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CAMH launches art competition to enhance therapeutic spaces

June 22, 2016

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is undergoing a multi-phased redevelopment of its Queen Street site in downtown Toronto. With two phases already complete, CAMH’s Redevelopment Project is integrating its 27-acre site on Queen Street West with the community, weaving together new cutting-edge hospital facilities with shops, residences, businesses, parks, and through-streets, creating an inclusive, healing neighbourhood. Nothing quite like this has ever been done before.

For the current phase (1C), CAMH envisions art installations woven throughout the property. Part of daily life, art will be experienced by all – patients, families, staff and visitors. CAMH’s art program will be founded in its mission to transform lives. As an integral part of the therapeutic environment, art will inspire hope and support recovery. Art works will be a reflection of CAMH’s drive for innovation and excellence and will take many forms and media. Approximately 35 unique installations of different scales and types are proposed. The project's Guiding Principles are to:

  • Engage the community at large in the urban neighborhood
  • Enhance patient and visitor experience through the healing power of art
  • Serve as intuitive wayfinding landmarks
  • Foster connection and dialogue
  • Interpret the sensory and restorative aspects of the natural world.

CAMH aspires to commission art works that are an expression of the diversity of human experience and reflect the cultural and demographic diversity of the community. A supportive team is in place, so artists should not hesitate to submit their credentials even if they have not previously completed a public art commission. The closing date for submissions is September 29, 2016.



Equal Voice is looking for Daughters of the Vote to change the face of politics

June 22, 2016

Young women across Canada are being called on to become Daughters of the Vote with a new video released by Equal Voice. Daughters of the Vote is an innovative program designed to engage young Canadian women, aged 18 – 23, in politics. The deadline for application is June 30th. The video is being launched at a special event on Parliament Hill on Wednesday. The new Daughters of the Vote video features Members of Parliament talking about what they wished they knew when they were 20, and encourages young women to apply to the program. Equal Voice is selecting 338 young women from every riding across the country to participate in a 2017 leadership summit, which will feature the young women filling every seat in the House of the Commons for a special session. More information on the program is available at www.daughtersofthevote.ca.



The 2016 Arctic Inspiration Prize call for nominations is now open

June 21, 2016

The Arctic Inspiration Prize is intended for multidisciplinary teams who have made a substantial, demonstrated and distinguished contribution to the gathering of Arctic knowledge and who have provided a concrete plan and commitment to implement their knowledge into real world application for the benefit of the Canadian Arctic, its Peoples and therefore Canada as a whole. The Prize recognizes and encourages teamwork and collaboration among diverse groups and organizations, from north and south, in addressing the causes rather than the symptoms of issues of importance to the Canadian Arctic and its Peoples. One to five prizes totaling $1 million may be awarded each year. Nominations for projects of all scales are encouraged. Smaller scale (local, grassroots) projects (i.e. under $100,000) are as eligible and encouraged as very large ones (up to $1 million). Teams may not apply directly for the Arctic Inspiration Prize; they must be nominated using the Nomination Package. Self-nominations are not accepted. The complete Nomination Package must be submitted to the Arctic Inspiration Prize office by Friday, 30 September 2016. For more information on eligibility and nomination guidelines, please click here.



New survey reveals how mainstream society views Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

June 21, 2016

A new national survey reveals what non-Aboriginal Canadians know and think about Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. The results show that an increasing majority of non-Aboriginal Canadians recognize at some level the historic disparities and current challenges facing Aboriginal Peoples in this country. And this understanding underlies widespread public support for the principle of reconciliation and for taking actions to find meaningful solutions. The survey was conducted by the nonprofit Environics Institute for Survey Research, in partnership with seven leading Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organizations. In some areas the survey updates findings from previous Environics surveys conducted over the past decade to provide the basis for identifying how opinions have changed over time. Key findings from the survey include the following:

  • Most non-Aboriginal Canadians believe Aboriginal history and culture are a defining characteristic of what makes the country unique, but less so than such icons as multiculturalism, health care and the land. And they are divided on whether Aboriginal peoples have unique rights and privileges as first inhabitants of this land, or are just like other cultural and ethnic groups in society.
  • An increasing majority believe Aboriginal peoples experience discrimination today on a regular basis, comparable to, if not worse than, other marginalized communities in Canada.
  • Two thirds (66%) of non-Aboriginal Canadians have heard or read about Indian residential schools (up noticeably from 2008), and an increasing majority (73%) believe the current challenges facing Aboriginal peoples today are to some extent the result of residential schools experience. By comparison, just over four in ten (42%) have heard or read something about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and few in this group can recall any of the specific Calls to Action issued by the Commission.
  • There is solid majority public support for several policies related to Aboriginal rights and reconciliation, including increased funding for Aboriginal education to match provincial levels (91%), increased funding for clean drinking water and adequate housing on reserves (90%), mandatory curriculum in all schools to teach Aboriginal history and culture (87%), funding to protect Aboriginal languages (78%), providing Aboriginal communities with full control over their natural resources on traditional territories (66%), and settling all outstanding land claims regardless of cost (60%).



Persons Case Awards 2016 - Celebrating progress toward gender equality

June 21, 2016

Status of Women Canada is calling for nominations for the 2016 Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case. Each year, these awards recognize five individuals, including youth, who have made outstanding contributions in the pursuit of gender equality in Canada. Canada needs more women and men, boys and girls, to step up if we are to make more progress toward gender equality. It is important to recognize the achievements of individuals, so that their successes may inspire others. While nominations are accepted all year, the deadline for nominating someone for the 2016 awards is July 10. To get inspired, visit the Status of Women Canada website, which includes a list of past recipients, videos, and the nomination package.



Canadians rank 10th in schedule satisfaction but want more flexibility at work

June 21, 2016

In what is a loud and clear message to Canadian employers, new research by Randstad shows that just 55.6% of Canadians are happy with their current work schedule – ranking the nation 10th amongst 25 countries surveyed and slightly above the global average of 50%. The data reveals that Canadians work 36 hours per week on average, with 30% of Canadians currently working more than 40 hours per week. Of the 7,041 Canadian employees polled, 30% said they would prefer variable hours, while nearly two-thirds (65%) said they would like to work remotely at least occasionally – just above the global average of 64%. Further proving that the traditional office-based work culture is losing its appeal, even the older generation is seeing the benefits of flexibility, with 21% of employees aged 45-65 stating they would prefer to work remotely every day (13% for workers aged 18-24, 16% for workers aged 25-44). The survey also revealed that nearly half (48%) of Canadians would like to work flexible, rather than standard hours. This might involve working longer days and shorter weeks or flexible work days every week.



The Catherine Donnelly Foundation announces funding stream focused on climate justice/climate change solutions

June 21, 2016

The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is inviting charitable groups across Canada with a commitment to climate justice and climate change solutions to submit a Letter of Inquiry for the Foundation's new, one-year environment project grants. Recognizing the importance of transitioning to a post-carbon world, the Foundation is calling on organizations making meaningful contributions and impacting public engagement on issues related to climate change. The Catherine Donnelly Foundation also encourages grass-roots groups that bring new voices to climate change dialogues to apply. Of particular interest is a desire to engage with and support Indigenous-led climate justice movements and projects in Canada. Letters of Inquiry can be submitted via the online application system until Monday, August 8, 2016.



Canadian Millennials more likely to unplug while on vacation than Gen X, study reveals

June 21, 2016

In preparation for summer travel season, Intel Security conducted a study, Digital Detox: Unplugging on Summer Vacation, to better understand the ways consumers stay digitally connected while travelling. Roughly 64% of Canadian respondents define being unplugged as having no internet usage at all, while half said being unplugged means they did not make any phone calls. The survey challenges a misconception in society that younger Canadians would be the least likely to leave their devices behind on vacation — 51% of Canadians in their 20s said they were had gone on a vacation with the intention to unplug, while only 35% of those Canadian respondents between 40 and 50 years of age had done so. Other highlights of the report include:

  • More than half (54%) of Canadian participants who intended to unplug from their digital devices on vacation were unable to do so.
  • Canadians were the most successful at abstaining from social media use (61%) while on vacation compared to other countries surveyed.
  • Canadians were the second most successful at abstaining from work emails (60%) while on vacation compared to other countries surveyed.



Government of Canada announces call for proposals for community-based projects supporting seniors

June 20, 2016

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) 2016–2017 Call for Proposals for Community-Based Projects that will help seniors stay active, engaged and informed. Organizations are being invited to apply for funding for projects that help empower seniors to share their knowledge, skills and experience with others and support communities by increasing their capacity to address local issues. Eligible organizations can receive up to $25,000 in New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) funding for community-based projects that are led or inspired by seniors. The application deadline is July 29, 2016.



First-of-its-kind research reveals what motivates donors to give to women’s and girls’ causes

June 20, 2016

New research released from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute shows for the first time that women are motivated to give to women’s and girls’ causes based on personal experiences, whether positive experiences such as the birth of a child or participation in a job training program for women, or negative, such as discrimination, as well as the belief that giving to women is a powerful way to effect large-scale societal change. The report, Giving to Women and Girls: Who gives, and why, sheds light on the growing visibility of women’s and girls’ causes and is the first to explore the methods and motivations of donors to women’s and girls’ issues, including important findings for funders, advocates, fundraisers, and wealth managers. Some key findings from the report include:

  • Many donors to women’s funds and causes reported supporting these causes based on their personal experiences. Donors identified experiences of discrimination, the birth or raising of a child, or a family member or the donor herself experiencing a health issue as examples of experiences motivating them to give.
  • Both men and women give to women’s and girls’ causes. Of the survey respondents who donate to charity, 50% of women and 40% of men said they give to women’s and girls’ causes.
  • Many women donors are motivated to give to women’s and girls’ causes based on their desire for gender equality in society.
  • Women are changing philanthropy. Through the increase in their wealth and their rise into leadership roles, we see that women are influencing the direction that money is moving and even the platforms by which people give.



2016 Alberta Nonprofit Survey finds both storm clouds and some silver linings

June 15, 2016

The Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations has released the 2016 Alberta Nonprofit Survey, finding that the effects of the economic downturn are felt differently from one organization to the next and across regions and subsectors. Corporate funding has dropped off precipitously, whereas government funding has had a stabilizing effect on the sector: 83% of organizations reported government funding increased or stayed the same while 43% of organizations reported decreased corporate funding. The most common steps taken in response to the downturn have been to increase fundraising efforts, reduce discretionary spending, and increase staff workloads. However, 17% have reduced staff while 14% have cut programs. The survey also includes information about how organizations will be impacted by the raise to the minimum wage, as well as collaboration within the sector.



Sappi North America opens 2016 Ideas that Matter call for entries

June 15, 2016

Sappi North America today announced its call for 2016 Ideas that Matter grant proposals, inviting designers to show the world how design, specifically print, can play an important role in changing lives for the better. Ideas that Matter is the only grant program of its kind in the paper industry that funds projects addressing a variety of social issues – from diversity and human rights campaigns to health and youth development. Ideas that Matter proposals are evaluated on creativity, potential effectiveness and practicality by an annually selected, independent panel of judges who are influential in the design industry. The call for Ideas that Matter submissions is open to individual designers, design firms, agencies, in-house corporate design departments, design instructors, individual design students and design student groups. Only applicants in North America may apply. Grant awards range from $5,000 to $50,000 USD per project. Each application must include an IRS 501 (c) 3 letter or Canadian equivalent of the applicant's nonprofit organization. Applications for the 2016 program must be submitted and postmarked no later than July 15, 2015. Judging takes place in August, grants are announced in September, and awards distributed in October.



New benchmarking survey looks at Canada's top 30 peer-to-peer fundraising programs

June 14, 2016

Twenty of Canada’s 30 largest peer-to-peer fundraising programs posted revenue declines in 2015 — a trend that is prompting many Canadian charities to rethink their approaches and experiment with innovative new programs. Fundraising revenue at these 30 bellwether programs totaled $254.1 million in 2015, according to the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Canada Top Thirty Benchmarking Survey sponsored by Plenty. That figure is down 8.6% from 2014 — a significant drop that is somewhat offset by growing totals at a number of newer and smaller programs. Among the 12 largest programs, only the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Jump Rope for Heart campaign posted an increase in 2015.

Canada’s largest-grossing peer-to-peer fundraising program was the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, a series of four cycling events that raised $40.1 million to support cancer research in 2015. It topped the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, which raised $34 million from more than 100,000 participants in 331 locations. The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s CIBC Run for the Cure was third, raising $21.5 million. But while these programs are Canada’s largest, each actually saw its revenues decline significantly in 2015 — a common trait among the top 30. Revenues were down 5.4% for the Ride to Conquer Cancer, 19.4% for Relay for Life, and 12.2% for CIBC Run for the Cure. Despite the tough conditions, 10 of Canada’s 30 largest programs thrived in 2015 — posting revenue gains even in the face of a challenging economy. The fastest-growing program in the top 30 was the Coldest Night of the Year, a winter walk series organized by Blue Sea Philanthropy in 80 communities that raised $3.3 million in 2015, an increase of 32.4%. It marked the second year in a row that Coldest Night has been Canada’s fastest-growing program.



The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey explores the workplace’s impact on health

June 14, 2016

The 2016 edition of The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey captures how employees and employers with health benefit plans rate their benefits, workplace wellness programs and elements of workplace culture that influence health and well-being. It also urges for the revamping of plans to provide more options and flexibility for employees, while also motivating greater personal responsibility for managing health. The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey reports that plan sponsors (employers with health benefits plans) may be underestimating the impact of chronic disease in the workplace, and how the workplace can negatively affect employees’ ability to manage their conditions. Similar to last year’s report, the survey reveals that it is all the more important for employers to understand the data around chronic disease to ensure the health and productivity of their employees.

  • Plan sponsors estimate that just 32% of their employees have a chronic condition.
  • Meanwhile, 59% of employees report having at least one chronic disease or condition, climbing to 79% among those aged 55 to 64.
  • The three most common conditions are high blood pressure (21%), high cholesterol (19%) and mental illness (such as depression, 19%).
  • 70% of plan sponsors would like to have a better understanding of the burden of chronic disease in their workplace.
  • 38% of employees with chronic diseases indicate that their condition has caused them to miss work or made it harder to do their jobs. On the flip side, 33% also report that the work environment negatively affects their ability to manage their condition.
  • 84% of employees with chronic conditions would like to know more about their conditions and how to treat them, and 64% would meet with a healthcare coach for help if this were part of their health benefit plan.



New guide shows how to include human rights into plans for homeless youth

June 9, 2016

A new guide released today shows how to include human rights into plans and strategies for homeless youth after the United Nations asked countries around the globe to make eliminating homelessness a top human rights priority. The Your Rights! Right Now! Ending Youth Homelessness: A Human Rights Guide is designed to help those developing local and national strategies, community plans and policies for homeless youth to use a human rights approach. It shows why a human rights approach should be used, provides 10 steps on how to make it work, including immediate obligations, short-term targets and long-term goals, as well as a checklist to ensure plans comply with international law and uphold youth rights. The guide was created by Canada Without Poverty in partnership with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (Homeless Hub) at York University, A Way Home Canada and the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless.



Recipients of Canada's Volunteer Awards announced at a special ceremony in Ottawa

June 9, 2016

The recipients of Canada's Volunteer Awards were honoured today at a special ceremony in Ottawa. The exceptional contributions of businesses and individuals from across Canada were acknowledged in various categories including the return of the Thérèse Casgrain Lifelong Achievement Award. The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, gave out 16 awards recognizing the accomplishments of deserving individuals, businesses and not-for-profit organizations that volunteer their time and make a difference in their communities. Award recipients have the opportunity to identify an eligible not-for-profit organization to receive a grant for either $5,000 or $10,000, depending on the award category. Close to 13 million people, aged 15 years and over, volunteered their time, and almost twice as many, 82%, gave money to a charitable or not-for-profit organization. Through these Awards, all Canadians have the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of deserving individuals, businesses and not-for profit organizations that are volunteering their time and making a difference in their communities. View a full list of the 2016 recipients by clicking here.



Volunteers needed for research on customer loyalty programs

June 9, 2016

The average Canadian is a member of 11.1 customer loyalty programs (Bond Brand Loyalty 2015). The perks of said programs could include free gas, groceries and even flights. But some people choose to donate their points to charities. What drives them to give away these rewards? What drives people to donate their customer loyalty points to charities? A Canadian master’s student at Copenhagen Business School studying in the MSc. Social Science in Service Management is looking for volunteers across Canada to answer a survey to gather research for a master’s thesis, with supervision at CBS’ Center for Corporate Social Responsibility. This data will be used to investigate the reasons that motivate people to donate their points to charities. If you'd like to participate, please click here to fill out a short survey, open until July 15th.



Funding available to improve financial wellbeing of Canadians living on low incomes

June 9, 2016

Prosper Canada is partnering with five nonprofit/charitable organizations nationwide to improve the financial wellbeing of one million Canadians living on low incomes. Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program, these five partners will be known as Financial Empowerment Champions (FECs) with the aim to expand proven financial empowerment (FE) interventions across the country. Please note: This call for applications is primarily intended for nonprofit/charitable organizations that are: working in urban settings; currently offering financial empowerment interventions to individuals living on low incomes?; are proactive evaluators of their programs. If you feel this would be an appropriate opportunity for your organization, please complete the online application form and submit all relevant documents by 5:00 pm (EDT) on Thursday, June 30th, 2016.



The Ontario Government announces amendments to the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service

June 8, 2016

According to Accessibility Ontario, the Ontario Government announced that, commencing July 1, 2016, there will be some significant changes to the Customer Service Standard under the AODA. The first concerns the definition of a large organization. Up to now, under the Customer Service Standard, an organization was considered large if it had 20+ employees. This was in contrast to the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) which defined a large organization as being one with 50+ employees. As of July 1st onwards, organizations with 50+ employees will be considered large under the Customer Service Standard, as well as the IASR.

Another important change as of July 1st is that all staff and volunteers, regardless of their contact with the public, must receive training on the Customer Service Standard. Previously only those who dealt directly with the public had to be trained. This means that all staff, volunteers, and Board Members must receive training on all five AODA standards but only organizations with 50+ employees have to keep a record of that training. Nonprofits and businesses who have not trained everyone in their organization on the Customer Service Standard will be required to do so.

The final amendment concerns service animals. The government has expanded the list of professionals authorized to provide documents indicating the need for a service animal. Doctors and nurses were originally the only ones allowed to provide such authorization, but the list now includes psychologists, psychotherapists, audiologists, chiropractors and optometrists.



Call for nominations: the Rights and Freedoms Award highlights social and economic rights

June 8, 2016

The call for nominations of the Rights and Freedoms Award 2016, presented by the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, is now officially open. This year, the focus will be on submissions from individuals, organizations or institutions working on a day-to-day basis to promote and defend the economic and social rights enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Commission chose economic and social rights as the theme of the 2016 Award to highlight the 50th anniversary of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) adopted in 1966 by the United Nations General Assembly. The Covenant recognizes, for example, the right to free education, the right to health, the right to work and to social security. Presented since 1988 on the occasion of International Human Rights Day marking the adoption of the Universal Declaration on human rights December 10, 1948, the Rights and Freedoms Award is each year to an organization or an individual as a public recognition for exceptional achievement or commitment to the defence of human rights and freedoms. The Commission accepts nominations submitted by e-mail or regular mail until September 16, 2016 at 4 pm.



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