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Our Vision
A community that lives out its shared values daily and is committed to intentionally promoting character.
Our Mission
To inspire and strengthen our community through the integration of its shared values.
#CharacterInAbby >>
Have you seen or experienced something inspirational in our community? Email us.
#CharacterInAbby >>
"We were moved by the outpouring of love and support during a tragic event at our school this past year. We are so thankful to be part of the Abbotsford family."

~ The MEI Team
Who We Are >>
Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Empathy, Courage and Service have the potential to be felt at the core of every human being, no matter who you are or what your background is.
<< Who We Are >>
Our Job, simply put is to encourage these values in our citizens which at the end of the day leads to smart, heart-centred choices and smart, heart-centred actions. It’s that easy.
<< Who We Are
We are not the character police, here to judge, tied to any religious or political group or here to pressure people to be perfect. Rather, how we live out our imperfections says a lot about our character.
Two Major Initiatives >>
Character Canada Conference
Website | 2015 Video

BC Schools of Character Network
<< Two Major Initiatives >>
Character Canada Conference
Website | 2015 Video

Canada's 2nd national conference on character will be held in Abbotsford, BC on Oct. 20th, 2017. Contact Rob Comeau or Gina Vanderheide for more info.
<< Two Major Initiatives
BC Schools of Character Network

The 4th Youth Forum was hosted at the University of the Fraser Valley in 2017 with nearly 300 students in attendance. Contact Cam Friesen or Jory Smallenberg for more info.
How It Works >>
Inspire Your People!
Share your personal passions around the importance of operating with character regularly. Invite inspirational speakers into your organization and provide opportunities for your staff to visit other inspirational organizations.
<< How It Works >>
Identify Your Values!
Establish what good character will look like in your community:
1) Involve all key stakeholders, 2) Ensure that the process is open and all are welcome, 3) Strategically invite key leaders to join in
<< How It Works >>
Integrate Your Values!
Once you have identified your values, weave them in everywhere! Consider developing a group that will lead the charge to intentionally promote your values within your organization.
<< How It Works
Post The Logo!
Post this logo and direct traffic back to

Need help? Contact us
History of the Movement >>
In Abbotsford, the character movement began in the year 2006 when the then Superintendent, School Board Chair and a Vice Principal attended York Regional District's Character Conference in Toronto, Ontario; a Canadian Community of Character.
<< History of the Movement >>
After a presentation to the Board of Education was enthusiastically embraced and fully supported, the seeds of this movement began to grow in our own community.
<< History of the Movement >>
A landmark event took place on April 26th, 2011. Leaders from across the city of Abbotsford met to establish a common language that would guide the character movement. Six foundational values were agreed upon: Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Empathy, Courage, & Service.
<< History of the Movement >>
The next exciting chapter began with the belief that when every person and organization teaches, models, and promotes good character, it will be reflected in our children, youth, and in every part of our community.
<< History of the Movement >>
Over the course of the next year, the Abbotsford Character Council met four times. 'Abbotsford City of Character' was established as a society, a logo was created, and numerous presentations were made successfully enrolling community organizations to be part of this movement.
<< History of the Movement >>
In 2012/2013 four major events were launched: a Youth Forum, City of Heroes Awards Ceremony, Speaker Series hosted by the Mayor, and a Leadership Summit on Character.
<< History of the Movement >>
Abbotsford City of Character was also nominated for a Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Award and was the winner of a Promising Practices Award from Character Education Partnership in Washington, DC.
<< History of the Movement >>
At the AGM in September 2014, the Character Council approved a name and logo change as well as a new strategic plan. The Board of Directors worked together to develop these additions and changes over a period of 5 months. As a result, 'Character Abbotsford' was launched!
<< History of the Movement >>
In October of 2015, another groundbreaking event took place in Abbotsford, B.C. Canadians came together to 'Ignite Conversation' on character. The first Character Canada Conference was held with 300 attendees from BC, Alberta, & Ontario. Video here.
<< History of the Movement
Fall of 2016 marked the launch of the organization's first Lead Team allowing the elected board to move to a governance role. The key focus areas moving forward: the BC Schools of Character Network & Youth Forum and the Character Canada Conference.
Character Council >>
Allan Asaph
E.D., Chamber of Commerce

Shelly Avram
RDM Lawyers

Les Barkman
City Councillor
<< Character Council >>
Sir James Barlow
Bell Mobility

Don Beer
Fire Chief

Henry Braun
<< Character Council >>
Kelly Chahal
City Councillor

Rob Comeau
Principal, Abby Senior

Carla Danielsson
Assistant Superintendent, SD34
<< Character Council >>
Ingrid Epp
Director, The Reach Galley

Joanne Field

Cameron Friesen
Principal, Prince Charles Elem.
<< Character Council >>
Shawn Good
CEO, Prospera

Jody Gordon
Vice President, UFV

Nova Hopkins
Graphic Artist
<< Character Council >>
Shairose Jinnah
Director, Community Services

Erin Klassen-Parkes
Controller, Valley Pulp & Sawdust

Vijay Manuel
Head of Schools, MEI
<< Character Council >>
Mike Novakowski
Staff Sgt., Abby Police

Bev Olfert
E.D., Abby Youth Commission

Stan Petersen
Trustee, SD34
<< Character Council >>
Jake Rudolph
Deputy City Manager

Jatinder Sidhu
Member of Parliament

Julius Siebenga
E.D., Abby Christian Schools
<< Character Council
Jory Smallenberg
UBC Student

Gina Vanderheide
Owner, Fieldhouse Brewery

Fran Vanderpol
Vanderpol Food Group
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