Tides Top 10 for 2013
Each year, Tides Canada seeks out initiatives that align with its mission of supporting actions that foster a healthy environment and just Canadian society, and have demonstrated significant results in the communities they serve.
Recipients over the ten-year history of the Tides Top 10 award represent a diverse cross-section of people, cultures, and organizations that work at the intersection of social and environmental issues.
These are the Tides Top 10 for 2013 – groundbreaking initiatives that are leading the pack in social change innovation. Read the news release here.
Leading a youth-centred approach to training, mentorship and collaboration
Where they work: Toronto, Ontario
ArtReach Toronto supports arts initiatives that engage youth with limited access to artistic opportunities. In addition to funding, ArtReach provides training and mentorship activities for young artists and leaders developing arts projects that address social issues and capacity-building initiatives that aim to strengthen the community of young artists working towards social change in Toronto.
We chose them for: Committing to a youth-centered approach, which represents a new model for youth engagement, collaboration, and funding.
Engaging students as future leaders in the green economy
Where they work: Vancouver, British Columbia
CityStudio is an energetic hub of learning and leadership where students design and implement projects that contribute to the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan which aims to make Vancouver the greenest city in the world by 2020. CityStudio provides opportunities for students to work with municipal staff and mentors to develop and launch their projects and to become leaders in the green economy.
We chose them for: Engaging students in collaboration and dialogue with mentors and municipal staff to develop and implement urban sustainability projects.
Inspiring shared learning among indigenous and non-indigenous leaders
Where they work: Northwest Territories
The Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning is a northern-led initiative delivering land-based university-credited educational experience led by northern leaders, experts, elders and professors to engage northern and southern youth in transformative curricula based on the needs of Canada’s North. Dechinta supports a new generation of leaders and researchers by providing accessible and practical learning and development experiences that are respectful of traditional ways.
We chose them for: Bringing diverse partners together to inspire shared learning among indigenous and non-indigenous leaders in a manner that is grounded in the land, academically rigorous and also places value on indigenous ways and history.
Creating a sustainable local food supply for all Nova Scotians
Where they work: Nova Scotia
FarmWorks promotes and provides strategic and responsible community investment in food production and distribution in order to increase access to a sustainable local food supply for all Nova Scotians. FarmWorks’ Community Economic Development Investment Funds provide financing for farms, farm-based secondary processing, and value-added food products, enabling all Nova Scotians to invest in and build a sustainable agricultural and food system.
We chose them for: Creating meaningful partnerships with investors and with loan recipients, businesses and other lenders – partnerships that contribute to the growth of food-related enterprises across Nova Scotia.
Food Matters Manitoba
Engaging Manitobans to have a voice in food-related issues
Where they work: Manitoba
Food Matters Manitoba is a pan-provincial organization with the formidable goal of engaging Manitobans towards healthy, sustainable and accessible food for all. From hands-on community development support for northern, indigenous, urban and rural community efforts to address food issues, to policy development, cooking competitions and developing provincial procurement systems for local foods, this is the little organization that could.
We chose them for: Connecting voices across geographies and cultures through a participatory process, and for their commitment to collaborate, share information and develop local ownership of food-related issues across the region.
Immigrant Access Fund
Investing in new immigrants to foster a more inclusive and just Canada
Where they work: Calgary, Alberta
Immigrant Access Fund (IAF) provides micro loans to immigrants to help them access the necessary Canadian licensing or training for employment in their field. Unlike requirements for typical bank loans, IAF does not require applicants to be employed, have a credit history in Canada or have collateral in order to access its micro loans.
We chose them for: Addressing the gap in services for immigrants and responding to an immediate and growing need for skills in Alberta. By investing in new immigrants, they are building community and fostering a more inclusive and just Canada.
Providing community leaders with tools to effect large-scale change
Where they work: National
Innoweave helps community organizations implement innovative approaches to help generate greater impact more quickly and at less cost. In 2013, Innoweave’s first year of operations, over 1000 non-profit leaders participated in webinars and received support tools, 200 organizations attended key learning workshops and 100 organizations received coaching and grants to implement new approaches to building social change solutions.
We chose them for: Bringing together thought leaders, academics, and partners from private, public and not-for-profit sectors to provide community sector leaders with innovative tools and processes to effect large-scale change.
Transitioning neighbourhoods to carbon neutrality
Where they work: Toronto, Ontario
Project Neutral is an ambitious enterprise to transition neighbourhoods to carbon neutrality. A volunteer-led, grassroots initiative, Project Neutral works with existing community leaders to establish a greenhouse gas baseline, build capacity through workshops and partnerships, and identify individual, household and neighbourhood actions that result in reduced energy use and carbon emissions.
We chose them for: Taking a crucial and seemingly insurmountable environmental challenge and providing neighbourhoods with the tools to make a significant local impact that reverberates globally.
River Mission Project – Blue Legacy, de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation and Ottawa Riverkeeper
Rallying a diverse community around a shared vision for a healthy Ottawa River watershed
Where they work: Ottawa, Ontario
A partnership initiated by the fourth generation of the de Gaspé Beaubien family, the River Mission Project is focused on raising awareness about the importance of preserving the Ottawa River and its watershed by rallying citizens, policymakers and governments toward a shared vision of the river.
We chose them for: Bridging cultural, generational and urban-rural divides by bringing together a successful grassroots water non-governmental organization with a family foundation, and connecting a diverse community around a shared vision for a healthy Ottawa River watershed.
Promoting economic development through collaboration and dialogue in the Upper Skeena
Where they work: Hazelton, Upper Skeena, British Columbia
Storytellers’ Foundation is based in the Upper Skeena River region in northwest British Columbia, home to 14 distinct communities located on the traditional territories of the Gitxsan First Nation. Storytellers Foundation promotes community economic development through an integrated approach that stems from the diverse values and socioeconomic visions of community members.
We chose them for: Promoting economic development by promoting collaboration and dialogue between the Gitxsan people, neighbouring First Nations in the Upper Skeena, environmental organizations, and non-aboriginal governments.