August  2018 – Hall of Power

August 2018 – Hall of Power

A group of high school seniors are challenging the stigma associated with hip hop in the Ottawa arts scene and in the general community.

In their upcoming photography exhibition, titled Hall of Power, John McCrae Secondary School’s senior photography class utilizes portraiture to shed light on the vital role that hiphop plays in giving a voice to people of all ages and genders.

The portraits highlight local hip hop artists who embody the students’ message that hiphop can be a powerful platform for discourse around mental health and female empowerment. In addition to showcasing these artists, the show hopes to bridge the gap between the local arts scene and hip hop scene, and speaks out against the disparity in funding and attention generally given to hip hop artists.

The students hope to display the show at multiple Ottawa venues in the coming months, including The Origin Arts & Community Centre, The Flavour Factory, John McCrae Secondary School, as well as at various arts festivals. They hope to leverage this platform to inspire and educate their peers about the opportunities available for young artists in the community, and to highlight the importance of the arts as a powerful avenue for social change.

To support this group of students and artists, please join us for #JustDrinks at 57 Lyndale Ave on August 21st at 6:00pm!

April 2016 – Integrative Solutions Group

April 2016 – Integrative Solutions Group

Community consultation on urban development projects in Ottawa often seems like a meaningless exercise. Most of us can name an example (or two!) within our own neighbourhoods where community consultation was either non-existent or superficial at best.

While there are many reasons why community consultation in Ottawa is problematic, one of the toughest challenges facing Ottawa urban planners is how to gather input from a diverse range of citizens. But how do planners help citizens understand and visualize urban design proposals? How do they solicit and capture the many and often divergent voices? And how can they effectively incorporate those views into an urban design project?

Our latest grantee, Integrative Solutions Group (ISG) has an idea to improve democratic planning for cities. ISG, an integrative design consultancy, is bringing together three software apps: a 3D streaming app for architectural rendering; a multi-stakeholder input app; and a decision support app. 3D Lab enables citizens to see proposed developments and changes in real-time, animated 3D rather than renderings on flat maps. Milieu and Greatwork enable citizens to comment, vote, and submit their ideas and also help urban planners to analyze the feedback and eventually incorporate them into a design.

ISG is using their JustChange grant and their urban sustainability expertise to bring the three software developers together in a one-day, design charrette in order to explore the creation of a publicly available online citizen engagement tool for urban development. Working in parallel, these three apps could become a powerful community consultation tool for Canadian municipalities.

We invite you to come celebrate this idea at JustDrinks on Thursday, April 21, 2016 from 6 -8 pm at Fatboys Southern Smokehouse (34 Murray Street.) Click here to reserve your free ticket. Fatboys is an accessible location. If you have any specific questions please contact the venue.

Micro-grants Making Waves in Ottawa

Micro-grants Making Waves in Ottawa

Ottawa’s micro-granting scene is hot. Awesome projects need look no further than Awesome Ottawa, women in the arts can tap into Tontine, Soup Ottawa provides one-off opportunities on various themes, and we accelerate great ideas for social and environmental change. If you haven’t yet explored these options, do!

We’re lucky to have such a diversity of micro-granting opportunities within our city. It speaks to the need to do funding differently, the need for accessible funding and the desire for both applicants and granters to contribute in a hands-on way to making change in our community.

JustChange was happy to learn about a new granting opportunity in our city, Ottawa Wave Makers, intended to boost new and innovative ideas around ocean awareness.

Ocean awareness? Yes, ocean awareness!

Canada has the longest coastline of any country on the planet, a whopping 15% percent of the entire world’s coast. Healthy oceans are vital to our communities, our health, and our economy. And while the ocean isn’t visible from our city, the nation’s capital, we must keep working to ensure that our waters remain healthy for the benefit of future generations.

Ottawa Wave Makers is a partnership between World Wildlife Fund Canada and HUB Ottawa. They will be distributing a total of $28,000 through grants of up to $5,000 for projects that raise awareness about Canada’s oceans in our city. Eligible projects include but are not limited to: campaigns, events, art installations, conferences, pop-up events, mobile applications, and workshops.

With all these options, there’s no excuse not to get started on, or further your next big idea for our city. Apply to Ottawa Wave Makers by April 30, 2015, or learn more about what other local groups are funding and apply to…


On #GivingTuesday

On #GivingTuesday

by Albert Thibodeau, Co-Founder & Board Member

I think any initiative that can get people to, of their own volition and without coercion, give their time or money to a cause is a good initiative. This means I’m against cashiers asking for charity at the check out, and mandatory volunteering for high school students; I have mixed feelings regarding judicial sentences involving community service.

One recent initiative to get people to give up a bit of their precious time on this earth, or their money – by which I of course mean their labour, or their labour-power – is giving Tuesday.

A fine initiative, seeking to have people do good!
First of course, comes the unbridled consumerism of Black Friday, then the virtual unbridled consumerism, of Cyber Monday. Finally, on Tuesday, you may look at your new large-screen televisions, the jet skis, and assorted electronic equipment strewn about your living room, and cry out, like a beast in the wilderness, “I have not interacted with another person outside of the market in days – nay, months!” and you may don the hair shirt of volunteering in your community for a day, or spending whatever coins might remain to your good name to quell the unending guilt and lack of satisfaction that all your possessions have brought you.

A saving grace in the United States, is that people see their extended families for their late version of thanksgiving. This is the best form of charity, as it involves forgiveness, attempts at understanding, and putting up with people you wouldn’t otherwise want to spend time with.

In all seriousness, if giving Tuesday is what it takes to get someone to give their time or money, then I’m happy for it; if it convinces someone that they want to make giving a more regular thing then that’s fantastic. Certainly anything that can get people to want to be engaged with a community for good will get my support. But if I could advocate for one thing it would be that giving of your time or money isn’t something that you fit in the spaces between everything else, it’s important in and of itself. It connects us within communities and reminds us that we’re not just consumers in a marketplace, we’re citizens and neighbours, and human beings sharing the planet with each other and holding it in trust for future generations.

So go out on Giving Tuesday and do something. Even better, make a commitment to start doing something more regularly. Give your money to a cause and make the world a tiny bit better for everyone; or give your time and you’ll find that participating is more gratifying than purchasing.

JustChange St. John’s launches to accelerate great ideas for Newfoundland

JustChange St. John’s launches to accelerate great ideas for Newfoundland


Allow me introduce JustChange St.John’s.

Cameron Campbell and the new and inspiring folks in Newfoundland and Labrador have begun a new JustChange chapter on the east coast. They will be piloting the model for the next little while, adopting JustChange into their own context and their own community, while keeping the core values and structure intact. Certainly, this will be an exciting time for both Ottawa and St. John’s, as there will be lots to learn from each other. Therefore, please bear with us as we go forward, for there may be more changes ahead. That being said, the JustChange Ottawa grant, coming out of our own pockets, to accelerate new and great ideas, will always remain the same.

If you are interested in learning more about JustChange, please let us know. (,

Congratulations to our new JustChangers,

Read Guernsey

JustChange St. John’s – The focus is small, the potential is great!

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) is home to amazing people and vibrant communities. Ideas and innovators surround us, but sometimes they just need a little help to change their ideas into realities. At JustChange St. John’s we believe that by sharing our common wealth, experiences, and skills there is little that can’t be achieved. Supporting local innovations is what we want to do, but we need your help to do it.

The model is simple. If you or your organization has a great idea, but lacks the start up funding to get it off the ground then apply for one of our bi-monthly grants. We’ll help successful applicants try to realize their vision with a grant (non-repayable!) and any in-kind support we can provide.

JustChangeWe are committed to contributing to ideas and projects that have the potential to make real change in our province. We want to support projects focused on social justice, environmental sustainability, economic and rural development, and improvements in public health. We believe there are great ideas on both sides of the overpass. We don’t care if you live in a small town in coastal Labrador or row house in downtown St. John’s. What we do care about is the vision and enthusiasm you bring and the potential impact your project might have on the people of our province.

JustChange St. John’s was formed by a group of enthusiastic millennials who are originally from across NL and Atlantic Canada. We all call St. John’s home and have a desire to give back to the province that’s given us so much. We were inspired by the work of JustChange Ottawa and decided to bring the model to Newfoundland and Labrador. We knew there were people in NL that would be willing, able, and eager to contribute to innovative, social and environmentally minded projects with the potential to improve the lives of citizens across our province.

As young professionals with student debt, car payments and mortgages we see JustChange as an opportunity to give back without waiting until we can afford to do more. Pooling our resources allows us to give a deserving person, team, or organization a financial boost to get their project off the ground. Pooling our talents and skills allows us to lend support to successful applicants as they set out to accomplish their goals. Establishing a new giving circle in the province will allow us to turn each individual’s monthly pocket change into a bi-monthly no-strings-attached $1,000 grant. Working collectively, we have the opportunity to make a much larger contribution than any one of us could make on our own.

JustChange St. John'sWe want to hear your vision for a more progressive, sustainable, healthy, or economically stable Newfoundland and Labrador. Your idea can be big or small, focused on a small community or open to the entire world. We want to empower social enterprises, non-governmental organizations, community groups, and individuals with great ideas. If you have a project that needs some extra support then we want to hear from you. As long as you can make the case that your project will benefit people in our province we’re willing to help you make it a reality.

We’ve just opened the application process for our first $1000.00 grant – to be given out in July 2014. If you’re willing to take a risk and pursue your idea, we’re willing to take a risk and help you succeed.

St. John’s Call for Proposals closes June 30th, 2014. Successful applicants will be notified during the 2nd week of July.

– The JustChange St. John’s Team

Cameron, Dave, Eddy, Heather, Jonas, Matt, Meghan, Stephanie and Stephen

 P.S. We want to thank the JustChange Ottawa board for their support, encouragement, and willingness to embrace a new chapter.