Project selected by jury in Ottawa’s third annual New Leaf Community Challenge.

Nov. 9, 2016 (Ottawa, ON) – The Ottawa Community Foundation presented a cheque for $125,000 to LiveWorkPlay to tackle youth unemployment in the capital in a meaningful, sustainable way. The Pie in the Sky initiative will build on LWP’s successful Employment Task Force pilot project, bringing employees with intellectual disabilities and Ottawa employers together for mutual benefit. It was one of the top three proposals presented to a jury of community leaders and experts at the Ottawa Community Foundation’s third annual New Leaf Community Challenge on Wednesday at Saint Paul University.

“While the city-wide unemployment rate was 6.4% in 2015, Ottawa’s youth unemployment rate was 15.3%,” said Marco Pagani, President & CEO of the Ottawa Community Foundation. “That is the highest it’s been in over a decade, and the highest rate among Canada’s six largest cities. That’s why the Foundation felt now was the right time to support the community in tackling this alarming trend in a powerful, proactive way.”

Originally launched in 2014, the New Leaf Community Challenge was designed to inspire and support innovative, collaborative approaches to addressing critical issues in Ottawa. With a focus in the first two years on food security and local food systems, the New Leaf Community Challenge has previously provided a total of $250,000 in funding to MarketMobile and the Deep Roots Food Hub. These projects have instigated powerful approaches to improving access to healthy affordable food, and to building longer-term food sustainability for Ottawa.

Focused on demonstrably improving the employment situation for young adults in Ottawa, the 2016 Challenge attracted a diverse array of exciting and innovative project submissions. The top three proposals presented to the jury included a social enterprise collaborative for youth-delivered IT services, an employment task force for young people with intellectual disabilities, and a collective impact initiative to improve the employment outlook of local youths living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

“All of the projects presented at today’s Challenge were highly creative, compelling and, most importantly, designed to make a measurable difference in our community over the long-term,” said Marco Pagani, President & CEO of the Ottawa Community Foundation. “While I know it was a difficult decision, I am confident that LiveWorkPlay’s project will contribute to improving the employment situation for Ottawa’s young people in a systemic, sustainable way – which, in turn, is key to improving the city’s long-term economic outlook and overall wellbeing.”

The New Leaf Community Challenge has attracted a wide range of local champions and supporters. The 2016 Challenge jury is made up of such notable local leaders and experts as Saad Bashir, Tim Brodhead, Lauri Cabral, Cheryl Jensen, Kathleen Kemp, Jack McCarthy, Paul Steeves, and Stephen Willis. For more information about the New Leaf Community Challenge and the top three project submissions, visit

Established in 1987, the Ottawa Community Foundation is a public, non-profit organization created by and for the people of Ottawa. Working directly with its community of donors, partners and stakeholders, the Foundation is committed to acting as a catalyst for positive, systemic and sustainable change in Ottawa and beyond. Priding itself on enabling generous citizens to enhance the quality of life in their community while achieving their own charitable objectives, the Community Foundation currently manages assets worth almost $120-million, and has provided close to $100-million in grants to the community since its inception. For more information about the Ottawa Community Foundation, visit

– 30 –

For further information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Iona Green
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Ottawa Community Foundation
(B) 613-236-1616 X 232
(C) 613-408-1616