Local non profits celebrate Ontario Trillium Foundation grants

Last Updated on April 23, 2023 by YGK News Staff

Not for profit organizations around Ontario have been celebrating Resilient Communities Fund grants provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) in recent days.

Organizations in Kingston are among those in the province who took advantage of the grant opportunity that’s meant to help community organizations recover and build capacity, resilience and sustainability.

For the Kingston School of Art, that looked like adding some new equipment, meeting the additional cleaning needs of the pandemic, and most importantly, an additional part time staff member.

The school is an independently operated, registered charity providing affordable art education to Kingstonians of all ages and stages of artistic development.

Executive Director of Kingston School of Art Maddi Andrews said this funding has helped rebound from challenges experiences throughout the pandemic, but is also really helping to further grow the school.

Adding an extra staff member in new Programs and Administration Assistant Emma Poley has allowed Maddi to focus on growing the school by seeking more funding opportunities, building connections and strategizing.

“We’ve definitely seen the school grow in those areas the past year or so,” Andrews said.

“And a lot of it is due to having extra hands to support so I could do those types of things.”

The grant, for the Kingston School of Art $13,200 from September through March, falls between $10,000-$100,000 and is meant to help these community organizations to develop medium or long-term plans that address their current challenges.

The funding is stretched out over a period spanning between six months to two years depending on the organization’s needs.

On Saturday the School of Art hosted the Student and Staff Show Reception, inviting the public to view artwork created by the school community and taking an opportunity to celebrate the grant and say thanks for it.

“In many ways it shows directly what came from this grant,” Andrews said.

“This wouldn’t have happened to the same scale.”

As part of the event, the Kingston Art School welcomed Kingston and the Islands MPP Ted Hsu to the gallery that will be on display from April 4-28.

Hsu said he was glad to see the school recognized for their good work and to get the assist in recovering from challenges presented over the last few years.

“For the last twenty years the Kingston School of Art has brought fine arts instruction to the community through its affordable programming. I am pleased that Kingston School of Art has received this Resilient Communities Fund grant, allowing them to work towards pandemic recovery and building for the future,” said Hsu.

Hsu also virtually attended another local organization’s celebration of grant recipiency, with Girls Inc. Limestone inviting local MPPs to learn more about how the $96,000 grant has helped them launch a multi-year fundraising campaign.

Hsu said Girls Inc.’s research-based, dedicated programming is also well deserving of the Resilient Communities Fund.

“Girls Inc. has programs with research-based curricula, aimed at those who would benefit the most. I am pleased that the Ontario Trillium Fund supports Girls Inc. Limestone, Algonquin and Lakeshore as it helps girls and women rebound from the damage of the pandemic,” Hsu said.

For Girls Inc. Limestone the funding has gone towards the capital program, which Board President Angela Lyons said will improve the well-being and equitable opportunities for over 8,000 girls in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Hastings, and Prince Edward Counties.

“We are so grateful that the Ontario Trillium Foundation values our work to help girls lead happier, safer, and more productive lives,” Lyons said,

“This funding comes at a crucial time when girls continue to be greatly impacted by heightened gender inequality, family violence, and economic hardship caused by COVID-19.”

Development Manager Beth Wylie said that the funding will ensure the sustainability of the programming provided through the Girls Ed program for years to come.

Board President Angela Lyons added that by helping the organization recover, it’s really helping disadvantaged girls’ in the community to recover.

“We are so grateful for the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s support of our work to help girls lead happier, safer, and more productive lives,” Lyons said.

“This funding comes at a crucial time when girls are still recovering from heightened gender inequality, family violence, and economic hardship caused by COVID-19.”

The Resilient Communities Fund is one of a number of grants made accessible through the Ontario Trillium Foundation as a response to COVID-19, no further round of funding has been announced at this time.