Posts in Stories
Lost and Found Theatre Brings Back a Holiday Favourite

Families wanting to get into the holiday spirit will soon be able to experience a unique take on a classic Christmas story. Next month, Lost and Found Theatre will be performing one of their original productions: Charles Dickens Writes a Christmas Carol.

“The cool thing about this version [of the story] is that it actually starts out in Dickens’ study, where he’s struggling with writer’s block,” explained Kathleen Sheehy, one of the Ensemble Members with Lost and Found…

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Celebrating Identity in our Community

What does it mean to be a Muslim woman in Waterloo Region? The Coalition of Muslim Women of KW’s new art exhibition, Celebrating Identity, aims to answer this question.

“This exhibition will be celebrating the complex, often multi-layered identities that often exist in first generation immigrants, with a focus on what it means to be a Canadian and Ontarian for newcomer Muslim women,” explained Ala’ Al-Thibeh, curator of Celebrating Identity.

Participating artists, all of whom are newcomer…

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Helping Families, One Turkey at a Time

Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Club launches their 11th Annual Turkey Drive

As you sit down to enjoy your holiday dinner with friends and family, nearly 3,500 other families in Waterloo Region are also enjoying a turkey with all the fixings, because of the determination of the Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Club.

In the coming months, as many of us begin rushing to put together the perfect turkey dinner, Jim Erb, past-chair of the Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Club, is urging people to stop and think…

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Impact Investing at The KWCF

Dear Supporters,

Over the last several years there has been a growing interest and awareness across Canada in impact investing whereby private capital is mobilized to generate social and environmental value in addition to economic value.

Last year, The Board of Directors of The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation (The KWCF) agreed that part of the assets of The KWCF should be invested 'for impact' in local charities and not-for-profits. While furthering The…

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Giving Children the Confidence they Need to "Get Ready for School"

Amanda* was nervous about her son, Oliver*, starting school in the Fall. She felt uneasy about leaving him for a full day, and wasn’t sure how he would handle the separation either. On top of that, she was worried Oliver would fall behind his classmates because he had never participated in daycare programs, or engaged with other children while learning.   

Luckily, Amanda spoke with a friend who told her about a free program that would help ease her worries: Get Ready for School™, offered by…

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Expanding the Commitment to Serve our Children and Youth

Thousands of families throughout Waterloo Region and beyond can attest to the life-changing services and support that KidsAbility Centre for Child Development provides. This year KidsAbility is celebrating 60 years of serving children and youth with special needs ranging from communication, physical, general and developmental delays, to more complex diagnoses such as autism and other rare medical syndromes. In short, KidsAbility helps children and youth realize their full potential.

In 2003,…

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An Incubator Focused on Building Non-Profit Capacity

Luka Atak came to Canada as a South Sudanese refugee when he was 16. After completing high school, he decided he wanted to give back to his community and help other youth who were arriving from his war-torn home country. He put his ideas to paper, and developed a plan to launch the Canadian Aweil Youth Association (CAYA), an organization aimed at helping young Sudanese newcomers and refugees engage in local community activities. But how could his small, grassroots organization survive without…

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Creating Meaningful Connections for Artists

Being a visual artist in Waterloo Region can be a difficult venture. There are numerous museums and galleries that showcase beautiful exhibitions, but it can be challenging for an emerging artist to display their work. Artists are also often asked to work for free, or simply donate their work. Misconceptions surrounding the value of fine art are often difficult to confront, as many artists work alone.

Cathy Farwell, a local artist in the region, and Project Manager for Art$Pay, recognized…

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Fostering a Positive Sense of Wellbeing in Waterloo Region

What does ‘wellbeing’ mean to you and your community?

According to Wellbeing Waterloo Region (WWR) “wellbeing means being safe, healthy, and feeling connected to the people and places around you. It’s about the quality of our neighbourhoods, parks, and the natural environment. It means being able to express ourselves fully and participate in the activities that we love.”

But do residents of Waterloo Region feel safe and welcome in their communities? Is there anything stopping them from…

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Bring on the Sunshine - Africa Camp

Summer camps are often associated with children having fun and making new friends, but they also provide outlets for important personal growth and awareness. For children of minority backgrounds, being able to embrace who they are at camp can be difficult. However, at Bring on the Sunshine’s week-long Africa Camp, campers are encouraged to celebrate their cultures and traditions, and share them with others.

“Africa Camp is a community response to the needs of children of African heritage in…

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Bridging the Gap Between Newcomers and Community One Word at a Time

Newcomer Grants Program

Walk into the Queen Street Commons Café in Downtown Kitchener on a Tuesday evening and you'll find nearly two-dozen teens and adults sitting around tables learning how to introduce themselves at a business meeting or ask for apples at the grocery store. 

The group, mostly Syrian and other Arabic-speaking newcomers and volunteers, come together to practice English at the English Speaking Café, organized through Waterloo Region's ShamRose for Syrian Culture. 

Georgina…

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How Independent Facilitation is Making an Impact, One Person at a Time

Bridges to Belonging: The Business of Curating Dreams

There are four things on Barb's bucket list: to go swimming, to sing in a choir, to belong to a church and, eventually, move out of the rural nursing facility that has been her home for seven years. 

Barb, 58, is a good couple decades younger than most other residents. It was her husband's illness that landed her here - "I just tagged along," she says, though she herself lives with epilepsy and developmental challenges. Since he passed…

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Open Wallets and Generous Hearts Help Settle a Record-Breaking Number of Syrian Newcomers

The Immigration Partnership Fund for Syrian Newcomers

A teakettle. For anyone who has grown up in Canada with one of these small appliances sitting on the counter, using one is a snap. Fill it. Press down the lever and wait for it to pop up again to signal the water has boiled. 

But for many newcomers to this country, simple and everyday tasks - boiling water, for instance - are puzzles waiting to be solved. 

"Things just operate differently here," says Tara Bedard, manager of the Waterloo…

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How a Small Donation Can Make a Big Impact

Back in July 2016, a room full of 200 golfers dug into their meals during an annual charity golf tournament. After a day of swings and putts, everyone at the event, hosted by tenants of the David Johnston Research + Technology Park at the University of Waterloo, was ready to relax.

But when spokespeople for the local Blind Soccer League and a golf program for underprivileged youth stepped up to the microphone, the…

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Connecting Through the Ages: Youth, and Seniors with Dementia Connect through Art

Opening Minds Through Art Program and Exhibition at THEMUSEUM

"So much of the time, living with dementia is all about what a person can't do," says Kathryn Bender, Opening Minds through Art (OMA) Facilitator from Trinity Village Care Centre. "Living in long-term care, they have very few choices they get to make: when they sleep, eat and bathe . . . but with our Opening Minds through Art program, the emphasis is on what they CAN do. It makes them feel like they still matter."

OMA, a…

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Scholarship Fund Rewards Student Compassion And Keeps One Incredible Girl's Memory Alive

As a teen, France-Anne Sweeny was determined to make the world a better, more compassionate place. The Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute student spoke out against bullying, helped give suicide prevention workshops, and offered counselling at horse camps. She took soccer, karate, Irish dancing and flute lessons. France-Anne was one to watch. 

But when the 15-year-old's life was cut short in 2009 as the result of a tragic horseback riding…

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Creating a Sense of Belonging Within Our Communities

The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson Addresses Belonging

“You can’t belong unless there is something to belong to.” 

These words, spoken by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada, resonated with the audience at the BELONGING-Diversity, Community Capacity and Contribution event that was held in May 2016. This event, hosted in partnership with House of Friendship and the University of Waterloo, highlighted the importance of a citizen's sense of belonging in…

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Remembering a Loved One and Giving Hope to Others with Cancer

Merv & Diane Redman Family Fund

Ask Merv Redman to describe the first time he ever saw his wife Diane, and it's clear he still has every detail memorized. There was the chance encounter in her law firm's foyer, the immediate sparks and a stumble that made her blush. 

Merv is quick to admit he never stopped trying to get her to blush during the 37 happy years of their marriage. 

"We were a perfect match. When there's talk about soul mates - although that's such a corny phrase - that was…

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A Long-Term Commitment to Our Community's Mental Health

Few would dispute the claim that KW Counselling Services, a longtime KWCF grantee, is the ultimate multi-tasker. 

Committed to creating positive change for vulnerable youth and their families, the agency does everything from offering counselling to individuals, couples and families, helping laid off employees deal with stress, empowering abused women and teaching parenting skills. The agency takes a leading role in advocacy for the LGBTQ+…

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