Renewed Emphasis on Arts and Environmental Initiatives in Scarborough Continues to Grow
Scarborough Arts and the Living City Foundation receive Ontario Trillium Foundation Grants to continue their work on exciting community based projects-
(TORONTO, August 30, 2012) In the midst of Scarborough’s 3rd Annual Bridging Festival that took place on Saturday, August 25, local MPP Margarett Best congratulated two community groups, Scarborough Arts and the Living City Foundation, that are making a difference in the environment and arts sectors. Along with Cynthia Good, a volunteer with the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), MPP Best spoke to the exciting work that is about to begin as a result of a $222,600 grant being awarded to Scarborough Arts. The event was also an excellent stage to hear more on how a $131,200 OTF grant made to the Living City Foundation (Toronto and Region Conservation) in 2010 has placed renewed emphasis on the local environment through the Highland Creek Neighbourhood Greening Project.
The environmental initiative is a collaborative effort involving Toronto and Region Conservation, the City of Toronto, Centennial College, Toronto Chinese for Ecological Living and Acorn Canada. The key focus of the project was to build the capacity of communities in three local neighbourhoods (Milliken Park, Cedarbrook Park, and Centennial College/Morningside Park) to address issues like urban stormwater runoff and the degradation of natural heritage systems impacting the Highland Creek Watershed.
The groups involved with this initiative have been actively raising awareness and engaging residents in the development of Neighbourhood Greening Plans, various educational activities, planting events, trail walks and clean up initiatives; establishing a Green Team; coordinating community-based workshops and communications materials to help residents take action to green their neighbourhoods.
“The local ravine, accessible through Morningside Park, is a perfect classroom for environmental education,” said Keri McMahon, Project Manager, Toronto and Region Conservation. “This festival created a fun opportunity for raising awareness of local biodiversity and actions we can each take to help improve the health of the Highland Creek and our local neighbourhoods.”
The three-year $222,600 arts grant awarded to Scarborough Arts is also a joint initiative, involving the East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club, Agincourt Community Services Association, Heart Beatz – Cliffcrest Community Centre, Phase One Studios and other organizations. Funds will be used to help with an innovative music program: EAST will open new doors, explore creativity and provide new transferable skills for youth. EAST is an urban music program for young people that uses the universal medium of arts and creative to encourage all forms of self-expression, teach life skills, offer new and engaging social experiences and provide training to young people looking to enter the music field.
“Art is a great connector that can transcend all sorts of barriers – cultural, language, age, even physical,” said Tim Whalley, Executive Director, Scarborough Arts. “We have been thrilled to see the variety of individuals and groups that came together at the first two Bridging events, and can’t wait to see what happens in 2012.”
About Toronto and Region Conservation
With over 50 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City®, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature’s beauty and diversity. For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at www.trca.on.ca.
About Scarborough Arts
Scarborough Arts develops, delivers and promotes arts programming and cultural initiatives in collaboration and partnership with the community. We bring artists to the community and community to the arts. For more information, contact us at 416-698-7322 or visit www.scarborougharts.com
Ontario Trillium Foundation
A leading grant-maker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities.