Archive for October, 2011

Changemakers Competition Now Open!

It’s official! The Changemakers Competition, Inspiring Approaches to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learning, is now open.

The competition—an initiative of Ashoka Canada and several foundation partners, including McConnell—will solicit innovative projects and ideas to improve First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learning, using the Changemakers collaborative online platform. The platform will allow participants to share ideas, access resources and connect with a community of innovators from across Canada and around the world.

Prizes will be awarded in each region of the country, and cover Early Childhood Education to Post-Secondary Education and Career Training.

Do you have ideas for new and inspiring approaches to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learning? Ashoka Changemakers wants to hear them.

For more information about the competition and awards, visit

Farm-to-School in the News

The Farm-to-School program, which matches participating schools with farmers or small networks of growers who are paid fair market value to supply produce, is proving successful in many British Columbia schools. With Foundation support it is preparing to expand across Canada, widening its focus to Farm-to-Cafeteria to work with hospitals, long-term care facilities and even ferries!

Recently highlighted in the Globe and Mail, the program teaches students about more than just the food chain, by integrating health, environmental studies, sociology, economics and agriculture.

The integrative B.C. curriculum seems to have won over young palettes to the joys of the salad bar while regenerating community interest in growing fresh produce. Students are lining up for lunch at the 50 or so salad bars that have cropped up across B.C. school cafeterias.

Read the full Globe and Mail article here.

Author Lone Frank at Paragraphe Books!

Join us November 9th (6:30 p.m.) at Paragraphe Books in Montreal for a reading from My Beautiful Genome, followed by a Q&A with author Lone Frank.

In My Beautiful Genome, Frank—a renowned science writer and speaker—chronicles her own experience with personal genomics.

The event, co-hosted by the Foundation, Blue Metropolis Foundation and Maisonneuve Magazine is open to the public.

Paragraphe Books is located at 2220 McGill College Ave, Montreal.

For more information, contact communications(at)

We hope to see you there!

ALLIES Releases New Report

Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Strategies (ALLIES)—a Maytree and Foundation program to support local efforts in Canadian cities to successfully adapt and implement programs that further the suitable employment of skilled immigrants—was recently profiled in the Globe and Mail.

The article highlights the findings of the recently released report, Global Talent for SMEs: Practical Ideas to Connect Small and Medium Businesses with the Skilled Immigrant Workforce.

The report is a result of the first stages of research ALLIES has undertaken to better understand the programs and policies that can engage and influence the human resource practices of SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises with less than 200 employees).

Drawing on an examination of programs, policies and organizational efforts aimed at SMEs in 10 provinces and 20 cities, and more than 50 interviews with key informants, this research proposes eight practical ideas for cities, service providers and employers.

Click here to learn more about the findings, and to download the report.

Inspiring Action for Social Impact Series

On November 2, Social Innovation Generation and Frances Westley—the JW McConnell Chair in Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo and the co-Founder of the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience—launch Inspiring Action for Social Impact Series, a new webinar series focusing on Canadian ideas in social innovation.

The 8-week series, featuring leaders of the SiG initiative, will explore social innovation—sharing lessons learned, best practices and emerging concepts and ideas.

Upcoming webinars:

  • November 2: Frances Westley on Social Innovation and Resilience
  • November 9: Stephen Huddart on Managing Social Innovation
  • November 16: Allyson Hewitt on Shared Value & what it means for the non-profit sector
  • November 23: Cheryl Rose on Community-University Partnerships
  • November 30: Tim Draimin on Supporting global learning: Australia/Canada social innovation synergies
  • December 7: Al Etmanski on Natural Care
  • December 13: Tim Brodhead on Key trends in philanthropy for grant seekers from a SI perspective (Note: this event takes place on a Tuesday)
  • December 20: Dr. Ilse Treurnicht on Upcoming Trends in Innovation

For full webinar details, visit the SiG series website.

The Centre for Sustainable Development Opens its Doors

October 6th marked the official launch of Montreal’s Centre for Sustainable Development (Maison du Développement Durable), the first commercial building in the downtown core of a major Canadian city to seek LEED Platinum certification in the new construction category. The comprehensive project—lead by long-time Foundation grantee Équiterre—integrates environmental, social, and economic elements.

Eight socially and environmentally minded organizations united to create the Centre for Sustainable Development, a demonstration green building (comprising 5 floors and over 60,000 square feet) whose mission is to inspire everyone from property developers to the general public to embrace sustainability.

Visit the Centre for Sustainable Development website to learn more.