Clients Holiday Party 2016 / Bell Let’s Talk Grant Award – December 14, 2016

 

Madison’s Holiday Party is an annual event which clients especially look forward to as a time to come together to celebrate this special time of year. This year we had even more to celebrate.

At the event, Madison had the great privilege of being awarded a $20,000 grant through a presentation made from the Kristine Wilson, Associate Director, Community Involvement, and Symon Dwyer, Director, Government Affairs from Bell. Madison had applied to the Bell Let’s Talk Community Grant Fund to increase its capacity to serve Syrian refugees by bringing an additional Arabic speaking case manager onto Madison’s RISE program staff team. The RISE (Recovery during Immigration and Settlement) program supports both the settlement and mental health challenges of newcomers to Canada. Most of the RISE program clients come from war-torn countries and/or have experienced persecution and have trauma induced mental health issues.

As always the Holiday Party featured a full course Turkey dinner , entertainment by clients – the Women’s Dance Group and the Hispanic Group (which sang holiday songs in Spanish), and wonderful social interaction time between clients, staff, board members and special guests.

Special guests who attended the 2016 Holiday Party included Andrew Moor, CEO and Jody Sperling, VP Human Resources from Equitable Bank, Miriam Johnston, Manager Supportive Housing from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Carol Latimer, Director, Housing Policy Branch from the Ministry of Housing, Teressa Wu, Supervisor from Immigration, Refugges, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Toronto Branch, and Sandra Cunning, Director, Quality Improvement from Addictions and Mental Health Toronto.

 

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Clients Presentation for Equitable Bank - November 18, 2016

 

Equitable Bank has been a major corporate sponsor of Madison for over 6 years. Equitable provides funding for the Equitable–Madison Client Education Bursary Fund and the Art Expressions Group program.

Since Andrew Moor, CEO and Jody Sperling, VP Human Resources who have made the annual decisions regarding Equitable’s generous funding, were unable to attend our AGM this year, a number of clients and staff were invited to their head office so that the presentations to Equitable (which was done at the AGM) could also be made directly to them.

Navid, a recipient of a Client Bursary Program grant made a touching speech about how far he has come since coming to Canada as a refugee from Iran and how the Client Bursary Program grant helped him move forward in his life. He also presented a beautiful collage celebrating the milestone that as of October 2016, 100 clients had received grants from the bursary fund. Mariana and Flor, both clients in the Art Expression Program, also shared moving speeches about their hardships prior to coming to Canada and how liberating it is to express their feelings through art. Both of them gifted our sponsor with beautiful paintings created through the weekly Art Expressions Program group sessions.

 

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Toronto Housing Rights March 2016 - November 18, 2016

 

The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) held its annual a march for the right to housing on November 18th. The objective of the march is to hold the government accountable for their commitment to provide adequate housing for all.

5 staff members of Madison Community s supported this objective by participating in the march and adding our presence and voice in support of the right to housing.

 

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39th Annual General Meeting 2016 - October 25, 2016

 

Madison Community Services held its 39th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on October 25th, 2016 at The Bond Place Hotel. Each year, the AGM provides a good opportunity for board members, clients and staff to gather, highlight the achievements of the past year and present the objectives for the upcoming year.

The AGM is also a wonderful occasion to treat our client-members and special guests to a delicious dinner and provide them with an evening of entertainment. Various groups from our programs prepared delightful performances for this occasion. Also, a portion of this event was dedicated to remember and honour Bill Walker, a long-time member of the Madison Board, who passed away on August 28th, 2016. Clients in the Art Expression Program paid homage to Bill’s role as the champion in nurturing and funding of this program by creating a magnificent art-piece done as a group which was presented to Bill’s wife, Susan Walker at the event.

Madison also took this opportunity to show its appreciation of our various donors, funders and supporters through recognition and gifts presentations, where clients spoke about the positive impact a specific program–which had been funded by a donor–had on them. Some special guests representing sponsors, donors, funders and supporters that were honored included Equitable Bank, MEC, Roslyn Brown of Lansdowne Property Management, Elizabeth Betowski representing MPP Cristina Martins and Susan Fitzpatrick, CEO, Toronto Central TC LHIN.

 

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Scotiabank Charity Challenge 2016 - October 2016

 

Every October, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon hosts thousands of runners, spectators and volunteers from over 60 countries around the globe as they take to the streets to run, walk and wheel through Canada’s largest city. This event started in 1990 as a half marathon and 5k with 1,500 participants, but since then the race has added a full marathon and had 25,000 participants in 2016.

The Scotiabank Charity Challenge was created as a community-building component of all Scotiabank marathons. In addition to supporting the marathon’s local economy, the Scotiabank Charity Challenge offers a key fundraising opportunity for local non-profits.

This year, Madison assembled its own team of staff, board members and clients and participated in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge for the first time. The event was a huge success and Madison raised $13,350 which was used to provide bursary grants to 12 more clients in addition to 27 clients who received grants from the funding Equitable had provided for 2016-17.

 

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Noemy’s Farewell Client Party - October 3, 2016

 

After 15 years of dedicated service to Madison and its clients, one of our amazing case managers, Noemy has retired. Noemy was a member of Madison’s Hispanic program staff team and played a key role in the development of that program which provides case management and peer supports services in Spanish to the growing Hispanic population in Toronto. Noemy’s hard work and dedication to always put her clients’ well-being first and the strong relationships she has built within and outside the agency has earned her great respect and admiration at Madison and throughout the mental health and addictions sector.

To commemorate and celebrate her achievements and wonderful career, a party including all her clients was organised at our head office where stories and memories as well as words of great appreciation of Noemy were shared and voiced.

 

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Day Trip to the 2016 Canadian National Exhibition - September 1, 2016

 

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is Canada’s largest community event and one of the top 5 agricultural fairs in North America. Founded in 1879 as the Toronto Industrial Exhibition, people come to experience the latest innovations in technology and commercial products, to enjoy the popular entertainers of the time, and to engage in a collective community celebration.

Madison was able to receive free tickets and 24 clients attended the full day outing to the 2016 CNE as well as 7 children and 3 adult family members of clients. Everyone enjoyed a great day of entertainment, concerts, celebrity chef demonstrations, rides, exhibits, and kids attractions.

 

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Madison’s Inaugural Annual Fundraising Dinner Gala 2016 - June 23, 2016

 

At Madison’s Inaugural Annual Fundraising Gala, the evening started at the Rotunda at George Brown College with cocktails and hors-d'oeuvres, providing an opportunity for guests, sponsors, staff, clients and board members to meet and socialize with each other. Then, at George Brown’s “The Chef’s House” Restaurant, a magnificent four-course meal was prepared and served by students of George Brown College’s Augmented Education Program—which supports students with mental health challenges through job training programs in the Culinary Arts—under the supervision of Chef John Higgins, Director of the George Brown College Culinary Arts Program. During the event, speakers including our Executive Director, Jean Stevenson, Madison’s President and Chair, Stephany Mandin, Madison clients, Sponsors and honoured guests shared stories and speeches.

Among the attendees and keynote speakers was Cristina Martins, MPP-Davenport, Violet Plocica, representing Equitable Bank—a major corporate Sponsor of Madison’s—and Chef John Higgins, who honoured Madison with their kind words about the importance of our work with our clients.

Madison is very appreciative of the sponsorship of this fundraising event by Equitable Bank, Mitchell Cohen, CEO of the Daniels Group and Roslyn Brown of Lansdowne Property Management as well as the many guests who purchased tickets and attended the event.

 

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World Refugee Day 2016 - June 20, 2016

 

Madison’s Recovery during Immigration (RISE) Program staff team participated in the annual World Refugee Day event this year, which was held at City Hall’s Nathan Philips Square.

The staff had the chance to briefly meet and chat with Mayor, John Tory about the RISE Program’s work in providing both settlement and mental health supports to refugees from war-torn countries or countries with persecution such as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. City Hall’s Toronto Newcomer Office also tweeted a picture of the RISE table along with other agencies that had been present at the event.

As a result of their participation in this event, the RISE staff were invited back to the City Hall later in the summer to provide information about the program to a group of city refugee sponsors.

 

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Mental Health Awareness Week - May 2, 2016

 

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) introduced Mental Health Week (MHW) in 1951 to raise awareness of mental illness in Canada. Held during the first full week in May, MHW is now a popular week to raise awareness across the country about mental health and the need to break down any stigma attached to it. The official color for mental health awareness is green. This color was chosen because green ribbons were used in the 1800s to label people “insane”, and CMHA wanted to turn this around by wearing green during mental health awareness week.

Madison’s staff participated in MHW this year by marching down University Ave. to Nathan Phillips Square carrying green balloons as well as wearing and giving out green ribbons to "get loud" and encourage all Canadians to reflect on their own attitudes towards people living with mental health issues.

 

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Celebration of Life - April 22, 2016

 

Within the past year and this year, we are sad to announce that a few of Madison clients have passed away. One of our long standing clients—Sue Goodwin—came up with the idea to hold a Celebration of Life event to remember the ones that the agency has lost.

Many clients attended the event and shared favorite moments and memories of their friends who had passed on. Sue also created an "In Memoriam" Book which all the attendees signed. Madison will continue this new tradition in years to come whenever a number of clients pass over to ensure that they are honoured and remembered.
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Ontario Science Center - February 25, 2016

 

Clients from Madison’s CIC RISE (Recovery during Immigration and Settlement Program) visited the Ontario Science Centre- one of Canada’s most popular venues- with hundreds of interactive exhibits.

The Science Centre promotes innovative thinking and provocative dialogue in science and technology, aiming to inspire a lifelong journey of curiosity, discovery and action to create a better future for the planet.

 

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New Year Cultural Celebration - January 15, 2016

 
At Madison there are many cultures represented among our clients, staff and board members and this is celebrated through our New Year Cultural Celebration. At the event, clients and staff dressed in cultural attire, ate food from different cultures and conversed with each other about their cultural backgrounds.

 

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Clients’ Holiday Party - December 15, 2015

 
Clients, board members and staff gathered for Madison’s client holiday party at 519 Church Street Community Centre. To get into the holiday spirit, a delicious turkey dinner was provided and the Women’s Solution Focus/ Dance Group delighted us with their dance performances.
 

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National Right to Housing Day - November 3, 2015

 

Madison staff and clients participated in Toronto’s event for National Housing Day, where communities across Canada come together to promote and raise awareness on the right to housing.

 
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Madison’s AGM - 2014, 2015

 
Madison held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on October 29th, the AGM was a good opportunity for board members, clients and staff to gather and celebrate the successes in the past year and discuss goals for the upcoming year. A delicious dinner is always provided as well as entertaining performances from the clients. The AGM is also a time for Madison to show appreciation for our various donors, funders and supporters through recognition and gifts. Some clients also present testimonials about how Madison’s different programs have helped them.

 

There is always great excitement in preparation for this event! As you can see in the photos, we all enjoyed the food, the entertainment, the presentations and the cake.” 

 

Nessie, Madison Client

 
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Madison annual barbecue - September 4, 2015

 
Every year, Madison holds a Barbecue at one of our houses. The barbecue is an opportunity for board members, clients and staff to enjoy each other’s company and socialize around the grill.
 
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Trip to Niagara Falls - August 20, 2015

 

Every summer, Madison organizes an out of town trip for our clients. This year, Madison clients and staff went on a day trip to Niagara Falls.
 

 

“One of my best experiences with Madison was going to Niagara Falls with my peers. We all enjoyed walking, taking pictures and feeling the scenery. This was fun. Also, I appreciated having lunch at the Mandarin Restaurant; we had good food and enjoyed being together. Thanks Madison for this beautiful trip to Niagara Falls!!”

 

 

 Xinia, Madison Client

 

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Art Expressions & Equitable Bank - July 15, 2015

 
Thanks to funding from Equitable bank, Madison’s Art Expression Program is able to rent the VanDuzer’s art studio on a weekly basis. The funding also provides the art supplies used in the program as well as the honorariums for the art instructors.
 
Madison held its second Art Expression Studio Open House to showcase all of the beautiful art work our clients have created during the year, and also to thank Equitable Bank for their generous support.
 
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Visit to Allan Garden - April 16, 2015

 
In April, Madison clients participated in an outing to the Allan Gardens conservatory. The conservatory is a historic, cast-iron and glass domed “Palm House” that was built in 1910 and is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. A botanical gem in the heart of the city, Allan Gardens has a permanent collection of exotic plants and beautiful seasonal flower shows.
 
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