Tag Archives: George Brown College

Toronto Light Fest: Come into the light

If you do not have any plans this weekend and you find yourself bored in Toronto head over to the distillery district and come out for the last weekend of the Toronto Light Fest.

What is the Toronto Light Fest you ask?

The Toronto Light Fest is a new visual journey and an imaginative cerebral adventure.

During the cold, dark days of winter, City residents will be drawn out of their traditional indoor habitats to experience Toronto in a way they never have before.

The Festival exhibits the creativity of local and international artists and is a winter experience designed to entertain & inspire.

– Toronto Light Fest

This is the first year that this event is being held in Toronto and features artwork and light installations from artists all around the world.

But the most exciting thing about this event is that any donations made to Toronto Light Fest directly goes to Yonge Street Mission’s Evergreen Centre For Street Youth. In fact, they have pledged to meet their goal of $10,000 for YSM.

As we come out of the darkness and into the light with the first annual Toronto Light Festival, we’d like to help bring our less fortunate community members out of the cold and into the warmth this Winter, and we’re so grateful to the community for stepping up to help us achieve this goal.

You have the power to change darkness into light – donate now!

If you are interested in coming out and supporting this amazing event and want to see some of the coolest art exhibits just head over to:

Toronto Historical Distillery District

Monday – Thursday: 6pm – 10pm
Saturday: 6pm – 11pm
Sunday: 6pm – 10pm

And Check out their website Here

You can also donate online at their gofundme page Here

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


I’ve worked in the retail clothing industry for nearly 10 years and I can easily say that people are crazy for clothes (See “Black Friday”). Ask any retail worker to tell you stories about working the holiday season and you will be shocked. But let’s face it clothing is not easy to come by whether its because they are expensive, or simply because there is not enough time for us to go to the mall.

So what is there to do?

tumblr_nbfzy52c7p1tk4lgqo1_500Close but not quite

A Clothing Swap!!!!

The hubsters decided to do an event where people can donate some of their clothes and swap them for new ones. This is something that I am really excited for and to make it easier for everyone to get involved, I made this simple 2 step process.

Step 1: Why Is This An Amazing Idea??

   The Clothing Swap aims to address the needs of students who lack the time or resources to properly prepare for the winter season due to barriers of poverty, systemic oppression, and capitalist economy.
    By allowing students to swap for the items they need, we hope to help build a greater sense of community and support within George Brown College, remove barriers that prevent students from access to winter necessities, and give new life to old clothes that would otherwise be destined for the landfill or to collect dust in our closets


  “The Clothing Swap is an event held by the Social Innovation Hub on Wednesday February 15, 2017 in the Main Lobby of St James Campus from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm, where students can swap in their gently used adults’ and children’s tops, bottoms, outerwear, and accessories for other items donated or swap from George Brown College students, staff, and faculty members.
clothing-swap-donationsWe have so many donations that our office
is beginning to look like the backroom of Gap
 The hubsters running the event wanted to say a thank you to all the students and people who helped make this event possible.
    On behalf of the Social Innovation Hub and the students in George Brown College St James Campus, we would like to thank everyone who has donated or swapped for this event. In less than two weeks, we have already received hundreds of items and it’s inspiring to see the support continue to grow. We hope to see you all this Wednesday!”
If you have any questions see the contact info below and be sure to come out this Wednesday and support this awesome event!


Robyn Z

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Let’s Get Freaky

Freak Pp Co. Power Packs Drive

Freak Ppl Co. is not asking for food, money, or clothes, instead (wait for it, my male readers…..) they want Pads and Tampons! Brand names not required, they want them all!

As a guy my knowledge of ‘lady products’ is incredibly limited, so I decided to ask my girlfriend to give me a crash course on this area of pads and tampons (I know romantic Friday night). And the one thing I can take away from this is that it is EXPENSIVE. So for the guys scratching their head, imagine having to buy something that your need that is ridiculously overpriced.

giphyAnother fact I learned about tampons

Let us also not forget that if you wanted something eco-friendly or all natural your choices are severely limited. For students, that is incredibly difficult; but now imagine for someone that is going through financial strain.

This is where Freak Ppl Co comes in and comes in with an amazing initiative that addresses this social issue.

Here’s what Freak Ppl Co is all about:

“Freak Ppl Co. is a feminist queer social enterprise based out of Toronto, ON, that produces handmade, fair wage and environmentally sustainable clothing. Freak Ppl Co. is for anyone who has been labelled or labels themselves as a freak, misfit, or outlier. Freak Ppl Co. embrace’s difference, finds empowerment in diversity, celebrates sex and body positivity, and values LGBTQ rights.

Freak Ppl Co. finds your fearless, eccentricity beautiful and endearing.

The best part about purchasing Freak Ppl Co. is that one is directly funding our social initiative. With every purchase of a Freak Ppl Co. product, one helps fund what we call our Power Packs. PP’s are feminine hygiene kits for homeless identified women, which consist of eco-friendly pads and tampons, along with several additional items that are intended to make ones menstrual cycle less of a hassle when on the streets.”


If you are interested in helping this initiative out please come out and donate some ‘lady products’. See when and where down below:

When: February 7th 11:30a – 2:00p
Where: George Brown College St. James Campus 

If you want to check them out online please follow them at:

Instagram: @freakppl.co
umblr: Freakpplco
Email: freakpplco@gmail.com

Robyn Z

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Things I Learned Being In A Social Innovation Hub



I had an amazing weekend, because I had a chance to attend Ryerson’s “Social xChange” on behalf of GBC’s Social Innovation Hub. And I have to say “WOW” Ryerson’s new “Student Learning Centre” is the newest addition to the Downtown Toronto growing campus. Utilizing an open concept design and expanding quiet study spaces for student use. But the one highlight of the weekend was seeing the SLC’s Launch Zone which very similar to GBC’s Social Innovation Hub aims to give students the resources to take their ideas and create a social enterprise of their own. For those unsure about what social enterprises really are “The Toronto Enterprise Fund” defines it as “A social enterprise is a business operated by a charity or non-profit organization that sells goods and/or services in the market place, for the dual purpose of generating income and achieving a social, cultural and/or environmental mission.”


20170128_142858Did I mention they have a foam mountain!!

Of course, GBC’s hub is fairly small and tucked away in the corner on the 4th floor of the St James Campus (We are in room 409b stop by and talk to us pleaseeee) but, the idea remains the same. A group of young students that have amazing ideas to address social inequality and want to bring about social change. We have a large variety of ideas that range from workshops, to donation drives (which will be covered very soon by yours truly), and even a clothing line for the socially conscious. It is truly amazing to see that sometimes an idea can really spark an innovative and socially forward project.

That is why I wanted to create this article and really tell people what its like to work in a Social Innovation Hub, so here is my “Top 4 Things I Learned In The Social Innovation Hub”.

20170128_131840Seriously GBC we need this

1. Remember As A Kid You Dreamed Of Riding A Unicorn To School Because You Just Wanted To?

One of my favourite things about the SIH is that there is no such thing as a stupid idea. In fact, thinking outside the box is encouraged. We are so use to thinking of solutions in a realistic way, when the first step really needs to be just sitting down and writing down your ideas. Don’t be scared to think big… or childlike, the greatest ideas come from the strangest places. In fact here at GBC, the hub started as an idea and had to fight for the right to even exist because a lot of people didn’t think that SSW/CYW students could successfully run a program or business.

man-641691_640Yeah we SSWs can be pretty tough

Inside the hub itself houses variety of different initiatives regardless how big or small, its reassuring to know that the hub is a place where these ideas can really grow into a real project. “Centre For Social Innovation” in Toronto really sums up this idea appropriately titled “Changing The World And Just Trying $#!% Since 2004”  check their video out



2. Its Cool To Be A Social Entrepreneur

Being a social entrepreneur and bringing about social change is in demand and Ryerson’s space is proof of this! When I say “Non-profit” the typical images come up where you think of charities or thrift shops. What if I told you about a web tool that can provide you a gardening layout plan to make urban farming easier (Eggplantr). Or a place where you can take do-it-yourself workshops and even rent out tools for a home project (Toronto Tool Library). These are just 2 of the social initiatives that grew out of social entrepreneurship. Even the Centre For Social Innovation in Toronto has over 2000 members. This doesn’t even include the students who are part of the Social Innovation Hubs within their own schools.


20170128_132214Talking at the Social xChange is a lot like being a rock star without
the paparazzi (minus me who took the photo)

Many non-profits are turning toward social entrepreneurship because they want to become self sustaining where they do not need to worry about government funding or donations. In fact, many organizations are popping up to provide funding for these startups; one of the largest funders is the Toronto Enterprise Fund.  The future of our economy is no longer about simple profit, its about dealing with the social issues and being able to be self-sustaining.

3. It’s OK to be lost

The cool thing is you don’t need to know the solution. If you are passionate about a problem, then come here to discuss it. Figure it out together!

Within the first month of being in the SIH, I already felt lost and debated whether this was a good idea. I remember constantly thinking about whether my idea was too small or too big and whether it would work.


20170128_123156Nothing says doubt like presenting your idea to a
group of people with amazing ideas

But after a couple of days working with the other hubsters, any feelings of doubt you have will eventually go away (there will be moments of doubt but you will be able to overcome this). The hub is not only a place to incubate these ideas but, it’s also a safe place to experiment and take risks. The GBC hub itself was a huge risk to the school no one knew if students would even want to do it or if it would even succeed. This is something that the hub wants to teach anyone entering it’s doors, is not to fear failing but fear never following your passion.

20170128_124910Chances are everyone is feeling the same

Which leads me to my favourite part of being in any Social Innovation Hub…

4. There is always a helping hand

Being in the hub is an incredible space because like its initiatives it is “people-focused”. Its refreshing to know that every member of the hub is working toward a social initiative where they are trying to bring about social change with very little resources (at first). It is also nice to confide in your other hubsters who probably know all the troubles your going through.

listen-1702648_640“…and then he said ‘do SSWs even know business?'”
(FYI we do)

But, the one thing that really impresses me (especially in the GBC hub) is how invested everyone is into all the projects being done. We each have our own project to worry about but we all take the time to share our resources and see how we can help either by volunteering our time or having a short brainstorming session.

20170128_130716One of the amazing people I met at Ryerson, looks to combine a social
initiative with personal training (Bootcamps for Change)

While talking to some of the other attendees at the Social xChange and chatting about what they liked about Social Innovation hubs she had this to say “Tremendous support in this space! Everywhere you turn to is either someone who is willing to hear you out, provide you input or add you on to their initiative because they believe together you can achieve more! Resources! Resources! Resources! It’s Wonderful!”. The environment is just so supportive where people are working toward the same goal of trying to make the world a better place, where when one person succeeds everyone feels like they were part of that success.

Now that I talked about how amazing it is to be part of the Social Innovation Hub here are just some of the ways you can get involved.


For GBC Students
– Visit us at our office (Monday to Wednesday 9:00 to 5:00p) at 200 King St East Rm 409b in the St James Campus
– Visit our facebook page here

For Ryerson Students
– Visit them at 325 Church Street
– Check their website here
– Visit their facebook page here

If you live in Toronto and want to join the “Centre for social innovation”
– Visit their website here to learn more about the membership rates and locations



Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Let’s Talk January 25th!

Just to remind everyone that today is Bell Let’s Talk day,

In September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk began a new conversation about Canada’s mental health. At that time, most people were not talking about mental illness. But the numbers spoke volumes about the urgent need for action. Millions of Canadians, including leading personalities engaged in an open discussion about mental illness, offering new ideas and hope for those who struggle, with numbers growing every year.

As a result, institutions and organizations large and small in every region received new funding for access, care and research, from Bell Let’s Talk and from governments and corporations that have joined the cause. Bell’s total donation to mental health programs now stands at $79,919,178.55 and we are well on our way to donating at least $100 million through 2020.

– Bell Let’s Talk

If you guys would like to help see below to help spread the message

What You Can Do? How it works?
Text, TEXT, TEXT!!!!! For every text message you send on January 25, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.
Hey, Let’s Talk! For every phone call you make on January 25, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.
Keep on Tweeting! Each time you tweet on January 25 using #BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.
Take More Selfies on Instagram! Each time you post on January 25 using #BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.
Connect With Us On Facebook! Every time you watch our Bell Let’s Talk video on January 25 we’ll donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.
Snap-ing with Snapchat! Each time you send a snap using the Bell Let’s Talk geofilter on January 25, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives.

If you have never heard of this event feel free to check them out at : http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/

Tagged , , , , ,