New free online program helps you assess and improve your workplace mental health

October 10, 2018

In any given week, at least 500,000 employed Canadians are unable to work due to mental health problems. Beyond compassion, there is a strong business case for supporting mental health in the workplace. The good news is that employers WANT to help. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 32% of Canadian business leaders are taking action to address workplace mental health, while 42% are interested but haven’t taken action due to barriers such as lack of time, resources, or know-how. In collaboration with a group of employers, experts, and people with first-hand experience of mental health issues, CivicAction has developed MindsMatter. This free workplace program gives employers the motivation and know-how to create mental health-supportive workplaces. CivicAction’s MindsMatter program provides an online assessment tool designed to help you quickly know where your organization is at in supporting your people’s mental health and how to better support them. The assessment tool is free, easy to use, and takes under three minutes to complete. Once you’ve taken the assessment, you’re given a confidential, tailored report that provides three suggested actions and a sampling of resources suggested by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, with the financial support of Health Canada.

Call for nominations for 2018 Human Rights Awards in Nova Scotia

October 10, 2018

Nova Scotians are encouraged to nominate individuals and groups for the 2018 Human Rights Awards. The awards are presented each year by the Human Rights Commission and Partners for Human Rights, a group of organizations dedicated to creating more respectful communities through promotion of human rights. Award recipients are chosen in three categories: youth, individual and organization. Each year a recipient is selected to receive a special award named for Dr. Burnley Allan "Rocky" Jones in honour of the late community leader. Nominations should include people or groups that support projects which advance human rights. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, November 9, at 4:30pm. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Human Rights Day, December 10 in Halifax.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Network releases report highlighting the comprehensive lived experience of breast cancer patients

October 10, 2018

A new report released today from the Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN), Breast Cancer: The Lived Experience, provides the comprehensive perspective of almost 500 Canadian women who have experienced a breast cancer diagnosis. Patients and survivors diagnosed with both early stage and metastatic (stage IV) breast cancer, share their experiences with the process of being diagnosed, making treatment decisions, accessing clinical trials, the psychosocial and financial impact, accessing palliative care and managing survivorship challenges. Through their experiences, patients identify current gaps when it comes to meeting the needs of breast cancer patients. This is the first Canadian report to share the experiences of early stage patients in parallel with metastatic breast cancer patients; creating a greater understating of the similarities and differences between both groups.

Mental Health Commission of Canada releases report exploring mental health needs of youth and children

October 10, 2018

Under the theme Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World, World Mental Health Day 2018 calls for global attention to the mental health needs of children and youth — a call echoed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). In Canada, more than 70% of adults living with mental health problems report their symptoms began in childhood or young adulthood. Yet fewer than 20% of our children and youth receive the care they require. Once they do access supports and services, they are vulnerable to losing them when they transition to adult mental health services. In its report, Strengthening the Case for Investing in Canada's Mental Health System: Economic Considerations, the MHCC underscores that wise mental health spending on promotion, prevention and early interventions — especially among children and youth — pays dividends. We can help our youth build mental resilience from an early age to prevent mental distress and illness from taking hold as well as intervene early to provide supports and services and promote recovery.

Ontario Heritage Trust seeks nominations for the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Awards and Young Heritage Leaders program

October 9, 2018

The Ontario Heritage Trust is seeking nominations for the 2018 Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Awards and Young Heritage Leaders program to recognize outstanding contributions to tangible and intangible cultural heritage, sustainability, biodiversity, and natural heritage conservation. The nomination deadline is October 21, 2018. Through the Trust's recognition programs, individuals, groups and communities are celebrated for demonstrating leadership, commitment, creativity, positive impact on their community and good conservation practices. The Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Awards are awarded in four categories:

  • Excellence in Conservation: recognizes individuals, groups, organizations and communities for exceptional achievements through the completion of a specific heritage conservation project.
  • Community Leadership: recognizes exemplary leadership by a community in heritage conservation and promotion.
  • Lifetime Achievement: recognizes outstanding volunteer heritage contributions by an individual over a period of 25 years or more.
  • Youth Achievement: recognizes exceptional heritage contributions by young individuals and groups, age 24 and under. The individual award includes a $2,000 post-secondary scholarship, jointly funded by Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life.

In addition, youth may be nominated for recognition through the Trust's Young Heritage Leaders program. Since 2000, hundreds of youth have been recognized for their efforts to identify, preserve, protect and promote Ontario's heritage. Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life are proud sponsors of the Young Heritage Leaders program.

Ontario Nonprofit Network releases new report exploring women's experiences working in the nonprofit sector

October 9, 2018

The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) has released a new report exploring women and work in the nonprofit sector titled Women's Voices: Stories about working in Ontario's nonprofit sector. The ONN engaged self-identifying women in learning circles and a survey to share their employment experiences of working in Ontario’s nonprofit sector and recommendations for change. This report reflects what they heard from the 730 women participants, their perspectives, experiences, observances, and opinions, in their own voices.

Their voices are grouped into three themes: feminization of the sector, discrimination in a feminized sector, and conversation to action. Quotes in these sections come from what women said in both the learning circles and survey. They have been anonymized. While there are regional and subsector differences in experiences, what was striking was that participants overwhelmingly said the same things across Ontario.

Business consulting available to Vancouver organizations from UBC Sauder School of Business

October 3, 2018

Are you a not-for-profit organization, charity, or social enterprise in need of resources to tackle a key initiative? If so, you are invited to submit a proposal for a Community Business Project. The Community Business Projects provides organizations like yours with business consulting from teams of highly motivated Master of Management students from the UBC Sauder School of Business. This is a great opportunity for your organization to tackle key projects, such as fundraising strategies, recruitment and retention strategies, market research, and much more. Typical projects include: business plans and feasibility studies, fundraising and development initiatives, recruitment and retention strategies, corporate partnership strategies, and marketing strategies. Submit an application by October 15, 2018.

CRA releases new guidance on the political activities of charities

October 3, 2018

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has released new guidance on the political activities of charities. This document outlines the CRA's position on the types of public policy advocacy activities it deems acceptable, as well as limits on activities and an emphasis on a non-partisan approach. Additionally, the Department of Finance is accepting comments until October 13, 2018 on the draft legislative proposals related to this issue. The CRA accepts suggestions to guidance documents on an ongoing basis. As the legislation progresses further, suggested changes will continue to be accepted by the CRA until new legislation is tabled by the Department of Finance.

Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign supports Ottawa and Gatineau residents following the storm

October 3, 2018

Through Canada's largest charitable campaign, public servants come together every year to make a difference to those in need in communities across Canada. Last year, Canada's public servants donated $29.9 million to more than 5,600 charities in over 90 communities to change lives for the better through the employees' Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC). Through the employees' Campaign, public servants can support the United Way / Centraide, HealthPartners as well as any registered Canadian charity. In response to the devastating storms of September 21 in the National Capital Region, employees can now also give to two funds dedicated to support the short and long-terms needs of those affected. The United Way Ottawa and Centraide Outaouais have come together with organizations within the region to provide housing, counselling, food aid, and household goods to those impacted by the storms.

Canadian employees overwhelmingly in favour of having a Group Savings Plan at work

October 3, 2018

Nest Wealth has released a study examining how financial worry and retirement planning impact business performance, company culture and overall employee happiness across the country. The report, titled Strengthening Productivity: How to Relieve Employee Stress and Grow Your Business, finds that the simple act of offering employees a way to save for their future at work made a significant difference to their overall happiness, confidence in their financial future and consequently, their work performance. The study reveals that 42% of Canadian employees rank 'money' as their greatest stress, ahead of work (23%), personal health (19%) and relationships (17%). It's clear that Canadians are worried for their financial future - 65% of men and 75% of women stated that they are afraid they aren't saving enough for retirement. To build a more secure financial future, 82% of Canadians believe it is important to have a Group Savings Plan through work. Organizations that do not offer a Group Savings plan should take note - 69% of Canadians say they would choose a new job with a plan over a current one without it. This could clearly impact the ability of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBS) to retain talent if they don't offer Group RRSPs; 79% of those who contribute to a plan feel better informed and that they know how much they need to save for retirement, alleviating stress.

82,000 Canadians raise $16.2 million through the Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure

October 1, 2018

Across the country, more than 82,000 Canadians gathered in 56 different communities to take part in the Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure, raising an estimated $16.2 million for the breast cancer cause. Funds raised in support of the 27th annual CIBC Run for the Cure will be invested by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) in the most promising breast cancer research as well as the country's leading breast cancer information and support programs for people with breast cancer and their families.

New report explores whether volunteer behaviour is impacted by political climate

October 1, 2018

North America has been seeing significant shifts in civic engagement activities due to the political landscape. Record donations, marches and protests are happening on a more frequent basis than at any time in recent memory. Research that investigated whether volunteer behaviour was also impacted by the political climate was undertaken and discovered some surprising findings. Download the Executive Summary or full Research Report from the CARVE (Centre for Advanced Research in Volunteer Engagement) led by spinktank consulting for free.

Nominate a woman or workplace for a YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Metro Vancouver

September 25, 2018

Do you know a woman whose outstanding achievements contribute to the well-being and future of Metro Vancouver? Do you know a business that supports the wellness and diverse needs of its employees? Support the people and organizations that are making a difference across Metro Vancouver by nominating a woman or workplace for a YWCA Women of Distinction Award. All nominations must be completed online and full eligibility criteria can be found here. The deadline for nominations is January 18, 2019.

The International Association of Business Communicators offers expertise to nonprofits in BC

September 25, 2018

A team of local International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) will work with you to create a strategic communications plan for an event, project, announcement or campaign as well as assist in the implementation and evaluation. Visit the IABC/BC website to learn more. Apply online before October 19. If your application is approved, the team will be available to work with you from early January until May 1, 2019.

Government of Canada announces new funding for Black Canadian youth

September 25, 2018

Today, the Government of Canada announced th launch a new funding initiative to address the significant and unique challenges faced by the Black Canadian community. To enhance community support for Black Canadian youth, Canadian Heritage is investing $9 million over three years, an investment that was originally announced in Budget 2018. The initiative will fund projects that respond to key concerns of Black Canadians to help address issues faced by Black youth that affect their full and equitable participation in our society. This new funding will help empower Black youth by promoting Black history, culture and identity; developing leadership skills; and encouraging local community involvement. The funding will also go toward projects that help combat discrimination. Projects funded by this new initiative will foster a better understanding of the experiences of Black youth and help facilitate dialogue between all Canadians. Those interested in applying for funding under this new initiative should contact Canadian Heritage at for more information.

Canadian organizations should focus on middle managers to drive employee engagement

September 25, 2018

Organizations often focus on driving engagement for the broad employee population. However, a new Conference Board of Canada report finds that focusing on managers as a distinct group of employees can drive higher engagement overall. The report, Employee Engagement: Driving Engagement From the Middle, shows that as middle manager engagement scores improve, so do the scores of their employees. In fact, employees who work for engaged managers are 59% more likely to be engaged compared to those supervised by disengaged managers. Highlights of the survey include:

  • Middle managers are central to an organizations' ability to execute its business strategy. Ensuring this group is engaged is critical to organizational success; however, only one-third of middle managers are highly engaged.
  • When senior leaders focus on engaging middle managers they will also impact broader employee engagement.
  • Leadership, and specifically the confidence employees have in leadership, has the greatest influence on engagement.

Confidence in senior leadership is the most influential factor in determining engagement for both managers and workers. Trust in senior leadership and communication regarding organizational objectives are key drivers in improving the engagement of managers and workers. Addressing gaps in engagement between senior leaders and middle managers in areas such as ensuring cooperation, confidence that leaders can achieve goals, alignment in the vision for the organization, and taking pride in their contributions and success of their organizations can help boost middle managers engagement.

Mental health issues are less likely to be seen as a disability, survey finds

September 25, 2018

Despite the rise in public awareness of mental health issues, Canadians still hold a bias toward viewing disabilities as being largely physical rather than mental in nature, according to a recent survey from RBC Insurance. While two in three view multiple sclerosis (65%) and physical accidents (65%) as disabilities, fewer than half feel the same way about depression (47%) and anxiety (36%). Despite Canadians' perception of mental illness, 30% of working Canadians who have taken time off for a disability say it was because of a mental illness.

Affordable co-working space available in Vancouver through restaurant partnership

September 24, 2018

Vancouver is often recognized as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Yet some of the most beautiful spaces in prime locations within the city, sit underutilized for significant portions of the day. This is how FreeSpace was born. FreeSpace partners with restaurants throughout the city of Vancouver to provide affordable and convenient co-working space where you will have access to free coffee and tea, secure high speed WIFI and outlets at every seat, with no contracts. For more information such as our locations and pricing please visit or contact Kamila directly at

Ivey Connects Internship Program offers funding opportunity for London and Toronto nonprofits

September 24, 2018

With support from Great West Life, London Life and Canada Life, the Ivey Connects Internship Program annually funds a number of summer internships in both London and Toronto for a 10-12 week placement between May and August. Each chosen nonprofit will receive $6,500 to subsidize the salary of interns. The program is designed to give future business leaders greater access to the not-for-profit industry and expand their knowledge and experience in the impact space. Ideally, the internship will give students the opportunity to engage in strategic decision-making and implementation processes significant to the organization. The goal is to maximize the organization’s benefit and deeply engage the students in the not-for-profit space. The best internships will have specific deliverables with measurable impacts.

Applications and further details can be found here. To apply, please fill out the appropriate application (London-based vs. Toronto-based) and send the completed form to the Program Coordinators, Ashley Wang and Emily Dolan at by 11:59pm on November 2, 2018.

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