April News
Delivering on the Winnipeg Promise for all children
On April 7, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman announced The Winnipeg Promise, a plan for his city to increase participation in the Canada Learning Bond (CLB), a federal program that provides up to $2,000 toward postsecondary education for children from low-income families. Currently only 31% of all eligible Canadian families have a Bond, and among many Indigenous communities the rate is much lower.

Bowman, the first-ever Indigenous mayor of any major Canadian city, made his announcement in Edmonton during the Cities Reducing Poverty Summit, at which the Foundation was also an active participant. Foundation president and CEO Stephen Huddart said, “The Winnipeg Promise is of particular relevance to Indigenous children who are under-represented in receiving this benefit and we hope it serves as a model for the rest of Canada.”

Read the article (5 min. read)
Winning Civic Innovation Awards projects showcase high potential of city-postsecondary collaborations
The Foundation’s inaugural Civic Innovation Awards program has awarded grants of $10K to $30K to seven projects across Canada that showcase innovative collaborations between cities and post-secondary institutions. The awards program, launched last fall as part of the Foundation’s Cities for People and RECODE initiatives, attracted 150 applicants, and jury members believe that the final winners’ ideas are not only outstanding in their own right but could also be applied in other cities across Canada.

The winning projects are based out of Iqaluit, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Guelph, and Toronto. The grand-prize winner calls for the creation of a Northern Innovation Hub for Iqaluit. The project seeks to solve two problems: taking disused sea shipping containers that litter the coast and repurposing them to provide badly needed commercial and residential space.

Learn more
When it comes to produce, ugly is the new beautiful
Loblaws announced this month that it will sell imperfect fruits and vegetables for 30% less than regular produce in its stores across the country, thus reducing waste and increasing income to local farmers. The new initiative is the result of a successful pilot that tested the approach in several locations in Ontario. The pilot was indirectly inspired by the Ontario Tender Fruit Social Innovation Lab, which brought together three levels of government, two large supermarket chains, and a diverse range of people to encourage a more thriving and resilient tender fruit industry in Ontario.
Read more about the Ontario Tender Fruit Lab
What Your Data Says: how can the postsecondary sector better support innovation?
In fall 2015 RECODE launched the Postsecondary Education Mapping Survey and asked students, professors, campus leadership, and diverse stakeholders how can the postsecondary sector better support innovation? Their goal? To map and understand the connections and opportunities for change in higher education. The findings, compiled by Intel and Vibrant Data, identified 10 challenges that present the most opportunity for leverage and far-reaching positive impact. Join RECODE, Second Muse, Intel and Vibrant data for a webinar on May 11 to learn more about the survey, and to hear about upcoming opportunities to continue this work on campus. 
Learn more about the webinar and see the survey infographic
{Re}conciliation initiative announces second round of funding
"At a time when once again we are reminded of the challenges, hardships and tragedies many Indigenous communities are facing, we must reflect on the history of colonialism and oppression that has marked Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations on this land."
The second competition of the {Re}conciliation initiative, is now open. This initiative is open to First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists, collectives and arts organizations (including collaborations with non-Aboriginal artists and organizations) and aims to promote artistic collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, investing in the power of art and imagination to inspire dialogue, understanding and change. Applications due by June 21, 2016.
Learn more and apply
Food funders landscape assessment identifies opportunities for collaboration and impact
A new joint report by several food funders (including the Foundation) hopes to encourage and inform effective collaborative work among food funders to create integrated solutions for a more resilient food system in Canada.  The report offers recommendations for future funding, such as investment in local distribution hubs, and supporting transitions to sustainable production practices for both family farms and conventional operations.
Read the report
Spotlight on new grants
The Trustees of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation have approved new grants and contributions to the Moose Hide Campaign Development Society, Communautique, the Strathmere Group, the British Council and the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation.
Learn more
Here are some of our favourite blogs from the past month.
Measuring what’s important in higher education
Harvey Weingarten, President and CEO of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario asks “how can we better ensure that a postsecondary education equips students with the skills necessary for getting a good job and succeeding at it.”
Future Food: Conserving diversity for climate resilience
Jane Rabinowicz of USC Canada and Bob Wildfong of Seeds of Diversity Canada argue that crop diversity is the key to resilience in the face of increasing climate change.  
View all blogs
Accolades
Claudine Labelle Wins IOC Award 
The Foundation would like to congratulate Claudine Labelle, founder and President of grantee the FitSpirit Foundation, on being awarded the 2015 International Olympic Committee Trophy for Sport and Innovation. Since its founding in 2007, FitSpirit has created awareness among thousands of teenage girls in this country. Its flagship program, FitClub, encourages girls to enjoy the benefit of getting active with friends, and can be found in more than 100 high schools and elementary schools in Quebec and Ontario, with more than 10,000 participants for the 2015 edition. 

  Learn more.
Montreal Centre for Sustainable Development wins LEED award of excellence
On March 23 the Montreal Centre for Sustainable Development was awarded the LEED award of excellence for new constructions or major renovations by the Conseil du bâtiment durable du Canada – Québec.
This award was created to highlight projects that meet high standards for sustainable building and to reward developers and stakeholders in advancing sustainable building in Quebec. 
New
Resources
Canadian Placemaking Report

A new report from Co*Lab explores what placemakers in Canada need to work on more effectively, the challenges they face, and actionable recommendations to strengthen and multiply their impact. Placemaking is the collaborative process by which we shape our public spaces for maximized shared value. The report is a resource for those who want to learn more about the current state of placemaking and those who are passionate about driving sustainable change in their communities.
Choose wisely: Options and Trade-offs in Recycling Carbon Pricing Revenues
A new study from Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission focuses on the costs and benefits of six options for recycling the revenue raised from carbon pricing. The study finds that although revenue-recycling choices differ across the country, household fairness and business competitiveness challenges can both be addressed with good policy, and need not be an obstacle to designing and implementing carbon pricing policies.
Cities for People Experimental Report

A full version of the Cities for People Experimental Report is now available for download. The report explores new ideas and promising approaches to creating the sustainable, innovative and resilient cities we envision for the future.
Read the report online or download the report here.
Staff News
We are pleased to welcome the following new team member:
Jakob Wildman-Sisk
RECODE
Social Innovation Fellow

Jakob will join the Foundation in May as the RECODE Social Innovation Fellow. Jake comes to the Foundation from the New Brunswick Non Profit Housing Association and Pond-Deshpande Centre where he was the Social Lab Manager. 

Jakob will be replacing Danica Straith. We would like to thank Danica for her contributions to the Foundation and we wish her the best in her new role at Ashoka Canada.

Read Danica's fellowship reflection here.

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visit the SiG Knowledge Hub.