Ontario Supporting Non-Profits through the Community Building Fund

Mississauga Board of Trade
Mississauga Board of Trade


October 7, 2021


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TORONTO ― The Ontario government is providing more than $46 million to support 648 non-profit tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations experiencing significant financial pressures due to COVID-19. Funding is being delivered through the Community Building Fund’s Operating stream to help these non-profits operate their facilities so they can provide much-needed programs and services in their communities.

Details were provided today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, at the Toronto Botanical Garden, where she was joined by Harry Jongerden, Interim Executive Director of the Toronto Botanical Garden, and Charlie Johnstone, CEO of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our government has been supporting those struggling the most,” said Minister MacLeod. “The Community Building Fund was designed with this in mind – to enhance the quality of life for Ontarians and support local jobs. These grants will help non-profit organizations sustain operations – providing funding so they can adapt to the pressures of the pandemic and continue to deliver programming that is critical to the economic and social well-being of communities across the province.”

The Community Building Fund launched earlier this year as a part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover. The fund is administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) through two streams: Operating and Capital. Applications for the Operating stream closed on June 1, 2021, and the funding is providing organizations across the province with support for:

  • Essential expenditures, such as staff salaries and fixed operational costs, including utilities, rent, lease, telephone and communication lines/services
  • Equipment costs, programs, services, and adapting to public health measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as equipment for changing technology, health and safety, and personal protective equipment
  • Innovation, digital and mobile web/virtual costs for the delivery of products and experiences.

For a full list of Community Building Fund Operating stream recipients, please visit the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s website.


648 non-profit tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations in Ontario experiencing significant financial pressures due to COVID-19 will benefit from a provincial investment of more than $46 million. The funding will help organizations like museums, theatres, fairs, attractions, sport and recreation organizations, and cultural institutions sustain operations and provide programs and services in their communities.

“Toronto Botanical Garden is deeply grateful for this significant support from the Ontario government. The pandemic may have had a devastating effect on our revenues, but the physical and mental health benefits of exposure to nature have never been better understood or appreciated.”

  • Harry Jongerden, Interim Executive Director, Toronto Botanical Garden

“These have been extraordinary times for all of us. The ability to maintain our core deliverables has been challenged like we’ve never experienced before. While we continue to search for new and innovative means to reach our core constituents throughout the year, it’s programs like The Ontario Trillium Foundation – Community Building Fund that enable us to do so. For this we are truly appreciative as The Royal develops and executes our programs to the benefit of farmers, teachers, students, parents and children throughout the Province of Ontario.”

  • Charlie Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

“The Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa (now, BGC Ottawa) is thrilled to be supported again this year by the Community Building Fund, Minister MacLeod and the Government of Ontario. These crucial funds help support the free, life-changing programs the BGCO offers to children and youth in 19 communities in Ottawa. We are so grateful for this generous investment in our community’s future leaders, which offers them a place to belong, believe and achieve!”

  • Stephen Beckta, Board of Directors Chair, BGC Ottawa

“The Mississauga Waterfront Festival (The MWF) is thrilled to receive financial assistance through the Community Building Fund for our new and exciting free event this December — Lights & Ice Winterfest. Rediscover the charm of the Canadian winter season outdoors in the hidden gem of the GTA, right here in Port Credit, from December 3-12, 2021. The funds will support increased staff hours and wages, a new computer and office expenses – as well as a new QR code system and upgraded webpage so people can enjoy the event in person or from the comfort of their home.”

  • Pat Anderson, Chair, The Mississauga Waterfront Festival

“The Ottawa Art Gallery is grateful to receive support through the Community Building Fund and thanks the Trillium Foundation, Minister MacLeod and the Ontario Government for this much needed funding. This grant will help us navigate the ongoing and considerable challenges to our cultural institution created by the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that we can continue to serve diverse communities through art exhibitions, school, youth and family programs as well as to create a space, physical and virtual, for respite and well-being through art.”

  • Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO, Ottawa Art Gallery

“Italian Week Ottawa is thrilled to be an OTF Community Building Fund recipient. This grant will help ensure the sustainability of Italian Week, a cultural festival and local tradition that has operated for nearly 50 years. Having the ability to hire a full-time employee will assist us in responding to ever-changing needs to deliver programming and enhance the in-person experience and the excellence of our virtual production for our attendees.”

  • Lydia Di Francesco, Board Member, Italian Week Ottawa

“The Prosserman JCC is a dynamic community hub that supports healthy lifestyles, and it anchors our local community with recreational, educational, social and wellness programs. The last 18 months have presented significant challenges to our operations, and as we prepare to recover, we are so thankful to have the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation Community Building Fund. Their investment will allow us to rebuild in a way that offers individuals and families opportunities to strengthen their mind, body and soul while reconnecting them to their passions and each other. We are fortunate that Minister MacLeod and the Government of Ontario understand the value of community.”

  • Andrew Levy, Executive Director, Prosserman JCC

“The Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum is profoundly grateful to the Ontario government for its invaluable support, especially during these difficult times. The Museum and its stories play a crucial role in interpreting this country’s past — and our collective future. These critical funds will allow us to keep our blast doors open and our lights on, as we continue to serve our visitors from across Canada and around the world.”

  • Christine McGuire, Executive Director of the Diefenbunker Museum.

“The member clubs of Twin Elm Rugby Park and the 14 associations that use Twin Elm Rugby Park are ecstatic with the support from Minister Lisa MacLeod and the provincial government with the grant to assist with operational costs, which permits us to survive the COVID-19 shutdown we have experienced.”

  • Lee Powell, President, Twin Elm Rugby Park

“Muskoka Lakes Museum has been extremely grateful to receive funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. This will help keep our museum going strong and recover from the difficult situation that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds mean we will be able to focus on planning more activities for next year and refresh exhibits to make our next season exciting and vibrant.”

  • Courtney Provan, Director Curator, Muskoka Lakes Museum

“The Brant Naval Veterans’ Association is extremely grateful to receive a positive response from the Community Building Fund. The funds will keep us open and allow us to expand our hours for our patrons.”

  • Robert Sedman, Brant Naval Veterans’ Association Board of Directors
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