Newsletter: April 2023

Newsletter: April 2023

APRIL 28, 2023

A Message from our President
Last week was National Volunteer Appreciation week. Millions of Canadians volunteer throughout the year and this week of appreciation acknowledges their contribution to much in our daily lives. Many of our Small Change Fund projects rely, sometimes solely, on dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers.

I distinctly remember my first volunteer position, although I didn’t see it as a “volunteer” thing at the time. In my German high school, we had six aquariums in the auditorium. Each had a different theme/types of fish. These aquariums needed regular attention: feeding the fish, cleaning the glass, vacuuming the bottom and yes, removing the odd dead fish.

Every week we would do these chores and didn’t once think that we were doing anything special. But we were. We could have spent this time playing soccer, watching TV or going on dates. We didn’t though. We wanted the aquariums to be perfect. The fish to thrive. The students to learn about aquatic life. And for the aquariums to be beautiful.

Whatever volunteer work you do, it matters.
– Burkhard

Photo by Frank Castro on Unsplash.

Save Ontario Place
Our project to Save Ontario Place launched with a bang this month. In a few short weeks, 418 donors have contributed $24,428 – a clear indication of the importance of keeping Ontario Place as an accessible, affordable public space. Our partners Ontario Place for All have kept the project in the news and the issue is heating up. Stay tuned for updates on how you can help save this Canadian cultural icon.

A Rocking Earth Day

Kim Barlow introduces Aaron Prosper who hosted a traditional Mi’kmaq songs workshop.
Small Change Fund and our partners Music in Communities and Music Declares Emergency celebrated Earth Day in style with the Every Day is Earth Day event in Wolfville, NS. The event centered Indigenous knowledge and community collaboration, along with exploring ways we can use music to focus our collective creative energies on the climate crisis.

Participants enjoyed a full day learning Mi’kmaq songs, as well as their history and meaning, and climate action songwriting. In the evening, our Communications and Projects Manager, Abbie, joined Kim Fry, Coordinator of Music Declares Emergency Canada, and Halifax singer-songwriter Braden Lam on a panel to discuss how we can tackle the climate crisis through community action and music. The event concluded with a concert featuring local and national talent. For more, check out the SCF news page.

Celebrating Youth Climate Activists
Alongside our partners Pivot Green, Small Change Fund is thrilled to congratulate the winners of the Youth Climate Action Award:

First Place – SDSS Deep Roots (Stratford, ON)
Runners-up – East Scarborough Pop-Up Seed Library (ON); CityHive Climate Programs (Vancouver, BC)
Honourable Mentions – Community Climate Council (Peel Region, ON); Cycle York at Regenesis Canada (Toronto, ON); Student Sustainability Ambassadors Program (Hamilton, ON)

Welcome, Lara!

Small Change Fund is excited to welcome Lara Ellis to our Board. Lara has an extensive background in the Canadian nature and nonprofit sector, including with ALUS Canada and the Ivey Foundation, and is currently a consultant for national and regional non-governmental organizations.

“I’m very happy to be part of this vibrant and successful organization,” says Lara. “Small Change Fund is extremely effective in providing groups with resources and jumpstarting campaigns. This is what it takes to address environmental problems both big and small.”

We are looking forward to Lara’s contributions as a volunteer Board member and are grateful to all of our Board members for their investment in Small Change Fund’s success.

New Projects
We were pleased to publish two new campaigns this month. Click the project names for more details and to donate.

  • Every Day is Earth Day – to bring activists, youth, musicians and Indigenous knowledge-keepers together to focus their collective creative energy on solving the climate crisis.
  • Stop Development of Burlington’s Green Space – to maintain the existing Millcroft Golf Course lands in Burlington, ON as Major Parks and Open Space as well as a flood management system for the area. Additionally, to protect the habitat of local wildlife.


Climate Change: A Laughing Matter?
Earlier this month, we hosted the recipients of the Trottier Family Foundation’s Climate Narratives grants at the CSI Annex in Toronto. This innovative funding program is supporting four comedy teams (including our own) as they produce climate action content that captures the attention of the public. A fifth comedy troupe was brought on through the generous funding of the Echo Foundation and Chisholm Thomson Family Foundation.

We were joined by Giordano Nanni, the mastermind behind Honest Government Ads, and several guests speakers to share advice, climate updates and, most of all, laughs.

Small News Bites

  • Are you ready to Get on the Bus? Check out this article for more on the benefits of investing in youth transit programs and keep your eyes open for our upcoming launch!
  • We’re still fighting for the Greenbelt and we know you are too! One of our Greenbelt signs makes a guest appearance in this article about a rally hosted last Saturday. Watch for more updates on protecting the Greenbelt in next month’s newsletter.
  • You may have noticed our recently updated tagline. Chief Storyteller, Jim Diorio, was struck by inspiration one day and the whole team loved it. Small Change Fund: Bring Your Change Here.

As always, thank you to all of our partners, donors and funders for your support this month. And a special shoutout to all of our volunteers – we truly appreciate you!


The Small Change Fund Team