Shakespeare in Action, a theatre arts and education company that calls Toronto’s Weston community its home, has been announced as the lead organization for the City of Toronto’s Youth Vaccine Engagement Strategy grant in Toronto’s West quadrant.

The City of Toronto announced it is distributing $450,000 to support the Toronto Youth Vaccine Engagement Strategy aimed at increasing COVID-19 vaccine uptake among vulnerable youth.

The Toronto Youth Vaccine Engagement Strategy grant, which was awarded to four youth-serving community organizations, will be in place through September 15, 2022 and utilized for youth-centric outreach and engagement activities in focused neighbourhoods. The following agencies were selected as recipients:

  • WoodGreen Community Services (South, Lead organization)
  • Shakespeare in Action (West)
  • Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women (North)
  • Agincourt Community Services (East)

Shakespeare in Action continues to grow its focus on community support since the onset of the pandemic. In 2020, the company ran the Artists Supporting Community Initiative, which provided out of work artists paid opportunities to support local frontline agencies, in facets such as meal delivery for seniors, food bank staffing, and COVID infographic design. In 2021, the company joined the York Weston Pelham Vaccine Engagement Team, and has been carrying out youth engagement since.
“Shakespeare in Action is honoured and excited to be leading the City of Toronto’s Youth Vaccine Engagement Strategy for the West quadrant. As a theatre and arts education company, the pandemic has necessitated we shift our programming and show up for our community in new and innovative ways. This grant will allow us to build on our work and partnerships made through the York Weston Pelham Vaccine Engagement Strategy: growing our ‘perspectives on COVID-19’ spoken word program for youth, facilitating free pop-up gathering spaces for families while providing vaccine information, and teaming up with partners such as Jane Alliance Neighbourhood Service to expand on the great work that’s already been happening over the last year, “said David di Giovanni, Artistic Director, Shakespeare in Action.
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