Our Mission

Chrysalis provides personalized services to assist individuals with disabilities achieve their employment, volunteer and recreation goals.


Our Vision

People with disabilities are accepted by and included in society for their abilities to contribute, and have the same rights and privileges as all citizens.


Brief History of Chrysalis

Parents and community members realized that adults with disabilities deserved equal opportunities to contribute to their communities, so in 1968, the Industrial Research and Training Centre (IRTC) was created as a Canadian centennial project under the University of Alberta’s direction. One of the first of its kind in the world—an agency that planned for training adults with developmental disabilities to produce manufactured goods using automated machinery, IRTC offered individuals alternatives to staying in school or being inactive in their residential settings.

In 1972, IRTC separated itself from the University of Alberta and became the Western Industrial Research and Training Centre (WIRTC), a non-profit society operated by a volunteer Board of Directors.

In 1992, the name changed to Chrysalis.

In 2018, Chrysalis celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Chrysalis continues to advocate community inclusion and uses a human-centered approach in delivering personalized services to assist thousands of people with
disabilities in receiving coaching and training to become their best selves as they develop life and vocational skills, find employment, discover volunteer opportunities and realize a better quality of life.

Chrysalis in the Community

At Chrysalis we believe it is essential to ensure the individuals whom we serve are valued members of the community in which we live. Chrysalis has created numerous partnerships in Edmonton and Calgary (and surrounding areas) that have opened their doors to allow our service individuals to participate in a variety of activities. For those individuals participating in our Community Endeavours (CE) stream, a number of different volunteer and recreational options are available. Each week, our service individuals will volunteer their time at local hospitals, health centers and non-profit organizations throughout the community. Recreation opportunities include swimming, bowling and dancing. Along with the community sites, service individuals in CE also participate in a wide variety of in-house programming located within the Chrysalis facilities in both Edmonton and Calgary. Our programs are always evolving at the request of those whom we serve to ensure they are receiving the highest quality programming and having fun while doing so.

Our Employment Services option is committed to assisting our service individuals reach their goal of securing paid employment positions. The course includes Personal Development to develop some of the essential skills needed to support their search for employment while providing a safe, nurturing environment which allows for personal growth and self-esteem building. Supported employment is established as are long standing relationships with several employers in the community. The focus of many of the clients is to now seek out employment opportunities independently, with necessary support, to pursue their interests for their career.


Friends of Chrysalis

Investing in inclusive communities benefits us all. Chrysalis could not accomplish our goals without the support, involvement and enthusiasm of our incredible support network. 

Thank you to our community supporters.

Chrysalis Society Board

Charitable Foundation Board

Message from our CEO

Lynn Groves Hautmann

Welcome to Chrysalis and its team of staff who are dedicated to the provision of quality services and programs for people with disabilities.

The Chrysalis motto of Change, Growth, and Opportunity is ever present in our minds as we work with individuals and their families and assist them in identifying and achieving their employment, volunteer and recreational goals. Diversity at all levels within our organization helps us live and be true to that motto every day.

Staff members from over 16 different countries and cultures bring richness to our work with individuals with intellectual disabilities — many of whom also have complex and challenging medical and behavioural traits.

We are a registered charity and not-for-profit organization that also runs a successful Woods and Plastics manufacturing business that provides support for our programs and services. We also continuously seek opportunities in response to changing and challenging economic times.

The positive interactions between the organization, the businesses, our community partnerships, families, and clients allow us to continue to provide a diverse set of programs and services to meet the wide range of strengths, talents, interests and abilities of the individuals whom we serve and help our clients experience a well-lived life which is what I believe we all strive for.

A strong strategic plan developed by the Chrysalis Society Board and senior executive team guides the work of Chrysalis and sets the stage for the annual operational plan which identifies the four key strategies and projected outcomes for the organization. Individual management, supervisory and administrative work plans are developed to support the organization’s goals and projected outcomes.

At the heart of the work and ‘Spirit of Chrysalis’ is an authentic human-centered approach to working with individuals and their families, and along with this comes the need for clear position descriptions and work plans about the role, responsibilities and expectations for staff as they work with Chrysalis clients. This in turn has an impact on all other areas of the organization, and how we work together.

The Human Centered Design (HCD) approach that is being implemented with the individuals whom we serve and their families outlines their hopes, dreams, abilities, and life goals. It is important that this plan is updated monthly to reflect what we as staff have done to facilitate the development of our clients as we help them reach their potential.

As an organization we are committed to ensuring healthy transparent communication within Chrysalis – this requires a commitment from each and every one of us.

Our personalized approach also applies to how we view each other, our uniqueness, skills, talents and abilities all of which we need to honour and celebrate as we work as an integrated team of professionals.

The individuals whom we are here to serve rely on each of us to help them achieve a well-lived life. The attitude and approach we bring to our work each day affects our clients in a profound and meaningful way.

It is the potential we see in each of these individuals that drives us to celebrate their abilities as we focus on their inclusion into our communities through their employment, volunteer and/or recreational activities. It is important that we remind ourselves of that purpose each and every day, and while ‘our work is not always valued by everyone it is valued by someone.’

To be successful in this sector – that is to say, to truly assist an individual with disabilities to achieve their personal dream and fulfill their potential, demands a concentrated intentional focus every day to work in the most creative effective way possible tuning into our own gifts and talents and sharing them with the people around us.

Welcome to Chrysalis.

Click Here to download our 2019-2022 Strategic Plan.

Jerome Babyn
President and CEO