Community News Update - January 8, 2024

Dear Community, 

We want you to tell us what you want to see in the provincial budget!

The Ontario government's pre-budget consultations will not include hearings in Toronto this year, so the Official Opposition NDP is hosting its own. You can register to share your priorities for a stronger Ontario that puts people first. 

The consultation is happening Tuesday, January 18th from 3 to 8pm at Queen's Park. Remote joining options will be available. Click here to RSVP. 

Ontario is YEARS behind where we should be in dismantling barriers for people with disabilities in this province. 

In late December, the government quietly released the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)'s fourth review which rang alarm bells that accessibility in Ontario is in a "crisis state". The report was received by this government in June 2023 but was kept a secret for 6 months before its quiet release. 

While they were sitting on this report, they could've been taking ACTION. If we want to meet the AODA standard of making Ontario fully accessible by 2025, we need to take serious measures. Now. 

The recommendations are clear. Let's get to work and implement them!

Click here to hear from disability advocates

Read our ONDP press release here.

This weekend, I attended the INSPIRE Awards to celebrate the accomplishments of inspiring people, youth, businesses, and organizations in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in the GTA and across Canada. 

In 2018, I was named Person of the Year by INSPIRE Awards. On Saturday, I got to present the award, alongside my friend David, to Matt Ashcroft. This was truly a full-circle moment of gratitude. Matt has been instrumental in banning conversion therapy (CT) in Canada and is a key founder of Conversion Therapy Survivors (CT Survivors), a non-profit organization that amplifies the voices of those who have experienced conversion therapy and provides a peer-support group to increase the mental health of victims. Congratulations to Matt and ALL the nominees and recipients Saturday evening! 

It was a joy to join old & new friends to celebrate and honour your accomplishments. All of you are an inspiration to children, youth, and adults who are still struggling with accepting themselves. Let us recommit to fighting for the rights and freedoms of everyone. So long as there are systemic barriers and discrimination against members of our community, there is work to be done!

Community, I encourage you to read more about all of this year’s nominees and honourees here!

Attention St. Paul's, Toronto, & surrounding area!

Join Joy Bullen, Culturpreneur is bringing a concert in honour of Black History month!

Celebrations & Revelations 2024: Unyielding Roots

Second generation Canadians with roots in the Caribbean and Africa, Rashaan Rory Allwood, pianist / instrumentalist, and Kathryn Patricia Cobbler, Loop pedal violist, will premiere their original compositions, with the outstanding soprano voice of Nadine Anyan.

Rashaan and Kathryn will take you on a musical journey with pieces that reflect upon elements of the Caribbean immigrant and African diaspora experience. A program of original ambient jazz, folk, and classical compositions performed against a background film of images and events from life in the Caribbean and in Canada, exploring themes of being raised within multiple cultures and redefining beauty against a North American colonial landscape.

The performance will take place Sunday, February 11, 2024 at 3 pm at Holy Blossom Temple. Early bird tickets are $35 (until Jan 16th). Regular price: $45. 

Click here to buy yours!

The Black Student Summer Leadership Program (BSSLP) is back! 

BSSLP is a 7-week full-time paid summer experiential learning opportunity. Students hired will explore a range of academic and career placements including but not limited to: Business, Community Development, Information Technology, Public Health and Youth Justice. 


  • Black TDSB student (current, graduating or returning)
  • Must be available for Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) paid training (April 9-May 28)
  • Must be available for full-time summer employment (July 2 - Aug 16, 2024)
  • Must be available for interview from February 15 - 23, 2024)
  • Currently in Gr. 10-12 and must be 16 years old as of July 1, 2024. 

Click here to apply!

There will be an information session on January 16, 2024 from 6-7:30 pm. 

The deadline to apply is January 19, 2024.

Pride Toronto is hiring! Check out their Job Board today. Available positions include:

  • Fund Development Manager
  • Volunteer Curator
  • Operations Coordinator
  • Fund Development Coordinator
  • Accessibility Curator
  • Community Engagement Curator
  • Programming & Events Curator

Click here to view available positions and to apply. 

They're also looking for community members to join their Accessibility Community Advisory Group. For more info and to apply, contact [email protected]

They've also put out a call for 2024 festival vendors. Click here for more info!

Hillcrest Village Community Playersis looking for volunteers for their upcoming production of Footloose (Feb 22–March 2, 2024)! 

There is a lot of fun to be had in their Front of House team! Roles available include:

  • Two ushers
  • Two ticket-takers
  • Two merch sales people
  • Two cafe and intermission sales people
  • Two coat-checkers

Interested? Fill out their interest form by January 29th here

Tickets for the production are on sale NOW. You don’t want to miss it! Click here to purchase. 

Also, from Hillcrest Village Players–

Hello Community - 

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting a Trivia Night at The Gym Pub (782 St. Clair Ave W) on Thursday, January 18th 6:30pm!

Brush up on your knowledge about the community, our upcoming production of Footloose and MORE to win Food/Drink prizes  throughout the evening… and the grand prize of Footloose tickets for your team!

Book a table for your team of up to 6 people. A minimum donation of $5 per player will be collected before trivia begins. 

Event: HVCP x The Gym Trivia Night
Date & Time: Thursday, January 18th, 6:30pm
Location: 782 St. Clair Ave W, Toronto
Minimum donation of $5 per player 

See you there!

Krista & Catherine

Click here to book your table.

dance Immersion Presents the North American Premiere of
Traditional Future
by Kenya’s Fernando Anuang’a
Friday, January 19, 2024:
Pre-Show Reception – 7:15 PM
Performance & Artist Talk – 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Saturday, January 20, 2024:
Performance & Artist Talk – 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St W, Toronto, ON
General – $32.50    
Students/Arts Workers – $22.50
About the Performance:
dance Immersion presents Kenya’s Fernando Anuang’a in his internationally-renowned contemporary Maasaï dance solo, TRADITIONAL FUTURE, in North America for the first time!
With this work Fernando explores: How do we evolve tradition toward modernity without obliterating its tracks, without betraying one’s roots?
Fernando Anuang’a is an autodidact artist (self-taught dancer/choreographer) from Kenya. He is supported and inspired by Kenyan Maasaï songs, his ancestral memories, and his community’s vocal rhythmic power for his vocabulary. He is driven by a will to take tradition into the future, and continuously researches ways for Maasaï dance to live fully in this era. While tourists have exploited the image of the Maasaï jump tradition, Fernando’s practice instead infuses this cultural vertical energy with evolving Maasaï undulation gestures. For his third solo, TRADITIONAL FUTURE, he stays loyal to the Moran (Maasaï warrior) tradition as a symbolic root, while finding a deeper energy and more liberating form of self-expression to bring the tradition into the future.
This work is presented as part of dance Immersion’s 30th Anniversary Season! The performance will be accompanied by an opening night pre-show reception, and artist talks following both performances.

Applications for Black Women in Motion's Black Youth Employment Assistance Program (BYEAP) are now OPEN!

BYEAP is a 13-week, virtual employment and entrepreneurial-focused program for Black survivors of gender-based violence. BYEAP provides employment-focused training opportunities and mental health resources to support survivors in developing their employability skills, business ideas, and wellness strategies for job retention.

For general inquiries, please email us at [email protected] 

Registration for the Winter/Spring 2024 cohort closes on Thursday, January 18th, 2024, at 11:59 P.M.

Interested applicants are asked to email their resumes to [email protected] with BYEAP-2024 in the subject line.

Calling all poets of St. Paul's and beyond! The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is seeking nominees for the next Poet Laureate of Ontario. The role was created in 2019 in honour of the late Gord Downie.

The application is open until January 15, 2024. Click here for more information.

In Ontario, 1,400 people on average are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant while thousands more are in need of a life-changing tissue donation. They are our friends, neighbours, colleagues, and, in some cases, members of our own families.

When you register as a possible organ and tissue donor, you have the potential to change the story for someone in need.
One donor can help over 80 people get back to life.
Register your consent to become an organ and tissue donor after your death and tell your family so they can help honour your wishes.
Did You Know?

  • Any Ontario resident who is 16 years or older and has an Ontario health card is eligible to register as an organ and tissue donor
  • Everyone has the potential to be an organ and/or tissue donor, regardless of age or health.
  • People from every major religion have donated. Many religions support donation or respect and individual’s choice.
  • The first and foremost concern for health care professionals is to save lives. Only when a life cannot be saved does organ and tissue donation become an option.
  • It takes two minutes to register or check your status at You can also register in person at any ServiceOntario location.

More information about the donation process, who can register, and the importance of speaking to family can be found online at

Each year across Ontario, thousands of lives are lost to overdoses. We need every level of government to prioritize implementing harm reduction strategies to combat these senseless deaths, and you can help.

As many of you know, Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, and these kits are FREE with training at participating pharmacies across the city. Together, we can prevent unnecessary deaths and work toward a more compassionate society that is safe safe for everyone.

Find a pharmacy with Naloxone kits near you, and make sure you can recognize the signs of an overdose.

In Solidarity, 

Dr. Jill Andrew, P.h.D

MPP Toronto-St. Paul's

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Community News Update - June 21, 2024

Dear Community,

Join me and Save Ontario's Science Centre on Sunday in Wells Hill Park to speak out against Doug Ford's scheme to move the Ontario Science Centre to Ontario Place, which has now led to the surprise closure of the Science Centre.

This benefits no one. Not the people of Toronto who are losing a beloved insitution or the 400+ employees of the OSC, many of whom will lose their jobs.

Meet us in Wells Hill Park at St Clair and Bathurst to tell Doug Ford NO.

RSVP here

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