ECFTA program for adults with disabilities receives Trillium grant

Funding of $374,300 over three years will cover more workshops, building upgrades

ELORA – Thanks to an Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) grant, the Elora Centre for the Arts (ECFTA) is expanding its Supportive Arts program for young adults with disabilities.

The grant, $374,300 over three years, will cover more workshops as well as building upgrades such as accessible washrooms and wider doors for wheelchairs.

“Our Supportive Arts program is about enriching people’s lives through arts and culture, and this boost to the program from OTF is really improving access to arts-based learning opportunities and compelling artistic experiences for participants in our community,” stated Judy Anderson, ECFTA lead Arts programmer and instructor, in an Oct. 28 press release.

“This program will impact so many people in our community over three years.”

Officials say the expanded program was slated to launch in March, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

It was rescheduled and launched in mid-September “in a slightly re-imagined format,” as partner centres were operating under new pandemic protocols.

“We decided we needed to shift our thinking a bit to deliver the program despite the restrictions,” stated Lianne Carter, ECFTA executive director.

She explained officials decided to initially “take the program on the road and run it at one of our partner’s day facilities in Guelph.”

The OTF grant will help expand the program as follows:

  • year one: an ECFTA-led art project followed by “movement and mindfulness” sessions twice a week;
  • year two: program grows to three workshops a week; and
  • year three: it expands to four workshops per week.

“I want to express our sincere thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for helping the Elora Centre for the Arts” said Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott.

“This generous grant will ensure the continued success of this Supportive Arts program, allowing more young people to participate and benefit.”

Original Supportive Arts participant Simon Greaves is currently working on a large outdoor art piece to recognize the OTF’s support.

The piece will be completed and hung in the ECFTA outdoor garden in the spring.

To view photos of the program in the coming weeks, community members can visit or follow the progress on the ECFTA Facebook page (@eloracentre.arts).

For more information contact Carter at director@ecfta or 519-830-1876.

Simon Greaves at work. Submitted photo