Ottawa Community Foundation Awards $125,000 to the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre to Tackle Youth Unemployment

RBC Foundation boosts New Leaf Community Challenge with additional financial support

November 28th, 2019 (Ottawa, ON) – The Ottawa Community Foundation presented a cheque yesterday for $125,000 to the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre, winner of the sixth New Leaf Community Challenge. The Centre impressed the jury with their Youth Business Incubator, which combines entrepreneurship and employment coaching with skills development.

The Incubator13 initiative was one of three short-listed proposals presented to a seven-member jury of community leaders and subject-matter experts.

“All three projects were creative, compelling and, most importantly, designed to support positive, systemic, sustainable change for the youth in our city and those who support their employment,” said Marco Pagani, President and CEO of the OCF.

The team from Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre: Sebastian Gaissert, Lauren Touchant, Yacouba Traoré

“I am certain our jury had a tough decision to make. But I’m confident the project they chose will help more youth gain the skills they need to be successful in the job market and contribute to improving their long-term employment situation in our city.”

Incubator13 is a bilingual employment and entrepreneurship program that offers entrepreneurial coaching and support as well as employment and skills development services to youth below the age of 30. The Incubator13 hub will be scaled to increase its positive impact on the socio-economic development in Ward 13, Eastern Ottawa and beyond, as well as increase its network of partners and supporters.

Jury members were additionally impressed that the team deeply understands and aims to improve broader community well-being.

Immediately after the cheque presentation, representatives from the RBC Foundation committed to provide financial support to all three teams to advance their respective initiatives.

“The RBC Foundation is proud to partner with the Ottawa Community Foundation on the New Leaf Community Challenge for a second year,” said Glenn Sheen, Regional Director, Community Marketing and Citizenship, Ontario North and East.” The NLCC is perfectly aligned with Future Launch and our vision to collaborate with leading organization like the OCF to prepare our local youth for a changing workforce.”

RBC Foundation’s Future Launch initiative is a 10-year, $500 million commitment to empower youth for the work place of tomorrow.

Originally launched in 2014, the NLCC was designed to inspire and support innovative, collaborative approaches to addressing critical issues in Ottawa. Since then, the OCF has granted over one million dollars to support two critical issues in our community: food security and youth employment. The NLCC has evolved from a granting $125,000 a year to one initiative, to creating the right environment for organizations to collaborate and develop initiatives that are sustainable and long-term. This year, finalists were given additional systems-level business coaching as well as support to strengthen their partnerships.

The 2019 New Leaf Community Challenge attracted a variety of project submissions including the two other finalists:

    • The Youth Leadership Collective (chaired by the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa) pitched the first Youth Leadership Certificate program; and
    • The Ottawa Mission pitched an expansion of their successful Food Services Training Program to help more youth who are at-risk or homeless.

For inquiries about the New Leaf Community Challenge, please contact:

Rebecca Aird, Director, Grants and Community Knowledge, 613-236-1616, ext. 222,; or
Tais McNeill, Associate, Grants and Community Knowledge, ext. 223,