An exciting expansion project will transform part of our office space into Canada’s first centre for the SDGs, a collaborative space for individuals, institutions, and ideas advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Canada.

Our commitment to the SDGs

In 2017, CFC, along with many community foundations in our network made an important pivot and commitment to the SDGs. At the time, it felt like many of the ambitious 17 goals were already at the heart of our work. And yet, many of us wanted to do more to align our efforts to a truly global agenda. Since then, we have progressively explored how we could deepen our contribution. In 2018, we co-hosted the inaugural North American Community Foundation Summit focused on the SDGs with our counterparts from Mexico and the U.S.. Later that year, we launched and have been a lead supporter of Alliance2030, a network for whom we now produce a monthly podcast called No Little Plans (all about Canada’s progress on the SDGs). We also helped represent civil society in the UN High Level Political Forum.

Many community foundations, in turn, are playing an instrumental leadership role to progress the SDGs in Canada. Several have integrated the SDGs into their grant-making efforts as well as programming such as Vital Signs, and more.

As a framework, the SDGs present a remarkable call to action. Yet we all know we cannot do this work alone. We also know much remains to be done still. This is why we are embarking on an exciting expansion project in our headquarters to create and host Canada’s first national centre for the SDGs.

To do big things there can be “no little plans”

The idea for the creation of the centre for SDGs was born of this recognition. To do big things, there can be no little plans. We co-steward our current home base at 123 Slater St. with Impact Hub Ottawa and share it with leading organizations including The Circle, MATCH International Women’s Fund and many others doing incredible work to make our communities and world a better place. As our respective conversations and engagement around the SDGs have deepened, we all felt a chance to do more together. To borrow Impact Hub’s mantra: we believe we can “do good better” by inviting others into the space, and creating the potential for new ideas to spark, new collaborations to emerge and the possibility for stronger collective action. What can happen when we align the power of Canada’s community philanthropy movement with actors from across sectors? This is why, alongside our partners, we are creating a collaborative, dedicated space where we can advance our work towards the SDGs together with other actors from across sectors. 

The new centre

Last spring, we undertook a renovation that has opened up and transformed our facility at 123 Slater Street in Ottawa. The centre for SDGs adds 6200 square feet to our existing office space. It is open, spacious (not to mention green!) and accessible for private meetings or group events that support action for the SDGs ( think #Act4SDGs). Steps away from Parliament Hill, we believe this space will be a valuable asset to a range of leading actors working on the SDGs. 

Come say hello! 

Reach out to us for a guided tour next time you are in the neighbourhood! If you are in the National Capital Region during Climate Week, join us starting at 8:30 a.m. on September 27th for the official launch and free open house event. Guests are welcome to join us as we head over to the Ottawa Climate Strike following the open house.