Next event, Board member updates, and thank you

The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay > News/Newsletters > Newsletter > Next event, Board member updates, and thank you

In this newsletter:

  • Catch the recording: Unpacking the Southern Georgian Bay Affordable Housing Toolkit
  • Save our next event date! Wednesday, May 31st – Social Finance and Closing the Gap on Housing Affordability
  • Board Member Updates
  • Creative Forum – Partnership with Blue Mountains Foundation for the Arts and Blue Mountain Film Festival – creatives can apply for a free pass
  • Call for 2023 Program Support

Catch the replay of Unpacking the Southern Georgian Bay Affordable Housing Toolkit

On Wednesday, May 3rd, The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay officially launched this year’s regional discussion series, Community Planning: creating a more resilient and sustainable future today with a virtual event: Unpacking the Southern Georgian Bay Affordable Housing Toolkit.

The SGB Affordable Housing Toolkit is the product of 18 months of work by the Social Finance & Housing Group, addressing the greatest challenge affecting the sustainability of the towns, which is affordable housing. The virtual event featured authors of the toolkit and explored community affordability challenges, the connections between housing and the labour force, moving NIMBYism to YIMBYism, access to capital through Social Finance, and a comprehensive list of what municipalities can do, presented by Liz Buckton, Senior Policy Planner, County of Grey.

Over 80 people participated, and the chat was lit up with high-level questions and lots of links and resource sharing for continued exploration of possible solutions. The speakers urged everyone to take the next steps of reading and sharing the Toolkit and then to choose from the “buffet” of Call to Actions as they relate to each stakeholder’s unique position.

This event also set the stage for our next event in the series happening on Wednesday, May 31st, Social Finance and Closing the Gap on Housing Affordability: What are other communities doing?

Please mark your calendars – the registration link will be available in our next newsletter!


Board Member Updates

We would like to introduce you to new Board member – Melanie Rodriguez

As the Institute grows beyond the start-up phase, we are expanding our Board this year and will be introducing new Board members throughout the next few months.

Melanie is an education advocate who has worked with over 30 nonprofits and social enterprises around the globe. Raised in the Town of the Blue Mountains, her experiences have ranged from evaluating the risks of a $200 million portfolio to leading an international children’s foundation to advocating for equitable education access at the G7 summit. Today, she is a Senior Director of Social Impact for the social enterprise Hoot Reading, a Fellow for the International Women’s Forum, a Board Director at Social Planning Toronto, and a mom to two little ones. She looks forward to applying her passion for engaging youth and fostering social impact collaboration as a Board Member of the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay.

And we say THANK YOU to Yvonne Hamlin and Susan Cook

We would like to share a heartfelt thank you to two retiring Board members – Yvonne Hamlin and Susan Cook. Yvonne and Susan’s Board work is a great example of just how much people can accomplish with the volunteer connections of the Institute’s growing network. Both Yvonne and Susan attended our first Community Innovation Day in 2018. They joined the Arts discussion table, which focused on the need to connect artists, arts organizations, and arts businesses to leverage all the great talent and activities across the region. They volunteered to continue this conversation, and along with Erika Angus and Cathy Smart, created a dynamic event in 2019, which attracted over 60 people, including residents, municipal councillors, philanthropists, and business and nonprofit leaders. Then the pandemic hit, but that did not slow down the momentum building to recognize the value of the arts and providing more support for artists.

A Design Team was formed, several important virtual events were held, and a Regional Arts Strategy was published . In the fall of 2022, Yvonne, a Collingwood Councillor at the time (and now Mayor); Susan, who led the Blue Mountains Foundation for the Arts (recently retired); Erica Angus, Executive Director, Theatre Collingwood, and Melissa Twist, Director, South Georgian Bay Tourism, all participated in the fabulous launch event of the Strategy’s first action item – the creation of the new South Georgian Bay Arts Network. Thank you, Yvonne and Susan, and thanks to everyone in the Network!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has…


Calling All Creatives!

The Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts is partnering with the Blue Mountain Film Festival on education and outreach programs to share 10 free passes to the Creative Forum for local film makers. The BMFF is dedicated to providing opportunities for local creatives by ensuring access to the Creative Forum, which will once again welcome some of the industry’s top minds on June 1st and 2nd.

Applications are open for local producers, directors, and/or writers. Scroll to the bottom of the Creative Forum page and complete the form by May 15.


Will you consider 2023 Program Support? It is needed!

We are asking you to consider supporting the programming of the Institute to help advance collective leadership in our region and to ensure we can continue to provide free programming for all. The Institute aims to bridge gaps across sectors and address social needs, environmental impacts, and new ideas for a vibrant economy. Program supporters align themselves in building a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable future in Southern Georgian Bay.

To support TISGB’s work, whether you are a resident or business, please visit the “Join us” page and choose a level of program support that suits you.


The Who, What, Where, and How of TISGB in a handy PDF!

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to flip through it and share it with your colleagues, friends, and family. This eBook is aimed at helping us build a growing network of people who will become involved in the collective leadership it will take to address some of our most pressing issues and exciting opportunities. We hope this tool will encourage many residents and business, government, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders to support the Institute’s programming. Get your copy here!