The “Why” of Edmonton Public School Foundation

When the Edmonton Public School Board Foundation (EPSB Foundation) approached us to partner with them in support of their full-day Kindergarten program we fell in love with their promise to level the educational playing field for all children, no matter their socio-economic status. But, we couldn’t get one thing off our minds.

If full-day Kindergarten is so successful in bridging critical gaps in children’s social, emotional, language and academic readiness—essentially giving them the tools to start them on a successful educational journey—they why isn’t it fully funded by the province?

What we learned is that much of it is. 21 classes to be exact. Basically, the government ensures that basic educational needs are being met, and although they see the value of full-day K, there just aren’t enough dollars to 100% cover it. Similar to why The Stollery Foundation, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation and others were created—to “top up” and provide specialized, additional services, programs, and resources to their parent organization. Similarly, the EPSB Foundation was created after hearing from parents, families, and the community, that full-day K was an essential educational component, and so this has been their sole mandate and priority since their inception.

EPSBF uses 100% of the funds they raise to fund additional classes that are identified as in-need but are out of scope in because of budget constraints. With a goal of funding 15 classes, EPSB Foundation currently funds six, with high hopes of adding more each year (while still maintaining the budget to fund the existing six).

 
 

Apricity is thrilled to work with them in 2019 on reaching this goal. We’ll be sharing more information about the Foundation, the program and how you can get involved to support. Keep your eyes peeled on our website and social channels, or drop us a line to hello@apri.city if you would like to get involved.  

Wrap Up: Operation Friendship Seniors Society

In 2018, Apricity had the pleasure of partnering with Operation Friendship Seniors Society (OFSS), a non-profit that provides community-based preventative social services to low-income inner city seniors.

Throughout our partnership with Operation Friendship, we chose to focus on raising coffee donations for the drop-in centre. As many of us know, a cup of coffee is a comforting ceremony to the start of a day. It is what many seniors at the Operation Friendship drop-in centre look forward to each morning—there is nothing better than seeing the smiles of these heartwarming seniors with a hot cup of brew.

This video showcases how big of a difference a simple cup of joe makes in the lives of these seniors; some of whom have constant variables in their lives and are not sure what their day will be like. A cup of coffee is that one constant that they can continually rely on thanks to Operation Friendship.

 
 

To highlight the importance of the coffee required at Operation Friendship, Apricity created the Cups of Care campaign. For an entire week in October (starting on National Seniors Day), five participating local coffee shops raised awareness about Operation Friendship, and encouraged customers to donate a cup of coffee to a senior in need. Not only were we able to fundraise for ground coffee, this campaign gained huge social media traction.

In addition to raising coffee donations, raising awareness for Operation Friendship was one of our top priorities, as not many people in Edmonton are aware of the organization and their clients. To do this, we launched  a social media campaign called Faces of OFSS, which featured professional photographs of 15 seniors who are clients of OFSS. This campaign was to showcase some of the vulnerable seniors who utilize Operation Friendship as a safe gathering place where they can socialize, develop friendships, and even volunteer.

One of the joys of volunteering at Operation Friendship is the opportunity to meet the seniors face-to-face. We loved meeting and learning about each of their own unique stories. Volunteers play a big role at Operation Friendship, and we were able to highlight the different organizations who volunteer at the drop-in centre throughout the year. We are happy to share that volunteer numbers saw a considerable increase over the year, and there was a significant jump compared to 2017!

 
 

To donate, volunteer or enjoy a warm cup of coffee with a senior, visit Operation Friendship Senior’s Society at ofss.org.

Special thanks these partners who made these initiatives possible:

Wrap Up: The Nina

The Partner

This past year, Apricity had the pleasure of partnering with the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts to amplify its cause. 

The Nina is home to one of Edmonton’s most unique art collectives, made up of more than 170 artists with developmental disabilities. At its core, The Nina strives to make art accessible to everyone, particularly those who face barriers to artistic expression. Using a variety of different mediums, artists at the Nina are supported by a rotating team of professional artists who facilitate the work through one-on-one mentorship, small group sessions and workshops. 

The partnership began with a deep dive into what The Nina was currently doing to promote themselves and where Apricity’s support would be most helpful.  With a small, but fiercely mighty team The Nina was looking for support to purchase more supplies, a TV for their front entrance to welcome guests and display information about The Nina, movable gallery walls to help show art exhibits in more places and additional funds for programming throughout the year.

Throughout this past year, Apricity helped raise and secure partnership valued at over $36,000 for The Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts.

 
 

Highlights

  • Our fundraising journey kicked off with a partnership with Poppy Barley who held a private party to launch their holiday shoe collection. A portion of their sales from every pair of shoes sold went straight to The Nina.

  • The Kinsmen Club is a proud supporter of Apricity and contributed over $8,000 for The Nina to purchase moveable gallery walls and new light for the gallery space. In addition, First Lady Sarah Chan also donated a TV for the front entrance.

  • Berlin, an Edmonton-based creative advertising agency developed postcards to encourage signup for The Nina's newly incorporated e-newsletter on their website. As a result, Apricity was able to facilitate exposure of The Nina to new audiences. The postcards were distributed at Etsy Made in Canada and at the Spring and Fall Nest in the City markets.

  • The Nina won the 2017 Northern Alberta Field Law Community Fund Grand Prize, totalling $6,000! Read more about the Field Law grant here.

  • Apricity member, Shara Vigeant, was selected as Deluxe Burger Bar's Celebrity Chef. Shara worked together with the chefs at Deluxe to create "The Lean Mean Green Supreme Burger". For every burger sold, $1 went towards Shara’s charity of choice - The Nina. It was the second most sold burger in Deluxe's history with 454 burgers!

Apricity members also donated their time to The Nina once per month to help with everything from wrapping artwork for donors to selecting artwork for the walls. This year the Apricity team was also able to secure in-kind advertising space at the Edmonton International Airport to help bring The Nina to new audiences.  In October, Apricity put their effort and focus on ensuring The Nina’s annual fundraiser, Here’s Nina, was a sell out success through a social media campaign push - 2017 was the first year Here’s Nina has ever sold out!

 
 

A Big Thank You

The work that Apricity does would not be possible without the generous support and partnerships with Edmonton businesses and community members. Sponsorship involvement helps our community thrive and make Edmonton and our community members stronger.

  • Berlin Advertising + Public Relations

  • Edmonton International Airport

  • Kinsmen Club of Edmonton

  • Lift Interactive

  • Nest in the City

  • Poppy Barley

  • Rayacom Print & Design

The Nina takes home the Field Law Community Fund Grand Prize!

Apricity's sole purpose is to amplify the message of local not-for-profit organizations. So when we started exploring funding opportunities for The Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts – our charity partner for 2017 – and came across the Field Law Community Fund Grant, we thought it was a perfect fit. At first our friends at the Nina weren't too sure. They had unsuccessfully applied for this same grant in the past and were apprehensive to try for it again. But with a little convincing about the support we were willing and able to provide, they bought into the idea. 

Field Law’s Community Fund Program
The Field Law Community Fund Program is a way for Field Law to give back to the communities in which they work and live. Over the last five years, the program has awarded funds to support 68 charitable organizations throughout Alberta and the Northwest Territories, with over $400,000 donated. Projects are submitted by the public, shortlisted and posted on the website, and opened up to public voting. The organizations that receive the most votes are reviewed by a Community Market Panel made up of both Field Law employees and members of the community, and the winners chosen from those.

The Heart of the Art in Silk Screen
The Nina proposed a project that introduces silk screening to their over 170 clients. Silk screening is not only a desired medium for these artists, but also gives them a way to create merchandise that can generate revenue for both the artist and the Nina (proceeds from any art sold through the Nina Gift Shop is split 50/50 between the artist and the Nina).

Excitedly, the Nina was chosen as a grand prize winner and took home the largest grant given - $6,000 for the program! On July 20, 2017 Field Law proudly presented the Nina with the grant. Here, Rona Fraser, Director of Fund Development at the Nina and Amy Tsang, Apricity member, accept the prize.

This win could not have taken place without our community rallying around the cause and voting for the program. Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote to make silk screening a reality at the Nina. It warms our heart to see the community come together to support an important causes like this. And if we could play a tiny part in getting the word out about the voting process, they we did our job today. Now, onto the next big win for the Nina...

Our colourful new partner: Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts

nina-logo-web.png

After much deliberation, we’re so pleased to announce that we’ll be partnering with the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts for the 2016/17 year!

Now in our third partnership year, narrowing down this year’s charity of choice was difficult!

We put the call out for submissions this fall and received nearly 20 applications from various Edmonton not-for-profit organizations, all doing amazing work with immense passion. Again, thank you to all of those who applied!

In the end, we decided on the Nina with its uniquely creative services and community connections. To the Nina: We can’t wait to see where this year’s partnership takes us, as we amplify your cause.

About the Nina

The Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts – or “the Nina” – is home to a unique art collective made up of more than 170 artists with developmental disabilities. Driven by the belief that everyone has a right to creative expression, the Nina strives to make art and exhibition accessible to everyone.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn more about the Nina and how you can support them!

And, the grand total is…

That’s right – after a year of fundraising and other community support, we’re so happy to announce that our 2015/16 partner, Boyle Street Community ServicesH.E.R. Pregnancy Program, will receive more than $26,000 towards its program and services.

A partner program of Streetworks, the H.E.R. program provides prenatal and postpartum services to at-risk women living on the streets of Edmonton to help them become as safe and healthy as possible.

From establishing the H.E.R. Fund to biking our buts off at YEG Cycle to celebrating the H.E.R. Program at the Edmonton Community Foundation, this past year partnering with the H.E.R. program was both fun and extremely rewarding.

The staff, women and children of the H.E.R. program are truly inspiring and touched our hearts with their unwavering courage and resilience. The staff go above and beyond in so many ways to ensure each client receives the care and support she needs. And to the women who access the program – thank you for allowing us into your space, and we wish you all the best in achieving healthy, happy lives.

You are the reason we do what we do. Thank you for the beautiful partnership and letting us amplify your cause.


For a full look at our partnership with the H.E.R. program, read:
What it looks like to partner with us: H.E.R. Pregnancy Program

What it looks like to partner with us: H.E.R. Pregnancy Program

This year’s partnership has been one for the books… or should we say, babies.

Starting last fall, we partnered with our second organization, Boyle Street Community ServicesH.E.R. Pregnancy Program. As part of Streetworks, the program provides prenatal and postpartum services to at-risk women living on the streets of Edmonton to help them become as safe and healthy as possible.

From baby bumps to baby bums, we spent the year helping the H.E.R. program amplify their cause. Here’s how:

The H.E.R. Fund

We established an endowment fund — the H.E.R. Fund — through the Edmonton Community Foundation to provide ongoing support to the program forever. With a goal of $10,000, you helped us beat that and raise more than $24,000 (and counting!) for the program to date.

Community support

  • Crystal Glass, Boston Pizza, Kinsmen Club and community supporter, Krista Ference, each made generous donations to kick off our giving.
  • YEG Cycle donated the proceeds from a series of GIVE’R classes in the spring.
  • TD welcomed us at their annual volunteer fair and later made a $3,000 donation!
  • YOU came together in a big way to donate boxes and boxes of diapers and other baby items in a community diaper drive hosted out of SVPT Fitness.
  • Jody Bailey donated his time and services as a photographer to capture some beautiful shots of H.E.R. clients and their children for a special photo project.
  • BRLN donated their marketing and design services on many occasions, most notably on the creation of a donation package the H.E.R. program can use moving forward.

Still to come…

  • Join us on October 15 as we join forces with Nest in the City. A portion of admission proceeds will go to the H.E.R program, and 5 local vendors will each create diaper cakes to be raffled off both online and at the market.
  • From October 17 to 23, $1 from every pizza you buy at Love Pizza will go to support Boyle Street and the H.E.R. program.
  • Voice Your Vote to Bully Food Truck now until October 31 and the H.E.R. program could win all of Bully Food Truck’s tips from the 2016 food truck season.

An Evening in Support of the H.E.R. Pregnancy Program

We held a private event at the Edmonton Community Foundation in August to thank sponsors and help raise awareness and funds for the H.E.R. program one last time. View photos from the event, courtesy of FM Photo Studios. 

Thank you to everyone who attended and donated, as well as to all of our volunteers and sponsors who helped make the evening such a success:

Edmonton Community Foundation
Production World
Love Pizza
Steam Whistle
Sherbrooke Liquor
Plum Home + Design
BRLN
Lift Interactive
DJ Alize from HOT 107
Dress My Day
Pinnacle (Kyle Nichols)
Hillberg & Berk
FM Photo Studios
Suman Sandhu
West Canadian Digital Imaging

Last but not least...

Much love and thanks to Boyle Street and the H.E.R. program for the beautiful partnership this past year! It’s been an absolute joy to work alongside you and amplify your cause.


Like what you see? Apply to be our next partner organization for the 2016-17 year. Today is the last day to apply! Visit our Get Involved page for more information.

Partner with us: apply now until Sept. 30

Calling all Edmonton area not-for-profit organizations!

Each year, Apricity chooses an Edmonton area not-for-profit organization to amplify the cause that is most important to them.

Well, it’s that time of year again! We are now accepting applications for our next partner organization for the 2016-17 year.

Why partner with Apricity?

Becoming an Apricity partner means working together to create active relationships that allow us both to achieve a greater outcome.

We bring our drive, skills and connections. You bring the cause that matters to you most. Since every organization has unique needs, no partnership is the same but the goal remains constant: amplify your cause.

In the end, any funds raised or new initiatives created go directly to support your organization. Take a look at our previous partnerships.

How to apply

  1. Visit our Get Involved page.
  2. Under “For Edmonton Not-For-Profits,” click on the “Apply Now” button.
  3. Fill out the application form and hit “Submit” to enter your organization.

The deadline to apply is September 30.

Once our application period closes, we’ll choose the 3 organizations we think would be the best fit as our next partner and follow up with those candidates directly on next steps.

Together, we can be part of something bigger.

Thank you for your interest in Apricity, and good luck to all of those who apply!