Community Spotlight

True to its core values, Roots has always believed in supporting positive, meaningful community initiatives and the people behind them. Here’s a selection:


TAPA salutes talented artists in Toronto

Established in 1978, the Dora Mavor Moore Awards are Canada’s largest and oldest not-for-profit awards ceremony that honours great theatre, dance, and opera performances. On June 27, 2016, the Toronto Alliance of the Performing Arts (TAPA) presented the 37th annual edition of the event in Toronto for 1,100 people. The night paid tribute to 48 performers who received the much-coveted award along with a bronze statue cast by local sculptor John Romano.

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The Wabano Centre celebrates National Aboriginal Day the right way

On June 21, 2016, the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health hosted its 14th annual Igniting the Spirit Gala at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre. The evening showcased cultural performances, art auctions, Aboriginal-inspired cuisine and special guests, including Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Power of Transformation-themed gala raised $200,000 thanks to the support of the 620 guests. The funds will help the Wabano Centre provide healthcare and social support to Canada’s Aboriginal community.

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Habitat for Humanity teams up with the LGBTA community to build a better future

In late June 2016, Habitat for Humanity invited members and supporters of the LGBTA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies) community to its 3rd annual Pride Build event. Its focus was completing nine houses on a Toronto street true to the organization’s vision of creating a world where everyone has a safe place to call home. With participants needing no previous construction experience, more than 100 people took part in the three-day initiative (June 23-25) and made the event one to remember. Pride Build raised more than $45,000 which will go toward the building costs of the new homes.

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PAIL helps those facing a heart-wrenching situation

While pregnancy and giving birth are usually joyous moments for people, they can also unfortunately lead to a traumatic situation. For example, a pregnancy can end with a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, medical termination, stillbirth or even the passing of the baby shortly after birth. Such circumstances are a difficult time for the parents, families and friends, often leaving them feeling devastated, hopeless, even angry. The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network (PAIL), based in Pickering, ON, helps people cope with these formidable challenges.

On June 5, 2016, PAIL hosted the 20th anniversary of its Butterfly Release and Picnic. The event, at Bruce Mill in Stouffville, ON attracted 600 people. The day consisted of food, prizes, workshops and, of course, a butterfly release ceremony, where 250 butterflies were freed. The event proved even more rewarding this year as the Ontario government passed into law the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Research and Care Act. It calls for relevant research and new programs to be developed for pregnancy and infant loss.

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Volunteering Peel makes the planet better, one tree at a time

Under sunny skies, more than 400 people gathered in Brampton, ON, on May 28, 2016, at Claireville Conservation Area to participate in the 7th annual Peel Plant Day (PPD). PPD is hosted by Volunteering Peel, a student-run organization that coordinates events for high school students to receive their community service hours needed to graduate. The event gave citizens of the Ontario municipality of Peel the opportunity to partake in interactive environmental workshops, including the planting of nearly 100 trees.

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Men show their fashionable side to support The Kidney Foundation of Canada

The Windsor, ON, branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada had local men strut their stuff for the first annual Celebrity Men Fashion Event on May 26, 2016. More than 200 guests enjoyed a night of entertainment and laughter while raising awareness of the growing issue of kidney disease. As the foundation is Canada’s only national organization committed to fighting, advocating and researching for kidney health, events such as the Celebrity Men Fashion Event are essential for generating much-needed funds. The night raised more than $19,000. Great work, guys!


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Contestants complete tasks to raise money for the city’s homeless youth

On May 21, 2016, Trek for Teens conducted its annual race for youth, aged 13-19, in Toronto. Participants had to solve problems using their knowledge, creativity and athleticism. The objective was to raise awareness of the city’s homeless youth while raising funds to help them. With more than 75 contestants and 50 volunteers, the race raised $1,150 that will go toward food and programs for the following shelters: Covenant House Toronto; Horizons for Youth; and Youth Without Shelter. Thanks to foundations such as Trek for Teens, the 10,000 youth that live on the streets of Toronto receive basic necessities every year.

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Evelyn Li teams up with Operation Smile for the Bright Lights, Bright Smiles Gala

Picture 4 (chosen) without logo

Since 1982, the international medical charity Operation Smile has been performing free surgeries on children around the world to repair their cleft lips and palates. On May 20, 2016, the charity held its first-ever Bright Lights, Bright Smiles Gala at the Savory Event Venue in Markham, ON. Hosted and organized by 2016 Miss Universe delegate Evelyn Li, the evening attracted about 100 people including Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. Guests enjoyed dance and singing performances, bid on prizes and watched three fashion shows, including Li’s own line, Jacq&Ev. The gala raised $2,500, which will allow Operation Smile to perform ten surgeries. Now that’s something worth smiling about!


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A day to remember for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. held its largest research fundraiser on May 19, 2016. Some 200 people took part in the 22nd annual Forget Me Not Golf Tournament in Surrey, B.C. Guests gathered at the Northview Golf and Country Club to swing their irons, enjoy a delicious dinner and bid on various auction items. The tournament’s guests raised more than $650,000, with half the funds supporting research projects and the other half assisting those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

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Provincial police saddle up for a country night celebration

Ontario police officers traded their uniforms for cowboy hats at the 84th annual General Meeting. In Richmond Hill, the Durham Regional Police Association (DRPA) hosted members on May 17, 2016 for a western-themed night. Founded in 1933, the Police Association of Ontario (PAO) represents more than 18,000 police professionals and civilian members of law enforcement services. The organization is the unifying voice for members, providing leadership and support. At the annual General Meeting, everyone came together for a night of recognition and celebration of their many accomplishments while raising money for the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation.

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Public school receives new academic services thanks to parents

The John Wanless Junior Public School hosted its bi-annual Spring Fling event on May 13, 2016, at the Cricket Club in Toronto. Its objective was to raise money to finance a variety of initiatives not covered by the Toronto District School Board. With support from the students’ parents, the event raised close to $30,000. Thanks to the Spring Fling, students receive new supplies and services to further their education in an entertaining manner. The funds support music programs, sports teams, updating classroom materials and technologies, including new iPads.


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Students host week-long activities in support of medical research

In Montreal, students at the all-girls Catholic private high school, Villa Maria, collaborated with the Cedars Breast Clinic at McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) to organize their annual Breast Cancer Awareness Week. From May 9-13, 2016, students held bake sales, yoga sessions, workshops, raffles and a colours race to generate funds for MUHC. The events were a great success, raising $26,000. Way to go girls!


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Students Get a Turn in the Spotlight

Annual film festival raises money for homeless youth to experience the arts

Spotlight Student Film Festival Photo Booth real

On April 11, 2016, the Spotlight Charity Film Festival held its third annual festival in Toronto at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Spotlight is a student-run film festival that provides high school students a platform to display their films and be recognized with awards, decided by a panel of judges selected from the Toronto community. Proceeds from the event went to Sketch, an organization providing programs and opportunities for homeless young people to experience the arts. This year’s festival raised more than $8,000 for Sketch.

Spotlight Student Charity Festival Logo

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Marking a Milestone

Environmentalist David Suzuki celebrates the big 8-0 with fundraising gala

Suzuki 80th TLS 215 (1)

David Suzuki is an award-winning scientist, broadcaster and environmentalist, well known for his work in a wide range of ecological projects. The David Suzuki Foundation, which he co-founded, finds solutions to create a sustainable environment. On April 8, 2016, David celebrated his 80th birthday by hosting a gala event at The Carlu in Toronto. It featured performances by singers Chantal Kreviazuk and Serena Ryder, a menu by Chef Anthony Walsh, and a live auction. During the evening, David was honoured for his work on behalf of the planet. All proceeds went toward the David Suzuki Foundation.

David Suzuki Foundation

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Young Girl Gets Crafty for a Cause

Nine year-old Torontonian gives back to organization close to her heart

Ella's Craft-a-Thon 1

On April 3, 2016, Ella Goldberg held her first Craft-A-Thon to raise money for the SickKids Foundation at Designher Co. in Toronto. Only a year earlier, Ella was a patient herself at SickKids Hospital following a serious accident she suffered at summer camp. Now almost fully recovered, Ella decided to give back to the organization that saved her life. Children and parents enjoyed an afternoon filled with pizza, music, a silent auction, and a create-your-own-bracelet station where participants could take the bracelets home with them. The Craft-a-Thon raised more than $1,400 for the SickKids Foundation. Great job, Ella!

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Immigrants of Distinction Awards Celebrate Milestone

Immigrant Services Calgary hosts gala in tribute to new Canadians

Immigrants of Distinction Awards Celebrate Milestone

Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) held its 20th anniversary of the Immigrants of Distinction Awards on March 12, 2016. Since 1997, the gala has been honouring contributions and exceptional achievements made by immigrants and refugees in the Calgary area. The Fostering the Legacy of Excellence gala featured keynote speakers, awards, youth scholarships and a silent auction. It raised over $8,800 for the ISC to support immigrants making Canada their new home.

Immigrants of Distinction

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Time Warp to Another Era

Algonquin College combines the 1950s with the circus to make children’s wishes comes true

Algonquin College Grand Cirque Fundraiser Gala

On March 4, 2016, Algonquin College held one of its many fundraisers for the Children’s Wish Foundation. The Wonders of The Grand Cirque Fundraiser Gala timewarped supporters to the 1950s circus era. Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a three-course meal were featured along with a childhood-inspired sundae bar. A silent auction raised over $5,300 for the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Algonquin College Logo

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Girls Volleyball Team Shows Their Roots

Fall River Fury Volleyball Club makes their way to Nationals in Edmonton

Fall River, Nova Scotia girls' volleyball team

On February 22, 2016, the Fall River Fury Girls U18 Volleyball Club showed their true Canadian Roots. These determined ladies from Fall River, Nova Scotia placed 2nd in their March Super Series ahead of the Nationals in Edmonton, Alberta. If you are in the Fall River area, and/or interested in supporting the Fury Girls, check out their fundraising page on the website below.

Fall River Fury Logo

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Teddy Bear Toss, With a Twist

Simon Fraser University Men’s Hockey Team’s Annual Teddy Bear Toss adds clothing to the mix

Teddy Bear Toss at SFU

Every year, the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Men’s Ice Hockey Team hosts the Teddy Bear Toss during a home game in Burnaby, British Columbia. On December 5, 2015, fans came to enjoy a good ol’ hockey game and throw teddy bears onto the ice for the homeless. SFU decided to spice things up by adding a clothing element, encouraging spectators to toss new socks and underwear along with the teddy bears. The event generated 150 pairs of socks and underwear for local charities.

SFU Logo

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