Goodbye pavement! Volunteers gather around the bin after a hard day’s work at the Depave Paradise pilot event in Dundas, Ontario, on October 20.

Photo: Shawn Fennell


From the establishment of a grand new home for The Theatre Centre, to ripping up and removing pavement — we’re delighted to be able to share a variety of stories that celebrate creative thinking and collaborative action. You’ll find information about FarmStart, Everdale, The Stop, and East Scarborough Storefront, as well as information about our new Performing Arts Program and a new hot-off-the-press book about internships. Welcome to the November issue of our e-newsletter. As always, we welcome your feedback.

Sandy Houston, President and CEO


Creative Strategies Incubator is launched

Creative Strategies Incubator is launched
We are pleased to announce our new Performing Arts Program: the Creative Strategies Incubator. The program will support professional performing arts organizations as they work together to find strategic approaches to sectoral issues. Letters of interest to the first round of the program will be due March 11, 2013. More information, including the program focus for 2013, can be found here.

(photo: Zata Omm Dance Projects; David Hou, photographer)

Publication of Places, Please!

Places, Please! is a call to funders to consider the extraordinary potential of supporting internship opportunities. It’s also a celebration of what Metcalf has accomplished in over a decade of focused arts internship programming. The book includes a background of the program, a summary of lessons we have learned, and personal stories from both interns and mentors. We welcome any observations and questions you have.


Eighteen market gardens and Toronto’s first substantial urban harvest

On September 28, Metcalf staff and board members visited two different organizations which share a common goal: to strengthen local food and agricultural systems.
FarmStart, located on the historic McVean Farm in the City of Brampton, is leading the way in training a new generation of entrepreneurial, ecological farmers. Among its achievements, the farm has created 18 new market gardens, trained two beekeepers, and engaged 30 farmers including new Canadians from 16 countries.

Everdale is helping to build a new community approach to urban farming on a seven-acre site located near the Jane and Finch community. Damian Adjodha, Metcalf Sustainability Intern, is a farmer and an ecologist. He talked about ways to avoid “project inertia,” his role as an advocate for the community, and how to support efforts to transition the farm to a community-run operation. “It’s essential that the community is kept informed and engaged, so the project becomes theirs. We are partnering with many organizations so this an opportunity to create a collaborative ecosystem of organizations, while developing new methodologies that will lead us down a sustainable path.”

How Canada’s laws fuel migrant worker exploitation

Canada’s reliance on low-wage migrant workers with temporary immigration status is growing but our laws make them vulnerable to abuse, says a new report written by Fay Faraday, Metcalf Innovation Fellow. Made in Canada: How the Law Constructs Migrant Workers’ Insecurity, shows that low-wage migrant workers are brought into Canada on terms that leave them open to exploitation. The report generated significant media response.


Please welcome Shahil Thomas, our new Local Economies Developer

Shahil Thomas has joined Metcalf’s Resilient Neighbourhood Economies team. Shahil is passionate about entrepreneurship, small business growth, and helping communities thrive. Most recently, he held positions with BMO and Accenture, where he brought his project management and finance skills to a range of challenges. Prior to this, he worked at United Way Mumbai where he led several city initiatives to improve quality of life.


Please welcome Anne Perdue, our new Writer and Communications Lead

Anne Perdue has joined Metcalf as our Writer and Communications Lead. Anne is a multi-skilled communications specialist, having worked as a writer, editor, graphic designer and publications consultant. Prior to joining Metcalf, Anne held a variety of positions with a wide range of organizations including Cadbury Adams, Kellogg Canada, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, G4Securicor, Royal LePage, and CIBC Wood Gundy.


Retiring on a low income

On October 25, Metcalf Fellow John Stapleton led a community forum and panel discussion. The topic: retirement planning on a low income. Further resources in this topic, including a pamphlet outlining four key issues, can be accessed here.

Metcalf and Maytree letter on immigrant self-employment

To deepen our understanding of the issues and opportunities identified in Immigrant Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship in the GTA, by Dr. Sarah Wayland, Metcalf and Maytree conducted interviews and roundtable discussions with over 30 individuals knowledgeable on the topic. We also met with officials from government, various agencies, foundations, financial institutions and business networking organizations. In August, we summarized the key conclusions from these discussions.



Green Communities Canada helps to depave paradise

Green Communities Canada is engaging volunteers and neighbourhoods in four Ontario communities. The task? To remove pavement and replace it with plant gardens filled with native species. The hands-on pilot project renews, beautifies and makes better use of neglected urban spaces. Media coverage for this pilot project has included an interview with Jessica Piskorowski on Metro Morning and articles in Kingston Whig StandardHamilton Spectator, and Inside Toronto.

The Stop serves up a case for social enterprise

In 1998, The Stop Community Food Centre was a bare-bones food bank with a staff of three. Today, it continues to provide front-line services but its staff of 40 is responsible for a wildly-innovative array of programs and initiatives that includes pop-up night markets, beer gardens and a farmers market. Metcalf has supported The Stop over more than a decade in its efforts to address issues of food insecurity and how we create a sustainable food system accessible to all. A feature article on The Stop ran in the October 27 issue of Canadian Business.

The Theatre Centre finds a permanent home

Despite being one of Toronto’s oldest performing arts companies with a record of successful, award-winning productions, The Theatre Centre has had to move seven times in its 31-year history. But this is about to change. On October 11, renovations began to their new home in the historic Carnegie Library building on Queen Street West. Metcalf provided seed funding to develop the architectural renderings that were an important part of the presentation to City Council in 2010. And with Metcalf Strategic Initiative funding, The Theatre Centre was able to build capacity for this exciting capital venture.

East Scarborough Storefront’s Eco-Food Hub featured in the Star

On October 11, the Toronto Star’s Leanne Delap profiled the people behind East Scarborough Storefront’s transformation, highlighting how they are turning a paved parking lot into a community paradise. The Storefront is a non-profit service hub. It includes the brand new eco-food hub kitchen and community garden, funded by the Metcalf Foundation.

Smaller but grander vision for Canadian Stage

Canadian Stage Company was the subject of a feature article in the Globe and Mail on October 15. The article provides an intriguing look at the company’s proactive strategy of “right-sizing” as a path to stability and artistic flexibility.

Cape Farewell climate change symposium

This past spring, Cape Farewell won a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artistic Innovation and Collaboration prize. Part of the funding was used to organize and deliver the Marfa Dialogues — a symposium which brought together artists, writers, scientists and visionaries to stimulate discourse and generate new ideas within the climate change debate. Podcasts can be heard here.


Creative Partnerships: Connecting Business and the Arts

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 – 9:00 am to 3:30 pm
 Syd Jackson Theatre, Manulife Financial
This free one-day symposium will explore national and international models of partnership, collaboration, and investment across creative and corporate sectors.

Environment Program

Guidelines for our new Environment Program will be coming in December/January.

March 11, 2013

Letters of Interest, Creative Strategies Incubator

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