Broadening the Base (BtB) has been extremely busy over the winter working on behalf of and positioning the initiative to move into the next phase of its operations.

In this communique, we’re pleased to provide you with an update on our activities and notice of our first Lunch and Learn Session to be held on June 10, 2016 as well as other opportunities to become more involved with BtB.

Collaborative Projects Announced March, 2016
In March we announced the four community projects chosen in response to the Invitation to Collaborate.  BtB is currently working with each project independently to identify ways to help accelerate and support the projects through new and innovative tools and partnerships.

BtB Transitions Activities to Innovation Lab Phase
The BtB initiative is currently transitioning from its “design circle” phase — focused on identifying new and innovative mechanisms for affordable housing development — into its “innovation lab” phase.  In this phase, BtB has identified two core objectives:  (1) support and facilitate new partnerships and mechanisms to add value and viability to affordable housing development projects underway in Ottawa (2) share knowledge and innovation about catalyzing and creating affordable housing development solutions with our community partners and stakeholders.

For the first objective, BtB will host Innovation Charrettes (a workshop format where participants co-creates solutions to design problems) where current affordable housing projects in Ottawa meet with experts in a specified area of housing development and financing to identify innovative solutions to address challenges and barriers they are facing.  We have planned four Charrettes over the next 4-5 months:  Social Impact Financing; Community Engagement; Philanthropy; and Land Use and Development.  BtB will organize and facilitate the Charrettes and will share information and outcomes via our website and other communication platforms.

For the second objective, BtB will provide educational information and commentary from experts in affordable housing development to our community partners and stakeholders through various “Innovation Lab” forums, blogs, and educational events.  Watch your email and follow us @btbottawa or via the “Innovation Lab” section of the website to receive the latest information.

BtB Hosts Social Impact Financing Lunch and Learn, June 10, 2016 with Guest Speaker  Andy Broderick of Vancity and New Market Funds
Our first in a series of Lunch and Learn sessions open to our larger affordable housing community members and partners will be held on June 10, 2016 from 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. at CCOC Beaver Barracks, 464 Metcalfe St. Guest speaker,  Andy Broderick, has been at the forefront of innovative social financing for affordable housing development in Vancouver as Vice President, Impact Market Development with Vancity and Managing Director of New Market Funds.  Andy will provide participants with an overview of what social impact funding is, how it can benefit affordable housing development, and the ways that it has been leveraged in Vancouver to make affordable housing development more viable.   Bring your own brown bag lunch and join us to learn about this exciting form of financing and ways to apply these types of financing options to development in Ottawa.  To register for this event, please RSVP to

Volunteer Opportunities with BtB
As BtB ramps up its educational and communications activities in the Innovation phase, we are looking for community volunteers to help us with the following activities:

  1. Write and edit blog posts
  2. Write and edit website news features
  3. Write and edit  social media posts
  4. Assist with website development and management
  5. Capture and edit multi-media and video content
  6. Coordinate and help facilitate educational events.

If you are interested in helping out in any of these areas, please send an email to with a short description of your background, how you would like to contribute, and your preferred time commitment.

Defining our Collective Impact
Over the past few months, BtB has been involved in a process sponsored by the J.W. McConnell Foundation supporting organizations and initiatives tackling complex problems and seeking to create lasting change through collaborations across diverse stakeholder groups.  The process to date has helped us to clarify BtB’s focus and scope and to identify key stakeholders and partners that we have yet to engage in the initiative.  We look forward to sharing our work with you at upcoming community events and to receiving your feedback.

Follow us on Twitter
Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @btbottawa

Thank you for your continued support of Broadening the Base.  Should you have any questions or have any comments about the initiative, please contact our coordinator, Gina Grosenick, at