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.


Sustainability Matters for the Arts: Article

We posted this article back in the spring (when it was originally written) but with winter looming, it might be a good time to start talking about your energy plans again.

As the article states, the time to act on your ‘green dream’ is now. While the article focuses on examples from the UK, the Ontario Power Authority has introduced incentive programs that will help subsidize some of the costs required to make your facilities more energy efficient. These savings can be put to use to enhance your organization’s mandate, in the form of programming, or other building needs.

You can read the full article HERE. This article provides an example of how environmental consciousness is evolving in the UK; hopefully it helps spark your organizations to talk about how you can begin the evolution of your own energy conservation plans.

Not sure where or how to begin these energy conversations? We’re here to help! 

Asset Planner for the Arts is here!

It’s tracking the condition of your facilities. It’s forecasting when repairs and upgrades need to be made. It’s planning for the unexpected (and expected).

It’s Asset Planner for the Arts – and ArtsBuild is excited to bring this tool to arts organizations that want to plan ahead by knowing the costs of keeping their buildings in good repair and by having the ability to attract smart financing to be able to do it.

Asset Planner for the Arts provides:

  • An accurate snapshot of your facility’s condition, letting you be proactive in scheduling managing annual upkeep, upgrades and capital projects.
  • Built-in modeling allowing you to do strategic, long term planning for your facility, with a focus on the next five years.
  • Reduces your risk by helping you decide which upgrades need to be done and when you need to do them

Here’s the best part – ArtsBuild is subsidizing 50% of the cost of this two year program for 24 arts organizations across Ontario. The full value of Asset Planner for the Arts is $4,800, but with ArtsBuild’s support, the program only costs participating organizations $2,400.

Get all the details on our handy fact sheet or check out our informational video!

Sign up today!


Get the training you need for an energy-efficient art facility

Now that you’ve started planning to move towards energy conservation planning, wouldn’t it be helpful to learn more about what it takes to actually get it done?

ArtsBuild, in partnership with Natural Resources Canada and supported by Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited, is holding a GTA-based workshop for arts organizations that will to cover:

  • Current best practices energy conservation including tips you can implement right away
  • Ways to make your facility more energy efficient using specific arts facilities examples
  • Review opportunities to save money through energy conservation
  • Hands-on activities and exercises so you can become more familiar with the components in your facility

You can find more details on the training and how to sign up HERE.

ArtsBuild Energy Conservation Program Launch!

It may be that nothing is certain but rain and taxes, but our experience shows that it’s likely your facility could benefit from implementing some energy conservation measures. That’s why last week we introduced the ArtsBuild Energy Conservation Program.

Designed to help arts organizations identify and implement cost-effective energy conservation projects for their buildings, the ArtsBuild Energy Conservation Program is designed specifically for creative spaces including theatres, galleries, concert halls, museums and other arts facilities.

Check out our informational video!

Uncover opportunities to save money and move towards a more energy efficient building with the ArtsBuild Energy Conservation Program!