MONTREAL, QC–The Foundation of Greater Montréal (FGM) is announcing the projects it will back as part of the RBC Future Launch Community Challenge, with each project receiving a grant of $15,000. The Challenge offers tangible support to young people between 15 and 29 years of age from 150 small- and medium-sized communities across Canada, helping the recipients bring to life initiatives they conceived to address urgent needs in their communities.
“FGM is pleased to be supporting these three projects, as they allow young people from each of these communities to show their leadership and give voice to their values, while at the same time improving the lives of their fellow residents. These young people have understood that culture can be a powerful force that moves us to care for our environment, and care for each other, too. Kudos!” said Yvan Gauthier, President and CEO of FGM.
Twenty-one-year-old Lucas Hygate lives in the municipality of Baie-d’Urfé and uses art to raise consciousness around environmental issues. In his TrashTalk project, community cleanups become a starting point for creating sculptures out of waste, as well as a way of encouraging residents to do more to protect their environment. Lucas has an ambitious goal: mobilize thousands of people and clean up 1 million pounds of waste in the Greater Montreal area. The $15,000 he’ll receive will be a big boost for the initiative, which organizers hope to make into a long-term phenomenon.
Three young people from the community of Kanesatake, Kawisaienhne Albany (21 years old), Kassandra Bonspiel (25 years old), and Claudia Catafort-Clermont (19 years old), will create, in collaboration with the Mohawk Language Custodian Association, courses to teach people in the community how to make traditional Mohawk purses. By passing on this knowledge, they hope to bolster feelings of cultural belonging, and strengthen community identity. They also hope to create bonds among individuals who take the courses, and who will subsequently take part in an artisans’ fair that will cap off the project.
Brooke Splicer (31 years old), Lily Deer (24 years old) and Cougar Kirby (23 years old) all live in Kahnawake. Their project aims to preserve Mohawk language and culture. They want to provide youth in their community with a safe space in which they can learn more about Kanien’kehá:ka language and cultural practices, through workshops run by elders or keepers of traditional knowledge. Workshop topics will be chosen by the young participants themselves, so as to help make the environment as low-pressure as possible. The work will be done in partnership with the Kanien’kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center. On a wider level, this project will promote inclusion, strengthening of identity and a feeling of belonging among youth in the Kanien’kehá:ka community.
RBC Future Launch Community Challenge, a nation-wide initiative that supports young leaders in their efforts to respond to their communities’ priorities, is made possible thanks to the commitment of the RBC Foundation. “The health of our communities depends on dynamic people and organizations who make initiatives happen that better those communities. With the RBC Community Challenge, we help young people make a difference in their community’s development,” explained Nadine Renaud-Tinker, president, Quebec Headquarters, RBC Royal Bank.
“Young people aren’t tomorrow’s leaders; they are agents of social and environmental change today. Thanks to this collaboration with RBC, we have the great privilege of being able to support bold, innovative community-based projects across Canada,” added Andrew Chunilall, CEO of Community Foundations of Canada.
It’s important to note that these projects, which will be implemented between now and the end of the summer of 2020, will essentially be steered by the young people selected, though they will receive some help from partner organizations. FGM will also be accompanying them and helping make the most of their projects, as well as assessing the results with them next year once the work is finished. The young project leaders have created short videos presenting their initiatives, which can be seen through FGM’s Youtube feed.
The Foundation of Greater Montréal (FGM) helps individuals, families and organizations to get involved and support their community by creating funds for selected causes in all sectors. In addition to publishing the Vital Signs of Greater Montréal report, FGM manages the assets of over 650 funds, guides donors and supports community organizations. A member of the Community Foundations of Canada, a network of 191 community foundations, FGM encourages philanthropy as a major driver for well-being in Greater Montréal. www.fgmtl.org
About RBC Future Launch Community Challenge
The RBC Future Launch Community Challenge is hosted by Community Foundations of Canada and participating community foundations, and is made possible thanks to a $5M donation from RBC Foundation. It is part of RBC Future Launch, a commitment by RBC and the RBC Foundation to empower Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow. Over the next 10 years, RBC Future Launch is dedicating $500 million to help young people access meaningful employment through practical work experience, skills development opportunities, networking solutions and mental well-being supports and services.