February 2019

A core element of our work is our belief in the importance and value of supporting individuals in the not-for-profit sector over the arc of their careers.

This commitment takes a variety of forms. In our Performing Arts Internships, we invest in people at the beginning of their careers. And with both the Toronto Sector Skills Academy and Staging Change we back innovative immersive ways for leaders to acquire and deploy new professional skills.

We created the Metcalf Performing Arts Internships program in recognition of the power of internships to change not only the trajectory of an individual life, but also for their contributions to organizational and ultimately even sectoral vitality. Over the past 18 years, we have supported almost 300 interns, creating opportunities for individuals to be mentored and trained in their future careers. Interns have worked in occupations as distinct as production design, stage management, and artistic direction and in disciplines as diverse as opera, ballet, music, and theatre. Many interns have gone on to become mentors themselves, a testimony to the initiative’s success. I encourage you to meet our current 17 interns and explore the history of the program on this new page on our website.

Earlier this month, the 24 participants in our Toronto Sector Skills Academy graduated, the second cohort to do so since we launched the program in 2016. These workforce leaders are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds – everything from skills training intermediaries to labour, government, and community organizations. They work on improving economic outcomes for low-wage workers and low-income job seekers, and are on the frontlines in confronting what graduation guest speaker Jamison Steeve, Executive Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity called “one of the most important policy challenges society will face over the next 25 years.”

Staging Change is the Foundation’s latest strategic multi-year investment program in the Performing Arts. We are pleased to announce the eight performing arts companies and organizations that have been selected to participate in Stage 2. In the second stage of the program, the participants will have the opportunity to continue to work intensively with our colleagues at EmcArts to uncover potent ways in which their organizations can adapt to our rapidly changing environment and better meet the challenges facing the performing arts in the 21st century.

All of these initiatives are grounded in the Foundation’s conviction that change happens when we work and learn collectively, think broadly in pursuit of comprehensive solutions, and share hopeful visions of the future.

Sandy Houston, President and CEO


Eight Performing Arts Companies and Organizations Accepted into Staging Change Stage 2

We are pleased to announce the selection of eight Toronto-based performing arts companies and organizations for acceptance into Stage 2 of Staging Change, Metcalf’s latest version of its multi-year strategic funding program in the Performing Arts. In the delivery of Staging Change, Metcalf is partnering with EmcArts, a non-profit cultural enterprise based at the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. EmcArts comes with a solid track record in using an adaptive change process to address some of the most intractable and complex challenges facing the arts sector.


Metcalf Photo Essay: Second Cohort of TSSA Graduates

On February 7, twenty-four Toronto Sector Skills Academy fellows celebrated their graduation. Drawn from across the Greater Toronto Area, the two dozen participants came from a wide range of backgrounds in workforce development.


A New Focus on our Performing Arts Interns

Since 2001, the Foundation has invested close to $7 million and supported almost 300 interns. Our new page celebrates current and past interns, and shares information about the program.

To get a year was so fantastic—I got to sink my teeth into things. It gave me an entry to my career in arts management. It’s hard to know how I would have moved forward without it.

Roxanne Duncan
2006 Metcalf Intern, Administration

Metcalf Innovation Fellow Graham Saul Interviewed by Steve Paikin on TVO’s The Agenda

The Agenda welcomed Graham Saul, Metcalf Innovation Fellow and Executive Director of Nature Canada, to discuss his paper Environmentalists, what are we fighting for? on the episode entitled Stuck Between Hope and Fear. Originally broadcast on Wednesday November 7, 2018, it can be viewed here.

CBC Radio Ideas Features Metcalf Innovation Fellow Graham Saul

If you missed the original broadcast, not to worry. The podcast of Graham Saul’s episode Why is Environmentalism Failing?  is available for download. Originally broadcast in November, Saul argues that environmentalism has a message problem — it lacks a single, coherent, unified message that people can grasp. And to be successful, it needs to find one and fast.


Metcalf Photo Essay: Pembina Explores the Potential of Bikes for Urban Freight Delivery

In late January, over 50 leaders gathered to explore the environmentally friendly opportunities that bicycles offer for last mile deliveries.


Metcalf Interview: Melissa Dibble

EmcArts Melissa Dibble shares her thoughts on leading Metcalf’s Staging Change Associate Facilitator Training Initiative and the opportunity she sees to build a cadre of adaptive change specialists in Toronto.

Working with the associate facilitators at Metcalf, I realize there’s a real opportunity to build a field of practice here and to spread it across Canada.

Melissa Dibble
Lead Facilitator, Staging Change

Metcalf Photo Essay CrSI 2016 and 2017 Cohorts Come Together for Group Learning

In early February, the 2016 and 2017 Creative Strategies Incubator cohorts, representing eleven performing arts companies, came together to share stories and support each other’s work.


Metcalf at the Philanthropic Foundations Canada Conference

Metcalf Foundation’s Sandy Houston and Andre Vallillee played a lead role in two sessions at the biennial Philanthropic Foundations Canada Conference that took place in Toronto last October.


Building The Future

Clean Energy Canada’s new report makes a compelling case that combining the federal government’s commitment to infrastructure investment with policies to reduce pollution can help build the clean growth economy.


Building Bike Culture Beyond Downtown: A Guide to Suburban Community Bike Hubs

A new report by The Centre for Active Transportation at Clean Air Partnership is both a comprehensive analysis of the impediments to cycling that suburban Toronto communities face and a how-to manual on ways to encourage cycling outside Toronto’s downtown core.

From Paris to Projects

From Paris to Projects offers an in depth overview of the important technical work that needs to be done to reach our climate goals, most important of which is that we need to establish a framework to articulate and measure targets and ensure that these are applied under federal law.



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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