JustChange grant goes to #YouthCanSlam

JustChange grant goes to #YouthCanSlam

YouthCanSlamJustChange is happy to announce our tenth grant winner, YouthCanSlam, and invites you to check them out as they host their second annual festival in Ottawa August 12-16!

The $1000.00 grant will go to support youth who are interested in poetry across Canada to connect with one another, develop as writers and performers, and promote youth poetry to the public. Led by a group of Ottawa-based spoken word poets, YouthCanSlam held its inaugural festival last summer for about 50 youth participants.

YouthCanSlam strives to provide mentorship and professional development for youth poets, maintain a collaborative and supportive network of youth poets across Canada, and support youth poets as they enhance their skills and develop their voices. As Ikenna Oyegbula, YouthCanSlam’s Director, puts it, YouthCanSlam is “a statement of the empowerment of Canada’s youth that affirms the power of their voices and supports their participation in a major oral literature event at the national level catering to their experiences”.

YouthCanSlam 2013 was a very empowering experience for me. I learned that my words had power and that my story was something that people wanted to hear.

–       Sarah Ruszala, Ottawa

YouthCanSlam has been life changing, art changing, mind changing and heart changing.

–       Jacob Gebrewold, Vancouver


This year, YouthCanSlam is hoping to continue to build the youth poetry movement with its festival being held at the University of Ottawa August 12 to 16. Events include free poetry workshops and open mics, affordably priced showcases, and the National Youth Poetry Competition.The events not only allow youth poets to gather and connect; they also provide the broader Ottawa community with the opportunity to witness and support youth art and showcase our local youth poets.

If you’d like to learn more about YouthCanSlam, or want to participate in this year’s festival, we encourage you to check them out at www.youthcanslam.ca. They can also be found on Twitter @youthcanslam, on Facebook at Youthcanslam Festival, and on YouTube at YouthCanSlam.

Join us in recognizing YouthCanSlam at our next JustDrinks event on August 6th at Lowertown Brewery 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  Let us know you’ll be there, get your FREE eventbrite ticket today.

JustChange’s 9th winner: Dirty Duck Soap

JustChange’s 9th winner: Dirty Duck Soap

**Tonight’s event will be at The Lieutenant’s Pump due to weather concerns!**

Dirty Duck Soap awarded grant from JustChange

Animal fat is a subject that no one really wants to discuss. Most of us do not want to know, nor care about where the chicken fat that is resting on top of our chicken stock goes, or how the pan drippings from our prime rib roast are disposed of. However, animal fats are a major source of dioxins, which can be toxic to the environment.

According to the World Health Organization, they are considered among the dubious “dirty dozen” – a group of dangerous chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants. Long-term storage and improper disposal of animal fats may result in dioxin release into the environment and the contamination of human and animal food supplies.

Dirty Duck Soap is an innovative social enterprise based out of Algonquin College that aims to help reduce the waste output of restaurants and food establishments by collecting their spent animal fats, and turning them it into a useable, environmentally friendly by-products.

“It is critical for us, as it helps to break the mindset of ‘farm to fork’ …to a… ‘farm to fork and then what’ mentality” – David Fairbanks, Dirty Duck Soap

They also use 100% of their proceeds to contribute to the student emergency fund at Algonquin College, involving students in applied learning. Their current partners are Savoir Fare, a gourmet food store run by the Algonquin’s School of Hospitality and Tourism’s culinary department, as well as, The Red Apron and Thyme and Again Catering. The fats are removed during the rendering and production of culinary products (such as poultry stocks, duck confit, prime ribs etc.) and are prepared by students under the supervision of certified chefs at Algonquin College.

You can check out Dirty Duck Soap’s online store here: http://www.dirtyducksoap.ca/

After establishing micro-sales over the past 18 months, Dirty Duck Soap is ready for the next step in the development of their social enterprise by expanding business into more local communities, farmers markets and by increased advertising. JustChange is proud to support this endeavour by providing a $1,000 donation to help accelerate this local initiative.


Join us on June 11th at 6:00pm at The Lieutenant’s Pump to celebrate Dirty Duck Soap’s award.





We are excited to announce the addition of Louise Grace to the JustChange team. Louise joins the existing 11 Co-Founding Board Members in accelerating and supporting the great ideas and passion for social good that Ottawa residents have.

Born and raised in Ottawa, Louise has worked for several years in the fields of performance management and evaluation with the federal government. She holds a BSc in Psychology and a Bachelor of Education, and recently completed her Masters in Public Policy and Administration from Carleton University.  Louise co-founded Dress for Success Ottawa, a charity committed to assisting economically disadvantaged women in their re-entry to the workforce and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women.

Originally approached to join the JustChange team last year, Louise reluctantly had to hold off to focus on having and raising her, now, 7-month old beautiful daughter.  Louise was never far away though, always available to the JustChange team and lending her support in any way she could. It’s a pleasure to have Louise’s experience and perspective on the board.  So please join us in welcoming Louise to the team by following her on Twitter @LouiseAnneGrace or reaching out to her at louise@justchange.ca.

If you’re interested in learning and/or getting more involved with JustChange, we encourage you to join us at a #JustDrinks event or simply reach out to any one of our board members.

JustDrinks Event, Again!

JustDrinks Event, Again!

JustDrinks Event

It’s happening again! JustChange is proud to host ‘JustDrinks’ May 31st, 2013 at Vetta Osteria & Bar – 199 Bank Street Ottawa, ON during HAPPY HOUR 5:00pm – 7:00pm.

Join us in recognizing our next $1000 grant winner – David Rust-Smith and Nick Breen for their Bibz Youth Employment Program.

We welcome everyone who has previously applied, those interested in applying in the future or who want to learn about JustChange. ‘JustDrinks’ is an opportunity to network with JustChange Board Members, community partners, and with past and future applicants.

To attend, it’s simple, register for JustDrinks here. We look forward to seeing you there!



Hi everyone,

Welcome to JustChange, over the next couple weeks there will be some big announcements! For the time being, please feel free to check out some of our photos and learn a little bit more about the board.

Thank you,