Looking to 2018

Looking to 2018 

As the year winds down and we settle into the holidays, we’re thinking about taking the time to be gentle with ourselves and each other. We’re ruminating on lessons we’ve learned this past year, and how we will continue to show up for our stakeholders. We’re reflecting on striking the important balance of celebrating successes and staying focused on the urgent and extensive work that lies ahead of us.

We’re grateful to share space with change leaders sharing bold solutions and challenging systems to operate more equitably. In the New Year, we look forward to continuing to support young leaders to design, and not only be invited to, such spaces where they can reimagine systems–whether through campaigns, like #Canada150, or by granting to initiatives like Freedom School.

We’re inspired by sector partners and impact investors committed to building a more inclusive Canada. And in 2018, we look forward to deepening partnerships leveraging resources in support of those leading in communities across Canada, through initiatives like SHARE.

We’re thrilled to support innovative media and arts for change work­­ and we are exploring new creative opportunities to shift narratives and shape conversations by scaling our Doc Impact Fund. Next year we will build on this type of work, by supporting organizations like the Silk Road Institute, our featured grantee in this newsletter.

Throughout the year, we focused on hard questions: are we sufficiently centralizing those most affected by exclusion? Who is benefiting from our work? Are we doing everything we can in the face of urgent challenges to address Islamophobia, advance reconciliation and create greater inclusion overall?

2018 will be no different in this respect. But we do expect to be surprised by courageous people and projects, to be challenged to engage in difficult conversations, and to constantly adapt to the needs and brave leadership of the communities we’re fortunate to work in.

We’re wishing you a safe, restful, and happy holidays. We will see you next year.

Andrea Nemtin
President and CEO

Grantee InFocus: The Silk Road Institute

We are very proud of all our incredible grantees passionately and powerfully creating more inclusion across Canada. In this issue, we’re pleased to introduce you to The Silk Road Institute. Silk Road is one of the latest recipients of the Media and Arts Impact Grant.

Next year, The Silk Road Institute, an organization promoting cross-cultural exchange through creative expression, will bring the critically acclaimed play The Domestic Crusaders to Montreal. Inspirit Foundation is thrilled to support this project with a $40,000 grant.

Thank you, Bob Ottenhoff

As 2017Robert G. Ottenhoff comes to a close, we’re saying goodbye to a brilliant founding board member, Bob Ottenhoff. Bob joined our team 16 years ago, in previous iterations of our organization. Bob set us off on our road to impact investing, always reminded us of our roots in media and arts for change, and constantly pushed us to be bold . Thank you so much for your leadership, Bob!

Stay tuned: Doc Impact Fund!

We’re lookDoc Impact Fund Inspirit Foundationing forward to announcing the successful grantees for the Doc Impact Fund in the new year. This fund, the first of its kind in Canada dedicated to supporting documentary engagement and outreach campaigns for social change, was a pilot for Inspirit. We were thrilled to receive nearly 20 applications, from a wide array of films advancing reconciliation or addressing Islamophobia. In 2018 we’ll be granting to more campaigns and will continue to support new initiatives to contribute to this exciting and emerging field in Canada!

 Additional Highlights

We had more achievements in the last several months than we can include in this issue, but here are a couple of highlights we’re proud of:
  • We had a wonderful time at the Banff Forum in September with change leaders Sarah Jama, Kluane Adamek, Ilyas Gora, and Max FineDay. Learn more from this Q & A with Ilyas.
  • In November, we brought together change leaders for a gathering to exchange skills, deepen relationships, and share ideas. See more here.
  • In October during Reelworld Film Festival, we were proud to have helped support the festival’s E20 Program, a powerful learning opportunity for emerging filmmakers seeking to inspire and spark conversation on important themes. Learn more about them here.

 News & Resources

  • Sanjeev Timana, our Research and Evaluation Coordinator, wrote about how social research is an important tool to addressing Islamophobia.
  • At the Social Finance Forum Jory Cohen, Director of Social Finance and Investment, won the Ewart Newton Award for Social Innovation.
  • We had the chance to catch up with Rebecca Beaulne-Stuebing and Krysta Williams of Walking With Our Sisters Toronto, an Inspirit Foundation grantee. Learn more about this powerful exhibit and commemorative space for MMIWG2S.
  • Rudayna Bahubeshi, our Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Manager, was named a Top 30 Under 30 in Canada by Corporate Knights.
  • Catch up on Jory and Jill’s impact investing journey. Read the third part in the series here.
  • We’re currently digging into this recently released report from Journalists for Human Rights on Reporting on Indigenous Peoples. Check it out.
  • We enjoyed this piece from Filmmaker Magazine about power structures and perspectives in storytelling.
  • It was a joy to work with JAYU to support the iAM project this year, an initiative that provided Indigenous youth with photography skills and opportunities to exhibit and sell their work. Watch a video about the project and see the photographs here.
  •  This month the Circle hosted a webinar about the role of allyship in reconciliation and how philanthropic organizations can work more effectively with Indigenous and racialized communities. Watch it here.


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