The Toronto Sector Skills Academy is a new Metcalf program designed to help organizational leaders strategically devise and strengthen employment opportunities for low-income workers. You will find details on the program in this newsletter, along with information about our series of Green Prosperity Papers, Innovation Fellow Fay Faraday’s recent report on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and our 2016 Creative Strategies Incubator cohort. It’s been a busy time as we continue to work together with our partners to create and advance pragmatic solutions to complex challenges. I hope you enjoy this newsletter and invite your comments.
Sandy Houston, President and CEO
Celebrating our 2013 Creative Strategies Incubator graduates
On June 13, Metcalf’s Performing Arts Program hosted a celebration for the graduating companies of the 2013 Creative Strategies Incubator — the first cohort to complete the three-year program. Attendees watched a series of short videos that shared each company’s strategies, achievements, and insights from their funded projects. You can view these videos on our Stories from the Inc. page.
Intersections: Our 2014-2015 Biennial Report
Our Biennial Report showcases the dynamic ways in which people, organizations, strategies, and ideas connect across our work at Metcalf. Intersections between the environment and the economy, the government and civil society, and community groups and the private sector are among the many that inspire our efforts. We invite you to have a read and welcome your thoughts and comments.
Applications are open for the Toronto Sector Skills Academy
The goal of the Toronto Sector Skills Academy is to build the capacity of leaders to improve employment opportunities for low-income workers while supporting business competitiveness. Presented in partnership with the Aspen Institute, this 10-month program is the first of its kind in Canada. Applications are due on September 15, and interested applicants are encouraged to register for a webinar on August 8.
Green Prosperity Papers envision a renewable, resilient southern Ontario
Metcalf commissioned the Green Prosperity Papers to connect university-based researchers in Ontario with timely public policy challenges that bridge environmental and economic issues. Each paper presents opportunities for building towards a low-carbon, resource efficient, and resilient southern Ontario through topics such as social justice, fiscal reform, and democratic governance. Five papers have been released over the last three months. The sixth and final paper will be published in fall 2016.
Nancy Webster on the value of internships, mentors, and female leadership in the theatre
An arts manager, theatre champion, and Metcalf advisor whose career spans decades, Nancy Webster has made an incredible mark on Toronto’s performing arts community. This spring, she was presented with both the Mallory Gilbert and Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Awards. We sat down with Webster to talk about this recent recognition, the changing face of theatre administration, and the continued importance of mentorship in the performing arts.
Canada's Choice: Decent Work or Entrenched Exploitation for Canada’s Migrant Workers?
Canada’s Choice, the latest report from human rights lawyer and Metcalf Innovation Fellow Fay Faraday, concludes that changes made to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in 2014 have left Canada’s 600,000 migrant workers more vulnerable to exploitation and have further narrowed their access to permanent residence. Coinciding with a parliamentary review of the program, this timely report provides clear policy recommendations to strengthen protections and build employment security for Canada’s migrant workers.
Toronto's cycling network is growing
City Council has approved Toronto’s 10-year Cycling Plan, which will double its cycling budget and add hundreds of kilometres of bike infrastructure across the city. This follows the adoption of a bike lane pilot project on Bloor Street and the province’s announcement of substantial investment in commuter cycling networks in municipalities across Ontario. A recent poll commissioned by Metcalf, Evergreen, Cycle Toronto, and the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation found that 86% of Torontonians support the development of a safer cycling network across the city.
Introducing the 2016 Creative Strategies Incubator cohort
The three-year Creative Strategies Incubator program supports professional performing arts companies to address longstanding sectoral issues in meaningful new ways. Through an accompanying learning network, companies are encouraged to share their work collectively. The 2016 focus issue for our learning network is providing greater opportunities for artistic work to achieve its potential.
Prototyping in Practice: How the Learning Circle redesigned their services from the ground up
Led by Metcalf Innovation Fellow Sarah Schulman, the Learning Circle was a six-month program that supported 23 non-profit leaders and policy makers to rethink their social services by placing the wants, needs, and motivations of their audience at the forefront of the design process. For their recent graduation event, Learning Circle participants created posters, viewable here, that summarize their activities and insights as they designed, delivered, and evaluated their new people-centred prototypes.
Nick Saul awarded honourary Doctor of Laws from Ryerson University
Nick Saul was recently recognized with an Honourary Doctorate from Ryerson University. During his 15-year tenure as executive director of The Stop Community Food Centre, Saul transformed the organization from a small food bank into a thriving community hub. Saul is now the co-founder, president, and CEO of Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC), a national organization that builds food-focused community centres in low-income neighbourhoods. Metcalf has worked closely with The Stop since 2003, and with CFCC since its origins.
Our Future King: Rethinking Toronto’s busiest surface transit corridor
On June 16, eight urban thinkers came together to imagine a more functional, free-flowing King Street. Panellists, including Toronto Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat, TTC CEO Andy Byford, and Janice Solomon of the Entertainment District BIA, offered diverse suggestions for getting King Street moving — such as transit-only lanes and time-restricting car traffic. We recently shared our analysis of their discussion, which was presented by the Pembina Institute, the Pembina Foundation, and the City of Toronto with support from Metcalf.