Written by Colin Withers on September 4, 2015
in Giving Back

Last holiday season we embarked on our biggest charity drive ever, donating $25,000 to ten different charities across the GTA in our Ariad Gives Back campaign. We decided to check in on some of the charities in order to find out where the donations went and how they helped make a difference. Here are some stories from a few of the charities we selected (you can read about how our donation impacted some of the other charities selected here).


  • Where the funds went:

The support from Ariad went towards SKETCH’s Community Artists Program, a year-long paid internship for 5 street-involved youth who got to develop and run programming (enhancing their organizational skills), represent SKETCH at events (public speaking, networking), support SKETCH communications with their art and tech savvy-ness, and get studio time to hone their own arts practice and develop a portfolio. The 5 youth “graduated” at the annual SKETCH Rad Grad event this past June.

  • How the donation made an immediate impact on SKETCH:

When Community Artists (CA) leave after Rad Grad, they’re equipped with newly-found skills and pathways to where it is they’d like to be in the future. Previous CAs have mentioned how SKETCH gave them the time, space, challenges, and focus essential to make meaning of what matters to them and set the course for active community engagement and/or a career. When the CAs graduated in June, they are ready for many real-life changes with their new platform of talents.

  • How is SKETCH and its community are doing now?

It’s been a stellar year for SKETCH so far. SKETCH is planning their celebration of 20 years of impact next year. One CA, Oddane Taylor, has been prominently featured in the media. This coverage has done wonders for spreading awareness of the work they do, and the talents SKETCH cultivates through its platforms.






The funds received from Ariad helped to support those with a cancer diagnosis, as well as their family members and/or caregivers. Wellspring provides more than 40 different programs (like the yoga class shown below) and services to meet the psycho-social, emotional, practical, rehabilitation, and educational needs of their members. Last year, across Wellspring’s 4 centres in the GTA, members accessed programming over 40,000 times. Because of the support of companies like Ariad, Wellspring is able to offer these all free of charge. As Wellspring moves towards its 25th anniversary in 2017, they are committed to remaining the gold standard model for community-based innovative cancer care.



Youth Without Shelter

Ariad’s donation was used in the “heart of the home”, Youth Without Shelter’s kitchen. Over 40% of the youth (16 to 24 years of age) who arrive at Youth Without Shelter come to their doors having not eaten for at least one day in the previous week. Many have not known food security in their young lives. Youth Without Shelter offers, on a minimal budget, three meals and two snacks daily to nourish the 50 youth in their care. Ariad’s $2,500.00 provided 17 nutritious hot dinners to 50 youth at each for a grand total of 850 servings. A popular hot dinner at Youth Without Shelter is chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables, mixed salad, milk and juice. Youth who have been fed with these meals include the 13 youth who graduated this spring in the Youth Without Shelter Stay in School Program. For a closer look at Youth Without Shelter, check out the videos below.

Colin Withers is the Brand & Communications Manager at Ariad Communications.

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