Ontario Newsroom

Building Up Communities with Innovative New Programs and Services

Archived News Release

Building Up Communities with Innovative New Programs and Services

Province Supporting Local Projects Through Ontario Trillium Foundation

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Ontario is supporting 204 new and innovative projects that will respond to local needs and help build healthy and vibrant communities across the province. 

Ted McMeekin, MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, made the announcement today on behalf of Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism Culture and Sport, at the Immigrants Working Centre in Hamilton.

Two of the recipients include:

  • Empowerment Squared's new digital literacy program, which will help more than 100 newcomer parents learn how to use computers, tablets, smartphones and web-based platforms so they can take an active role in their children's education. 
  • The Eva Rothwell Centre, which will support women's employment in the skilled trades, science, technology, engineering and mathematics through an education and employment program.

Projects are part of the Ontario Trillium Foundation's Seed Investment Stream, which helps communities meet local needs through new ideas and projects, such as helping people find work, helping newcomers settle in a community or helping volunteer organizations boost their membership. An additional 11 projects are being awarded Collective Impact Grants, which help organizations work together to address complex social issues in communities.

Supporting strong, healthy communities is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • The Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario, is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations.
  • Empowerment Squared is receiving $70,000 for its digital literacy program.
  • The Eva Rothwell Centre is receiving $47,500 for its education program.
  • Since 2013, the Ontario Trillium Foundation has invested over $444 million in projects to help build healthy and vibrant communities.
  • Sixteen Grant Review Teams across Ontario, composed of active community-based volunteers, review applications and guide granting decisions for the OTF.
  • OTF publishes its granting data in a raw, machine-readable format to help drive innovation and collaboration. This aligns with Ontario’s Open Government commitment to increase transparency by making government data more publicly available.

Additional Resources


“Our government recognizes the importance of helping communities respond to local unique needs. The projects announced today demonstrate the versatility and scope of this fund with new and innovative ways of addressing local needs to benefit the community.”

Eleanor McMahon

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“I am thrilled the Ontario government is supporting Empowerment Squared, an organization that helps Hamilton youth and young adults develop valuable social and leadership skills. I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this OTF seed grant as Empowerment Squared supports new refugees and helps them become connected in the community.”

Ted McMeekin

MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale

“By supporting Empowerment Squared in helping newcomers engage with their children’s education, and assisting The Eva Rothwell Centre to increase women’s skills development in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields, the Ontario Trillium Foundation is proud to ensure we’re playing an integral role in strengthening communities. Whenever we invest in projects that support education and employment, we are helping future generations understand the importance of knowledge in creating vibrant and healthy communities.”

Tim Jackson

Board Chair, Ontario Trillium Foundation

“The Seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation will empower over 100 newcomer parents through a digital literacy program. Parents will now be able to participate in their children’s education and engage with the school system, something they couldn’t do before. This grant serves as a direct bridge between our ability to support newcomer youth through academic mentoring and empowering their parents and adult allies to play a role as a consistent support base throughout the education and social development process of their children.”

Leo Nupolu Johnson

Executive Director and Founder, Empowerment Squared

“I would like to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for making this project possible. Through our partnership with City School by Mohawk College and the financial contribution from the Ontario Trillium Foundation we will be able to provide programming to a demographic that has been underserviced in this area. With this Seed grant the Eva Rothwell Centre will provide skilled trades and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and employment programs for women.”

Matt Kelly

Executive Director, The Eva Rothwell Centre

Media Contacts



Arts and Culture Business and Economy Government Home and Community