$2 Million in grants to support skills-building, create job prospects and
foster entrepreneurship

Ontario Trillium Foundation Future Fund focuses on new approaches, new opportunities



The Ontario Trillium Foundation today announced $2 million in Future Fund grants to seven community projects. Organizations will use the funds to boost the skills and job prospects of a wide range of Ontarians - from displaced industrial workers and single moms in southern Ontario to women entrepreneurs in Thunder Bay and First Nation forestry technician trainees in Northern Ontario.

These latest Future Fund grants are being made public at events in Thunder Bay (February 5) and Toronto (February 9).

    In Toronto, the recipients of four projects totaling $729,900 are:

    -   Access Community Capital Fund (http://accessccf.com/)- $125,500 over
        three years to develop chapters of Access Community Capital Fund in
        six Toronto neighbourhoods. Micro-loans will be extended to low-
        income individuals who are starting or running small businesses but
        unable to secure traditional bank financing.

    -   Social Investment Organization (http://www.socialinvestment.ca/) -
        $90,000 over 18 months to investigate and develop the early stages on
        an Ontario Community Venture Fund, an province-wide fund that would
        make it easier for private capital to be invested in not-for-profit
        social enterprise ventures.

    -   Woodgreen Community Services (http://www.woodgreen.org/index.html) -
        $484,400 over three years to replicate in Mississauga the successful
        Homeward Bound program which helps homeless single mothers get on
        their feet through supportive housing, training, child care, job
        readiness, work internships and placements.

    -   Artscape Inc. (http://www.torontoartscape.on.ca/index.php) $30,000
        over one year to study the feasibility of establishing a
        multidisciplinary incubation centre. The centre would deliver
        specialized training and business support for creative sector

Waterloo's Lutherwood (http://www.lutherwood.ca/) received $488,500 to develop a new model for job readiness and training programs to help displaced industrial workers move more quickly into entry level jobs in knowledge-based sectors of Waterloo, Wellington and Dufferin.

The Ojibwe community of Pikangikum First Nation (http://www.whitefeatherforest.com/pikangikum_first_nation/introduction.php) north of Red Lake received $445,000 to integrate - for the first time - indigenous knowledge and land stewardship principles into the province's forestry management program. Students will graduate from a college forestry technician program having learned new curriculum specifically incorporating an indigenous approach to forest stewardship and then be able to access local forestry jobs in the community's Whitefeather Forest Initiative (http://www.whitefeatherforest.com/enterprise/) or elsewhere in Canada.

PARO: Centre for Women's Enterprises (http://www.paro.ca/) in Thunder Bay receives $336,600 to establish the Accelerated Placement Agency, a new social enterprise (http://www.trilliumfoundation.org/User/Docs/PDFs/research/SocialEnterprise.pdf) that will provide training and support needed to grow existing women-centred businesses.


"These grants are a vote of confidence in communities and local residents. They recognize that often-marginalized people and places are in fact remarkably resilient and enterprising," said OTF Chair Helen Burstyn. "The 2009 Future Fund grants to these seven organizations will help individuals and communities participate more fully in Ontario's shifting labour market and become more active contributors to our economy. By making them stronger, we make Ontario stronger."


    -   The 2009 Future Fund grants support two types of projects:

        -  Initiatives that build local or province-wide systems that

           -  New approaches to skill development
           -  Improved access to employment
           -  New economic opportunities, through social purpose enterprises
              or community economic development initiatives
           -  Increased access to financial capital for small scale

        -  Initiatives that prepare communities to take action - the support
           needed to take a germ of an idea, explore it, then collaborate
           with others to address tangible economic opportunities that
           leaders can see within in their own organization, professional
           network, or community

    -   Today's announcement builds on a June 2009 Future Fund announcement
        in which six innovative projects and collaborations received $2
        million in Ontario Trillium Foundation support. These projects
        focused on social enterprise and social financing, creating new
        partnerships with employers, and boosting skills training and
        business creation for Northern youth.


OTF established the Future Fund in 2007 as part of its commitment to invest in Ontario's future. In 2007 and 2008, the Future Fund targeted leadership in the environment sector. In 2009, the fund focused on innovative initiatives that create social and economic opportunities for Ontarians.

A leading grantmaker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities. www.trilliumfoundation.org


    View a full list of Future Fund recipients
    Learn more about the Ontario Trillium Foundation
    Follow L. Robin Cardozo on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CEOatOTF)

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SOURCE Ontario Trillium Foundation

For further information: For further information: Angela Kooij, Senior Communications Officer, Agente des communications, (416) 963-7917, akooij@trilliumfoundation.org

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