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September 6, 2002
Ontario's first community-based village market to benefit Toronto and low income homeless communities
  
Calico, Ontario's first community-based village market designed to help
homeless and at-risk local entrepreneurs, was launched today by Dixon Hall (a
United Way Agency) in partnership with the St. Lawrence Market. Calico is an
economic development initiative arising from low-income areas across Toronto,
with every dollar spent channeled back to participating individuals, businesses
and communities. Funded by the Government of Canada's National Homelessness
Initiative through the City of Toronto and sponsored by Citibank, Calico
officially opens its doors to the public on Saturday, September 7.

"Calico market gives homeless and at-risk entrepreneurs the opportunity to
improve their own situations," said the Honourable Claudette Bradshaw, Minister
of Labour and Federal Coordinator on Homelessness. "The Government of Canada is
pleased to work in partnership with local organizations and businesses to
develop real solutions to the challenges of homelessness."

"Calico is moving beyond just dealing with the symptom of homelessness," said
Councillor Pam McConnell, Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale. "It focuses on
dignity, on independence and on empowering people to create their own long-term
economic solutions."

Calico offers a wide selection of goods and services that are provided by local
and culturally diverse entrepreneurs from Toronto's low-income areas. They
include original artwork, textiles, housewares, woodwork, furniture and
personal healing solutions-all carefully assessed by a panel of industry
professionals to guarantee quality. Each market day features different traders
who operate on a rotation. The Toronto CED Learning Network has developed a
special Toronto Communities Catalogue where the public can preview some of
Calico's products and services.

"From the very moment we started this project, the support from business,
community agencies and individuals has been overwhelming," said Sheena Patel, a
representative from Dixon Hall. "All our partners recognize the value of
creating a unique venue which supports the local economy and helps transform
low-income areas into healthy communities."

"Citibank is pleased to work with Dixon Hall on a project which helps tear down
barriers to market access for marginalized people," said Richard Kilburn, Vice
President of Citibank at Calico's launch festivities. "Calico sends a clear
message that these sectors of our society are thriving with talent, dedication
and inspiration."

"United Way is proud to be a part of this terrific project," said Maureen
Adams, Vice President, Allocations, United Way of Greater Toronto. "We know
that community economic development projects like Calico Market provide people
with much-needed opportunities to develop skills and earn income."

Industry partners who donated their services to the project include the St.
Lawrence Market, whose lower level space was provided free of charge for the
first year of operations. Robbie Sane Architects Inc., known for their work on
SkyDome and the Ontario College of Art and Design's new expansion, donated
their design expertise to the Calico market place, with creative contributions
from the Harbourfront Community Centre Mural Design Program, Crackers World
Communications and support from Ontario Paints as well as many other individual
volunteers.

About Dixon Hall
Dixon Hall is a United Way non-profit agency which first operated as a soup
kitchen during the Great Depression. Today, the organization is dedicated to
fostering community-based programs that promote self-help, personal growth,
cultural enrichment, racial equality and economic security. Located in Regent
Park, Canada's largest public housing complex, Dixon Hall targets its programs
to serve the area's 9,500 residents and other disadvantaged groups.

For further information about Calico, please visit the Calico Web site: www.calicomarket.com.


Media Contact
Access Toronto
416-338-0338

 

 

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