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Annual Report 2021

Think. Make. Do. Build.

Letter from the CEO & Board Chair

Mel and Ali
It was a year focused on helping learners see that their capacity and drive have always been inside them, even though their tools to create or work might have changed.

Lockdown after rolling lockdown in 2021 meant that everyone across the country was forced to accept changing routines, cancelled plans, and the need to navigate technology, personally and professionally, in a new hybrid lifestyle.

Like many of you, the shifts and demands of the pandemic posed new challenges for our team and work. Challenges like reduced funding and navigating ever-changing school formats which meant fewer classroom visits and experiences delivered than in the past.  The impact of the pandemic also posed many opportunities.  As an organization, we remained steadfast in our commitment to our core value to keep ‘learners at the centre.’ For our learners, we worked to create a renewed sense of opportunity symbolized by the glow of their screens. It was a year focused on helping learners see that their capacity and drive have always been inside them, even though their tools to create or work might have changed.

Through exciting refreshed and new content, an online learning tool and thousands of virtual learning experiences, we helped learners see technology as a positive tool to create—create fun projects, create progress towards social change and/or create new opportunities for themselves and for others.

We’ve been so moved by the drive and creativity of our community and the positive impact our work has had on the lives of people in Canada. We’re honoured to share some of the many highlights and ‘magic moments’ from 2021 in this report with you.

We’d also like to acknowledge that this work continues to only be possible because of the immense passion, resolve, and collaboration of our team, our funders and our community of volunteers coast-to-coast-to-coast. Together, we advanced on our vision for Canada — one in which all people have the skills and confidence to harness the power of technology to create a better and more inclusive future. Thank you!

Melissa Sariffodeen

Melissa Sariffodeen


Ali Leung

Ali Leung

Board Chair

What We Do and Why It Matters

We envision a prosperous Canada where all people have the skills and confidence to harness the power of technology to create a better and more inclusive future.

Canada Learning Code brings accessible computer science to communities across Canada so that everyone can create with technology. We do this by partnering with educators, designing resources, and delivering learning experiences.

Whether reaching remote locations or underrepresented communities—the introduction of flexible, blended and live-online learning has been a welcome addition for many people living in Canada.

We hope to be the spark that ignites the start of big things. What will you create?

2021 By The Numbers

  • 83700+ Meaningful learning experiences in 2021
  • 750000+Meaningful learning experiences since 2011
What is a meaningful learning experience? At Canada Learning Code, we define a meaningful learning experience (MLE) as a measurable in-person or online interaction between CLC and a learner. All of our MLEs are designed to be constructive in their delivery and achieve one or more of our organizational learning objectives.
two girls looking working on a laptop with children in the back ground

Learners benefited from new ways of learning online.

Educator Reach

We equipped educators to deliver our programs and reach more people in their communities.


55000 Youth reached by educators


7800 Teens reached by educators


2200 Educators reached by educators


1700 Adults reached by educators

We continue building and supporting local chapters across 16 locations with 237 dedicated volunteers, hosting local and national online experiences.

Chapters who delivered workshops in 2021

Our Theory of Change

A Theory of Change (ToC) is a visual description of the changes we would expect to observe as a result of our programs in the short and long term. In other words, it’s our very own conditional (if, then) statement. If we do X then Y will change because…

We measure our Theory of Change through evaluation data like increase in confidence in tech and code and increase in interest in tech and code after taking an experience with Canada Learning Code.

Explore the results of this data by selecting one of our programs to see how confidence grows after attending an experience!

Select a program to see the impact on each group

when workshop attended
change confidence by N%

What We Did

National Girls Learning Code Week

From May 16th to 22nd, we celebrated our eighth annual National Girls Learning Code Week. Our theme this year was “Envisioning a Better Future in Virtual Reality (VR)” – we used VR to tackle issues that arise as a result of COVID-19. During the week, hundreds of educators across Canada joined us in teaching computer science in their classrooms. Then on May 22nd, we had 500+ learners tune in from eight different provinces to participate in 34 GLC Week interactive digital events!

We just had a great idea from one of our learners. They built a paper VR game. They had two characters: a doctor and a child. Then, they had two rooms. Then, the players get to pick which character to pick. If they are the doctor, then they have to try to give out as many vaccines as possible.

– National Girls Learning Code Week volunteer (Barrie Chapter)

Read more about National Girls Learning Code Week 2021


From August 17th to 19th, we met virtually with over 1,300 teachers across Canada for daily keynote sessions, webinars and workshops to help them confidently teach computer science in their classroom or extracurricular program. We connected with incredible individuals who wanted to equip themselves – and the youth in their lives – with the tools and resources they need to prosper in our digital world!

I was feeling very inadequate when trying to deliver coding this year in school with it being introduced in a new curriculum and with no inservice. These workshops have definitely bolstered my confidence a bit more. I am five years from retirement, but I guess that you can still teach an old dog new tricks
 – TeacherCon 2021 participant

Read more about TeacherCon 2021

National Ladies Learning Code Day

On November 6th, over 800 learners joined us for sessions, virtual booths, and live online workshops, focused on helping women unlock digital opportunities. Learners got to pick whether they wanted to take part in either Managing Data with SQL or Intro to Social Media Marketing workshops, with additional sessions taking place the following week.

As a sixty-something out-of-work transgender woman, I am struggling to figure out how to re-engage in the tech market. I am inspired by the things that I heard so far!
– National Ladies Learning Code Day participant

Read more about National Ladies Learning Code Day 2021

Canada Learning Code Week

From December 6th to 10th, hundreds of educators and 13,220+ students joined forces across Canada in discovering fun and interactive ways to teach and learn computer science during Canada’s largest yearly celebration of computer science: CLC Week! Our annual celebration of computer science was hosted virtually for the second year, and we took it one step further—equipping teachers with free lesson plans in our new Learning Tool.

My students know more about code than I do so it’s nice to go back to them with a new program so we can do it together.

– Canada Learning Code Week participant

Read more about Canada Learning Code Week 2021

Magic Moments


“Learning coding has been the highlight of our teenagers' pandemic learning. Micro:bits and how to code with them is something that has sparked an interest in technology for her. It was the only subject that didn’t reduce our non-binary 10 year old over the pandemic. They have dyslexia and immediately connected with coding. Thank you so much!”
- Annual Survey Respondent


“I took my very first course in coding yesterday, to learn some SQL basics with Steve and Kim - got excited and have launched a Java learning journey as of last night. String comment = ‘Why am I 52 years old and just finding out how fun this is”
- 2021 SQL workshop participant


“I thought coding was just making video games. But I have learned from this asynchronous course today that it is more than that. It develops problem-solving skills for kids. Kids learn to collaborate with the members of the group. Coding is a lot of fun. Thank you so much for those exciting and informative topics! ”
- 2021 LMS Asynchronous Course Participant


“I used to think coding was a language from the future that hurt my brain. Now I’m freaking leading workshops and encouraging youth to stick with it! If anyone had ever told me that I would be teaching kids how to code one day I would have ROFLMAO. Thanks to Canada Learning Code, I’m here! ”
- Facebook User

What's Next

Teacher teaching

Teaching Teachers

You know how the old saying goes: “Teach a teacher to teach code, and they’ll teach code for the rest of their career.”

In 2022 and beyond, we’re actively contributing to our north star of creating 10 million meaningful learning experiences by equipping others to teach. Through capacity building, we are empowering educators and organizations to meet the needs of their unique and diverse learners. We do this through:

  • Hosting professional learning for educators through Teachers Learning Code workshops and signature events like TeacherCon
  • Offering free lesson plans for teachers to use in their classes in our robust Learning Tool
  • Building collective excitement around computer science education at our annual Canada Learning Code Week

Learning Live-Online

In April 2020, we ran our first online learning experience and since then we’ve hosted thousands of learners and workshops live-online. We’ve learned a lot about teaching online and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. Delivering programs online enables us to reach learners from coast-to-coast-to-coast and do our work, core to our Theory of Change, and virtually meet learners where they’re at. We do this through:

  • Continuing to enable our Code Squad and Chapters to deliver experiences online in fun and interactive ways
  • Expanding our free online Learning Tool with resources for teachers and adult learners

We look forward to re-introducing in-person learning to our program delivery in the future, and also know that live-online is here to stay. We are thrilled that learners continue to report increased skills and confidence with tech and code from our live-online learning experiences.

Take a look at people who have participated in Teens Learning Code for example. 89% of teens continued to learn tech/code since their experience with CLC, compared to 80% last year. And 96% of our Teen Ambassadors are more interested in leading discussions about tech and code with their peers, compared to 75% last year. And all this magic is happening live-online!

Expenses and Revenue

Financial Summary

In 2021, we continued to deliver our work by hosting all of our experiences live-online.  The uncertainty of the global pandemic continued to challenge us in new ways. In 2021, we had a deficiency of expenses over revenue of $0.9 million.  Operating expenses were $4.4 million, which includes the local operations of our Code Mobile teams and Chapters for the year.

Through the generous support of our funders, Canada Learning Code raised over $3.5 million to grow and respond to the needs of our community in 2021. We are so thankful for the continued support, flexibility and generosity of our funders during this time. As always, we remain committed to honouring each and every contribution to our shared mission.

For a complete financial picture of our organization in 2021, please see our Financial Statements here.

Thank you to our incredible donors and funding partners.

Our impact is made possible by the generous investments from organizations and individuals who support our work.




$500,000- $999,000


$100,000- $499,000


$25,000 – $99,999


$10,000 - $24,999

  • Edmonton Community Foundation
  • Fortinet
  • JP Bickell Foundation
  • Mattel (Barbie)
  • Relevant Bits
  • Silicon Valley Bank
  • Thales Group
  • Ubisoft


Under $10,000

  • ABC Life Literacy
  • Clio
  • Juno College
  • KPMG
  • Lighthouse Labs
  • Rockstar Games
  • Sierra Wireless
  • Sparkle Consulting Group
  • TAL Group
  • TelusWISE
  • The Sampler App Inc.
  • Value Tech
  • Xodiac Inc.

Individual Donors

    • Abdul Algharbi
    • Abdullah Al Zeehad
    • Adam Blahuta
    • Adam Fisch
    • Aida DeWitt
    • Akshaykumar Patel
    • Albert Yip
    • Aleksei Makhov
    • Alex Grady
    • Alex Santos
    • Alka Monga
    • Allison Saretsky
    • Allison O’Brien
    • Alyna Walji
    • Amber Layne
    • Amy Dodge
    • Amy McCormack
    • Anar Kamdar
    • Andrew Thompson
    • Andy Mauro
    • Andy Barnard
    • Angie Ferreira
    • Anthony Sturdy
    • Anthony Bowker
    • Antonella Sciarrillo
    • Anusha Pala
    • April Bannerman
    • Aran Rasmussen
    • Axel DUBILLET
    • Barrington Campbell
    • Bazz Newton
    • Blanca Perez
    • Boon Kiang Tan
    • Boris Bauer
    • Boriss Nazarovs
    • Brad Cavanagh
    • Bradley Roepstorff
    • Brent Caverly
    • Brian Ambrozy
    • Cait Brenchley
    • Caitlin Smart
    • Caleb Franklin
    • Carol Barton
    • Cary Bailey-Findley
    • Cassie J
    • Catalina Luca
    • Chao Sang Lao
    • Chris Sauvé
    • Chris Eliopoulos
    • Chris Welsh
    • Christian Deiss
    • Christopher Marchesi
    • Christopher Stockley
    • Corey Foster
    • DA SUN
    • Daniel Martin
    • Daniel Usedom
    • Darshik Bharat
    • David Airapetyan
    • David Scripps
    • Devin Pleuler
    • Diego Alejandro Ossa Londono
    • Dudley Ellis
    • Edvin Gelang
    • Edward Palmer
    • Ekaterina Kornilova
    • Elizabeth Midgley
    • Elmi Eflov
    • Emaleigh Shriver
    • Esben Meincke
    • Eunice Chow
    • Fabricio Anastacio
    • Frank Benjamin Bruneau
    • G Baharmast
    • Galyna Kulykova
    • Gaurav Varshneya
    • Gerard Pietrykiewicz
    • Gilbert Massicotte
    • Gregg Gun
    • Guillaume Massé
    • Guillaume Riendeau
    • Gydabelle Hangdaan
    • Haider Nawab
    • Harris McKay
    • Heather Mao
    • Henry Rull
    • Holly Vaughan
    • Hubert Léveillé Gauvin
    • Hye Yoon Doo
    • Ibrahim Hadriche
    • Imran Jiwa
    • Isha Satyakam
    • Ivan Lemeshev
    • Jacob Brown
    • Jacqueline Leung
    • James Balfour
    • James Coleman
    • Janine Knoedler
    • Jared Schreibman
    • Jason Fillo
    • Jean A
    • Jennifer Bell
    • Jennifer Clarke
    • Jennifer Pyne
    • Jessica Else
    • Jessica Jessica
    • Jessica Lindl
    • Joanne McKinley
    • Joel Warrington
    • Johanna Summers
    • John O’Brien
    • Jonas Stanford
    • Jonathan Laflamme Janssen
    • Jordyn Diguer
    • Joseph Jones
    • Josh Wilks
    • Justin Silber
    • Kaeli Husak
    • Kaloyan Marshalov
    • Kaori Omine
    • Karina Houde
    • Kassandra Lenters
    • Katherine Marek
    • Keenan Woods
    • Keila Fairbanks
    • Kelly Schmitt
    • Khushmita Sandhu
    • Koduganti Rajani
    • Kristyna Hougaard
    • Krisztian Birkas
    • Kunwoo Chang
    • Kyung Min Son
    • Lance Wall
    • Layah Glassman
    • Leanne Shapton
    • Leianna Lagmay
    • Leonardo Braga Nogueira
    • Leslie Bobis
    • Lorenzo Verardo
    • Lori Schmidt
    • Luise Felipe Antonio Aguiar Marcano
    • Luke Schwalfenberg
    • Lydia Hope Palmer
    • Ma Anjuli Macasinag
    • Magdalene Chai
    • Marc Di Luzio
    • Marc Ellens
    • Maria de Urquijo Ruiz de Azua
    • Marie-Claude Lavoie
    • Marilee Jeung
    • Marlene Brickman
    • Marvin Polynice
    • Mathieu Fenniak
    • Matina Kamdar
    • Maureen Pellettier
    • Melissa Sariffodeen
    • Mia Gaventa
    • Mica Brdar
    • Michael Jackson
    • Michael Berg
    • Michael Saver
    • Michael Sawdon
    • Michelle Fenn
    • Michelle Dizon
    • Mio Yamanaka
    • Miruna Dumitrascu
    • Mohammad Mostafa
    • Muniba Suhail
    • Murtaza Hazari
    • Nancy Konopinsky
    • Nicola Rodriguez-Demers
    • Oluwafunmito Adesanya
    • Palwasha Ghani
    • Paul Fitzsimons
    • Peter Goudie
    • Priya Mehta
    • Priya Ajay
    • Qiliang Zhou
    • Reece Markowsky
    • Renata Delaney
    • Richard Kettlewell
    • Ricky Leung
    • Robin Mitra
    • Rocky Hu
    • Romina Julian
    • Ross Avner
    • Russell Gagnon
    • Ryan Sebenius
    • Ryan Murphy
    • Samer Buitrago Masri
    • Samuel Schantz
    • Samuel Jia Khai Lee
    • Sara Falconer
    • Sarah Kamdar
    • Sarah Chun
    • Scot Croft
    • Scott Stubberfield
    • Shamie Jegan
    • Shaunaugh Whelan
    • Shu Zhang
    • Sooraj Shajahan
    • Soufiane Amanzoul
    • Stephanie DeHoog
    • Steven Luscher
    • Tania Ortega
    • Tatianna Skara
    • Taylor Tripp
    • Tei Lee
    • Terrence Donnelly
    • Thomas Leigh
    • Tiffany Jung
    • Tom Lester
    • Tom Covo
    • Tuomas Maanonen
    • Veronica Lalonde
    • Viacheslav Bielkin
    • Vladimir Nachbaur
    • Wei-Lun Chen
    • Wenyuan Shen
    • William Feth
    • Xiang Bao
    • Yasasa Abeysirigoonawardena
    • Yitian Cauthen
    • Yueyue Zhang
    • Zac Beemer
    • Zexing Zhan
    • Zhongyue Chen


Our Board of Directors

  • Lisa Cole

    Director of Programming, K2I Academy
  • Julia Druzic

    Senior Manager, KPMG
  • Alison Leung

    Head of Marketing, Canada, Shopify
  • Jeff Szeto

    CFO of Avana Capital & Maytree Foundation/ Lead Investor for ACS Ventures
  • Emily Walsh

    Lead Investor, Georgian Partners
  • Breanna Hughes

    (Past Board Member), Co-Founder & COO, The Bird & Be Co. Twitter
  • Boris Wertz

    (Past Board Member), Managing Partner, VersionOne Ventures Twitter
  • Justin LaFayette

    (Past Board Member), Partner, Georgian Partners Twitter
  • Ben Zifkin

    (Past Board Member), CEO, Hubba Twitter

Ways to Give

Help us give people the skills and confidence to harness the power of technology to create a better and more inclusive future. We can only do it together!

Donate Today

The work we do wouldn’t be possible without the help of our amazing donors. Join our community of supporters and donate today!

Give a Gift of Securities

Not only will you be supporting the next generation of tech innovators, gifting your securities also means reducing your capital gains taxes by 100%.

Donate Cryptocurrency

Make a meaningful impact with your cryptocurrency. You can now easily donate your Bitcoin or Ether. Similar to non-crypto donations, you’ll receive a charitable tax receipt.

Pledge through Upside Foundation

Founders of early-stage, high-growth Canadian companies can pledge equity to Canada Learning Code, and join a community of like-minded entrepreneurs.

Become a Monthly Donor

Pledge your commitment by becoming a monthly donor today!

Become a Sponsor

We’re really grateful to the companies and organizations who appreciate what we’re doing and go out of their way to support us. Join our community of supporters and help to make what we do possible! Drop us a note.