The Gentle Teaching philosophy has such a unique meaning and purpose in everyone’s life

Recipient of Outstanding Fieldwork Agency Award

On Thursday, March 16, 2023, COR proudly received the Outstanding Fieldwork Agency Award at the University of Regina’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies 10th Annual Alumni and Awards Dinner.


Did you know COR has hosted over 20 UofR fieldwork students the past few years!?! We are thankful for our partnership and proud of all the students whom we have had the privilege of hosting!


Receiving the award on COR’s behalf was Ben Morris, Creative Director and Fieldwork Supervisor. In the words of Ben:

“It is my absolute pleasure to be able to be here and accept this award and acknowledgement on behalf of COR today! 

My name is Ben Morris and I am the Creative Director at Creative Options Regina. We support folks experiencing disability in our city to live a life that they choose, rather than one that is prescribed to them. Though the work we do and our approach to care is profound and different, I want to spend a the rest of my time acknowledging the people who help us do some of the mould breaking work that we do. The students.

Who helped COR develop a relationship with the City of Regina’s paratransit program that assists people wishing to transition from paratransit transportation to conventional City of Regina transit- a student did that – Will P. did that.

Who helped lay the groundwork for a financial literacy program specifically made for people experiencing disabilities – a student did that. Leo S. did that.

Who helped nurture a budding DJ’s musical ambitions and not only helped him create his own music, but also taught him to spin his own tracks on a real turn table – AND THEN two Years later collaborated with him again to play a real paid gig – a student did that. Kyle D. and Jordan W. did that.

Who helped me keep the lights on and create virtual programming for 250+ people to do while they were stuck in their homes during the pandemic? Students did that – Zoha M., Saad S., Loki S., Abby G., and Hanna H. did that!

And who helped raise all of these programs from the ashes once the pandemic ended? Students did that. Gowtham P., Amr E., and Ahmad H. did that.


Who helped me write this incredible speech?

A student did that.

When I think about a student’s time with us, whether short or long, I think about a bridge. This bridge that you build is a gateway to your future. But one of my favorite things that just organically seems to happen is that you invite us to come along with you on your journey across that bridge. Sometimes you stay with us through employment, but sometimes you become Doctors, or you build your own yoga studios. By inviting us across this bridge with you, you’re helping open up our world and make the spaces we frequent a little safer and a little brighter. We are now known and seen by you! You share in our stories and we in yours.

Team – It’s an honor to be here, but it’s a greater honor to share this acknowledgement with you – students.

Thank you for sharing your time with us!”


Meet Our COR Family: Dillon Schmidt

Hi. I’m Dillon! I began as a support on the adult side of COR in 2018. Approximately six months after starting, I was approached to join a new team on the youth side. I jumped at the opportunity and within that team, went from support to Key Support to Team Leader. I spent a little over a year as a Team Leader before taking a three-month parental leave. When I returned from leave in June 2022, I stepped into my current role which is a Youth Experience Advisor. My main role is capacity building within the youth teams. I work directly with supports to help build competence and confidence both as individual supports and as a collective team. I work with everyone from new hires to Team Leaders to accomplish this goal. I have also recently become a trainer for multiple pieces of training and workshops. I became a certified ASIST trainer in the fall of 2022. I also created an FASD workshop with the goal of filling what I perceived as an organizational knowledge gap. I’ve begun facilitating both and will be quite busy with them in 2023! Unlike most people in COR, I was not referred by a friend or family member. I wanted an organizational switch while still staying in the same field of work and happened upon COR in my search!

It has long been a goal of mine to become a training facilitator. In the fall of 2021, I was offered the opportunity to enroll in an online university certificate class centered around FASD. I did so with the goal of creating an FASD workshop to be disseminated within the organization. With the class and my parental leave completed, I was then able to create the workshop from the ground up. While I’ve only facilitated it a couple of times, I’ve received very positive feedback thus far and look forward to sharing my knowledge further in 2023. Additionally, I was also given the opportunity to become a certified ASIST trainer. Again, I’ve only facilitated ASIST a couple of times at this point but I look forward to continuing on a journey toward a goal I’ve had for several years!

COR is not a traditional job, nor is it a traditional organization. The organizational culture is unlike anything I’ve experienced elsewhere. While we expect a lot from all of our support, hard work is always rewarded. Positions and promotions are merit-based and you can be assured that going “above and beyond” will be recognized in tangible ways.


Fun Facts about me!

My favourite book is the Black Company series by Glen Cook.

I’m the father of a 15-month-old girl so my free time is spent guiding and watching a human being form before my eyes. Her being hilariously entertaining at all times is just an added bonus for me!

Recognized as a Saskatchewan Top Employer (2023) for a 6th Year!

Developing skills and stronger organizations: ‘Saskatchewan’s Top Employers’ for 2023 are announced

Mediacorp Canada Inc.

Mar 14, 2023, 10:00 ET

REGINA, SK, March 14, 2023 /CNW/ – Saskatchewan employers are giving employees more choice over how to develop their own skills – and are creating stronger organizations in the process. That’s the message from this year’s Saskatchewan’s Top Employers, announced this morning by Mediacorp Canada Inc., organizers of the annual Canada’s Top 100 Employers project.

“It’s no surprise that employees who are given the freedom and support needed to feel confident in their roles are most likely to pursue training courses and other work-related avenues to upgrade their skills,” says Kristina Leung, managing editor at the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. “By empowering staff to choose how best to develop professionally, employers benefit by having a more qualified workforce.”

This year’s winners have created avenues for personal growth for employees, offering the support and flexibility employees need to further their overall wellness and be active members of local communities. With benefits such as mental health coverage, wellness-related programming, and incentives for volunteering, employees are encouraged to pursue resources and causes that are close to their hearts.

“By providing employees with the resources needed to pursue programs and initiatives that are personally important, these employers are encouraging employees to become their best selves,” says Leung. “This translates to greater personal and professional fulfillment for employees, extending beyond the work they do”.

Some of the initiatives singled out by the editors at this year’s winners include:

  • Andgo Systems allows employees to dedicate up to four hours each week for their own professional development, ensuring they can pursue personal and career-related growth; activities can include industry or professional conferences and events, courses, and books.

  • SaskTel hosts an employee resource group of Indigenous employees, the ‘SaskTel Aboriginal Employee Network’ (SAEN), who act as ambassadors to educate and support SaskTel employees regarding the significance and diversity of Indigenous cultures.

  • Canpotex adopted a hybrid work program that includes a monthly hybrid work allowance of $250, which can be used for home office expenses (such as internet) or transportation costs of traveling to and from work; additionally, employees may request to work remotely from another location in Canada up to four weeks each year.

  • Saskatoon-based Flaman Sales has been helping local charities through the Frank J. Flaman Foundation since 2005; the company solicits employee feedback when determining charities to support and encourages employees to get involved with paid time off to volunteer.

  • Nutrien encourages skills development with generous tuition subsidies (to $5,000 annually) for employees to take outside courses, whether or not they are related to their current position; the company also offers extensive apprenticeship and trades programs and leadership development programs.

2023 Winners

Here are the 2023 winners of the Saskatchewan’s Top Employers competition. Click an employer name to read our editors’ full Reasons for Selection:

First published in 2006, Saskatchewan’s Top Employers is an annual competition organized by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. This special designation recognizes the Saskatchewan employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Editors at Mediacorp review employers on eight criteria, which have remained consistent since the project’s inception: (1) Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement. The editors publish detailed ‘reasons for selection’ for these criteria, providing transparency in the selection of winners and a catalogue of best practices for employers and job-seekers alike. The annual competition is open to any employer with its head office in Saskatchewan; employers of any size may apply, whether private- or public-sector.

Founded in 1992, Mediacorp Canada Inc. is the nation’s largest publisher of employment periodicals. Since 1999, the Toronto-based publisher has managed the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, which includes 18 regional and special-interest editorial competitions that reach millions of Canadians annually through a variety of magazine and newspaper partners, including The Globe and Mail. Mediacorp also operates, one of Canada’s largest job search engines, which reaches over two million job-seekers annually and features exclusive editorial reviews from the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project.

The full list of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers (2023) was announced today in a special magazine co-published with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and the Regina Leader-Post. Detailed reasons for selection for each of this year’s winners, as well as additional stories and photos, were released today by the editors and are accessible via the competition homepage.


SOURCE Mediacorp Canada Inc.

Everyone needs to feel safe, loved, loving, and engaged to grow and nurture their true spirit.

Meet Our COR Family: Kristyn White

Hi! I’m Kristyn, the Literacy Facilitator for Inclusion Regina/Creative Options Regina. I began my journey at COR as an undergraduate student at the University of Regina. Jim Temple came to one of my classes to talk to us about COR and the philosophy of Gentle Teaching, and before the class ended, I had already sent in my application. A few weeks later, I was hired as a Support Worker. As 2023 approaches, it will mark my 8th year with the organization! WOW, time flies, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the COR family still.

I was a Support Worker for several years and eventually transitioned into the role of Team Leader. During this time, I also began facilitating Tell It Like It Is – a sexual health and wellness initiative that COR offered. I became passionate about supporting the sexuality of people living with disabilities, and this led me to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Regina. Shortly after becoming a graduate student, I started my role as Literacy Facilitator! My role involves the development and facilitation of Inclusion Regina’s literacy initiatives. People with disabilities and those within their support networks deserve access to comprehensive, accurate information on sexual health, financial literacy, technology use, reading, and much more. The opportunity to connect with the people we serve and those in the community is the best part of my role!

I am incredibly proud of the growth I have experienced at COR, not just with my career but also with myself! I was in my early 20s when I started at COR, and when I turned 30 this year, I realized I have quite literally watched myself grow up with the organization. My experiences at COR have been invaluable. This past October, I had one of my proudest career moments when I helped to organize a Sexuality & Disability conference that COR, Inclusion Saskatchewan, and Saskatoon Sexual Health hosted in Regina. The conference featured presenters from Saskatchewan and Alberta, a self-advocate panel, and over 100 attendees who came to learn about supporting the sexuality of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The event was a first of its kind in our province, and I am still beaming with pride as I reflect on the day. I am so lucky that I get to work alongside colleagues who I not only admire and learn from but who also support me and my aspirations. I am excited to see where my role at COR takes me in the future!

Fun Facts about me:

I was born and raised in Regina, and although it might not be the warmest or most exciting city, it is home. I have always believed that where you are doesn’t matter; what matters is who you are with. Spending time with the people I love is what makes me the happiest! In my free time, you can find me at our family cabin at Moosomin Lake, up North in Waskesiu, or camping with my partner, Jon. I love to explore new places and am always down for an adventure or road trip. I am obsessed with our pets (Sienna and Luna), and if I am not at the lake, I am likely spending my time telling them how cute they are.

Here are some facts you may (or may not) know about me: I have been vegan for over five years and love to cook, I taught myself how to build outdoor furniture, I hate watching people brush their teeth, I drink too much diet coke, I always forget how to spell the word ‘definitely’, I was once on the same flight as Pamela Anderson, and I hope to one day own a cabin in the mountains!

I hope you learned something new about me! Come and say hi next time you are in the COR Studio!!

COR Recognized by Canadian HR Reporter: 5-Star Rewards and Recognition (2023)

On Wednesday, February 15th, 2023, COR was recognized by Canadian HR Reporter with 5-Star Rewards and Recognition (2023). We are honoured by this recognition as we strive to influence cultures of support within the developmental/caregiving sector across Canada. 
Read the below article published by Canadian HR Reporter.

5-Star Rewards & Recognition 2023

Reaping returns in a tight labour market

Employers that offer an attractive mix of rewards and recognition (R&R) will beat the odds and retain their valuable workers.

Attracting and retaining top talent, hybrid work, and building social capital has posed challenges for all industries. The winners of Canadian HR Reporter’s 5-Star Rewards & Recognition awards for 2023 recognize that putting people first is the best defense against corporate complacency.

“If we cater our rewards and recognition around creating experiences, employees become more engaged, and they want to work with you more because you’re giving them something they’re not finding elsewhere”
Tristan Kirk, Citadel Mortgages Tristan Kirk, Citadel Mortgages


An analysis of over 400 survey responses from employees at this year’s award-winning companies reveals that 91% of respondents indicate they are more likely to remain with their current company due to its respective R&R programs.

The hallmark of an industry-leading R&R program is that it exists to create a high-performing and engaged workforce, says HR consultant Jana Tulloch (HR Strategy | Tulloch Consulting).

“Sometimes, companies think rewards and recognition is a bit of a fluff program and that all it takes is gift cards or kudos once in a while,” Tulloch explains. “That approach is short-changing the significant impact a well-done program can have on the bottom line.”

This year’s top-ranking companies all clocked an overall employee satisfaction rating of 75% or higher, with three cracking 90%. The majority were between 80% and 89%.

Those figures are even more impressive in the context of Express Employment Professionals data that showed 75% of Canadian employers entered 2023 with fears over hiring challenges. The second biggest reason behind this fear is employees leaving to go elsewhere.

CHRR’s 2023 awardees have implemented a variety of innovative incentives, including monetary rewards, fully funded trips, learning opportunities, and rewards within the reach of everyone.


Elevating employee experience

Winner Citadel Mortgages in Toronto, Ont., achieved an overall employee satisfaction rating of 92.32%. One of its best-performing incentives rewards employees with a fully paid, five-day, four-night vacation to 65 different locations worldwide if they come back to work in the office.

About 20% of the full-service mortgage brokerage’s workforce are back in the building, says principal broker and managing partner Tristan Kirk. More experience-type rewards are on the way in 2023 for top performers, including a day in Ontario wine country, $500 hotel vouchers per quarter, and monthly spa packages.

“We launched it last year and the growth and the attention paid to that reward by my team was pretty cool to see,” Kirk adds. “If you take the time to listen and understand your people and build an experience for them in a way that’s meaningful, they’re going to be much, much happier and stay with you for a longer time.”

The Microsoft Work Trend Index Special Report, released in September 2022, found that 73% of workers and 78% of business decision makers say they need a better reason to go into the office than just company expectations.

“Where we’re headed in the next few years is that people want to experience things in life,” Kirk says. “People are tired, they’re stressed. If we cater our rewards and recognition around creating experiences, employees become more engaged, and they want to work with you more because you’re giving them something they’re not finding elsewhere.”

“Some of the feedback we heard from people who were making moves was not because they were unhappy, but because they wanted greater challenge”
Laura Salvatore, Centurion Asset Management Laura Salvatore, Centurion Asset Management


Satisfying employees’ thirst for challenge

Fellow award-winner Centurion Asset Management stepped up to help its frontline workers with a new recognition bonus based solely on appreciation and gratitude.

The Toronto-based asset management company, which owns and operates residential and student rental housing, topped up frontline employees’ weekly wages by $100 and offered a $500 per month rental concession to staff who work and live in its properties.

Frontline staff include property and resident managers, leasing agents, maintenance technicians, and custodians.

“It was easy enough to say everyone at head office pack up and work from home, but our site staff live and work at home, so this was a challenge for them,” says Laura Salvatore, Centurion vice-president, human capital, about the early days of lockdowns.

Employee excellence, innovation, and commitment to continuous learning are also acknowledged and rewarded with a mix of gifts, cash, public recognition, and promotion.

It’s a smart move when you consider that Microsoft’s study data shows that people will head for the door if they can’t learn and grow: 56% of employees and 68% of business decision makers say there are not enough growth opportunities in their company to make them want to stay long-term.

To encourage its employees to thrive within the organization, Centurion launched its namesake learning academy. Since being implemented during the pandemic, 207 employees have completed 1,500 training hours from about 4,000 different modules, with 143 rewards given out.

“Some of the feedback we heard from people who were making moves was not because they were unhappy, but because they wanted greater challenge,” Salvatore says. “In the last five years, we have promoted 114 people internally, so that’s really exciting for us.”

A new award tied to Centurion’s values of respect, integrity, simplicity, and excellence, known by the acronym RISE, recognizes an exemplary peer-nominated employee each quarter with a small monetary award and a feature profile in the company newsletter.

“Throughout the pandemic we learned communication was key, and that goes two ways,” says Salvatore. “There’s nothing more valuable than listening to your employees, listening to how they want to be rewarded, how they want to be recognized.”

“I think it’s better if people celebrate together what they accomplish without bringing people up and creating an example that sort of shows why others aren’t measuring up”
Michael McCullough, Improving – Calgary  Michael McCullough, Improving – Calgary


Strength in the collective

CHRR’s survey results show that 100% of employees at the Calgary office of IT services firm, Improving, are likely to stay with the company based on its R&R programs.

Employees, or ‘Improvers’ as they’re referred to in company culture, receive personal ‘thank you’ cards written by leadership and public recognition of their achievements and impact made within Improving and the community. They also benefit from annual profit sharing and an internal gratitude channel exclusively for thanks and recognition.

But perhaps more importantly for president Michael McCullough, is the firm’s Employee Involvement Program (EIP), a praise, recognition, and reward solution that allows “everyone to feel like they’re winning”.

The EIP is the employee’s own record of involvement, engagement, and contribution for all leadership to see. The management team tracks employee involvement across different categories such as business development, initiatives, culture and community, and a monetary award is paid out quarterly as well as recognition for their engagement.

“The EIP is important and meaningful,” explains McCullough. “With most companies, what you’ve done lives with the leader you’re reporting to, but the EIP system is the employee’s own record of what they’ve been doing and their contributions back. I always look for ways that everyone can feel they’re being successful.”

McCullough believes the strongest programs reward and recognize collective effort.

“I think it’s better if people celebrate together what they accomplish without bringing people up and creating an example that sort of shows why others aren’t measuring up, which can be what happens in many cases,” he says. “This is my own strange view of the world and a lot of people don’t see it this way, they believe it will inspire others to work harder. I think it’s more demotivating than motivating.”

ScaleX founder and CEO Maysa Hawwash (HR Consulting Agency in Toronto | ScaleX | Accelerate Your Growth), whose firm provides wide-ranging HR consultancy services, warns firms against not tailoring their R&R in a bespoke fashion.

“Every employee is different in the way that they want to be recognized, what works for some may not be appreciated as much by others,” she adds.


5-Star Rewards & Recognition 2023

Company size: 1-299 employees

  • Canola Council of Canada
  • Citadel Mortgages
  • Improving
  • Paystone
  • Verico Xeva Mortgage
  • WorkTango


Company size: 300-499 employees

  • CAAT Pension Plan
  • Centurion Asset Management
  • Creative Options Regina


Company size: 500+ employees

  • BDO Canada
  • Canada Cartage


Canadian HR Reporter’s 5-Star Rewards & Recognition (R&R) entry process comprised two steps: an employer submission followed by an employee survey. Twenty-one organizations applied by completing an in-depth survey that detailed such things as a programs it initiated over the last two years to better recognize and reward employees.

Companies successful in the submission phase were then sent a link to an online employee survey to be circulated internally. The survey, which ran from October 12 to 30, 2022, asked employees to rate their employer across a range of metrics that constituted drivers of employee satisfaction. In total, 653 responses were received from employees of the various organizations.

To be named to the 5-Star R&R list, companies had to meet a minimum number of responses based on size: 10 responses for organizations with 1–99 employees, 20 responses for those with 100–499, and 50 responses from companies with 500+ employees.

Organizations that achieved an overall employee satisfaction rating of at least 75% were recognized as 5-Star awardees.

Click to view article online.

Kevin- Meet the COR family

Meet Our COR Family: Kevin Mclean

Hi, I’m Kevin! I am a Home Team Leader! I have been a part of the COR family for four and a half years! I first heard about COR when one of my friends was previously a member of the board of directors. I started at COR as a home support and then after a year and a half, I moved on to support within COR’s Supported Living Program for another year and a half! I was then approached to apply for an aspiring team lead position which I ended up getting! After one year of learning and supporting, I was offered the role of Team Leader! I have also been an encourager at the studio and a facilitator for a roleplaying group for Dungeons and Dragons!

My favourite part of COR has to be my encourager position at the studio! It was just so much fun! My proudest moment was helping Michael and Peter, old roommates and friends that had a falling out, to start talking and going out together to events. If I had any advice for people who are interested in joining the COR family, I would have to say to come in with an open mind and an open heart!

Fun Facts about me:

  • My favourite series of books is The Legend of Drizzt by R.A Salvatore! I am on book 38 of the series.

My favourite quote is “All right, All right, all right” Matthew McConaughey, Dazed and Confused.

  • My son also started supporting at COR
  • In my spare time, I love to play games! Video, board games, and tabletop miniature games.