OMERS Foundation Announces its First Grant Recipients

January 02, 2017

The OMERS Foundation is delighted to announce its first grant recipients. In November 2016, we received 41 applications from our employees across Canada. We reviewed all the applications and narrowed them down to six finalists, which we announce today.

During the next couple of weeks, each employee who nominated a finalist will be given a cheque to present to their charity. Visit our site in the coming months for more information on our grant recipients and the OMERS Foundation.

“What is unique about the OMERS Foundation is that it is fully run by our employees. Our employees raise the funds, run the events and select the charities to which we will provide grants. The announcement of our first grant recipients marks a major milestone and it reaffirms OMERS spirit of caring, sharing and supporting each other and our communities.”
– Michael Latimer, CEO, OMERS

Here are the January 2017 grant recipients:

Amici Camping Charity

For the past 50 years, Amici has provided summer camp experiences to youth between ages 7-17 facing financial and social barriers. Working with 40 Ontario Camping Association-accredited partner camps, Amici provides these children the chance to discover their potential in the Canadian wilderness through the leadership and skill-building environment of camp. Amici campers are invited to return to camp for as many summers as they are eligible. Amici is committed to giving all children the chance to discover their full potential – at camp and beyond.

Between the Bridges

Between the Bridges is a partnership of Dartmouth North residents, community organizations, businesses, government agencies, the United Way and the Province of Nova Scotia.

This partnership recognizes that there are incredible strengths and assets in Dartmouth North that can be brought together in new ways to address long-standing and important community needs and interests. Between the Bridges uses a “Collective Impact” approach to bring people with a diversity of knowledge, skills, resources, and life experience to work together and tackle priority goals.

Eva Rothwell Centre

Located in the heart of Hamilton, Ontario’s North End, the Eva Rothwell Centre provides recreational programming and resources to its members at no cost. These programs seek to reduce and eliminate the barriers that its community members face, many of whom are living at or below the poverty line and facing multiple barriers to success.

In the Spring of 2017, the Eva Rothwell Centre is launching the new Learning Pods program that will focus on educational support and upskilling, as well as on employment training and job retention.

The Eva Rothwell Centre also provides three age-specific after school programs for children and teens between ages 5-18; The Breakfast Program, offered to school-age children on weekday mornings; The Clothing Room, which provides free casual and formal garments to those in need; the Emergency Food Pantry, a food bank that serves 50 families per month; the Back-to-Work centre, focusing on resume critiquing and job search assistance; and The Literacy Express, a reading comprehension program.

Fort York Food Bank

Since 1998, the Fort York Food Bank (FYFB) has supported the most vulnerable members of downtown Toronto with an integrated set of services to help them get on track. In any given month, the FYFB will assist 1,000 people surviving on an average of $4 per day (after occupancy expenses) with grocery supplies, meals as well as information and support services in a safe environment. The FYFB is a grass-roots, volunteer-driven organization with one paid staff member. In fiscal year 2016, 96% of financial contributions went directly to program delivery. The FYFB has been recognized for its high social return on investment, as illustrated by its inclusion in Charity Intelligence Canada’s Canadian Charity Impact Fund as one of the Top 10 Charities of 2016.

The Jack Davis Hope Foundation

In 2007, strangers and loved ones rallied around Blain Davis’ family to obtain a physiotherapy system for his son, Jack, who lives with cystic fibrosis.

Inspired by his son, Jack, and with the help of friends, Blain started a foundation that helps families who struggle to provide the care that their children living with disease need.

Located in Edmonton, Alberta, The Jack Davis Hope Foundation helps families facing costs associated with the care of their ill children.

Amici Camping Charity

Unity uses the Arts to empower youth with confidence and skills for success. Unity uses hip hop to improve young people’s lives, creating healthier communities.
  • Who we engage: Unity pulls in youth who may feel disconnected or overwhelmed by stress.
  • Why hip hop: hip hop is a universal community consisting of art forms that youth relate to and can access.
  • What is the impact: youth achieve their full potential, creating healthy and vibrant communities.
In the Unity Community Program, youth learn the foundations of the hip-hop art forms (dance, beatbox, spoken word, and graffiti) in workshops led by Unity Artists. The workshops are geared toward community building, empowerment, leadership, confidence and goal setting skills through the arts.