New Programs Announced For 2018 – Community Classroom and Belong Oakville

On October 25th, during our Vital Community Event,  we announced two significant community-wide programs beginning in 2018:

1)      Community Classroom  – A School-based Local Arts, Culture and Heritage Program

2)      Belong Oakville – A Community Open Doors Day – Saturday, March 17, 2018

Both programs have been identified to support key elements and insights from our 2017 report ‘Belonging in a community of contrasts’ which can be read in it’s entirety Creating Vital Solutions – Belonging in a community of contrasts

So WHY are we engaged in these programs?

These programs will address some of the key issues facing Oakville: the rate of child poverty and the desire for greater sense of belonging in Oakville. The number of children under 18 years of age living in poverty in Oakville has increased since the last census – from 10.6% in 2011 to 12.4% in 2016.

In addition, The Foundation’s 2017 report “Belonging in A Community of Contrasts” shares the results of our recent Sense of Belonging survey which identified that more than one in four residents has a weaker attachment to Oakville, however, those who attend arts, culture and heritage events in our community have four times stronger attachment than those who do not.

Details on each program

Community Classroom

Beginning in 2018, the Oakville Community Foundation will address the lack of formal connections between local schools and cultural institutions and organizations with the launch of Community Classroom. The Foundation has been working closely with the two school boards, Town of Oakville’s cultural institutions and local arts and culture groups to develop curriculum-based local arts, culture and heritage programs for our publicly-funded elementary students. The Foundation will be providing funding to support free in-school performances and instruction in the early years and bussing and admissions to local cultural institutions in the latter years of elementary school. The Program will run as a pilot for the remainder of the school year January-June 2018.

The Foundation recognizes the need to deliver broader impact across our community, and in the Fall 2017, the Board of Directors agreed to a strategic repurposing of funds to support the new Community Classroom program from two of The Foundations Grants Programs – the Ontario Endowment for Children & Youth and the Oakville Heritage Trust.

The Foundation is very thankful to the Community Classroom sponsors: Connecting sponsors Toronto Pearson, Transportation Partner Attridge Transport, In-school performance sponsor Genworth Canada, Grade 5 Indigenous Trail sponsors Union Gas, CN Rail and the Ministry of Education.

The Foundation continues to look for additional partners to provide even greater coverage for programs – such that we can complete the funding for the pilot and move to annual commitments ensuring this becomes a permanent part of an Oakville publicly-funded elementary education.

To support the initiative please click here – select Community Classroom Fund from the drop down menu.

BE-long Oakville – Saturday, March 17th

With one in four residents having a weaker attachment to Oakville, The Foundation’s new initiative “BE-long Oakville”, taking place on Saturday, March 17th 2018, the last Saturday of March Break, will help to welcome families into cultural and recreational facilities, plus other area activities across the community. By “Be[ing] Engaged” and “Be[ing] Involved” members of the community can “Be part of their community” and “BE-long”. This is the first annual Foundation sponsored Community Open Doors Day and we hope you will take part in the many different activities that will soon be shared.

Cultural programming will also be available at the Oakville Galleries and Oakville Museum from 10 am to 5 pm for families to enjoy.

The Foundation will host the information for all participants, along with The Town and YMCA of Oakville – details of the times and locations will be available through and will include details such as list of events by category and/or time slot, brief outline of event details, and anticipated is an animated map to show location of all events.

Check back regularly.