Newsletter: June 2024

Newsletter: June 2024

June 27, 2024 –

A Message from our President

One of my favourite parts of my job is helping others find and express their voices: giving them the tools, opportunities and forums to speak about their values and about how their work is critical to their communities.

You will read about some of these voices today: a youth transit mural designed by an Indigenous artist, an exhibit about racism and even a protest at a fancy golf course. No matter the medium, we always help our partner projects express their voices, even if – or especially when – they challenge an unfair or polluting status quo.

Our team of communicators is fearless in amplifying these voices. After all, much of our work is about reaching the hearts of Canadians to instill an emotional connection to the ecological and societal wrongs we face. We’ve known for a long time that people listen with their hearts, not their heads. Facts won’t win these battles, but heart might.

– Burkhard



People, Not Pixels

While our Small Change Fund team works remotely across the country, occasionally we meet in person to facilitate major projects and we make the best use we can of our time together! At the beginning of June, our team gathered in Toronto for two days of meetings and enjoyable team dinners. One big project we worked on was our upcoming digital transformation. We’re so excited to share the coming updates to our platform – keep your eyes peeled for more news soon!

Celebrating Public Transit in Edmonton, Alberta

In Edmonton, we are coordinating the creation of a mural to highlight the community-wide benefits of investing in youth transit access. We are delighted to introduce Jayda Delorme, a professional Cree mural artist, as the lead artist on this piece. Jayda is a 2023 YWCA Young Woman of Distinction finalist and has placed in the top 20 at global art competitions. She has a unique and vibrant style which incorporates her Indigenous culture into cityscapes and is working closely with local youth to include their ideas in the mural design.

Black Summer of ‘91

Our partner Rito Joseph premiered the exhibition Black Summer of ‘91 on June 20th at the Fonderie Darling art centre in Montreal. The exhibit tells the story of the often forgotten popular uprisings that occurred across five Montreal neighbourhoods during the summer of 1991. These uprisings were in response to systematic violence against Black communities. The exhibition is open through August 18th and we encourage anyone in the area to check it out.

No More Open-Pit Mines on Mount Nemo

Good news in our fight to protect Mount Nemo! Halton Regional Council recently passed a unanimous resolution to ask the Ontario Premier to protect the Mount Nemo Plateau. The Municipalities reiterated their request for the Province to update land use designations on the Mount Nemo Plateau to align with updated scientific knowledge. In 2016, the Niagara Escarpment Commission recommended an upgrade of the land-use designations to “Escarpment Protection” and “Escarpment Natural”.

Welcome, Jahreleaseya!

We are pleased to welcome Jahreleaseya Leymann-Simpson who is working as an intern on our Greener Toronto Fund project with the Green Neighbours Network of Toronto. Jahreleaseya just finished her fourth year of Environmental Biology at the Toronto Metropolitan University. She grew up visiting provincial parks with her grandparents and carries her love of nature with her to the city. “I’m passionate about citizen science and making science and conservation accessible and digestible to all,” says Jahreleaseya. “I love helping others to learn about urban ecosystems and what we can do to keep them thriving for generations to come.” Jahreleaseya has experience working in native plant horticulture and environmental education. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, watercolour painting and spending time with her tortoiseshell cat.

Partner Post: GRIN for Green Roofs in British Columbia

Earlier this month, the Green Roof Infrastructure Network of BC (GRIN BC) celebrated World Green Roof Day with emphasis on grassroots organizing for climate action and biodiversity using green infrastructure. Over 30 people came out for a green roof tour and happy hour. We also announced our project with Small Change Fund which will help BC towns and cities identify the best places to add more green infrastructure. Finally, we celebrated Councillor Valente’s successful notice of motion to the City of North Vancouver to remove barriers to rooftop use, including green roofs.

– Christine Thuring, Executive Director, GRIN

Protesting the Caledon Mega-Quarry

Our partners from the Forks of the Credit Preservation Group organized a June 4th protest against a mega-quarry in Caledon. The protest took place outside of the Osprey Valley Golf Course, where a conference was being held to celebrate that the 2025 RBC Canadian Open will be hosted at the course. The course owner is leasing 400 acres to the company creating the mega-quarry. Join us in protecting this environmentally sensitive area by donating here.

Small News Bites

  • The last episode of the first season of Hot Globe dropped this month. Check it out here and watch for season two in the fall!
  • On June 18th, our partners at the Alliance for a Liveable Ontario released the report “Taking Action Together: Five Ways to Make Homes Affordable in Ontario,” along with complementary videos. Download the report here and learn more at Click here to support our efforts to create a sustainable and affordable Ontario for all residents.
  • The Alliance for a Liveable Ontario’s webinar The Lowdown on Housing Preferences and Building Starts is also now available, offering evidence-based insights and analysis on the housing crisis.

Our warmest gratitude to all our partners, donors and supporters for helping us effect positive change. Happy summer to all!


The Small Change Fund Team

P.S. Your donation directly to Small Change Fund allows us to keep improving services and supports to help more grassroots projects succeed nationwide. Thank you for helping make change!