Learn How to Save $$ on Your Monthly Utility Bills

piggy bank

Reduce your monthly energy bills with practical strategies explained in the half-day Dollars to $ense Workshop on May 7, 2014 – REGISTER TODAY.

All organizations interested in energy conservation are invited to attend.

This workshop has been supported by Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited.

Developed by Natural Resources Canada, Dollars to $ense will teach you:

  • What to do now to save money on your monthly energy bills!
  • Best practices for energy conservation
  • Tips you can implement right away
  • Low-cost and no-cost solutions
  • Real-world examples from facilities like yours

Who should attend?

  • Organizations that want to decrease their operating costs by making their energy management more efficient and effective
  • Those that are interested in making energy conservation changes to their facility but don’t know where to start
  • Anyone who can live-stream! You can join the presentation online from the comfort of your home or office.

Available live and through live-streaming!

WHEN: 9:00  am – 1:00 pm, May 7, 2014  with a lunch break and time for Q&A

WHERE: 4th floor Innovation Lab at the Centre for Social Innovation, 215 Spadina Avenue, Toronto OR join the live-stream online — convenient access for those that can’t make it in person.

COST: $25 per participant, in person or online.


Delivered in partnership with Natural Resources Canada and supported by Toronto Hydro. Sponsors Energy Workshop

The star design is a trade-mark of Toronto Hydro Corporation. Used under licence. ‘Toronto Hydro’ means Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited.

Going Fast – Facilities Workshops, Loans and Grants



Some of us are writing grants, some of us are receiving them, some of us are looking at new strategies for managing the same old budget, something stable but not keeping up with inflation and rising energy costs. Well, we have resources for you!

Below-Market Rent Opportunities in Toronto

Yes, below-market rental spaces are available for arts organizations! On Tuesday March 18th, learn how to find more affordable spaces through BMR offerings from City of Toronto. This info session includes a tour of an available space in Toronto Public Health. Full details – [LINK]

Low Interest Loans for Greening

Many energy retrofits and renewable energy projects are eligible for low-interest loans through. And the best part is, the process is straightforward. Before doing any major paperwork, complete a short and sweet “Intent to Apply” PDF to see if your project is eligible. This step saves you time in your funding search! Details here – [LINK]

Culture Build Investment Program – Deadline April 14

The Culture Build Investment Program provides matching funds to assist the City’s not-for-profit cultural sector with financing for state of good repair capital projects. The program also provides funding for feasibility studies for projects that meet the criteria. In 2014, Toronto City Council has earmarked $330,000 for the program. To date, the Culture Build Investment Program has helped bring 71 cultural facilities closer to a state of good repair. Your organization could be next! Applicatoin details – [LINK]

image by FutUndBeidl, CC by 2.0

Do you know why your ice cream is soft?

More importantly, how can solving this #firstworldproblem help your arts organization embark on an energy conservation plan?

As you might have noticed in our communications over the last couple of weeks, ArtsBuild hosted an Energy Conservation Training session last Friday, in conjunction with our ArtsBuild Energy Conservation Program. The training was to provide information about how small (and large) changes can make a difference in your organization’s energy consumption.

As someone who doesn’t know very much about my own energy habits, it was informative and interesting to learn that there are more factors to energy conservation than just installing energy efficient systems, such as LED lighting.

Stephen Dixon and Garth White, Energy Coaches with Natural Resources Canada, lead the day-long session and took the training class of 22 arts organizations through practical applications of energy conservation. Before getting started, everyone was able to share what had brought them to the training that day. Naturally, it was an interest in learning more about energy incentives – provincial and local, different approaches to energy conservation and general information about diving into energy conservation.

In addition to the presentation they prepared, Stephen and Garth lead the class through three different demonstrations that brought the learning to a practical level – demonstrating the range of colour in light bulbs, how clean air filters improve the efficiency of fan systems and the right valves can help make your HVAC systems more efficient.


One example that stood out to me was their demonstration with the light bulbs. When considering a complete overhaul of your lighting systems, Stephen and Garth talked about what factors you should include when calculating how long it will take to see the savings. How long the lights are running, how much heat the bulbs are (or are not) giving off and the type of light you need for your space are all factors in your overall energy saving outcome. It was great to see light bulbs also going off in the participants’ heads on how they could bring this learning back to their organizations.


So where does ice cream fit in? In another example, Garth shared that he had noticed his ice cream wasn’t as hard as it should be. Upon further inspection, he discovered his dusty refrigerator coils were to blame. The unit was running longer and causing ice to build up in his freezer instead of transferring the cold to his ice cream. Garth used this example to demonstrate how keeping your systems clean is the easiest way to make sure you aren’t paying more than you should be on your energy bill – and ensuring your sweet treat is just how you expect it to be!

These examples, plus the knowledge of Stephen and Garth provided a very informative day for all. For many, this training was their first step to forming an energy conservation plan. Next step? Learn more about your facility with ArtsBuild’s Energy Conservation Program!

A special thanks goes out to all our participants, Stephen and Garth and our session sponsors Natural Resources Canada and Toronto Hydro.


Here, there – and everywhere!

On April 9, ArtsBuild Ontario set out on the first of nine Sustainable Creative Spaces sessions to engage communities on a conversation about arts facilities. We invited funders, municipal employees involved in culture and related departments, facilities managers and of course leaders of arts organizations – some who operate or wish to operate in a facility of their own. In all the communities so far we tried to host the session in an arts space to inspire the conversation and keep us engaged.
Ontario in Canada on the map.

ArtsBuild operates out of Waterloo and often travels to Toronto for meetings, but this was our opportunity to visit other communities and have conversations with organizations that we might not otherwise and of course see their facilities.

In a one on one conversation I had while in Thunder Bay an arts volunteer asked if the conversations had been different across the communities I had been too and my initial response was “No, it’s quite consistent”. On my flight back from Thunder Bay I realized that that response was not entirely true. Although similar themes had reappeared in the six communities we had visited so far (Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener/Waterloo, Sudbury, Orangeville and Thunder Bay), each community has its own unique set of circumstances, projects, investments and passions. Each space we visited in the various communities had its own fascinating story, sometimes a struggle and sometimes a triumph. While it was a day shaped around conversations amongst the arts community and its stakeholders, we made time to visit arts facilities and to talk one on one.It was during these meetings that the conversations were able to come alive.

In response to these unique and community minded spaces we began to profile these and other arts spaces around the province in our case study series so that the rest of the arts sector could learn about what other spaces are doing, how they are doing and what made it possible. The Making Spaces for Art series is a great way to get a snapshot of the creative and passionate work done by the arts sector across the province.

We are going to finish off the sessions by visiting Kingston, Windsor followed by Toronto in the New Year. At the end of all of these sessions we are going to summarize the findings for all nine communities and pull out the collective needs and successes of all nine communities. We are here to advocate for the arts spaces in Ontario so we will be presenting this report to relevant funders so that they can hear what these communities had to say.

Our next stop is Kingston on November 6th – if you are in Kingston – hope to see you there!

If you are from Kingston or Windsor and are part of the arts community and in an arts space contact nicole@artsbuildontario.ca, to reserve a seat and be a part of the conversation. Summaries from the first four sessions can be found HERE.


Attend Brampton Creative Economy Summit

[O]n Thursday, February 2, 2012, we’ll be attending a very exciting event in Brampton.  The city is hosting a Creative Economy Summit to promote awareness of the creative economy and Brampton’s role within it.  The goal is to educate and define the creative economy by sharing information and best practices and creating a networking environment for its members.

As if that isn’t already enough incentive to attend, there are also two very interesting keynote speakers confirmed: Jian Ghomeshi and Tim Jones. Jian Ghomeshi an award-winning broadcaster, writer, musician and producer. Tim Jones is the President and CEO of Artscape, a non-profit organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities.  Additional speakers are set to be announced shortly.

You might have noticed that this Summit and our upcoming Facilities Portal have a common goal of bringing the arts world together to engage in knowledge sharing, so of course we are eager to participate.  We’ll have a booth set up in the Atrium during breaks, so be sure to stop in to learn more and to catch a sneak preview of the Facilities Portal in action!

For more information and to register for FREE, visit http://www.brampton.ca/en/Business/edo/Pages/CreativeEconomySummit.aspx.