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Grants

This is an outstanding city.
But you don't just take.
You've got to build.

Fran Deacon

Wife of the late Fraser Deacon,
Founder of Toronto Foundation

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These are discretionary grants made by the Toronto Foundation from our Vital Toronto Fund. For a full list of grants, including our Donor Advised Funds, please see our annual report.

Showing of grants.
GRANTEE PROGRAM NAME FOCUS AREA YEAR AMOUNT
Not Far From The Tree Not Far From The Tree Vital Ideas, Leadership 2017 $46,500
DESCRIPTION:

Not Far From The Tree (NFFTT) mobilizes volunteers to pick, collect, and share fruit from trees across Toronto. The fruit is divided into thirds and distributed to the tree owner, the volunteers, and to community organizations in need, like food banks and shelters, strengthening community connectedness and food security at the local level. This year, NFFTT is expanding and evolving their programming to new neighbourhoods in response to requests from the inner-suburbs.

Not Far From The Tree is trusteed by Tides Canada Initiative.

WEBSITE:
Matthew House Refugee Reception Services Mock Refugee Hearing Program (Expansion) Vital Ideas, Leadership 2017 $50,000
DESCRIPTION:

Matthew House runs three homes in Toronto for newly arrived refugee claimants who would otherwise be homeless. In addition to safe shelter, Matthew House provides nutritious meals, orientation to life in Canada, settlement into permanent accommodation, and help with the complex process of making a refugee claim in Canada. This year, Matthew House is expanding its Mock Refugee Hearing program. The program works with volunteer lawyers, retired immigration adjudicators and others to ensure that refugee claimants understand the system and are properly prepared by performing simulations of the hearing in a realistic environment.

WEBSITE:
UHN OpenLab Oasis T.O. - A New Model of Seniors' Social Living Vital Ideas, Leadership 2017 $50,000
DESCRIPTION:

The University Health Network (UHN)’s OpenLab has been experimenting with new ways to improve healthcare for complex patients since 2009. OpenLab uses the entire health system itself as its laboratory, bringing together clinicians, patients, researchers, designers, policymakers, and ­lawmakers to tackle pressing issues at the intersection of health and society. OpenLab is currently working on a healthy living project to bring a wildly successful model, started in Kingston, Ontario, for senior independent living and senior-led programming to Toronto.

UHN OpenLab is trusteed by Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation.

WEBSITE:
The Stop Community Food Centre Building Social Cohesion in Toronto - One Volunteer at a Time Vital Ideas, Leadership 2017 $50,000
DESCRIPTION:

Beginning its operations as one of Canada’s ­first food banks, The Stop has evolved over the years to provide not only drop-in meals, a food bank, and community kitchens and gardens, but also perinatal and family support, and effective civic engagement programs for marginalized and socially isolated people in the Davenport West and Christie/St. Clair areas. The Stop’s innovative social inclusion model has program participants and non-participant volunteers working side-by-side to grow food, cook meals and build community. After a recent evaluation, The Stop is improving their volunteers’ experience by more deeply embedding anti-oppression/anti-racism into their programs.

WEBSITE:
Visions of Science Network for Learning Community STEM Clubs: The Development of the STEM Community Leaders Program Vital Ideas, Leadership 2017 $49,600
DESCRIPTION:

Visions of Science Network for Learning advances the educational achievements and career aspirations of youth from low-income, racialized, and marginalized communities across the GTHA through meaningful engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fi­elds and research. They provide free, on-going opportunities for youth who commonly fall through the cracks of the education system to access fun, hands-on STEM learning. As requests for programming in new neighbourhoods grow, the organization is evaluating expansion into at least six new communities.

WEBSITE:
imagineNATIVE imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival Vital Ideas, Leadership 2017 $50,000
DESCRIPTION:

The world’s largest Indigenous fi­lm festival, Toronto-based imagineNATIVE creates a greater understanding of Indigenous peoples and cultures through contemporary Indigenous-made media art. Between festivals, imagineNATIVE screens its ­films in multi-ethnic community centres across the GTA and supports Indigenous artists through workshops, commissions and mentorship.

WEBSITE:
Distress Centres of Toronto Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Training Vital Ideas, Leadership 2017 $47,965
DESCRIPTION:

Distress Centres is the oldest suicide prevention agency in Canada. Through a team of highly trained volunteers, they deliver mental health support services and provide high impact crisis intervention by telephone, online, and text. Distress Centres clients are facing increasingly complex mental health challenges. As a result, Distress Centres is incorporating Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), a leading psychotherapeutic approach, into their treatment model.

WEBSITE:
The Laneway Project Building Capacity to Reach New and Diverse Communities Vital Ideas, Leadership 2017 $42,680
DESCRIPTION:

The Laneway Project helps improve Toronto’s 2,400 laneways, including supporting local residents to beautify their laneways, adding greenery, hosting community events, addressing lighting, safety, and housing issues, and consulting with the City on laneway-friendly policies. Improved laneways provide new spaces for communities to interact, move through the neighbourhood, and create local pride. Recently, The Laneway Project worked with Ramsden Park Road residents and businesses to develop a master plan to catalyze the space’s transformation.

The Laneway Project is trusteed by Canadian Urban Institute.

WEBSITE:
Lumacare Strategy for Older LGBT Adults Vital Ideas 2016 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:

Lumacare provides support for seniors and their families at eight unique service locations across North York, through a range of over 15 essential programs and services. Lumacare is conducting research to identify current gaps and develop and deliver staff training workshops and toolkits to allow it and its partners to better support LGBTQ seniors.

WEBSITE:
Eva's Initiatives for Homeless Youth Phoenix Education Program 101 Vital Ideas 2016 $29,000
DESCRIPTION:

Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth is a sector leader in serving homeless youth from its three facilities across Toronto. Documenting and sharing the successes of its rapidly growing Eva’s Education program and creating program materials will help the organization build bench strength across the organization.

This grant was made possible with support from KPMG through the Vital Impact: Vital Toronto program.

WEBSITE:
Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) Youth Housing Rights Program Vital Ideas 2016 $29,000
DESCRIPTION:

The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) promotes housing and human rights by educating individuals and communities, advancing inclusive housing law and policy, and providing legal information and services to marginalized peoples. Evaluating and documenting curriculum, conducting research in community legal education and arts facilitation, and updating communications materials will allow the organization to expand its youth program.

This grant was made possible with support from the Peter and Elizabeth Morgan Fund.

WEBSITE:
Frontier College Beat the Street Vital Ideas 2016 $26,595
DESCRIPTION:

Frontier College provides volunteer tutoring and support to people from all walks of life – from adults in the workplace, street-involved youth, Indigenous people, to prison inmates, people with disabilities, and newcomers to Canada. Researching the short- and long-term program impact and reviewing program infrastructure and process will ensure that the organization is meeting the evolving needs of the youth supported through its Beat the Streets program.

This grant was made possible with support from the Art Eggleton Fund, the John and Jocelyn Barford Family Foundation, the Michelle Tannenbaum Fund, the Sedbergh School Fund, the Tony and Caley Taylor Family Fund, and the Townsend Family Foundation.

WEBSITE:
VIBE Arts for Children & Youth Community Sharing Arts Education Vital Ideas 2016 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:

VIBE Arts for Children & Youth engages young people living in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods in high-quality and accessible arts educational programs. Building a new website, including participant created podcasts and webinars, and providing other web-based teaching resources for free will help the organization better promote their Community Sharing Program that engages young people in social change and skills development.

This grant was made possible with support from the Griggs Family Foundation and an anonymous Fund.

WEBSITE:
St. Stephen's Community House Peer Worker Program Vital Ideas 2016 $28,000
DESCRIPTION:

St. Stephen's Community House is a multi-service, not-for-profit organization that works with individuals and communities to identify, prevent, and alleviate social and economic problems. Documenting, adapting, and replicating their innovative and effective peer worker model will position the organization to support social infrastructure in communities across Toronto.

WEBSITE:
RISE Edutainment Open Mic Mondays Vital Ideas 2016 $25,000
DESCRIPTION:

R.I.S.E. (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere) Edutainment creates a platform for local performing artists to express themselves in a positive way through vocal performing arts, something the founder felt his community was lacking. Building organizational infrastructure, developing a governance structure, and creating advertising strategies, and evaluation systems will support the organization’s burgeoning growth.

This grant was made possible with support from the Michelle Tannenbaum Fund.

R.I.S.E. is trusteed by VIBE Arts for Children & Youth.

WEBSITE:
WoodGreen Foundation Rites of Passage Vital Ideas 2016 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:

WoodGreen Foundation is a one-stop service provider where clients can access holistic social services to address the multiple barriers they may face. Creating a comprehensive theory of change model will lay the ground work to expand the Rites of Passage program that helps young people develop foundational leadership skills, confidence, and purpose to help them succeed.

WEBSITE:
The Remix Project 10 Year Anniversary Project Vital Ideas 2016 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:

The Remix Project is a youth-led, urban arts and culture organization focused on supporting the individual while building a strong and healthy community. Carrying out evaluation activities to update and strengthen its outreach and communications will allow the organization to better understand and articulate its programming impact on participants.

WEBSITE:
Sistering - A Woman's Place Social Enterprises Vital Ideas 2016 $29,250
DESCRIPTION:

Sistering – A Woman’s Place is a community-based, multi-service organization serving women by providing services to those who are low-income, homeless, and marginalized. Evaluating baseline activities of its two social enterprises, conducting a feasibility study, and building a business plan will position the organization to expand the model.

This grant was made possible with support from the Patricia J. Fleming (FBG) Fund.

WEBSITE:
Daily Bread Food Bank Engagement and Empowerment Project Vital Ideas 2016 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:

Daily Bread Food Bank engages in front-line research and collaborates across sectors for policy change and to increase public awareness about hunger in Toronto in addition to providing food. Creating a program toolkit will allow the organization to codify practices and procedures of its new service delivery model, develop terms of reference and formal governance procedures, and create an evaluation framework for its Volunteer Action Committees.

This grant was made possible with support from the John and Jocelyn Barford Family Foundation and the Tony and Caley Taylor Family Fund.

WEBSITE:
CultureLink Settlement Services How to Create MOOC's Vital Ideas 2016 $28,200
DESCRIPTION:

CultureLink Settlement Services is a leader amongst Toronto’s newcomer service providers. Designing and delivering a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) to train other not-for-profit organizations to create their own MOOCs will increase the sector’s capacity in needs-driven, outcomes-oriented online training and services.

WEBSITE:
FoodShare Toronto Good Food Café Vital Ideas 2016 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:

FoodShare Toronto works on food issues "from field to table" – focusing on the entire system that puts food on our tables. Conducting and analyzing research will help the organization improve program impact measurement and develop materials to share their replicable, scalable solutions to providing access to affordable, healthy school food.

This grant was made possible with support from the Brown-Nusbaum Family Fund.

WEBSITE:
Covenant House Toronto Toronto Urban Response Model for Sex Trafficking Vital Ideas 2016 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:

Covenant House Toronto is Canada’s largest homeless youth organization and helps approximately 3,000 young people each year move from a life on the street to a life with a future. Formalizing and expanding its Toronto Urban Response Model for Sex Trafficking program will help the organization better understand and articulate its impact to date through formal best practice research and resource development.

This grant was made possible with support from the Brown-Nusbaum Family Fund and an anonymous Fund.

WEBSITE:
Small Change Fund Crowd Funding Resource Project Vital Ideas 2016 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:

Small Change Fund improves the health and resilience of communities across Canada by strengthening the capacity of people and organizations working at the community level to protect the environment, live sustainably, and gain a voice in their own future. Formalizing and scaling their work in crowdfunding through the development of a Leader Coaching Toolkit will help community leaders more effectively plan and implement successful crowdfunding campaigns.

WEBSITE:
Malvern Family Resource Centre Grow 42 Vital Ideas 2016 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:

Malvern Family Resource Centre is a multi-service community organization committed to strengthening families and individuals, through inclusive and effective services for children, youth, women, seniors, and families in the community. Researching community governance models, creating a strategic plan, building a mentorship network, and conducting project evaluation will build the Action for Neighbourhood Change program’s capacity.

This grant was made possible with support from the Michelle Tannenbaum Fund.

WEBSITE:
Toronto Artscape Artscape Communities Impact Initiative Vital Ideas 2016 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:

Toronto Artscape Foundation catalyzes and anchors creative communities in neighbourhoods across Toronto by clustering artists and arts organizations in cultural facilities. Carrying out first-of-its-kind evaluation research, creating a replicable framework for arts and cultural facility evaluation, and developing communication materials to share outcomes will illuminate the relationship between the organization’s work and the wellbeing of the community.

WEBSITE:
Hospice Toronto CCC Program Vital Ideas 2016 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:

Hospice Toronto is a recognized leader in innovative cost-effective and integrated family-centred care strategies for people who have life limiting conditions, their families, and caregivers. Engaging 75 residents from St. James Town, who are past participants in the Creating Caring Communities program, to evaluate the program's impact will enable the organization to refine a tool kit that will be shared and implemented in other communities.

WEBSITE:
Success Beyond Limits Education Program Youth Space Vital Ideas 2016 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:

Success Beyond Limits (SBL) is a grassroots organization that works to support youth in the Jane and Finch community to improve their educational outcomes and expand possibilities along their individual paths to success. Documenting the impacts for young people who access the SBL Youth Space will allow the organization to consider expanding the model into other schools and align it with city-wide and provincial conversations on community-hubs and integrated service delivery.

This grant was made possible with support from an anonymous Fund.

WEBSITE:
Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line Peer Support Evaluation & ASL Vital Ideas 2015 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:
Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line (Youth Line), a service for youth, by youth provides LGBTQ* youth with confidential and anonymous peer support, information and referral services through telephone, text, email, and online chat. Youth Line is carrying out a program impact evaluation, conducting an accessibility audit, developing policies and procedures to address identified barriers, assessing technology abilities and needs, and creating promotional material to improve accessibility for LGBTQ* youth.  
WEBSITE:
Greenest City Co-op Cred Program Vital Ideas 2015 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:
Greenest City is a community-based organization building healthy, inclusive neighbourhoods using environmental education initiatives. Its Co-op Cred Program (CCP) is an alternative currency program that facilitates access to the benefits of local, sustainable, and nutritious food. The program enables participants to earn “credits” in exchange for labour. Participants then use credits to purchase healthy, local organic food available at the West End Food Co-op grocery store and local farmers’ markets.  
WEBSITE:
Green Thumbs Growing Kids Children's and Youth Learning Gardens Program Vital Ideas 2015 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:
Green Thumbs Growing Kids is a leading learning garden hub in Toronto. It works with urban children, youth, and their families to learn about, grow, and prepare fresh foods, cultivated in an environmentally sustainable manner through hands-on programs. Green Thumbs Growing Kids is researching and documenting the children and youth programs’ best practices, as well as internal procedures to produce a formal operations manual, build a communications plan, and update communication materials to promote the programs’ story of impact.
WEBSITE:
Youth Empowering Parents Groundwork for Replication Vital Ideas 2015 $29,400
DESCRIPTION:
Youth Empowering Parents (YEP) fills a pronounced void in educational programs focused on assisting adults who are new to Canada, or who have yet to successfully integrate into Canadian society. Its program has evolved into an innovative, internationally acclaimed model that facilitates local newcomer youth teaching practical English language, computer literacy and other skills to local newcomer adults at no charge. YEP is evaluating and expanding its curriculum, streamlining its learning management system software, and creating new promotional materials to prepare for expansion.
WEBSITE:
Inside Out Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Inc. Queer Video Mentorship Project Vital Ideas 2015 $29,000
DESCRIPTION:
Inside Out Gay and Lesbian Film Festival's Queer Video Mentorship Project provides equipment, production facilities, and mentorship from professional LGBTQ* artists over five months to LGBTQ* youth and elders to make their first film. The films of these emerging LGBTQ* filmmakers are screened at the Inside Out festival and other festivals internationally. Conducting a program evaluation, developing a shareable operations manual and toolkit, updating promotional materials will help Inside Out increase its visibility and reputation, provide easier access for participants, and make the program more easily replicated by other organizations.
WEBSITE:
Sherbourne Health Centre SOY's H.E.A.T. (Human Rights, Equity, Access, Team) Vital Ideas 2015 $28,000
DESCRIPTION:
Sherbourne Health Centre creates opportunities for LGBTQ* youth and adults to build an inclusive, welcoming community together through its SOY (Supporting Our Youth) program. SOY’s H.E.A.T. (Human Rights. Equity. Access. Team.) program trains and empowers LGBTQ* youth to be speakers, trainers, ambassadors and positive role models. Sherbourne Health Centre is increasing the capacity, reach, and impact of SOY’s H.E.A.T. program by creating engaging testimonials about H.E.A.T. in an effort to reach new audiences, develop educational materials to encourage more awareness and use of H.E.A.T, and create technical and evaluation systems to streamline the administration of its speaker’s bureau.
WEBSITE:
Ecologos Environmental Organization Water Docs @ School Action Projects - Replication: All Systems Go Vital Ideas 2015 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:
Ecologos works to encourage real action to recover a sense of reverence for water, inform about challenges that threaten water, and inspire change to protect water. Ecologos is setting the groundwork for further replication of its Water Docs @ School Action Projects, a learning and action program for grade 8 students during the school year, in partnership with Learning for a Sustainable Future. This includes completing a third party best practice and program impact study, creating a comprehensive replication plan, translating resources into French, and developing a communications strategy and implementation plan to target more school boards and public media.
WEBSITE:
Toronto Atmospheric Fund Energy Efficient and Healthy Building: Documenting Energy Retrofits in the Social Housing Vital Ideas 2015 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:
Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF) helps the City achieve the targets of its climate plan while supporting cost savings through energy efficiency. To deepen its impact, TAF is gathering empirical data to document and learn more about the health and wellness benefits of the retrofitting process. With this data, TAF is developing best practices for maximizing those benefits and sharing the findings with Toronto Community Housing building residents and other stakeholders.
WEBSITE:
Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation Red Blood Cells Disorder Program at TGH Vital Ideas 2015 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:
Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation is establishing a Transition Navigation System to support to support young adults with Sickle Cell Disease. In addition to the normal challenges of growing up, young adults with Sickle Cell Disease have the added burden of managing debilitating physical ailments. Compounding these challenges, Sickle Cell Disease primarily affects a marginalized population. Among its activities, the Foundation’s Red Blood Cell Disorders program, which provides youth with a direct link between paediatric and adult care, is developing a tool box of educational resources for the successful care of the patient group and a resource of best practices available to other similar programs.
WEBSITE:
Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre (PARC) Peer Worker Program Vital Ideas 2015 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:
Parkdale Activity – Recreation Centre (PARC) is an affordable housing provider, skills developer, and social enterprise incubator. PARC connects social services that work to address issues of poverty, mental health, addictions, homelessness, and food security with PARC’s Peer Worker Program engages vulnerable residents in their community to improve multiple facets of health and wellbeing and to create equitable access to services. PARC is working on producing a documentary about the evolution of PARC’s innovative Peer Worker Program. PARC is documenting operational logistics of how the program is run and conducting interviews from a diverse cross-section of stakeholders.
WEBSITE:
MABELLEarts Revitalization Redefined Vital Ideas 2015 $29,000
DESCRIPTION:
MABELLEarts brings together people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to make art, tell stories and creatively transform the Mabelle neighbourhood – a high-density Toronto Community Housing complex in Central Etobicoke. Its A Park of Many Paths Program has increased community safety and social cohesion, decreased community tensions and has increased skill development, resilience and capacity of the participants. With the help of a facilitator, MABELLEarts is preparing for expansion by increasing its capacity to run multiple projects, increasing civic engagement in new neighbourhoods, and setting the groundwork for new, stronger relationships with stakeholders.
WEBSITE:
New Leaf Yoga Foundation Mindfulness-based Yoga & Life Skills Program for Youth Vital Ideas 2015 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:
New Leaf Yoga Foundation teaches life-skills through mindfulness-based yoga programs for youth in marginalized communities. New Leaf runs a 10-week program in 10 schools and a weekly drop-in program consisting of life skills/yoga classes offered free of charge to youth in community spaces. New Leaf evaluating the impact of these two programs, as well as working to increase the reach of its programming, which provide participants with ways to cultivate self-care, the ability to cope with stress and challenging emotions, and tools to work with experiences of trauma and adversity.
WEBSITE:
Canadian Urban Institute Project YU Vital Ideas 2015 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:
Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) has a mission to build wisdom and inspire leadership for healthy urban development. CUI does this by providing applied research, education/training and communication to improve the processes and policies needed to make informed decisions about urban assets. CUI’s current mandate to use its expertise in hosting high impact events to engage and inspire more of the city’s youth – the next generation of city builders, community organizers and citizens – with the launch of Project YU (Project Youth Urban Issues Education). Adding to the successes of its long-running Youth Intern Program, this initiative will help to better engage more young people in meaningful conversations about urban issues.
WEBSITE:
Diaspora Dialogues Charitable Society Diaspora Dialogues Road Show Vital Ideas 2015 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:
Diaspora Dialogues Charitable Society supports the creation and presentation of new fiction, poetry, and drama that reflect the cultural complexity of Toronto back to residents through the eyes of its richly diverse communities. Numerous organizations have approached Diaspora Dialogues to replicate its 905 Road Show, an innovative model of community engagement. Diaspora Dialogues is setting the groundwork for replication of the road show in high priority neighbourhoods in the east and west ends of Toronto. The organization is also growing and diversifying its audience, leveraging new partnerships, and reaching wider audiences.
WEBSITE:
Canadian Training Institute Breaking the Cycle Youth Ambassador Project Vital Ideas 2015 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:
Canadian Training Institute’s Breaking the Cycle Program facilitates pro-social leadership, employment skill building and actual on the job internship work experience for gang involved and at-risk of gang involvement youth who reside primarily in one of Toronto’s Priority Neighbourhoods. Canadian Training Institute is developing resources for fundraising activities and promotional initiatives related to the program and its anti-violence and anti-gang messages.
WEBSITE:
Charlie's FreeWheels Build-A-Bike Vital Ideas 2015 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:

Charlie’s FreeWheels (CFW) engages youth by offering innovative year-long programming based around a concrete product – a bicycle. In their work, bicycles serve as drivers for personal growth and positive social change, liberate their riders, and expose young people to new opportunities. Youth have full access to tools in the CFW Build-A-Bike program. They are able to ask an experienced mechanic any questions about how to maintain their bicycle, learn on-road safety, and see more of their city. To support its program evaluation activities, CFW is researching the best practices of other bicycle focused programs to refine and formally document its current curriculum, and to lay the foundation for promotional activities.

Charlie’s FreeWheels is trusteed by Regent Park Community Health Centre.
WEBSITE:
Boost Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention Child & Youth Advocacy Centre Vital Ideas 2015 $30,000
DESCRIPTION:
Boost Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention works to prevent child abuse and violence through education and awareness, and to collaborate with community partners to provide services to children, youth and their families. Boost helps more than 2,000 children each year. Boost’s Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC) is a model of excellence in Toronto, providing a leading-edge response that sets the benchmark for child abuse investigations and interventions across the country. Boost is doing the groundwork necessary to design a community specific service model that suits the needs of Scarborough residents and to replicate their success with Toronto’s first CYAC.
WEBSITE:
Accessible Community Counselling and Employment Services (ACCES Employment) Entrepreneurship Connections Vital Ideas 2015 $27,300
DESCRIPTION:
Accessible Community Counselling and Employment Services (ACCES Employment) provides employment programs, links employers to skilled people, and while building strong collaborative networks with community partners, helps to foster a fully inclusive labour force that reflects the diversity, skills and experience of Toronto’s population. ACCES is expanding the reach and awareness of its Entrepreneurship Connections program among newcomer entrepreneurs.
WEBSITE:
St. Stephen's Community House Youth Arcade Studio Vital Youth 2018 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
St. Stephen’s Community House (SSCH) is a multi-service organization that works with individuals and communities in Downtown West Toronto to identify, prevent, and alleviate social and economic problems. SSCH addresses issues including hunger, homelessness, unemployment, isolation, violence, HIV and AIDS, youth alienation, and newcomer integration. Recently, SSCH opened the Youth Arcade Studio in Kensington Market to provide low-income youth from the neighbourhood with free, high-quality ­fine art instruction classes, instrumental music classes, and gym-based recreation activities.
WEBSITE:
Frontlines Toronto Self-Love Youth Wellness Project - I Can I Will Project Vital Youth 2018 $13,177
DESCRIPTION:
Frontlines offers programs and services that tackle the pressings needs of children and youth in Weston and the surrounding neighbourhoods. By building relationships and providing programs that address the whole child, Frontlines fosters and restores wellness and respect among diverse people. This year, Frontlines and the Self-Love Youth Empowerment Project are jointly running a wellness program for girls designed to build their physical and mental wellness.
WEBSITE:
Access Alliance - Multicultural Health and Community Service Sports Madness Vital Youth 2018 $14,900
DESCRIPTION:
Access Alliance provides services to address system inequities and improve health outcomes for some of Toronto’s most vulnerable immigrants, refugees, and their communities across Toronto. Access Alliance supports people who face barriers to good health by providing them access to high quality programs and services ranging from primary health care, settlement services, translation services, and programming for women, the LGBTQ* community, marginalized youth and more. This year, Access Alliance is expanding its youth sports and recreation program to offer instruction, snacks, transportation, and gear to 50 underserved youth.
WEBSITE:
Native Child and Family Services of Toronto Ojiibikan ("Roots") Native Youth Culinary Entrepreneurship Project Vital Youth 2018 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Native Child and Family Services Toronto (NCFST) is a multi-service Indigenous agency providing services to improve well-being, caring, and healing for Indigenous families in the GTA. NCFST uses a holistic, culture-based approach to all its programs and services, and is a Children’s Aid Society under the Child and Family Services Act. This year, youth participating in the NCFST’s culinary entrepreneurship program will take part in culture-based, interactive workshops and build professional skills in commercial kitchens operations, the food services industry, and small business management.
WEBSITE:
Mentoring Juniors Kids Organization (MJKO) MJKO Coaches Corner Vital Youth 2018 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Mentoring Junior Kids Organization (MJKO) uses non-contact boxing training and leadership programs to promote positive and healthy lifestyle choices for youth in several of Toronto’s underserved neighbourhoods. Through athletic training programs, youth develop social and mental skills, learn about nutrition, and become committed to the non-boxing community. This year, MJKO will expand its youth sport training program by giving youth alumni more opportunities for employment and coaching certi­fication.
WEBSITE:
The Neighbourhood Group KickStart Crew Vital Youth 2018 $14,866
DESCRIPTION:
The Neighbourhood Group is a multi-service agency improving and enhancing peoples’ lives and helping them live independently and with dignity. The Neighbourhood Group’s programs and services support seniors, at-risk children and youth, those who are searching for employment, people who are homeless or precariously housed and people with mental health challenges living in Toronto’s east down-town area. Neighbourhood Group’s youth program, KickStart Crew, is a popular, youth-led initiative where participants drive the program agenda. One key focus is an interactive cooking segment that includes meal planning, budgeting, food safety, and food preparation. Youth learn how to cook healthy meals and are able to take them home to share with their families, or serve them to the younger kids in the program.
WEBSITE:
Black Creek Community Farm Youth Internship Program Vital Youth 2018 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Toronto’s largest urban farm, Black Creek Community Farm (BCCF) serves and enriches the Jane-Finch community by growing healthy food and offering hands-on training and learning experiences. Founded by the Everdale Environmental Learning Centre, FoodShare and African Food Basket, the BCCF focuses on improving food security, reducing social isolation, and improving employment and education outcomes. This year, the BCCF will hire youth interns to build their knowledge of food systems, increase their employability skills, and expose them to opportunities in the food/agribusiness sector. Black Creek Community Farm is trusteed by Everdale.
WEBSITE:
Scadding Court Community Centre Leadership Lounge Vital Youth 2018 $14,965
DESCRIPTION:
Scadding Court Community Centre (SCCC) supports and fosters the well-being of individuals, families, and community groups by providing and encouraging both local and international opportunities for recreation, education, athletics, community participation and inclusive social interaction. The SCCC’s programs and services are geared toward under-served, culturally diverse groups including low-income women, children and families, newcomers, at-risk youth, people with disabilities, older adults, seniors and people who are unemployed. This year, the SCCC opened a weekly youth-dedicated space to facilitate mentorship, leadership development, and health and wellness for local at-risk and newcomer teens.
WEBSITE:
Jane and Finch Community and Family Centre Young Leaders of the Inner City Vital Youth 2018 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
The Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre is a multi-service, community-based organization working to reduce poverty through resident engagement, capacity building and anti-oppression. The Centre builds health and well-being in the Jane and Finch community through programs focused on children, youth, seniors, mental health, newcomer settlement and ­financial empowerment. Its youth program which runs out of Westgate Mall has considerable credibility among local youth, having been in place for many years. The program empowers and inclusively engages youth to support the governance of the space and activities, giving youth partial ownership of program spaces and authority of programs offered.
WEBSITE:
Charlie's FreeWheels Building Youth Bike Leaders Vital Youth 2018 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Charlie’s FreeWheels (CFW) runs bicycle-based programming to build con­dence and leadership skills in youth and drive positive social change. By teaching bicycle mechanics, offering weekly group rides through the city, hosting ­field trips, and hiring program alumni, CFW is supporting the development of empowered young leaders engaged with cycling issues in Toronto. This year, CFW will offer additional training opportunities to youth enrolled in their fall programs, as well as employment opportunities for past program participants, to build transferrable skills and increase their employability into the future. Charlie’s FreeWheels is trusteed by Regent Park Community Health Centre.
WEBSITE:
Native Child and Family Services of Toronto Resilient: Aboriginal Youth Program Vital Youth 2017 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Native Child and Family Services (NCFST) is a multi-service Aboriginal Agency that provides a holistic, culture-based approach to programs and services. They are Ontario’s only full-service, off-reserve, child welfare agency under the direct control and management of the Aboriginal community. NCFST serves self-identified Status, Non-Status, Inuit and Metis people in the GTA, including individuals and families from the over 62 diverse First Nations in Ontario and across the country. Resilient: Aboriginal Youth Community Building Project is a youth-led awareness- and community-building campaign, which supports at-risk Aboriginal youth to learn about social issues that matter to them and create music and media resources to share with their peers and community.
WEBSITE:
Scarborough Arts EAST 2016 Vital Youth 2017 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Scarborough Arts brings artists to the community and community to the arts, by delivering and promoting arts programming and cultural initiatives in collaboration with the children, youth, and seniors they serve. East 2016 is a skills-based community arts program that supports youth who want to develop their interest in art. Young people are guided through a 40-week process in the arena of a single arts discipline music, theatre, or film. Throughout the year, participants are mentored by industry and community professionals. The program concludes with a youth forum on arts as community practice, along with a final showcase event where all streams developed throughout the year are showcased.
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Skills for Change of Metro Toronto Step Ahead II: Youth Sports & Recreation Project Vital Youth 2017 $14,999
DESCRIPTION:
Skills for Change (SFC) works across the GTA, offering a range of accelerated programming, including youth leadership, youth and women entrepreneurship, skilled trades training, integrated language/skills training, employment preparation, and settlement services. The Step Ahead Program links low-income youth from different cultural backgrounds with long-term employment and recreation opportunities. Youth create their own curriculum, go on site visits to community recreation centres, meet with university and local sports teams, develop work plans, community impact strategies, their own project outcomes, and get placements teaching and training recreation.
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Green Thumbs Growing Kids Urban Roots Youth Vital Youth 2017 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Green Thumbs Growing Kids has evolved into an established food security organization delivering programming that engages urban children, youth and their families to learn about, grow and prepare fresh foods, cultivated in an environmentally sustainable manner. Urban Roots Youth sell surplus produce grown on school sites to the public at farmers’ markets, developing skills in cash management, produce marketing, and dealing with the public. Green Thumbs introduced a peer mentor component to enable youth involved in the second year of the program to provide support to incoming youth.
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Urban Squash Toronto Urban Youth Leader Program Vital Youth 2017 $13,800
DESCRIPTION:
Urban Squash Toronto (UST) combines an intensive after-school, seven days-a-week, year-long education program with concentrated athletics (principally squash) for youth in the Jane-Finch neighbourhood. Outside of core weekly programming, students participate in local field trips, cultural events and compete on a regular basis in the Squash Ontario tournament circuit. Building on the success of UST’s core offerings, the Urban Youth Leader program supports the leadership development of the senior participants.
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For Youth Initiative Youth Justice RISE Vital Youth 2017 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
For Youth Initiative (FYI) started as a community space for recreational activities and has grown into a multi-service agency that offers an array of services and programs, including the Youth Justice RISE program, which supports marginalized youth who have been in trouble with the law. Through research, FYI identified that newcomer youth and their families face additional barriers as research has shown. In response, FYI is implementing “Rising Researchers,” which is a newcomer youth-led Participatory Action Research (PAR) project examining the individual and systemic barriers that propels newcomer youth into gangs and criminal activities. The project empowers newcomer youth who have been in trouble with the law by giving them the opportunity to outline the solutions to the issues they face while providing educational opportunities.
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Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre Young Men - Stepping Up! Vital Youth 2017 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre (DPNCHC) supports people in the Davenport neighbourhood, especially those who face economic and/or social barriers, through a range of community, health, and social support services that are responsive to local needs. DPNCHC is expanding the community outreach for its Young Men - Stepping Up! program. In this program, participants explore topics such as gender roles, goals setting, career planning, education, targeted policing, legal rights, creative self-expression, sexual health and healthy relationships in a safe space.
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Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre In Focus: RPTV (C.U.R.E.) Vital Youth 2017 $14,000
DESCRIPTION:
Regent Park Focus is a new media, radio and television arts broadcast centre that uses community arts and participatory media practices to increase civic engagement, promote resiliency, and effect positive social change for traditionally marginalized youth. In Focus engages qualified media arts professionals to lead youth in the process of creating a television series from conception to broadcast. With over 200 hours of workshop instruction, youth take on roles of producers, researchers, script-writers, camera operators, hosts, actors, directors, and editors. The programs are broadcast to the local community on Regent Park TV, a service available to all Regent Park households.   Regent Park Focus is trusteed by Dixon Hall.
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Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre Youth on the Move Vital Youth 2017 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Eastview is a multi-service, community organization that has been serving the high-density, ethnically and socially diverse Blake/Boultbee community for almost 45 years. Eastview fills the gap in physical activity programming for youth in the neighbourhood, especially for girls and Muslim youth. Participants in the Youth on the Move program now have an opportunity to participate in a variety of sports, recreation and leadership activities and tournaments including baseball, zumba, skiing, tennis, food-handling, and CPR training.
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Hospice Toronto Young Carers Program Vital Youth 2017 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Hospice Toronto is a community-based healthcare provider that delivers high quality care for people of all ages, supporting clients, their families and caregivers through all phases of life limiting illness. The Young Carers program supports youth who help to take care of family members who have a chronic illness, are dying, or live with a disability, substance abuse, mental health challenges and/or language barrier. Hospice Toronto is expanding the program to recruit “Youth Champions” (older youth who have previous participated in Young Carer programming) as mentors to new Young Carers. Mentors receive training focused on empathy and communication, mindful listening, trust exercises, yoga, and team building challenges.
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Arts Starts Neighbourhood Cultural Centre tRUE heART Basketball Vital Youth 2017 $14,985
DESCRIPTION:
Art Starts inspires long-term social change in Toronto's under-served neighbourhoods, using the arts to engage residents, collectively work to overcome challenges, and create a shared sense of identity. Arts Starts blends play and art with its tRUE heART Basketball program, which engages youth from Lawrence Heights in recreational basketball and sports-videography. Youth, who might not otherwise have access to arts education, have the opportunity to showcase their work from the program at a video exhibit planned and curated by the youth.
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Trails Youth Initiatives Inc. Leaders-in-Training Programme Vital Youth 2017 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Trails Youth Initiatives challenges and equips vulnerable Toronto youth—youth who are living daily with high-risk factors and are suffering from anxiety, low self-esteem, aggression, and poor academic performance—to become contributing members of their communities. At Trails’ 143-acre outdoor education facility north of the city, youth participate in Leadership-in-Training (LIT) by attending a 13 Day sea-kayaking trip, where LIT youth take turns as leaders for the day, facilitate evening debriefs, and assume some responsibility for group travel, safety and teaching. They gain skills in conflict resolution, with a view to enhancing their mental health and relationships with others.
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Toronto Lords Community Association Toronto Lords Basketball Association Vital Youth 2017 $12,000
DESCRIPTION:
The Toronto Lords Basketball Association is volunteer-run and uses the Canada Basketball Long Term Athlete Development Model, focusing on improving health and wellness of youth who live primarily in low income neighbourhoods in Toronto through athletics and education. The program is now better equipped to handle increased enrollment for the program with better gym facilities, training for coaches, tutoring, and equipment, while keeping the high-quality program accessible to youth regardless of their family’s financial means.
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Success Beyond Limits Active Living Tour Vital Youth 2017 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Success Beyond Limits (SBL) is a well-regarded grassroots organization that works to support youth in the Jane and Finch community to improve their educational outcomes, and expand possibilities along their individual paths to success. The Active Living Tour will be an extension of SBL’s on-going after-school mentorship and sports programming at a local high school. Modelled on the success of its previous summer programming, the Active Living Tour expands the activities that SBL typically offers by offering sports chosen by the youth.
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Tropicana Community Services Tropicana Athletic Excellence Vital Youth 2017 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Tropicana Community Services is a Toronto-based multi-service organization, providing youth, newcomers, people of Black and Caribbean heritage and others in need with opportunities and alternatives that lead to success and positive life choices.  They provide culturally appropriate programs ranging from counselling and child care to educational and employment services and youth development. Tropicana’s Athletic Excellence delivers an inclusive, affordable, structured sports/recreation program that fosters a healthy, active lifestyle for youth, while also teaching them valuable leadership and life skills. The Afro-Caribbean population served by Tropicana is disproportionately affected by health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, and mental health, which makes the availability of this program all the more important.
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Mentoring Juniors Kids Organization (MJKO) In Your Corner Vital Youth 2017 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Mentoring Junior Kids Organization (MJKO) provides free fitness and leadership classes to over 5,000 youth throughout Toronto’s underserved neighbourhoods. In Your Corner provides intensive leadership training for Youth Trainers and help facilitate these leaders to serve as mentors for the 300 youth who participate in MJKO programming. Youth will graduate the program with certificates in CPR and First Aid. In Your Corner will focuses on evolving the perspective of the students beyond thinking about MJKO as a one-time event or training opportunity, and allow them to become the next generation of MJKO youth coaches.
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Jessie's - June Callwood Centre for Young Women All About Kindness Vital Youth 2017 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Jessie’s Callwood Centre for Young Women is a supportive housing and program centre for young families (majority single mother-led). All About Kindness is the first social enterprise in Toronto offering training, skills and employment for young mothers. The idea was generated through participants and staff at Jessie’s Centre while evaluating the services and participating in focus groups. Through the program, youth under the age of 18 receive training in leadership, doula supports, baby wearing and entrepreneurship. These young women will be paid for providing these services to youth entering Jessie’s programming for the first time, as well as other teen mothers in the community.
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Success Beyond Limits Toronto Sporting Games Tour Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Success Beyond Limits is a grassroots organization that works to support youth in the Jane and Finch community to improve their educational outcomes, and expand possibilities along their individual paths to success. For the Toronto Sporting Games Tour, youth mentors work in groups of two or three to create and deliver workshops showcasing the rules and history of eight feature Pan Am Games sports to their peers and organizing Playing for Keeps Neighbourhood Games based on each sport and in collaboration with a larger planning committee.
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Scarborough Arts The Animating Democracy Project, EAST 2015 Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Scarborough Arts brings individuals and groups together to create and cultivate innovative arts and cultural programs in Scarborough. The Animating Democracy Project encourages democratic dialogue by engaging youth in documenting important issues facing their communities through documentary videography and photojournalism that includes intensive active field work, story gathering through research, and interview and image collecting.   This grant was made possible with support from the Ada W. Slaight Fund.
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CultureLink Settlement Services West Hill Bike Club Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
CultureLink provides a wide range of settlement and community programs from children to seniors. The West Hill Bike Club increases access to recreation, encouraging diversity, and developing leadership among primarily newcomer youth through an after-school Bike Club at West Hill Collegiate Institute that offers cycling training, support for finding affordable bicycles, excursions, and Playing for Keeps Neighbourhood Games.   This grant was made possible with support from an anonymous Fund.
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CNIB TIES Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
CNIB passionately provides community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. TIES prepares blind or partially sighted Toronto teens for employment and post-secondary school by exposing them to new experiences while providing important training opportunities for them to advocate for themselves and develop leadership skills.   This grant was made possible with support from an anonymous Fund.
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Delta Family Resource Centre Youth at the Summit - Connecting Communities in Humber Vital Youth 2016 $14,100
DESCRIPTION:
Delta Family Resource Centre is a multi-ethnic, multi-site organization situated in a diverse community that is committed to enhancing the potential of families and children by supporting and addressing their identified needs. Youth at the Summit engages isolated youth from three Toronto Community Housing communities in Humber Summit in a range of interactive recreational activities and opportunities to build leadership skills and positive social networks.   This grant was made possible with support from an anonymous Fund.
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MABELLEarts Youth at the Center Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
MABELLEarts brings together people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to make art, tell stories and creatively transform the Mabelle neighbourhood – a high-density Toronto Community Housing complex in Central Etobicoke. Youth at the Centre provides comprehensive leadership training and skills building for youth from Mabelle and West Mall neighbourhoods by engaging them in the development of arts projects that encourage diverse Mabelle residents to come together and have fun.   This grant was made possible with support from the Ada W. Slaight Fund.
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East Scarborough Storefront Sports for Change Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
The Storefront facilitates collaboration, builds community and supports people to learn and create together, to live healthy lives, to find meaningful work, to play and thrive Sport for Change engages youth in community sporting activities that earn them points towards becoming Kingston-Galloway-Orton Park Sports for Change Champions in order to strengthen the connection between sports and community building. East Scarborough Storefront is trusteed by TIDES Canada Initiatives Society.
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Lost Lyrics/The Base Original Griots Vital Youth 2016 $14,639
DESCRIPTION:
Lost Lyrics, a project of The Base, is a mobile and innovative learning incubator that empowers thousands of young people to create a bridge of knowledge between the streets and the classroom. Playing for Keeps engages Lost Lyrics alumni in various aspects of the organization’s program delivery to support peers in developing critical analysis skills, strategies for social change, and articulating self-awareness while translating and expanding their own knowledge and experience with the program into tangible skills. Lost Lyrics is trusteed by The Remix Project.
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Art Gallery of York University Spotlight: Youth Artists Take Centre Stage Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
The Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) is a public art gallery showcasing works by Canadian and international artists on the cutting edge of contemporary art. AGYU is offering dance and spoken word poetry workshops for youth from the Jane-Finch community, with a focus on recruiting alumni to design and deliver the workshops to provide participants with professional development in arts education, curriculum planning, and workshop delivery.   This grant was made possible with support from an anonymous Fund.
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Hospice Toronto Young Carers Programs Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Hospice Toronto is a community-based healthcare provider that delivers high quality care for people of all ages, supporting clients, their families and caregivers through all phases of life limiting illness. Hospice Toronto is expanding recruitment for older youth in its Young Carers program to be trained as mentors for younger participants in the program that supports youth who take care of family members with chronic illness, are dying or live with a disability, substance abuse, mental health challenges, and/or language barriers.
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Skills for Change of Metro Toronto Step Ahead Vital Youth 2016 $14,995
DESCRIPTION:
Skills for Change is known for pioneering programs that respond to shifting immigration and workplace trends and lead to employment. Step Ahead links youth from low-income and different cultural backgrounds with long-term employment and recreation opportunities by empowering them with entrepreneurial, leadership, and technical dance and teaching skills to position them to develop their own fee-for-service dance instruction businesses.   This grant was made possible with support from the Ada W. Slaight Fund.
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Canadian Roots Exchange Toronto Youth Reconciliation Initiative Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Canadian Roots Exchange builds bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in Canada by facilitating dialogue and strengthening relationships through leadership programs. The Toronto Youth Reconciliation Initiative engages young Toronto leaders to be trained to lead programming in their own communities and act as mentors to recruit Indigenous and non-Indigenous younger youth to build bridges between them and facilitate dialogue and stronger relationships.
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Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre Waterfront Youth Help Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre (formerly Harbourfront Community Centre) is a non-profit, City of Toronto AOCC agency that is supported by a volunteer board of dedicated community members. Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre works in partnership with residents and community-minded organizations to create a safe and supportive environment for people of all ages. Waterfront Youth Helps offers workshops for youth in health and safety, program and event planning, communication strategies, volunteer management, and team building, so that they can develop and lead Playing for Keeps Neighbourhood Games to foster a more welcoming and inclusive neighbourhood.   This grant was made possible with support from an anonymous Fund.
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Mentoring Juniors Kids Organization (MJKO) Round II Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Mentoring Juniors Kids Organization (MJKO) promotes positive and healthy lifestyle choices through mentoring and leadership training in a safe and encouraging environment. Round II provides intensive leadership training and coaching certifications for youth leaders and facilitating opportunities for them to serve as mentors to other youth that participate in MJKO’s Playing for Keeps Neighbourhood Games.   This grant was made possible with support from an anonymous Fund.
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COSTI Immigrant Services COSTI Youth Recreation Program Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
COSTI provides educational, social, and employment services to help all immigrants in the Toronto area attain self-sufficiency in Canadian society. COSTI’s Youth Recreation Program engages able-bodied and disabled youth in recreational programming focused on physical literacy and health and wellness awareness to increase self-esteem, confidence, and skills in physical movement, teamwork, leadership, and healthy living.
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Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre Youth on the Move Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre is a neighbourhood centre offering a broad range of recreational, social and capacity-building programs to residents primarily in the area bounded by Greenwood, Broadview, Danforth and Queen Streets. Youth on the Move empowers youth with practical and transferrable skills in sport certification, videography, and other life skills and increasing access to diverse activities and opportunities to build their peer networks.   This grant was made possible with support from an anonymous Fund.
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West Neighbourhood House Silk Screening Leadership Project Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
West Neighbourhood House enables less advantaged individuals, families and groups in the community to gain greater control over their lives and within their community. Through the Silk Screening Leadership Project, West Neighbourhood House engages newcomer and immigrant youth as well as youth from immigrant families each week to learn how to silk screen and deliver silk screening workshops to peers at different community locations and events.   This grant was made possible with support from an anonymous Fund.
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UNITY Charity Health Active Youth Leadership Program Vital Youth 2016 $14,610
DESCRIPTION:
UNITY Charity uses hip-hop to improve young people’s lives creating healthier communities. Through its Healthy Active Youth Leadership Program, UNITY leads dance workshops for youth from low-income families and visible minorities in an inclusive atmosphere to promote the development of positive physical activity habits while connecting them with role models and building their capacity as leaders.   This grant was made possible with support from the Ada W. Slaight Fund.
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ArtReach Toronto Leadership Development Vital People 2016 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
ArtReach Toronto provides resources, mentorship, tools and skill‐building opportunities for emerging artists, youth leaders, and youth‐led groups and organizations in Toronto. The premise for their work is that the arts engage youth and improve social and educational outcomes. Paulina O’Kieffe is an artistic powerhouse, arts educator and cultural leader who is championing the development of Toronto’s young artists. ArtReach was awarded this grant to support Paulina’s enrollment in the Ryerson University Project Management certificate to help her better support and mentor young leaders, ensuring their projects are successful, and help them achieve the best possible outcome, in every community they serve. ArtReach Toronto is trusteed by TIDES Canada Initiatives Society.
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Silent Voice Canada Leadership Development Vital People 2016 $4,500
DESCRIPTION:
Silent Voice serves Deaf children, youth, and adults and their families in a sign language environment. They are dedicated to improving communication and relationships between the Deaf and hearing in families and in our community. Mike Cyr is a co-founder of Deaf Basketball Canada, an advocate for amateur Deaf sports for youth, and a filmmaker who is a leader in helping to make Toronto more inclusive of Deaf people. Silent Voice was awarded this grant to support Mike’s participation in the Not-For-Profit Financial Literacy Workshop and MBA Essentials for Managers course at the Rotman Business School to support his managerial professional development, positioning him for senior leadership at his organization and within the not-for-profit sector as a whole.
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Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation Leadership Development Vital People 2016 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation (TIRF) builds community by working with schools and not-for-profits using the skills and values of the game of rugby to impact the lives of youth from underserved communities. TIRF’s model connects schools and community organizations to rugby clubs by building supportive infrastructure for collaboration. TIRF places an emphasis on both career building and community development. At TIRF, Ige bridges the worlds of the financial, non-for-profit and education sectors, using the ethos and values of Rugby to foster caring and compassionate citizens. TIRF was awarded this grant to support Ige to attend the NFP Governance Essentials Program at the Rotman School of Management, the Rugby Expo, and the Beyond Rugby Conference.
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FoodShare Toronto Leadership Development Vital People 2016 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
FoodShare works on issues "from field to table" - focusing on the entire system that feeds us: from the growing, processing, and distribution of food to its purchasing, cooking, and consumption. They provide grassroots food projects that promote healthy eating, teach how and where food is grown and how to prepare it, develop community capacity, and organize not-for-profit food distribution systems. Jesus Gomez is a visionary and passionate advocate for good food who’s revolutionizing school cafeterias across the city. As a leader of colour who immigrated to Canada from Colombia, Jesus has overcome obstacles to employment, while finding his passion in cooking and using his gift as a chef to transform the community. FoodShare was awarded this grant to support Jesus’ facilitation training, enrollment in school food programming courses, and presentation at a conference on fostering healthy school food culture.
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For Youth Initiative Leadership Development Vital People 2016 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
For Youth Initiative (FYI) is committed to creating healthy communities by providing supports to youth living in underserved and marginalized neighbourhoods in Toronto. What began as a community space for disengaged youth in Weston-Mount Dennis, has grown into a multiservice agency that offers an array of programs to thousands of Toronto youth in multiple low-income areas of the city. Shaneeza Ally is a thought-leader and advocate for youth programs in Toronto who is building up marginalized young people to realize their own dreams. FYI was awarded this grant to attend Stanford School of Business’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders.
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Jane's Walk Leadership Development Vital People 2016 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
Based in Toronto, Jane’s Walk is an international initiative based on a model of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by the late renowned urbanist Jane Jacobs. The organization supports individual emerging leaders and local organizations to run and promote community walking tours as a way of creating fresh thinking about active citizenship, urban planning, local history and neighbourhood building for all walks of life. Denise Pinto is a connector and trusted voice amongst urbanists who is empowering local residents to take ownership and have pride in their public space and communities. Jane’s Walk was awarded this grant to support Denise’s enrollment in the THNK School of Creative Leadership in Vancouver. Dubbed by Stanford University as “the future of higher education,” the school focuses on creativity, business model innovation, and entrepreneurship for social impact. Jane's Walk is trusteed by TIDES Canada Initiatives Society.
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MABELLEarts Leadership Development Vital People 2016 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
MABELLEarts makes art and builds environments that foster community regeneration and invention. What began as a program to revitalize Mabelle Park and its local community – a high density Toronto Community Housing complex – has evolved into a program to bring together people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to creatively transform shared, public spaces. Leah Houston is an artist and city builder who’s transforming communities through her creative passion and commitment to grassroots community engagement. MABELLEarts has been awarded $5,000 to support Leah to attend the Kellogg School of Management for an intensive Non-Profit Finance course, which will enhance her financial management acumen and provide guidance around organizational planning as MABELLEarts expands. Leah will also be going to Nepal to creatively explore placemaking in a different context.
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Heritage Toronto Leadership Development Vital People 2016 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
Heritage Toronto celebrates, interprets, and educates for Toronto’s cultural, architectural, archaeological, and natural heritage. It is an arms-length charitable agency of the City of Toronto, established in 1949 as the Toronto Civic Historical Committee. The organization is recognized across sectors as an official voice of Toronto’s collective past. Kaitlin Wainwright is passionate about shedding light on Toronto’s underrepresented history and is bringing heritage projects into the 21st century. Heritage Toronto was awarded this grant to support Kaitlin’s enrollment in Ryerson’s Nonprofit Management courses, digital media courses at OCAD University and to attend a conference for international professionals in the heritage sector, and participate in a mentorship program through Concordia University on Oral History and Digital Storytelling.
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East Metro Youth Services Leadership Development Vital People 2016 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
East Metro Youth Services (EMYS) is dedicated to providing the right mental health services at the right time by ‘doing whatever it takes’ to meet the needs of the clients, participants, families and communities they serve. EMYS is at the forefront of progressive efforts to manage the interface between institutional and community-based services. Carly Kalish is an innovator and champion within the sector and on the streets for the safety and empowerment of sex workers. EMYS was awarded this grant to support Carly and her enrollment in the Nonprofit Management Certificate program offered by Harvard University. The skills learned in this program will help further Carly’s management and strategy skills, so that she can be better prepared to help EMYS deliver programs and services to our community.
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David Suzuki Foundation Leadership Development Vital People 2016 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
The David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) is one of Canada’s leading environmental organizations. Through a combination of sound science, active public outreach, and working co-operatively with business, the David Suzuki Foundation works with Canadians to take action on the environmental challenges we collectively face. The Homegrown National Park Project in Toronto, which Jode oversees, has tapped local creativity and ingenuity, implementing over 50 green interventions and planting over 15,000 native species. Jode Roberts is a community organizer and advocate who is bridging the gap between grass and concrete, urbanism and environmentalism. DSF was awarded this grant to support Jode’s knowledge exchange with experts in planning, design, and education in the U.S.A. through a course with the renowned Project for Public Spaces in New York City. Jode is expanding the impact of the Homegrown National Park project with his new relationships and learnings of best practices.
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Business in the Streets Leadership Development Vital People 2016 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
Business In The Streets (BITS) helps enterprising youth facing barriers to employment unleash their leadership and professional potential through financial literacy training, business support, mentorship, and enterprise acceleration support. Their safe and real-world learning environment demonstrates that in-class learning is not always the most effective method, and that education must be accessible to all. Veronika Kvon is a business leader with a passion for mentoring and building economic strength with marginalized people. BITS was awarded this grant to support Veronika’s enrollment in Ryerson University’s Nonprofit Management courses. Exposure to established not-for-profit models, their growth strategy, and leadership and success factors will greatly build upon Veronika’s existing foundational knowledge in business management and grassroots organizing.
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The Stop Community Food Centre Leadership Development Vital People 2016 $4,145
DESCRIPTION:
The Stop began in the mid-1970s as one of Canada’s first food banks. From the beginning, the founders of The Stop understood that hunger was merely a “presenting issue,” a symptom of deeper systemic problems. In the past 40 years, The Stop has expanded its services and programs beyond the original food bank, becoming a thriving community food centre that sets the standard in developing and delivering innovative food security programs. Mark Woodnutt is a community leader and organizer at The Stop who is empowering others to become civic leaders in their own right. The Stop was awarded this grant to support Mark in the completion of a Solution Focused Brief Coaching certificate at the University of Toronto, attendance at the program’s symposium, as well as membership at the Canadian Centre for Brief Therapy. Mark will be able to effectively identify program participants that can benefit from specialized support to help them achieve personal, employment, and community goals and to realize their full potential.
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Common Thread Community Chorus of Toronto Leadership Development Vital People 2016 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
Common Thread is a non-audition choir that sings folk music reflecting the languages and cultures of Toronto. Common Thread is built on the idea that social justice and community are built through music. In partnership with West Neighbourhood House, Common Thread runs a children’s non-audition children’s choir, that builds a sense of belonging, respect for diversity, and positive social change from a youth perspective.   Charlie Andrews is an artist and advocate for equality, dedicated to changing how leaders think about diversity and inclusion. Common Thread was awarded this grant to support Charlie’s enrollment in the Masters of Business Administration program at Ivey School of Business to enhance her strategic planning and leadership skills.
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Business for the Arts Leadership Development Vital People 2015 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
Business for the Arts (BftA) facilitates connections between the private, public and cultural sectors Alicia Rose has both a genuine passion and love for the arts as well as a business mindset. Her entrepreneurial spirit and strategic mind has helped to completely restructure BftA programs by innovating new ways of doing things to expand its scope. She is responsible for engaging 480+ business professionals with about 110 arts organizations. BftA was awarded this grant to help Alicia attend the Leading Strategically program hosted by The Banff Centre. Alicia is now the Managing Director at Framework.
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Watah School Leadership Development Vital People 2015 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
The Watah School is a not-for-profit, holistic, artist development institute with a mission to nurture the artist as “healer, mentor and keeper of the sacred.” The Watah School provides a wide array of mentorship and training opportunities that incorporate d’bi.’s own Africentric artistic method “Sorplusi.” From its inception to present, Watah has facilitated the growth and development of over 300 artists locally, nationally, and globally through residencies, workshops, conferences, and one-on-one mentorship. d’bi.young anitafrika is an internationally celebrated African-Jamaican-Canadian dub-artist, arts-educator and emerging theatre director whose cross-disciplinary explorations of identity, gender, sexuality and the human experience have made a mark on the Canadian and global cultural landscape. The Watah School was awarded this grant to support d’bi. in attending the Art of Leadership Course at The HollyHock Wellness Wisdom Arts & Leadership Centre on Cortes Island in British Columbia.
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Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP) Leadership Development Vital People 2015 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
Alliance for South Asian Aids Prevention (ASAAP) is the only organization in Canada with a focused mandate to provide South Asian populations with HIV and AIDS related services. Over the last 25 years, ASAAP has evolved into a highly impactful and accomplished organization that remains rooted and responsive to community. Vijaya Chikermane has been a passionate collaborator and worker in the fields of HIV/AIDS, sexual health and gender equity in Toronto and internationally for over 11 years. ASAAP was awarded this grant to enable Vijaya to attend the International AIDS Conference in South Africa. The professional development opportunity is one that will expand ASAAP’s international reach to benefit diaspora South Asian communities.
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Council of Educators of Toronto Leadership Development Vital People 2015 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
Council of Educators of Toronto is a unique collaborative dedicated to clearing pathways to post-secondary education for young people in Toronto. Helen Tewolde facilitates collaboration among its members, community-based organizations and other stakeholders, with the common vision of enhancing access to – and success in – post-secondary education. Council of Educators was awarded this grant to support Helen’s attendance at Stanford Business School’s Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders and the second bi-annual World Congress on Access to Post-Secondary Education in Malaysia. Helen is now Manager at the Community Partnerships Office at George Brown College.
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Success Beyond Limits Christopher Penrose Vital People 2015 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
Success Beyond Limits Education Program (SBL) is a collaborative, community based organization that provides youth with holistic supports to complete their education and experience success in their lives. The combination of Chris’ life experiences and history in the community, his passion for empowering youth, and his talent for developing partnerships, have garnered support across sectors for SBL’s work. SBL was awarded this grant to support a variety of professional development opportunities including attending the Rotman School of Management Finance and Accounting for Non-Financial Managers course, Ryerson’s Social Media for Executive course, and an experiential learning trip to Chicago to visit the transplant of the Toronto-based organization The Remix Project. All of these opportunities will increase Chris’ knowledge in vital areas and empower him to continue building up SBL.
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Evergreen Leadership Development Vital People 2015 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
Evergreen is a national environmental charity whose mission is to inspire and enable action to green cities. CityWorks is Evergreen’s newest initiative, which is focused on building more livable, resilient cities. CityWorks engages citizens and stakeholders to create demand for policies that enable us to build the infrastructure our cities need. John Brodhead brings extensive experience in policy development and the government sector to this multifaceted role. Evergreen was awarded this grant to assist John with travel to Germany and Holland to learn best practices in Tower Renewal, so that he can articulate the case for Tower Renewal and champion the concept to revitalize Toronto’s aging tower communities. This experience helps John position CityWorks in a global context, ensure that the projects in Toronto are reflective of best practices in urban sustainability and infrastructure from around the world, and are designed to encourage resilient and healthy cities.
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The Reading Partnership at the Base Leadership Development Vital People 2015 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
The Reading Partnership (TRP) is a resident-led initiative established to empower parents to teach their children to read while working collaboratively to promote literacy in the community. TRP is a project of The Base and supported by The Base’s charitable partner, TIDES Canada Initiatives Society. As a teacher, Camesha Cox has worked in schools across Toronto and around the world, and is currently teaching part-time at Seneca College as an Early Childhood Education instructor. The Ontario Women’s Directorate has recognized her for her role with TRP and for her contributions to improving the lives of girls and women across the province. TRP was awarded this grant to support Camesha’s enrollment in Stanford Business School’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders as well as for a mentorship opportunity.

The Reading Partnership is trusteed by Tides Canada Initiatives Society.

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Mentoring Juniors Kids Organization (MJKO) Leadership Development Vital People 2015 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
Mentoring Junior Kids Organization (MJKO) promotes positive and healthy lifestyle choices through mentoring and leadership training in a safe and encouraging environment. MJKO’s Blueprint program is comprised of an interactive and skill building curriculum based around the sport of non-contact boxing, including physical fitness, social development, mental skills training, and commitment to community involvement. As a survivor of sexual assault at 16, Miranda Kamal took up boxing as a part of her healing process. Later in life she entered the ring as a competitive boxer before sustaining a serious spine injury. Unable to box again, she decided to use everything she had learned to give back to the community and founded MJKO. MJKO was awarded this grant to further Miranda’s education with the National Coaching Certification Program to Level 3, providing her with critical training related to addressing mental health issues, a struggle many MJKO students experience, as well as training in American Sign Language to expand the delivery of MJKO’s newest program, Hearing the Deaf.
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WoodGreen Community Services Leadership Development Vital People 2015 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
WoodGreen is one of the largest social service agencies in Toronto, helping seniors live independently, internationally-trained professionals enter the job market, parents access childcare, children and youth access after-school programs, newcomers settle in to Canadian life, homeless and marginalized people get off the streets and job-seekers find meaningful employment and training. Stephen is a leader in establishing financial wellness services for low-income populations. Stephen also heads up WoodGreen’s volunteer services unit, overseeing 800 volunteers involved in over 25 programs. WoodGreen was awarded this grant help Stephen participate in a variety of learning opportunities to deepen his knowledge of social enterprise development and operations, including attending three courses as part of the Certificate of Entrepreneurship led by MaRS and the University of Toronto.
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Agincourt Community Services Association Leadership Development Vital People 2015 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA) is a multi-service agency in the heart of Agincourt in north Scarborough, addressing needs and empowering children, youth, newcomers, homeless and underserved communities to build a better tomorrow. With more than a decade of social service experience, Evan Muller-Cheng is developing academic and private sector partnerships to strengthen ACSA’s approach toward evidence-informed decision making, resourcing and planning. He is also involved in a community-based research partnership on a lesbian and bisexual female gang needs assessment. ACSA was awarded this grant to support Evan’s studies at University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME), where he is taking courses towards his Master’s degree in Health Sciences. His courses will increase his competencies, skills and knowledge and foster his leadership in supporting the strategic direction, operation, and administration of ACSA.
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Sherbourne Health Centre Leadership Development Vital People 2015 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
Sherbourne Health's Support Our Youth (SOY) is a safe space that creates opportunities for LGBTQ* (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and the entire spectrum of gender and sexuality outside of heterosexual) youth and adults to build an inclusive, welcoming community together. SOY develops and implements initiatives that build skills and capacities, provides mentoring and support, and nurtures a sense of identity and belonging amongst LGBTQ* youth. SOY is a program of the Sherbourne Health Centre. Sonny Berenson is a trans-identified community facilitator and artist. He has developed and facilitated numerous programs that integrate the arts, self-expression, and self-care for LGBTQ* youth. SOY was awarded this grant to support Sonny’s training at the Toronto Institute of Relational Psychotherapy (TIRP) to gain the skills needed to become a Relational Psychotherapist. This training will provide Sonny with skills to successfully implement more holistic mental health and self-care supports for trans clients at SOY, as well as implement a new program that works with family members of trans youth.
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East Scarborough Storefront Leadership Development Vital People 2015 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
East Scarborough Storefront (the Storefront), a project of TIDES Canada Initiatives Society, uses the power of collaboration to support people and build community in the inner suburban neighbourhood of Kingston Galloway/ Orton Park. Calvin Kangara has spent 18 years working as a community engagement practitioner in Canada and Kenya. A natural mentor, Calvin’s inspirational leadership at the Storefront has resulted in building the leadership in others, improving relationships between previously disconnected groups through the establishment of a tenants’ association, and fostering youth engagement and active living. The Storefront was awarded this grant to will fund Calvin’s trip to the Centre for Sustainable Urban Development (Columbia University) and the Education Centre for Community Organizing (City University of New York). These learning opportunities will support Calvin’s goal of bridging grassroots community organizing with the priorities and goals of community sector organizations. East Scarborough Storefront is trusteed by TIDES Canada Initiatives Society.
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Teen Legal Helpline Leadership Development Vital People 2015 $5,000
DESCRIPTION:
Teen Legal Helpline is a free, confidential service for teens that connects them anonymously with experienced lawyers. These lawyers work with them to help solve their hardest problems using a battle-tested, user-friendly online platform for managing highly sensitive conversations. Since its inception in 2012, the organization has helped teens with over 450 legal situations. Prior to starting Teen Legal Helpline, Matthew Boulos was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and worked at RBC Capital Markets. Teen Legal Helpline was awarded this grant to support Matthew’s attendance at the Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders at Stanford Business School. The program will help him to build the skills he needs in the areas of organizational design as well as excellence in scaling and growth.
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VIBE Arts for Children & Youth 150 Reasons We Love Canada Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

VIBE Arts provides accessible arts education programs to young people from marginalized, low-income Toronto neighbourhoods. VIBE Arts and its community and education partners empower children and youth to reach their full potential as artists, leaders, and cultural contributors. This year, VIBE will transform high-profile Toronto locations into galleries of original youth-created art inspired by their love of Canada.

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Children's Book Bank & Literacy Foundation Celebrating Canada Through Children's Books Canada 150 2016 $7,500
DESCRIPTION:

The Children’s Book Bank builds literacy in low income communities in Toronto by distributing free books and providing literacy activities to children and their families at its storefront in Regent Park and through community partners. This year, the Children’s Book Bank has engaged prominent Canadians to share their favourite Canadian children’s book via video. Every week from March to July, one of the championed books will be read during Saturday story-time, and readers’ reactions to the book will be shared on-line.

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Red Pepper Spectacle Arts TIININAAGAN/Cradleboard Project Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

Red Pepper Spectacle Arts (RPSA) is a community arts organization that works with social service agencies, community health and educational institutions, municipalities, band councils and neighbourhood residents to engage Indigenous people in artistic creation. Using the power of art to unite, empower and educate, RSPA strives towards greater social justice and equity in cultural production. This year, RSPA partnered with the Native Men’s Residence or Na-Me-Res to run an Anishinaabek traditional knowledge art project in which Indigenous men created baby carriers called tikinaagan, or cradleboards.

Red Pepper Spectacle Arts is trusteed by Native Men's Residence (Na-Me-Res).

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Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games Host Society Toronto NAIG Host Society - Celebrating 150 Years of Indigenous Contributions to Canadian Sport Culture Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

The North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) are a multi-sport, multi-disciplinary event involving Indigenous athletes from North America. Through sport competitions and a vibrant cultural program, the Games showcase Indigenous cultures and demonstrate the positive power of sport on Indigenous youth and communities. The Toronto 2017 NAIG will host more than 5,000 participants in venues across the GTHA. This year, the Games will showcase contributions of Ontario’s Indigenous athletes to 150 years of Canadian Sport History.

The North American Indigenous Games is trusteed by Mississauga of the New Credit First Nations.
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Art Starts Neighbourhood Cultural Centre Cartography 2017 Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

Art Starts uses the arts to inspire long-term social change and brings together professional artists with residents of all ages to create accessible and dynamic art projects that re ect the identities and aspirations of each community. Their collaborative approach to art-making celebrates communities, nurtures resiliency, cultivates life-skills and inspires personal growth. This year, Art Starts is engaging youth in a collaborative map-making art project to restore Indigenous place names in  ve underserved neighbourhoods across Toronto.

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Regent Park School of Music Canada & Ontario 150 Party in the Park Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

Regent Park School of Music (RPSM) is a non-pro t community music school giving children and youth from Toronto’s high-risk neighbourhoods a quality music education that will help them succeed in life. RPSM students have access to over 80 dedicated music teachers and study everything from classical piano and violin to turntablism and electronic music. To celebrate Canada 150, RPSM will host a one-day carnival-style music and arts event in Regent Park. Over 100 young RPSM music students will take part in performing eight original songs about local kids’ lives and Canadian stories.

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Ecologos Environmental Organization Greatness: The Great Lakes Water Walk and Celebration Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

Ecologos is dedicated to protecting water, using documentary storytelling and experiential learning to revive a sense of reverence, address threats and stir action. They work across Toronto and the province through three compelling programs: their annual Water Docs Film Festival in Toronto; an environmental learning program for Ontario Grade 8 students; and, a community-based film series in Ontario towns and neighbourhoods. This year, Ecologos will run a day-long water walk and celebration along Toronto’s Waterfront Trail that brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants together to draw attention to the value of the Great Lakes.

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Crow's Theatre Freedom Singer Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

Located at Carlaw and Dundas, Crow’s Theatre is a small theatre creating, producing, and promoting unforgettable theatre that examines the pivotal narratives of our times. Crow’s Theatre develops emerging and mid-career Canadian playwrights through commissions, residencies, and extended play development. In Spring 2017, Crow’s Theatre ran the wildly successful Freedom Singer, a theatrical and musical experience telling the story of a Black man searching for a denied history in the songs of the Underground Railroad.

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Canadian Roots Exchange Reconciliation in Canada: Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Youth Lead The Way Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE) builds bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in Canada by facilitating dialogue and strengthening relationships through leadership programs. CRE trains youth volunteers to promote reconciliation in their communities, hosts a yearly youth reconciliation conference, runs land-based experiential exchange trips to Indigenous communities, and hosts youth-led reconciliation workshops. This year CRE launched a four-part community dialogue series to amplify the histories and realities of Indigenous, newcomer, and racialized youth.

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Jumblies Theatre Talking Treaties Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

Jumblies is a radical, inclusive Toronto-based arts organization that expands where art happens, who gets to be part of it, what form it takes and which stories it tells. Through collaboration with professional artists and diverse people and communities, Jumblies dismantles boundaries to make art in everyday and extraordinary places. This year, Jumblies will be working with a range of emerging artists on a large-scale educational art project at Fort York National Historic Site to explore Toronto’s relationships with buried Indigenous histories and Confederation.

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Toronto Ward Museum Who Gets Remembered: Canadian Cansus Past and Present Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

The Ward Museum is working to establish Toronto’s  rst museum of migration to preserve and share the important stories of migrants in the city’s history. It is named after The Ward, the Toronto area where early immigrant communities  rst settled and is now a densely populated neighbourhood in downtown Toronto. This year, the Ward Museum will run a series of community-led events inviting tourists and Torontonians to learn about the people and stories of those included in, and left out of, the 1871 census (the first census after Confederation).

The Ward Museum is trusteed by Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI).

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MABELLEarts MABELLE Youth Leaders: Eid al Fitr in Mabelle Park Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

MABELLEarts brings professional artists and community members of all ages and backgrounds together to create performances, workshops and events that unlock the creative potential of neglected public spaces. Serving largely newcomer communities in Central Etobicoke, MABELLEarts celebrates cultural traditions, differences and points of connection to help spark collaboration as a creative force for change. This year, MABELLEarts’ Youth Leaders ran a youth mentorship program to develop and host an intercultural Eid al-Fitr celebration in Mabelle Park, at the heart of the Mabelle neighbourhood.

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Canadian Stage Company Territorial Tales Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

One of Canada’s leading not-for-pro t theatre companies, Canadian Stage is a home, incubator and exporter of Canadian and international theatre. Through workshops, mentorship and training programs, Canadian Stage supports accessibility and inclusion, builds diverse audiences, actively engages youth and fosters the development of future artistic leaders. This year, Canadian Stage will run a performing arts program that tells stories of newcomer youth and families and explores the role of the land in forming Canadian identity.

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Native Child and Family Services of Toronto 7 Generations Youth Reconcilliation Project Canada 150 2016 $7,550
DESCRIPTION:

Native Child and Family Services Toronto (NCFST) is a multi-service Indigenous agency providing services to improve well-being, caring, and healing for Indigenous families in the GTA. NCFST uses a holistic, culture-based approach to all its programs and services, and is a Children’s Aid Society under the Child and Family Services Act. This year, youth participating in the NCFST’s culinary entrepreneurship program will take part in culture-based, interactive workshops and build professional skills in commercial kitchens operations, the food services industry, and small business management.

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Sistema Toronto Academy Exploring Social Issues Through Creativity Canada 150 2016 $8,320
DESCRIPTION:

Sistema Toronto uses the global language of music to help children realize their full potential as engaged and responsible citizens. Based on the UNESCO award-winning El Sistema international music program model, Sistema Toronto runs free, high-calibre intensive after-school music education programs that build self-esteem and empathy, and promote students’ growth into successful leaders. This year, Sistema will run an in-school program for children in low-income neighbourhoods to create and perform musical compositions accompanied by visuals that express newcomers’ experiences in Canada.

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Moorelands Community Services Canada 150 Heritage and Hope Timeline Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

Moorelands Community Services provides Toronto’s children and youth affected by poverty with positive and fun experiences to help strengthen their confidence, competence and character. Program participants develop and practice critical thinking and decision making, emotional intelligence, and interpersonal skills like communication and conflict resolution. This year to mark Canada 150, youth will go to Mooreland’s Wilderness camp in Muskoka and create a six-week nature walk timeline to celebrate significant moments in Canadian history and to map their hopes for future.

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Egale Canada Human Rights Trust Hear Our Story Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

Egale Canada Human Rights Trust is Canada’s only national charity promoting LGBTQ* human rights through research, education and community engagement. Egale’s outreach program offers individual counselling, homelessness and suicide crisis services for LGBTQ* youth. This year, as part of Canada 150 activities, Egale will capture and share stories of those who participated in historically significant LGBTQ* events in Canada, like Toronto’s first Pride Parade.

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Leadership, Espoir, Opportunite Celebrons le Multicultur-Elles de demain! Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

Leadership, Espoir, Opportunité (LEO) was founded by a Canadian woman originally from Cameroon to advance the social and economic empowerment of young female Francophone immigrants. This year LEO will offer a two day leadership camp at a summer camp outside Toronto for young Torontonian Francophone immigrant and racialized girls and women to learn about diversity, inclusion, and civic engagement.

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Friends of Fort York First Nations Education Program Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

In addition to maintaining the integrity of the Fort York National Historic Site, Friends of Fort York is committed to the well-being of the surrounding neighbourhood. The group supports educational, historical and community programs and events designed to increase understanding about the War of 1812 era and Fort York’s role in the development of modern day Toronto. This year, Friends of Fort York and the TDSB will develop an Indigenous education module focusing on Indigenous peoples’ historic relationship with Fort York.

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Outward Bound of Canada Connecting Cultures Canada 150 2016 $14,700
DESCRIPTION:

Outward Bound Canada cultivates resilience, leadership, connections and compassion through inspiring and challenging journeys of self-discovery in the natural world. By using a unique and educational framework, Outward Bound’s wilderness expeditions and programs help build a more resilient and compassionate world. This summer, Outward Bound Canada will run a cross-cultural expedition program to connect Indigenous and non-Indigenous, newcomer and Canadian, underserved and privileged Toronto youth, where they will gain an understanding for each other’s cultures and mutual respect for one another and the land.

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Riverdale Housing Animations Program (RHAP) Riverdale Housing Multicultural Celebrations Canada 150 2016 $1,000
DESCRIPTION:

Since 1986, Riverdale Housing Action Group (RHAG) has provided low- to modest-income tenants from some of Toronto’s most vulnerable communities with safe, affordable housing. RHAC opened the Riverdale Housing Animation Programs (RHAP) in 1997 to provide support services to its tenants and their children, including educational, social, and recreational programs designed to increase inclusion. This year, RHAP will host the Riverdale Housing Multicultural Celebration, a one-day event to celebrate the foods, cultures and  histories of their diverse tenants.

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Making Room Community Arts Common Ground Canada 150 2016 $12,000
DESCRIPTION:

Making Room Community Arts is a radically inclusive, interdisciplinary arts company dedicated to community cultural development and bringing art into everyday life. They working with people living in the margins in order to put them in the centre of the story. This year, Making Room will work with elder artists in South Parkdale to plan a celebration of the diverse histories and cultures found in just one city block.

Making Room Community Arts is trusteed by MABELLEarts.

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Toronto & York Region Métis Council Metis Council Rendezvous Canada 150 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:

The Toronto & York Region Métis Council represents individuals and communities in our region that are a part of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO). On October 15, 2017 the Toronto & York Region Métis Council will host a Toronto and York Region’s rst Rendezvous, a public gathering to bring together Métis and non-Métis peoples in celebration of Métis culture and history. The Council also wishes to launch a research project this year to capture the historical narrative of Métis people in Toronto and York Region.

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City of Toronto Aboriginal Toronto Sport Leadership Program Special Initiatives 2016 $27,723
DESCRIPTION:

This program is a specialized component of the Toronto Sport Leadership Program that provides additional opportunities for Aboriginal youth. 20 Aboriginal youth were trained in the National Coach Certification Program, Basketball, Soccer and Lacrosse, as well as Aboriginal Leadership, First Air, and High Five Principles of Healthy Child Development. They had practical work experience through the North American Indigenous Games hosted in Toronto in 2017. Program graduates qualified for employment with Recreation at City of Toronto. 90% of participants have a better sense of their career and academic path since attending the program and 50% found meaningful paid work within six months of graduation.

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Birchmount Bluffs Neighbourhood Centre Take the Leap (Leadership Through Education and Physical Activity) Vital Youth 2016 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Birchmount Bluffs Neighbourhood Centre offers broad range of recreational, social and capacity-building programs to the southwest Scarborough community. Take the Leap is a partnership with the Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities to bring two adjacent but separate communities together so that youth from primarily racialized and low socioeconomic backgrounds can come together through active recreation and healthy living to build skills and unleash their capacity for leadership.
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ACORN Toronto Tenant Working Groups Vital Ideas, Leadership 2018 $50,000
DESCRIPTION:
ACORN is a charitable organization that uses research and training to address the challenges in low-income communities. With this grant, ACORN will research and develop high impact trainings for Tenant Working Groups, to enable an organizational pivot towards affordable housing advocacy.    
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Circles for Reconciliation Circles for Reconciliation Vital Ideas, Leadership 2018 $50,000
DESCRIPTION:
This project is based out of the University of Manitoba and is a full and equal partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and brings together circles of ten individuals (five Indigenous and five non-Indigenous), that meet ten times, and are led by trained facilitators (one Indigenous facilitator and one non-Indigenous facilitator), in an effort to build relationships and understanding. With this grant, Circles for Reconciliation will expand their project into Toronto.
Circles for Reconciliation is trusteed by the University of Manitoba.
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CUE The Margin of Eras Gallery Vital Ideas, Leadership 2018 $44,800
DESCRIPTION:
CUE is an arts initiative dedicated to supporting marginalized, low-income, and racialized new-generation artists. This grant will support CUE to build organizational capacity to more effectively manage and operate the Margin of Eras Gallery in Parkdale (a space and platform for marginalized young artists to produce arts and cultural events.)
CUE is trusteed by SKETCH.
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FoodShare Toronto FoodShare’s Good Food Markets Vital Ideas, Leadership 2018 $50,000
DESCRIPTION:
FoodShare works alongside Torontonians, throughout the city, to support them in animating community driven initiatives focused on helping to create more sustainable food systems. With this grant, FoodShare will strengthen and expand its Good Food Market program, which provides fresh vegetables and fruits at accessible prices in neighbourhoods with restricted access to affordable produce.
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LOFT Community Services BLOOM Housing, Support, and Network Vital Ideas, Leadership 2018 $50,000
DESCRIPTION:
LOFT (‘Leap Of Faith Together’) is the largest and most diverse supportive housing provider in Ontario. They offer specialized programs that target vulnerable and marginalized youth, adults, and seniors, with special focus on those with mental and physical health and substance use challenges. This grant will support LOFT’s BLOOM program, which is an innovative, ground breaking transitional gender housing program and networking group to meet the needs of the trans population in the GTA.
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Stella's Place Peer Support Training Vital Ideas, Leadership 2018 $48,180
DESCRIPTION:
Stella’s Place serves young adults aged 16-29 with complex mental health challenges, through a community that focuses on positive, peer-engaging, strength-based recovery. With this grant, Stella’s Place will enhance their peer-training program through the development of a Peer Support Training Guide and by expanding the Training Team’s capacity to deliver Stella’s Place Peer Support Training Program.
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Weston Frontlines Centre Frontburners Youth Kitchen/Catering Careers Vital Ideas, Leadership 2018 $50,000
DESCRIPTION:
Weston Frontlines Centre serves children and youth in one of the poorest ridings in Toronto and is the only local centre engaging youth in a variety of activities beyond the arts in Weston. They will be using the grant to run their Frontburners Youth Kitchen/Catering Careers program, which is an 8-week culinary/catering training program for youth in Northwest Toronto who face employment barriers.
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Action Against Hunger (Canada) Generation Nutrition Vital Youth 2019 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Action Against Hunger aims to mitigate the consequences of hunger, change stereotypes about hunger and address root causes. Generation Nutrition aims to improve access to healthy food and build lifelong food skills through outdoor and in-class activities, with students participating in urban agriculture workshops, in order to learn how to plant and grow produce in their own mobile garden boxes.
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Art Starts Own It Vital Youth 2019 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Through music, theatre, dance, and visual arts, Art Starts has helped to build a culture of respect and a shared sense of purpose amongst local residents and is a proven model for arts-based community development in Toronto. The Own It program will allow girls from under-resourced neighbourhoods to participate in self-directed arts-based workshops with female mentors, program facilitators, and artists leading each group through a design process in order to develop an artistic program relevant to their needs.
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Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre 2SLGBTQ+ Junction Triangle Youth Performing Arts and Social Justice Program Vital Youth 2019 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
CONC is a multi-service agency that provides essential and innovative services for vulnerable community members and has been delivering programming in partnership with local youth for almost 20 years. This program will encourage youth to come together weekly to connect, learn, and engage in a variety of activities related to the exploration of personal growth, activism, and leadership.
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Girls E-Mentorship Girls E-Mentorship Program Vital Youth 2019 $12,300
DESCRIPTION:
GEM is a program for high-school girls facing multiple barriers, which equips them with the necessary skills and a diverse network of talented, vibrant women and girls to help them achieve their dreams. Girls are matched with women mentors based on their career aspirations, personality, and interests. These mentors support the girls as they navigate key issues in their lives, such as confidence building, stress management, and job seeking.
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Jane/Finch Community Tennis Association After School Program Vital Youth 2019 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
JFCTA provides educational and recreational programming to residents in the Jane/Finch area, prioritizing healthy living skill-development. The After School Program provides an opportunity for youth to develop confidence and connect to their community, while accessing high quality tennis programming. Youth also learn the necessary skills to become a tennis instructor, in order to boost their future employment opportunities. There is also time designated for homework support, peer mentorship activities, community leadership projects.
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Lady Ballers Camp Sports Leadership and Empowerment for Girls Vital Youth 2019 $14,946
DESCRIPTION:
LBC develops programs centered around girls – focusing on equitable access –  that encourages non-competitive physical, emotional, and educational development through sport. Through this program, LBC delivers basketball skills development, and a training module to become a certified basketball coach. The program is rounded out with workshops focused on resilience, with topics such as self-esteem, wellbeing and nutrition, critical thinking, and community action.
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Native Child and Family Services of Toronto Rites of Passage Vital Youth 2019 $14,900
DESCRIPTION:
NCFST is a multi-service Indigenous agency that provides a holistic, culture-based approach to programs and services that provide a life of quality and healing for Indigenous families in the Greater Toronto Area. The Rites of Passage Project will build the cultural knowledge of urban Indigenous youth by providing them with a unique opportunity to participate in on-the-land programs at Glen Rouge Park, including week-long sessions focused on community building. Youth will be guided through activities grounded in cultural teachings and ceremonies and geared to their personal journeys, designed to help them explore their place in the historically significant land around the Rouge Valley. Activities will include fire keeping, naming, sweat lodge ceremony, and drum making.
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Sistema Toronto Academy Production, Media and Leadership Program Vital Youth 2019 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Sistema Toronto is an intensive social program transforming the lives of children in Toronto’s vulnerable communities through ensemble-based music and intellectual opportunities. The Production, Media and Leadership Program targets youth as they age out of regular programming and prepare to transition to high school. The program covers the full range of basic concert promotion and production skills, while teaching leadership skills, in a hands-on environment.
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The Neighbourhood Group Kick Start Crew Vital Youth 2019 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
TNG is a multi-service organization that creates opportunities to help people live independently with dignity in their community. TNG serves seniors, vulnerable children and youth, newcomers, people who are homeless or precariously housed, and people with mental health challenges. Kick Start Crew is an after-school program that runs three nights a week. The program includes hands-on healthy cooking sessions, Youth Council meetings, and youth-planned or peer-led workshops and outings throughout the year.
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The Peer Project | Youth Assisting Youth Boys Empowerment (BE) Program Vital Youth 2019 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
The Peer Project supports at-risk youth, by matching them with fully trained peer mentors. Mentors provide guidance, specialized support, and a positive role model. The Peer Project supports youth with mental health issues, learning disabilities, and other complex challenges. The BE Program is designed for self-identified boys who will meet to participate in group discussions and recreational/arts-based activities.  The program aims to empower the youth by increasing self-esteem, leadership skills, self-awareness, and empathy by addressing issues such as mental health, bullying, anger and stress management, and nutrition.
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YMCA of Greater Toronto/City of Toronto Toronto Sport Leadership Program Special Initiatives 2018 $50,000
DESCRIPTION:
Toronto Sport Leadership Program (TSLP) is creating opportunities for growth and meaningful employment for youth through specialized sport and coaching training certification.
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Toronto Foundation for Student Success Beyond 3:30 Special Initiatives 2018 $125,000
DESCRIPTION:
Beyond 3:30 provides homework support, recreation, skills development, and mentorship to middle school students after school between 3:30 and 7:30 – a time of day when they are most vulnerable in Toronto’s underserved communities.
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City of Toronto Recipe for Community Special Initiatives 2018 $100,000
DESCRIPTION:
Recipe for Community uses the universal language of food to bring communities together to connect with one another, increase community engagement, build skills, and beautify shared neighbourhood spaces.
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Agincourt Community Services Association Health Resiliency Project Resilience Builder Grant 2019 $25,000
DESCRIPTION:
The Health Resiliency Project will build mutual support, provide opportunities for shared learning, and foster new connections by working with ten resident leaders to implement health and wellness initiatives throughout the Steeles-L’Amoreaux neighbourhood. The goal is for residents to have a solid health and wellness roadmap to follow so that they can learn how to be healthy, practice making healthy choices with regards to eating healthy and exercise and impart this knowledge to other community members.
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Black Creek Community Health Centre (PEACH) PEACH Radio Resilience Builder Grant 2019 $20,000
DESCRIPTION:
Black Creek Community Health Centre is acting as the grant trustee for Promoting Education And Community Health (PEACH) for this grant. PEACH Radio will address issues that are not talked about (high attrition rates, police brutality, youth trafficking). It will provide an open opportunity to bridge the gap between the north side and south side of Finch, and create a voice to be heard, to mitigate risk factors, and to discuss conflicts. This radio station will help create dialogue and squash issues that youth face and want to improve in this community. It will also hold other agencies accountable because youth will have their own creative medium to demonstrate their needs.
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Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough Sports Mentorship Resilience Builder Grant 2019 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
Youth will be engaged through training opportunities with coaches who serve as role models, focusing on both academic and athletic successes and through sharing similar lived experiences. The core element of our program is on-going mentorship. Youth are engaged with interactive learning opportunities which transcend the boundaries of the field and benefit them in their daily lives. By collaborating with community agencies who specialize in mental health, social skills development and educational supports, the program aims to ensure that student athletes are adequately equipped and prepared to be successful in the post-secondary journey.
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East Scarborough Storefront Diversity, Dialogue, & Disruption Resilience Builder Grant 2019 $25,000
DESCRIPTION:
The Diversity, Dialogue, & Disruption initiative asks the question, what would happen if youth disrupted dominant narratives of being, seeing, feeling, and acting, to build healthy spaces for resilient youth from diverse backgrounds and with diverse perspectives to engage in honest, healing dialogue? In collaboration with community organizations, youth will facilitate deep community conversations on a variety of topics under the umbrella of mental health. There are three categories of dialogue – peer to peer, youth to police, and community.
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North York Community House Team of Ten Resilience Builder Grant 2019 $20,000
DESCRIPTION:
The Team of Ten program aims to continue building connections between two different groups of youth who do not otherwise have the chance to meet each other. By working together, youth will be able to take action on similar interests that they have discovered they have. As they learn about how to be good leaders, the youth will join together to fill some of the gaps that they have identified, by organizing activities that youth are interested in. By creating a way to make good connections youth will be able to continue to connect with each other in the future.
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Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre Parkdale Women's Leadership Group Resilience Builder Grant 2019 $25,000
DESCRIPTION:
The Parkdale Women’s Leadership Group aims to create a monthly community-led drop-in space for peer-to-peer mental health training, support, and resources. Parkdale has the highest rates of hospitalization for mental health in the West Toronto sub-region, yet there is a lack of training for community members to know how to respond when someone is in crisis or how to support oneself through self-care. With the rise of violence and mental health crises in the city, the community needs to build alternatives to police interventions through community-based response training. Parkdale already provides many institutional supports for mental health through organizations such as the Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, but there are limited spaces for community-driven, peer-based emotional support and recovery.
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Rexdale Community Health Centre Social Supermarket Resilience Builder Grant 2019 $25,000
DESCRIPTION:
Food insecurity is a major issue in the Rexdale community. Toronto Public Health and partners, including Rexdale Community Health Centre, are in the process of implementing Toronto’s first Social Supermarket at the Rexdale Community Hub. This initiative would reduce food insecurity by enhancing access to affordable food. This project will allow for potential training opportunities for the Rexdale community. Through assessments conducted in the community, residents have identified not only the necessity for this initiative, but also the skills and training opportunities that can arise from its implementation. In this sense, Rexdale Community Health Centre is looking to strengthen community connections, by having residents take on a leadership role in developing and implementing the Social Supermarket.
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Scadding Court Community Centre Entrepreneurial Network Resilience Builder Grant 2019 $20,000
DESCRIPTION:
The Scadding Court Community Centre is interested in creating initiatives that will support residents and community members of the Alexandra Park / Atkinson Co-op neighbourhood and wider city of Toronto in building their social capital as a way to promote economic growth. Over the course of 12 months, the Scadding Court Community Centre will host 10 networking sessions that will offer increased economic opportunities by providing access to mentors, peers, industry-experts, and other resources related to employment and entrepreneurship.
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The Neighbourhood Organization Colours of our Voice Resilience Builder Grant 2019 $15,000
DESCRIPTION:
In consultation with some senior and youth community members from Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park, the community has proposed the Colours of our Voice project which will focus on creating a mural project in the Thorncliffe Park community on the foundation of mutual support of different generations of people in the community from diverse backgrounds. It will create opportunities for shared learning among community members and build new relationships which will contribute not only to stronger social connections, but also a more resilient and vibrant community. This project will be accomplished with collaborative efforts by residents from Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park.
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