Charities in and around Kingston continue to feel the effects of the pandemic, seeing increased needs and costs at a time when many have experienced a decline in funding, particularly those that rely on in-person fundraising events and ticket sales.
This makes the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area’s latest grants of $256,703 in new funding to be released immediately particularly needed and timely, according to a release from the Foundation.
This week, 22 local charities received the welcome news that their projects or programs will receive funding from the Community Foundation. Grants awarded range from $1,000 to $25,000, all responding to the current needs and realities of charities and selected to significantly contribute to the resiliency and vibrancy of our local community, according to the release.
“I am particularly happy to see that many of the projects will provide support for those in our community who experience barriers that have been amplified by the pandemic,” said Willa Henry, Grants Committee Chair for the Community Foundation.
The Foundation’s granting is unique in that it funds projects in all areas of community need. Once again in this granting round, they offered ‘emergency operational grants’ to charities whose programs have been greatly impacted by the pandemic.
Extend-A-Family Kingston was one of five charities to receive an emergency operational grant. During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals with disabilities and their families experienced significant isolation and disruption to their routine, according to the release. A $15,000 grant from the Foundation will enable Extend-A-Family Kingston to provide social recreational learning opportunities for individuals with disabilities and provide respite support for their families.
“We are very grateful for this grant from the Foundation which makes it possible to continue to fulfill our vision of providing community support for individuals with disabilities in our community,” said Maria Cordeiro, Community Development Coordinator with Extend-A-Family Kingston.
Other funded projects range from helping charities meet immediate needs to increasing community connection and food security, promoting mental health and education, and inspiring creativity through participation in the arts, the Foundation said.
Their smallest grant – $1,000 to the Kingston Canadian Film Festival – will bring to our community an exhibition of the work of Alanis Obomsawin, one of the most acclaimed Indigenous filmmakers in the world, according to the release.
Their two largest grants – $25,000 each – went to Lion Hearts and Big Brothers Big Sisters Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington.
Lion Hearts will use their funds for the new Community Food Redistribution Warehouse that will collect and distribute food donations to local food providing agencies, effectively reducing waste and supporting food security.
The funding to Big Brothers Big Sisters will be used to provide cost-free programming and regular wellness check-ins for children who will benefit greatly from these supports while they are on the waitlist for a mentor.
A full list of funded projects can be found below and on the Foundation’s website.
Funding for these projects comes from income on the Foundation’s endowment funds – funds established and grown by local residents wanting to make the community a better place for all.
The Community Foundation invites all local charities to apply to its competitive grants program twice a year. The next application deadline is February 15, 2022.
Fall 2021 Community Grants Recipients:
23 projects totalling $256,703
Arts & Culture
The People’s Theatre Kingston – Incubator Lighting Equipment, $4,500
From The Audrey and Peter Scholes Memorial Fund and the Kingston Youth Science and Technology Fund
The lighting equipment is a complete kit for an eight pack of Elation SIX037 can lighting fixtures and would be used as a way to transform the Theatre Incubator space to a Theatre Space capable of hosting kid’s camps, readings, and workshop productions of new plays. This space would be available to the Theatre Community of Kingston for rehearsals, workshops classes, and productions.
Kingston Canadian Film Festival – Alanis Obomsawin Exhibit, $1,000
From the Gordon Barr Ltd. Fund and the Skolnick Family Fund
The Kingston Canadian Film Festival will present an exhibition of the work of Alanis Obomsawin, one of the most acclaimed Indigenous filmmakers in the world. In addition to an incredible body of work (50+ films and counting), she has created landmark documentaries such as Incident at Restigouche (1984) and Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993). The exhibition will include posters and short films that will both celebrate Obomsawin and her prolific career and introduce audiences to her work and the themes of Indigenous sovereignty and resilience captured in her work.
Queen’s University, The Isabel Bader Centre for Performing Arts – Sounding Thunder: The Song of Francis Pegahmagabow, $10,000
From the Edward Ratcliffe Fund and The Audrey and Peter Scholes Memorial Fund
This is a musical journey into the life of the renowned Ojibwe World War One sniper and decorated officer of the Canadian Military, Francis Pegahmagabow, Sounding Thunder. Sounding Thunder: The Song of Francis Pegahmagabow is written by local Ojibwe poet Armand Garnet Ruffo and composed by Tim Corlis. It is a complex work divided in three acts, exploring Pegahmagabow’s early years immersed in the world of the Anishinaabe spirits, his accomplishments in the trenches of WWI, and his political life as Chief of Wausauksing Ojibwe and founder of Canada’s Indigenous political movement.
PeerLess Productions – We’re All In Jeopardy, $2,500 Charitable Partner: H’art Centre
From The Audrey and Peter Scholes Memorial Fund
PeerLess Productions proposes to devise, rehearse, and perform a multimedia theatrical event entitled, ‘We’re All in Jeopardy’, which dives into the unique situations experienced by seniors and members of the disabled population who experience barriers in participating in the arts during the pandemic. The play will be developed by the group of PeerLess Artists joined by three senior artists and three neurodiverse artists. Free streaming, pay-what-you can performances, tours to retirement homes, and ASL interpretation will be offered to reduce barriers for attendance.
Radioland Media Collective – The Makers and Shakers Society Audio Drama, $5,500 Charitable Partner: Skeleton Park Arts Festival
From the Community Fund, the Neil Currie Davis Fund, and the Eric Dewar Neuman Fund
The Makers and Shakers Society is a fictional audio series in six 30-minute episodes meant to be broadcasted on CFRC radio and distributed as a free podcast in the spring of 2022. Produced in Kingston with local actors and crew, it imagines how the current generation will deal with the climate catastrophe in the next few decades. As part of the production process, Radioland Media will offer voice acting workshops in the community and provide professional training for six young media production interns. The audience is anyone who gets excited about topical stories, challenging themes, and formal experimentation.
H’art Centre – H’art Studio: Reconnect to Purpose, $8,400
From the Community Fund, the Larry Gibson Community Fund, the Phil Quattrochi Memorial Fund, and the Ellen Shepherd Community Fund
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, most H’art Studio artists-participants (adults with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities) were forced to stay home. In July 2020, H’art Studio re-opened to in-studio instruction. There is still a waitlist of returning and new participants seeking enrolment. With this support, H’art Studio will reduce the waitlist by creating 20 more spaces for adults with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities who wish to return to in-studio participation. To safely accomplish this with the current health measures in place, H’art Studio has secured new space and will hire an additional instructor.
Children’s Mental Health
Sistema Kingston at Queen’s University – Sistema Kingston Winter, $13,110
From The Audrey and Peter Scholes Memorial Fund
Modelled on the Venezuelan El Sistema, Sistema Kingston’s philosophy is built upon five principles: positive social change through music, ensemble-based activities, high degree of frequency, accessibility, and building community. Sistema Kingston is delivered by Teaching Artists who are passionate about music, teaching, and social justice. Through this project, students not only learn to play a musical instrument, but also develop personal and social skills that support academic work and well-being. Their concerts will bring the community together to celebrate the commitment, hard work, and the successes of young students.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington – Big Bunch Mentoring – Additional ACES Support, $25,000
From the Woodbury Enterprises We Care Charitable Youth Fund, the Robert W. Clark Endowment Fund, the Bill and Gladys Kelly Community Fund, the Ontario Endowment for Children and Youth in Recreation Fund, and the Sunnyside Children’s Fund
This project will provide on-site, cost-free programs for children facing Adverse Childhood Experiences such as exposure to abuse, violence, poverty, crime in the home or the community and identity challenges and mental health issues, among other barriers. Participants are primarily children on the Big Brother Big Sister waitlist, facing increased vulnerability without a mentor buffer. This program is in response to a greater community need as well as to build staff capacity to amplify service based on experience and learned efficiencies.
Wintergreen Studios – Outdoor Classrooms, $3,396
From the Community Fund, the Ronald & Mildred Grant Family Fund, the Marin Pest Management Fund, the William Cherry Fund, and the McArthur Connidis Arts Fund
Wintergreen Studios plans to reimagine their outdoor spaces for the long-term, to meet the changing needs of the organization and the communities to which they serve, in part by building two 10’ x 10’ roofed gazebos. Throughout the pandemic, Wintergreen Studios did not have sufficient indoor space to safely accommodate groups. With the Outdoor Classrooms project, Wintergreen Studios would not only be able to offer most of their regular programming safely outdoors, but the renovated space will become the central location for workshop delivery.
Education & Literacy
Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston – LDAK Literacy Tutoring Pilot Project, $11,110
From the Larry Gibson Community Fund, the Gordon F. Tompkins Funeral Home Children’s Endowment Fund, the Marion and John Dunn Fund, the Elisabeth Heney Fund for Literacy, and the Kingston Whig-Standard Literacy Endowment Fund
The Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston will be piloting a Structured Literacy training and tutoring program for Kingston elementary school students who experience reading difficulties or Dyslexia with low or no-cost one-on-one tutoring in Structured Literacy and to promote the adoption of Structured Literacy programming into all classrooms in Kingston. This pilot project is designed to address low literacy through multi-level interventions and will be offered in both English and French.
Queen’s University Biological Station – Braiding Indigenous and Scientific Perspectives through Land-Based Learning at Elbow Lake, $16,650
From the Community Fund, the Ruth and Stu Barton Environmental Fund, the Douglas Branton Fell Memorial Fund, and the Marion Meyer Opportunity Fund
Over the past year, the Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre developed a new educational program for Grade 7-10 that brings Indigenous knowledge of nature to the forefront. These new lesson plans focus on some of the most pressing environmental issues, showcase Indigenous knowledge and science, and develop hands-on nature-based learning opportunities for teachers and students. The funds will be used to provide an honouraria for Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Elders, hire a Teaching Assistant, and reduce transportation costs for students.
Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre – Virtual Wildlife Presentation for School Groups, $5,309
From the Eddie Bak Memorial Fund, the Ruth and Stu Barton Community Fund, the Frank & Sarah Good Memorial Fund, and the McNevin Family Fund
Love Wildlife is an interactive education program that raises awareness of human impact on wildlife and offers practical ways of reducing harm. As part of this program, virtual presentations will be offered to grade K-12 school groups, reaching more than 4,000 students. Teachers will have four virtual presentations to choose from with topics on how to support wildlife each season, how to make a wildlife-friendly schoolyard, how to become a wildlife rehabilitator, and how to help species-at-risk in our community. The presentations are designed to cultivate empathy and compassion for wildlife.
Health & Social Services
New Leaf Link – Program and Operations Manager, $15,000
From the Eric Dewar Neuman Fund, the Aaron and Norma Palmer Endowment Fund, the Anne & Bill Patterson Community Fund, and the Sandiford Family Fund
The newly funded position of Program and Operations Manager will manage participant recruitment, community liaison, and daily program planning and operations for New Leaf Link (NeLL). This position is crucial to NeLL’s COVID-19 recovery plan in order to attract and recruit new participants to their program and to continue to deliver high-quality programming. The Program and Operations Manager will perform a variety of adminstrative, program planning, and operational roles and support with the year-round delivery of programming for individuals with a diverse range of physical and intellectual disabilities and learning styles.
Sexual Assault Centre Kingston – Crisis and Support Program Expansion, $14,740
From the Ruth and Stu Barton Community Fund, the Larry Gibson Community Fund, the Russell and Susan Park Memorial Fund, and the Assante Financial Management-Fenlon Division Endowment Fund
Sexual Assault Centre Kingston runs two ongoing crisis and support programs: the telephone crisis line, and the chat/text crisis line. These services provide confidential and non-judgmental support for survivors of all gender identities. These crisis and support programs are available for individuals to talk through the emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, and relational effects of experiencing sexual or gender-based violence with trained volunteers. The funds will be used to enhance their volunteer program by providing honorariums, increasing engagement events and training opportunities, and adding an Emergency Coverage Team.
The Epilepsy and Seizure Disorder Resource Centre of South Eastern Ontario Inc. – Project UPLIFT, $7,500
From the Anonymous #2 Endowment Fund, the Helping Hands for those with Disabilities Fund, and the Richard Moorehouse Fund
The Project UPLIFT program teaches skills for managing and improving stress, mental health, and quality of life. The goal of Project UPLIFT is to empower individuals with epilepsy to improve their own mental health through mindfulness and cognitive-behavioural skills. UPLIFT is delivered in a virtual group setting. Methods taught include challenging thoughts, behavioural activation, coping, problem-solving, and mindfulness. Epilepsy South Eastern Ontario’s intends to provide this program three times throughout the year to individuals living with epilepsy and their caregivers.
Outreach St. George’s Kingston – Lunch by George Professional Management and Strategic Planning, $15,000From The Audrey and Peter Scholes Memorial Fund, the Dr. Samuel S. Robinson Charitable Foundation, the Cameron and Laurie Thompson Fund, and the Smart & Caring Community Fund
For the past 36 years, Lunch by George made a significant difference to individuals who experience food insecurity by providing hot and nutritious meals as well as a consistent and safe space. For many individuals, this is their only hot meal of the day. The funds will be used to purchase food and supplies. During the pandemic, the numbers of clients who have used this service has tripled over the past two years while food donations have reduced and additional resources are required to purchase supplies such as take out containers and disposable utensils. It is anticipated that the meals served next year will almost double in quantity.
Lion Hearts Inc. – Community Food Redistribution Warehouse (CFRW), $25,000
From the Anonymous #2 Endowment Fund, the Michael Potter Memorial Fund, the Cyril E. Wharrie and Evelyn D. Wharrie Fund, The Audrey and Peter Scholes Memorial Fund, and the Smart & Caring Community Fund
The goal of this initiative is to provide the space, staffing, and infrastructure needed to collect and redistribute food donations to local frontline agencies that provide food and meals as a part of their program. There will be an increase in fresh and frozen food distributed to frontline agencies, enhancing the nutritional support they provide to at-risk clients. In addition, this injection of food will allow agencies to redirect funds from their food budget to other priority areas.
Addictions & Mental Health Services – KFL&A – Lyons St. Community Garden, $12,161
From the Community Fund, the Smart & Caring Community Fund, the Peter Hartel Community Fun…d, and the Bill & Nancy Gray Fund
This project will restore and remediate underutilized Addiction & Mental Health Services in Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington (AMHS-KFLA) property by creating an interactive greenscape for clients of AMHS-KFLA who experience serious mental health disorders and substance use by creating a dedicated and safe space and healthy activities for clients to learn, participate, and heal. The property will include a vegetable garden, food forest, and a ‘little forest’ inspired by the ‘Miyawaki Method’, as well as sensory and pollinator gardens.
Seniors Association Kingston Region – Here We Grow with Kingston East, $6,970
From the Community Fund, the Theda Anderson Fund, the Seniors Community Grant Fund, and the K-Town Tri Legacy Fund
The objectives of this program are to expand programming to older adult residents in Kingston East to promote relationship building and decrease social isolation by providing opportunities for older adults to maintain their health and physical well-being. The primary audience consists of older adult residents of Kingston East and surrounding areas. It is anticipated that the Seniors Association will run approximately 20 programs per 10-week sessions, with approximately 160 participants per session. The funds will be used to purchase equipment such as laptops and sporting equipment to support program delivery and promote activities at the new community centre.
Extend-A-Family Kingston – Extend-A-Family Kingston Adult Day Program Pandemic Recovery, $15,000
From the Gordon Barr Ltd. Fund, the Community Fund, and the Larry Gibson Community Fund
Extend-A-Family Kingston (EAFK) Adult Program serves individuals with physical, developmental disabilities, and/or autism spectrum disorder and provides support with activities of daily living such as fitness, nutrition, recreation, and social skill learning. Many participants have behavioural, cognitive, sensory, and/or medical needs that cannot be accommodated in other programs. This grant will help EAFK adapt and recover from the pandemic so they can continue to provide in-persons support and virtual programs for individuals living with disabilities.
YMCA of Eastern Ontario – Work Hard, Eat Well Program,$10,900
The Bill and Gladys Kelly Community Fund, David Middleton North End Development Fund, the Dr. Samuel S. Robinson Charitable Foundation, and the Smart & Caring Community Fund
The Work Hard, Eat Well program is a physical and food literacy program that will be delivered with no fee to children and youth in the Rideau Heights community, benefiting their health and wellness. The focus of the overall program is physical literacy, intended to help children and youth reach the minimum physical activity recommended per week. As part of the food literacy portion of the program, a healthy meal will be served. This program will provide the opportunity for healthy lifestyle choices for children and youth, offering a different view to their future.
YMCA of Eastern Ontario – Pathways to Education YMCA Membership Program, $13,500
From the David Middleton North End Development Fund, the Alcan Endowment Fund, and The Tackaberry Heating Supplies Fund
The Pathways to Education Y Membership Program guarantees 50 Pathways to Education students full access to YMCA services and programming, including physical activity and instruction contributing to a physical education credit required for high school graduation. During the pandemic, many youth have not been able to meet the minimum level of physical activity, leading to physical and mental health issues. By removing barriers to accessing the YMCA program, students are able to participate in sport, recreation, and mentorship activities that contribute to better health and a more balanced lifestyle.
Rural Frontenac Community Services Corporation – Building Rural Youth Resiliency, $14,456
From the Sunnyside Children’s Fund and the Youth Community Fund
The Building Rural Youth Resiliency program will provide rural youth with programming in their communities to strengthen connection and engagement and increasing access to service that address mental health and substance use. The provided programs include a bi-weekly drop-in program in Parham and a monthly youth night in Cloyne. Youth will learn new skills, increase food security through the development of cooking skills, and be provided with appropriate referrals to youth servicing agencies for mental health and substance use.