Rebecca Harrison

A note from our Executive Director

February 15, 2024

I hope very much that you’re all staying warm as the temperatures drop, and finding ways to stay connected and positive as we all make our ways toward 2023. As another exciting year takes off at Unity, it’s incredible to reflect on where we were just one year ago, in fall 2021.

We had just begun the search for a new space from which to operate, and had no idea that we would ultimately find the beautiful space we’re now so proud to call our home. Since June, our team has been working tirelessly to prepare for the official opening of the Unity Studio (1560 Yonge Street)--we piloted two fantastic programs through the summer months, hosted a number of community and donor events, and enjoyed having a space to work from (outside of our living rooms!) Our work continues this fall, as the team and artist roster dive deep into training, programming planning, and policy and agreement design. We’re taking the time to be sure that when we open our doors for regular public programming on January 16th, we’re able to do so safely and inclusively. We want to be confident that the Unity Studio will be a welcoming home for our entire community!

Last fall, we were also working hard to create a plan to utilize our broad expertise in virtual programming, imagining how we might deploy those new skills to address ongoing accessibility issues that would remain beyond the lifetime of the pandemic. This month, we are beyond excited to launch virtual programming that serves African Nova Scotian youth living in rural communities, in partnership with GEO Nova Scotia and the Light House Arts Centre. Working at the very frontier of digital inclusion and accessibility, Unity has secured multi-year funding to provide fully subsidized internet access and devices to the households of participating youth, not only in Nova Scotia, but across four provinces where the program will eventually scale. Stay tuned for more information about this innovative, audacious program–we’ll be making an announcement about it soon!

The last few months have been punctuated by growth at home, growth into the farthest reaches of Canadian communities, and finally, growth within our team and family. We’re thrilled to be welcoming a number of new individuals to important roles on our Board and Committees–

Please take a moment to learn about these wonderful volunteers–we are deeply honored to have the opportunity to benefit from the guidance and support of these incredible professionals! Our deepest gratitude must also be given to our outgoing Board Members who have given so much to our team and community–we are immensely grateful for their generosity and tireless support through a few very difficult years; Raj Tandon, Beth Horowitz, Chris Czorny, and Charmaine Arellano-Chua, our infinite gratitude to each of you. Keep an eye out for upcoming announcements about our brand new website, program registration, exciting new funding/programs announcements, and our upcoming holiday fundraising campaign—we’re so excited to share a wonderful year with all of you! Until next time,

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