Our work at the Foundation is often driven by informed experimentation, as we support people and groups that are testing ambitious strategies to drive sustainable, large-scale change. By way of example, the Toronto Sector Skills Academy cohort has been selected, and these local leaders will soon be embarking on an immersive program that will build their capacity to provide access to decent jobs for low-income people. Other Metcalf grantees are furthering their important work in the areas of cycling and climate policy, and the 2016 Creative Strategies Incubator is exploring a new focus issue and a unique approach to convening. I hope you enjoy this newsletter and invite your feedback.
Sandy Houston, President and CEO
Toronto Sector Skills Academy cohort convenes for the first time
The Toronto Sector Skills Academy cohort will participate in a 10-month leadership program that will enhance their ability to deliver targeted education, training, and employment support services that connect low-income people to jobs with career development opportunities. On October 14 the cohort gathered together, to meet their colleagues and members of the program’s advisory committee, before their first learning retreat in November.
How the simple act of cooking can build trust and spur creativity
Each year, Metcalf’s Creative Strategies Incubator gathers a diverse group of performing arts organizations to address a longstanding issue facing their sector. Critical to the multi-year program’s success is its ability to foster an environment where participants are supported in sharing bold ideas and examining sometimes difficult truths. Performing Arts Program Director Michael Trent explains why, in bringing the 2016 cohort together for the first time, he chose to skip the conventional meeting room and head for the kitchen.
Building a culture of cycling in the suburbs
With minimal access to cycling resources, information, and infrastructure, Scarborough hasn’t enjoyed the same increase in bike use as Toronto’s downtown core. Last year, Metcalf grantee Toronto Centre for Active Transportation and partners Cycle Toronto, CultureLink, and U of T’s Cycling Think & Do Tank launched Scarborough Cycles, an initiative to boost ridership through the creation of community bike hubs. We spoke with Project Coordinator Marvin Macaraig about cycling infrastructure, local leadership, and other opportunities for building bike culture in the ‘burbs.
Announcing the 2016 Opportunities Fund Grantees
The Opportunities Fund — a granting stream of our Inclusive Local Economies program— supports organizations that are implementing pragmatic approaches to improve the livelihoods of low-income people in Toronto. Four funded strategies have been announced for 2016. Each identifies a new bridge between the public, private, or charitable sectors that’s designed to create a clearer pathway for workers to access Toronto’s vibrant economy.
Examining Canada's climate change commitments
Metcalf grantees Clean Energy Canada, the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network, and Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission have all released new research and reports related to climate action in Canada. From a progress report on provincial climate policies and emissions, to an examination of our attitudes around climate change, their work challenges Canada to take expedient action to transition to a low-carbon society.
Metcalf's newest Performing Arts Interns
Since 2001, over 250 early- and mid-career professionals have honed their skills, expanded their networks, and made meaningful contributions to their field as Metcalf Performing Arts Interns. We are pleased to introduce six new participants in the program. Through their internships, they’ll learn practical skills and deepen their understanding of their respective disciplines of curation, artistic direction, administration, and production management.
Solitary Confinement: Battling the Headwinds
Innovation Fellow John Stapleton’s guest blog series Solitary Confinement examines the roadblocks that prevent people on social assistance from exploring self-employment or entrepreneurial opportunities. In his third and final post, he identifies the “headwinds” that are embedded in the Ontario Works program and presents his appeal for comprehensive reform.
Metcalf attends Vancouver conference on active, inclusive communities
Building on the Foundation’s history of supporting sector leaders with learning and professional development opportunities, Metcalf President and CEO Sandy Houston and Environment Program Director Andre Vallillee brought together five local leaders to attend the biennial Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference in Vancouver. Representatives from the Ryerson City Building Institute, Cycle Toronto, Toronto Centre for Active Transportation, and Urban Land Institute connected with international city builders from the public and private sectors to discuss how walking, cycling, and place-making strategies can build healthy, vibrant communities.
How the TFWP impacts Canada's migrant workers
On September 19, the Parliamentary Committee that reviewed Canada’s controversial Temporary Foreign Worker Program proposed 21 recommendations for change. We spoke with Fay Faraday, a Metcalf Innovation Fellow and nationally recognized human rights lawyer, and Gabriel Allahdua, a migrant farm worker from St. Lucia, to provide context for the recommendations.