Are YOU Guelph’s next Community Animator?

Perhaps you, or someone you know, would be ideally suited for this exciting new role. Please distribute this widely to your networks.

And keep watching this space…interesting things are in the works and will be unveiled soon!


Community Animator Job Posting

Guelph’s Community Innovation Connection (GCIC) is putting the FUN back into funding. The goal of this dynamic new process it so involve lots of people in generating and supporting innovative ideas that will make Guelph even more amazing.

Guelph CIC will match interesting ideas with people who can make them happen. So far, there’s over $80,000 (in cash and in kind) on the table from 10 Carden, the City of Guelph, Innovation Guelph and the Guelph Community Health Centre.

The circle of social investors is growing. It’s a new thing. A community thing. An emerging thing. So get involved in these early days and help to give it shape and life. This is an ideal role for an engaged energetic leader with a desire to strengthen social innovation and community benefit projects in Guelph.


Are an energetic leader with demonstrated experience within the social change sector. In your role as Community Animator, you will work at the forefront of the Guelph Community Innovation Connection to fulfill the project objectives of supporting and expanding the social innovation sector in Guelph.

You will be responsible for:

  • Cultivating, developing and pursuing the vision for the GCIC such that it becomes well established and fulfills its objectives.
  • Facilitating day-to-day management of the GCIC through the Coaches, including providing them with a regular progress reports
  • Generating awareness, excitement and engagement among prospective applicants, investors and other community participants
  • Overseeing design and production of communication materials using a variety of media to target diverse audiences, including maintaining GCIC’s electronic presence
  • Designing stakeholder engagement plans and facilitating community involvement in the program’s emerging design process
  • Overseeing the application and allocation processes and systems
  • Instigating relevant connections, including organizing and implementing collaborative events related to GCIC and the social innovation sector in Guelph
  • Discovering and applying lessons and trends from similar experiences elsewhere
  • Tracking and reporting on project lessons and successes

You are skilled at:

  • Facilitating emerging processes
  • Generating enthusiasm and commitment
  • Brokering multi-stakeholder partnerships and engaging stakeholders effectively
  • Engaging stakeholders to invest ($, time, mentorship) in projects
  • Managing projects (including products and budgets)
  • Communicating skillfully across a variety of media, including making presentations and preparing reports
  • Successfully handling details, including event planning
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Enjoying experimentation and social innovation
  • Working independently

The Expectations:

  • Part-time position, averaging 10-15 hours per week
  • Irregular hours based on project needs, including occasional evenings and weekends
  • Pay range: $25-40/hour, commensurate with experience
  • Accountable to the 10 Carden Board Member responsible for overseeing the OTF grant, who also acts as one of the GCIC Coaches
  • Billable hourly, to an agreed-upon maximum
  • One-year contract, reviewed at 3 and 12 months, renewable for up to two additional years. Increased hours in year 2 and 3 possible.
  • Laptop and collaborative work space provided if required

Please submit a curriculum vitae, cover letter and contact information for two references to Julia Grady at by 4:00pm on Wednesday September 18.

Interviews will be conducted the week of September 23. Only successful candidates will be contacted.

more info:


Brief but Exciting Update

We have two great things to tell you about:

1. The GCIC Coaches are following up with those responsible for the 5 ideas that received the most interest the June 4 Community Meeting. Conversations are still ongoing, but for now we can tell you that the Time Bank will be receiving $500 to renew its software license and print some publicity materials, and the Community Investment Fund idea will be the subject of a video designed to provoke further community discussion — GCIC will be supporting that with $500 as well. Both of these ideas originated through Transition Guelph. The three food-related ideas (coming from the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, the Guelph Food Bank and an initiative called Eramosa Springs) will also receive GCIC support in various forms — the Coaches are working on linking those folks with each other and others, as well as with training and community engagement opportunities. We’ll send a more detailed update on those once things are farther along.

2. GCIC is working with Innovation Guelph to co-host an event in late September for prospective investors. We’d like to create a space for them tell us what kinds of community opportunities they would like to support — as well as to let them know about the GCIC process. If you have organizations or individuals who have interest in (and resources to commit to) innovative ideas that build community, then send us a note at and we’ll be sure to add them to the invitation list.

If you’re new to this, please be sure to read the older posts — there aren’t many, and they’ll tell you more about what GCIC is up to and what various others in the community would like to be up to — maybe you can help their ideas move forward too.

Go eat a popsicle. Happy summer!

Rebecca, on behalf of the GCIC Coaches



In the meantime, all 5 groups — and any of you — are encouraged to keep watching for a broader GCIC launch in the Fall.

Your Innovative Ideas — Start Connecting!

Here are the ideas you shared at the Community Meeting — verbatim, in random order, clustered by topic here. There are lots of them — make sure you scroll all the way down.

GCIC will be following up, particularly with the 5 ideas that received the most participant votes (shown with an asterisk here), but it would be even better for all of you to begin connecting directly with one another to make these things happen. Let’s make this great city even better!


Food, Agriculture, Gardens etc.


Who are you? – Karen McKeown with Pollination Guelph

What is your idea?Pollination habitat– Turn the big grassed area (that is dead grass right now ) into a huge garden full of masses of colour for pollinaters to live and feed on

What Do you have?– expertise in garden design

What do you need? – money and volunteers

Who are you?- Paul Lion Wartman/ Many Rivers Permaculture (

What is your idea?-  Engaging community in Edible forest/Garden research and plantings. Designing food systems that empower individuals and communities to grow food in a self-sustaining way.

What do you have?-  3 sites (land), lots of plants and mulch, a plan, a little funding, passion!

What do you need?– People ( volunteers), work bees, website and media help, hosting potlucks and discussion groups.additional funds, planning support

Who are you?– Emergency Food Services Ad-Hoc Committee. (convened by Poverty Task Force) members: city, county, WDGPH, GCHC, GNSC, WIC, Research shop

*What is your idea?– Establish a Community Food Centre: coordinate emergency food distribution, address issues surrounding food, health and poverty in a more holistic way, offer a wide range of programming that include community gardens, kitchens, nutrition education, and more!

What do you have?-Lots of research ( from food providers and users ), endorsement from PTF, effective and excited collaborative working group (that have committed staff time )

What do you need?–  paid coordinator to develop concrete action plan, help with getting the word out, HELP WITH A NAME!!!!!!

Who are you?– Guelph Community Co-op


What is your idea?–  To start a Guelph food hub by starting an online marketplace and fundraise for a store front

What do you have?– organizing committee meeting every Thursday, lists of excited producers, consumers, and volunteers, software for online marketplace. (needs to be configured)

What do you need?–  tech support, marketing materials, temporary space

Who are you?– Rob

What is your idea?Film and implement an edible forest garden located at Ignatius Jesuit Center Guelph. Make it accessible to everyone

What do you have?-3.5 acres, lots of footage, 3 earthworks high schools, 1 high school program that has been running for 3 years!

What do you need?– Greenhouse

Who are you?– Mary Kate Gillbertson and Mike Craig  (Backyard Bok Boles)

What is your idea?Chicken rental packages for people who want backyard chickens but are stuck where to start. The idea is to make it easy, accessible, and fun to enjoy local food and connect with animals

What do you have?– We have 10 backyard setups in circulation coop, electric fencing, 4 chickens

What do you need?– $ to purchase set-ups and raise heritage hens, farms to keep chickens/chicks

Who are you?-Guelph food bank and Backyard Bounty and foodwriter@lecturer (Marilyn:

*What is your idea?Training Garden in centre of city– teach how to grow, teach how to use the foods that are grown, teach lessons on food handling for foods grown, canning

What do you have?-commercial kitchen, volunteers, ideas, land to grow on

What do you need?-money to clear the land, money to hire students to work the area with training from Backyard Bounty, tools and soil for planting.

Who are you?-Sally Ludwig- Transition Guelph (

*What is your idea?-Site for urban agriculture at Guelph Innovation District , grow food, increase Guelph’s food security, incubator farms to train new farmers, food processing education, community kitchen, energy-efficient building demonstration site

What do you have?-Group interested in preserving agricultural land in the city, connections of Farm start and others

What do you need?-Knowledgeable people re: developing proposal funds to support startup.

Who are you?– D. Trevor Barton (chair of Guelph enabling garden) –

What is your idea?– To build phase 2 of the Guelph enabling garden located at Riverside Park.  We require funding to install more raised accessible garden beds, plant nursery, teaching garden

What do you have?– Phase 1 complete, 12,000 visitors and clients per year, 70 plus volunteers

What do you need?– Gardening opportunities, further horticultural therapy pad ramming to open

Support for Women

Who are you?– Guelph Basketeers (Kathy:

What is your idea?–  Our concept was “to support women in new beginnings!” Women’s shelters found groups willing to buy or sponsor Christmas gifts for children, but their mothers seemed to be forgotten. We feel by supporting their mothers, they will in turn hopefully not return to the abuser and in the long run; feel stronger for their children. We start with a laundry basket and then we select either a kitchen or bed/bedroom and fill it with things a woman starting a new life will need.

What do you have?– We have some community support and have filled 30-40 baskets each year since 2010

What do you need?–  We need to find different groups of people- offices, church groups that would sponsor baskets. This would be a great networking opportunity.

Who are you?– Catherine Kormendy, Red water (

What is your idea?– a centre to offer programs and services for the cycle of womanhood. Including a bleeding house, groups for girls, woman and elders, ceremonies for rites of passage. Store with handmade items, a café serving foods, drinks specializing in women’s health

What do you have?

What do you need?

Art: Performance and Writing

Who are you?– Lynn Broughton (

What is your idea?Write on the Street– A walking community meets the intersection of words, memory, and art. A challenge for citizens to become ‘flaneurs’ – strollers in their neighbourhoods. We want to read your perspective of Guelph as you see it on foot! We will: 1. Compile stories, 2. Choose slices of them and write directly onto the sheet, 3. Hand map where they took place

*multigenerational, *multicultural

What do you have?– @writeonguelph

What do you need?–  Time to compile stories, getting the word out!

Who are you?–  Georgia Simms/ IMAGEO artworks

What is your idea?–  To use performance as a means of generating, elevating and enhancing dialogue processes, specifically related to difficult community issues- to create new, fun and engaging forums for exchange, education and experience.

What do you have?– artists, processes, facilitation skills, creativity

What do you need?–  audience/willing collaborators, longer term commitment, funding to pay professionals

Who are you?– Vocamus Press (

What is your idea?– A community press with a mandate to create regional markets for local writers. We have published 5 books thus far and have held several events/ gatherings for writers and readers. Our next major project is an anthology of short stories by Guelph writers about Guelph with a launch party to celebrate all that the Royal City (spoken word, panel discussion, music)

What do you have? – A web site, 5 published works, 300 people on our email list

What do you need?– A partnership(s) with a non-profit with an interest in literature in Guelph in Design Training

Environmental Protection

Who are you?-Kid carseat recycler

What is your idea?– Kids’ car seats expire after 5 years, and after that time they are sent to the landfill. They are made of plastic and have the potential to be recycled. Kids’car seat recycling programs exist in other communities successfully.

What do you have?– Carseats, have begun disscussions with recycling companies, a willing community

What do you need?– Someone to take them away!, Truck/trailer/van?, storage, web page, program coordinator, funding

Who are you?– Karen McKeown

What is your idea?SAVE THE ASH TREES! Gather groups of concerned citizens to “adopt an ash tree” Buy injections to potentially save Ash trees from Emerald ash borer

What do you have?– Nothing is in place to save the trees

What do you need?–  volunteers, money to buy injections, ideas for marketing

Who are you?-Catherine Kormendy ( Park Pixies )

What is your idea?–  To naturalize the City’s parks and playspaces

What do you have?

What do you need?

Citizen Engagement

Who are you?– Justine Dainard (

*What is your idea?– We (Transition Guelph and friends) have just started a time bank– a system that recognizes volunteered time with a “credit” that the volunteer can use to “pay” for help they may need. This framework can be used for existing groups who rely on volunteers, or as a way for a single person to gain connection to community.

What do you have?– Online software and website that tracks and manages the exchange and credits, background knowledge of time banks around the world and how they serve as complementary companies.

What do you need?– Distributed ownership- people who love this idea and want to foster it., small funds to renew the software and do printing of materials

Who are you?– Andy Best, President, Guelph Civic League (

What is your idea?–  A vibrant open online space for Guelph citizens to discuss the issues facing our city. Right, Left, ( and otherwise ) points of view are encouraged and respected. Has the feel of an editorial page but 100% community sourced. Occasional interviews with city counsellors, community group profiles, etc.

What do you have?– An idea, an established local group name, the rest of the summer to get the ball rolling, a few community authors lined up. Lots of enthusiasm!

What do you need?– Passionate Guelphites to read the site, contribute to the discussion and write short editorial pieces. Help spreading the word and flushing out appointed Guelphites of all political stripes.

Who are you?– Derek Alton (community animator for Tamarak)  –

What is your idea?– Create a national dialogue on community, why it’s important to us and how we can dig deeper. Share these ideas, connect people and ideas. Engage policy and program makers and connect them to the grass roots. Create a community of practice

What do you have?– A model, a website, 2 year funding, time

What do you need?– People/groups to have conversations/ share them

Who are you?– Derek Alton ( campaign animator for Tamarack) –

What is your idea?–  Community Funded neighborhood association (match by city)

What do you have?– an idea, some connection, connections to best practices in other communities

What do you need?–  A chance to pilot it, people support

Health and Wellness

Who are you?-A trained yoga teacher who is interested in expanding access to yoga in Guelph

What is your idea?–  A non-profit yoga cooperative with a mandate to provide an accessible yoga center and yoga classes to those who otherwise could not benefit- as well as typical clientele. Eg. Unwaged, disabled,, elderly

What do you have?– 2-3 trained yoga teachers who are interested, some knowledge of co-ops, good project management and organizational skills

What do you need?– More yoga teachers, access to an accessible space to hold yoga classes, mentoring to help in legal etc aspects of setting up a co-op, some financial investment to get things up and going until revenue can be generated

Who are you?– Curt Hammond

What is your idea?–  Think less about health care and more about health. Specifically reducing demand on the health care system by 20% by 2020.

What do you have?– Big idea, community leverage through organization and individual leadership

What do you need?–  $250,000, community courage

Who are you?– April Dickin, Guelph Community Wellbeing Initiative, Healthy populations group (

What is your idea?G/Wellness!! A day to encourage the city of Guelph residents to get outside/active in their community! This day can help foster mental, emotional, physical, social wellbeing through activities that are unique to each individual. Ie. Reading a book, going to the park, walking on trails, getting together with a neighbor for a bbq, ball game, bike ride, picnic

What do you have?– ENTHUSIASM!!! A date, a plan, an idea to promote health and wellness for everyone! A team

What do you need?– Funding for marketing our idea to the community ($500 ish) flyers, ads in paper etc.

Who are you?-Marina Gascho (

What is your idea?– We want to have a place for ‘art therapy’- a place with supplies where anyone, (especially people with ‘issues” ie. mental health, physical disabilities) can just come and make art

What do you have?– Only the baby idea and 2-3 people with interest, some skills

What do you need?-Place and supplies

Community Investment

Who are you?– Mary-Kate Gilbertson ( Transition Guelph )

What is your idea?–  Form an RRSP-eligible fund to purchase property in Guelph that is owned by the community and is creating spaces for the community investment in our community by the community

What do you have?– Just the idea

What do you need?– Advice on the structure, people to advise on regulations

Who are you?-Jamie Doran (

What is your idea?– Innovation Guelph wants to create a crowd sourcing or community fund that could be used to support new promising startup companies. This would be small loans and grants, $5k-$10k. ( loans repayable in 2-3 years.)

What do you have?–  the resources of Innovation Guelph, business coaches, access to funding, a huge provincial network, social media

What do you need?– We need good ideas that we can help make a reality

Who are you?– Sally Ludwig (

*What is your idea?Community investment fund– opportunity to pool investor funds and support local enterprises with social and environmental purpose, generate return

What do you have?– Interested people, knowledge about building community resilence

What do you need?– People with knowledge of investment funds and vehicles, help with legal structures, funders, appropriate enterprises to work with


Here’s what you told us

We know it was rushed, new, and a little bit crowded. There was a lot to take in. Thanks for giving us your initial feedback on how to make it better. There will be other opportunities to do so. Here’s the unabridged version of what you told us — answers to your questions and action in response to your advice will follow in the near future:

I’m Excited about…

  • The connections! (please make sure these can happen)
  • The opportunity to leverage all this into something bigger
  • Hearing so many wonderful ideas- can you collect on a webpage?
  • I’m excited that there is a source of funding for alternative, community-driven ideas
  • Training garden downtown to help not only clients from the food bank but also having a garden available in the heart of the city
  • I’m excited about the synergy within the room. We have huge potential!
  • All the amazing ideas and to see the connections
  • Increasing the health of our community J
  • Wow- how awesome that people’s ideas can be voiced and encouraged… and be actualized!! We need to WORK TOGETHER!!!!
  • The positive, supportive, open minded tone/atmosphere
  • The networking opportunity
  • Chance to communicate and share ideas
  • Sharing resources beyond money to make ideas happen
  • The focus on social innovation… what are new ways of bringing people together that haven’t happened before…
  • Community food centre
  • I liked the decentralized feeling which led to good collaboration 


Questions and Concerns

  • Community Coaches may be helpful if trained around accessibility, as this needs to be open, easy….
  • We need more un-usual suspects involved and supporting how we can build a business case for corporate investment in fund
  • Concern: ensuring that the ideas are good for all that Guelph is- finding balance between diverse and multiple goals, and engaging on an equal basis
  • I am worried that ideas can be seen as elitist or only good for the “granola Guelphites” – it is in the marketing of the ideas I think.
  • Herding the cats- Many great ideas, many great connections, where do we go from here?
  • How do we know if the 5 ideas discussed tonight will receive funding or keep in touch with the progress?
  • Challenge to avoid “popularity contest” approach
  • How will potential donors learn about possible projects?


  • Please share contact info of all attendees with us if possible?
  • Add the #GCIC to your co-ordinates
  • Suggestion for process: Identify who coaches are. Make time available for them to input on ideas
  • I think it would be helpful to invite all the people with similar ideas to have a conversation together. Maybe you could facilitate a meeting and see if there are ways they can work together
  • Rules for what types of ideas can be given funds/grants. Who’s in/ who’s out?
  • Would some kind of participatory decision making process that includes “applicants” for Innovation fund work to determine how resources we distributed?
  • It may be good to encourage contact between groups with shared interests, (I think especially Art) Perhaps smaller, more focused meetings. Or a way to converse on the web
  • To move slower and more in-depth through the process
  • Finding ways to keep artists engaged and active in processes
  • Add an explicit step of bringing those with similar ideas together
  • Is there a particular “size” or “scope” that is best match for CIC funds?
  • Is there some way to broaden panel of coaches to include more community mentors (like tonight) to enhance potential resource connections around shared ideas?
  • Make sure all similar idea groups work together and don’t duplicate efforts


Feedback on the name

  • Take innovation out of name, confusing with Innovation Guelph
  • Put something in the name about “funding” or “grants” so the purpose is clear
  • Community Innovation Hub (Another comment: I like this one – but who owns/manages it. Like a co-op?)



web-body-elements v7