TCDI General Meeting

Art Becomes Change event was a success. Keep checking back to the blog to read about keynote speaker, activities, and discussions.

The next general meeting will be on November 6th at North York Civic Centre. The event will be focused on how to gain momentum from provincial and municipal elections to make some change.

There is lots of time to find out about the event and to register. Email us at

Onsite Registration Info

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Volunteer at the Institute

TCDI is people-powered in the extreme and that's how we like it. We need the support of volunteers.

We have lots of exciting work. We are confident there is something that will interest you.

Learn more

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Community Development Resources

We have some great information available on community development. These resources may come in the form of academic papers, popular writing, zines, videos, websites, etc.

In the resources section are materials available to deepen or broaden our understanding of community development.

Visit the TCDI Resource Library

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Youth Becomes Change

Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2014 by . .

Come join us on December 2 from 5:30 – 6:30 for an opportunity to consider what we can learn from the amazing work that young people in this city have been doing to transform politics in Toronto.

We will be meeting at North York Civic Centre in the Members Lounge.

The agenda includes:

5:30-6:30   Opening Reception with light refreshments, networking time, activities, and displays

6:30-7:00   Desmond Cole speaks to us about City Vote and Youth Engagement

7:00-7:30   Panel discussions with recent candidates Morgan Baskin and Keegan Henry-Mathieu. (Others to be confirmed)

7:30 – 8:30 Break out groups


Let us know you are coming by joining the event on FaceBook.

Or you can download a PDF flyer.

Creativity grows on trees?

Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 by . .

One of the activities that people participated in during the June General Meeting was tracing their hands and then decorating those hands with images or words that emerged for people out of the guest speaker’s address and the small group discussions. People were also asked to reflect on what they had to creatively offer to community.

Below  is a link to a short powerpoint of some hands people created.

Art Becomes Change: Our thoughts on creativity

As part of the plenary session, participants were invited to add the fruits of their hand to the TCDI tree. The roots signified strengthening TCDI. The trunk embodied TCDI communication such as the newsletter or website. The branches held possible projects for TCDI such as community education workshops in local communities.

Art Becomes Change:
What we have to offer Tree

Art Becomes Change Keynote Address

Posted on Monday, June 23, 2014 by . .

Nation Cheong United Way "Toronto Community Development Institute" TCDI "Art Becomes Change"

Nation Cheong addresses participants at Art Becomes Change.

Nation Cheong

Community worker by profession, drummer by vocation and artist by compulsion

Nation began by recognizing the sacred nature of coming into space where we were there to open a dialogue and inspire ourselves to action. He teased us with the line “When I was 20 something happened to change my life” and continued with that promise of yummy-ness throughout our time together.

Nation engaged us in a highly participatory talk. He guided us to experience how art opens a space where we can create harmony between seemingly disparate discourses. Simply put he divided us into two groups. He set up one group with a rhythm to be clapped out  and then gave a completely different rhythm to the other group. No, that was not enough. He also changed each group to different patterns. After a few more changes, he joined in with some drum beats on a instrument borrowed from Yahya. Brilliant way to have us experience a theory of how art becomes change.

He shared examples of exciting and transformative opportunities that he has been a part of bringing into fruition through his work at United Way Toronto. In particular he spoke of 14 youth who came in with an idea and received $10 000 and support to guide their project. He spoke of the difference it makes in the lives of youth living on the margins to have someone say I believe in you. He spoke of the significance of having youth build their own sense of agency through learning and acting instead of having professional experts define the real problem and craft a solution. He spoke of the necessity to create opportunities where youth can walk through the door and find a chance to become themselves.

He ended by sharing a story of himself as a young man. He shared how walking through the doors of Dixon Hall provided him with creative opportunities that made it possible for him to be standing in front of us as the Director of Youth Initiatives at United Way Toronto. A chance to teach drumming to other youth, an opportunity to paint banners for Growing Up Healthy Downtown’s eight partner agencies, and a program manager who believed in his creative potential open up a different future for him.

Nation leaves us with the challenge of opening up worlds for each other.

keynote address "Toronto Community Development Institute" TCDI "Art Becomes Change"

Participants at TCDI’s General Meeting on June 19, 2014.

General Meeting on June 19th from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by . .



You can download the full flyer using this link: General Members Meeting flyer

April 2014 TCDI Newsletter

Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 by . .


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