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July 3, 2007
Toronto Mayor and Microsoft Canada open digital arts and technology skills centre in Jamestown, Rexdale Rexdale Pro Tech Media Centre to offer community members skills development through access to technology and education
Together with Toronto Mayor David Miller, Microsoft Canada today launched the Rexdale Pro Tech Media Centre in Jamestown - one of 13 priority neighbourhood areas identified by the City of Toronto for focused support and investment. The Centre will provide free access to state-of-the-art technology, including digital arts and Microsoft curricula to introduce Jamestown and Rexdale youth to potential careers in new media while providing computer literacy skills. The Centre was made possible through joint collaboration with community partners and by a Microsoft Community Technology Skills (CTS) grant which includes a cash donation, software, hardware and technical support valued at over $400,000.

“I applaud Microsoft Canada and our partners for their commitment to Toronto’s youth to equip them with essential skills that will ensure their future success,” says Mayor David Miller. “The Rexdale Pro Tech Media Centre is another example of the great things that we can achieve when we work together - community, government and private sector partners - to support our youth. The spirit of collaboration and partnership to create initiatives like this is the key to ensuring the success of Toronto and all of its residents.”

Partners for the Rexdale Pro Tech Media Centre include the Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, The Humber Students’ Federation, Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) and the YMCA of Greater Toronto. Humber College and the YMCA were instrumental in providing their expertise and support. TCHC has contributed $20,000 while the Humber Students’ Federation has committed $150,000 and volunteer support over a three-year period.

“Microsoft Canada is thrilled to partner with the Mayor and his team to open the Rexdale Pro Tech Media Centre,” says Phil Sorgen, President, Microsoft Canada. “Technology can play a very important role in transforming people’s lives and the communities they live in. The Rexdale Pro Tech Media Centre will provide community residents with access to the exciting world of digital arts while also providing basic computer literacy skills that are essential to compete in today’s job market and function in a digital world.”

The Rexdale Pro Tech Media Centre will introduce youth aged 14 to 25 to the world of digital art through mutli-media based software and curricula. Courses will evolve to meet students’ needs but the Centre will begin by offering introductory courses in web page design and digital media, including digital photography, digital audio, and digital video. Registration for all programs is free of charge and students can enroll in as many programs as they like. The Rexdale Pro Tech Media Centre is located at 1620 Albion Rd. in Jamestown.

Microsoft’s CTS grants are awarded to community organizations seeking to foster digital inclusion by providing access to the latest computer technologies and training to students and lifelong learners allowing them to achieve their fullest potential.

Through the CTS program, Microsoft is working to help a quarter-billion people around the world gain access to the technology, learning curriculum and skills training necessary to support employability and foster economic development in communities where they live. In Canada, over $2 million has been given to the CTS program since 2004. Organizations that have received grants in Canada include the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, Toronto’s Frontier College’s Beat the Street Program, Toronto’s Dixon Hall, the Manitoba E-Association, the LOCUS project in Vancouver and JobStart in Toronto.

The Rexdale Pro Tech Media Centre Project is part of Toronto’s Community Safety Plan, which balances enforcement with prevention, invests in youth, builds on strengths in neighbourhoods and builds partnerships to increase opportunities in priority communities. This includes: Neighbourhood Action & City investment, Youth Opportunities, Crisis Response and Youth Justice Initiatives.

About Microsoft Canada
Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Co. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq “MSFT”), the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Microsoft Canada is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario with MSN.CA offices located in Toronto and eight regional offices across the country. The company supports local communities across Canada by creating innovative technology and partnerships that help people realize their full potential.

For more information:
Kieran Lawler
Media Profile



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