May 2018

As a foundation, we believe that it is vital to tackle tough issues, share knowledge, and learn collectively. Several people featured in this issue embody these values.

Several people featured in this issue embody these values. One of Canada’s foremost experts on poverty, John Stapleton has been a Metcalf Innovation Fellow since 2006. Over the last decade John has been an essential resource to the community and all levels of government as they grapple with effective poverty reduction strategies. He has also been a prolific author and influential thinker – Metcalf is proud of the nine reports we have published with John. In the long-form Metcalf Interview, John discusses how far he thinks Canada has come over the last fifty years in creating a just society and how far the country still needs to go.

Raised in England and now based in New York City, Richard Evans is the thoughtful and provocative powerhouse behind EmcArts, the arts consultancy which the Foundation has recently engaged to help deliver the Performing Arts Program’s new initiative Staging Change. Having worked with over three hundred cultural institutions across North America and at large organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, Richard draws on his experience, talking about his profound belief in the transformative power of adaptive change: a process rooted in bringing multiple organizational and community voices together in order to address and find solutions to the challenging questions that beset arts organizations. He also conveys his hopes and ambitions as he gets ready to begin working with members of Toronto’s performing arts community.

In Good Food, Good Jobs, Metcalf Innovation Fellow Tom Zizys takes a look at the quality of work in the food sector. In Ontario, agri-food is big business and food industry occupations account for over eight percent of all jobs. Unfortunately, a high proportion of these jobs are low wage and low quality. Tom sets up the inquiry and poses two questions to five peers who focus on the food movement through a social justice lens. Their responses are illuminating and explore a wide range of perspectives and strategies for improving the quality of food jobs while also addressing the need for food to be accessible and affordable.

Our Environment Program has welcomed an impressive slate of new advisors to all three funding streams and Cycle City has announced its new grantees. The Inclusive Local Economies Program kicked off the second year of its highly subscribed Toronto Sector Skills Academy with a four-day retreat in April.

I hope you enjoy this newsletter and invite your feedback.

Sandy Houston, President and CEO


Metcalf Interview: John Stapleton

One of the foremost experts on poverty in Canada, John Stapleton has dedicated the greater part of the past fifty years to improving income security for all Canadians. The only person in Ontario to have served on the most recent income security reform processes at all three levels of government, he talks to us about the troubling misconceptions about poverty that still exist and how to best move forward.

To locate the issue of poverty within the control of an individual is a mistake. It’s not the fault of an individual that the only work they can get is part-time, doesn’t pay much, or is provided through the informal economy.

John Stapleton
Metcalf Innovation Fellow

2018 Toronto Sector Skills Academy Fellows Commence Program

Twenty-four new participants joined the TSSA in March, beginning the second year that Metcalf offers this exciting and challenging ten-month workforce development program. Working together, the group collaborates on developing practical solutions to address our region’s complex workforce issues.


Good Food, Good Jobs: An Inquiry

While there has been a policy push to support regionally grown healthy food as a way to invest and strengthen local economies, until now, questions about the quality of employment have been missing from the discussion. Metcalf Innovation Fellow Tom Zizys and five leaders and activists explore strategies for improving the quality of both food and food jobs. On June 6, Community Food Centres Canada will be hosting a webinar to further explore this topic.

How is it, as good food has emerged as a public cause, that concern about the quality of jobs associated with food has not attracted the same consideration? 

Tom Zizys
Metcalf Innovation Fellow

Metcalf Interview: Richard Evans

When Richard Evans co-founded EmcArts twenty years ago, he recognized that while many arts organizations wanted to innovate, they often lacked the necessary tools to move forward. Two decades later, Richard is now regarded as a leader in adaptive change for cultural organizations.

With Staging Change, we hope to support Toronto’s vibrant artistic community and create new ways of doing things of which the rest of the country will take notice.

Richard Evans
President, EmcArts

Cycle City Grantees Announced

Charlie’s FreeWheels, CultureLink, and Pembina all have dynamic initiatives greenlit for 2018.


Environment Program Welcomes New Advisors

Program advisors play a crucial role at Metcalf and we’re delighted to welcome new members to our three Environment Program funding streams.


Green Budget Coalition Celebrates

Called “a game-changer for conservation in Canada”, Budget 2018 commits $1.3B to protect the environment and support Indigenous-led stewardship.


Learning to be a Bicycle Friendly Driver: A Feasibility Study

Bicyclists and pedestrians account for the majority of people killed or seriously injured on Toronto’s streets according to a report by Toronto Centre for Active Transportation.



The Metcalf Foundation works with Canadians to improve the health and vibrancy of our communities, our culture, and our environment.
The George Cedric Metcalf
Charitable Foundation

38 Madison Avenue
Toronto, ON M5R 2S1 Canada
Tel. 416-926-0366

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