Three Toronto Organizations Named Finalists for 2012 Great Grants Awards

Ontario Trillium Foundation recognizes projects' outstanding impact 

TORONTO, Feb. 22, 2012 /CNW/ -


The Ontario Trillium Foundation today announced that FoodShare Toronto, Jumblies Studio, and Youth At Risk are finalists for the prestigious 2012 Great Grants Awards. The awards recognize Ontario organizations that have demonstrated exceptional results, innovation and a lasting impact on the communities they serve.

The three not-for-profit organizations have been selected as finalists in the environment, arts and culture, and sport and recreation categories respectively. A total of eight 2012 Great Grants Awards recipients will be recognized in the presence of Hon. Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, at a ceremony in Toronto on March 23.


FoodShare Toronto

          Helping kids understand how the food on their plate actually got there, and why they should care, was the focus of the Field to Table Schools initiative, which promoted food literacy and agricultural awareness among Toronto students. Children and youth learned about how their food is produced, distributed, prepared and consumed. Students, parents and community volunteers participated in growing, cooking, composting and learning about food so as to be better equipped to make healthy food choices. Students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 were provided easy to implement ideas and resources focussed on the full food cycle, from planting and harvesting to sharing, eating and composting. In the fall of the initiative's fourth year, more than 3,400 students participated in 76 workshops and 64,000 people participated in the Great Big Crunch, a celebration of Nutrition Month, which was marked by simultaneous bites, in perfect unison, of locally grown apples.
          FoodShare Toronto was awarded a Community grant of $300,000 over four years in 2006.

Jumblies Studio c/o Jumblies Theatre 

          Like individuals, even organizations benefit from mentorship. This OTF arts grant to Jumblies Studio provides mentorship and training programs for emerging community arts leaders. Community-engaged art-making is a collaborative creative process between the community and professional practicing artists from various disciplines and backgrounds who learn from each other and spark new works. Through its unique pairing of community engagement and artistic expression, Jumblies assists community members to weave their diverse stories and perspectives into creative events that use theatre, puppetry, music, dance, writing, story-telling and a range of presentation techniques. The programs build knowledge and skills about the principles and practices of community arts: project development, creative process, arts-based research, group facilitation, aesthetics and ethics, managing conflict and challenges, and working with diversity of culture, age and ability.
          Jumblies Studio was awarded a Community grant of $255,000 over four years in 2007.

Youth At Risk c/o Ontario Australian Football League 

          It's not every day that an OTF grant recipient gets in front of 1.5 million TV viewers. Back in 2009, Aussie X was part of a collaborative that was awarded funding to work with the Toronto Police Service, schools and the city's parks and recreation department to teach Australian football rules to youth in three Toronto at-risk neighbourhoods. The Ontario Australian Football League's initiative, Youth At Risk, uses sports to develop life skills and build confidence. The Aussie tradition of mateship - helping out your classmates - has transformed the way students interact. Wildly successful, the school clinics and summer skills camps generated the first Junior Australian Football league in Ontario in the summer of 2011. Fast forward to November 2011. when Aussie X founders were on the set of CBC TV's popular Dragons' Den. They were successful in their request for a $150,000 investment in their company to further expand a corporate teambuilding enterprise, as the revenue-generating side of the business, with a view to being able to offer more school programs at less cost to participating schools.
          Youth At Risk was awarded a Community grant of $151,200 over three years in 2009.


"We are very proud of Jumblies Studio, FoodShare and Youth at Risk, and are excited that, with these nominations, their work in the community will now be acknowledged across Ontario. Their efforts go to the heart of the Foundation's own work: to support good ideas and help foster community connections that improve people's quality of life."    

Bahadur Madhani, OTF Grant Review Team Chair for Toronto

"An inspiring experience, creatively, emotionally and spiritually. I've been exposed to people and ideas that have changed the way I think about art and community."

Testimony from a participant in a Jumblies Studio activity

"Our mission is to use Australia's unique sports and culture to level the playing field for kids and inspire healthy lifestyles, laughter and confidence. We are so proud to have achieved this through our Ontario Trillium Foundation grant where we impacted over 11,000 kids in youth-at-risk zones across the GTA."

Emile Studham, Founding Director, Aussie X


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