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Who's hiring in Toronto? The Drake Hotel, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and more...

Some of the more interesting employment opportunities we've spotted this week include:

The Drake Hotel has several managerial openings available. It’s hiring a retail sales manager, a business to business sales manager and a marketing manager. The first position entails developing and implementing sales initiatives with the hotel’s chain of retail stores. Other duties include ensuring that the Drake’s stores have a consistent visual and brand aesthetic. A minimum of eight years of experience is required to apply for this position.

Visit the Drake’s website to find out more about all three positions and to apply. For those interested, the Drake also has several sales associate positions open. No deadline to apply is listed for any of the above positions.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is adding a digital media manager to its team. Essentially, the position involves ensuring the smooth operation of the Run for the Cure website. Duties including quashing any bugs that may exist on the site, as well as helping lead the development of new features. The organization would like someone that is proficient in HTML and CSS—ideally HTML5 and CSS3, respectively—JavaScript, jQuery, Silverlight, PHP, Ruby and Wordpress, among other online standards and programing languages. Applications need to be submitted by this Friday, May 22.

The organization is also looking for a marketing and communication specialist. Responsibilities include working with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s marketing team to identify and capitalize on marketing opportunities. In terms of qualifications, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is looking for someone with three to five years of experience, preferably gained within the realm of social and digital media. As with other positions of this type, strong written and oral skills, as well as an understanding of social channels like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest is required. The deadline to apply for this position is May 27.

Another organization that is hiring across multiple positions is UrbanArts. In this case, the organization is looking to add a programs manager and operations manager to its team. The latter involves helping the organization’s management development and implement effective human resources and revenue policies. Check out the organization’s postings on Bmeaningful to get a better sense of each positions. UrbanArts hasn’t listed a deadline for applications to be submitted.

Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization? Let us know!

Ontario the top destination for foreign capital for the second year in a row

For the second year in a row, Ontario has earned the top spot as one of the leading destinations for foreign investment in North America. 

That's according to a new report from fDi Intelligence, a division of the UK-based business publication the Financial Times. fDi says that foreign bodies invested some $7.1-billion into the province, which helped create 13,055 jobs. 

The province beat out larger, more populous states like California, Texas and South Carolina—which received $6.4-billion, $3.7-billion and $3.5-billion, respectively—to take the top spot. 

According to the report, the majority of foreign investment into Ontario came from the United States, United Kingdom and Germany. Moreover, the top three sectors to receive capital were business services, software and information technology, and financial services. 

"Our government has demonstrated a true willingness to showcase the benefits of investing in our province, and to strategically partnering with business and other jurisdictions to increase our competitiveness," said Brad Duguid, Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, in a statement issued to Yonge Street on the report. "Ontario is one of the best places in the world to invest in, and we will keep working hard to grow our economy, break down trade barriers, and create good jobs across the province.”

Government of Ontario invests $56-million into new centre for special needs children

On May 8, the provincial government announced a new $56-million investment into ErinoakKids.

The centre for children with special needs will use the capital towards the construction of its new facility in Mississauga.    

When completed, the 103,000 square foot facility will be the largest centre for the treatment of special needs children in Ontario. It will also replace the existing network of 11 facilities ErinoakKids depends on to deliver its services.   

According to Anne Machowski, a spokesperson for the provincial government, the new centre will help serve some 15,000 children in around the Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area. "This investment increases the capacity to provide integrated services. Children and youth will have access to a range of services in a single location, resulting in better co-ordinated supports and services. This will make it easier for families across the region to access treatment," she said in an email interview. "The centres will provide services for children and youth with physical, developmental and communication disorders, as well as those with autism, hearing and vision impairment."

Among the amenities those children will be able to take advantage of are a fully accessible playground, two gyms, and a serenity garden. There will also be a drop-in centre for older youth.  

To date, Machowski says the provincial government has invested $163-million in to Erinoak. The centre is using the capital to build two other facilities that will be located in Oakville and Brampton. 

However, Machowski goes on to add that there are several other things that the provincial government is trying to do when it comes to helping children with special needs. One of the things the government has acknowledged it needs to do better is make the transition between different special needs services more seamless. Erinoak marks a step in the right direction.

Who's hiring in Toronto? Toronto International Film Festival, Sick Kids Foundation and more...

Some of the more interesting employment opportunities we've spotted this week include:

Collective Concerts, one of Toronto’s largest concert promoters, is hiring an administrative assistant. The person that takes on this role will be responsible for maintaining guest lists, posting to social media channels—including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—and providing journalists with media accreditation, among other duties. The company hasn’t said when it will stop accepting applications, but based on its posting, Collective looks like it’s attempting to fill the position as soon as possible.

With the Luminato Festival approaching—it starts on June 19—the organization in charge of putting on the festival is looking for customer service representatives. This position involves selling tickets and providing festival-goers with information on events, promotions and packages over the phone and through email. At least two years of experience working in a box office environment is required. Additionally, the usual mix of excellent written and oral skill and a pleasant demeanour is required. The deadline to submit an application is this Friday, May 15.

For university and high school students in search of a summer job, the Toronto International Film Festival is hiring camp counsellors for its annual summer camp. Responsibilities include ensuring that campers are playing safely, assisting with cleanup and acting a positive role model. Applicants must be at least 16, have certifications in first-aid and CPR, as well as previous experience working in a camp setting and a love and understanding of film. The deadline to apply is May 22.   

Lastly, the SickKids Foundation is adding a community events manager to its team. Responsibilities include developing, implementing and maintaining fundraising programs for the organization, and using data analytics to help with donor acquisition. The organization’s ideal candidate is someone with a relevant university or college degree, experience developing fundraising programs and knowledge of software programs like Blackbaud, Raiser’s Edge and Convio Experience. Applications should be submitted by this Friday, May 15.

Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization?Let us know!

MaRS and SDTC partner to help grow Canada's cleantech sector

In the same week that the New Democratic Party won Alberta’s provincial election, signaling a future where the province might move towards something of a post-oil economy, MaRS and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) announced a new partnership that will see the two organizations work towards supporting the growth of Canada’s growing cleantech industry.  

The goal of the partnership, according to Jon Dogterom, venture services lead with MaRS’s Cleantech and Physical Science team, is help launch high impact cleantech companies that can compete on the global stage. "This partnership is about formalizing our plans to collaborate to help grow high impact globally competitive cleantech companies," he said in a phone interview.

The two organizations will work together to deliver funding, support and programming to select companies.

Dogterom says the two organizations hope to help create a $50-billion Canadian cleantech industry within the next five to ten years. A large percentage of Canada’s existing cleantech industry calls Ontario, and, in particular, Toronto home. Thus, a prosperous cleantech industry likely means an even more prosperous Toronto.    

“The future in job creation goes with where the opportunities are, and cleantech to me is the biggest opportunity,” said Dogterom.

Clean skies and more jobs, not a bad combination by any stretch of the imagination.  

SpaceFinder Toronto launches an Airbnb for Toronto artists

Despite the occasional horror story, there’s a lot to like about services like Airbnb. People that own a house or apartment can make a bit of money by renting out their home when they’re not using it, and those renting can save a bit of money by forgoing an expensive hotel. So it’s no surprise that a variety of other Airbnb-like services have started to pop up.

Case in point: last week, SpaceFinder Toronto, a service that styles itself as the Airbnb for Toronto artists, officially launched in Toronto after a several month long trial period.   

The concept is simple: like homeowners on Airbnb, individuals and groups that own space that can be used for the creative arts can use SpaceFinder’s website to rent their space out to people in need of that space.

At launch, the platform has 375 spaces artists can rent.

According to Kate Nankervis, the co-artistic director of Hub14, an artist-run dance studio near Bathurst and Queen, "SpaceFinder has increased our rentals by 25 per cent in only a couple months and connected us with new renters from various artistic disciplines.” She says the platform also has an intuitive administrative backend that has helped her team cut down on the amount of time they need to spend managing the space.

The platform was developed and designed by Fractured Atlas, a New York City-based arts organization that says it aims to empower artists and art organizations by eliminating the practical barriers to artistic expression. Several local organizations, including ArtsBuild Ontario, the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts and WorkInCulture with Fractured Atlas to bring the program to Toronto. Additionally, the Metcalf Foundation provided some initial capital to get the program off the ground in Toronto.  

According to a spokesperson from Fractured Atlas, SpaceFinder is set to launch in Hamilton later this year. They also mentioned that the organization is in talks with various arts organizations in Calgary to bring the platform there as well.

BetaKit founder Sarah Prevette launches Future Design School

A new Toronto-based initiative wants to teach children important problem solving skills through the lens of entrepreneurship.

Started by BetaKit founder Sarah Prevette, Future Design School (FDS) launched last Thursday at MaRS Discovery District.  

“Future Design School enables youth through entrepreneurship experience, design learning and real-world experiments,” says Prevette over the phone. “We’re trying to inspire kids to see the world differently, and to foster their own creative confidence.”

Although FDS will offer its first set of workshops in Toronto, Prevette says her team already has partnerships in place to bring the school’s programs to Waterloo and London. They’re not stopping in Ontario, either. According to Prevette, her goal is to bring FDS to the rest of Canada and eventually even the United States.

Prevette was inspired to start Future Design School after examining her own entrepreneurial career. After spending more than ten years in Toronto’s startup ecosystem, she says she noticed a common thread between herself and all her peers: almost everyone she met had fallen into their entrepreneurial career by accident. This realization, she says, led her to start asking herself some questions.

“Why aren’t we teaching entrepreneurship as a viable career path in schools, and why aren’t we teaching the framework for innovation to kids?” says Prevette. “Ultimately, we need to have more smart people focused on solving real problems.”

For those that don’t see value in teaching children how to be entrepreneurial, Prevette says the initiative is more about teaching kids how to solve problems, which is something useful for kids to have no matter what future career they embark upon.

“We want to give kids the tools so that they can innovate meaningful solutions and have an impact upon society,” she says. “That’s what we’re really about.“

Source: Future Design School

Who's hiring in Toronto? Salesforce, Right to Play and more...

Some of the more interesting employment opportunities we've spotted this week include:

Right to Play, the Toronto-based organization that uses the power of sport to help children around the world, is adding an Institutional Partnerships Officer to its team. According to the organization’s job posting, much of the position involves developing proposals—researching funding opportunities, analysing opportunities and providing the rest of the organization with proper documentation.

In terms of requirements, the organization is looking for someone with three to five years of relevant experience. Additionally, their ideal candidate is someone with a strong understanding of international development bodies and policies. Applications are due this Friday, May 8, so polish up those resumes.   

The Royal Ontario Museum is hiring a senior manager to oversee its festival initiatives. The person that takes on this role will be responsible for organizing and overseeing the execution of the ROM’s calendar of family-friendly events (think designing fun events that take place in the ROM’s dinosaur room). As this is a senior position, the ROM would like someone with at least 10 years of relevant experience, as well as five years of experience in a managerial role. The deadline to apply is May 15.   

Cloud computing giant Salesforce is adding to its Toronto team. The San Francisco-based company is hiring a product marketing manager, an enterprise campaigns and demand generation manager and a commercial campaigns and demand generation manager. Check out the company’s postings on the Ladies Learning Code job board (linked above) to get a better sense of each position. That said, almost without exception, Salesforce is looking for the best of the best: each position requires at least five plus years of experience, strong creative skills and experience working for a software as a service (SaaS) business. No deadline to apply is listed for any of the three positions.

Finally, SmartSAVER, an organization that helps low income Canadians set up and contribute towards their children’s RESP, is hiring a Digital Community Manager. As with any position like this one, the job involves developing the organization's online and social media strategy, and then implementing it successfully. The company is looking for someone with two to three of experience. Applications are due on the 15th.

Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization? Let us know!

MaRS announces summer 2015 entrepreneurship boot camp for teens

Now in its fourth year, the Future Leaders Entrepreneurship Camp is a week long summer camp for high school teens. 

Set to go down later this summer at the MaRS Discovery District, teens between the ages of 13 and 18 will have the opportunity to learn what it means to be a self-starter as they go about trying to build their own business. 

At the end of the week, one group will even win $1000 after presenting their business to a group of mock investors. 

"What’s unique about this program is that we provide our students with an interactive environment where they're able to go through the entrepreneurial process. We want them to realize that failure is opportunity to pivot and improve," says Marielle Voksepp, a manager at MaRS and one of the overseers of the program.

According to Voksepp, students are taught skills like critical thinking, goal-setting, team work and perseverance as they go through the program. 

As with any program of this sort, Voksepp says she doesn't expect every teen that goes through it will end up starting their own company. However, she do say that the skills she and her colleagues are trying to impart upon the students will be helpful in a wide variety of situations.      

"Even if they decide not to become entrepreneurs, we want to provide these students the skills and resources that foster an entrepreneurial mindset," she says. "If they become critical thinkers, problem solvers and good communicators at an early age, then they’ll have a better chance of achieving success at whatever they decided to do in the future." 

Parents that are interested in learning about the Future Leaders Entrepreneurship Camp can check out the program's website.

Who's hiring in Toronto? Humber College, TechSoup Canada and more...

Some of the more interesting employment opportunities we've spotted this week include:

Humber College is adding a professor to its Computer Programming and Game Programming programs. Besides teaching students how to code and create games, the individual that takes on this role will be expected to help with student recruitment as well as mentoring. The college’s ideal candidate is someone with five years of professional experience and a Master’s degree in a relevant subject of study. Understanding of programming frameworks like Java and Oracle are a must, says the school’s posting. The deadline to apply is May 8.

TechSoup Canada, a local non-profit based out of the Centre for Social Innovation, is looking for a communications coordinator to join its team. According to the organization’s posting on Bmeaningful, much of the role involves engaging with other non-profits, helping them understand the services TechSoup offers. The organization says it’s looking for someone that is tech-savvy, a great communicator and outgoing. The deadline to apply is April 30.

The MaRS Discovery District is looking to add a administrative assistant to its building operations team. The role involves helping the rest of MaRS’s building management and operations team with the efficient running of the organization’s College Street complex. As this is a relatively senior position, five to ten years of property management experience are required to be considered for the job. Applications are due on Friday, April 24th, so brush up those resumes quickly.

Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization?Let us know!

Toronto's Mini Maker Faire relaunches as Maker Festival, week long festival starts on July 24

Toronto is a city full of makers.

Toronto Mini Maker Faire, an annual celebration of the city’s maker culture that is hosted at the Toronto Reference Library, is relaunching as the Maker Festival. As per usual, this year’s festival will still conclude in a two-day extravaganza during the August long weekend at the city’s biggest library, but, to spice things up, there will also be additional events held in the week leading up to the festival grand finale.

According to Ceda Verbakel, the festival’s creative director, last year’s Maker Faire attracted 10,000 people, making it the biggest maker event in Canada.

"An event on the scale of Maker Festival puts Toronto on the map as a city full of innovative technology and creative ingenuity," said Linda Mackenzie, the director of research and reference libraries at the Toronto Public Library, in an email interview. "As the Library—along with our peers in the education, government, and creative sectors—continues to re-imagine our spaces, programs, and services for the 21st century, hosting an event like Maker Festival underscores the Library's role in fostering digital literacy and creativity by bringing makers and learners together as excited and active participants in innovation."

Her colleague Eric Boyd, the Maker Festival’s programming director, added, "You might not know it, but Toronto's tech community is bursting at the seams—there are makerspaces, coding schools and start up incubators popping up across the city, and most nights of the week you can attend a meetup to talk to thought leaders in web development, wearables, Android apps, or the Internet of Things, to name a few."

The festival hasn’t announced specific programming yet, but it has said that it is currently looking for submissions. Those that are interested in taking part can apply here.

In the interest of full disclosure, Elena Yunusov, the Maker Festival’s Operations Director, is a contributor to Yonge Street Media.

New coding academy ThoughtKite wants to give Toronto a startup education

Toronto has a new coding academy. The name of the school is ThoughtKite, and it hopes to differentiate itself by giving students a clear goal to work towards.

"We don't accept students unless they have a focused product idea they want to take to market," says Ian Gerald King, the school's founder. "We cater to those with entrepreneurial [inclinations] who have not made the leap yet." 

King is reluctant to classify ThoughtKite as a coding school; instead, he says the focus of the school is on providing what he calls a startup education.  

"I wouldn't consider ThoughtKite a coding academy per se: learning how to use technology is not the primary focus of our programs," says King. "Out initial course offerings are iOS product development, product design and lean product growth—a triple interest interest in technology, design and business, but crafted with a product launch as the end goal. ThoughtKite was foundered after seeing the startup education gaps existing between coding academies and accelerators."

King notes that one other differentiator between ThoughtKite and its coding academy competitors is that its courses are almost exclusively held during the weekend. King believes this is the best compromise between offering a learning experience that immerses students in what they're learning and respecting their time. 

ThoughtKite's first set of classes start on April 25. The cost of the iOS development course, the longest and most immersive the three the school is offering, is $5000. The other two, product design and lean product growth, are $2000. 

Who's hiring in Toronto? Videogami, Make-A-Wish Canada and Mercy for Animals

Some of the more interesting employment opportunities we've spotted this week include:

Videogami, a Toronto-based live streaming startup, is adding an associate producer to its team. This role involves being a liaison between the company's production team and its clients, ensuring that client needs are met. Videogami says its ideal candidate is someone with at least one year of production crew experience. Additionally, it says they would like someone that has experience creating successful social media campaigns on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. Those interested in applying for this position should send an email to jobs (at) videogami (dot co).

Make-A-Wish Canada, the organization most famous for finding innovative ways to grant the wishes of very sick children, is hiring an online marketing and communications officer. The role involves managing the organization's national strategy, ensuring that its web and social media presence is maintained and expanded. Make-A-Wish's ideal candidate is someone with three plus years of experience in the public relations or online marketing field. The deadline to apply is April 24.  

Finally, for anyone wanting a drastic career change, Mercy For Animals is hiring multiple undercover animal cruelty investigators. It's important to know what one is getting into when they apply for a job like this, as this is not something that is for everyone: "MFA investigators must make quick, but tough, decisions as to the best courses of action for the animals confined, neglected, tormented, or killed before them, while abiding by all laws, ensuring their personal safety, keeping their cover, and compiling the evidence necessary to hold animal abusers accountable." 

Those still interested in the position after that warning should send their resume and cover letter in an email to Jane Stone at animalinvestigations (at) gmail (dot com). Previous investigative experience is not required. Instead, individuals that posses honesty and integrity, as well as the ability to perform demanding manual labour, will be hired. The latter requirement is presumably there because a lot of the job will involve pretending to be a farm labourer. 

Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization? Let us know!

Level Up showcases growing Toronto game development community

It's the Thursday before the Easter long weekend, and King and Bay, usually home to a variety of suits, is host to a different crowd. 

Level Up, a showcase of student-created videogames, is happening at the Design Exchange. Some 80 games are being showcased by students from 16 different universities and colleges. Almost every imaginable genre of game is on display. 

But perhaps for the first time in its history, it's not the number of games that's impressive, but their quality. With a bit more content and polish, the majority of projects on display here could be sold on a digital distribution platform like Steam.     

"We had to develop a different set of expectations this year because we noticed a huge improvement in quality," says Scott Lee, the art director at Ubisoft Toronto, a local game developer, and one of the event's judges. 

The event has grown, and so too have the number of schools attending it. Now in its fifth year, an exhibition that used to take up one floor of the Design Exchange now takes up several.

Game creation has become a serious business in Ontario, and nowhere is that more apparent than in its capital city. According to the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, an industry lobby group, there are 329 video game development companies in Canada, and in 2013 they cumulatively contributed $2.3-billion to the nation's GDP. 

Game development is also one of the few high tech industries keeping young people in province.    

The company Lee works for is just one of the companies at the event on the lookout for local talent. Ubisoft Toronto is set to grow to 800 strong by 2020. To accomplish that target, the company has focused its efforts on recruiting young people coming out of Ontario's game development programs. 

"We need to hire young people and we need to train them," says Lee. "It’s the only way we can match the numbers we've set for ourselves."

According to Lee, several of the students he's hired in the past have gone to become integral to his team.

Not bad for something that started out as a hobby most of the students here had to justify to their parents.  

Photo: Steve Engels

UofT engineering students attempt to solve Toronto's challenges

"It’s great that engineers are being seen as people who not only react to opportunities, but as ones who are proactive and seek them," says Jason Foster, a senior lecturer at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Engineering, with a hint of pride. 

He has good reason to be proud. Three hundred of his first year students are showing off the result of several weeks of hard work at UofT's Hart House. It's all part of the university's Engineering Design program, a project-based course that asks students to apply the skills they're learning to real-world problems. 

"We asked our students to explore what is for many of them a new city, to engage with a community that they themselves are interested and passionate in—or know nothing about—and then to identity an opportunity," says Foster. "We very deliberately asked them for opportunities, not problems, because we want them to be more open and forward looking."

Foster's students identified 65 opportunities. With his help, along with that of his colleagues, the students narrowed down the fields to 11 projects. They then split up into groups and worked on the project they felt most passionate about. One of the more interesting projects saw one of the groups collaborate with the West End Food Co-op to develop a new low-cost delivery system to bring fresh produce to those living in the Parkdale community. 

For the most part, the designs here are still early—after all, most of the students here have less than a year of engineering experience under their belt—but that hasn't stopped students in past years from attempting to realize their ideas. 

According to Foster, a previous year saw one group work on redesigning the City of Toronto's green bin. A representative from the city was present at that year's showcase, and noted the changes the students suggested.  

"We’re still working on closing that loop to get these solutions into the hands of communities," says Foster. "Now that our students have demonstrated that they're really engaged with the community, we’d like to make sure these communities have a channel to take what the students have started and pursue it in greater depth."  

Photo: Roberta Baker
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