Building a Sustainable Future: Event Registration, Program Support, and Housing Design Team

The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay > News/Newsletters > Newsletter > Building a Sustainable Future: Event Registration, Program Support, and Housing Design Team

In this newsletter:

  • Register now – October 27th in-person event, limited tickets!
  • Housing Design Team Introduction
  • Communities Mobilize to Address the Housing Crisis, Marilyn Struthers
  • Message from the Chair on Program Support, Rosalyn Morrison
  • Social Entrepreneur Feature

Achieving Sustainability through a Greener Economy


Agenda for the event Oct 27, 2023.

Join us on Friday, October 27th from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Marsh Street Centre in Clarksburg.

As we all try to navigate through volatile, uncertain, and complex times, Achieving Sustainability through a Greener Economy offers the opportunity to connect, share knowledge, and collaborate to accelerate positive action on building resilient and sustainable communities. Speakers will showcase action being taken by businesses, municipalities and counties, community groups, and philanthropists on sustainability plans, climate action, and new directions for creating a green economy.

Panel topics include:

  1. Progress being made – counties, municipalities and community organizations working together
  2. Connecting Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development: What does an emerging Greener Economy look like in Southern Georgian Bay?

See our growing speakers list and event outcomes. Register to participate TODAY!

Register Now

Collaboration in Motion:
Meet TISGB Social Finance and Housing Event Design Team

We are highlighting more exceptional individuals in our community, in particular, those who are spearheading our November 17th event, New Ways to Finance the Housing Affordability Gap: Ensuring the sustainability of our towns which will be held at Meaford Hall.

Let’s meet the members of this Design Team:

  • Carol Merton, Councillor, Owen Sound
  • Peggy McIntosh, Chair, Outreach Meaford Rotary House; Former VP Meaford Chamber of Commerce; Retired Realtor
  • Donna Howey, Resident, Collingwood
  • Jan Chamberlain, Glassworks Coop
  • Jenn Rae, Housing Development Coordinator, Collingwood
  • Stuart Reid- Executive Director, Community Foundation Grey Bruce
  • Jane Walker- Resident, Collingwood
  • Jack Vanderkooy, Chair, Habitat for Humanity SGB; Affordable Housing Task Force, Collingwood
  • Carter Triana, Planner, The Blue Mountains (TBM)
  • June Porter, Councillor, TBM; TISGB Board Member
  • Marilyn Struthers, Board Member, Social Innovation Canada; Volunteer Facilitator TISGB
  • Jen Armstrong, TISGB Board Member
  • Janet Findlay, The Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation
  • Jessica Flynn, The Flynn Collaboration
  • Rosalyn Morrison, TISGB Volunteer Board Chair

Composed of diverse talents and representing a range of organizations, our Design Teams embody the collaborative spirit of the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay. Together, they are responding to problems with solutions in the form of Community Conversation. Stay tuned to upcoming newsletters as further event details will be released soon!

Communities Mobilize to Address the Housing Crisis

By Marilyn Struthers for the TISGB’s Social Finance and Housing Group
Thanks to Liz Buckton, Senior Planner, Grey County for data and to Jack Vanderkooy & Carol Merton for editorial support. Housing spectrum image is from CMHC.

No question, the affordability of housing is out of whack locally. Many people employed in the industries our communities rely on most – hospitality and tourism, retail, and healthcare – are unable to find an affordable home. This is particularly so for renters – those for whom home ownership is out of reach. Yet, as we discovered during the pandemic, PSWs, grocery store clerks and restaurant workers are some of the most important people sustaining our local economies. If workers cannot find affordable housing, the future of the businesses they work in is jeopardized. No housing, no employees, no business. This is a systems view – looking beyond the impact on individuals to how the housing crisis is affecting the health and sustainability of our local municipalities. This is a problem for all of us.

The Institute’s Social Finance and Housing Group has been studying the South Georgian Bay version of the national housing crisis for three years. We have read the various expert explanations of how we got here and about the policy shifts that may or may not be required. More importantly we have been scanning the horizon for the solutions other communities are developing at the local level. What can we do here to buffer our small communities in the larger systems collapse?

We have been watching the rapid growth of the social finance movement as communities mobilize to address the housing crisis. Community bonds are being used to create local investment opportunities in affordable housing. Municipalities in Newfoundland are working on the launch of a charitable REIT. Foundations, including our own Community Foundation Grey Bruce, are learning to invest some of the assets they hold in trust to social purpose lending. Land trusts are being created, not just for conservation, but to hold land and buildings expressly for affordable rental housing over the long term. Communities are learning to use the tools of developers – patient capital, leveraging and stacking investment strategies – and to work much more closely with municipalities and other partners who share a common interest in community sustainability.


Why Contribute To This Program Support Campaign?

By Rosalyn Morrison, Volunteer Chair, The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay

First, I want to thank you for participating in the work of the Institute!

Our collaborative organization has a unique role. We connect people across the region. We share knowledge and hold events to build relationships and help align objectives, and we reach out to residents, and municipal, business, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders to nurture multi-sector collaborative projects.

Many of you responded to our survey asking for more in-person events this year – and we are now organizing our next two:

  • Achieving Sustainability through a Greener Economy, October 27 and
  • New Ways to Finance the Housing Affordability Gap:
    Ensuring the sustainability of our towns, November 17

We need your support with these live events, especially as our goal is to keep these events free!

Your support will help us support our local sustainable economy by hiring local services, venues, and talent for communications, virtual and live events, our newsletters, web site, and social media.

Please take a look at our program support deck here. If you are able, we hope you will provide support – whether at $100, $200, $500, or $1000 level.

You’re invited to join a growing number of people who are supporting our important programming –

Thank you for your involvement – it is deeply appreciated!

~ Roz

Program needs slideProgram Support Deck

Meet the Community Leader Who is Making Collingwood a Regional Entrepreneurship Hub

Photo of Brandon Houston in alley.From representing entrepreneurs at the G20 Youth Alliance to serving Fortune 500 companies, Brandon Houston, has over two decades of experience building successful businesses. Now, he shares his expertise with aspiring and established entrepreneurs through the community hub he built: the Collingwood Foundry. With over 200 members, the Foundry provides remote workers and entrepreneurs a place to learn, work, and connect. More than a co-working space, the Foundry provides a long list of resources ranging from mentorship to programming.

By fostering entrepreneurship, the Foundry has become a vital source of job creation and economic growth for our community. Through Brandon’s leadership and network-building approach, Southern Georgian Bay is on track to become a Canadian leader in rural entrepreneurship. Thank you, Brandon, for your community dedication and impact-driven approach to business!

Next month we will be featuring an entrepreneur who has empowered female business owners across the country. Stay tuned!