is Canada’s leader in digital health technology, improving access to health and wellness services and revolutionizing the flow of health information across the continuum of care. TELUS Agriculture provides innovative digital solutions throughout the agriculture value chain, supporting better food outcomes from improved agri-business data insights and processes. TELUS International (TSX and NYSE: TIXT) is a leading digital customer experience innovator that delivers next-generation AI and content management solutions for global brands across the technology and games, ecommerce and FinTech, communications and media, healthcare, travel and hospitality sectors. TELUS and TELUS International operate in 25+ countries around the world. Together, let’s make the future friendly.

Driven by our passionate social purpose to connect all citizens for good, our deeply meaningful and enduring philosophy to give where we live has inspired TELUS, our team members and retirees to contribute more than $820 million and 1.6 million days of service since 2000. This unprecedented generosity and unparalleled volunteerism have made TELUS the most giving company in the world.

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For more information, please contact:

Jacinthe Beaulieu
TELUS Media Relations

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a00e138a-a1e9-48d2-a37d-ec5103831869

$350,000 in funding will bring immersive learning opportunities to youth in the Lower North Shore