Ontario Trillium Foundation to honour 25 organizations at 25th anniversary great grants awards celebration

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    TORONTO, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - To celebrate 25 years of grantmaking, the
Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is recognizing 25 great not-for-profit
organizations from across Ontario for the impact they have made in their
communities thanks to funding from OTF.
    OTF's 25th Anniversary Great Grants Awards celebration is being held on
November 1, 2007 at the MaRS Centre in Toronto. Awards highlight the
achievements of 25 organizations from more than ten thousand groups that have
received Foundation grants over the past 25 years. These organizations have
exemplified excellence, innovation and leadership in building healthy
communities across the province.
    "This is a celebration of the remarkable achievements of tens of
thousands of Ontario Trillium Foundation grantee organizations --
not-for-profit groups and volunteers who have enriched, enabled and animated
Ontario's communities over the last 25 years," said Helen Burstyn, Chair, OTF
Board of Directors.
    "Looking forward, it is clear that the vigour of the community
organizations and the dedication of their supporters will be more important
than ever before," said L. Robin Cardozo, OTF Chief Executive Officer. "We
feel privileged to have the opportunity to support the work of leading
organizations like the ones we will honour on November 1. Their contributions
help us build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario."
    "In keeping with our tradition of trailblazing, OTF is launching a new
series of funding initiatives on our 25th anniversary," said Ms Burstyn. "OTF
is already the leading funder of environmental not-for-profit groups in the
province, and our new 'Future Fund' will focus on strengthening environmental
organizations further by supporting innovation in the sector, and by
encouraging collaboration between established and emerging groups on
environmental projects. We will also be boosting our capital grants program to
provide additional assistance to the many not-for-profit organizations that
rely on and benefit from this support."

    The OTF 25th Anniversary Great Grants Awards winners are:

    -   Alzheimer Society of Ontario, Toronto / Province-Wide
    -   L'Arche Daybreak, Richmond Hill
    -   Business for the Arts Alzheimer Society of Ontario, Toronto
    -   Canadian Tamil Youth Development Centre, Toronto
    -   Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities and Self
        Help Resources Centre of Greater Toronto, Toronto
    -   Esteem Team Association, Ottawa
    -   eyeGO to the Arts, Waterloo/Wellington area
    -   Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts - Artscape, Toronto
    -   Hope Air, North York
    -   Muskrat Dam First Nation, located north of Sioux Lookout
    -   Ontario Community Support Association, Toronto
    -   Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, Toronto
    -   Regent Park Community Health Centre Pathways to Education, Toronto
    -   United Ways of Ontario, a province-wide organization with offices
        across Ontario
    -   Wawatay Native Communications Society, Timmins
    -   Dusk Dances, Toronto
    -   Ontario Trails Council, Kingston
    -   Just Add Water Initiative collaborative between Children's Water
        Education Council, Kitchener, and Ontario Water Works Association,
    -   Chiefs of Ontario, a province-wide organization with offices located
        on the Fort William First Nation near Thunder Bay and Toronto
    -   Old Town Hall Association, Waterford
    -   Rendez-vous des Aînés Francophones d'Ottawa, Ottawa
    -   Northwestern Ontario Conservation Partnership c/o Rainy Lake
        Conservancy, Fort Frances
    -   Lanark Transportation Association, Carleton Place
    -   Business for the Arts, Toronto
    -   Canadian Women's Foundation, Toronto
    -   Peace Bridge Newcomer Centre, Fort Erie

    OTF is an agency of the Ontario government. The spring 2007 Ontario budget
boosted OTF's funding to $105 million from $100 million as the first phase of
a 20 per cent annual increase.

    Attached: Backgrounder on the 25th Anniversary Great Grant Awards winners

                         ONTARIO TRILLIUM FOUNDATION
                     25th ANNIVERSARY GREAT GRANT AWARDS
                               November 1, 2007

    Category: 25th Anniversary Awards

    Alzheimer Society of Ontario (ASO), Toronto and province-wide

    In 1986, OTF granted the organization nearly $2.5 million over five years
to help establish new chapters across the province, strengthen the existing
chapters, raise public awareness about the disease and set up a provincial
    Over the course of the grant, ASO served the community with family
counselling, respite care services and outreach programs. Chapters developed
resource centres, newsletters, family support groups and 18 chapters
introduced wandering patient registries. Amazing success was achieved in
fundraising with ASO raising over $11 million to continue its work. Today ASO
is a vital resource for Ontarians affected by Alzheimer disease and related

    L'Arche Daybreak Richmond Hill

    Founded by Dr. Jean Vanier, L'Arche is an international group of
communities that welcomes people with intellectual disabilities and the
assistants who share life with them.
    In 1992, OTF granted the group $155,100 over two years to purchase an
accessible van and new computer system. As well, the grant assisted in
launching a pilot project called "Building Bridges," which helped expand the
volunteer base both for L'Arche Daybreak members and the larger community.
Another important aspect of the grant was to help L'Arche develop its
fundraising capacity.
    Today, L'Arche Daybreak Richmond Hill continues to thrive with eight
houses and its own community centre. It is a dynamic example of how people of
different intellectual capacities, social origins and culture can live and
learn together.

    Canadian Tamil Youth Development Centre (CanTYD), Toronto

    In 1996, OTF established a short-term granting program called Get Up!
Stand Up!, to increase youth leadership and involvement in local communities.
In 1999, the Canadian Tamil Youth Development Centre, a newly formed
organization in Toronto, received a grant of $10,000 over eight months.
    Today, CanTYD is a strong presence in the Tamil community. Since 1998,
CanTYD has grown from a 17-member organization to a centre with more than 300
volunteers. The Awards of Excellence and the radio show continue to engage
Tamil youth. With the tremendous support of the community at large, CanTYD
remains a leader assisting newcomers to Canada and empowering youth.

    Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities and Self Help
    Resources Centre of Greater Toronto

    Founded by a small group of people in 1980, the Concerned Friends of
Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities helps improve the quality of life for
residents in long-term care facilities. In 1987, the Self-Help Resource Centre
of Greater Toronto (SHRC) incorporated to increase awareness of self-help
among caregivers and professionals. Together, these two organizations received
an OTF grant of $75,000 in 1997 to develop a means for families with loved
ones in long-term care to speak on their behalf.
    After 27 years of patient advocacy and incremental successes, both
organizations have made an enormous difference. Among one of the Concerned
Friend's successes was to influence amendments to the Nursing Homes Act to
include the Bill of Rights for Residents.

    Esteem Team Association, Ottawa

    Established in 1994 in British Columbia, the Esteem Team Association is
dedicated to youth development through sport, education and community
involvement. Its goal is to engage and empower students to make positive and
healthy life choices for themselves and in their homes, schools and community.
    OTF recognized the power of example to inspire youth and in 2002 granted
the Association $498,500 over three years to build on its athlete role model
program and develop new presentation materials. Over 150,000 appreciative
young Ontarians had the chance to hear sports heroes share their inspiring
stories. The team's hopeful message also reached out to remote aboriginal
communities and children with disabilities.

    eyeGO to the Arts, Waterloo/Wellington area

    When community leaders in the Waterloo/Wellington area wondered how to
engage the next generation of art goers, they consulted directly with youth.
In response to the feedback received, eyeGO to the Arts was born with a
commitment to offer high school students an experience of the arts at a price
they could afford. In 2000, OTF awarded the group $180,000 over three years to
establish its organization.
    By working with the artistic community, eyeGO secured five dollar,
best-seating available tickets to arts performances for students. As a result,
students experienced artistic and cultural events they may not have otherwise
been able to attend. Students enjoyed live theatre, music, dance, musical
theatre and spoken word performances. Today, with help from another OTF grant,
eyeGO to the Arts is expanding its successful program into 38 new communities.

    Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts - Artscape, Toronto

    The Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts formed when a committed group of
Toronto Island residents contacted Artscape with a plan to save a beloved
Toronto Island school slated for demolition. In 1999, with the help of an OTF
$150,000 grant over three years, Artscape transformed the school into a world
renowned centre for artists from Ontario, Canada and afar. The Gibraltar
Centre for the Arts is also a multi-use space for charitable and
not-for-profit groups to immerse themselves in a creative, peaceful
    Thanks to help from OTF, creative minds now have an affordable place to
think, experiment and share ideas.

    Hope Air, North York

    In 1986, Joan Rogers and Jinnie Bradshaw founded Hope Air (then called
Mission Air Transportation Network) to help ensure that no Canadian was denied
medical care because of an inability to afford air travel. In its first year,
a team of volunteers arranged 56 free passenger flights on regular commercial
airlines or corporate aircraft to areas not well served by commercial
    In 1990, OTF granted the group $30,000 to produce a series of bilingual
marketing materials and to help augment its donation program. The new
marketing materials promoted awareness of the service. The program took off
and by 1993 the number of flights soared to 2,357. The chance of obtaining a
donated flight for those needing medical attention was almost guaranteed.
Since its inception, Hope Air has provided over 50,000 flights to Canadians in

    Muskrat Dam First Nation, located north of Sioux Lookout

    Founded on traditional lands in 1966, Muskrat Dam First Nation is located
320 kilometres north of Sioux Lookout. In 1995, with an OTF grant of $60,000,
Muskrat Dam, population 300, created a community-led social development
strategy to protect their traditional way of life.
    In 1995, four workshops attracted strong participation from all community
members, including elders and young people. Community dialogues in
forgiveness, anger management and on raising loving children bonded the
members even further. From these discussions an aboriginal health and wellness
centre was established. Soon afterward, a youth centre opened to address the
needs of young people.
    Muskrat Dam First Nation has grown to 377 people and is still known as
one of the healthiest, most caring communities in the James Bay area.

    Ontario Community Support Association, Toronto

    The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) formed in 1992 through
the shared vision of three organizations representing community-based
agencies: Meals on Wheels of Ontario, the Ontario Association of Visiting
Homemaker Services and the Ontario Home Support Association. It represents the
interests of non-profit health and social services organizations which assist
individuals to live at home. At the time, OCSA had 318 member agencies,
employed 11,000 staff, worked with 50,000 volunteers and served more than
750,000 older adults, people with disabilities and families each year.
    In 1994, OTF granted the organization a substantial $3,084,500 over five
years to help build its program capacity in order to address the ever changing
needs of Ontario's aging population.

    Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), Toronto

    The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants was incorporated in
1981 to act as a collective voice for agencies serving immigrants in Ontario.
With a mission to achieve equality, access and full participation for
immigrants and refugees in every aspect of Canadian life, OCASI quickly grew.
    By 1985, OCASI had 53 member agencies, three full-time employees and one
part-time employee. That year, the Ontario Trillium Foundation granted the
Council $367,200 over five years to hire more staff and develop its
fundraising capacity. The organization created a fundraising committee and a
five-year development plan in order to increase its income and expand

    Regent Park Community Health Centre - Pathways to Education, Toronto

    In 1999, the Ontario Trillium Foundation provided $643,500 over five
years to the Regent Park Community Health Centre to develop a Community
Successions Model. The plan helped the Regent Park community take a more
vigorous role in the local economy. Pathways to Education, an innovative
program designed to help kids remain in school, was one of its components.
    Today, this exemplary program continues to achieve groundbreaking
results. From 2001 to 2005, it helped to reduce student absenteeism by 65 per
cent, reduced the high school drop-out rate from 56 to 14 per cent, and has
inspired thousands of youth to reach their potential.

    United Ways of Ontario (UWO)

    Early in its history, OTF recognized that the United Ways of Ontario and
the Foundation were inextricably linked in every community. A strong United
Way movement in the province greatly complemented OTF's goals of building
healthy and vibrant communities. In 1983, OTF made a substantial grant of
$6,036,072 over five years to UWO, a network of all United Ways in the
province, to help strengthen technological and administrative capacities. The
grant also provided funding that created individual stabilization funds for
each local United Way in the province.
    The partnership between United Ways of Ontario and OTF has remained one
of the most significant the Foundation has ever formed. UWO continues to be a
vital force of strength and support to the voluntary sector all across the

    Wawatay Native Communications Society, Timmins

    Wawatay Communications was founded in 1974 by the peoples of
Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (49 First Nations across Northern Ontario) to provide
access to communications technologies and services. Wawatay serves the
communities by preserving, maintaining and enhancing indigenous languages and
culture. Programming reflects the social, political, environmental and
cultural concerns of its predominantly aboriginal audiences.
    Wawatay and OTF understood the power of radio and saw an opportunity to
reach out to aboriginal youth living in remote areas. In 1996, with an OTF
grant of $104,700 over two years, Wawatay developed a youth phone-in talk show
that aired two hours every week. Radio Wawatay is still going strong.

    Category: OTF Province-Wide Program Awards

    1. Arts and Culture

    Dusk Dances, Toronto

    With a bold vision to bring dance into the urban community, Dusk Dances
began as an outdoor dance event at a Toronto ravine in 1993. Today, Dusk
Dances builds dance appreciation and creativity in communities of all sizes
across the province. In 2005, with a three-year OTF grant of $435,000, this
lively program invited community residents and youth to create, produce and
present dance pieces in Toronto, Chatham, Kingston, Deep River, Haliburton and
Manitoulin Island.
    Dusk Dances has shown that the art of dance can play a significant role
in strengthening communities. The Foundation is proud to help Dusk Dances step
out with Ontarians.

    2. Sports and Recreation

    Ontario Trails Council, Kingston

    Ontarians love their outdoor trails, perhaps no group more so than the
Ontario Trails Council. Established in 1988 as a coalition of hikers,
cyclists, snowmobilers and horseback riders, the Ontario Trails Council is now
an umbrella group of 100 trail user and land management organizations. In
2004, with a four-year $355,000 OTF grant, the council continues to expand its
    The Trillium Trail Network will be a lasting legacy of this grant. Thanks
to OTF and the council, there are happy trails for all.

    3. Environment

    Just Add Water Initiative c/o Children's Water Education Council and
    Ontario Water Works Association, Kitchener and Markham

    Kids have an affinity for water. The Children's Water Education Council,
in partnership with the Ontario Water Works Association, is doing its part to
ensure children know water doesn't just come from a splash pad.
    An OTF grant of $325,700 in 2004 helped the Just Add Water Initiative
develop 12 water festivals to raise awareness of this precious natural
resource. Each local festival received videos, displays, training manuals and
ongoing support. This initiative has made a big splash with kids both young
and old.

    4. Human and Social Services

    Chiefs of Ontario (COO), Fort William First Nation near Thunder Bay and

    Chiefs of Ontario is the coordinating body for the 134 First Nations
communities within the boundaries of Ontario. It enables the political
leadership to discuss regional, provincial and national priorities affecting
First Nations peoples in Ontario, and provides a unified voice for those
    In 2005, with a four-year $540,100 OTF grant, it developed an Ontario
First Nations Young People's Council to parallel the Chiefs of Ontario. The
grant supported the creation of 25 youth councils per year in 134 First
Nations communities, with the aim being for all Ontario First Nations and four
regional councils to have a youth council. The leadership skills that the
young people are learning will have a lasting impact on them and in their

    Category: Community Program Awards

    1. Arts and Culture

    Old Town Hall Association, Waterford

    In 1999, the Old Town Hall Association was created with a mission to
restore the building. In 2000, OTF provided a grant of $20,000 to help with
preliminary architectural studies and again in 2003 with an additional $75,000
to assist with restoration. Together with fundraising revenue secured by the
local community and the Old Town Hall Association, the grant improved safety
and accessibility to the building, specifically the upper auditorium and
    Significant work was accomplished with community help. Approximately 500
volunteers assisted by raising funds and assisting with the renovations.
Volunteers in the community continue to maintain the building and surrounding

    2. Sports and Recreation

    Le Rendez-vous des Aînés Francophones d'Ottawa

    In 2005, OTF granted $90,000 over three years to help the organization
consolidate and expand its activities. In the past two years, membership at
the Centre has grown to over 600 people. The organization has been very
successful in developing a variety of programs that include workshops, art
classes, walking clubs and excursions.
    The Centre exudes a tremendous spirit of volunteerism. In the past three
years, the volunteer group has grown from a handful of dedicated board members
to over 110 committed individuals. The centre is currently establishing a
volunteer transportation service that will provide even greater access to
their programs and services.

    3. Environment
    Northwestern Ontario Conservation Partnership c/o Rainy Lake Conservancy,
    Fort Frances

    Northwestern Ontario is an area rich in natural resources and outdoor
splendour. The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Rainy River Valley Field
Naturalists and the Rainy Lake Conservancy, the lead organization in this
collaboration, are determined to keep it that way.
    With an OTF grant of $48,900 over two years, this collaborative effort
has identified and conserved significant natural heritage features. It also
built the Cranberry Peatlands Interpretive Trail, a wetland bog walk in
Alberton Township. Residents and visitors alike will be able enjoy the results
for generations.

    4. Human and Social Services

    Lanark Transportation Association, Carleton Place

    Located on the western boundary of Ottawa, Lanark County is a large
geographic region that includes many municipalities. Lack of transportation
and the affordability of available options is one of the most pressing issues
facing low-income families and persons with disabilities in its rural
communities. In 2006, OTF granted the Lanark Transportation Association
$35,000 over six months to buy a van that provided accessible transportation
for eligible residents of Lanark County and Smith Falls.
    Today, 16 volunteers assist with fundraising and provide direction for
the program.

    Category: CEO Award

    Business for the Arts, Toronto

    In 2005, OTF granted the organization $450,000 to help launch its
ArtsVe$t program in communities across Ontario. ArtsVe$t connects new business
supporters to the arts through research, promotion and outreach. By building
partnerships between artists, municipal governments, local businesses and the
broader public, the program raises awareness of the role culture can play in
revitalizing local economies and building healthy communities. With the
ability to secure almost four times the OTF grant amount from the private
sector, ArtsVe$t has dramatically increased direct financial investment for
the arts across Ontario. The work of Business for the Arts is helping to
develop strong arts organizations that make a difference in their communities.

    Category: Bluma Appel Award

    Canadian Women's Foundation (CWF), Toronto

    In 1995, CWF created the Women's Economic Development Consortium and
approached several foundations and corporate sponsors for financial support.
Each partner was asked to contribute $150,000 per year for five years. OTF
believed this to be a tremendous opportunity to support an important
initiative and granted CWF the full amount.
    With the funding, CWF helped established community-based small businesses
and co-operatives run by low-income women. Participants were supported with
technical assistance, mentoring and information. Nearly 600 women were
involved in the initiatives.

    Category: Board Chair's Award

    Peace Bridge Newcomer Centre, Fort Erie

    Immigrating or being forced to flee to another country can be a
difficult, if not harrowing experience. The Peace Bridge Newcomer Centre in
Fort Erie, the first of its kind in Canada, welcomes refugees and immigrants
and helps them ease into Canadian society.
    In 2006, OTF granted the Peace Bridge Newcomer Centre $150,000 over two
years to continue its work delivering an integrated system of support.
Foundation funding has enabled the Centre to develop an operational plan and
client database, while coordinating enhanced services to help clients.
    Since opening the doors in December 2002, the Centre has helped close to
15,000 adults and children. In addition, volunteers have contributed more than
4,500 hours annually to support the Centre's work.

For further information:

For further information: Carolyn Bennett, Writer, Communications
Officer, 1-800-263-2887 ext. 293 or cbennett@trilliumfoundation.org

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