Presenter Profile: Derek Ballantyne

Derek-Ballantyne-April-2013-300x300Finding alternative financing options for nonprofits is always a challenge. Derek Ballantyne, CEO at Community Forward Fund, offers new ways of funding your building projects and managing your facility in the Alternative Financing Options for Creative Spaces module of the LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT workshop. Derek will present and discuss financial review and assessment tools to help your organization understand alternatives for financing facility projects.

With a solid financial background in managing real estate investments and working with mutual funds, Derek brings deep knowledge of the nonprofit, charitable, social entrepreneurship, cooperative and foundation sectors at the local, provincial and federal levels.

Derek was Chief Operating Officer of Build Toronto, where he assisted in the establishment of the corporation, development of the first business plan, and execution of several large transactions and development initiatives. Prior to this, Derek was Chief Executive Officer of Toronto Community Housing, a large rental housing provider, with over $6 billion in real estate assets in Toronto. He led organizational and financial restructuring of the company, and the recapitalization and redevelopment of a significant portion of the portfolio (including the Regent Park community) as well as the commercialization of non-core functions.

Derek was a founding Director of a $430 M mutual fund and continues to participate in two investment committees for nonprofit organizations. Mr. Ballantyne sits on the board of the Laidlaw Foundation.

Watch Derek’s take on alternative financing options for nonprofits:

Derek will be presenting on Alternative Financing Options for Creative Spaces in London and Pickering at our LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT workshops.

Presenter Profile: Jeremy Freiburger

Jeremy Freiburger for Arts Feature.Having your community behind your facility project is essential and there are a number of ways to get them engaged. Jeremy Freiburger, Chief Connector at CoBalt Connects, explores innovative ways to get the conversation going in Engaging Your Community In Your Creative Space, the fourth module of LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT.

CoBalt Connects is a nonprofit organization based in Hamilton, Ontario. CoBalt acts as the connecting element for creative communities and helps organizations interact successfully with their municipalities.

Jeremy has been a leader in Hamilton’s creative community for almost 15 years. After studying theatre and music at McMaster University and the American Music and Dramatic Academy (NYC), Jeremy returned to Hamilton and has worked at a number of the community’s major arts institutions. His experience ranges from touring the country as a musician to producing international calibre ballet, to developing studio facilities, to writing policy, plans and funding applications for municipalities and organizations. At CoBalt Connects, Jeremy focuses primarily on regional and municipal partnership development and creative sector development.

In the workshop, Jeremy will present new ways to engage your community before, during and after your facility project so that community support and involvement is built in from the ground up.

Jeremy explains a few ways creative spaces can engage their community:

You can hear Jeremy’s presentation at the LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT workshops in Town of Blue The Blue Mountains, Orillia, London and Pickering.

For workshop dates, registration and information, visit us here.

Upcoming ArtsBuild Workshops & Webinars

Tons of great workshops and webinars from ArtsBuild are coming your way this fall! So open up your schedules – here’s a complete list of what we have in store for our arts organizations over the next few months.

Oct.  20 – SpaceFinder Booking Features Webinar

Register by email at

Is your creative space on SpaceFinder? Join us for this free one hour webinar on SpaceFinder’s online booking features. This is an opportunity to learn how the online calendar, booking request forms and booking engine can compliment your space booking process and get your space noticed!

Nov. 4 & 5 – LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT: Town of The Blue Mountains Workshop

Register here

All arts nonprofits in Town of The Blue Mountains and the surrounding area are invited to attend the two day workshop. Hosted by The Blue Mountains Public Library, the workshop will take place at the Leonard E. Shore Memorial Library (173 Bruce Street South). Registration includes access to both workshop days, catered lunch, online workshop materials and post-workshop Q&A sessions.

Nov. 10 – SpaceFinder Booking Feature Workshop

Register by email at

Covering the same material as the webinar, this free workshop is a great chance for SpaceFinder Toronto users to learn in-person how the site’s online booking features work. Discover how you can take advantage of SpaceFinder’s online calendar, booking request forms and booking engine.

Nov. 17 & 18 – LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT : Orillia

Register here

Thanks to the generous support from the County of Simcoe, the first 20 registrants for this workshop receive a $30 discount on their registration! All arts nonprofits in Orillia and the surrounding area are encouraged to register for this valuable two day workshop. The workshop will take place at the Orillia Public Library (36 Mississauga Street West). Registration includes access to both workshop days, catered lunch, online workshop materials and post-workshop Q&A sessions.

Dec. 1 – Dollars to $ense: Energy Conservation Workshop

Register here

Designed specifically for arts facilities, nonprofits can learn energy basics and discover cost-saving opportunities from the experts. Whether you’re involved in a new build, renovation or ongoing maintenance in your facility, Energy Conservation can help you realize potential savings – and this workshop will help you understand how!

Dec. 2 – Energy Efficiency in Arts Facilities

Register here

Part of Ontario Present’s Webinar Series for Arts, this free one-hour webinar will focus on what energy efficiency changes/strategies would be most relevant to the performing arts sector in Ontario. Facitators include ArtsBuild’s very own Director of Programs, Lindsay Golds and Andrea Dwight, Principal with BLUE SKY Engineering.

5 Reasons Why You Should Be At LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT

LIBIMI_clr-trans-webIt’s hard to believe that ArtsBuild Ontario’s LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT workshop has already traveled to five out of the 10 cities we’re set to visit across the province. Next up, we have Sudbury (Oct. 6 & 7), Town of Blue Mountains (Nov. 4 & 5) and Orillia (Nov. 17 & 18).

But why should your arts organization know about more about facilities? Other than learning about the tools and resources you need to build, finance, manage and win community support when it comes to your creative space, here’s our top five reasons we think you should attend a LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT workshop this year.

  1. You asked and we delivered. This two day workshop is designed based on the needs expressed at our Sustainable Creative Spaces Sessions. These sessions were held in eight Ontario communities in 2013 and involved local leaders in conversations around creating spaces they needed for vibrant cultural activity in their community. We also discussed the challenges they faced in developing and maintaining these spaces. In response, LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT is centred around four key topics: Building New Facilities, Financing Options for Non-Profit Spaces, Managing Sustainable Facilities, and Engaging Your Community in Your Non-Profit Space.
  2. It’s a great networking opportunity. Meet other non-profits in your community and share experiences. One participant said that “it was relaxed, gave us time to talk to other arts groups…the chance to network was priceless.” Gain perspective on your building projects through the stories of others in addition to the examples provided by our topic experts. Speaking of experts…
  3. Knowledgeable and approachable experts. Our four presenters cover everything from financing projects to winning community support. While you’re grabbing a morning coffee or eating lunch, feel free to sit down, chat up an expert and gain further insight about your creative space projects.
  4. Online resources. Following the workshop series, ArtsBuild Ontario will post all workshop materials online. You’ll get access to all topic areas covered in the workshop, so when you present facility ideas to your organization or revisit your workshop notes, these online resources will be there to help.
  5. It gets you excited about the future of your creative space. Your creative space is a hub unique to your organization and its services. Each presentation will open up new ideas and resources to help you make your space more sustainable, manageable and engaging to the community around you.

LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT is coming to five more cities between now and 2016. We’ll be travelling to Sudbury, Town of Blue Mountains and Orillia this fall, and announcing dates for Pickering in the coming weeks.

SIGN UP FOR A WORKSHOP NEAR YOU! Space is limited, so register soon to avoid disappointment.

For more information about workshop dates and registration, read more here or contact us at or 519.880.3670 x 101.

TWO Organizations, TWO Surveys, Working TO-GETHER


Museums in Ontario are coming together to realize the full potential of a more collaborative, forward-looking and responsive sector for all communities across the province. As part of the Looking Ahead initiative, the OMA is working with sector leaders, stakeholders and community members towards developing strong evidence-based strategies and recommendations to improve sector capacity, communication, and accountability.

As part of the community of 700+ museums across Ontario, we are asking you to work with us to advance your own and the sector’s collective interests.

Our Institutional Profile Survey seeks to provide a more comprehensive profile of the sector. This profile will be shared with Ontario’s museums. Just as important, this “evidence” can be used to communicate broadly why museums matter.  Along with other research, this information can be used to demonstrate our collective economic impact AND our pivotal role to the quality of life of our communities.  It could support the development of recommendations on how we can address current challenges and meet future needs.

To get there, we need your data, your information. A high level of participation by Ontario’s museums not only improves the relevancy of the findings, but also indicates the commitment of the sector to work together — to proactively seek solutions, pursue common interests, and determine our own future!

To date, 159 organizations have completed their Looking Ahead surveys. Because we believe this is so important, we will continue to accept Institutional Profile Surveys. Staff is here to help! Contact Josh: toll-free in Ontario: 1-866-662-8672 or 416-348-8672, or email:


The Looking Ahead Task Force meets on May 29th to begin drafting recommendations in key strategic areas. Preliminary findings suggest six main areas of focus, among which asset management and infrastructure maintenance is noted as a huge challenge.

The OMA seeks to work closely with partners in meeting this and other challenges. To that end, we support the work of ArtsBuild Ontario and ask our members to do the same. ArtsBuild is collecting information on capital needs. This information is more detailed and specific to facility and building needs than what is being asked by the Looking Ahead survey. The OMA and Artsbuild are committed to sharing information with each other for the benefit of the sector.


ArtsBuild Ontario is the only organization in Ontario dedicated to realizing long-term solutions for building, managing and financing the sustainable arts facilities needed in Ontario communities.

In 2006/2009 ArtsBuild commissioned two in-depth Facilities Needs Assessment surveys to understand the capital infrastructure challenges facing nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. These surveys left ArtsBuild thinking of a more efficient way to collect the data needed around arts facilities for advocacy and to keep the data dynamic.

In 2013 ArtsBuild’s Bricks&Mortar went live – which is an online database created to house the profiles, needs and plans of our arts organizations and their facilities across the province. The questions in Bricks&Mortar are all centered around the current state of our organizations’ facilities and the needs and the plans that they have for those facilities. To date we have collected information from over 340 organizations province wide including 94 museums. This incredibly valuable information allows us to understand what is needed in our sector around facilities. ArtsBuild has tasked dedicated staff since April 2013, to speaking one on one with organizations across the province and entering their valuable data. Once entered the data can be accessed by the organization and edited so that it stays current and relevant. Organizations can also enter their data by simply registering! You can visit Bricks&Mortar on ArtsBuild’s website or contact Gina at to have your facility included in Bricks&Mortar.

We are now able to begin developing our first Executive Summary of the data collected so far in Bricks&Mortar, that will outline the needs and plans of our sectors’ facilities. Our hope is that in the future ArtsBuild can work with other Arts Service Organizations in sharing this rich data set that continues to grow.

ArtsBuild has been working closely with OMA to discuss ways that we might partner in the future in sharing/using each other’s data for the betterment of the sector.