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February 2017
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This month there was another tragedy resulting from gun violence in Regent Park, the death of a homeless man by overdose and too many women and men needing emergency shelter space. It's been a challenging time. During difficult times we have to work hard to ward off bitterness, grieve and then use our energy productively to change the situation for better.  Dixon Hall has a strong history of responding to areas of concern with action. We are renewing our commitment to social justice and positive change. And good things have emerged.

In February we officially assumed 188 and 190 Carlton Street, in addition to 192. By expanding our locations, we're creating a campus of care in the downtown east area. We have begun an ambitious plan to renovate our Emergency Shelter – Heyworth House at Danforth and Main.  We have also begun to review options to relocate the George Street Shelter.  We're working hard to expand our services so we can provide resources to vulnerable populations.  We want all of the community to have the skills, tools, and support available to live their best lives possible. Our larger presence in the city is a step in making this happen.

I am also thrilled that Dixon Hall has also recently been named a United Way anchor agency. This will mean expanded opportunities to invest smartly in the community alongside our long-term partner; The United Way.  Since 1959, collaboratively we have brought hope to those in need in the community.
 
What better opportunity to celebrate this great news than at our signature event, Dixonlicious? When you join us on March 29th, you'll be enjoying delicious eats from Toronto restaurants, paired with specific wines or craft beers to enhance the unique flavours of each dish. You'll also be supporting our vital food programs at our homeless shelters, the Out of the Cold program, Meals on Wheels, and our summer and March Break camps while enjoying live entertainment and meeting other members of the Dixon Hall community. A reminder that Early Bird tickets are available until March 8th. We're very excited about the event and hope to see you there.
In Partnership,

Neil Hetherington
CEO, Dixon Hall

If you have any questions or comments about Dixon Hall and how to get involved, please feel free to contact me at neil.hetherington@dixonhall.org. I would love to hear from you. 
How do you #ShowLove?
This Valentine's Day at Dixon Hall, we asked our community how they #ShowLove. Here are a few of our favourite responses from the #ShowLove campaign; we hope you'll find them as inspiring as we do. They remind us of the importance of showing kindness and respect in our community.
Breanna, part of the Girl Fit Club says she shows love by respecting people. Such a basic principle yet so important. We all deserve to feel respected by our friends, family, peers, and beyond.
Monica, a volunteer hairstylist at Heyworth House says she volunteers because everyone deserves to feel that they matter. A beautiful sentiment. How many people struggle with worthiness, let alone the most vulnerable and marginalized populations?
Julie, Eugenia, Marjorie and Elizabeth, members of the Seniors Health and Wellness program told us they #ShowLove by gathering together every Wednesday to play mahjong and laugh. When they're apart, they call to check in and make sure everyone is doing well. The power of community and love in action! Supportive friends and healthy relationships make all the difference.

If you're looking for another way to #ShowLove in the community, come by our campaign inspiration, the Show Love Café for a light meal or coffee.
Check Out More #ShowLove Highlights on Our Facebook Page
Don't Miss Out! Early Bird Dixonlicious Tickets
Class is in Session! The Incubator Welcomes New Students
On February 6th, the Employment Services team welcomed a new group of bright young people into the Incubator program. The Incubator program is an 8-week program for youth who are Ontario Works recipients and are considering a career in trades or food services/hospitality. Program completion can result in a stipend of up to $750.00.

The program combines classroom time and practical experience with two placement options - the Mill Centre for carpentry and skilled trades, or the Show Love Café for hospitality skills. The hospitality stream is also assisting weekly with our Meals on Wheels programs. The trades stream will also assist at a Habitat for Humanity Site in March for experience at a live construction site.
 
Beyond the practical skills the students gain, they also get a deeper sense of purpose and hope. One of our students is a newcomer to Canada, and says the program is teaching her "not just carpentry, but the fundamentals of life. She now sees a much brighter future for herself in Canada, and a stronger connection to the community.

Successful students go on to find work in a variety of roles in the trades and hospitality industries -- Maintenance Workers, Carpenters, Furniture Designers, Bartenders, Restaurant Managers, Event Planners, and more!

Our April session still has spots available. Please contact our Employment Services team to sign-up.
 
Learn More About the Incubator Program
And the Beat Goes On... Another Busy Month at Music School
February was a busy month for our Music School with multiple performances by our Youth Choir, an appearance on CBC, and plenty of planning for upcoming March Break camps.

The Youth Choir kicked off their exciting performance schedule with the opportunity to perform at the Grand Opening of the MLSE Launchpad. With over 300 guests including donors, MLSE Executives, and prominent government officials, the choir performed the National Anthem with enthusiasm and grace - no stage fright here!

Next up was a collaborative performance with the Toronto's Children Chorus on February 5th, at St.Paul's Basilica. Singing with the older and accomplished Toronto's Children Chorus was inspiring and a great learning experience for our young singers. It also marked the debut of Dixon Hall's Choir on Facebook livestreaming, where guests who could not attend were still treated to melodic harmonies of the collaborating choirs.

In December, at the Music for Life Gala (sponsored by the Slaight Family Foundation and RBC), our singers and orchestra performed "Cleansing the Highway", written by Kym Gouchie, a First Nations woman. Kym wrote the song to create awareness of missing women and girls in BC along the Highway 16. Our viola teacher Angela was inspired by the song and its message, and brought it to Music School. 

Next, our orchestra students wrote a score to go along with the song. The arrangement caught Kym's attention and she has now recorded a version of the song with this backing, fully credited to our youth performers. Kym and Angela spoke about the collaboration on CBC Daybreak North. We're eagerly seeking an opportunity to perform the song together at another event. You can listen to the appearance on CBC here and check out a video of the orchestra performing the song here.

Finally, we're offering 4 March Break camps for students this year and are still accepting registrations:

1. Overnight Music Camp at Hart House Farm
2. Girls Rock Camp (ages 8-16)
3. Build Your Own Synthesizer at Carlton Sanctuary
4. Harbourfront Arts Camps

 
Find out More About our March Break Camps
Volunteer Milestones & Special Offers
Our Meals on Wheels volunteers were enthusiastic and spirited participants in the #ShowLove campaign and we recently reached an organizational milestone. We're thrilled to announce we now have two corporate teams daily helping deliver meals to homebound seniors, AND every major Canadian Financial Institution is part of volunteer team.

We are consistently awed by our dedicated and diligent volunteers and want to express our gratitude. Many of our volunteers are part of programs that are major beneficiaries of Dixonlicious including Meals on Wheels, and we're offering a special volunteer rate for tickets this year for $60. We'd love to see our volunteers kick back, relax, and enjoy some great food and drinks served with even better company and community.

We also have free passes to the AGO available to thank our volunteers. Passes are available at our head office at 58 Sumach Street and grant free general admission. Special exhibitions and events do not apply and may incur additional costs. Passes can be signed out between 8:30am - 4:30pm. Identify yourself to the admin staff at reception as a Dixon Hall volunteer. The passes are there for you enjoy -- have a wonderful day at the AGO! Please contact us at 416.863.0499 for additional details.
New volunteer opportunity:
Finance Special Projects
Work under the supervision of the Director, Finance and Administration on three projects. Successful candidates will be a qualified CPA professional or hold one of the CPA's legacy designations (Chartered Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Certified General Accountant). This is a great opportunity for a sem-retired or retired professional interested in utilizing their skills with a trusted social service agency.
See Full Details and Apply Now

 






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Dixon Hall · 58 Sumach Street · Toronto, Ontario M5A 3J7 · Canada