Youth Opportunities Fund awards $12M to Ontario programs

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Youth Opportunities Fund

The Ontario Trillium Foundation will help 41 youth-led projects

Youth-led groups and collaboratives across the province will benefit from over $12 million in funding for 41 programs and initiatives this year thanks to the Youth Opportunities Fund, administered through the Ontario Trillium Foundation.



Minister of Children and Youth Services, Michael Coteau, made the announcement in Toronto today at the Youth Action Network, a youth-led charity that works as an organizational mentor for the Youth Opportunities Fund. The Youth Action Network is supporting My Stand, a grassroots group, in delivering a project that will provide mentorship and workshops for racialized youth in priority neighbourhoods in the Greater Toronto Area.

The announcement also celebrated three other successful grantees: the Film Stars Project, Helping Hands, and Remembered Voices.

film stars project

The Film Stars Project will offer film and media training programs focusing on technical, creative and teamwork skills for racialized youth in the Jane/Finch and Rexdale communities.

"The Film Stars Project is overwhelmed with joy to receive a grant from Youth Opportunities Fund, to help us create more opportunities for the youth using the art form of film. We're a program that gives the tools to youth coming from challenging neighborhoods to produce films about their reality living in Toronto, to give the public a better understanding of them and their community. This grant will help us create a better tomorrow for the young people in the city of Toronto, giving them a chance to re-dream, and become an icon within their community."  - Matt Plummer, Creator, Film Stars Project

helping hands

Working to increase volunteer opportunities and engagement in Halton-Peel's social services sector, Helping Hands will provide volunteer training workshops for racialized, newcomer youth, and youth with disabilities.

“At Helping Hands we encourage youth to get engaged in their communities and empowered as active citizens while learning leadership and communication skills that will prepare them for future success - especially for racialized and newcomer youth. As a youth-led organization, we are excited to receive a Youth Opportunities Fund and Ontario150 grant, because it shows the province’s commitment to ensure the public hears youth voices and that youth have the power to support one another.”  – Janelle Hinds, Founder, Helping Hands

remembered voices

Remembered Voices will expand a drop-in program, focusing on youth and enhancing programs to include Traditional Teachings for 2Spirit/LGBTTQ Indigenous youth in Toronto. The initiative will help youth develop leadership and life skills, while strengthening a sense of community and belonging.

"ODE: Remembered Voices is extremely thankful for receiving an Ontario Trillium Foundation, Youth Opportunities Fund grant. ODE truly is a family, we develop deep and meaningful relationships and learn how to unite with our communities while empowering our 2 Spirit Youth. This grant will give us the opportunity to grow our family even more and encourage our 2 Spirit Indigenous Youth to build bridges with more communities and have their voices heard free of any judgement."  Jacob Parcher, Creator, Remembered Voices


Since the Youth Opportunities Fund launched in 2013, 115 youth-led projects and collaborative initiatives, supporting youth facing multiple barriers have received more than $29 million.



“It has been a year of expansion for the Youth Opportunities Fund and this announcement is a direct reflection of all the hard work the team and our volunteers do to ensure great projects are funded. It’s inspiring to see such a wide-range of excellent, youth-led organizations and initiatives with fresh ideas. Projects for youth by youth are important in addressing the issues facing this diverse and ever-changing population.” – Janet Yale, Board Chair, Ontario Trillium Foundation

“This year marks the largest amount ever granted in a single year through the Youth Opportunities Fund, which is exciting news. This funding allows more youth across the province to get involved in projects and programs that give them the opportunities they need to succeed and reach their full potential.” – Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services

"At the Youth Action Network (YAN) we offer educational, organizational, and resource development to support young people who are making social change by taking charge. We focus on initiatives serving marginalized communities, and we are thrilled to see My Stand receiving support from the Youth Opportunities Fund. We look forward to continuing to work together in to support communities in delivering services that address their own needs." – Kate Fraser, Propeller Program Director, Youth Action Network

"The MyStand mentorship initiative aims to tackle the lack of positive mentor relationships and positive social reinforcement facing racialized youth. We are thankful to the Ministry and the Ontario Trillium Foundation for helping bring vital resources to help MyStand play a key role in the development of GTA youth. Along with our organizational mentor, Youth Action Network, we look forward to making an impact at a critical point in their lives." - Mustafa El-Amin, Creator, My Stand



  • In 2016-17, the Youth Opportunities Fund awarded $12,000,900 to 41 projects
  • Including, but not limited to:
    • My Stand c/o Youth Action Network: $210,000 over 36 months
    • The Film Stars Project c/o Canadian Training Institute: $300,000 over 36 months
    • Helping Hands c/o Live Different: $210,000 over 36 months
    • Remembered Voice c/o SKETCH: $400,000 grant over 48 months



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